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Falling Fruit: Mapping Free Food Around the World

Shareable Magazine - November 4, 2014 - 07:09

by Caleb Phillips with input from Ethan Welty

Categories: Economics

Don't Be a Prisoner of Your Own Data

Shareable Magazine - November 4, 2014 - 04:18

Let's do a thought experiment. Let's imagine your house connected up to the internet. It's called the "Internet of Things" or #IoT for those on Twitter, and it's a new way of collecting data about you, while promising to make your life more convenient. But we've heard that line before...

Categories: Economics

The Turn May Be At Hand

Chris Martenson - November 3, 2014 - 20:35

What this world desperately needs is a long term plan to deal with its shrinking net-energy-per-capita ratio. This metric will someday turn into a complete sinking negative that will, in turn, utterly ruin all of our capital markets.

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Categories: Economics

Preparing The Honeybee Hives For Winter

Chris Martenson - November 3, 2014 - 13:10

For all those beginning beekeepers out there, here are a few steps to take to help out your bees get through a hard cold winter and increase their survivability into Spring.

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Categories: Economics

“We Couldn’t Possibly Be Poor”: How a Doctor Fell Into Poverty

Photo by Michael Newman / Flickr

The ER doctor looked grave as he pulled his stool close to the hospital bed where I was sitting with my husband and two small children. “I’m really sorry to have to tell you this. There’s no easy way.” As a family physician, I recognized those words: We’re trained to warn someone before we tell them bad news. Then I realized he was saying I’d had two strokes.

I can’t talk about federal nutrition assistance, or my first experience using it, without smiling.

In that one brief moment, my life completely changed.

I had no cognitive problems and was able to flawlessly inject a steroid into a patient’s knee just days after my strokes, but I struggled with dizziness and fatigue. Instead of taking my children on play dates to the zoo, I needed to sleep 18 hours a day and would get dizzy while driving. I couldn’t change a diaper and didn’t have the stamina to fix a meal. My husband became my caretaker as well as the primary parent for our children.

I had spent my time after residency having babies, not getting rich. My husband had worked to support me through school. He went to college during my residency. When we started a family, it made financial sense for him to stay home and care for our kids while I worked. Now I didn’t have the energy to drive to work, much less see enough patients to support my family and my own mounting medical costs.

I’d recently opened a “hobby” practice with no staff and low overhead to meet the medical needs of area families who didn’t have access to care. I was able to keep working there as I recovered and gained stamina. We knew that in the long run this would be what got our family out of poverty, but initially it didn’t provide enough income for us to scrape by.

It took a couple of months for us to realize our true situation. We’re both educated. We couldn’t possibly be “poor” or need “assistance.” But as we found ourselves choosing between rice, oatmeal, or potatoes for every meal, it occurred to us that being in poverty isn’t about how hard you work; it’s about how much money you make.

We’re both educated. We couldn’t possibly be “poor” or need “assistance.”

We applied for assistance and, three months after my strokes, I received a phone call notifying me that our family qualified for Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), i.e., food stamps. I was so excited! “We’ll have food,” I thought. “Good food! And medical care!” The average person receives SNAP benefits for less than a year; we were off SNAP in 18 months. Many people with strokes end up completely disabled, so I know we are blessed.

People often assume that our first shopping trip would have been demeaning or sad to me. On the contrary, I can’t talk about federal nutrition assistance, or my first experience using it, without smiling.

“I have a surprise!” I announced to my son. “We’re going to go buy a lot of food!”

He squealed. “Can we get a watermelon?”

“Yes!” I replied with delight. “Yes, whatever you want!” He also demanded cucumbers, apples, and chocolate ice cream.

Walking through the store and loading food into the cart seemed surreal to me. Cheap food is brown. Our cart was filled with a rainbow of foods, many of which my baby daughter had never eaten before. She may not have understood, but she knew the rest of us were excited. She giggled as she hugged the cucumbers to her chest. The checker smiled and asked if we were celebrating someone’s birthday.

“No,” I replied. We’re excited to have food.”

Dr. Robin Dickinson wrote this article for The End of Poverty, the Fall 2014 issue of YES! Magazine. She is a physician in Colorado and mother of two children. Her family was forced to deplete its savings after she suffered two strokes and couldn’t work. Food stamps helped to feed them during her recovery.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 11/3 - Artisinal Energy, Retailers Retooling For Holiday Season

Chris Martenson - November 3, 2014 - 08:31
  • For Whom Are the Japanese Leaders Kuroda and Abe Making Their Monetary and Fiscal Policy?
  • Statoil’s Sverdrup development could cost up to $32.5bn
  • In States Voting on Minimum Wage, Even Critics Sound Like Supporters
  • Everything you think you know about the news is probably wrong
  • Stung Last Year, Retailers and Shippers Retool for the Holiday Season
  • How Global Fossil Fuel Dependence Hasn`t Changed In 20 Years
  • Germany's Revolution in Small Batch, Artisanal Energy
  • Effects of climate change ‘irreversible,’ U.N. panel warns in report 

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Categories: Economics

Enspiral: Changing the Way Social Entrepreneurs Do Business

Shareable Magazine - November 3, 2014 - 07:32

Enspiral Space is Enspiral's co-working facility in Wellington, New Zealand. (Courtesy Enspiral)

Categories: Economics

5 Tips to Unbrand Your Kids

Shareable Magazine - November 3, 2014 - 07:07

by Edna Rienzi

Recently, the Center for a New American Dream launched its latest resource, Kids Unbranded: Tips for Parenting in a Commercial Culture. This guide is designed to help parents, educators, and advocates push back against the staggering onslaught of marketing that our children face today.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 11/2 - The Congressional Compatibility Quiz, 'All We Need Is The Will To Change'

Chris Martenson - November 2, 2014 - 07:06
  • Bracing For The Falls Of An Aging Nation
  • For Man in Ebola Virus Cleanup, a History of Fraud
  • Less Legroom, No Rafts: Qantas Airways Tries Extreme Diet
  • How to break up with your member of Congress
  • QuickTake: Oil Prices
  • Sunday Nor'easter Bringing Wind, Rain & Perhaps Some Snow Before Ending This Afternoon
  • U.N. Panel Warns of Dire Effects From Lack of Action Over Global Warming
  • 'All We Need Is the Will to Change'

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Categories: Economics

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Community Currency Magazine - November 1, 2014 - 10:24

How Universal Basic Income Will Save Us From the Robot Uprising
Robots are poised to eliminate millions of jobs over the coming decades. We have to address the coming epidemic of "technological unemployment" if we're to avoid crippling levels of poverty and societal collapse. Here's how a guaranteed basic income will help — and why it's absolutely inevitable.
Categories: Economics

Ted Butler: The Silver Nightmare Will Be Over Soon

Chris Martenson - November 1, 2014 - 10:20

Halloween couldn't have been more terrifying for silver investors. The gray metal cracked under $16/oz on Friday, a price not seen for nearly half a decade.

For years now, it has seemed like silver has been beaten down so badly its price couldn't go lower. But then it has.

Why has silver seen such a gut-wrenching price decline? (now down 2/3 compared to its high in late 2011). And will it ever see brighter days again?

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 11/1 - The Psychology Of Irrational Fear, Making Treasure From Trash?

Chris Martenson - November 1, 2014 - 06:43
  • Better Staffing Seen as Crucial to Ebola Treatment in Africa
  • The Psychology Of Irrational Fear
  • American Greatness 2.0
  • “Win ugly or lose pretty”: Secret tape reveals Big Oil’s sleazy P.R. pep talk
  • Shale Boom Redraws Oil Routes as Alaskans Ship to Korea
  • Are there ‘oceans’ hiding inside the Earth?
  • Life, recycled: Big business in the eco-craze
  • How to Mend the Conservation Divide

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Categories: Economics

6 Essentials for the Sharing Economy - in Cartoon Form

Shareable Magazine - October 31, 2014 - 19:10

Whether you're feeling jazzed about the sharing economy or not, Janelle Orsi's new video is a must watch.  Through adorable MS-paint-like doodles, Orsi shares her take on the sharing economy - her appreciation of it, as well as her criticisms - and outlines a plan for where to go from here. This plan includes six steps that companies can take to build sharing into their business plans - in other words, six essentials for any sharing economy business.

Categories: Economics

550 Fire Cord

Chris Martenson - October 31, 2014 - 14:15

A great new item to consider adding to your bug out bag or as an everyday carry item.  This paracord has a burnable fiber element that adds a whole new important function to it - a sustained flame.

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Categories: Economics

How to Care for Chickens in the Winter

Chris Martenson - October 31, 2014 - 14:01

When I talk to people about my chickens during the winter, many people ask me if I have to bring them inside over the winter. Of course the thought of my red birds running around making a mess, roosting on my couch, scratching the floor, and the manure would be horrible! Believe it or not there are people that keep chickens inside like a dog. They use chicken diapers. I know it’s crazy. Anyway, chickens are much more cold-hardy than most people think. I think it is actually cruel to provide heat for your chickens. It doesn’t let the chickens become acclimated to the cold properly. They are definitely not meant to be inside.

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Categories: Economics

Biennale Interieur Investigates Homemaking in the Digital Age

Shareable Magazine - October 31, 2014 - 13:58

Joseph Grima and Space Caviar explored changing notions of domesticity at the 2014 Biennale Interieur. (Delfino Sisto Legnani via Domus)

Categories: Economics

Off the Cuff: Japanese Central Bank Throws Granny Under The Bus

Chris Martenson - October 31, 2014 - 11:09

This one was so good, we're making it public!  

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

  • The expected but shocking Japanese central bank decision
  • Increasing central bank desperation
  • How central banks transfer wealth from the masses to the few
  • The impact on gold and silver prices

Summary:  In this podcast Chris and Mish let their guard down and say a few choice words about the actions of central banks that obviously and seriously harm average people all in the service of assuring that banks and governments can continue to operate as they have in the past.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 10/31 - Stockton CA To File Bankruptcy, Braving Ebola

Chris Martenson - October 31, 2014 - 07:47
  • Hackers Probing Financial System’s Defenses Show Why Everyone Should Worry
  • Bank of Japan Unexpectedly Moves to Stimulate Economy
  • Braving Ebola
  • Crisis in Mexico: Could Forty-Three Missing Students Spark a Revolution?
  • Hong Kong's Tycoons Should Take a Stand
  • Inflation? Deflation Is New Risk
  • Judge Approves Bankruptcy Exit for Stockton, Calif.
  • How Much Income Puts You in the 1 Percent if You're 30, 40, or 50?

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 10/30 - We The Economy, Peak Gold Is Here to Stay

Chris Martenson - October 30, 2014 - 08:06
  • One in four British children are living in poverty... worse than Poland and Portugal, reveals damning Unicef report
  • World's richest man would take 220 years to spend his wealth
  • We The Economy
  • The Fed Has Not Stopped Trying to Stimulate the Economy
  • Don’t Gorge on Beef Just Yet: The End Of High Beef Prices
  • Investor Alert: Disinflation And Slower Monetary Growth
  • Oliver Gross Says Peak Gold Is Here to Stay
  • UK Renewables May Be Turning The Tide

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Categories: Economics

Build a Solar-Powered Water Heater

Chris Martenson - October 29, 2014 - 13:18

This is a very simple design for a batch-type solar water heater that uses a thermosiphon loop to move water between a solar thermal collector and a storage barrel. While it’s not the most efficient method for solar water heating and works rather slowly, it effectively demonstrates the operation of a thermosiphon and its connection to hot water storage.

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Categories: Economics