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Solidarity Economy Part I: Cooperative Development in Rio and Beyond

Shareable Magazine - January 10, 2017 - 08:22

When one stops to consider Rio's hundreds of favelas for their plurality, with a lens of recognizing assets instead of just highlighting problems, one common thread is clear: In the face of public neglect, favela residents are expert at doing things for themselves, many times coming together to do so collectively.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/10 - Locating Facism At Home, Extinct Supercow Returning To Europe

Chris Martenson - January 10, 2017 - 07:19
  • Hundreds of Colleges Saddling Students With Unaffordable Debt, Feds Say
  • Locating Fascism on the Home Map
  • Third World Employment Is Here
  • US Supreme Court loaded with First Amendment cases
  • Oil Drops As Signs Of Rising U.S. Output Offset OPEC Optimism
  • The wild, extinct supercow returning to Europe
  • Obama in Science: Clean energy will happen whether you like it or not
  • Human-Driven Global Warming Is Biggest Threat to Polar Bears, Report Says

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Categories: Economics

15 Sharing Events You'll Want to Attend This Year

Shareable Magazine - January 9, 2017 - 15:50

One of our New Year's resolutions is to introduce readers to fun and inspiring events that showcase how people are sharing all kinds of resources. Whether you're interested in learning more about the new economy, platform cooperatives, alternative community currencies, cohousing communities, or some other aspect of the sharing movement, we've got an event for you. 

Categories: Economics

How Can We Redesign Cities as Shared Spaces?

Shareable Magazine - January 9, 2017 - 15:22

At a time when corporate sponsorship and ownership of city spaces, buildings, and events continues to grow at lightning pace, it's more important than ever to rethink our cities as shared entities that belong to all of us.

In his recent speech at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, researcher, activist, and author David Bollier argued that urban enclosures, which he says is the "privatization of shared wealth," create jam-packed cities by commodifying shared resources.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/9 - Predictions For 2017, Why Employers Are Rolling Back Raises

Chris Martenson - January 9, 2017 - 06:21
  • Ready or Not, Republicans Say Cabinet Hearings Will Begin Tuesday
  • Forecasting Intelligence: Predictions For 2017
  • Pessimist's Guide To 2017
  • In Election Hacking, Julian Assange’s Years-Old Vision Becomes Reality
  • When The Feds Went After The Hedge-Fund Legend Steven A. Cohen
  • Small Dogs Have a Bigger Bite
  • Why Employers Are Rolling Back Raises
  • Brexit could leave fields of rotting crops in Britain if migrant workers stay away

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Categories: Economics

Worried About Rent Hikes, 301 Families Came Together to Buy Their Mobile Home Park

And five other creative ways Americans are stepping up to build strong local economies.
Categories: Economics

Shaun Chamberlin: Surviving The Aftermath Of The Market Economy

Chris Martenson - January 8, 2017 - 09:23

Historian and economist David Fleming undertook the writing of Lean Logic a grand vision that projected out the likely path of collapse for our currently unsustainable way of life, as well as the key success factors society will need to cultivate to come out the other side.

Following his death, his writing partner Shaun Chamberlin distilled the book's prime conclusions into the more accessible Surviving The Future: Culture, carnival, and capital in the aftermath of the market economy. Shaun, who has also been deeply involved with Rob Hopkins in the Transition Movement since its inception, stresses that localized communities that pursue developing as much independence from the central economy as possible will be the foundations for entering a sustainable, enjoyable future.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/8 - Exploring Alaska's Roadside Glaciers, An Intelligence Report That Will Change No One’s Mind

Chris Martenson - January 8, 2017 - 08:15
  • Citi: "There Is Something Strange Going On... Something Doesn't Smell Right"
  • Moral panic over fake news hides the real enemy – the digital giants
  • ‘What’s the Big Deal?’ Ask Trump Voters on Russia Hacking Report
  • An Intelligence Report That Will Change No One’s Mind
  • Tillerson Ethics Plan Foreshadows Knotty Trump Confirmations
  • Deadly icy spell grips much of Europe, including Greek islands
  • The USDA is Conducting a Check Up on the Financial Health of America’s Dairy Industry
  • Exploring Alaska's Roadside Glaciers

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/7 - Heavy Snow, Storms Expected In CA, The Wheels Finally Come Off In 2017

Chris Martenson - January 7, 2017 - 07:29
  • Forecast 2017: The Wheels Finally Come Off
  • Wall Street’s Most Outspoken Stock Bull Reverses, Now Top Bear
  • Putin Himself Ordered Russian Hacking of Campaign, U.S. Says
  • Is That All There Is? Intel Community Releases Its Russia 'Hacking' Report
  • Older Americans Are Retiring in Droves
  • US energy analysis sees renewable electricity passing coal by 2030
  • Has U.S. Gasoline Demand Peaked?
  • 'State of panic' grips Northern California as atmospheric river moves in; widespread flooding, heavy snow expected 

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/6 - Good News Friday: A Month Without Sugar, FDA Restricts Use Of Livestock Antibiotics

Chris Martenson - January 6, 2017 - 08:20
  • Tepid Hiring, but Jobs Report Shows Sustained Wage Growth
  • A Month Without Sugar
  • Sober Utopia: A Radical Rehab Experiment
  • Watch out hackers: Deploying ransomware is now a crime in California
  • Forty years later, FDA finally restricts use of antibiotics in livestock
  • The Ability To Cook Plants 15,000 Years Ago May Have Modernized Humans

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Categories: Economics

Estimating Bitcoin's Fair Value

Chris Martenson - January 6, 2017 - 07:13
Executive Summary
  • Why No Nation Truly Has Full Control Over Its Currency
  • Why Sovereign Efforts To Control Currencies Is Driving Capital Into Digital Currencies
  • The Driver's Of Digital Currency & Value
  • Calculating Bitcoin's Fair Value

If you have not yet read Part 1: Why The U.S. Dollar And Bitcoin Keep Rising available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we reviewed the dynamics of demand and utility that drive the valuation of any tradeable good, service, commodity and currency.  We established that it’s impossible to understand how a fiat currency such as the U.S. dollar can retain a value above its tangible value of zero unless we accept its utility value and its non-tangible sources of value, i.e. the wealth and wealth generation of the issuing nation and state.

We now turn to the second half of the question posed in Part 1: Why isn’t the market value of a digital currency such as bitcoin zero?

Or perhaps more interestingly: How high might the price of bitcoin go?

To answer this question, we must investigate another question: Can any state control the value of its currency and its place in the global economy? I suggest the answer is no. Beneath a surface veneer of status quo continuity, nations and states are losing the ability to control their role in the global economy and thus the utility of their currency.

To understand why, we turn to socio-historian Immanuel Wallerstein.

Who Controls a Rapidly Changing World-System?

Wallerstein is recognized for advancing the concept of world-system, his term for what I call a global Mode of Production, i.e., the political, social, financial and economic system that governs the relations of power, labor, capital, trade and resources (broadly speaking, our understanding of Nature and the extraction of its resources).  In a recent essay China is Confident: How Realistic?, he observed that "countries (have lost the ability) to control what happens to them in the ongoing life of the modern world-system."

These two paragraphs get to the essence of his analysis...

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Categories: Economics

Why The U.S. Dollar And Bitcoin Keep Rising

Chris Martenson - January 6, 2017 - 07:12

Capital migrates to where it flows with the least resistance, i.e. to forms of capital that are liquid and offer low transaction costs—what I call ease of flow. Capital also migrates to relatively safe havens that are liquid and offer low transaction/holding costs, and to forms of capital with global utility. And it also flows to the highest yield/return with the lowest perceived risk.

Given these fundamentals, it isn’t difficult to understand why capital is flowing into USD-denominated assets and bitcoin.

So what do the fundamentals suggest about the valuation uptrends in the USD and bitcoin? Have they topped out and due for a crash, or have they just started their appreciation cycle?

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Categories: Economics

The Fix-It Shop Where Neighbors Repair Your Clothes and Electronics

Shareable Magazine - January 5, 2017 - 16:42

For many, replacing a broken object with something new is often the faster and cheaper alternative to fixing it, but a group of neighbors in the small borough of Willimantic, Connecticut, decided it didn’t have to be that way. Three years ago, they started a program to keep salvageable goods from landfills by harnessing the community’s collective skills to fix them.

Categories: Economics

Palo Alto Residents Share Dishware to Reduce Waste, Build Community

Shareable Magazine - January 5, 2017 - 15:19

With the holiday season winding down, people are setting out plastic bags filled with used paper plates, napkins, and utensils, for landfill trucks. To reduce such waste, residents of Palo Alto, California, have worked with their city officials to create a sharing alternative — the Zero Waste Party Pack.

Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: The Global Flow Of Money

Chris Martenson - January 5, 2017 - 14:42

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

  • Cultural Capital
    • How will those around you react during a crisis?
  • The Fragility Within Our Centralized System
    • Lots of dependencies that can fail & bring the entire system to a halt
  • Musical Chairs
    • Who will have to eat the bad debts when the can can no longer be kicked?
  • The Importance Of Global Capital Flows
    • They're determining the price of everything

As 2017 kicks off, Chris sits down with Charles to discuss some of the big themes likely to drive events in this new year. The two focus on the growing instability of our centralized systems -- economic, energy and otherwise -- and pay particular attention to the impact that the huge pool of money sloshing around the world is having on prices everywhere. Right now, that flood of capital -- out of bonds and into stocks, the dollar, etc -- is the primary driver of prices. Of course, this should make us ask: what will happen when those flows change direction? Or instead of continuing to grow, start receding?

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 1/5 - The Top Risks Facing the World, Russia Will Roar In 2017

Chris Martenson - January 5, 2017 - 07:50
  • The Top Risks Facing the World in 2017
  • Forecasting Intelligence: Review of 2016
  • Russia Will Roar In 2017
  • The People Who Evangelized for the 401(k) Now Think It’s Made Retirement Much Tougher 
  • The Champions of the 401(k) Lament the Revolution They Started
  • Will Donald Trump Be FDR Or Jimmy Carter?
  • This “Rogue” Oil & Gas Nation Just Set A Slew Of Output Records
  • We’re Just As Vulnerable To A Dust Bowl Drought As We Were In The 1930s

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Categories: Economics

Help With Your New Year's Resolutions

Chris Martenson - January 4, 2017 - 17:09

If you're one of the millions of folks here in the initial days of 2017 making resolutions for the new year, we'd like to lend support.

In the years since we started this site, we've created a lot of programming and services that are targeted at the most popular goals people make resolutions for. These solutions have helped a large number of folks make real, constructive and positive change in their lives. Maybe they will for you, too.

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Categories: Economics

Amsterdam to Launch Airbnb-Style Rentals of Municipal Buildings

Shareable Magazine - January 4, 2017 - 08:15

Imagine that the next time you need space for a community event, you just book a room in a local public building. This is the vision that city officials in Amsterdam are working toward for an upcoming project that has been described as the Airbnb of municipal buildings.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/4 - CalPERS Makes Debt Difficult To See, Silver Prices And The Russian Connection

Chris Martenson - January 4, 2017 - 06:31
  • This city had the biggest increase in house prices in 2016
  • “Alarm bells” raised: PERA stability again under scrutiny (Colorado)
  • CalPERS makes debt, cost difficult to see
  • Illinois ends 2016 with $11 billion in unpaid bills
  • Biggest Economies Face $7.7 Trillion Bond Tab as Bull Run Fades
  • The Feds Are Inside Your Home
  • Silver Prices And The Russian Connection
  • Old lady denied exchanging life savings in old banknotes for new issue; could not prove innocence of money; dies

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Categories: Economics

A New American Dream Based on Sharing and Community

Shareable Magazine - January 3, 2017 - 08:45

For generations, many have worked towards the quintessional American Dream, in both the idealistic and materialistic senses. But chasing the American Dream has left numerous people deeply in debt, with an abundance of stuff that's hardly used and a deep feeling of isolation. 

Categories: Economics