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Lehman Brothers scandal will be the largest in US history. Read the article, watch this video then start questioning if we should still have these guys running our economy.
“Today the citizens of Shapleigh, Maine voted at a special town meeting to pass a groundbreaking Rights-Based Ordinance, 114 for and 66 against. This revolutionary ordinance give its citizens the right to local self-governance and gives rights to ecosystems but denies the rights of personhood to corporations. This ordinance allows the citizens to protect their groundwater resources, putting it in a common trust to be used for the benefit of its residents.
Shapleigh is the first community in Maine to pass such an ordinance, which extends rights to nature, however, the Ordinance Review Committee in Wells, Maine is considering passing one in their town. These communities have been under attack by Nestle Waters, N.A., a multi-national water miner that sells bottled water under such labels as Poland Springs.
Communities have opposed the expansion by Nestle Waters, but the corporation will not take no for an answer. The town of Fryeburg, Maine has been in litigation with Nestle for six years. Nestle wants to expand and the town’s people say no to the tanker trunk traffic which has disrupted their quiet scenic beauty, so Nestle’s tactic is to wear them down, and break their bank….”
Awesome! City by city, county by county, state by state we can take our power back. Corporations have rights but nature does not? Its time to assert control by the people, not by the few elite that are driven only by profit.
This week marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year. This will be a very special Year of the Tiger. The year of the tiger comes in-between the Year of the Bull and the Year of the dragon. This is very symbolic, I believe. The Bull is a fitting symbol for the West these days, virile and aggressive but lacking in wisdom and patience. The dragon is very old and wise but is perhaps too cautious and passive and can be seen as a symbol of the East. If you mix the best elements of the bull and the dragon, the result is a tiger.
Bono, frontman of rock band U2, has warned the film industry not to make the same mistakes with file-sharing that have dogged the music industry.
Writing for the New York Times, Bono claimed internet service providers were “reverse Robin Hoods” benefiting from the music industry’s lost profits.
He hinted that China’s efforts prove that tracking net content is possible.
The editorial drew sharp criticism, both on its economic merits and for the suggestion of net content policing.
“The immutable laws of bandwidth tell us we’re just a few years away from being able to download an entire season of ’24’ in 24 seconds,” he wrote.
“A decade’s worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators…the people this reverse Robin Hooding benefits are rich service providers, whose swollen profits perfectly mirror the lost receipts of the music business.”
In a move that drew significant criticism, Bono went on to suggest that the feasibility of tracking down file-sharers had already been proven.
“We know from America’s noble effort to stop child pornography, not to mention China’s ignoble effort to suppress online dissent, that it’s perfectly possible to track content,” he said.
Several commentators assailed both the logic of net monitoring and the economic arguments of the essay, pointing out that U2 topped 2009’s list of top-grossing live acts.
“Bono has missed that even a totalitarian government…can’t effectively control net-content,” tweeted Cory Doctorow, a blogger and journalist noted for his study of file-sharing policy.
“If only greed and ignorance could sequester carbon, Bono could FINALLY save the planet,” he added.
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“The study – which is based on the concept that physics can be used to characterize the evolution of civilization – indicates:
- Energy conservation or efficiency doesn’t really save energy, but instead spurs economic growth and accelerated energy consumption.
- Throughout history, a simple physical “constant” – an unchanging mathematical value – links global energy use to the world’s accumulated economic productivity, adjusted for inflation. So it isn’t necessary to consider population growth and standard of living in predicting society’s future energy consumption and resulting carbon dioxide emissions.
- “Stabilization of carbon dioxide emissions at current rates will require approximately 300 gigawatts of new non-carbon-dioxide-emitting power production capacity annually – approximately one new nuclear power plant (or equivalent) per day,” Garrett says. “Physically, there are no other options without killing the economy.”
Garrett says his study’s key finding “is that accumulated economic production over the course of history has been tied to the rate of energy consumption at a global level through a constant factor.”
That “constant” is 9.7 (plus or minus 0.3) milliwatts per inflation-adjusted 1990 dollar. So if you look at economic and energy production at any specific time in history, “each inflation-adjusted 1990 dollar would be supported by 9.7 milliwatts of primary energy consumption,” Garrett says.
“Viewed from this perspective, civilization evolves in a spontaneous feedback loop maintained only by energy consumption and incorporation of environmental matter,” Garrett says. It is like a child that “grows by consuming food, and when the child grows, it is able to consume more food, which enables it to grow more.”
He says the idea that resource conservation accelerates resource consumption – known as Jevons paradox – was proposed in the 1865 book “The Coal Question” by William Stanley Jevons, who noted that coal prices fell and coal consumption soared after improvements in steam engine efficiency.
Garrett says often-discussed strategies for slowing carbon dioxide emissions and global warming include mention increased energy efficiency, reduced population growth and a switch to power sources that don’t emit carbon dioxide, including nuclear, wind and solar energy and underground storage of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning. Another strategy is rarely mentioned: a decreased standard of living, which would occur if energy supplies ran short and the economy collapsed, he adds.
“Fundamentally, I believe the system is deterministic,” says Garrett. “Changes in population and standard of living are only a function of the current energy efficiency. That leaves only switching to a non-carbon-dioxide-emitting power source as an available option.”
full article from this mash-up
interesting that by taking a physics perspective, he steps outside the bounds of the normal view of climate change and its relation to the economy. we are always assuming that certain parts of our equations are true, leaving no room for fundamentally shaking our ideation of change and limiting what we have to work with. instead of reworking things form ground up, we always get stuck tweaking.
its the economy stupid. through and through. but what does that really mean…?
“The best way to get a mental grasp about the current financial crisis is to look at a few past recessions and depressions. The most famous being the great depression of the 1930s but equally interesting is a much smaller recession that happened in England following the invention of the spinning jenny.
James Hargraves invented the spinning jenny in 1764. It could spin yarn eight times faster with the same amount of labour. The initial economic impact was that the price of yarn dropped and many yarn spinners lost their jobs. Violent riots ensued, many of the new machines were smashed and Mr Hargraves was forced to flee for his life. Eventually the demand for yarn grew and because textiles were now significantly cheaper people started to consume more. Wild radical consumerist ideas such as changing your underwear weekly started. A regular change of clothes became possible for the common man. The industrial textile industry of the late 18th century was the fastest growing segment of the economy and was one of the driving forces that lead the UK into the industrial revolution.
What technology does is increase the efficiency with which we can produce more goods and services. If we do not consume more, we have a surplus of labour and people lose their jobs. The same pattern repeated itself in the early 20th century. There were more new technological inventions in the late 19th and early 20th century than ever before. Combustion engine, production lines, transatlantic flights, radio and many others increased productivity.
Today the average worker is approximately 400% more efficient than a worker in the 1950s. In just eleven hours a worker can produce the same amount of goods and services as someone working 40 hours in the 1950s. It also means that 400% more stuff as to be consumed or people will loose their jobs.
Technological efficiency gives us a choice; we can either continue to work just as hard and exponentially consume and grow the economy, or we can translate those gains in efficiency into other more meaningful activities such as child rearing, education, arts and holding elected leaders accountable. It is not surprising to learn that countries that do have lower workweeks such as Norway, Holland and Germany are more egalitarian and have lower crime rates. This might be coincidental, but I suspect that when people have time to invest in other types of work besides trying to endlessly fill up landfills with junk, we create the opportunity for a healthier and wiser society.In 1933 we changed from a 10 hour day to a 8 hour day. Maybe its now time to change to a 6 hour day.”
Published on Monday, September 28, 2009 by CommonDreams.org
Time for Citizens to Conveneby Ralph NaderJust when many conditions seemed ripe for a progressive political movement, the likelihood is fading fast. Concentrated corporate power over our political economy and its control over peoples lives knows few boundaries.As Republican investor advocate leader Robert Monks puts it: “The United States is a corporatist state. This means that individuals are largely excluded both in the political and corporate spheres.”Since Wall Street’s self-inflicted multi-trillion dollar collapse last year, the corporate supremacists have shown no remorse. They have become more aggressive: they are blocking regulatory reforms; pouring campaign donations into the governing Democrats’ coffers; and, shamelessly demanding more bailouts, subsidies and tax reductions. They also continue to block avenues for judicial justice by aggrieved people, whether they be the wrongfully injured, defrauded consumers and investors, or jettisoned workers and bilked pensioners.The problem: large corporations have too many structural powers over the citizenry. These “artificial persons” have acquired the constitutional rights originally given in 1787 only to “natural persons.” In fact, corporations have enormously greater privileges and immunities than the people themselves because of their global control over politicians, capital, labor and technology.Normal sanctions do not adequately deter multinational companies that can obscure their culpability, escape jurisdictions or create their own parents (holding companies) and endless progeny (subsidiaries) to evade or avoid accountability.Even the most ardent progressives in Congress, and the most organized progressive groups, cannot begin to deal with such gigantic mismatches.Decades ago, there was more debate about the need for different “rules of conduct,” to use conservative Frederick A. Hayek’s phrase, between corporations and human beings. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis warned about corporations becoming “Frankensteins.” Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft wanted to replace the permissive state chartering laws with tough federal chartering laws for large corporations.For two generations the ever-expanding superior status of corporations has gone undiscussed in political realms. During that time, corporations and their attorneys rode roughshod over the “we the people” preamble of the Constitution. Our charter of government never mentions the word “corporation.”Unabated, the corporate crime wave continues. The corporate welfare kings get fatter, the power disparity expands between corporations and shrinking unions, and the pull-down pressures, created by the corporate shipment of jobs and industries to repressive regimes abroad, further corrodes American work opportunities. More of government, including military functions, is being corporatized despite recurring reports of rising waste, fraud and abuse.The federal government’s budget for auditors, investigators, inspectors and prosecutors is laughable, given the scale of looting: the defrauding of medicare; abuses of Pentagon contracts; the taking of minerals on the public lands; and the giveaways of government research and development to favored companies.Corporate profits keep going up, except for bailout periods, while most Americans’ standards of living decline. Our country, so full of unapplied solutions, is grid locked—stuck in traffic. Record levels of poverty, unemployment, home foreclosures, consumer debt and bankruptcies, and people lacking health insurance persist, yet corporate political power has not waned. A bad sign. Indeed, it has increased, notwithstanding large majorities of Americans decrying too much corporate control over their lives. The leave-it-to-the market ideology of Big Business, and its claims of patriotism, have lost credibility in this globalized era. Yet, the myth lives on even as socialism routinely saves big capitalism from its own greed.What can active progressives do? In Congress, amongst the Republicans and corporate Democrats, the small progressive caucus of 83 members generates little political impact. Ironically, many of those progressive legislators are busy dialing for the same commercial campaign dollars.Outside Congress, progressive groups have been on the defensive for so many years that they have few offensive political strategies. The two parties are in the narrowest channels of self-perpetuation. They gerrymander their opponents into one-party districts and together produce a matrix of obstacles to keep competition from third parties at bay.Both parties give preferential access to the hordes of drug, coal, banking and other industry lobbyists, who are allowed de facto to choose many of the nominees that lead the government’s departments, such as the Defense and Treasury Departments.Enough abuses have been documented. Enough power has been concentrated to shred our democratic processes and institutions. It is time to decisively shift power from the few to the many. Democratic power is the essence of progressive political philosophy, and the precondition for the emergence of a just society nourished by higher public expectations.How to begin? Progressives—elected, civic, labor and funders—need to come together in a national convention to aggregate the existing forces for change. Such a gathering could create a clear-eyed vision of the common good to shatter debilitating public cynicism and passivity.In attendance must be a broad range of energetic community organizers, thinkers, the seriously generous progressive mega-rich and the heroic dynamos who have risen from their suffering to act on behalf of “liberty and justice for all.”There is ample historic precedent for the galvanizing effect of founding social justice conventions. This proposed convocation needs to take civic and political action to unprecedented levels, powerfully fueled by committed resources and strategies to build enduring democratic institutions.Unused knowledge, and many working models of community economics, environmental advances and educational quality exist to further the larger progressive dynamic.Lincoln once observed the crucial importance of “public sentiment” for moving a society forward. That “public sentiment” is here, deep, widespread and ready for clearly explained “redirections.”If a mantra is needed in the convention hall, let the eternal words of the Roman, Marcus Cicero, be emblazoned for all to see: “Freedom is participation in power.” For this aspiration places responsibility where it must always reside: on the shoulders, in the minds, and in the hearts of an empowered American people.……………..Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His most recent book – and first novel – is, Only The Super Wealthy Can Save Us. His most recent work of non-fiction is The Seventeen Traditions.
“For Hayek, a market was a personal voyage of discovery. Malthus once told Ricardo to be wary of becoming too attached to abstract ways of thinking. Keynes believed in “animal spirits.” Schumpeter sensed a brutal dynamic of “creative destruction” at the heart of capitalism. Heilbroner sternly warned economists to abandon their “suicidal formalism” if they wanted to progress … but such crunchy, philosophical insights into the soul of economics have largely been lost on the last few generations of its practitioners. For 50 years they’ve been rationalizing human behavior, sanitizing their models and trying their best to turn economics into a mathematically driven exact science like physics.
Now the old guard is under attack by students and scientists from other disciplines for its profound disconnect from reality. The logic freaks of neoclassical economics are in retreat … the old certitudes are crumbling. Economists are being forced to admit that their understanding of nonlinear, real-world systems is frail at best and that their abstract models have limited value. Everything, from banking, financial regulation and credit, right down to the bedrock fundamentals – growth, freedom, happiness, progress – are now being rethought. The profession is entering an almost Nietzschean period of creative destruction. Here are some of the tectonic mindshifts now underway:
• A theoretical shift from free market back to Keynesian economics. The idea that governments should step aside and let markets regulate themselves has been publicly, viscerally discredited.
• An aesthetic shift in the tone, style and spirit of economics. The abstract number cruncher, alone in his tower, lost in the abstraction of models – that dusty Apollonian archetype – is dead.
• An operational shift: After years of self-imposed isolation, economists are finding inspiration in psychology, environmental science, design, philosophy and art.
• An existential shift: Before last year’s meltdown it was considered heresy to question the wisdom of growth. Now economists are coming out of the closet and doing exactly that: openly proclaiming infinite growth cannot be sustained on a finite planet. This is the most far-reaching, penetrating paradigm shift imaginable – a monumental mindshift on par with what Einstein’s relativity did to physics. It points to what is perhaps the most exciting and intractable problem of our time: how to create a sustainble economy that does not feed off nature. It heralds the beginning of a debate that will occupy the best minds on the planet for centuries to come: How to manage our planetary household – how to live and be happy – without crashing Gaia? “
—– from adbusters.org
good thing there have been plenty of wonderful ideas for a long time. try any.
China Hemp: “The King of All Natural Textiles”
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An Ontario company says it has secured $2 million from investors to open the first North American bio-processing plant for industrial hemp.
Stonehedge Bio-Resources Inc., based in Stirling, Ont., north of Belleville, announced it plans to open a bio-refining facility this year.
Hemp is the common name for the cannabis plant, which has fibrous roots, stalks and stems useful for producing a variety of products and seeds that are edible. The flowers, buds and leaves of some strains are used to produce drugs such as marijuana and hashish because they contain a psychoactive compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but industrial hemp is bred to produce very little THC.
The Stonehedge plant would produce Hemcrete, a limestone building material similar to concrete that is considered to be more environmentally friendly.
The company also expects to produce more than $17 million per year in renewable hemp fibre, wood-like chips, pellets, matting and seed products.
Stonehedge Bio-Resources says it plans to start with five employees this year and employ up to 27 people by 2011.
The company says the global renewable and bioproducts industry is expected to exceed $125 billion in revenues by 2010.
Rahm Emanuel: “Universal Civil Service”
Henry Kissinger: “New World Order”
The U.S. Economy: The Philosopher’s Stone
Terrorists could use “insect-based” biological weapon:
“Flying Syring” mosquitos , other ideas get Gates Funding:
Stonehenge was giant concert venue:
Harry Potter: To know the future, return to the past (crystals and crops)
Earth Pilgrims postponed till 2009 for Nassim Haramein:
Larry King: Did UFO’s dismantle weapons defense?
Federal Reserve Refuses to Say where $2 trillion have gone:
The Bush Amin Continuity Plan:
“We found injections containing traces of cocaine and LSD left behind by the terrorists and later found drugs in their blood,” said one official.
“Because the majority of us are aware of the rampant fraud and incompetency of the government and bankers, we must remember to maintain positive intentions in all we do, and especially in our thoughts and feelings towards the economic/political situations.”
Berlusconi Says Leaders May Close World’s Markets (Update1)
By Steve Scherer
Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) — Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said political leaders are discussing the idea of closing the world’s financial markets while they “rewrite the rules of international finance.”
“The idea of suspending the markets for the time it takes to rewrite the rules is being discussed,” Berlusconi said today after a Cabinet meeting in Naples, Italy. A solution to the financial crisis “can’t just be for one country, or even just for Europe, but global.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell as much 8.1 percent in early trading and pared most of those losses after Berlusconi’s remarks. The Dow was down 0.5 percent to 8540.52 at 10:10 in New York.
Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers are meeting in Washington today, and will stay in town for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings this weekend. European Union leaders may gather in Paris on Oct. 12, three days before a scheduled summit in Brussels, Berlusconi said today, while Group of Eight leaders may hold a meeting on the crisis “in coming days,” he said.
Berlusconi didn’t give any details about what kind of rules leaders were looking to change, except to say that leaders are “talking about a new Bretton Woods.”
The Bretton Woods Agreements were adopted to rebuild the international economic system after World War II in a hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. The aim of the agreements was to establish a monetary management system, initially by pegging currencies to gold. The IMF was set up later to help manage the international financial system.
something is happening, thats for sure. lets get active on some front.
here is a comment i lifted from current.com
The FOUNDATION of the USA economy is REAL ESTATE… Lending to 1st time buyers is key, re-introducing buyer assistance/seller contribution will kick-start the economy moving forward and steady.
A single real estate purchase has a positive ripple affect, employing at least 14 different entities, and so forth…
The bottom line- if you have the funds, and you are a solvent buyer, purchase real estate; TODAY!
The USA has one of the lowest prices in Real Estate in the WORLD…
Stable/Solvent Banks, and Investors/Investing Firms are buying Real Estate Loan Packages from .18 cents to .25 cents on the dollar.
Once these notes are purchased, The New Mortgagee/Bank call the Mortgagor/Borrower telling them their home loan/mortgage will be modify at a lower and permanent rate, but not the Principal… They are making a large profit. Why? They bought the notes for peanuts.
Here is an opportunity for individuals to do the same on a smaller scale.
I recommend the following steps:
1. JOIN FORCES with trusted investors, friends, and or family members forming an LLC or even a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). By doing this you will pool more funds and your risk will be lower.
2. Hire the best Realtor in the region, where you plan to invest. Remember every market/region will be different. In other words, the actual Real Estate Market will vary from City to City across the USA.
3. Buy Real Estate between .50 cents to .75 cents on the dollars. In Regards, to Short Sales, most banks will not sell no less then 81% to 83% of the actual Real Estate Market… Then again, you never know; right?
4. Don’t believe the negativity of the mass media.
5. Remember to study your market, before Real Estate purchase commence.
When life throws you lemons, make lemonade!
This is the time where novice investor(s), solvent investors, the rich, the wealthy, the millionaires, the billionaire’s jump to the next level…
The USA Real Estate Market is the best in the world.
Global investors are buying left and right in the USA!
So, what is your Excuse?”