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20 Antibacterial and Antiviral Herbs

Chris Martenson - August 17, 2016 - 12:56

A wonderful look at the various herbs and plants that have antibacterial and antiviral properties.  Possible plants for you to consider growing in your garden.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/17 - Aetna To Exit Most Obamacare Plans, U.S. Real Estate Market Getting ‘Bubblicious’

Chris Martenson - August 17, 2016 - 06:42
  • Aetna to exit nearly 7 in 10 Obamacare plans
  • Retirees Need $130,000 Just to Cover Health Care, Study Finds
  • Pressure mounts on Portugal rating, says DBRS
  • Saudi Companies Unable to Pay Foreign Workers Salaries in Arrears
  • Sovereign Risk Rating Downgrades Greatly Exceed Upgrades in Second Quarter, IHS Markit Says
  • Barrack Says U.S. Real Estate Market Is Getting ‘Bubblicious’
  • How the BOE's Stimulus Measures Up to the ECB's
  • Illinois' debt amounts to $45,500 per taxpayer
  • Australia's Central Bank Cut Rate to Boost Inflation, Growth
  • Fed’s Williams says inflation target should be increased

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Categories: Economics

#IamtheGigEconomy: Love Being Your Own Boss or Desperate for a Traditional Job?

Tell us about your gig life by using #IamtheGigEconomy.
Categories: Economics

A Shareable Explainer: What is a Platform Co-op?

Shareable Magazine - August 16, 2016 - 16:52

by Maira Sutton, Cat Johnson and Neal Gorenflo

The sharing economy held great promise when it first emerged. It was seen as a way to help people build community, reduce unnecessary consumption, and generate extra income. It was based on the brilliantly simple notion that when we share, everybody has more.

Categories: Economics

Can Self-Driving Cars Save Our Cities?

Shareable Magazine - August 16, 2016 - 07:24

Can autonomous cars give us a do-over with our cities, fossil fuel dependence, affordable housing, and also workers? Robin Chase, author of Peers, Inc and co-founder of Zipcar says yes. Or at least they have the potential to.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/16 - The Greatest Threat To Our Freedoms, What Will You Do When The Lights Go Out?

Chris Martenson - August 16, 2016 - 06:06
  • The Greatest Threat to Our Freedoms: A Government of Scoundrels, Spies, Thieves, Ruffians, Rapists and Killers
  • Public Safety: Is Terrorism Getting Worse? In the West, Yes. In the World, No. 
  • Banks across Europe are considering taking a drastic step to avoid negative rates
  • A Melancholy Journey Through the Lost American Dream
  • Falling Taxes Doom the U.S. Economy
  • How This Tiny Washington Town Became An Arts Titan
  • Ethical Investments for the No-Longer-Broke
  • What Will You Do When The Lights Go Out? The Inevitable Failure Of The US Grid

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Categories: Economics

The U.S. Just Surpassed the Number of Breweries We Had in 1873

And 26 other facts you should probably know.
Categories: Economics

James Howard Kunstler: Racketeering Is Ruining Us

Chris Martenson - August 15, 2016 - 18:33

If you don't understand what's causing a particular problem, then it's pretty difficult to come up with an effective solution.

Author, commentator and longtime friend-of-the-site James Howard Kunstler returns to our podcast this week to discuss the importance of accurate diagnosis -- in this case, of the scourge he sees as accelerating America's downslide into economic and social decline: Racketeering.

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Categories: Economics

How to Start a Library of Things

Shareable Magazine - August 15, 2016 - 07:49

DeDeelkelder Library of Things in Utrect, Netherlands. Credit: Sanne van Vliet

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/15 - Collapse Fatigue, Is America Any Safer?

Chris Martenson - August 15, 2016 - 04:53
  • Collapse Fatigue
  • Some Small-Business Owners Trim Expansion Plans, Cite New Labor Law 
  • Is America Any Safer?
  • 7 Robots that are replacing farm workers around the world
  • Doug Casey: This Will Finish the Destruction of the American Middle Class
  • The Numbers Behind Japan's Sputtering Economy
  • How Hyperloop One Went Off the Rails

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Categories: Economics

Postcard from the World Social Forum

Matslats - August 14, 2016 - 12:12

Dear Community Forge,

When the support team 'sent' me to Montreal, they left me free to decide what to accomplish there! So I stated my intention to discover other networks of communities who are trading and exchanging with each other. Not necessarily because we have free software for them, but because we want the freedom to exchange with them. This year I co-authored with Tim Jenkin from Community Exchange Systems a paper describing the credit commons which is a protocol to enable exchange-relationships regardless of the software used, and with which we might make a global trading network independent of governments and banks. So its time to start identifying those networks!

I was lucky to be offered free accommodation out of town and thus spent the week with a cluster of Canadian activists.
Day 1. Registration. After a Skype call with some of you at the Rencontres, which was organised by supporters of Community Forge, I went to a coworking space ocuppied by the P2P Foundation, where I bumped into the Transformap team. They have been working three years to aggregate online mapping projects into a super-map of the solidarity economy. This is a hard intellectual challenge because each one of the hundreds of maps they are working with its own category system. We are envisaging a marketplace for all the SELs, and we shall face a similar problem, so we had a good conversation.

Day 2 I went to a talk organised by RIPESS, a global organisation trying to coordinate the solidarity economy. Amazingly the conversation turned to the question of money and exchange, and I was able to speak for 1 minute about the paper! I handed out several copies and several people gave me their cards.

Day 3. I planned to go to the second RIPESS session but I couldn't get into the city in time, and then for the rest of the afternoon I didn't know what to do, so I ended up attending the session by several of my co-habitants - the Universal Alliance. Coincidentally, they are designing structures and processes for communities including supporting the practice of exchange. Finally I attended a talk by free software advocate Richard Stallman.

Day 4 started with my running the trading floor game 'La Corbeille' which I created at the 2012 Poisy Rencontres with Sybille Saint Girons - it helps players to think about money in a new way. The venue was a bit out of town, but we got just enough people (9 for it to work). Then I went to a session on 'trans-local currencies' run by the local currency project in Geneva. There again I spoke for oine minute about the credit commons and all my copies of the white paper were snatched off the table! Then I had coffee with Jason from RIPESS. He said that more monetary awareness and tools were needed and invited me to meet the steering committee in their next Skype meeting. Then I had coffee with a board member of the Accorderie, a Canadian Timebank project which has also spread to France. I learned that it does much more than timebanking; the model includes several mechanisms for support and mutual support of the poor. Since 30% of their members don't have internet, they don't regard software as a high priority.
The last day, Saturday, was a trade fair, and many many stalls were selling alternative health products, handicrafts, sustainable tourism, or showcasing their campaigns or technologies. I was looking for trading networks, and found none, but I did find the stall of Jeu, Jardin d'Echange universel this is like a global LETS, using account books and no computers - it relies strongly on trust because it is a lot of work to check the integrity of someone's book.

Besides what I've said here, there were many interesting and valuable conversations, but with less relevance to Community Forge. Several things happened which could bear future fruits. It is very hard to measure the value of them, especially now, and especially with only my perspective. Lets see how much I refer to this week in future reports!

Categories: Blogs

2016 Summer Newsletter

Beyond Money - August 13, 2016 - 08:31

 Greece Workshop Report

During the last week of June I conducted a weeklong workshop and colloquium on Innovation in Exchange and Finance at the Alexandros campus of the Kalikalos Holistic Summer School on the beautiful Pelion peninsula overlooking the Aegean Sea in Greece.

I had planned this to be a collaborative, interactive and problem-centered workshop that would bring together skilled and accomplished people to produce significant innovations in the areas of exchange, finance, and economics. We were fortunate in being able to draw together an excellent cohort of participants having diverse knowledge, skills and experience. Nine of these were full-time and several more participated in various parts of the workshop, particularly the June 25-26 weekend when we had a number of Greek participants from Volos and Athens. The Volos contingent shared their experiences over the past four years in creating and operating the Volos TEM trade exchange. It was very useful for all of us to hear about their difficulties and false starts and the lessons they have learned which will be applied as they move forward into the next phase of their project.

In addition to the registered workshop attendees who came from Australia, India, Ireland, Serbia, Sweden, the US and the UK, several Kalikalos staff members participated in some aspects of the workshop. We were disappointed however that one registrant from Saudi Arabia was unable to attend because his entry visa was denied by the Greek government.

Our work sessions were loosely structured to allow space for each person to share not only their questions but also their experiences and insights, and for the spontaneous emergence of ideas action plans. In addition to my presentations of foundational concepts using slide shows and videos, the format included a number of participatory exercises. Participants had opportunities to showcase their ongoing or planned projects and receive feedback from the group, and as is usual in any such gathering, informal discussions and networking were an important part of the experience.

Kalikalos has invited me to return again next year to conduct another similar workshop on monetary and financial innovation. It will be scheduled in the general timeframe of the second week of June (exact dates to be determined soon). My colleague Matthew Slater, one of this year’s participants who has particular expertise in IT, crypto-currencies, has agreed to assist me in that workshop, and over the coming months we will be working to further develop the format and the program.

I am hoping to once again attract participants who are ready, willing and able to put their knowledge and understanding into action. As Malcolm Gladwell points out, it takes mavens, connectors, and marketers working together to make a project successful, but most of all I think it takes entrepreneurs who are able to bring harmony to the mix, to hold the vision and to dedicate themselves fully to its realization.

As the time approaches, we and the Kalikalos team will be asking you to help us get the word out to our target groups— trade exchange operators, social entrepreneurs, local government officials, serious students, and enthusiastic agents of change.

In the face of the ongoing global economic and financial crisis and increasing political uncertainty, the creation and deployment of innovative decentralized mechanisms for reciprocal exchange and equitable finance are becoming ever more urgent and the opportunities have never been greater. We are now on the brink of ushering in a new more just and sustainable economic paradigm that will enable small producers and local enterprises to thrive, and communities to gain more control over their own destiny and quality of life.

Before and after my workshop I spent an additional three weeks at Kalkalos living in community at the Kissos campus. That in itself was an enlightening and enjoyable experience.

Upcoming presentation – Malaysia

In October I’ll be presenting at the International Forum on Inclusive Wealth ( in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I’ll be outlining my revolutionary plan for a decentralized global exchange network based on direct control of credit by producers.

“IMF admits disastrous love affair with the euro and apologises for the immolation of Greece“

In a July 29 article in The Telegraph, journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard dissects a recent report by the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO). He says the report, “goes above the head of the managing director, Christine Lagarde. It answers solely to the board of executive directors, and those from Asia and Latin America are clearly incensed at the way European Union insiders used the fund to rescue their own rich currency union and banking system.”

He concludes that “The injustice is that the cost of the bailouts was switched to ordinary Greek citizens – the least able to support the burden – and it was never acknowledged that the true motive of EU-IMF Troika policy was to protect monetary union. Indeed, the Greeks were repeatedly blamed for failures that stemmed from the policy itself. This unfairness – the root of so much bitterness in Greece – is finally recognised in the report.” Read the full article here.

Recommended reads and views

Chris Hedges: The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism.

Michael Hudson interview: The new global financial cold war

Basic Income gaining ground:

General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, testifies in this 2-minute video that the US planned to overthrow seven countries after 9/11.

Wishing you a relaxing and enjoyable summer,


Categories: Blogs

Daily Digest 8/13 - Fractured Lands, The Untold History Of Black Gold

Chris Martenson - August 13, 2016 - 07:40
  • Fractured Lands
  • Housing - Buy, Sell, or Rent? Fed's Goal to Keep You Betting Against Fundamentals?
  • Thomas Friedman Goes To The Wall
  • Nearly 100 people shot in Chicago in less than a week
  • Negative Rates for the People Arrive as German Bank Gives In
  • Breaking The American Consumer 
  • Entering Perfect Storm of Every Facet of our Lives: Bill Holter
  • The Untold History Of Black Gold

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/12 - Good News Friday: Living Debt-Free, How To Watch The Perseids

Chris Martenson - August 12, 2016 - 06:10
  • How one family is sending 13 kids to college, living debt free — and still plans to retire early
  • Rio 2016: Photos From the First Weekend
  • Watching Your Daughter Win Gymnastics Gold Looks Like This
  • People Are Awesome: She Designed A Stylish Fashion Line For Differently Abled Kids
  • Karma Aims to Challenge Tesla With $115,000 Solar-Boosted Hybrid
  • The Superglue Diet: How to Make a Lighter, Fuel-Sipping Car
  • Lithium-Ion Batteries: Capacity Might Be Increased By 6 Times
  • This Year's Perseid Meteor Shower Is Going To Be Quite A Show — Here's How To Watch

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Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: The World's Banking System Is On The Precipice

Chris Martenson - August 11, 2016 - 16:02

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

  • The World's Baking System Is On The Precipice
    • It's as vulnerable (or more) as during 2008
  • Stocks & Bonds Hit All-Time Highs
    • We're in a chimera market right now
  • Central Control Is Tightening
    • Dissent is being squashed wherever possible
  • Real Wages Are Declining
    • Good luck squashing that dissent when folks can't feed their families...

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

Off The Cuff: The World's Banking System Is On The Precipace

Chris Martenson - August 11, 2016 - 16:02

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

  • The World's Baking System Is On The Precipace
    • It's as vulnerable (or more) as during 2008
  • Stocks & Bonds Hit All-Time Highs
    • We're in a chimera market right now
  • Central Control Is Tightening
    • Dissent is being squashed wherever possible
  • Real Wages Are Declining
    • Good luck squashing that dissent when folks can't feed their families...

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

31 Cleaning Uses of Vinegar

Chris Martenson - August 11, 2016 - 10:21

Every kitchen has a bottle of vinegar.

It’s great for your recipes, but it’s also a cheap, non-toxic and biodegradable household cleaner, deodorizer and disinfectant.

Although some tough germs will have to call for commercial disinfectants, vinegar is more than capable to meet the hundred simple cleaning needs of your home.

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Categories: Economics

The Open Source School Redefines Education in Italy

Shareable Magazine - August 11, 2016 - 08:27

Translation by Nicole Stojanovska.

Threading elements of the great educational experiments of Bauhaus and Roycroft Community models together with Pierre Levy’s modern definition of “collective intelligence,” La Scuola Open Source (The Open Source School) embodies the principles of the sharing movement. Its success hinges on cooperative work, co-design, shared skills, and an open source culture. The school's 13 co-founders believe in the power of people's collaborative qualities. Their unusual constitution is testimony to this.

Categories: Economics

State Power and Commoning: Transcending a Problematic Relationship

Shareable Magazine - August 11, 2016 - 07:49

Article and images cross-posted from Commons Strategies Group. All images by Stacco Troncoso. This executive summary comes from the "State Power and Commoning: Transcending a Problematic Relationship” report.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/11 - The War On Cash, Secrets Of The Wood Wide Web

Chris Martenson - August 11, 2016 - 05:04
  • Goodbye Austerity, Hello Big Government Spending
  • BFI Insights: War On Cash
  • Driven to Suicide by an ‘Inhuman and Unnatural’ Pressure to Sell
  • Obama is freeing more prisoners, but it’s still way fewer than previous presidents
  • Here’s Why We Need Fintech Disruption Now More Than Ever
  • Give Me Control Of... 
  • The Devil Is Loose
  • Old, secret nuclear military base could be exposed by melting ice
  • The Secrets Of The Wood Wide Web
  • Big Sugar's Fanjul Family Hosting Miami Fundraisers for Both Clinton and Trump This Year

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Categories: Economics