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How Municipalities Can (and Should) Support the Solidarity Economy

Shareable Magazine - October 27, 2014 - 07:35

The Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) is a multi-faceted alternative to traditional capitalism made up of coops, sustainability initiatives, gift economics, community organizations, fair trade projects and more. Around the world, there is a strong and growing solidarity movement, but in order for SSE initiatives to thrive, they need support.

Categories: Economics

Off the Cuff: The War On Savers

Chris Martenson - October 26, 2014 - 11:58

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and John Rubino discuss:

  • The State of Silver
    • Notes from this year's Silver Summit
  • The War On Savers
    • Further exploration of the Fed's 'financial repression'
  • The Inevitable Market Crash
    • More predictable than ever
  • The Broken American Dream
    • Out of the reach for most now

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 10/26 - Institutional Fish Ate Your Pension Plan, Paying Till It Hurts

Chris Martenson - October 26, 2014 - 08:49
  • Institutional Fish Ate Your Pension Plan
  • No court hearings for civil cases 
  • As Insurers Try to Limit Costs, Providers Hit Patients With More Separate Fees
  • Off-grid German village banks on wind, sun, pig manure
  • Finland keen to tie-up with India in cleantech, ICT, education

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Categories: Economics

NASA: Revisiting Our Vulnerabiity To Solar Flares

Chris Martenson - October 25, 2014 - 15:10

Dr Guhathakurta returns to the podcast this week to discuss a large-scale solar flare that nearly hit Earth back in July of 2012 (a direct hit missed us by about 1 week), as well as to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the warning system we have in place to alert us to such dangers, and the continuing vulnerability our system have to such an event.

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Categories: Economics

Youth Employment Scrip-Solving Two Problems at Once

Beyond Money - October 25, 2014 - 08:17

In my 2001 book, Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender, I included a description of a proposed community currency I call Youth Employment Scrip.

This currency design is intended to provide the local community with a supplemental means of payment based on the labor that young people can provide to local businesses, non-profits, and government agencies, that normally could not afford to hire them.

Combined with presently available employment agency services, such a plan could help reduce youth unemployment while providing the entire community with additional liquidity that will help local businesses to sell some of their unused capacity.

For a complete description, you can view or download the entire chapter here: Money Chapter 22 YES

Categories: Blogs

Daily Digest 10/25 - Planet Zoo, Sick Honeybees May Be Nursed By Doctors

Chris Martenson - October 25, 2014 - 08:16
  • Combating a Flood of Early 401(k) Withdrawals
  • New Ebola Quarantine Protocol Seen as Barrier to Volunteers
  • Egon von Greyerz: A Swiss Gold Referendum YES Vote Will Be a Trendsetter for Central Banks
  • Cohan: Fed Is Somewhat Deranged, QE Worsened Inequality
  • Planet Zoo
  • I Can Eat It
  • Sick Honeybees May Be Nursed By Doctors
  • 8 Impossible Choices People Who Can't Afford Food Make Every Day

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Categories: Economics

Energy Economics - Crash Course Chapter 19

Chris Martenson - October 24, 2014 - 16:45

The central point to this latest video is this: as we’ve shown in previous chapters of the Crash Course, our global economy depends on continual growth to function. And not just any kind of growth; but exponential growth.

But in order to grow, it must receive an ever-increasing input supply of affordable energy and resources from the natural world. What I’m about to show you is a preponderance of data that indicates those inputs will just not be there in the volumes needed to supply the growth that the world economy is counting on.

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Categories: Economics

Own the Change: Building Economic Democracy One Worker Co-op at a Time

"We moved from land ownership to home ownership, and it's time we move to workplace ownership."

While many companies were cutting jobs during the recession, worker owned co-ops were growing and hiring employees. Not only do workers own a part of the business, but they are involved in decisions, and share responsibilities.

This video, a trailer from a collaboration between GRITtv and the Toolbox for Education and Social Action, highlights the difficulties in developing a worker owned co-op, but those difficulties do not outweigh the benefits. A community develops in the workplace where co-op members support one another.

Read more:

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 10/24 - Ebola Arrives In NYC, Strips of Native Prairie Protect Farm Soil

Chris Martenson - October 24, 2014 - 09:05
  • Officials Tracing New York Ebola Patient’s Movements, While Reassuring a Wary City
  • Putin's advisor and experts discuss economy, sanctions and central banks
  • Americans taking fewest vacation days in four decades 
  • U.S. Is Investigating Report That Islamic State Used Chlorine Gas
  • Why do people put solar on their roofs? Because other people put solar on their roofs
  • 8 Reasons For Our Oil Price Predicament
  • Strips of Native Prairie Protect Farm Soil
  • The U.N. says water is a fundamental human right in Detroit

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Categories: Economics

Special Offer - FoodBrick Containers

Chris Martenson - October 23, 2014 - 08:15
Foodbrick Containers - 5% Special Discount for Readers

We are pleased to announce that PrepareDirect is offering readers a special discount of 5% off all FoodBrick Storage Containers (this is an additional 5% off PrepareDirect's low prices). 

Click here to take advantage of this offer; use Coupon Code: PEAKBRICK5, exclusive to readers. Click here for this offer.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 10/23 - The Last Days Of The Growth Story, The Plastic In Your Beer

Chris Martenson - October 23, 2014 - 07:41
  • The Last Days Of The Growth Story
  • Detroit With a Boardwalk
  • Poverty and class: the latest themes to enter the US banned-books debate
  • Permanent Damage to US Economy-Michael Snyder
  • Bond funds stock up on Treasuries in prep for market shock
  • Dollar Strength Does Not Bode Well for U.S. Overseas Companies
  • Meanwhile, This Is Who Is Quietly Buying All The Cheap Oil
  • Massive coal field discovered in China's Xinjiang
  • Abengoa celebrates grand opening of cellulosic ethanol plant
  • Plastic Bits Found Floating Around In 24 Out Of 24 Samples Of German Beer

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Categories: Economics

Raising Guinea Fowl

Chris Martenson - October 23, 2014 - 07:10

A great exploration of adding guinea fowl to your homestead for a variety of reasons, including tick and pest control control, meat production and can be used at a form of property security alarm.

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Categories: Economics

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Community Currency Magazine - October 22, 2014 - 09:33

3 reasons why peer-to-peer marketplaces fail (and how not to)
This is the first of a series of 3 posts. Read part 2 here and part 3 here. Peer-to-peer marketplaces can be great businesses. They combine the convenience of online stores with the scale that com...
Categories: Economics

Why Gold Is Undervalued

Chris Martenson - October 22, 2014 - 09:31

Gold has been in a bear market for three years. Technical analysts are asking themselves whether they should call an end to this slump on the basis of the "triple-bottom" recently made at $1180/oz, or if they should be wary of a coming downside break beneath that level. The purpose of this article is to look at the drivers of the gold price and explain why today's market value is badly reflective of gold's true worth.

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Categories: Economics

The Case For Owning Physical Gold Now

Chris Martenson - October 22, 2014 - 09:30
Executive Summary
  • Why China & Russia are placing the highest priority on increasing their gold reserves
  • The Asian SCO's agenda for re-defining trans-Asian money
  • The looming crisis in paper currencies
  • The 6 key reasons to amass paper gold today

If you have not yet read Part 1: Why Gold Is Undervalued available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Part 1 summarized gold’s technical position, the market position, made a value judgement against fiat dollars, described and quantified the paper market, and noted the long-term shifts of bullion into Asia. There are three big subjects left to deal with: the dynamics at the hear of the West-to-East flow of physical bullion, the scope for an accelerated deterioration in the purchasing-power of paper currencies, and the financial cold war between the advanced western economies and the Asian Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO.

Understanding The Flow Of Gold Into China & Russia China

China’s appetite for gold has only become obvious in recent years. In reality, we do not know how much gold China has imported. We only know that for whatever reason she appears to be importing significantly larger quantities than publicly admitted. It is worth bearing in mind that this started long before the Shanghai Gold Exchange was established in 2002; the original regulations delegated total control of gold and silver to the Peoples Bank (the central bank – PBOC) in June 1983. Given at that time the west was selling gold down to the $250 level, China has most probably been secretly stockpiling gold for the last thirty years.

The 1983 regulations appear to have been introduced to take advantage of freely-available supply. Between 1983 and 2002 there was significant leasing activity by European and other central banks as well as outright sales in addition to mine output. Furthermore, the bear market from 1980-2000 led to considerable divestment of privately owned gold vaulted in Switzerland. The following table summarizes the estimated effect.

Approximately half the above-ground stocks in 2002 appears to have changed hands since 1983. The principal buyers were the Middle East until the mid-1990s and India after the Gold Control Act was rescinded. No one has suspected China of acquiring meaningful quantities of gold during this period, but the timing of the 1983 regulations suggests otherwise. India’s demand between 1990 and 2002 was only 5,426 tonnes, with perhaps 2,000 tonnes smuggled in the seven years previously, leaving 68,424 tonnes unaccounted for. And while Middle Eastern oil exporters were certainly buying in quantity it is unlikely they would have taken more than 35,000-40,000 tonnes, which leaves 28,000-33,000 tonnes unaccounted for. Conversion of bullion into jewellery for the European and North American markets could have absorbed 5,000 tonnes at most, but equally there were other sources of supply such as Russia, which was forced to sell all her gold (507 tonnes) during the financial crisis in 1998, and potentially some net selling as a result of the Tiger economies’ crisis at about the same time.

There is only one logical conclusion: China passed regulations in 1983 to acquire gold bullion. This being the case, before 2002 she could easily have secretly acquired over 20,000 tonnes. And this explains why she was then happy to let her own citizens in on the act...

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 10/22 - China Growth Forecast Cut, Health Care Premiums To Spike

Chris Martenson - October 22, 2014 - 08:17
  • Share No More: The Criminalization of Efforts to Feed People In Need
  • Russia Cancels 2nd Domestic Debt Auction
  • Area firms brace for double-digit hike in health care premiums
  • Vermont employees to see big health care jump
  • Health Care Costs Expected to Rise in 2015: Are You Ready?
  • China's economy suffers its worst quarter since the financial crisis
  • Deutsche Bank cuts China growth forecast
  • Detroit turns to scrapping to fill budget hole
  • Fukushima film shows reality sinking in for 'nuclear refugees'
  • Russians Pull $5 Billion Out of Banks as Ruble Plummets

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Categories: Economics

You Won't Believe What They're Sharing on These 9 DIY Marketplaces

Shareable Magazine - October 22, 2014 - 08:06

As the sharing economy grows, people have gotten creative about what can be shared peer-to-peer (P2P). It's gone well beyond sharing homes and cars. We can now rent, share, borrow or swap electronics, outdoor gear, land, tools, clothing, appliances, and more.

Categories: Economics

32 US Cities Commit to Community-owned Broadband Internet Access

Shareable Magazine - October 21, 2014 - 11:04

This past Monday, a coalition of representatives from 32 cities across the U.S. joined together to address the pressing need for fast, reliable and affordable high-speed Internet. Organized by Next Century Cities, the bipartisan initiative is designed to help cities create their own community broadband networks because big telecom companies don’t provide broadband to all areas of the country.

Categories: Economics

5 Proven Strategies to Support Art in Your City

Shareable Magazine - October 21, 2014 - 09:15

Last week, Springboard for the Arts launched their new Creative Exchange initiative as a way to help cities leverage arts programs to further civic and economic development. The program offers 10 toolkits with step-by-step guides culled from successfully executed projects.

Categories: Economics