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Solar Water Heating Basics

Chris Martenson - September 8, 2014 - 16:35

A great summary article and information to get you thinking about and installing a solar hot water system.

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Categories: Economics

7 ways to use an avocado pit

Chris Martenson - September 8, 2014 - 13:43

Some interesting ways to use the avocado pit and not worry about that hard ball of organic matter sitting around in your compost pile.

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Categories: Economics

53 Million Freelancers Shape the New Economy

Shareable Magazine - September 8, 2014 - 09:43

As the new economy grows, so too does the number of freelancers. A recent study, conducted by the independent research firm Edelman Berland and commissioned by Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk, found that there are 53 million freelancers adding $715 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 9/8 - Wind Energy Cuts Electricity Bill, Has The World Fallen Out Of Love With Gold?

Chris Martenson - September 8, 2014 - 07:34
  • Has the world fallen out of love with gold?
  • As Crises Pile Up, a President Sticks to His Deliberative Approach
  • Some Retail Workers Find Better Deals With Unions
  • Destroying ISIS May Take Years, U.S. Officials Say
  • Iran Stiffens Resolve to Elude Sanctions in Face of Latest U.S. Penalties
  • Danish wheat quality at an all-time low
  • Wind energy cuts the electricity bill 
  • The present and future of Iceland’s volcanic eruption

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Categories: Economics

US Seed Libraries Mobilize to Protect Their Right to Share

Shareable Magazine - September 8, 2014 - 07:21

In June, officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture alerted the Joseph T. Simpson Public Library in Mechanicsburg that their seed library was in violation of the Pennsylvania Seed Act of 2004. According to officials, the library would have to follow the prohibitively expensive procedures of large-scale commercial seed companies or only offer commercial seed. The first option is impractical and the second option would gut the exchange of its primary purpose to serve home gardeners who want to save and exchange their own seed. 

Categories: Economics

10 Open Source Policies for a Commons-Based Society

Shareable Magazine - September 7, 2014 - 12:29

Michel Bauwens is the founder of the P2P Foundation and former advisor to the goverment of Ecuador for a project to “remake the roots of Ecuador’s economy, setting off a transition into a society of free and open knowledge.” With a team of researchers and through a partipatory process involving local civic actors and global commoners, the FLOK project produced a generic transition plan to a commons society with more than 15 specific policy and legislative plans.

Categories: Economics

Francis Koster: Finding Local Investments That Pay Off for You & Your Community

Chris Martenson - September 7, 2014 - 10:06

This week we surface a gem from the archives. This podcast originally aired in March 2011. 

"Locally there are lots of nice, tidy, quarter-of-a-million-dollar investments sitting there that the large companies will not do because their overhead is too high. So one of my themes is look in your own backyard -- focus on fiscally-conservative, sound investments and focus on local employment. You will be surprised at the opportunity that just leaps out at you."

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 9/6 - How To Read The Jobs Report, Dengue Fever In Japan

Chris Martenson - September 6, 2014 - 08:21
  • Monthly U.S. Jobs Report: A Story Told by Numbers, With a Twist (or Two)
  • What's The Point Of Hiding It Any Longer?
  • Rare Outbreak of Dengue Fever in Japan
  • Obama outlines strategy to 'ultimately destroy' Islamic State
  • Pursuing ISIS to the Gates of Hell
  • Do High-School Students With Jobs Make More Money Later in Life?
  • More than 100,000 lose power as storms hit Chicago area
  • Wildfire Near Yosemite Forces Hundreds Evacuations

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Categories: Economics

How to Preserve Tomatoes with Dehydration

Chris Martenson - September 5, 2014 - 14:14

The end of the summer is the time for tons of tomato production, and preservation becomes necessary. There are many ways to preserve tomatoes, but dehydrating is definitely my favorite because it is simple and dried tomatoes taste great in soups, on top of winter salads, or even plain as chips.


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Categories: Economics

Video: Inside a Miami McDonald's on Strike

On Thursday, September 4, thousands of fast-food workers walked out on the job in a nationwide wave of demonstrations for a $15 minimum hourly wage and the right to form a union. More than 400 workers and supporters were arrested.

“Keep your burgers, keep your fries, make our wages super sized.”

The video above—created by the Florida chapter of the Service Employees International Union—documents strikes at Burger King and McDonald's restaurants in the Miami area. The union has spent more than $10 million in the “Fight for $15.”

The video provides an unusually intimate glimpse into the movement. Protesters wave signs and chant “Keep your burgers, keep your fries, make our wages super sized.” Many give personal testimonials about the challenges of living on fast-food wages, even when working full-time.

While Thursday’s day of action is the seventh in a series of one-day strikes, home health aides joined the fight for the first time, adding momentum to the movement for low-wage workers' rights.

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Categories: Economics

Top 5 Common Food-Storing Errors You May Be Making

Chris Martenson - September 5, 2014 - 13:44

So good tips to maximize the effectiveness of your food storage and avoid loss and spoilage by keeping in mind these other methods of putting up food.

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Categories: Economics

How Much Is A Trillion? - Crash Course Chapter 12

Chris Martenson - September 5, 2014 - 08:45

One trillion is a big number. In this short video, we try to help you get a sense for just how big; but the reality is simply that the human brain can't really suitably comprehend magnitudes this large.

Which is why we should be concerned that the US' money supply has ballooned to over $12 trillion dollars over the past decade. And that its outstanding debts and liabilities are many multiples that amount.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 9/5 - Americans' Financial Lives In 21 Charts, Can We Set Aside Half The Planet For Wildlife?

Chris Martenson - September 5, 2014 - 07:30
  • Jobs Report: Not Good, but Not Terrible Either
  • 29 charts that explain Americans' financial lives
  • 'Limits to Growth’ vindicated: World headed towards economic, environmental collapse
  • Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault
  • Gold Model Projects Prices From 1971–2021
  • Can the World Really Set Aside Half of the Planet for Wildlife?
  • Ocean acidification XPRIZE competition begins
  • BP, Halliburton and Transocean Found Negligent in Deepwater Horizon Spill

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Categories: Economics

Off the Cuff: Demand Has Disappeared

Chris Martenson - September 4, 2014 - 19:24

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Brian Pretti discuss:

  • Demand Is Drying Up
    • There's just no market pull to create economic growth
  • Phantom Profits
    • Todays corporate earnings are accounting mirages
  • The End Of The Debt Supercycle
    • We've grown the economy through debt, and it can't handle more
  • Blame The Central Banks!
    • They're responsible for today's zombie economy

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 9/4 - America's Debt Rattle, To Cook or Not to Cook?

Chris Martenson - September 4, 2014 - 06:54
  • Debt Rattle: This Is As Big As We Will Get
  • In Mandrake We Trust?
  • Precious Metals And Internationalization Are The Antidote To The Keynesian Endgame
  • The 'God' Of Oil Trading Warns America's Shale Boom Will Fizzle And That Oil Prices Will Hit $150
  • Former US Ambassador: To Resolve Ukraine Crisis, Address Internal Divisions & Russian Fears of NATO
  • Scientists Create Completely Renewable Propane
  • To Cook or Not to Cook: The Question of Heterocyclic Amines
  • The 33 Things to Eat, Drink, See, and Do Before Climate Change Ruins Everything

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Categories: Economics

8 Gardening Foods That You Can Regrow From Table Scraps

Chris Martenson - September 3, 2014 - 16:51

Learn how you can re-grow various plants and fruits and veggies from the scraps and waste products from your food preparations.

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Categories: Economics

The Enchanted Land Where Community College Is Free? Welcome to Tennessee in 2015

Photo by Ian Norman / Flickr.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam promised his state something unprecedented: free community college tuition.

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The “Tennessee Promise” is now more than a promise: It’s a law Haslam signed in May. The bill provides two years of tuition at a community college or college of applied technology for any high school graduate who agrees to work with a mentor, complete eight hours of community service, and maintain at least a C average. High school graduates will start to reap these benefits in fall 2015.

Oregon Sen. Mark Hass is selling the idea to his state, too. He sponsored a bill that passed earlier this year to study whether a similar system in Oregon would work. The results should be out later this year.

Hass feels passionate about this bill because his generation didn’t have to deal with the same hardships as today’s young people. When he graduated from Tigard High School in 1975, his friends could score a job at a timber mill and make a decent living for the rest of their lives.

In 2013, by contrast, high school grads without a college degree faced an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent, more than 2 percentage points higher than their associate-degree holding peers; their annual income was lower by more than $6,500.

Alabama and other states neighboring Mississippi are also looking into the idea.

If the outcome of the Oregon study is positive, the state is likely to follow in Tennessee’s footsteps and increase college enrollment and reduce poverty all at once through the free community-college system. The legislature will vote on the proposal during the 2015 legislative session.

“It won’t, by itself, eradicate poverty,” Hass says, “but I think it’s a very positive step in the right direction of not only reducing poverty but also meeting the needs of employers who are trying to find qualified people for jobs.”

Several of Mississippi’s community colleges already offer free tuition, but state Rep. Jerry Turner won’t stand for “several.” He wants to make all 15 of the state’s community colleges free. Turner authored a bill that proposed that idea, and though it died in committee earlier this year, it’ll be up for discussion again in January.

Alabama and other states neighboring Mississippi are also looking into the idea.

David Baime, senior vice president for government relations and research for the American Association of Community Colleges, expects efforts that address the cost of college will grow.

While he thinks these policies are positive, Baime worries about the less well-prepared students and the part-time students who work and will be excluded by full-time eligibility requirements. “Sometimes, the students who are sort of on the margin are left behind,” Baime says.

Kell Smith, the director of communications and legislative service for the Mississippi Community College Board, says full-time requirements encourage students not only to complete school but to complete it in a timely manner.

For now, it’s uncertain how these policies will affect students “on the margin” or whether Oregon or Mississippi will move forward with their initiatives. It’s certain, however, that Tennessians can now reap the benefits of a college degree—for free.

Yessenia Funes wrote this article for The End of Poverty, the Fall 2014 issue of YES! Magazine. Yessenia is an editorial intern at YES!

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Categories: Economics

Public Services: Commodity or Common Good?

Shareable Magazine - September 3, 2014 - 10:44

Greek strike against cuts to jobs and public services, June 2013. (Public Services International / Flickr)

Categories: Economics

How America's Largest Worker Owned Co-Op Lifts People Out of Poverty

Shareable Magazine - September 3, 2014 - 09:01

By Laura Flanders Cross-posted from Yes! Magazine.

Before Zaida Ramos joined Cooperative Home Care Associates, she was raising her daughter on public assistance, shuttling between dead-end office jobs, and not making ends meet. “I earned in a week what my family spent in a day,” she recalled.

Categories: Economics