Daily Digest

Daily Digest 5/3 - World Is 'Safer' After Pakistan Raid, Risk Of Chaos If Syria Fails, The Future Of Offshore Wind Farms

Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 10:52 AM
  • Obama Calls World ‘Safer’ After Pakistan Raid
  • John Williams: Hyperinflation and Double-Dip Recession Ahead
  • Extra Tax Revenue to Delay Debt Crisis
  • As Food Stamp Recipients Hit New Record, 400 Americans Account For 10% Of Capital Gains
  • ‘Doomsday Scenario’ If Syria Fails
  • Hundreds of Miles of Wind Farms, Networked Under the Sea
  • A Life’s Toil Along the Big River, Lost as It Rises

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Economy

Obama Calls World ‘Safer’ After Pakistan Raid (jdargis)

Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda and the most hunted man in the world, was found not in the remote tribal areas along the Pakistani-Afghan border where he has long been presumed to be sheltered, but in a large compound in the city of Abbottabad, about an hour’s drive north from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

John Williams: Hyperinflation and Double-Dip Recession Ahead (Alfredo E.)

S&P is noting the U.S. government's long-range fiscal problems. Generally, you'll find that the accounting for unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and other programs on a net-present-value (NPV) basis indicates total federal debt and obligations of about $75 trillion. That's 15 times the gross domestic product (GDP). The debt and obligations are increasing at a pace of about $5 trillion a year, which is neither sustainable nor containable. If the U.S. was a corporation on a parallel basis, it would be headed into bankruptcy rather quickly.

Extra Tax Revenue to Delay Debt Crisis (jdargis)

Federal borrowing is still likely to hit the legal limit on May 16, the Treasury said, so this week it will begin to take emergency steps to buy additional time under the cap. Those steps, plus the increase in tax receipts, which have reduced the need for borrowing, will delay a crisis by about a month — to August from July.

As Food Stamp Recipients Hit New Record, 400 Americans Account For 10% Of Capital Gains (jdargis)

One of the more interesting documents published by the IRS is its report on the income and taxes of the top 400 taxpayers (pdf). A lot of attention gets focused, rightly, on the remarkably low average tax rate these people pay — less than 17 percent in 2007, the lowest on record. But I was struck by something else: in several years during the last decade the top 400 accounted for more than 10 percent of all capital gains income in America. Just 400 people!

‘Doomsday Scenario’ If Syria Fails (jdargis)

With Syria’s minority Shiite Alawite government overseeing a majority Sunni population, its strategic location and its web of alliances including the radical Hamas and Hezbollah movements, regime change could look a lot more like it did in Iraq than in Egypt — and the ramifications could prove even more profound.

Hundreds of Miles of Wind Farms, Networked Under the Sea (jdargis)

Offshore wind power has significant advantages over the onshore variety. Uninterrupted by changes in terrain, the wind at sea blows steadier and stronger. Installing turbines far enough from shore that they’re invisible except on the very clearest days lessens the possibility of not-in-my-backyard resistance. The challenge is getting the electricity back to land, to the people who will use it.

A Life’s Toil Along the Big River, Lost as It Rises (jdargis)

The Mississippi River, already at record levels here, keeps rising, fed by punishing rains. As the flood protection systems that safeguard countless communities groan under pressure, federal officials moved forward Monday with plans to sacrifice the levee protecting the area Mr. Bennett calls home, locally known as the spillway, for the greater good of the region.

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."

12 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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MarkM's picture
MarkM
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CHS today

http://www.oftwominds.com/blog.html

 

Forty years after massive demonstrations rocked Washington, D.C., the public is passive and complicit: do whatever it takes to keep my share of the swag flowing.

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rjs
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US becomes net exporter of

US becomes net exporter of fuel - The US has become a net exporter of fuel for the first time for nearly 20 years as drivers struggle with high petrol prices. Energy department data show the world’s largest oil consumer in February shipped out 54,000 barrels more petroleum products each day than it purchased on the global market After a five-year decline in net imports, the US became a net exporter in late 2010, a trend analysts say is confirmed by the latest data. The shift comes as Washington confronts voter frustration over petrol prices that have soared 36 per cent in the past year to nearly $4 per gallon, the highest level since mid-2008. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, reported US refined product exports rose 24.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2011 from a year ago, to 2.49m barrels per day. Imports declined 14.4 per cent to 2.16m b/d. The export increase is led by diesel and finished petrol, data from the Energy Information Administration show.For years the US was not only a net importer of crude oil but also of refined fuels. But oil demand of 19m b/d, while on the rebound, remains 2m b/d below pre-recession levels.

Tall's picture
Tall
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Osama bin Laden didn’t win, but he was ‘enormously successful’

Did Osama bin Laden win? No. Did he succeed? Well, America is still standing, and he isn’t. So why, when I called Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a counterterrorism expert who specializes in al-Qaeda, did he tell me that “bin Laden has been enormously successful”? There’s no caliphate. There’s no sweeping sharia law. Didn’t we win this one in a clean knockout?

Apparently not. Bin Laden, according to Gartenstein-Ross, had a strategy that we never bothered to understand, and thus that we never bothered to defend against. What he really wanted to do — and, more to the point, what he thought he could do — was bankrupt the United States of America. After all, he’d done the bankrupt-a-superpower thing before. And though it didn’t quite work out this time, it worked a lot better than most of us, in this exultant moment, are willing to admit.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/osama-bin-laden-didnt-win-but-he-was-enormously-successful/2011/05/02/AFexZjbF_story.html

rjs's picture
rjs
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mississippi flooding

for obvious reasons, the flood plain is some of the best ag land in the country...220 bu/acre of corn would not surprise, compared to the 150/ac typical elsewhere...

assuming corn, i figure 28 million bushels lost this year, & likely most of that much next year as well...

at $7/bu there is a potential loss of over $200 million/year....what's the value of the 2000 residences in cairo?

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Poet
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The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries

Maybe, just maybe, there's a myth about teachers and their salaries...

The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries
"The consulting firm McKinsey recently examined how we might attract and retain a talented teaching force. The study compared the treatment of teachers here and in the three countries that perform best on standardized tests: Finland, Singapore and South Korea.

"Turns out these countries have an entirely different approach to the profession. First, the governments in these countries recruit top graduates to the profession. (We don’t.) In Finland and Singapore they pay for training. (We don’t.) In terms of purchasing power, South Korea pays teachers on average 250 percent of what we do."
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/opinion/01eggers.html?src=me&ref=general

I'm not saying I agree with everything the author of the article puts forth. But some of the facts are certainly startling.

But can we afford it? These countries all have trade surpluses - while we don't. Their budgets can grow, ours can't. And education is cheaper to provide in other parts of the world compared to here in the U.S. People in other countries get more bang for the buck than we do.

Poet

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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National debt at $14.32 trillion

Link to Treasury Direct....and past the "Debt Ceiling"

The Daily History of the Debt Results

Historical returns from 04/25/2011 through 05/02/2011

The data for the total public debt outstanding is published each business day. If there is no debt value for the date(s) you requested, the value for the preceding business day will be displayed.

( Debt Held by the Public vs. Intragovernmental Holdings )

Date Debt Held by the Public Intragovernmental Holdings Total Public Debt Outstanding
04/25/2011 9,650,914,438,107.38 4,648,015,582,591.15 14,298,930,020,698.53
04/26/2011 9,651,121,964,676.35 4,653,288,543,049.75 14,304,410,507,726.10
04/27/2011 9,648,789,481,220.81 4,646,338,344,588.29 14,295,127,825,809.10
04/28/2011 9,641,079,277,378.41 4,641,518,820,162.34 14,282,598,097,540.75
04/29/2011 9,654,950,165,830.41 4,632,679,886,492.71 14,287,630,052,323.12
05/02/2011 9,698,020,425,418.20 4,622,629,230,674.40 14,320,649,656,092.60

rjs's picture
rjs
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Posts: 376
maybe there's a myth about teachers and their salaries...

Poet wrote:

Maybe, just maybe, there's a myth about teachers and their salaries...

"Turns out these countries have an entirely different approach to the profession. First, the governments in these countries recruit top graduates to the profession. (We don’t.) In Finland and Singapore they pay for training. (We don’t.) In terms of purchasing power, South Korea pays teachers on average 250 percent of what we do."
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/opinion/01eggers.html?src=me&ref=general

I'm not saying I agree with everything the author of the article puts forth. But some of the facts are certainly startling.

But can we afford it?

Poet

the question should be can we afford not to...last year students from the US scored 17th on the OECD"s standardized PISA tests (Program for International Student Assessment), a test where 15 year old students from Shanghai, Korea, Finland, Hong Kong & Singapore ran away with the honors, and the US got trounced in math...then, at the end of the year, the Education Trust issued a report indicating that nearly a quarter of all applicants to the Armed Forces, despite having a high-school diploma, can’t pass the necessary military entrance exam; not having “the reading, mathematics, science, and problem-solving abilities” to become a bona fide private in the U.S. Army.....the continuing decimation of our human capital is certainly a national problem worse than our crumbling infrastructure...while there are those in congress who pretend to be worried about leaving debt for the next generation, they are leaving the next generation without the tools to compete in an increasingly challenging future...

at least some of the funding to improve this situation is easy to come by...the top 25 hedge fund earners took in $22.07 billion in 2010...a tax loophole lets these billionaires pay a top tax rate of 15 percent instead of 35 percent..closing that loophole on just those 25 guys would raise $4.4 billion, which is enough to rehire 126,000 laid-off teachers....

we're really too focused on our debt, to the extent that we've become irrational; japan has a GDP to debt ratio more than twice of ours....who would suggest they have too much debt to rebuild their infrastructure?

rjs's picture
rjs
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
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Posts: 376
Osama bin Laden didn’t win, but he was ‘enormously successful’

Tall wrote:

Did Osama bin Laden win? No. Did he succeed? Well, America is still standing, and he isn’t. So why, when I called Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a counterterrorism expert who specializes in al-Qaeda, did he tell me that “bin Laden has been enormously successful”? There’s no caliphate. There’s no sweeping sharia law. Didn’t we win this one in a clean knockout?

Apparently not. Bin Laden, according to Gartenstein-Ross, had a strategy that we never bothered to understand, and thus that we never bothered to defend against. What he really wanted to do — and, more to the point, what he thought he could do — was bankrupt the United States of America. After all, he’d done the bankrupt-a-superpower thing before. And though it didn’t quite work out this time, it worked a lot better than most of us, in this exultant moment, are willing to admit.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/osama-bin-laden-didnt-win-but-he-was-enormously-successful/2011/05/02/AFexZjbF_story.html

for the cost of 12 boxcutters (the terrorist's airline tickets were charged), he cost us more than any war in our history:

 The cost of Osama bin Laden - Even a very partial, very haphazard, tallying of the costs from 9/11 reaches swiftly into the trillions of dollars. The Afghanistan and Iraq wars, neither of which would’ve been launched without bin Laden’s provocation, will cost us a few trillion on their own, actually. But before such reprisals were even on the table, there was the attack itself, which largely shut down the American economy for a matter of days, and then slowed it for weeks. There was a long period in which Americans avoided the airlines, which pushed them so close to bankruptcy that Congress passed a $15 billion federal bailout, but the costs of that intervention pale in comparison to the price of the endless security theater Americans undergo each time they need to fly, which some experts peg at $8 billion a year — and there’s a good argument that they’re being conservative. We shouldn’t forget the price of oil, which skyrocketed after we invaded Iraq, and the extended period of loose monetary policy, which the Federal Reserve thought necessary first to avert a post-attack recession and then to counter the headwinds of high oil costs, but which Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz considers at least partially culpable for the credit bubble that led to the 2007-2008 financial crisis. The direct costs of 9/11 need to be added into the mix, too: rebuilding the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and paying some of the health costs of first responders, just for starters. We’ve spent billions and billons on new homeland security measures, many of which were probably unnecessary.

es2's picture
es2
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Posts: 68
Poll: 85 percent of U.S. customers want an electric vehicle

Poll: 85 percent of U.S. customers want an electric vehicle http://www.elp.com/index/display/article-display/1811242534/articles/ele...
E Source recently analyzed data from the Nielsen Energy Survey and found that 85 percent of U.S. consumers say they would purchase a battery-driven car either right away (3 percent), when their current car needed replacement (57 percent), or when the technology is proven and it becomes more mainstream (25 percent).

The caveat is that consumers strongly prefer (58 percent) plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) versions such as the Chevrolet Volt. PHEVs have greater range than electric-only cars like the Nissan Leaf and only 8 percent of consumers prefer them.

The Economist: Special Report on Democracy in California http://www.economist.com/surveys/survey_paybarrier.cfm?issue=2011042

OUR TAKE: Looming Energy Trade Wars http://www.energybiz.com/magazine/article/208813/our-take-looming-energy...
"China, India and others are cleaning America's clock in virtually all areas of green technology," Prestowitz writes. "China, and to a lesser degree, India, make it difficult for foreign companies to export to their markets. . The result of all this is that America has pretty much lost the green-tech game before it has even started to play."

Eric Sprott Explains/Defends Selling His Silver Units http://thefundamentalview.blogspot.com/2011/05/eric-sprott-explainsdefen...

Worldwide Travel Alert
The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad to the enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counter-terrorism activity  in Pakistan.  Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations.  U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.  This Travel Alert expires August 1, 2011.

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Wendy S. Delmater
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Posts: 1516
new solar breakthrough

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-05-solar-power-side-hot.html

Eight times as efficient.

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 2651
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