Daily Digest

Daily Digest 6/6 - Bank Stocks Take A Beating, China Divests 97% Of Treasury Holdings, German E. Coli Death Toll At 22

Monday, June 6, 2011, 9:45 AM
  • Berlin Conference 2.0: Russia To Bail Out Hyperinflationary Belarus As Colonization Scramble Heats Up
  • Goldman Sachs Investigators Bolstered by New York’s Martin Act
  • Bank Stocks Take A Beating, And It Might Not Yet Be Over
  • Home Of The Brave?
  • China Has Divested 97 Percent of Its Holdings in U.S. Treasury Bills
  • Stock World Weekly: Tomber de Charybde en Scylla
  • Tokyo Doubles Estimate for Total Radiation Release In 1st Week After Quake
  • How To Wreck The Planet 101
  • Cell Phone Cancer Warning Falls Lightly On U.S. Ears
  • Death Toll From German E. Coli At 22

Our 'What Should I Do?' guide has steps to cook, see & stay warm in times of power outage

Economy

Berlin Conference 2.0: Russia To Bail Out Hyperinflationary Belarus As Colonization Scramble Heats Up (pinecarr)

In a surprising move, Russia has decided to remind everyone just how irrelevant the IMF is now that Russia and China run the "sovereign rescue" show, and that it too can play the imperialist game just as well as the Troica. Following the recent hyperdevaluation of the Belarus Ruble as discussed on Zero Hedge, and the country's collapse into a hyperinflationary hell, Reuters has just reported that Putin, that "White Knight" of former USSR imperialist dominance, has decided to "bailout" Belarus.

Goldman Sachs Investigators Bolstered by New York’s Martin Act (pinecarr)

District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. subpoenaed Goldman Sachs, the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, for records on its activities leading into the credit crisis, two people familiar with the matter said. Vance may bring charges under the state’s Martin Act, which lawyers call a potent tool for New York prosecutors probing investment frauds, Ponzi schemes and other white-collar crime.

Vance’s subpoena of New York-based Goldman Sachs related to the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report on Wall Street’s role in the collapse of the financial markets, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the inquiry isn’t public.

Home Of The Brave? (Joseph C.)

We Americans love our freedom; yet, we have allowed the use of money to completely dominate our way of life. Indeed, we are no longer a free people. We are 7.4 trillion dollars in debt. We live in fear of depression, inflation, inadequate medical coverage and losing our jobs. Our freedom is at stake if not our very survival. Yet, we put our collective heads in the sand.

China Has Divested 97 Percent of Its Holdings in U.S. Treasury Bills (adam)

Until October, the Chinese were generally making up for their decreasing holdings in Treasury bills by increasing their holdings of longer-term U.S. Treasury securities. Thus, until October, China’s overall holdings of U.S. debt continued to increase.

Since October, however, China has also started to divest from longer-term U.S. Treasury securities. Thus, as reported by the Treasury Department, China’s ownership of the U.S. national debt has decreased in each of the last five months on record, including November, December, January, February and March.

Stock World Weekly: Tomber de Charybde en Scylla (Ilene)

"We are headed into a Depression because policymakers have made another Depression unavoidable. A policy-driven Depression is different than a financial crisis. It is a matter of choice. It means that the objectives of the people who control the system are different than our own. There are those who will benefit from another severe downturn, but most of us will only needlessly suffer." ~ Mike Whitney

Bank Stocks Take A Beating, And It Might Not Yet Be Over (jdargis)

Bank stocks took another tumble late last week after Moody’s, the credit rating firm, warned it might downgrade the debt of giants like Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo as the government eases back on support for the sector. Even as the market absorbed that news, reports that Goldman Sachs had been subpoenaed in an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney further unnerved investors, and sent that giant investment’s bank’s shares sinking.

Environment

How To Wreck The Planet 101 (guardia)

Here’s the good news about energy: thanks to rising oil prices and deteriorating economic conditions worldwide, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that global oil demand will not grow this year as much as once assumed, which may provide some temporary price relief at the gas pump. In its May Oil Market Report, the IEA reduced its 2011 estimate for global oil consumption by 190,000 barrels per day, pegging it at 89.2 million barrels daily. As a result, retail prices may not reach the stratospheric levels predicted earlier this year, though they will undoubtedly remain higher than at any time since the peak months of 2008, just before the global economic meltdown. Keep in mind that this is the good news.

Tokyo Doubles Estimate for Total Radiation Release In 1st Week After Quake (guardia)

NISA said it now estimates the total amount of radiation released into the atmosphere in the first week of the crisis at 770,000 terabecquerels. This compares with NISA's previous estimate, released on April 12, of 370,000 terabecquerels for the first month of the crisis. NISA has pointed out that most of the radiation was released in the first week. A terabecquerel is equivalent to 1 trillion becquerels.

Cell Phone Cancer Warning Falls Lightly On U.S. Ears (jdargis)

The International Agency for Research on Cancer reviewed dozens of published studies on cellphones and cancer before classifying cellphones as "possibly carcinogenic" on Tuesday. It's a risk category that includes night-shift work, engine exhaust and coffee.

Studies haven't been able to rule out a link between cellphones and cancer. But experts say that if there is a link, it's unlikely to be strong. Cellphones emit weak radio waves, which, under the conventional understanding of physics, can't wreak the same sort of cellular changes that sunlight and radioactivity can.

Death Toll From German E. Coli At 22 (jdargis)

The outbreak has killed 22 people and sickened 2,333, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and put pressure on hospitals near the hard-hit areas of Hamburg and Bremen. At least one worker at the farm near Uelzen has been infected with E. coli and it supplied places where the bacterium was found, Gert Lindemann, the state agriculture minister, told reporters in Hanover yesterday.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. 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."

33 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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State, local layoffs to hit record levels

"The world economy appears headed for several months of sub-par growth, and there is no clear source of strength to lead it back to health.

After a week filled with disappointing economic data, the debate is no longer over whether the economy has hit a soft patch but how long it will last.

Friday's poor U.S. employment figures suggest demand will remain subdued in the world's biggest economy. Europe is still struggling to put an end to its sovereign debt troubles."

  • Other headlines:

State, local layoffs to hit record levels ("up to 110,000 jobs in the third quarter")

China’s factories face big, labor-driven changes

Wheat Rallying 20% as Parched Fields Wilt From China to Kansas

ECB Constancio: Must Avoid Greek Credit Event

ECB's Bini Smaghi lays out case against Greek default

Tepco Falls Most on Record as Bankruptcy Concern Resurfaces and Japan's TEPCO shares down 28% to record-low

China shops for Latin American oil, food, minerals

Cash-strapped Houston paying for past bonds, tax cuts

ECB official: Property means Greece solvent

Cash-strapped states ask foundations for health-law help

States slow to adopt health-care transition

Greece's Papandreou Is Facing Growing Backlash as Final EU Bailout Premier

European Sentix Investor Confidence Drops to Lowest in One Year

Moody's: Catalonia Budget Deficit Is Negative For Spain

Moody's: Chance of new Japan PM is credit negative

Economic stimulus runs dry

US data chief warns on employment

Airline Profits Forecast Cut 54% by IATA on Fuel Prices, Japan Earthquake

Commodity Bubbles Caused by Speculators Need Intervention, UN Agency Says

No quick fix seen for Greek debt woes

HUD to Re-Foreclose on REO Homes in Michigan

Slovenian Rejection of Pension Overhaul May Lead to Ratings Cut

Wellink Says Greek Bond Rollover May Form Part of Debt Package

ECB says Greek restructure 'masochistic'

Graduates face soft job market, pile of debt

Mikey1052's picture
Mikey1052
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SingleSpeak's picture
SingleSpeak
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Thanks for the articles Saxplayer

Saxplayer,

Your articles (links) are a valuable asset to this site.

Thanks, SS

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es2
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Wheat Fields Wilt in Drought as Parched Earth Spreads From China

5/31 GE Prophesizes Solar Power May Be Cheaper Than Traditional Power In 5 Years http://ewireinformer.com/ge-prophesizes-solar-power-may-be-cheaper-than-...
April saw an announcement by Fairfield, Connecticut based GE that they have boosted thin-film solar panel efficiency to an astounding 12.8%. The improvement in efficiency could enable costs to be reduced without any further reliance on subsidies.

Wheat Fields Wilt in Drought as Parched Earth Spreads From China to Kansas http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-05/wheat-fields-wilt-in-drought-as...
Parts of China, the biggest grower, had the least rain in a century, some European regions are the driest in 50 years and almost half the winter-wheat crop in the U.S., the largest exporter, is rated poor or worse. Inventory is dropping 8.8 percent, the most in five years, Rabobank International says. Prices will advance 20 percent to as high as $9.25 a bushel by Dec. 31, a Bloomberg survey of 14 analysts and traders shows.

doorwarrior's picture
doorwarrior
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Home of the Barve

So everything is supposed to be distributed by "need"?  Well I "need" a 40 acre homestead that is completely self sustaining. Who is going to give it to me?

Basically you get what you "need" not what you work hard for. This is not a model I would even consider plausible.

Who is John Galt?

Rich 

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earthwise
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Home of the "Brave" or Slave

 

 

Can we learn to distribute our goods and services according to need (on an ongoing basis) rather than by the ability to pay? Why not? Poverty and materialism will be eliminated! Our sense of value will change. Wealth will no longer be a status symbol. A man will be judged by what he is; not by what he has. He will be judged by his achievements, leadership, ideas, artistic endeavours or athletic prowess; not by the size of his wallet.

So who "distributes" the goods and services? Government, no doubt. So who do you think will get the biggest slice of the pie? Bingo! Government! Where will the goods and services come from? Not Government. It can't even run the Post Office. It produces nothing. Goods and services must be created through the application of one's effort and then appropriated through Government. The surplus of that effort is going to be "distributed" by the Government to someone who is not otherwise legally entitled to it based on "need". Who determines need? Why, Government of course! The same Government that determined that the TBTF Banks "needed" a multi gazillion dollar bailout. How's that elimination of poverty and materialism workin' out?

Gee, what could go wrong with a system like that?

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derekrawson
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Re: Home of the Brave?
Quote:

Can we learn to distribute our goods and services according to need (on an ongoing basis) rather than by the ability to pay? Why not? Poverty and materialism will be eliminated! Our sense of value will change. Wealth will no longer be a status symbol. A man will be judged by what he is; not by what he has. He will be judged by his achievements, leadership, ideas, artistic endeavours or athletic prowess; not by the size of his wallet.

So who "distributes" the goods and services? Government, no doubt. So who do you think will get the biggest slice of the pie? Bingo! Government! Where will the goods and services come from? Not Government. It can't even run the Post Office. It produces nothing. Goods and services must be created through the application of one's effort and then appropriated through Government. The surplus of that effort is going to be "distributed" by the Government to someone who is not otherwise legally entitled to it based on "need". Who determines need? Why, Government of course! The same Government that determined that the TBTF Banks "needed" a multi gazillion dollar bailout. How's that elimination of poverty and materialism workin' out?

Gee, what could go wrong with a system like that?

And when the present system finally comes crashing down, your alternative is what exactly?

You're not allowing yourself to think this through properly. Read the Zeitgeist Movement Orientation Guide linked at top left here: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/joomla/index.php?Itemid=50

Just because we were born into this system and have lived nothing else, doesn't mean it's the only way. Please let's keep open minds. The only alternative is to go down with the ship.

Allow yourself to imagine a government, our government, as our brightest and best representing us and not bought off by monied interests. Maybe your grandfather could tell you about it.

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irongamer
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While I don't agree with a

While I don't agree with a number of articles released under the Zeitgeist label, I do believe exploration and research into better systems should seriously be considered.  We also need to redefine progress, which has been happening over time. Jeremy Rifkin has some interesting ideas on the evolution of thinking processes and progress in a video interview and a book.

"Just because we were born into this system and have lived nothing else, doesn't mean it's the only way."

In some ways this is the same thing for many who are raised in a specific believe system. Many stay with the relgious beliefs they were raised with because it is known and comfortable. I think the same applies to economic systems.  I'm not claiming to have the answers, but I do believe there are better systems that we haven't discovered yet or some groups may have better systems developed but society is not yet ready to move into them.

It does seem that in a number of regions, including the US, people are beginning to question why things are done the way they are done.  The idea of alternate models or the research and exploration of new models appears to be more relevant.

I am curious if The Venus Project has taken up the Zeitgeist name for its public awareness division? It appears there are number of groups using that term now.

derekrawson's picture
derekrawson
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Re: Home of the Brave?

Let's not get hung up on labels and names of movements. We need to be looking critically at possible solutions, and I haven't come across anything better fleshed out than what's espoused in ZM's Orientation Guide.

If anyone has other suggestions I'm eager to explore.

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Arthur Robey
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The crash of china and the emergence of Spiders.

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/tic/Documents/...

From the column "Total Custody Liabilities payable in dollars"  I find confirmational bias. It looks as though China proped up the USA so as to keep the show on the road during the GFC but have now abandoned the US$.

It makes me wonder what their new business plan will be. Given the reality of peak oil and given that Cold Fusion does not disrupt the erm "smooth" flow of events, I think that Globalism of Material Things is about to end.  China will do what comes naturely and turn it's back on the world.

  However  the flow of Ideas and Memes will draw us all together into one synchronised world culture. It is an "Emergent Property" thing caused by the internet. To say that it will be a McDonalds world is to pick winners. I give the big M another 10 years before the next Idea sweeps through world consciousness .

Unless we have an artificial intelligence revolution and we are relieved of our burden of consciousness. I was going to branch off into a discussion of the nature of consciousness but that is a whole 'nother subject and involves spiders.

 http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-10-biologist-tracks-spiders-eyes-tiny.html

(It has accured to me that all humans are victims of  Cults. How can it be otherwise?  We are held in the iron grip of whatever meme posses us.)

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doorwarrior
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seriously

Just because we were born into this system and have lived nothing else, doesn't mean it's the only way. Please let's keep open minds. The only alternative is to go down with the ship.

I agree  we need open minds. I don't agree that someone else gets to decide who get what based on "need". I will use my mind to take care of myself and my family. If I am better at this  than others we will live a better life. I will not work hard so a government committee can tell me someone else  "needs" more than I do and take from me anything they want. This is the system you are proposing, take by force  what you want and redistribute it to needy  people.  So I can sit in my lazy boy eating cheesedoodles and watch football while a farmer works his tail off to supply me with food because I need it. I know this is an extreme example but can you tell me this is not how millions of people would take advantage of a needy system.

I don't know what system will work. The one we have is failing and  I wouldn't want to live in a system  based on need. I think we should all get the full benefit of our own labors and neither system gives us that. If you work hard you should be rewarded. Nothing should ever be taken from a person just to give to another.

Allow yourself to imagine a government, our government, as our brightest and best representing us and not bought off by monied interests. Maybe your grandfather could tell you about it.

Do you really believe this?  There is no "right" answer, there are only shades of grey. One group of people does not have all the answers.

Rich

PS  the ship is going down no matter what. Its what comes out of the ashes that matters.

Johnny Oxygen's picture
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China Has Divested 97 Percent of Its Holdings in U.S. Treasury B

 

Before the end of March 2012, the Treasury must redeem all of the $1.7 trillion in Treasury bills that were extant as of March 2011 and find new or old buyers who will continue to invest in U.S. debt. But, for now, the Chinese at least do not appear to be bullish customers of short-term U.S. debt.

Holy Won Ton!

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hunt4riches
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RE: seriously

I see the main problem with the globe to be over population combined with socialism, dictatorship and communism.  More or less of one of one or the other depending on where you hold the magnifying glass.  Right now we have to produce X (but need Z, and Z>X) to sustain Y.  Those who produce X are overworked and under compensated.  Most of the Y earn or produce nothing, and become the burden of the producers of X.  The producers of X slowly decide to simply 'stop working' because it is not worth a 12-hour-day effort for only a 4-hour-day return.  I joined the boat this year.  I no longer "work for the system".  I make my own money dealing rare coins, I pay what I believe to be a fair amount of taxes (and lets not sidetrack on that note...).  Seeing that close to 30% of my salary was being misappropriated through our failing system, I decided enough as enough, and just quit.  Now living off my savings, and the land.  It's amazong how many vegetables you can grow on a 6' x 12' balcony.

Though I believe people have the right to live, I do NOT believe they have the right to unlimited midical care at the expense of others.  It should be strictly up to those with a surplus to donate, so that the "have nots" can "have".  Besides, where's the free healthcare for the 10,000 africans who probably died of starvation in africa while I wrote this?  Who were responsible to provide this to them?  who was gioing to work to provide the resources?

I think food stamps are a complete waste.  80% of the value of the stamps goes towards consumer advertising and packaging.  Sorry, but if you need food assistance - you get the basics.  Butter, flower, eggs, cheese, peanut butter.  Guess what?  YOU'RE POOR !!!  You don't get steak, cookies, chips and candy bars!

Flipping the coin... lets face it, a taxless society doesn't move very fast. But a 50-60% taxed society moves even slower.  That's where we are today.  If low taxes means more open-road tolling, fine.  "if you use it, pay for it"  ...    that's how everything else on the planet works.  The maximim efficiency of an economy can only be as high as the percentage of non-government workers.  I'd say right now we're clacking on only two cylinders.  Something tells me when one of these goes, the last one remaining just won't cut it.

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Nate
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doorwarrior wrote: If I am
doorwarrior wrote:

If I am better at this  than others we will live a better life. I will not work hard so a government committee can tell me someone else  "needs" more than I do and take from me anything they want. This is the system you are proposing, take by force  what you want and redistribute it to needy  people.  So I can sit in my lazy boy eating cheesedoodles and watch football while a farmer works his tail off to supply me with food because I need it. I know this is an extreme example but can you tell me this is not how millions of people would take advantage of a needy system.

I don't know what system will work. The one we have is failing and  I wouldn't want to live in a system  based on need. I think we should all get the full benefit of our own labors and neither system gives us that. If you work hard you should be rewarded. Nothing should ever be taken from a person just to give to another.

My parents (and theirs back to the early 1700's) were part of the Community of True Inspiration (Amana Colonies).  They were a religious commune that started in Germany and came to the US to escape persecution.  After a short stint in upstate NY, the community moved to Iowa in the 1860's.  Everyone was cared for cradle to grave in exchange for their labor.  By the 1920's, it became apparent to all that the ambitious and capable were tasked with more that the lazy.  Why work if your were cared for?  The hard working left to the capitalistic outside world to better their lives and the community was left with the very religious and the very lazy.  By 1932, the commune dissolved.

I do know what system won't work.  When a large % of indivuduals in any system no longer contribute, it won't take long for the ambitious and capable to move to greener pastures.  Been there - done that.  I'm not a big fan of reinventing the flat tire.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Tracy Maxes out.

Tracy herbert and Max Keyser on http://rt.com/programs/keiser-report/episode-153-keiser-report/ get down and dirty.

It is an information rich session. I thought "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Shrugged                                 Bankers Rule OK?   Perhaps.

Dmitri Orlov said that when TSHTF we should all throw ourselves out of the window. The ground floor window. This is in concordance with Rand's position.

And mine. Which is causing no end of comment at my place of work.  It is imposible to play the game when the illusion is shattered.

I recommend Max , Tracy and Ayn

 

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Control the Demand Side

Interesting video - link to full version in description

maybe preaching to the choir

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heffe
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The Zeitgeist Movement/Resource Based Economy
doorwarrior wrote:

Just because we were born into this system and have lived nothing else, doesn't mean it's the only way. Please let's keep open minds. The only alternative is to go down with the ship.

I agree  we need open minds. I don't agree that someone else gets to decide who get what based on "need". I will use my mind to take care of myself and my family. If I am better at this  than others we will live a better life. I will not work hard so a government committee can tell me someone else  "needs" more than I do and take from me anything they want. This is the system you are proposing, take by force  what you want and redistribute it to needy  people.  So I can sit in my lazy boy eating cheesedoodles and watch football while a farmer works his tail off to supply me with food because I need it. I know this is an extreme example but can you tell me this is not how millions of people would take advantage of a needy system.

I don't know what system will work. The one we have is failing and  I wouldn't want to live in a system  based on need. I think we should all get the full benefit of our own labors and neither system gives us that. If you work hard you should be rewarded. Nothing should ever be taken from a person just to give to another.

Allow yourself to imagine a government, our government, as our brightest and best representing us and not bought off by monied interests. Maybe your grandfather could tell you about it.

Do you really believe this?  There is no "right" answer, there are only shades of grey. One group of people does not have all the answers.

Its funny how you talk about keeping an open mind, then go on to portray the characteristics of a closed mind; one who hasn't even tried to understand what the Zeitgeist movement is promoting and rants off about his assumptions and beliefs about human behavior. Let me help you obtain some objective, critical thinking champ.

1) In a RBE model, decision making is entirely different then what we see in our legislative semi-democratic government. If you really analyze human understandings, you see that all the 'wrong' decisions have been 'made' and all the 'truthful, correct' conclusions have been 'discovered, arrived to, or found out'. For instance, the belief in a geocentric universe was made, than Galileo applies science and technology to 'discover' that in fact we live in a heliocentric solar system. This is a fundamental truth that has always existed. The workings of the universe, and the optimal routes for society exist regardless of human opinion, we just have to better our research and 'arrive to' those optimal decisions. This is done via applied technology and the scientific method, similar to using calculators to compute mathematical equations.

2) You say 'this system takes by force', you obviously have read nothing about the Zeitgeist Movement. Our main goal is to promote peace, sustainability, and change the world through awareness and positive contributions to our society. If any system takes by force its nature, which is essentially a dictatorship, and we have to listen to nature or else we die. Thats where the Zeitgeist movement promotes aligning our societal values with the care and responsibility of preserving our natural systems that we depend on.

3) Your beliefs about human behavior and the certainty that most will become lazy and 'take advantage of this system' shows you have spent absolutely no time learning about human behavior and what drives our motivation. Im now in my Masters program of psychology, with minors in anthropology and sociology, and the one thing the evidence has shown me in regards to human behavior is that motivation is better driven by intrinsic factors. Some of the greatest contributions to society are from those who have the time to follow humanities main motivator, curiosity. For instance, Isaac Newton, or Einstien, or Watt. Our current monetary system promotes laziness in several ways. The restriction to access, the circumstances one is born into (poor black kid in Detroit for example will most likely never have the opportunity to succeed). In a RBE, I firmly believe human productivity would increase ten fold, as it supports humans natural state of curiousity and willingness to learn.

4) Efforts and productivity should be rewarded by the enjoyment you receive out of learning, and developing, and creating, and contributing, not because of your materialistic desires, of which were conditioned to you by our consumerist economic model of today. Why would you 'deserve' anything more than anyone else? Dont you realize that true self interest is very outwardly focused? If you take more and more for yourself and deprive others just because you believe you 'DESERVE' it, you will overall reduce your quality of life. My making others poorer they will envy your stuff and want to steel it from you. If you had rather understood the logic of symbiosis, and made efforts to making this world better for everyone you will better your life. I want to support the system that doesn't create the circumstances for homelessness, classes, elite wealthy, or any of the bullshit we see today.

@ Derek, thanks for promoting the Zeitgeist movement. Eventually the naysayers will come to their senses and realize just what we are trying to do. 'All truth is presented in three stages; 1st it is ridiculed, 2nd it is violently opposed, and 3rd it is accepted as self evident' This is exactly what will happen with the RBE model.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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...and if it's not true,

...and if it's not true, it's passively ignored while it's adherents criticize other's perspectives while offering only conjecture and 'belief' in support of their own fanciful assertions.

The RBE concept has been beat to death in another thread, let's not taint any more of this forum with it's touch.

Cheers,

Aaron

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Johnny Oxygen
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Re:The Zeitgeist Movement/Resource Based Economy

Let me help you obtain some objective, critical thinking champ.

Really?

No need for this kind of thing.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Posts: 2367
Heffe - discussion

Heffe,

You've said:

Quote:

3) Your beliefs about human behavior and the certainty that most will become lazy and 'take advantage of this system' shows you have spent absolutely no time learning about human behavior and what drives our motivation. Im now in my Masters program of psychology, with minors in anthropology and sociology, and the one thing the evidence has shown me in regards to human behavior is that motivation is better driven by intrinsic factors. Some of the greatest contributions to society are from those who have the time to follow humanities main motivator, curiosity. For instance, Isaac Newton, or Einstien, or Watt. Our current monetary system promotes laziness in several ways. The restriction to access, the circumstances one is born into (poor black kid in Detroit for example will most likely never have the opportunity to succeed). In a RBE, I firmly believe human productivity would increase ten fold, as it supports humans natural state of curiousity and willingness to learn.

Really - so, with your MA, and sense of objectivity, did you consider that there are no absolutes with regards to human character, and that to base your beliefs on such "hunches" is a premature and non-conclusive foothold on which to base an argument?

We can look at certain behaviors as entropic and enthalpic.
Certain behaviors are naturally constructive, and others destructive. The severity and overall impact is going to vary wildly based on any number of incalculatable criteria - but one thing is certain - given an option, all forms of energy take the path of least resistance... to include the human brain.
Afterall, do you do most math in your head, or use your phone calculator?

So the question isn't whether or not people are naturally going to be driven to succeed based on their starting position - but whether or not they will be driven at all given all their basic necessities being provided for.

History has shown that societies which provide the base necessities are more prone to entropic behavior.
Not to say they're aren't and couldn't be exceptions, but it's a variable which your ethos is based upon.

If it turns out to be incorrect, portionally incorrect or correct only within certain social or generational eras, you're going to be left with another decaying utopia.

No thanks, espcially with the "enlightening" approach that TZM folks use on us poor sheep.

Aaron 

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doorwarrior
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Posts: 166
Assumptions

Hefe,

I applaud your conviction in your beliefs. It is difficult these days to find anyone that feels strongly about anything other than their own personal gain. I do take exception to some some of you assumptions and would like to clarify for you. My mind is wide open to all ideas. That doesn't mean I have to believe or agree with them. I take them in, weigh them, turn them over and research them as much as possible.  I may come to a conclussion or most likely I will reserve my decision.

My assumptions about human nature are based on 40 years of living on this planet, starting and running several business that support 12 families and over 60 people right now.  You base your assumptions, thats what your beliefs in RBE are you know, on information you read in a book or on the internet, not real world experience. You have made a decision that your BELIEFS are right and everyone else is wrong. You need to think that maybe, just maybe, other people may also be correct in their beliefs. Or that its almost never a matter of being right.

 Our current monetary system promotes laziness in several ways. The restriction to access, the circumstances one is born into (poor black kid in Detroit for example will most likely never have the opportunity to succeed). In a RBE, I firmly believe human productivity would increase ten fold, as it supports humans natural state of curiousity and willingness to learn

 I am just like the poor black kid from Detroit. I grew up in Gary IN. in the 70's and 80's and started living in my 1972 Dodge Monaco that I bought with my paper route money at the age of 16(1985). From that point on I NEVER received any help from anyone in any way. Don't tell me that a poor person can't make it in this society because my life is proof otherwise. If a person wants to work hard they can and will make it, but its up to the individual person not society as a whole.

If you take more and more for yourself and deprive others just because you believe you 'DESERVE' it, you will overall reduce your quality of life

I never said I "deserved" more. I said if I work harder than others I will "EARN" more, there is a distinct difference.

I understand and agree with your frustration with the current system. It is not a sustainable system and it will fail. Another system will rise and I can only hope that it will be better.  I do not hope that it will be a "fair" system. We are not all equal and to think otherwise is to deny human nature.

Rich

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heffe
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Posts: 95
Human Nature, Entropic behavior, Individual Success

First off, I hope none of you take offense to these comments. You shouldn't attach your identity to your beliefs or ideals; this is merely a discussion to benefit us all through introspection and new ideas. Im not attacking you, its the train of thought that leads to your patterns of belief that I am against as they harm my quality of life along with everyone else. I do not hold attachements to the RBE model, I am merely letting the evidence dictate to me which is the optimal route. So far, everyone offers criticisms, assumptions, and attacks at the RBE model, but no attempts at solving the problems we are seeing in our society. The reason why the RBE model becomes so self evident to me is due to a few inarguable truths.

1) We depend on our natural systems/environment/resources for survival. If we want to continue our wonderful little blip of an existence we HAVE to create a sustainable system that can preserve these natural systems so that we do not become Easter Island on a global scale. The very basis of a RESOURCE BASED ECONOMY is that we strategically maintain our resources so that everyone currently living has access to their needs, and that future generations will also have a quality planet to live in.

2) All humans have bias, either through beliefs, through desires, inadequate information, or the inability to process the information required to make decisions that account for all the variables present in any complex system like our economy. By applying technology, design, and a systems approach to making decisions, we can create beneficial factors like transparency, objectivity, efficiency, and arrive to the best approachs through research and the scientific method.

3) Technology is continually reducing the need for human labor in virtually every field of our labor market. Technological unemployment is real and will add to the list of crisis and problems we see in our monetary economic system which requires labor for income for survival. A full employment percentage is impossible in our society, there will always be a ratio of unemployed and this creates crime, suffering among other unfavorable consequences. As automation continues, this ratio of unemployed will grow larger and bring down the labor for income paradigm. Eventually a different labor system will have to be created, and through the decades of psychological research the evidence shows that intrinsic motivation is more productive, and produces more satisfaction. A RBE promotes this ideal that humans will work towards their passions, and if their values are within the context of sustainability and symbiosis, their efforts will benefit themselves as well as their society.  

And regarding your statements about becoming successful due to your efforts. I never said its impossible for a poor black kid to become successful; I said it is highly unlikely and the majority of poor classes will remain that way, again the evidence from scientific research demonstrates this. Is a system that allows a small percentage of people to succeed really any good? I dont think Jesus Christ was a  real person however, his statemet 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' is the most profoundly logical statement I have ever heard, yet the majority of people in today's world support a system which makes us fight each other for our own self gain.

I have to leave but thanks for your guys willingness to respond to my comments

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A. M.
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Heffe, I'm tough to offend,

Heffe,

I'm tough to offend, and like conversation, so no worries here. We've had good talks in the past, but the tone you use does sometimes come across as condescending. Not speaking for Rich, but I wouldn't appreciate being talked to that way.

Digressions aside: 
The problem I have with a RBE (or any REAL solution) is that it infringes upon the citizenry in a way that compromises their ability to make descisions for themselves. This solution, to me, is analogous to saying that instead of working hard to educate people, we should simply resort to punishing them. Ironically, we can see the impact this has on society by looking at the demographics you've citied. 
Young, African Americans are more likely to go to Jail than a University. What good is the jail doing them?
Look at the state of public education. Their role models. Ad nauseum. Personally, I don't even see it as a race issue. I see it as a civic deliema.

Throughout my life (which has been mired in poverty as well) I've seen the "person" you describe over and over; Asian, White, Black, Latino, Native American ... race doesn't matter if your cultural identity is built around poverty. Identification with things that are "truly" beneficial becomes difficult, and look out of reach. I think this is why so many impoverished people end up not breaking out of their mold.

The problem isn't with any "one" thing - it's a conglomerate, and just as resource depletion isn't a simple issue of greed. The society we live in demands some level of greed, to be sure, and it is a problem.

There is a more ominous problem at hand - population.

It could be said that all of our problems, from pollution to economics, are simply due to population increase.
We, as earthlings, took 150 thousand years to hit the 1 billion mark, and about 175 to hit the 75 billion mark. I know this isn't news to anyone, but if anything should make you shriek, it's not the "ism" attached to the latest solution, it's the idea that there are simply too many people.

In such circumstances, we can expect nothing less than famine, disease and war on an unprecedented scale. Plan accordingly, because no "ism" is going to direct it's attention to this elephant, regardless how big it is, or how small the room starts to feel.

Has anyone stopped to consider the analogous method in which our body fights the out of control propagation of harmful bacteria? What we call Global Warming may just simply be a method of reducing the number of parasites - and I mean no negative connotations by that - we are parasites, for better or worse. I'm agreeing with you in my own words here, but our relationship to the planet can be controlled by other means than an elaborate network of decision making computers and invasive government entities.

Secondly, you said:

Quote:

3) Technology is continually reducing the need for human labor in virtually every field of our labor market. Technological unemployment is real and will add to the list of crisis and problems we see in our monetary economic system which requires labor for income for survival. A full employment percentage is impossible in our society, there will always be a ratio of unemployed and this creates crime, suffering among other unfavorable consequences. As automation continues, this ratio of unemployed will grow larger and bring down the labor for income paradigm. Eventually a different labor system will have to be created, and through the decades of psychological research the evidence shows that intrinsic motivation is more productive, and produces more satisfaction. A RBE promotes this ideal that humans will work towards their passions, and if their values are within the context of sustainability and symbiosis, their efforts will benefit themselves as well as their society

This was the contention of the Soviet Union.
It could be said that the most harmonious society on the planet has a 100% unemployment rate. The Bushmen of the Kalahari have about 14 hours of leisure per day, and have, to the best of anyones' knowing, zero crime. 

So does making sure every cog has a place supercede our need for suitable civic circumstances, and an understanding family/community?

I personally don't think so, but I'm Jeffersonian in my thinking of society.
Small, agricultural societies with well established moral codes and a stable population will ultimately be the most useful avenue for sustainable use of resources, social advancement and overall health - again, in my opinion.

Hope this is worth a thought.

Cheers,

Aaron 

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Damnthematrix
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isms are the problem

Geez Aaron.......  must be the first time I've ever agreed with you damn near 100%!  I brought some of this up at http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/main-problem-globe/58930 which I notice has been flagged (?) and has as yet received no replies (I guess you're all asleep while the sun shimes in Australia ;) )

Mike

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heffe
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Alpha Mike wrote: 1) The
Alpha Mike wrote:

1) The problem I have with a RBE (or any REAL solution) is that it infringes upon the citizenry in a way that compromises their ability to make descisions for themselves. This solution, to me, is analogous to saying that instead of working hard to educate people, we should simply resort to punishing them. Ironically, we can see the impact this has on society by looking at the demographics you've citied. 

2) The problem isn't with any "one" thing - it's a conglomerate, and just as resource depletion isn't a simple issue of greed. The society we live in demands some level of greed, to be sure, and it is a problem.

3) It could be said that all of our problems, from pollution to economics, are simply due to population increase.
We, as earthlings, took 150 thousand years to hit the 1 billion mark, and about 175 to hit the 75 billion mark. I know this isn't news to anyone, but if anything should make you shriek, it's not the "ism" attached to the latest solution, it's the idea that there are simply too many people.

 4) but our relationship to the planet can be controlled by other means than an elaborate network of decision making computers and invasive government entities.

5) It could be said that the most harmonious society on the planet has a 100% unemployment rate. The Bushmen of the Kalahari have about 14 hours of leisure per day, and have, to the best of anyones' knowing, zero crime. 

6) So does making sure every cog has a place supercede our need for suitable civic circumstances, and an understanding family/community?

7) Small, agricultural societies with well established moral codes and a stable population will ultimately be the most useful avenue for sustainable use of resources, social advancement and overall health - again, in my opinion.

1) Here again you use terminology like 'infringes upon'; one of the main tenets of a RBE is that there is no violence, or force in promoting this change. Our understandings conclude that forcing anyone to do anything is a failed attempt, the optimal route is education and getting them to understand why such an approach is better. Your assumptions that a RBE resorts to punishing humans again demonstrates that you have not taken the time to fully understand what the Zeitgeist Movement is trying to do. When I make statements like 'we HAVE to maintain our resources' this is like saying 'we HAVE to eat food to survive', how is this infringing upon the citenzry?

2) Exactly why I keep mentioning the 'systems approach'. Every problem is an interconnected network of systems that require a holistic approach to fully better our lives, had you read any of the RBE materials this would have become evident to you.

3) Again, had you read any of the RBE materials you would see the issue of population has been addressed. Birth rates demonstrate that the more educated, and higher standard of a living a person has, the less children they will have. The population explosion derives mostly from the poorer classes; elevate their quality of life, and educate them about such truths as 'carrying capacity' and population will naturally balance within a dynamic equlibrium, maintaining sustainability within our ecosystems.

4) Again with the 'invasive government entities',  these labels are nothing more than attempts to associate the RBE model with negative connotations. Its similar to how the church of Galileo's time labeled him as a heretic, and how MLK jr was labeled as a communist. Get it through your head that the Zeitgeist Movement does not condone forcing, or controlling anyone, these are assumptions you have created in your mind to convince yourself of the failings of the RBE model. And the statement 'network of computers making decisions' again demonstrates lack of understanding. The cpu's aren't making our decisions for us, we are still interacting with them and involved in the process of arriving to decisions. Its nothing more than using networked-sensory systems to provide data input and processing systems to calculate the data within the context of all the variables involved.

5) Leisure time and communal societies produce less to no crime, correct. However, if those same Bushmen had grown up in conditions that promote learning and encourage development of curiosity and self betterment, that 14 hours of leisure time would be converted to instrinsically motivated research, creativity, and a drive to learn more and more about our universe. Life to me is nothing more than the energy of the universe looking back at itself, wanting to learn and interact with itself. A RBE model strives for a labor system of instrinsically motivated pursuits, that will benefit both individual and society.

6) This statement seems like a non sequitor to me, Im not really sure what your trying to ask. Our need for suitable civic circumstances and an understanding family/community does require a set of systems interacting with each other, does it not?

7) Again, this is a basic tenet of the RBE model, had you actually ventured into the materials of TZM or TZP this would be apparent. Every city produces enough food for its population, creating numerous advantages to our global food market. 'Well established moral codes' are a tenet of the RBE, such as caring for the planet, each other, and recognizing that no moral code can be "too" established due to change being the only constant.

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doorwarrior
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Posts: 166
No worries here

One of the reasons I love this site and its participants is the diversity of thought, everyone has something to contribute. Sometimes we let our fierce desire in our beliefs bleed over into our writing.  No worries.

Aaron I agree with your last post 100%. 

Hefe even if I were to agree with you that RBE is THE absolute best solution to every problem in the world it still would never work. As with so many things that work on paper they never work in a real world application.  You want 6.75 billion people to march to the same tune and its not going to happen.

You need to learn to question your beliefs, all of them. I am not saying any of them are right  wrong, thats for you to decide. The only way a person can truly know anything is to question their own beliefs. Look at things from every perspective you can imagine, regardless of how wrong you may think it is at that time. In other words play devil's advocate with your own beliefs.

Rich

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trwiley
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We can't know the truth, so we resort to belief
doorwarrior wrote:

One of the reasons I love this site and its participants is the diversity of thought, everyone has something to contribute.

Agreed.

doorwarrior wrote:

Hefe even if I were to agree with you that RBE is THE absolute best solution to every problem in the world it still would never work.

What we have now isn't working. What do we have to lose? One way or another we will have to find a way for it to work or we will parish as a species.

doorwarrior wrote:

You need to learn to question your beliefs, all of them. I am not saying any of them are right  wrong, thats for you to decide. The only way a person can truly know anything is to question their own beliefs. Look at things from every perspective you can imagine, regardless of how wrong you may think it is at that time. In other words play devil's advocate with your own beliefs.

This is a major part of the problem...that we can't know what the truth is, so we have to resort to "belief". Our monetary economic system, which is pretty much foundational to all aspects of life, is based upon, and indeed fosters, competition, scarcity, survival, profit motive, greed, seperation, hoarding, inequality, etc. With these factors as cultural drivers, how can human nature be anything other than what it's been historically reflected as. There have been recent studies showing that "facts don't matter". In other words, we filter the facts according to our worldview, and cherry pick data and studies that support our position. When all of our scientific studies (private or corporate) are influenced by money, and indeed the expert's very existence depends on funding, how can we really know what the truth is, regardless of whether it's about something as personal as erectile disfunction medicine or something as globally significant as climate change studies. How the hell can we really know what the truth is?

In our civilization "the truth" seems to relative. Truth depends on what the majority believes the truth to be. A large percentage of germans thought that Hitler spoke the truth.

The Zeitgeist movement proposes that there are universal truths that are not dependant on consensus. And decisions are not voted upon, but arrived at, based on scientific empirical "truth", not beliefs.

 

 

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Posts: 2367
trwiley Quote: The Zeitgeist

trwiley

Quote:

The Zeitgeist movement proposes that there are universal truths that are not dependant on consensus. And decisions are not voted upon, but arrived at, based on scientific empirical "truth", not beliefs.

Example, please - especially within the context of sociology.
Because there are certain realms in which science has no business.

Busy right now, but am eager to respond to Heffe's last post.

Cheers,

Aaron

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trwiley
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Posts: 78
Example
Alpha Mike wrote:

Example, please - especially within the context of sociology.

How about this one...the fact that "about 1.7 billion people are estimated to live in absolute poverty today" means that something is very wrong. 

Alpha Mike wrote:

Because there are certain realms in which science has no business.

Agreed

 

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
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Posts: 2367
Trwiley, What does that

Trwiley,

What does that mean? "Absolute poverty"?
Does it confirm unhappiness? By who's standards?
This is just one of the infinite examples in which subjectivity dominates and renders any objective evaluation worthless.

Absolute poverty isn't something I think we should work towards, but it does tend to solve the problem of wanton consumption and consumerism, right?
Isn't that one of the main objectives of TZM?

See how this gets convoluted for some of us?

Cheers,

Aaron

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Johnny Oxygen
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all responses

I just love this site.

Its the only place I can go for meaningful conversations.

Maybe thats more of a statement about the people I hang around with Surprised

heffe's picture
heffe
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 26 2009
Posts: 95
Johnny Oxygen wrote: I just
Johnny Oxygen wrote:

I just love this site.

Its the only place I can go for meaningful conversations.

Maybe thats more of a statement about the people I hang around with Surprised

LOL I hear ya there man.....

Anyways I dont want to drag this on, but I wanted to try a different approach.  Rather than having me sit here and TELL you why the RBE is the optimal route, a more effective method would be LETTING YOU FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF why the RBE model is a good choice.

 I believe one reason people resist the RBE idea is because of supporters like me  'TELLING' everyone; it becomes interpreted as a forcing you to accept MY views...this is the wrong approach.  

So, try this. Take all of the problems that we see in the world today, such as, overpopulation, pollution, overconsumption, waste, corruption in politics, destruction of our ecosystems, technological unemployment, the mountains of debt, etc. and try working out solutions on how to reduce or eliminate all of these problems. And remember to consider all of these problems as interconnected.

 Also, remember to consider alternatives, and decipher from them which solutions are long term, and best fit our individual interests, and the interests of humanity. I guarantee if you are objective, and really search hard and deep, many of the solutions you will arrive to are basic tenets of the RBE model, or at least something extremely similar. 

The RBE model isn't a nationalist, patriotist, elitist, or one persons' all-encompassing view....its really a combination of scientifically verified truths compiled into a simplified label. And of course, we must realize that when describing the RBE, the actual RBE that takes its place will be much more complicated and slightly different than we had predicted based on current understandings.

Take care ya'll

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trwiley
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Posts: 78
Poverty as an example of skewed perception
Alpha Mike wrote:

What does that mean? "Absolute poverty"?
Does it confirm unhappiness? By who's standards?
This is just one of the infinite examples in which subjectivity dominates and renders any objective evaluation worthless.

I agree. I don't want to go off on a tangent about poverty, but this does make the point that it's hard to know what the truth is, and get objective data. After I heard someone say that global poverty had decreased a lot over the last few decades, I recently did some research onthe topic to make sure I knew the truth.

Wikipedia shows a graph with this caption "The percentage of the world's population living in extreme poverty has halved since 1981. The graph shows estimates and projections from the World Bank 1981–2009."

That sounds like a good thing, but after looking at the data from Millenium Development Goal 2010 Report and 2011 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics, it seems that while extreme poverty as a percentage has dropped significantly, it's not because we are eliminating poverty, but mainly because the world population has grown by 2 billion since 1981. 

Extreme Poverty:
1981 - 1.9 billion people in extreme poverty (less than $1.25/day) / 4.5 billion world population = 42% of world's population in extreme poverty
2005 - 1.4 billion people in extreme poverty (less than $1.25/day) / 6.5 billion world population = 22% of world's population in extreme poverty
2009 - 1.7 billion people live in absolute poverty according to Wikipedia
2011 - ??

And yes, there are many subjective ways to look at what poverty means, but the simple point is that a great percentage of our world's people aren't getting basic needs met.

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