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New Cooperative Refinances Student Debt with Community Funds

Shareable Magazine - July 28, 2014 - 10:13

Top image excerpted from Libby Nelson’s Everything You Need To Know About Student Debt.

Over the past two decades, the amount of money a college student must borrow to pay for their education has doubled. The graduates of 2014 now sit at the top of the class in student debt. Tuition fees have risen dramatically as household incomes have stagnated, at best, causing some 70 percent of students to fund their higher educations through loans.

Categories: Economics

Something's Fishy With The US 'Data' on Ukraine, Russia

Chris Martenson - July 28, 2014 - 08:51

For weeks now I've been patiently waiting for the US to release some (any!) definitive data about the Ukraine situation, including the MH17 shoot-down.  After all, as everybody knows, the US has intensive satellite and electronic scanning technologies in place around the globe, and therefore should be able to provide some serious intelligence to make its case.

Frankly, the US needs to provide much harder evidence for its current claims to be credible.

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Categories: Economics

Appalachians Leaving Coal for the New Economy

Shareable Magazine - July 28, 2014 - 08:40

Top image: A mural in Benham, Kentucky. Photo by Catherine Moore for Appalachian Transition Fellows. Article and images cross-posted from YES! magazine.

Benham, Kentucky, in the heart of Harlan County, is a quiet place with a proud sign that has been amended over time to read, "Benham, the little town that International Harvester, coal miners and their families built."

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/28 - You Can’t Taper a Ponzi Scheme, Dust Bowl-Like Migration Could Be Imminent

Chris Martenson - July 28, 2014 - 06:57
  • Mauldin's Vision Quest
  • You Can’t Taper a Ponzi Scheme: Time to Reboot
  • Residents within 5 km of Kyushu nuclear plant given iodine tablets
  • Your chicken is about to get more full of feces
  • 5 Industries Worried About Peak Oil
  • Study shows trees save many lives—are tree-huggers onto something?
  • Earth survived near-miss from 2012 solar storm: NASA
  • America Might Soon Witness A Dust Bowl-Like Migration
  • What Do Chinese Dumplings Have to Do With Global Warming?

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Categories: Economics

Michael Klare: Finite Resources And The Geography of Conflict

Chris Martenson - July 27, 2014 - 09:49

Ukraine. Iraq. Nigeria. Libya. Tunisia. Syria. All are hotspots of conflict in different regions of the world, yet the same underlying cause behind each can clearly be seen when looking through the lens of finite resources.

In this week's podcast, Chris talks with Hampshire college professor Michael Klare, author of The Race for What's Left: The Global Scramble for World's Last Resources and Resource Wars.

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Categories: Economics

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Community Currency Magazine - July 26, 2014 - 10:00

The future of co-operative and mutual banking is keeping it local
The future of banking will be fundamentally different to both the past and present incarnations. While the focus at present is on regulatory and structural
Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/26 - Goldman Sees Market Decline Risk, Combating Our Current Mass Extinction

Chris Martenson - July 26, 2014 - 08:16
  • The Typical Household, Now Worth a Third Less
  • Why a Soaring Stock Market Is Wasted on the Young
  • Ebola Victim On The Run In West Africa Capital
  • Gold Price In 2014 Consolidating Above Major Support Area
  • The Poor Don’t Need a Life Coach
  • Goldman Sees Risk of Stock Decline on Rising Bond Yields
  • Tracking And Combating Our Current Mass Extinction
  • Steam energy from the sun: New spongelike structure converts solar energy into steam

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Categories: Economics

Permitting for a Pond

Chris Martenson - July 25, 2014 - 12:05

As much as I wish we did not have to deal with Government when installing our projects, it is an unfortunate obstacle that we have to deal with. Fortunately, many of the pond types we install in a permaculture setting do not require complicated permits. That doesn’t mean you can just start digging without thinking about acquiring a permit.

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Categories: Economics

What Is Money?: Crash Course Chapter 6

Chris Martenson - July 25, 2014 - 08:52

Money plays an incredibly large role in the world, but yet it remains poorly understood. What exactly is it? What do the pieces of paper we hold in our wallets and bank accounts actually represent?

Developing an understanding of the underlying role of money allows us to better see when it is being used properly, or abused. And history shows that abuse is more the norm than the exception: the record shows over 3,800 previous examples of paper currencies that no longer exist.

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Categories: Economics

Why Banning Uber Makes Seoul Even More of a Sharing City

Shareable Magazine - July 25, 2014 - 08:46

This past Monday Seoul City said it planned to ban Uber, the smartphone car-hailing service, and launch its own app for official taxis. Some reacted by calling Seoul’s sharing cred into question because, after all, Seoul is the self-proclaimed Sharing City with arguably the most ambitious sharing economy agenda of any city in the world. S

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/25 - Boom And Bust And What Comes Next, Western U.S. Drought Continues To Worsen

Chris Martenson - July 25, 2014 - 08:38
  • Boom And Bust And What Comes Next
  • Whose Oil Will Quench China’s Thirst?
  • Lake Mead Before and After the Epic Drought
  • 'Shocking' underground water loss in US drought
  • California's Drought Turning the State Brown, NASA Images Show
  • Satellite study indicates groundwater losses putting Southwest supply in jeopardy
  • Huge electrical storm in 2012 nearly shut down modern life, CU researcher says
  • Are Sheep Better Lawn Mowers Than Goats?

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Categories: Economics

Off the Cuff: Do Geopolitics Matter Anymore?

Chris Martenson - July 24, 2014 - 13:37

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles discuss:

  • Do Geopolitics Matter Anymore?
    • No conflict is seemingly too great for the markets to ignore
  • The Marginal Value of A Barrel of Oil
    • Even the loss of a few % of total supply could vastly impact the US
  • Zombie Markets
    • No weapon seems to be able to stop this bull market
  • Bass-Ackward Foreign Policy
    • The West is pursuing a strategy that makes no sense

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/24 - Cities Get Creative About Recycling Water, Should Markets Be Discounting Conflict?

Chris Martenson - July 24, 2014 - 07:16
  • China signs currency swap worth 150 billion yuan with Switzerland
  • Recovery? Real Average Hourly & Weekly Earnings YoY Goes Negative
  • First Digital Currency Backed By Physical Gold – Independence Coin
  • Some small thoughts before I go
  • Should Markets Be Discounting Conflict?
  • Bulls Take Notice - Caution Suggested as Credit Markets and Equity Markets Diverge
  • States, Cities Get Creative About Recycling Water
  • Energy From Biofuels Can Match Crude Oil Levels
  • The Turning Point: New Hope For The Climate
  • Climate Change Creates New Farming Risks

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Categories: Economics

Gigoing: Trade Skills for Lodging Worldwide

Shareable Magazine - July 23, 2014 - 09:38

There's a new worktrade kid on the Internet block called Gigoing. Currently in beta, the platform brings together two groups -- the givers of work (known as Gigoingers) and the receivers of that work (Gigplaces). Gigoing employs the same successful formula that WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), Workaway, Help Exchange, and other work-trade platforms use.

Categories: Economics

Escaping the Rat-Race

Chris Martenson - July 23, 2014 - 08:48

The changing nature of work doesn’t just matter to new graduates seeking their first career-track job—it’s equally important to experienced workers seeking to escape the corporate rat-race or build a new career after a layoff.

Those who understand these changes will be able to successfully adapt. Those who don’t, won’t.

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Categories: Economics

How The Nature of Work Is Changing

Chris Martenson - July 23, 2014 - 08:48
Executive Summary
  • The Matrix of Work & the 5 Forms of Value Creation
  • The essential elements of the future's ideal work environment
  • How mobility creates career security
  • How to start switching from "work" to "work that matters"

If you have not yet read Part I: Escaping the Rat-Race available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we reviewed the forces of structural change in the economy and the nature of work.  In Part 2, we’ll cover the matrix of work (how to create value in the age of automation) and discuss specific strategies for building a resilient career you control.

The Matrix of Work

In the traditional capital/labor model, labor is paid by the hour to perform routine work.  In the emerging economy, routine work is increasingly performed by machines or outsourced.  In this environment, the premium for human labor arises from creating value and solving problems.

The tool I use to understand this premium is the matrix of work, which is the overlay of the five forms of value creation: non-process-based work, high touch, non-tradable work, sensitivity of the output to mastery and flexibility.

Let’s start with commodification:  when goods or services can be traded interchangeably across the globe, these become commodities, as opposed to one-of-a-kind goods and services unique to one small-scale producer. A Fuji apple from Washington State is the same as a Fuji apple from overseas in terms of its tradability and retail value.

Labor can also be commoditized:  if human labor is being sold as time performing basic skills, then the time and basic skills can be bought and sold interchangeably around the world.

Work that is process-based is easily automated or commoditized, meaning that it can be performed anywhere by interchangeable laborers.  Process-based work can be broken down into tasks that take a specifiable input and yield a specifiable output.

One way to avoid being commoditized out of a job is...

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Categories: Economics

Healers of Color Raises Chicago's Vibration with Community Healing

Shareable Magazine - July 23, 2014 - 08:07

“We need as many community healing celebrations as possible. When you are dealing with generational pain, we are not at a place where it can be too much. All the healers need to stand up.” -Elisha Hall

Categories: Economics

The Castells of Catalonia: Inside the Incredible Art of Human Towers

Shareable Magazine - July 23, 2014 - 07:40

What does it feel like to be atop a nine level tower made entirely of humans? I have no idea. But, in Catalonia, Spain, there’s a long tradition of building human towers that represents not just a daring feat, but a rich cultural tradition. The towers, known as castells (meaning castle in Catalan), take different forms, but they all depend on skilled castellers to create the tower and a strong group around the base to support it and soften any falls.

Categories: Economics

7 Survival Life Hacks

Chris Martenson - July 23, 2014 - 07:39

Some great survival hacks found in this nicely made YouTube Video.

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Categories: Economics