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German Nonprofit Creates New Open-Source License for Seeds

Shareable Magazine - May 22, 2017 - 13:46

We know about open-source software and hardware, but can the concept – decentralized development and open collaboration for the common good – be expanded to address other global challenges? The nonprofit OpenSourceSeeds based in German town of Marburg has just launched a licensing process for open-source seeds, to create a new repository of genetic material that can be accessed by farmers around the world, in perpetuity.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: Anthropologist Jason Hickel on How Capitalism Fuels Climate Change

Shareable Magazine - May 22, 2017 - 13:14

In this episode, we spoke with Jason Hickel, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics. Originally from Swaziland, Hickel's research has focused on development and globalization. He has written extensively on a number of topics, including inequality, climate change, basic income, and soil regeneration.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/22 - What The Health Insurance Market Needs, Lights Going Out In The Middle East

Chris Martenson - May 22, 2017 - 07:48
  • The Lights Are Going Out In The Middle East
  • Where Both the ACA and AHCA Fall Short, and What the Health Insurance Market Really Needs
  • Longer jail sentences do deter crime, but only up to a point
  • It Pays To Ignore Wall Street
  • Modernism - Part Three
  • U.S. regulators approve VW diesel fix for 84,000 vehicles
  • “By 2030, 95% Of Consumers In The World Won’t Own A Car”
  • The Race to Understand Black Carbon’s Climate Impact

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Categories: Economics

Joel Salatin: Curing Society's Constipation Of Imagination

Chris Martenson - May 21, 2017 - 17:19

The always colorful "renegade farmer" Joel Salatin returns to the podcast this week to share his latest thoughts on creative yet practical solutions society could and should be pursuing vs limiting and litigating everything under the sun.

Much of what's needed is a shift in thinking and priorities, says Salatin. And it starts with embracing initiative, accountability, and a 'do more with what we have' mentality -- which stands in stark contrast to the "we just need more stuff" narrative of today's status quo.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/20 - Trump Won't Break Up Big Banks, Who's Hiring and Who's Firing

Chris Martenson - May 20, 2017 - 08:46
  • Employment: Pick a Number, Any Number
  • It's Official: The Trump Administration Won't Break Up Big Banks
  • Betsy DeVos hits hard reset on student loan servicing contracts
  • Who’s Hiring? (Software Companies) Who’s Firing? (Hardware)
  • Brain Region Found to be Associated With Fear of Uncertain Future
  • Silver: Train Leaving Station Soon
  • New French Science Minister Appointed
  • The Painful Truth About Teeth 
  • America's Largest Pension Fund Has Dumped a Fortune Into Monsanto Stock
  • The Secret Life Of Urban Crows

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Categories: Economics

Prepare For The Great Global Contraction

Chris Martenson - May 19, 2017 - 17:01
Executive Summary
  • The repercussions of the Fed's Free Money Machine
  • Why debt-funded state control stagnates productivity
  • The importance of the 8-year cycle
  • What should guide investors' focus and decisions

If you have not yet read Part 1: How Long Can The Great Global Reflation Continue? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we asked these questions: can we just keep doubling and tripling the economy’s debt load every few years? What if household incomes continue declining? Are these trends sustainable?

In the near-term, we asked: is this Great Reflation running out of steam, or is it poised for yet another leg higher? Which is more likely?

Let’s start by looking at the mechanism that funds the government’s deficit spending, i.e. its ability to borrow and spend enormous sums of money year after year.

The Free Money Machine

The state can afford to continue or increase fiscal stimulus (deficit spending) because the central bank (the Federal Reserve) has created what amounts to a free money machine. Here’s how the machine works.

The federal government issues $1 trillion in new bonds to fund another $1 trillion in deficit spending. The central bank (Federal Reserve) creates $1 trillion with a few keystrokes, and buys the $1 trillion in bonds with newly created money.

The Federal Reserve earns interest on the $1 trillion in bonds it now owns, but it returns this income to the Treasury, minus the Federal Reserve’s relatively modest expenses of operation. Let’s say the bonds carry an interest rate of 2.5%.  The government pays the Federal Reserve $25 billion in annual interest, and the Federal Reserve returns $20 billion annually, so the net cost of borrowing and spending $1 trillion is an insignificant $5 billion.

If this isn’t entirely free money, it’s extremely close to free money.

So in ten years, the Federal Reserve owns $10 trillion more in federal bonds (assuming the bonds are long-term and didn’t mature).

It's no wonder that some economist propose...

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Categories: Economics

How Long Can The Great Global Reflation Continue?

Chris Martenson - May 19, 2017 - 17:01

Given the extraordinary failure of both Keynesian stimulus and private-sector credit growth to create a self-sustaining cycle of expansion whose benefits flow to the entire workforce rather than to the top few percent, what can we expect going forward? Can we just keep doubling and tripling the economy’s debt load every few years? What if household incomes continue declining? Are these trends sustainable?

In the near-term, is this Great Reflation running out of steam, or is it poised for yet another leg higher? Which is more likely?

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/19 - Good News Friday: Rooftop Agriculture In Brooklyn, The Secret to Killing Superbugs

Chris Martenson - May 19, 2017 - 07:54
  • 50 floating screens will clean the Pacific garbage patch next year
  • Coastal Liberals Look Out: The Working Class Is the New Face of Activism
  • For Voting Rights Advocates, Court Decision Is ‘Temporary Victory’
  • New York’s Legislature Is On The Brink Of Passing Universal Healthcare
  • This wasn't just a primary victory. This was a revolution
  • Brooklyn’s Newest Condo Amenity: Rooftop Agricultural Plots
  • Where a solar roof works and where it doesn’t
  • Komodo Dragon Blood May Hold the Secret to Killing Superbugs

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Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: Volatility Attacks!

Chris Martenson - May 18, 2017 - 23:03

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and John Rubino discuss:

  • Volatility Attacks!
    • The market calm is suddenly shattered
  • Trading A Credit Crisis For A Currency Crisis
    • How all this ultimately ends
  • Misuse & Abuse Of Power
    • Is the norm these days, not the exception
  • The Coming Reset
    • Yes, it will be painful. But let's focus on what we want to come afterwards

In this week in which volatility in the markets -- which has been MIA for longer than any other time in history -- has suddenly come roaring back, Chris and John focus on the inherent fragility of the financial system, which is now utterly dependent on continued central bank subsidization. 

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today.

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Categories: Economics

Q&A: David Bollier on the Potential of the Commons

Shareable Magazine - May 18, 2017 - 10:05

David Bollier is an author, activist, blogger, and consultant who spends a lot of time exploring the commons as a new paradigm of economics, politics and culture. In 2010, he co-founded the Commons Strategies Group, a consulting project that works to promote the commons internationally. He was also founding editor of onthecommons.org and a fellow of On the Commons from 2004 to 2010. He has written, co-authored, or co-edited 12 books.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/18 - The Malware That Wreaked Chaos, Has Global Oil Demand Really Surpassed Supply?

Chris Martenson - May 18, 2017 - 07:03
  • The Malware That Wreaked Global Chaos
  • Fluxology revisited — how Steven Chu will save us
  • Payoffs From Putin to Trump? McCarthy Says No, He Was Just Kidding
  • Falling U.S. Jobless Claims Add to Signs of Labor Tightness
  • $6.40 an hour for nine years: how I got stuck in a career as a Walmart employee
  • US immigration arrests surge 40% under Donald Trump
  • Has Global Oil Demand Really Surpassed Supply?
  • Where Have All The Insects Gone?

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Categories: Economics

How to Set Up a Community Co-op

Shareable Magazine - May 17, 2017 - 08:38

Before joining the Institute for Solidarity Economics recently, I spent the last five years working for rural communities charity the Plunkett Foundation, an organization which supports the establishment of community co-operatives. Community co-operatives are businesses which trade primarily for the benefit of their community. Controlled by the community themselves, they have open and voluntary membership and, crucially, they encourage people to get involved – either by becoming a member, or by volunteering time or getting involved in another way.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/17 - Playing Catch-Up On Pension Funding, Italy Inflation and Debt Rise

Chris Martenson - May 17, 2017 - 06:32
  • Vermont Health Insurer Asks to Increase Rates 12.7 Percent
  • Fairfield pension costs projected to reach $37.5M yearly
  • Playing catch-up on public pension funding
  • Forget Puerto Rico, What About U.S. States' Soaring Pension Debts?
  • Gov. Malloy Revises Budget To Plug $2.5 Billion Deficit
  • Italy Inflation, Debt Rise
  • Italian economy to shrink slightly this year: S&P

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Categories: Economics

Podcast: Taking a Systems Approach to Designing the New Economy

Shareable Magazine - May 17, 2017 - 00:51

"It's not enough to build your own company, you have to participate in building the whole ecosystem," says Jeffrey Hollender. In this episode of Next Economy Now, Kevin Bayuk, a partner and worker-owner at LIFT Economy, interviews Jeffrey Hollender, founder of Seventh Generation, the American Sustainable Business Council and Sustain Natural among other enterprises and organizations.

Categories: Economics

Yes, We Can Choose Good Globalization

The integration of knowledge, science, hospitality, and travel can have huge benefits for human connections and peace.
Categories: Economics

Podcast: Why Societies Based on Equality do Better

Shareable Magazine - May 16, 2017 - 13:23

You probably already know that levels of inequality have reached staggering heights in the 21st century. Perhaps you've come across Oxfam's report detailing how the world's eight richest men own as much wealth as the poorest half of the population. Or maybe you heard Senator Bernie Sanders' assertion that 99 percent of all new income since the financial crisis has gone to the top one percent.

Categories: Economics

Meet g0v, the Open-source, Digital Community Transforming Democracy in Taiwan

Shareable Magazine - May 16, 2017 - 12:45

In 2014, a digital-driven movement emerged in Taiwan that challenged the former ruling party Kuomintang's move to fast-track the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement. The members of the movement felt the trade deal between China and Taiwan would impinge on Taiwan's sovereignty. The Sunflower Movement, a youth-driven, tech-savvy, cross-sectoral coalition, occupied the Taiwanese Parliament for more than three weeks.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/16 - Paper vs. Physical Silver, Everything Bubble: Code Red

Chris Martenson - May 16, 2017 - 08:52
  • Millennial to Millionaire: Stop Blaming Avocado Toast for Why We’re Not Buying Houses
  • Trump confirms he shared intel with Russia’s foreign minister
  • Selected Articles: The North Korea Nuclear Issue
  • PAPER vs. PHYSICAL: The Amazing Amount Of Leverage In The Silver Market
  • Everything Bubble: Code Red
  • Congress Is Coming After Your 401(k)
  • Anti-net neutrality spammers are flooding FCC's pages with fake comments
  • Artificial Intelligence Is Crucial For The Energy Industry
  • How a Melting Arctic Changes Everything Part II: The Political Arctic

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Categories: Economics

But Wait, U.S. Bank Has Not Stopped Funding Pipelines

Despite announcing its intent to stop pipeline project loans, U.S. Bank still gives massive amounts of general financing to oil giants who build pipelines. Will it stop that?
Categories: Economics

More On 'Being' (Free Webinar)

Chris Martenson - May 15, 2017 - 18:48

On this coming Monday, May 22 at 4pm EST, Chris and Becca will hop online to expound on key practices that can help each of us navigate how we want to "be" in the arriving future. And they'll leave ample time for live audience Q&A.

If the time of the webinar is inconvenient for you, don't worry. Everyone who registers for it will receive a link to an archive video of the webinar, which you can replay to your hearts content.

If this of interest to you, register now for this free webinar.

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Categories: Economics