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How Voters With $25 “Democracy Vouchers” Might Overtake the Super PACs

From Washington state to South Dakota, voters are pushing for public-matching systems to replace the influence wealthy bankrollers have on government.
Categories: Economics

As 9-to-5 Jobs Vanish, Look Who’s Reinventing the Working World

Overcoming isolation in the gig economy, workers like Amazon’s Mechanical Turks are building democratic, worker-led communities.
Categories: Economics

New Anthology Probes Theory and Practice of Urban Commoning

Shareable Magazine - August 24, 2016 - 13:00

The City as Commons is an important new resource for urban commons activists. (Graphic by Scott Boylston)

Categories: Economics

Homeownership is Dead. Long Live the Permanent Real Estate Cooperative

Shareable Magazine - August 24, 2016 - 08:09

by Sustainable Economies Law Center Executive Director, Janelle Orsi. Cross-posted from

Imagine that a group of people works hard to fill their neighborhood with urban farms, bike lanes, parks, murals, community services, and education programs. Next, imagine that those same people are forced to move away. Ouch, that bites.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/24 - Illicit Gold, ACA Getting Expensive In Oklahoma

Chris Martenson - August 24, 2016 - 06:10
  • The Affordable Care Act is getting expensive in Oklahoma
  • IPERS fund, facing $5 billion shortfall, misses investment goal
  • Emanuel eyes senior discount, more meters to soften tax hit
  • Solvency funding a growing challenge as B.C. pension deficits mount
  • $1.5 million spent to promote pension sales tax
  • Illicit gold: India's smugglers shut out refiners, banks
  • Flood-Ravaged Louisiana Facing Biggest Cash Crunch Since 1980s
  • Saudi government to sell $5 billion worth of bonds
  • CPS wants approval for $1.5 billion in short-term loans
  • China's Best Bank Called 'Mirage' of Shadow Lending
  • ECB faces bulked-up govt bond buying if QE extended beyond March
  • $1.3 trillion in student loan debt is crippling retail sales growth
  • Citi: Here Are Six Ways Central Banks Have Distorted Markets
  • Former Fed Staffer, Activists Detail Plan to Overhaul Central Bank
  • Bank of Japan's rush into stocks raises fears of market distortions
  • China caught in 'dead money' trap as central bank pleads for fiscal stimulus
  • Gold and Gemstones Pile Up in Singapore Vault on Quest for Haven
  • Adviser to PM Abe: Japan needs 10 trillion yen stimulus in each of next two years
  • Fixing Pension Shortfalls in U.K. Means Disruption for Investors

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Categories: Economics

Maybe the Gig Economy Doesn’t Have to Mean Oppressed Workers

Has gig work helped you build community or left you isolated and vulnerable?
Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: The Limits Of Financial Gimmickry

Chris Martenson - August 23, 2016 - 10:49

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles Hugh Smith discuss:

  • From Flowers To Floods
    • How climate variability is impacting all of us
  • Not All Crises Are Equal
    • Some have fixes, some don't
  • Resilience Is Key To National Security
    • Regenerative regimes will win out over extractive ones
  • Incentives Matter
    • Without the right incentives, failure is inevitable

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

ZeroLandfill Project Upcycles Free Materials for Artists and Educators

Shareable Magazine - August 23, 2016 - 07:21

The 2015 Harvest. Photo courtesy of ZeroLandfill Project.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/24 - NSA Hack Confirmed, China's Best Bank Called 'Mirage' of Shadow Lending

Chris Martenson - August 23, 2016 - 05:18
  • China's Best Bank Called 'Mirage' of Shadow Lending
  • Fed Admits Another $4 Trillion In QE Will Be Needed To Offset An "Economic Shock"
  • Gold Will Explode In Value Well Beyond What Jim Rickards Forecasts
  • Yup! The NSA Got Hacked
  • Millennials aren’t buying homes. Good for them. 
  • Is ExxonMobil Actually Only Worth A Fraction Of What It Says?
  • This very, very detailed chart shows how all the energy in the U.S. is used
  • By Degrees: America’s First Offshore Wind Farm May Power Up a New Industry

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Categories: Economics

Can Workers Get a Fair Deal in the Gig Economy?

The whole sector won’t enjoy broader success until its companies learn how to combine flexible work with better treatment.
Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/22 - The Inflation Imperative, Workers' Hours Are More Unpredictable Than Ever

Chris Martenson - August 22, 2016 - 09:50
  • Worker Hours Are More Unpredictable Than Ever
  • As Homeless Find Refuge in Forests, ‘Anger Is Palpable’ in Nearby Towns
  • Obama's Market Meltdown
  • The Inflation Imperative
  • Obama Readies One Last Push for Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • Uber Aims for an Edge in the Race for a Self-Driving Future
  • Consumers seem to like environment-friendly options if they’re available

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Categories: Economics

Tired of Waiting for Corporate High-Speed Internet, Minnesota Farm Towns Build Their Own

Shareable Magazine - August 22, 2016 - 07:03

Photo credit: transCam via / CC BY-NC-ND. Article and infographic cross-posted from YES! Magazine.

Seven years ago, Winthrop, Minnesota, population 1,400, decided it needed an Internet upgrade.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/21 - Nightmare On Main Street, Kids In The Age Of Climate Change

Chris Martenson - August 21, 2016 - 10:29
  • The richest 10% hold 76% of the wealth
  • Counting Human Rights Violations with GoFundMe
  • Nightmare On Main Street
  • Inside the Global Hunt for a Better Way to Measure the Economy
  • Before And After: Historic Flooding Devastates Louisiana Communities
  • Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change? 
  • The Upside of Global Warming: Luxury “Northwest Passage” Cruises for the Filthy Rich
  • Migration in Motion: Visualizing Species Movements Due to Climate Change 

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Categories: Economics

Alice Friedemann: When The Trucks Stop Running

Chris Martenson - August 21, 2016 - 08:59

Alice Friedemann is a transportation expert sounding the alarm on the unsustainable nature of our modern trucking system, which is critical for delivering goods where they need to be, when they need to be, in our just-in-time economy.

The world's trucking fleet is remarkably dependent on petroleum and, for a number of reasons she outlines in this interview, is not feasibly able to shift over to electricity or other alternative fuels.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/20 - The Day The Dollar Died, The Fed's Failure Will Cost You

Chris Martenson - August 20, 2016 - 06:37
  • The Day The Dollar Died, Part 2 
  • What The New SEC Money Market Regulations Mean For The Financial System
  • 'Flash Boys' IEX stock exchange opens. Its goal: Rein in high-frequency traders
  • The Fed’s Failure Will Cost You
  • Another study finds that diversity lead to mistrust and lack of community cohesion
  • Childhood trauma leads to lifelong chronic illness — so why isn’t the medical community helping patients?
  • How statistics are twisted to obscure public understanding
  • Manufacturers returning to US may mean jobs for robots, not people

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Categories: Economics

As #BankBlack Moves Money, Black Credit Unions Are Ready

While the number of Black-owned banks is down to only 22, there are 318 Black credit unions uniquely positioned to invest in their communities.
Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/19 - Good News Friday: Combating Hidden Hunger, New Mobile Market Travels to Food Deserts

Chris Martenson - August 19, 2016 - 05:55
  • Justice Department says it will end use of private prisons
  • One Classroom, Twenty Teachers
  • From Montreal to Minnesota, by Inland Sea
  • In a major shift, city to launch zoned-collection system for private carting industry
  • The Netherlands is considering a ban on selling gas-powered cars in the next 10 years
  • In Austin, A New Mobile Farmers Market Will Travel to Food Deserts
  • A biofortified rice high in iron and zinc is set to combat hidden hunger in developing countries
  • Something new in the chill, salt air: Hope

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Categories: Economics

The Marginal Buyer Holds The Pin That Pops Every Asset Bubble

Chris Martenson - August 18, 2016 - 23:01

Those of you who took an Economics class in college may remember the saying that prices are set "at the margin". That's a fancy way to say that prices are set by the person (or people) willing to pay the most.

This person willing to pay top dollar is called the "marginal buyer". Most of us don't really think about him, but he (or she) is very, very important.

Why? Because the marginal buyer not only determines price levels, but also their stability and degree of volatility. The behavior of the marginal buyer, as well as the degree of competition for his/her "top dog" spot, sets the prices of nearly every asset class held by today's investors.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/18 - 'Zombie' Honeybees Found In Canada, Was the N.S.A. Hacked?

Chris Martenson - August 18, 2016 - 05:12
  • ‘Shadow Brokers’ Leak Raises Alarming Question: Was the N.S.A. Hacked?
  • Financial Crash will be Put On Little People: Ellen Brown
  • The Sociopaths Among Us
  • Rising Prices Make EpiPens A Costly Necessity For Families With Severe Food Allergies
  • OPEC Rumors Continue To Pull Oil Prices Higher
  • The Preservation of Perks, Privileges, and Power: The PPPP
  • Neonic pesticide link to long-term wild bee decline
  • 'Zombie' honeybees make first appearance in Canada
  • Pesticides linked to ‘large-scale population extinctions’ of wild bees
  • The Earth Just Experienced the Hottest Month on the Books. Period.
  • Great Cities Must Watch Their Watersheds
  • Flooding in the South Looks a Lot Like Climate Change

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Categories: Economics

When You Don’t Have a Traditional Job, This Is How You Get Creative

Austin, Texas, leads the nation in people with jobs outside the 9-to-5 economy.
Categories: Economics