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This is it folks. Hull is crossing the line. Too good to be true. This looks lik...

Community Currency Magazine - March 31, 2014 - 16:59
This is it folks. Hull is crossing the line. Too good to be true. This looks like a real, government currency, which is accepted as tax. Similar to Lietaer's Civics, but as a cryptocurrency rather than a timebank. Every city council in the world should do something like this.

Hull Council 'printing its own money' by paying digital cash for voluntary work - Telegraph
Hull City Council is “printing its own money” by creating a Bitcoin-like digital currency called HullCoin which it will use to pay people for carrying out voluntary work, tax-free and without loss of benefits
Categories: Economics

The Ultimate Guide To Organizing a Skillshare

Shareable Magazine - March 31, 2014 - 16:55

In the spirit of encouraging the spread of skillshares in as many places as possible, I’ve written down some of the most critical, ordered steps we took to create Somerville Skillshare from scratch (for context, read this article). Call it a blueprint, checklist, guidelines, or whatever you’d like.

Categories: Economics

24 Apps to Help You Travel Like a Local

Shareable Magazine - March 31, 2014 - 16:30

Collaborative consumption is not only changing the way we manage our stuff, but also the way we travel. Savvy travelers have long known that it's best to skip tourist traps and go where the locals go. Because the sharing economy facilitates exchanges between real people, it's the perfect way to travel like a local (while saving money).

Categories: Economics

Have We Reached Peak Wall Street?

Chris Martenson - March 31, 2014 - 16:14

Though the mainstream financial media and the blogosphere differ radically on their forecasts—the MFM sees near-zero systemic risk while the alternative media sees a critical confluence of it—they agree on one thing: the Federal Reserve and the “too big to fail” (TBTF) Wall Street banks have their hands on the political and financial tiller of the nation, and nothing will dislodge their dominance.

But what id Wall Street’s power has peaked and is about to be challenged by forces that it has never faced before? Put another way,what if the power of Wall Street has reached a systemic extreme where a decline or reversal is inevitable?

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Categories: Economics

The Implications of a 'War of Elites'

Chris Martenson - March 31, 2014 - 16:14
Executive Summary
  • The Deep State, and its dawning realization that Wall Street is a foe vs an ally
  • Why Wall Street's threat to the dollar hegemony is of such concern
  • History gives us many examples to predict a 'war of elites' (e.g. Wall Street vs the Deep State) is highly likely
  • Who will lose? And what implications will it have for the rest of us?

If you have not yet read Have We Reached Peak Wall Street?, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, I sketched out why the financial sector—the Fed, Wall Street and “too big to fail” banks—pose a strategic threat to the nation, as their policies threaten one key foundation of American pre-eminence, the U.S. dollar.   Should money and credit creation cause the dollar to lose its reserve status, the nation would lose the fundamental advantages that go with being able to print a reserve currency.

I then suggested that the Deep State might eventually wake up to the strategic threat posed by a self-serving financial sector, and this would lead to a showdown between the financial Elites and the Deep State.

The Systems-Level view: the S-Curve works on Wall Street, too

Long-time readers know that I often refer to systems-level dynamics, one of which is the S-Curve, which traces the rise, maturation and decline/crash of systems both natural and human-designed. An astonishing array of systems has been found to follow an s-curve, from the spread of infectious diseases to financial bubbles.

Why would Wall Street be uniquely immune to these systemic forces? I submit that Wall Street’s power has topped out and is about to decline precipitously, just like any other system which has over-reached by sucking its habitat dry.

I think we can chart Wall Street’s S-Curve thusly...

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Categories: Economics

Book Recommendation: The Market Gardener

Chris Martenson - March 31, 2014 - 15:49

If you have been thinking about starting a small farming operation and are looking for a resource to help guide you through the process, pick up a copy of The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower's Handbook for Small-scale Organic Farming. by Jean Martin Fortier.

And if you missed the recent ResilientLife podcast with Jean-Martin Fortier, listen to it here (Jean-Martin Fortier: A Model for Profitable Micro-Farming) to get a great preview of many of the topics covered in the book and get inspired to start growing, investing in local community and building resilience into your life.

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Categories: Economics

The ELF Solar Hybrid: e-Bike Commuting for the Faint-of-Heart

Shareable Magazine - March 31, 2014 - 11:03

If you are anything like me, biking to work sound like a great idea…in theory.

Because if you’re anything like me, you live in state where the ground is encrusted in ice and snow for at least half the year. And if you’re anything like me, you live in a place that hasn’t taken alternative transportation all that seriously, meaning most roads are a scary place to be in a minivan, much less a bicycle. 

Yes, that’s right, I live in Michigan, home of the automobile.

Categories: Economics

5 Prepper Spring Cleaning Ideas

Chris Martenson - March 31, 2014 - 10:52

As we move closer to Spring, here are a few resiliency building ideas to tackle as things start warming up.

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Categories: Economics

Tax Guide for Sharing Economy Micro-entrepreneurs

Shareable Magazine - March 31, 2014 - 08:53

Ah, tax season—that time of year when we dig out boxes of receipts, add up business mileage and, if we’re active in the sharing economy, wonder how on earth to handle taxes when it comes to room rentals, rideshares, crowdfunding donations and all that other good sharing stuff. In several aspects of the sharing economy, legislation lags behind what’s happening on the streets, in our neighborhoods, and in our homes, as we trying to apply dated rules to a new economy. Taxes are no different.

Categories: Economics

Spray Painted Infographics Track Neighborhood Happiness on Sidewalks

Shareable Magazine - March 31, 2014 - 07:57

Want to find out how people feel about their neighborhoods? Ask them. This is one of the takeaways from the Visualizing Mill Road project. The brainchild of researchers Lisa Koeman, Vaiva Kalnikaite and Yvonne Rogers from University College London’s Intel Collaborative Research Institute, the project was created to gauge how people feel about safety, community, neighborliness and the general vibe along the length of Mill Road in Cambridge, England.

Categories: Economics

Interviewed: Amanda Palmer on the Gift Economy

Shareable Magazine - March 31, 2014 - 07:41

Top image credit: Lindsey Byrnes.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 3/31 - When Inequality Isn't, 'Worst Is Yet To Come,' Climate Panel Finds

Chris Martenson - March 31, 2014 - 07:23
  • Memorising the Bible and drinking 50 cups of coffee a day: From Darwin to Dickens, how history's biggest thinkers spent their days
  • When Inequality Isn't
  • Is Michael Lewis Right That the Markets Are Rigged?
  • Should You Be Living Off The Grid?
  • Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come
  • New Climate Change Report Outlines Challenges for Global Agriculture
  • U.S. announces new efforts to reduce methane emissions
  • To Fight Climate Change, the Entire World Will Have to Eat Less Meat

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 3/30 - How The Other Half Commutes, Do Crime Rates Follow As Cash Use Drops?

Chris Martenson - March 30, 2014 - 07:14
  • How You, Me and Everyone Got the Top 1 Percent All Wrong
  • As Cash Use Drops, Do Crime Rates Follow?
  • How the other half commutes in Silicon Valley
  • "They Never Learn" - Russia's Take On The "West" And The Shifting Geopolitical Balance Of Power
  • California Farmers Short of Labor, and Patience
  • Aftershocks Follow an Earthquake Near Los Angeles
  • Found in Mud: Precious Links to Loved Ones

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 3/29 -Gold And Silver Are Money, Anxious Wait For Landslide News

Chris Martenson - March 29, 2014 - 10:43
  • The World's Post-Crimea Power Blocs, Mapped
  • JPMorgan defeats appeal in U.S. silver price-fixing lawsuit
  • Bundesbank, PBOC Sign Accord to Make Frankfurt Yuan Hub
  • China & Germany Sign Yuan-Settlement Pact And Obama Heads To Saudi Arabia
  • Gold And Silver Are Money
  • Whether inflation or deflation – financial chaos is certain: Doug Casey
  • Earthquake Rattles Los Angeles Area
  • Anxious Wait for News Days After Deadly Landslide

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Categories: Economics

Jean-Martin Fortier: A Model for Profitable Micro-Farming

Chris Martenson - March 29, 2014 - 07:19

As we awake to the realities in store for us in a future defined by declining net energy, concerns about food security, adequate nutrition, community resilience, and reliable income commonly arise.

Small-scale farming usually quickly surfaces as a pursuit that could help address all of these. Yet most dismiss the idea of becoming farmers themselves; mainly because of lack of prior experience, coupled with lack of capital. It simply feels too risky.

Enter Jean-Martin Fortier and his wife, Maude-Hélène. They are a thirtysomething couple who have been farming successfully for the past decade. In fact, they've been micro-farming: their entire growing operations happen on just an acre and half of land.

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Categories: Economics

Chick Care

Chris Martenson - March 28, 2014 - 17:11
Acquiring Baby Chicks

As we described in the previous article, How to Order and Choose Chicken Breeds, you can order chicks online through a hatchery, and they will send them through the US Postal Service. Most hatcheries will send you chicks for $2-$3 each, but they require that you order at least 15. This allows the chicks to huddle up with each other to keep warm enough to survive the trip. If you want less than 15 chicks, as many people do, one company,, will send small amounts of baby chicks. They provide a temporary heater with the chicks to keep the heat up during the trip to make up for the low numbers. They do charge a bit more though, but it is still inexpensive.

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Categories: Economics

Special Savings on the Kelly Kettle System

Chris Martenson - March 28, 2014 - 17:06
5% Special Discount for Readers

We are pleased to announce that PrepareDirect is offering members an exclusive discount of 5% off the Kelly Kettle® Volcano Kettle line of gear.  Use Coupon Code: KETTLE5

A favorite item among outdoor enthusiasts and preparedness folks. The Kelly Kettle® Volcano Kettle® will boil water in 3 to 5 minutes depending on the fuel you're using. Made from Aluminum or Stainless Steel, it is essentially a double-walled chimney with the water contained in the chimney wall.  You can boil water and cook your meal.    

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Categories: Economics

6 Ways to Dehydrate Foods

Chris Martenson - March 28, 2014 - 16:43

6 great ways to start dehydrating the produce from the garden this coming summer.

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Categories: Economics

Want to Fight the Corporate Takeover? Start with a Pint at the Pub

Dad and toddler toast in a pub. Photo by Flickr /futurestreet.



This article was written by David Bollier for, where it originally appeared.

Why should investors always have the upper hand in "development" plans when the resource at stake is a beloved building or public space? Why should the divine right of capital necessarily prevail?

The Community Pubs Minister extols "the importance of the local pub as part of our economic, social and cultural past.

How refreshing to learn that England has created a special legal process for preventing market enclosures of community pubs. There is even a Community Pubs Minister, whose duty it is to recognize the value of pubs to communities and to help safeguard their futures. So far, some 100 pubs have been formally listed as "assets of community value."

I know, I know—what would Margaret Thatcher say? "Damned government interventions in the free market!" Fortunately, that kind of market fundamentalism has abated for a bit, enough that the Community Pubs Minister—Brandon Lewis, a Conservative Party member of Parliament!—now extols "the importance of the local pub as part of our economic, social and cultural past, present and future."

He adds: "We have known for hundreds of years just how valuable our locals [local pubs] are. Not just as a place to grab a pint but also to the economies and communities they serve and that is why we are doing everything we can to support and safeguard community pubs from closure."

The topic was recently featured in The New York Times, which noted that 7,000 pubs have closed since the 2008 financial crisis, "leaving some small communities confronting the unthinkable: life without a 'local,' as pubs are known." For example, residents of the village of Hampstead are distraught that a group of outside investors has bought the 300-year-old Old White Bear pub, which they plan to convert into a six-bedroom luxury house.

Some 2,000 Hampstead residents have signed a petition to have the Old White Bear declared an asset of community value. Said one resident: "You rip the heart out of that, and we're either all going to wander the streets like zombies or stay indoors and not see each other ever again."

If a community has registered its pub as an "asset of community value" and it is then offered for sale, the community has the right to "pause" the sale of the endangered pub, shop, library or football ground, in order to prepare a formal bid to buy it. The government has even prepared a guide to Understanding the Community Right to Bid, and it offers an advice service for studying the feasibility of a community purchase.

I suspect that even with this government support, it's still quite difficult for communities to actually buy and maintain endangered pubs. But how terrific that there is such a legal right to assert long-term community interests.

Of course, the precedent invites expansion: If the government can shower tax breaks and subsidies on investors, why not give significant financial support to commoners trying to buy "assets of community value"? Why should commerce get all the subsidies?

And if localism is truly valued, why not fortify local communities to protect themselves against absentee investors who care little about the long-term well-being of the community or local ecosystems?

Why not show the same respect to commoners in India or Kenya or Indonesia whose equivalent of the local pub is under siege by multinational investors? Native peoples who are deprived of their "assets of community value" are just as likely to "wander the street like zombies" if those assets are suddenly bought, fenced off or destroyed.

Still, let us be grateful for this legal and political precedent. It's something to build upon: full recognition and support for owning the things that really matter to a local community.

This article is excerpted from, featuring news and perspective on the commons from David Bollier. He is author of the new book Think Like A Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons (New Society Publishers), an engaging and illuminating look at the the promise of the commons as a way out of many current problems. The founding editor of, Bollier now works on a variety of commons projects with international and domestic partners.

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Categories: Economics

New Book Debunks Myth that the Private Sector Drives Innovation

Shareable Magazine - March 28, 2014 - 10:56

There’s a prevailing narrative about innovation in America today, one so familiar that it is rarely questioned.

It goes something like this:

Innovation happens in the private sector. The public sector is a sort of encumbrance that is necessary for serving the public good and fixing market failures, but by and large it’s a drag on the economy and a hamper on innovation. 

Categories: Economics