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Daily Digest 6/5 - World Energy Needs Will Cost $48T By 2035, Germany Pulls Plug On Solar Subsidies

Chris Martenson - June 5, 2014 - 07:41
  • Steve Forbes: Link dollar to gold or face Great Depression II
  • Is The Fed's Gold Ponzi Scheme About To Pop?
  • World Energy Needs Will Cost $48 Trillion By 2035
  • New U.S. Emissions Rules Have Popular, But Not Political, Support
  • Exhaustion of cheap mineral resources is terraforming Earth
  • Jim Rogers on the future of China, Russia, US dollar & farming
  • Germany pulls plug on solar subsidies
  • Environment: Accelerate research on land creation

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Categories: Economics

Pimp My Carroca Honors Sao Paulo's Indie Sanitation Workers [Video]

Shareable Magazine - June 5, 2014 - 07:28

A just painted scrap cart or Carroca in Soa Paulo, Brazil. Credit: conexao cultural 

Sanitation workers have long been among the least respected members of society.

Categories: Economics

CivicLab: The Coworking Space for Civic Hacking

Shareable Magazine - June 4, 2014 - 19:18

Something extraordinary is happening on Chicago’s West Side. CivicLab, a coworking space dedicated to collaboration, education and innovation for civic engagement, is building community around citizen participation in government. Featuring a number of social change, policy and organizing projects, CivicLab also builds and deploys tools for government accountability and civic involvement.

Categories: Economics

Reverse Food Truck Takes in Food to Feed the Hungry

Shareable Magazine - June 4, 2014 - 14:14

When an idea's time has come, everything seems to fall into place. Such is the case with Finnegans Reverse Food Truck (RFT). Last December, Finnegans (a brewery, more below) founder Jacquie Berglund was in a meeting with her pro bono advertising team at Martin Williams when they pitched the idea of a Reverse Food Truck that would collect food rather than dispense it.

Categories: Economics

How to Best Store Your Food Storage

Chris Martenson - June 4, 2014 - 10:05

One of the largest questions with food storage is “Where should I put this?”

Where you store your food storage has a large impact on how long it will last and how good the food will taste once you use it. What type of container you use to store the food and the conditions of the area you store it have a large impact on the food.

Below we’ve listed out a few things you need to consider with your food containers and the conditions in which you store them. Let’s get started!

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Categories: Economics

A Weekend On The Farm

Chris Martenson - June 4, 2014 - 07:55
If you've been a reader of for more than a few months, you've likely heard us talk about Farmland LP. It's a fund that purchases over-farmed, depleted conventional farmland (at a discounted price), and then spends years nursing the land back to organic status using sustainable farming methods.   As an investor, I have the opportunity to tour any of the fund's 5 farm properties, which are located in southern Oregon and central California. So that just what I did this past weekend when the Farmland team held its first annual investor gathering at its newest (and largest) property in Stockton, CA.

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Categories: Economics

10 Survival Uses For Oil

Chris Martenson - June 4, 2014 - 07:52

A number of useful ideas and ways to use common cooking and household oils to help you survive in an emergency situation or event.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 6/4 - Unemployment Risks For Recent Grads, QE for Europe and China?

Chris Martenson - June 4, 2014 - 07:21
  • New ISU Students Likely Facing 2% Tuition Hike
  • Tuition Up 7% at Athens State
  • More Arkansas universities increasing tuition
  • Virginia Tech Board Approves Tuition, Fee Hikes
  • 30 per cent of university graduates to be out of work after finishing degree
  • Safety-Net Hospitals Face $1.5 Billion Shortfall by 2019, UCLA Study Says
  • Health Exchange Policies Headed For 9.8 Percent Spike In 2015
  • Health insurers expected to raise rates for next year
  • Portugal PM says last tranche of bailout at risk
  • With euro zone inflation disappearing, ECB poised to act
  • QE for Europe and China?
  • BOJ's Kuroda warns against premature talk of exit from stimulus

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Categories: Economics

Seattle Wins $15 Minimum Wage—Will Your Town Be Next?

Supporters of Seattle's $15 minimum wage crowd City Hall on Monday, June 3. Photo by Alex Garland Photography.

Yesterday, June 2, the Seattle City Council approved a new ordinance that will raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 per hour—the highest in the United States.

Most visible were young activists in their twenties and thirties who moved directly from Sawant’s campaign to a new group, “15 Now.”

Seattle’s economy is fueled by high-tech industries and cutting-edge products produced by some the most famous corporate names in the nation: Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing.

But the cost of living in the city is high and rising. People who work in low-wage nonprofessional jobs here—restaurant workers for example—find it increasingly difficult to afford the rising cost of food and housing in the city. As is true across the United States, many low-wage workers have to supplement their full-time salaries with government assistance like food stamps in order to have both rent and groceries.

Momentum for the new minimum wage ordinance began in SeaTac, Wash., a small blue-collar city south of Seattle that is home to the region’s major airport. In November 2013, voters in SeaTac approved a ballot initiative raising the minimum wage for airport workers to $15 an hour. The voters’ approval of Ballot Initiative 1, put forward by Yes for SeaTac, a union-backed organization, encouraged the minimum wage movement in Seattle. So did the campaign for Seattle City Council of Kshama Sawant, a socialist who ran on the promise to work for a $15 minimum wage. The energy behind her campaign pulled in mayoral candidate Ed Murray, who was also elected in November after promising to support raising the minimum wage.

One of Mayor Ed Murray’s first acts in office was to convene an “Income Inequality Advisory Committee” of representatives from business, labor, and community groups, charged with delivering a plan for raising the minimum wage in Seattle. The final draft of the ordinance they negotiated makes some concessions to business interests, including a phase-in of the $15 minimum wage. Businesses with more than 500 employees will be required to pay workers $11 per hour by April 2015, rising in increments to $15 by 2017. Larger businesses that provide health care for employees will be required to pay $15 per hour by 2018.

But despite the phase-in and several exceptions to a blanket minimum wage, less than a year after her election, Sawant declared the city’s new minimum wage ordinance a victory.

Reducing poverty was the bottom line for the activists, experts, and local officials.

If so, it is a victory shared by all who pushed for it. Most visible were young activists in their twenties and thirties who moved directly from Sawant’s campaign to a new group, “15 Now.” They held marches and demonstrated in front of fast food restaurants throughout the winter and early spring. Their demands for a $15 minimum were reported extensively by local news, including network TV affiliates. The Stranger, a Seattle alternative weekly paper, covered the campaign in its usual lively and irreverent style, and provided a forum for citizens—from low-income workers to millionaires—to voice opinion and debate the merits of raising the minimum wage.

By the time Mayor Murray and the group Local Progress hosted an income inequality symposium at the end of March, it appeared that a $15 minimum wage for Seattle was an idea whose time had come. City councilmembers from San Jose, San Diego, Chicago, and New York City spoke at the symposium about the struggles of low-income people and the need to raise the minimum wage in their communities.

Economists were on hand to share data about the need for a new mandatory minimum—some figured a real living wage in Seattle to be as high as $25 per hour (e.g., for a single parent with one child). Several studies were presented demonstrating that raising the minimum wage would have positive effects for Seattle’s economy in giving workers more money to spend on goods and services in the city. Researchers from the West Coast Poverty Center at the University of Washington presented findings showing that an increase to a $15 minimum would help reduce poverty in Seattle, where a third of residents earn less than that.

Reducing poverty was the bottom line for the activists, experts, and local officials who had traveled to Seattle to attend the symposium. In her closing remarks, Felicia Wong of New York’s Roosevelt Institute evoked the success of the New Deal in alleviating poverty and correcting the Great Depression of the 1930s.

She said Seattle could help set the trend for raising the minimum wage and reducing poverty for millions across the country. “By raising the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour,” she said “Seattle can choose democracy and start to reverse the trends that have been crushing the middle class.”

This article was written for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions.

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Categories: Economics

Shareable and SF Public Press Partner on Housing Series Through June

Shareable Magazine - June 3, 2014 - 12:25

For the month of June, Shareable and San Francisco Public Press will explore housing solutions through an innovative partnership featuring a co-produced editorial series and solutions-focused event called, “Hack the Housing Crisis” on June 13th in San Francisco.

Categories: Economics

Super Efficient Irrigation

Chris Martenson - June 3, 2014 - 09:57

An interesting concept of providing controlled irrigation to plants through the use of unglazed clay pots buried in you garden space or on larger scale food production fields.

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Categories: Economics

Sharing City Seoul: a Model for the World

Shareable Magazine - June 3, 2014 - 08:24

Mayor Park (directly in front of the sculpture) and Seoul citizens hear the call for a sharing city.

Citizens the world over are rallying around the sharing economy as a solution to the pressing challenges they face. Cities, which are perfectly positioned to enact big changes on a human scale, have the potential to lead this movement.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 6/3 - Seattle To Raise Minimum Wage, Derivatives Russian Roulette

Chris Martenson - June 3, 2014 - 07:58
  • Euro Zone Edges Closer to Dreaded Deflation
  • What the NSA can (and can’t) mine from intercepted photos
  • Seattle Coucil Passes $15 Minimum Wage
  • Mr. Rickards explains how Fed manipulation hurts emerging markets
  • Gold Price Slipping Again While Silver Sees Further Risk
  • Amid Fear and Pressure, Syrians Vote for President
  • Russian Roulette - Derivatives Style
  • Elastic Wings Promise Greater Aircraft Fuel Efficiency

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Categories: Economics

Pasadena ShareFest Goes Big

Shareable Magazine - June 3, 2014 - 07:42

The goal for the Pasadena ShareFest, which took place on May 3rd, was to provide a platform to build community connections and give people the opportunity to incorporate the sharing economy into their daily lives.

Categories: Economics

14 Ways to Make a Protected Bike Lane [Infographic]

Shareable Magazine - June 3, 2014 - 07:14

Having stenciled bike lanes on city streets is a good thing. But an occasional stencil doesn’t always protect cyclists or keep cars out of the space, and bike lane fails abound. Ideally, cyclists have a dedicated lane to themselves.

Categories: Economics

The US Housing Market's Darkening Data

Chris Martenson - June 2, 2014 - 22:15

The more we look at today's data, the more it looks like that we are in a new type of pricing cycle -- one that homeowners and housing investors have no prior experience with.

And the more we learn about the fundamentals underlying the current cycle, the harder it becomes to justify today's home prices on any sustained level. Meaning a downward reversion in home values is very probable in the coming years.

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Categories: Economics

Get Ready For Falling Home Prices

Chris Martenson - June 2, 2014 - 22:15
Executive Summary
  • The new drivers of the current housing price cycle
  • Why investment capital, not normal household formation, has become primary for pricing
  • What the implications of an investment-driven housing market are
  • Why prices will fall & what homeowners (residents & investors) can do now

If you have not yet read The US Housing Market's Darkening Data, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The The New Drivers of The Current Housing Cycle 1. Cash

First, we are currently seeing something in residential real estate markets that has not occurred in our lifetimes – the magnitude of all-cash offers. 40-50% of residential real estate purchases have been for cash in recent years. This phenomenon has no precedent in recent economic history. Why is this happening?  We need to remember that a primary goal of the Federal Reserve in setting short term interest rates near 0% was to induce investors to buy “risk assets” – think real estate and common stocks.  By eliminating rate of return in safe securities such as Treasury bonds, CD’s, etc., the Fed essentially forced formerly conservative investors to purchase higher risk assets in order to get any acceptable rate of return.

In good part, the all-cash offers are coming from investor’s intent on buying to rent. Intent on obtaining an acceptable cash on cash rate of return as yield can no longer be found in safer investments. This crosses the boundaries between investors in the asset accumulation phase of life and retirees starved for yield, draining formerly CD-centric bank accounts in order to purchase income-producing rental properties...

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Categories: Economics

The New Economy Gets Real at CommonBound Conference this Weekend

Shareable Magazine - June 2, 2014 - 09:33

***Shareable is proud to be participating in CommonBound this weekend in Boston. We'll be showcasing the Sharing Cities Network at a panel discussion on Sunday, June 8th from 11-12:15am: "The Sharing Economy and Social Justice: Can Collaborative Consumption Advance Equity?"

Categories: Economics

Seattle's Beacon Hill Hosts the Biggest Food Forest in the US

Shareable Magazine - June 2, 2014 - 08:22

In 2011, a seven-acre swath of land was set aside in Seattle, Washington's Beacon Hill neighborhood with a singular purpose -- to grow food. What started as a final design project for a permaculture course in 2009 has now, five years later, become the Beacon Food Forest (BFF), though still under development.

Categories: Economics

Repurpose Plastic Water Bottles into a Portable Shower or Wash Station

Chris Martenson - June 2, 2014 - 08:07

An interesting kickstarter product that could be very handy when traveling, in emergency situations, or something to add to the garden space.

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Categories: Economics