Daily Digest 8/21 - It's Even Worse Than The Great Depression, Agribusiness Destroying Amish Way Of Life
Shhhh…It’s Even Worse Than The Great Depression (Thomas C.)
Velocity of money is the frequency with which a unit of money is spent on new goods and services. It is a far better indicator of economic activity than GDP, consumer prices, the stock market, or sales of men’s underwear (which Greenspan was fond of ogling). In a healthy economy, the same dollar is collected as payment and subsequently spent many times over. In a depression, the velocity of money goes catatonic. Velocity of money is calculated by simply dividing GDP by a given money supply.
The $100 million request comes on top of the $50 million revolving line of credit Revel received in February from a consortium of banks. And it follows Friday's release of a New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement report showing that Revel had a gross operating loss of $35 million, or $18 million excluding one-time pre-opening charges, for the second quarter. The loss means Revel is not generating enough cash to pay for operating expenses including labor, gaming taxes, goods, and marketing.
Calculated violence: Numbers that predict revolutions (Arthur Robey)
Turchin calls his new discipline cliodynamics, after Clio, the classical Greek muse of history, and so far its biggest focus has been the fate of empires. Now Turchin is using patterns he has found underlying their rise and fall to make predictions of political changes to come. His forecast is alarming. If his calculations are correct, the US faces major civil unrest and political violence sometime around the end of this decade.
Highest & Cheapest Gas Prices by Country (jdargis)
The average cost to fill up fell almost 8 percent worldwide in the last three months. Relief at the pump was not shared equally. A sharp price drop in the U.S. silenced squabbles in the presidential election, while a hike in Brazil meant people had to work 15 percent longer for the same amount of gas.
The study looked at tax returns for people with reported earnings of $50,000 or more from the year 2008 – the most recent year for which data was available. The report found that for people earning between $50,000 and $75,000, an average of 7.6 percent of discretionary income was donated to charity. For those earning $200,000 or more, just 4.2 percent of discretionary income was donated.
Turns out lower giving among the rich likely has much more to do with where they live and who they live near.
In July 2010 an Enbridge pipeline burst in Marshall, Michigan, causing tar sands crude oil to spill out over 40 miles of the Kalamazoo River. It was the first major spill of Canadian heavy oil, and would provide an interesting study on the effects of such a spill on the environment.
NPR.org sent a reporter to the Kalamazoo River two years later to check the site, and speak to a member of the clean-up crew. What he revealed was quite shocking.
For Amish fathers, who are expected to pass down land to each of their 10 to 15 children, acquiring new land is an escalating burden. When they first arrived upstate by Greyhound bus in 1974, the Swartzentrubers -- considered the most conservative of more than 100 Amish sects nationwide -- rejuvenated thousands of idle acres, making way for general stores and, eventually, a cheese factory. But the continuous farmland they purchased in bulk 30 years ago is now prized by corn and soybean growers, who are attracted by high commodities prices and often willing to pay three or four times the market rate.
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