Daily Digest

Daily Digest 4/24 - Why Banks Will Own You, Social Security To Run Out In 2035, Rethinking Peak Oil

Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 9:43 AM
  • Massive Debt: Why Banks Will Own You For A Lifetime
  • Medicare’s Financial Condition Holds Pat After Debt Deal
  • Financial Crisis Mode: Get Ready To Short The Banks, Again
  • Social Security Fund to Run Out in 2035, Trustees Say
  • Open Letter to the Chief Confidence Officer of the United States of America
  • Merkel Pushes Back Against Hollande’s Call to End Austerity
  • Rethinking Peak Oil
  • Rickshaws Run on Compressed Natural Gas Could Help Delhi's Pollution Problem

Follow our steps to prepare for a world after peak oil, such as how to store & filter water

Economy

Massive Debt: Why Banks Will Own You For A Lifetime (David B.)

The chart posted below shows the growth of total debt in the United States over the last several decades. Total credit market debt owed was less than 5 trillion dollars back in 1980, but now it is over 54 trillion dollars….

Medicare’s Financial Condition Holds Pat After Debt Deal (John M.)

Medicare costs rose about 5 percent to $549 billion last year as the program covered about 49 million people. The program is central to congressional debate over the nation’s debt, with Republicans proposing to convert Medicare to a system in which the elderly would receive subsidies to buy private insurance, instead of the government paying hospitals and doctors for their care.

Financial Crisis Mode: Get Ready To Short The Banks, Again (David B.)

And here’s something else… The combined wealth of the 40 richest people on Earth is $1.1 trillion. At the same time, hedge funds saw $16 billion in net new capital from investors, which contributed to a $130 billion pop in assets for the first quarter of 2012. That means hedge funds are holding a record $2.13 trillion in assets.

As much as that is, it doesn’t amount to much. Not when there are hundreds of trillions of liabilities to pay off.

Social Security Fund to Run Out in 2035, Trustees Say (John M.)

The giant retirement programs are straining the U.S. government’s finances, and what to do about them is a central issue in the election-year debate between Democrats and Republicans as President Barack Obama seeks a second term.

Open Letter to the Chief Confidence Officer of the United States of America (Jaime)

I had to side with my posse, Dr. Bernanke. I bailed out my nephew. I paid off his gambling debt. And I found a lawyer who knows the DA - and the whole problem disappeared. It cost me a few dollars - but my brother is forever grateful. And my mother remains happy and ignorant. The cost to society, on the other hand, is going to be higher; this kid now thinks he's untouchable. Watch out, world.

Merkel Pushes Back Against Hollande’s Call to End Austerity (jdargis)

Hollande, who leads President Nicolas Sarkozy in polls for France’s runoff election on May 6, said yesterday that budget austerity across Europe is “bringing desperation to people” and that he’ll refocus the economy on growth if he wins.

Energy

Rethinking Peak Oil (Ernest W.)

Worse yet, peak oil theorists do not take into account the assessment of unconventional oil resources, such as oil shale, oil sands, biomass-based liquids, coal-based liquids and liquids arising from chemical processing of natural gas. These could substitute for conventional oil when new technologies, such as steam injection for oil sands deposits, mature. Unconventional oil will very likely contribute to future production. By 2009, unconventional liquids had already contributed approximately 14% of total global production capacity, and this share was expected to grow to 23% by the end of 2030.

Rickshaws Run on Compressed Natural Gas Could Help Delhi's Pollution Problem (James S.)

These small vehicles offer a way to quickly duck and dash around other automobiles while being a little bit kinder to the environment. Generally characterized by a sheet metal body or an open frame resting on three wheels, auto rickshaws have a small cabin in the front of the vehicle for the driver, and seating space for up to three passengers in the rear.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to dd@PeakProsperity.com. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

15 Comments

rjs's picture
rjs
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 8 2009
Posts: 377
for poet, re our standard of living...

what i was getting at last week:

Michael Hudson: Productivity, The Miracle of Compound Interest, and Poverty Suppose you were alive back in 1945 and were told about all the new technology that would be invented between then and now: the computers and internet, mobile phones and other consumer electronics, faster and cheaper air travel, super trains and even outer space exploration, higher gas mileage on the ground, plastics, medical breakthroughs and science in general. You would have imagined what nearly all futurists expected: that we would be living in a life of leisure society by this time. Rising productivity would raise wages and living standards, enabling people to work shorter hours under more relaxed and less pressured workplace conditions. Why hasn’t this occurred in recent years? In light of the enormous productivity gains since the end of World War II – and especially since 1980 – why isn’t everyone rich and enjoying the leisure economy that was promised? If the 99% is not getting the fruits of higher productivity, who is? Where has it gone?

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Posts: 2543
Go East Young Man.

There is a lot of opportunity in Siberia.

The unemployed of the USA could work for the Russians.

Travlin's picture
Travlin
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rjs wrote:In light of the

rjs wrote:

In light of the enormous productivity gains since the end of World War II – and especially since 1980 – why isn’t everyone rich and enjoying the leisure economy that was promised? If the 99% is not getting the fruits of higher productivity, who is? Where has it gone?

Click for the answer. https://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/09/04/opinion/04reich-graphic.html

Travlin 

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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The Easterly Winds.

My understanding of the genesis of oil is that it starts in an intertidal zone. An algal mat is laid down and then covered with sand and the process is repeated.

Eventually a layer cake is formed which is compressed and the resultant oil migrates up an anticline to be trapped (hopefully) in a fold of the anticline.

Wiki

What stood out for me in the rethinking peak oil piece is " What in the geological history of China formed the algal mats?"

My search took me to this site. Guess which way the winds of history are blowing.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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France

Hollande will refocus the economy on growth if he wins? How, pray tell, is he going to do that with unsustainable growth and peak oil?

Doug's picture
Doug
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Posts: 2771
safewrite wrote: Hollande

safewrite wrote:

Hollande will refocus the economy on growth if he wins? How, pray tell, is he going to do that with unsustainable growth and peak oil?

How is BHO going to do it?  How is WMR (Willard Mitt, who knew?)?  How are the bots in Congress going to do it?  No one in a position of power is talking about a steady state economy.  Low or no growth replaces Social Security as the third rail of politics.

Doug

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Virginia is for Patriots....McDonnell 2016 anyone?

National Defense Authorization Act nullified in Virginia on July 1st.  I really like this state - now if we can figure out  way to keep all those New Yawker, New Joisey, and 'Yo Adrian' Pennsylvania tourists away from May-September.......

"The bill “Prevents any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a United States citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”

According to an inside report, bill sponsor Delegate Bob Marshall spoke twice in support of the bill on the House floor today. Delegate Barbara Comstock (a long-time Patriot Act supporter) invoked Michael Chertoff and others as high government officials opposing HB 1160. Basically, she said state legislators have no business questioning the federal government."

In other news (and a memoriam shout out to Davos), in recognition of her in-depth knowledge of the 10th Amendment and how the Constitution is supposed to work, Delegate Barbara Comstock has been deemed "Moron of the Month".  Every month until October 2017........ 

Link to full article here:  http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2012/04/ndaa-nullification-passes-in-virginia-governors-signature-expected-shortly/

Poet's picture
Poet
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Revisiting the Physical Risks of Debt

Well worth reading. People going to jail for debts - sometimes even made up debts - in spite of what the U.S. Supreme Court says.

Revisiting the Physical Risks of Debt (April 25, 2012)
"A recent article in the Daily Mail begins to paint the picture of how many Americans are already well within the confines of debt slavery, with almost nowhere or no one to turn to for help. It shows us how the American legal system is like a big glop of silly putty for the powerful institutions - it can be deformed, twisted and redesigned into almost any shape they desire. First, we hear the story of Lisa Lindsay - a breast cancer patient and survivor who was jailed over a $280 medical bill which was sent to her in error, since she had already paid it off."
http://theautomaticearth.org/Finance/revisiting-the-physical-risks-of-debt.html

The author, Ashvin Pandurangi, sometimes posts here as Ashvinp.

Poet

Travlin's picture
Travlin
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Posts: 1322
Thanks for the good news

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

"The bill “Prevents any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the THE MILITARY OF VIRGINIA from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a United States citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”

Dogs

Thanks for some heartwarming news.  I hope we see other states follow you fine Virginians.  Now for my question.  What is the "military of Virginia"?  I would think that is the National Guard, but once the President federalizes them the state loses control.  I think one state resisted this a few years ago and was overruled by the Supreme Court.  Or are you folks working on that first issue you raised? 

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

Now if we can figure out  way to keep all those New Yawker, New Joisey, and 'Yo Adrian' Pennsylvania tourists away from May-September.......

Travlin 

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
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Posts: 2491
Virginia Defense Force

Travlin wrote:

Dogs

Thanks for some heartwarming news.  I hope we see other states follow you fine Virginians.  Now for my question.  What is the "military of Virginia"?  I would think that is the National Guard, but once the President federalizes them the state loses control.  I think one state resisted this a few years ago and was overruled by the Supreme Court.  Or are you folks working on that first issue you raised? 

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

Now if we can figure out  way to keep all those New Yawker, New Joisey, and 'Yo Adrian' Pennsylvania tourists away from May-September.......

Travlin 

Trav -

Here's a really good explanation of the Virginia Defense Force.  http://www.vdf.virginia.gov/

It is an entity separate from the National Guard, although at times they may function together, along with the Air National Guard.  The biggest difference is that, while under certain circumstances, command and authority over the VA National Guard can pass from the Governor to the President, but the VDF remains under the command of Gov McDonnell.

BTW, just to name drop, Bob McDonnell's daughters and my daughter went to high school together and until he left for Richmond he and his wife regularly attended the same church.  He is a really good guy and I don't think we've heard the last from him on the political scene.  At least from what I've seen so far, I hope not.....

Travlin's picture
Travlin
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Posts: 1322
Thanks Dogs

Dogs

Thanks for the information on the Virginia Defense Force. I didn’t see anything that said “to repel Yankees”, but it could come in handy that way. Especially with the New Yawkers.

Travlin

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
Dogs_In_A_Pile

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

National Defense Authorization Act nullified in Virginia on July 1st.  I really like this state - now if we can figure out  way to keep all those New Yawker, New Joisey, and 'Yo Adrian' Pennsylvania tourists away from May-September.......

"The bill “Prevents any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a United States citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”

According to an inside report, bill sponsor Delegate Bob Marshall spoke twice in support of the bill on the House floor today. Delegate Barbara Comstock (a long-time Patriot Act supporter) invoked Michael Chertoff and others as high government officials opposing HB 1160. Basically, she said state legislators have no business questioning the federal government."

In other news (and a memoriam shout out to Davos), in recognition of her in-depth knowledge of the 10th Amendment and how the Constitution is supposed to work, Delegate Barbara Comstock has been deemed "Moron of the Month".  Every month until October 2017........ 

Link to full article here:  http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2012/04/ndaa-nullification-passes-in-virginia-governors-signature-expected-shortly/

Thank goodness there are still some folks in this country with cojones.

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
Poet wrote: Well worth

Poet wrote:

Well worth reading. People going to jail for debts - sometimes even made up debts - in spite of what the U.S. Supreme Court says.

Revisiting the Physical Risks of Debt (April 25, 2012)
"A recent article in the Daily Mail begins to paint the picture of how many Americans are already well within the confines of debt slavery, with almost nowhere or no one to turn to for help. It shows us how the American legal system is like a big glop of silly putty for the powerful institutions - it can be deformed, twisted and redesigned into almost any shape they desire. First, we hear the story of Lisa Lindsay - a breast cancer patient and survivor who was jailed over a $280 medical bill which was sent to her in error, since she had already paid it off."
http://theautomaticearth.org/Finance/revisiting-the-physical-risks-of-debt.html

The author, Ashvin Pandurangi, sometimes posts here as Ashvinp.

Poet

I have great sympathy for those who cannot pay their debts because of medical bills, illness, unemployment, or other unforeseen and/or uncontrollable circumstances.  On the other hand, there are a growing number of scammers who understand how the law related to debt works in their favor and purposely incur debts with no intention of paying them off when they have every means of doing so.   I've had dealings with both these groups.  The former, I extend every courtesy up to and including debt forgiveness.  The latter, quite frankly, I'd shed no tears for if they were to serve some time in debtor's prison.

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1844
Reply To RJS

RJS

I read it. I liked it. Thought it was insightful...

Sure, finance has captured a lot of it. Debt servicing as well. But the big thing is, with productivity from technology and a glut of workers, there is not a great demand for workers that would increase wages.

Those who invested money (via finance) - they pretty much didn't even have to do more than stick with a large-cap index fund from 1945 through 2007 - they are the leisure class. Those who didn't, are still dependent on wages.

"Every marginal increase in supply lowers the price of what is being supplied. For the job market this means that the higher the unemployment rate, the lower wages will fall." - Michael Hudson

It doesn't matter  as much, how productive that labor (amplified with technology and cheap energy) is. Labor is cheaper when many offer it and there is less need for it.

Poet

rjs wrote:

what i was getting at last week:

Michael Hudson: Productivity, The Miracle of Compound Interest, and Poverty Suppose you were alive back in 1945 and were told about all the new technology that would be invented between then and now: the computers and internet, mobile phones and other consumer electronics, faster and cheaper air travel, super trains and even outer space exploration, higher gas mileage on the ground, plastics, medical breakthroughs and science in general. You would have imagined what nearly all futurists expected: that we would be living in a life of leisure society by this time. Rising productivity would raise wages and living standards, enabling people to work shorter hours under more relaxed and less pressured workplace conditions. Why hasn’t this occurred in recent years? In light of the enormous productivity gains since the end of World War II – and especially since 1980 – why isn’t everyone rich and enjoying the leisure economy that was promised? If the 99% is not getting the fruits of higher productivity, who is? Where has it gone?

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