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Economics

Failure To Communicate

Chris Martenson - July 17, 2017 - 18:06

The mass media simply doesn't have an established reference point for the concerned citizen who, through education and foresight, decides to take prudent steps today to reduce their future vulnerability while increasing their level of personal prosperity.

So, movements like ours get shunted into the existing constructs they do know, pretty much all of which exist on the "fringe".

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Categories: Economics

How Biohackers at Counter Culture Labs Are Trying to Make Insulin More Affordable

Shareable Magazine - July 17, 2017 - 08:44

According to the World Health Organization, more than 420 million people around the world — including over 29 million Americans — have diabetes. People with diabetes are unable to naturally produce sufficient insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar in the body. Over 90 years ago, Canadian scientists discovered a way to extract the hormone from pigs and cattle and purify it for human use.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/17 - Fake 'Natural' Foods, How a Small Town Is Standing Up to Fracking

Chris Martenson - July 17, 2017 - 06:42
  • Coca-Cola Insists It Made Coke ‘Healthy’ by Putting Fiber in It
  • Bitcoin is trying to find a bottom after a weekend selloff
  • The Threat to American Elections You Don’t Know About But Should
  • These 'missing charts' may change the way you think about fossil fuel addiction
  • Are Deeper Cuts OPEC’s Only Option?
  • Live near the beach? Coral reef expert Charlie Veron has some advice for you
  • Degeneration Nation: Connecting the Dots Between Factory Farms, Roundup, GMOs, and Fake 'Natural' Foods
  • How a Small Town Is Standing Up to Fracking

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/15 - Americans Hoarding Money In Checking Accounts, Temp Adjustments And Climate Change

Chris Martenson - July 15, 2017 - 07:47
  • Americans are hoarding money in checking accounts
  • Confidant Of Pope Francis Condemns U.S. Religious Right
  • National Debt Too High, Silver Price Too Low
  • The Fallout 
  • Uber's Opportunistic Ouster
  • ‘Extreme’ Use of Painkillers and Doctor Shopping Plague Medicare, New Report Says
  • Big Oil Just Woke Up to Threat of Rising Electric Car Demand
  • Orwell’s Nightmare: Temperature Adjustments and Climate Change 

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Categories: Economics

A Better Model For Predicting What Happens Next

Chris Martenson - July 14, 2017 - 20:39
Executive Summary
  • The dangerous shortcomings of the world's dominant 'Neoclassical' economic models
  • The predictive advantage of understanding the Overton Window
  • The alternative (and very likely better) models of Keen and Minsky
  • The critical improvement to ALL models of tying economics to energy/resources

If you have not yet read Part 1: Bad Models Result In Terrible Outcomes available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

So let’s see if we can understand the model errors for the central banks.  Again this is important because if they’ve got it wrong, then we all will pay a very heavy price -- with Venezuela, Argentina, and Zimbabwe all providing vivid examples of what happens when the social contract of money is ruined.  

To begin, the current crop of monetary practitioners at the world’s central banks are all devotees and advocates of the neoclassical branch of economics.  It’s an odd dogma for them to hold because its track record at explaining or predicting what has either happened or might yet happen is utterly dismal.

As Steve Keen explains:

[Economics as understood by the central bankers] has always been grounded in the beliefs that (a) capitalism is inherently stable, (b) that the financial sector can be ignored—yes that’s right, ignored—when doing macroeconomics, and (c) that the Great Depression was an anomaly that can also be ignored, because it can only have been caused either by an exogenous shock or bad government policy, both of which cannot be predicted in advance.

(Source)

The main flaw in the neoclassical approach to economics is that it completely ignores, or rather assumes away, any and all trends in debt creation.  In this bizarrely incomplete system of thinking, the financial system is considered to be, essentially, a self-correcting zero-sum entity (that balances itself out nicely with a little help now and then). 

So such things as carefully tracking GDP increase per new unit of debt, overall indebtedness ratios and understanding that crises are bred from complacency are of no practical concern to a neoclassical economist, such as those fully occupying the halls of power currently.

One way to understand the dogma that infects the central banking halls of power lies in what Jim Kunstler recently surfaced in a piece he wrote on the Overton Window, which, importantly...

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Categories: Economics

Bad Models Result In Terrible Outcomes

Chris Martenson - July 14, 2017 - 20:38

Recently I spent a month in Buenos Aries.  I went there to study the people, the culture and the economy of a prosperous land, filled with kind, well educated people.

One key lesson was this; bad policies can ruin every advantage you might have had.

While not as bad off as it was in 2002 when people filled the streets banging pots and pans in protest of their economically ruined lives, the place is still clearly depressed as are most of its people. 

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Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: The Schizophrenic Fed

Chris Martenson - July 14, 2017 - 09:59

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Axel Merk discuss:

  • No Rate Hike After All?
    • Yellen sings a dovish tune this week
  • Wait, Wasn't The Fed Just Warning It Would Tighten?
    • Yep. It was talking tough up until now
  • Why Can't The Fed Make Up It's Mind?
    • Because it's in a box. Jawboning is all it can do at this point
  • The Next Fed Head
    • A complete transformation may be in store soon

Chris and Axel unpack the latest guidance from the Fed issued this week. For those listening, the Fed's inconsistency is understandably infuriating. One week it's warning about tightening ahead, the next it's telling folks rates are just fine where they are.

Axel, who has more inside access to current & past Fed officials than anyone we know, feels that the Fed is simply trying to walk a tightrope it knows will one day snap. At this point, it's trapped. It needs to normalize rates, but doing so will crash the markets. So it's using the only tool it has -- confusion -- to keep the system fooled that everything is under control. Of course, one day the ruse will be discovered. But until then, the Fed will obfuscate, vacillate, prevaricate -- whatever it can do to keep the status quo in place for one more day...

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

Daily Digest 7/14 - Good News Friday: Human Chain Rescues Drowning Family, Zen And The Art Of Making Meat

Chris Martenson - July 14, 2017 - 08:15
  • Amazing human chain formed to rescue drowning family in PCB
  • Connecticut Just Banned Civil Forfeiture Without A Criminal Conviction
  • Bail reform wins final passage in Senate
  • Free Us All
  • Oregon Senate passes bill to mandate work schedule predictability
  • Gov. Inslee signs ‘best-in-nation' paid family leave program
  • Zen in the Art of Making Meat
  • Court Blocks E.P.A. Effort to Suspend Obama-Era Methane Rule

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/13 - Finding Unity In Divided D.C., What's Next For Stocks, Bonds and Gold?

Chris Martenson - July 13, 2017 - 06:49
  • Finding Unity In A Divided Washington
  • What's next for the dollar, stocks, bonds & gold?
  • Blockchain: The End of Gold Price Suppression
  • Putin's Real Long Game
  • This Nation Just Became The World’s Newest Energy Superpower
  • Energy Independence: Chimera or Chameleon?
  • The Louisiana Environmental Apocalypse Road Trip
  • Garbage-Fed Seagulls Are Spoiling Our Lakes and Reservoirs With Their Poop

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Categories: Economics

The Time Thief

Chris Martenson - July 12, 2017 - 19:14

Recently, the Federal Reserve has been on a mission to boost stock prices and make sure that no financial crises ever happen again.

They’ve been doing this by explicitly propping up financial markets (and, I believe, suppressing others) in ways that enrich the speculator class generally, and the big banks specifically.

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Categories: Economics

Podcast: Douglas Rushkoff and Natalie Foster on the Future of Work

Shareable Magazine - July 12, 2017 - 12:45

Playing for Team Human today is Natalie Foster. Foster brings a unique determination and optimism to questions surrounding the future of work. Her research as a fellow of the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative and as an affiliate at the Institute for the Future focuses on rebuilding the social contract for the changing landscape of labor in the 21st century.

Categories: Economics

This Massachusetts Town Shows What a Sustainable Economy Looks Like

Shareable Magazine - July 12, 2017 - 12:03

For more than three decades, the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, has quietly demonstrated how grassroots, sustainable, and human-centric projects could easily become the building blocks of the next economy. One organic farm in particular has been a shining example of how economic systems that take human and environmental needs into account could uplift communities.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/12 - LA Budget Woes Continue, CA Cuts Services To Pay Pension Costs

Chris Martenson - July 12, 2017 - 07:38
  • A city pension board vote could add to Los Angeles' budget woes
  • Senator calls Illinois tax increase a 'welcome to Michigan' sign
  • California Cuts Services, Staff to Pay Pension Costs
  • Emanuel sloughs off Moody’s threat to drop Chicago’s bond rating
  • Troubled Chicago school system sells $500 million bonds at high rates
  • Illinois' $21 billion in school debt pushes up property taxes
  • Risks in China's banking sector controllable: official
  • US consumer credit up $18.4 billion in May, most in 6 months
  • EU seeks more collective approach to dealing with bad loans

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Categories: Economics

The Trick to Make Capitalism Help Solve Climate Change

The best step any nation can take toward mitigating climate change is a revenue-neutral carbon fee. Here’s how it works.
Categories: Economics

Shared Renewables Hold Big Potential for Communities Left Out of Clean Energy Programs

Shareable Magazine - July 11, 2017 - 12:57

We're in the midst of a renewables boom in the U.S., but not everyone is benefiting. While incentives such as the Solar Investment Tax Credit has helped grow decentralized rooftop solar systems, they're usually situated in well-off neighborhoods. A large chunk of the population is being left behind — those living in low-to-moderate income households and rentals in urban areas.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/11 - Earth's 6th Mass Extinction Event Underway, The Safest Investment In Troubled Times

Chris Martenson - July 11, 2017 - 06:56
  • What's the Safest Investment in Troubled Times?
  • Drugmakers’ Money-Back Guarantees: an Answer to Rising Prices or a ‘Carnival Game’
  • Trump election commission stops collecting personal voter data—for now
  • Oil Fields Pumping a Third of Supply Die Fastest in 24 Years
  • The Major Wildcard That Could Send Oil To $120
  • Earth's sixth mass extinction event under way, scientists warn
  • Despair All Ye Who Enter Into the Climate Change Fray
  • A Road Trip to the End of the World

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Categories: Economics

Podcast: Flatpack Democracy Architect Peter Macfadyen's DIY Guide to Independent Politics

Shareable Magazine - July 10, 2017 - 10:30

In this episode we spoke with Peter Macfadyen, one of the architects behind Flatpack Democracy, a do-it-yourself guide to creating independent politics.

Categories: Economics

How Wiki Loves Women is Growing Wikipedia Coverage About Women in Africa

Shareable Magazine - July 10, 2017 - 07:42

Almost everyone who searches for information has used Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia with 

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/10 - The Rise Of The Thought Leader, The Unimaginable Earth

Chris Martenson - July 10, 2017 - 07:40
  • The Rise Of The Thought Leader
  • Children of the Opioid Epidemic Are Flooding Foster Homes. America Is Turning a Blind Eye.
  • The Medicaid Threat That Isn’t Getting Much Attention
  • FBI-DHS “amber” alert warns energy industry of attacks on nuke plant operators
  • Oil No Longer Decisive Factor In Emerging Market Performance
  • Demand for Renewable Energy Skyrockets Around the Globe
  • The Unimaginable Earth
  • Carbon-Neutral Dream Eludes Oasis City Near Abu Dhabi

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Categories: Economics

The Saker: The Syrian Powderkeg

Chris Martenson - July 10, 2017 - 06:20

Following up on our recent warning about the situation in Syria, Chris sits down this week for a conversation with The Saker, who writes extensively on geo-political and military matters. The Saker (a nom-de-plume), is a former intelligence expert with professional and personal insights into Russia and the Middle East.

He shares our deep concern for the dangerously misdirected current state of US foreign and military policy, as well as the potentially lethal repercussions these threaten to have in the powderkeg that is Syria.

In this week's podcast, The Saker provides an excellent distillation of the complex forces in play in Syria -- as well as in the brewing friction between the US and Russia -- and why the risk of nuclear war has now grown higher than it has been in decades.

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Categories: Economics