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How Co-ops Can Make Infrastructure Great Again

If the Trump administration is serious about bringing jobs and pride back to rural America, they should take a lesson from cooperatives of the 1930s.
Categories: Economics

EU Committee Releases Report on Regulating the Collaborative Economy

Shareable Magazine - January 17, 2017 - 16:28

Last year, LabGov, a think tank and action platform focused on the urban commons that's based in Rome, Italy, asked us to provide feedback on the draft of an opinion report on how to regulate the collaborative economy. The effort was spearheaded by Benedetta Brighenti — vice mayor of Castelnuovo Rangone — for the European Committee of the Regions.

Categories: Economics

Here's How Fab Market is Creating a Sustainable Marketplace

Shareable Magazine - January 17, 2017 - 13:45
Why buy something made thousands of miles away if you can source the same product locally and even play a hand in building it? This is the thinking behind Fab Market.   
Categories: Economics

Why Women in Brazil Are Turning to the Solidarity Economy

Shareable Magazine - January 17, 2017 - 10:48

With a broader understanding of the solidarity economy in Brazil in mind, testimonials from participating entrepreneurs themselves show the real advantages of this kind of work, from circumventing market exclusion to creating new kinds of spaces where women are reimagining the divide between domestic and productive spheres.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: How People Around the World Are Building a Solidarity Economy

Shareable Magazine - January 17, 2017 - 10:48

In the face of social and ecological peril, there's a movement that continues to build and resist. This podcast will take you into the heart of it.

"I can't accept the death of my imagination on a daily basis," Caroline Woolard told us when we visited her at her studio in Lower Manhattan. "I'd rather have less money and work for something that I believe in." 

Caroline is an artist who co-creates projects and institutions for and within the solidarity economy. 

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/17 - Trump Would Win Trade War With China, How Stress Leads To CVD

Chris Martenson - January 17, 2017 - 06:22
  • Trump would win trade war with China, says aide
  • May Pledges Vote on Brexit Taking U.K. Out Of EU’s Single Market
  • Trump’s Health Secretary Pick in Trouble Over Insider Trading Accusations
  • How Do You Inspire Women to Run for Office? Elect Trump.
  • Beyond Distrust: How Americans View Their Government
  • Brain Activity May Explain How Stress Leads to CVD
  • 2017 Another Year Of Excessive Volatility For Oil Prices
  • Parts of United States are heating faster than globe as a whole

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Categories: Economics

If We’re Honest, We All Know Trump’s America

Trump articulates ideas that are closer to what is considered “normal” in the United States than many of us are willing to acknowledge.
Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/16 - Millennial Money Trouble, What Is Holding Renewable Energy Back?

Chris Martenson - January 16, 2017 - 07:25
  • Eight Men Have the Same Wealth As Poorest Half: Oxfam
  • Washington: You're Fired
  • Trump to Meet Martin Luther King Jr.’s Eldest Son to Observe Holiday
  • Money trouble
  • Living Standards Better Growth Gauge Than GDP, Davos Forum Says
  • What Is Holding Renewable Energy Back?
  • Two for the Price of One: Russian Scientists Build Solar+Wind Power Generator
  • The Hermit Who Inadvertently Shaped Climate-Change Science

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/14 - House Clears Path For Health Law Repeal, Most Americans Don't Have $500 Saved

Chris Martenson - January 14, 2017 - 07:22
  • China’s bitcoin market: another ticking time bomb?
  • House Clears Path for Repeal of Health Law
  • Millennials are falling behind their boomer parents
  • 6 in 10 Americans don't have $500 in savings
  • Silver Prices For The Year 2017
  • Vilsack leaving USDA early, no Trump replacement named
  • Northern California drenched, but state's drought far from over
  • If Trump Builds the Wall, What Will Happen to our Food System?

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Categories: Economics

Fixing The Future

Chris Martenson - January 13, 2017 - 19:50
Executive Summary
  • The gigantic predicament we all face
  • What you should do, as a concerned individual
  • What WE should do, as a society
  • Contributing to the new narrative

If you have not yet read Part 1: Mad As Hell available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

It simply has to be said; there appears to be little to no public appetite for facing reality. 

At least not without some sort of a calamity or forcing function to press the issue that will wake up enough people and call out what leadership actually exists to finally step up and begin to deliver.

The many predicaments and extreme complexity require astonishingly great leadership to address and there’s really none of that to be found anywhere at the moment.

So we must adopt a two prong approach in our lives to both deal with the coming calamities and lay the groundwork for the next stage of things.

As it stands right now, the central banks are mainly interested in propping up the asset markets which is only serving to enrich the already stupendously rich with a few minor scraps for enough upper and middle class people to keep them content to play along.  While this is being done, enormous imbalances are being created even as the underlying structural issues remain unaddressed.

Some of these are even dead simple, single factor financial issues, which should be among the easiest to detect and address yet these to remain unexamined and unaddressed.  Examples include exponentially increasing debt-per-capita in Japan (goosed by demographics) and pensions being utterly gutted by too-low interest rates.

If the simple math of these situations is still too difficult and complex to allow for any sort of proper response, we have to then conclude that the more subtle and intractable and larger issues we face are even further out of reach.

Here I am talking about needing to...

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Categories: Economics

Mad As Hell

Chris Martenson - January 13, 2017 - 19:50

A critical movement is arising at this time in history.

Each of us can assume a role to play in its formation and development, and therefore its eventual success or failure. It's my personal belief that we are past the time where we can avoid major disruption, so each of us must be personally prepared as best we can for upheaval, while also working towards building a new and better narrative to live by.

Do you have the courage to participate?

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/13 - Good News Friday: A New Physics Theory of Life, Could Rains End CA Drought?

Chris Martenson - January 13, 2017 - 07:06
  • A New Physics Theory of Life
  • United States to Lift Sudan Sanctions
  • Massive scientific report on marijuana confirms medical benefits
  • The Virus That Could Get Rid Of Alcoholism
  • Oil Discoveries To Rebound From Rock Bottom
  • Diamond Batteries Could Use Nuclear Waste to Generate Electricity for Millennia
  • ‘This is a big deal’: Storms could spell end to historic drought

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Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: Our Out-Of-Control Cost Of Living

Chris Martenson - January 12, 2017 - 18:14

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

  • The Runaway Cost Of Health Care
    • The premium for Chris' family went up 61%(!) this year
  • A Failure Of Intelligence
    • The lack of substance underlying the latest smear campaign
  • Fake News
    • When everyone is covered in mud, whom can you trust?
  • What To Expect As The Presidential Torch Gets Passed
    • How Trump's strategy is likely to depart from Obama's

Well, there's a lot of red meat tossed around in this latest podcast. There's something in it for nearly everyone to find righteous outrage with.

It begins with Chris railing about the year-over-year 61% increase just slapped onto his family's basic insurance plan. The ACA has quickly turned into a racketeering operation in many states like Massachusetts, where Chris lives. Mish joins in on the harsh criticism of the current system:

For some instances of some people, forty percent of their income going to health insurance.

And then look at the millennials. I mean, they've just decided to opt out. And who can blame them? They're not making enough money, but they just decided well, I’d rather keep it all. And they’ve decided that they will just rather pay the penalty if they get caught. But if they get sick, then they’ll join on the spot and get coverage. That’s the game everyone's being forced to play.

And nowhere along the line, as we’ve discussed many times, is there any impetus to control costs. And not only are there not any controls, there was nothing written into the legislation. And meanwhile, they call it the "Affordable" Care Act. As with any act of government, it has the exact opposite effect of its title. 

From there, Chris and Mish tackle the recent intelligence debacle where our government and media are trumpeting "findings" that are backed by zero evidence and unverifiable innuendo. When all sides look incompetent, where do you turn for trustworthy information?

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 1/12 - CA Gov. Predicts $1.6B Deficit, What Is the Real Cost of the Wage Increase?

Chris Martenson - January 12, 2017 - 05:47
  • Gov. Jerry Brown predicts a $1.6-billion deficit as he unveils state budget
  • Life in a post-flying Australia, and why it might actually be ok
  • California Today: What Is the Real Cost of the Wage Increase?
  • How Albert Woodfox Survived Solitary
  • U.S. Oil And Gas Jobs See First Gains In 2 Years
  • The Rise Of Black Gold
  • Japan Copes With The disappearing Eel
  • Should We Rent Out Endangered Species to One-Percenters? Maybe.

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Categories: Economics

What It Takes to Get Women Out of Prison—and Stay Out

The rate of women in U.S. prisons is growing faster than men. But in New Orleans, one group is successfully tackling sentencing for drug use and sex work.
Categories: Economics

3 Ways Progressives Can Reconnect With Rural America

First, understand the environment is not only about climate change—it’s about livelihood for miners, drillers, loggers, and farmers like me.
Categories: Economics

Afghan Beekeepers Demonstrate the Power of Co-ops to Transform Lives

Shareable Magazine - January 11, 2017 - 13:19

We recently came across an inspiring video report by Agence France-Presse about a honey cooperative run by women in Afghanistan. It offers a glimpse into the life of an Afghan mother of seven who runs a beekeeping enterprise. She is just one of an estimated 200 women in the Bamiyan province working in honey production jobs. 

Categories: Economics

Cool Block Shows How Neighborhoods Can Create Climate Resilience

Shareable Magazine - January 11, 2017 - 11:10

In her 30 years of working in the sustainability sector, Sandra Slater has learned quite a bit about human behavior, including the idea that just giving people information doesn't inspire a change in behavior. 

"If you just go in and say, 'Let's lower your carbon footprint,' it's a nonstarter," Slater says. "You have to go in with other motivators." She says people are looking for social connection, meaning, purpose, safety, and efficacy.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/11 - Venezuela Imports Down More Than Half, Companies Struggle With Pension Plans

Chris Martenson - January 11, 2017 - 05:13
  • Venezuela 2016 imports down more than half to $18 bln -president
  • Five graphs that show where Houston stood in 2016
  • Va. delegate urges Metro compact changes
  • Illinois governor pans state legislature's Chicago pension fix
  • Companies Struggle to Maintain Pension Plans
  • More Illinois residents hit the highway, declining Madigan’s ‘my way’
  • Public pensions out of control in Texas’ biggest cities
  • NJ Seeks Help from Bankers to Bring Down Public-Worker Pension Costs
  • Nigeria Traders to Start Exchange Rate in Black Market Fight
  • High Inflation, Low Rates Are a Threat to Merkel

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Categories: Economics

Something Better to Offer Trump Voters Tired of Waiting for Their Turn

A world free of extremes of wealth and poverty in which no one needs to stand in line for a chance at a secure and fulfilling life.
Categories: Economics