Doug Parker: The Status Of The Drought In The U.S. West

There's reason for hope, but no end yet in sight
Monday, December 29, 2014, 6:25 PM

2014 saw the extension of a historic drought across the US West. Croplands withered or were fully abandoned. Water rationing was enforced. Well tables dropped. The price of many vegetables and meats have skyrocketed.

So is an end to the drought in sight? » Read more


Join Chris & Adam in Northern California on March 4th

For a sneak peek of the new "Accelerated" Crash Course
Friday, February 21, 2014, 2:21 AM

In case you haven't heard the news yet, Chris will be joining me in Sebastopol, CA on March 4th. While he's here, we're going to take over the local movie theater that night and give folks an advance viewing of a brand-new, not-yet-public, updated but condensed version of The Crash Course.

After the 50-minute viewing, Chris and I will hold an "ask anything" Q&A with the audience.

We'd love to see you there! » Read more

Featured Discussion

A Small Win For Small Business

A Small Win For Small Business

California (shocker!) actually makes it easier for cottage food producers to do business


Kunal Mehta/Shutterstock

Marianne Williamson: We Must Maintain a Healthy Sense of Protest

Speak truth to power
Saturday, December 28, 2013, 2:16 PM

Partisan politics is something we actively avoid discussing on this site. Instead, we prefer to operate in the domain of provable fact. But that doesn't mean that we have written off the political process entirely. » Read more

Daily Digest

Image by ahisgett, Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Digest 8/12 - Waves of Trash in Indonesia, Sharp Rise In Antarctic Ocean Acidity

Monday, August 12, 2013, 10:33 AM
  • Gold bull or bear? Pick your timeline!
  • Meet the Low-Key, Low-Cost Grocery Chain Being Called ‘Walmart’s Worst Nightmare’
  • Economic Expansion Slows Down in Japan
  • Technology Industry Extends a Hand to Struggling Print Media
  • U.S. Energy Independence Doesn't Mean a Thing
  • Sharp rise in Antarctic seawater’s acidity
  • Photographer Captures Waves of Trash in Indonesia
  • New video: Jules Dervaes and his family at their Urban Homestead in Pasadena, California
Daily Digest

Image by, Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Digest 7/10 - IMF Cuts Growth Forecast For World Economies, Canadians Struggle With Saving

Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 10:21 AM
  • Illinois lawmakers seek more information in hunt for fix to $97 billion pension crisis
  • IMF cuts growth forecast for U.S., world economies
  • Nurses' strike hits Portugal hospitals
  • Seniors find it harder to get home-delivered meals (Florida)
  • Chicago gun violence: 74 people shot, 12 killed over July 4 weekend
  • Job cuts: Mining companies to trim operations by 3,500 (Ghana)
  • Financial Crisis Just a Symptom of Detroit’s Woes
  • Furloughs Have Begun for Nearly 50,000 Full-Time Guardsmen Nationwide, Including Guam
  • Mining services industry forced to adapt to end of coal boom in Queensland's Bowen Basin
  • USDA: One In Six Americans Use Food Stamps
  • Puerto Rico sees surge in homeless population
  • Tuition at 14 Pennsylvania universities to rise 3 percent
  • Eurozone jobless rate worse than OECD average
  • Canadians struggle with retirement saving
  • Italy's rating lowered one notch to BBB: S&P
  • Gold borrowing cost hits post-Lehman high
  • Study: State's pension debt spiked since February (California)
Daily Digest

Image by Cooperweb, Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Digest 6/12 - CO Food Stamp Use Doubles, Mini Flash Crashes Strike Again

Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 7:46 AM
  • California tops list of states with water infrastructure needs
  • Pennsylvania struggles to chip away at bridge problem
  • Sacramento County sheriff warns of big patrol cuts at budget hearing
  • States look to tax hybrids to recoup road funding
  • May Gold Sales Fall At Perth, U.S. Mint
  • Food Stamp Use Doubles In Colorado
  • Retirement savings: Why $1M may not be enough
  • Dramatic honeybee shortage threatens Calif. almond crop, nation's food supply
  • Mini flash crashes strike again
  • Cost of insuring emerging market debt soars on fears Fed will taper
Daily Digest

Image by PhotoJunkie!, Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Digest 6/2 - The High Cost Of Unemployment, Devastating OK Storms Continue

Sunday, June 2, 2013, 10:38 AM
  • Get Far Away From USA ... Its Collapse Will Be Messy: Jeff Berwick
  • U.S. judge orders Google to turn over data to FBI
  • Why Didn't the SEC Catch Madoff? It Might Have Been Policy Not To
  • The High Cost Of Unemployment
  • Unemployment Hits Record High in Euro Zone
  • Deadly Storms in Oklahoma Bring Flooding and More Tornadoes
  • Fracking Tests Ties Between California ‘Oil and Ag’ Interests

Why This Recovery Is Coming to an End

Where the markets are most likely headed from here
Monday, May 6, 2013, 11:34 AM

Executive Summary

  • Fertility rates are experiencing a "natural decrease" at record levels across the U.S.
  • Poverty rates are rising across the country, despite the "recovering" economy
  • What exactly is "powering" U.S. economic growth? Perhaps much less than realized.
  • Why we are likely in the calm before the storm when corporate profits peak right before an economic downturn
  • The 3 most likely scenarios for the stock market from here

If you have not yet read Part I: Marking the 4-Year Reflationary Rally: How Much Better Off Are We Really?, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

One of the challenges the U.S. stock market will increasingly face in the years ahead is continued growth in the Dependency Ratio. The U.S. Census Bureau alerted us to this trend back in 2010. For keen observers of demographics, this couldn’t have been a surprise). The rate at which the Dependency Ratio is growing, and is set to grow further, is accelerating:

The U.S. Census Bureau reported today that the dependency ratio, or the number of people 65 and older to every 100 people of traditional working ages, is projected to climb rapidly from 22 in 2010 to 35 in 2030. This time period coincides with the time when baby boomers are moving into the 65 and older age category...The expected steep rise in the dependency ratio over the next two decades reflects the projected proportion of people 65 and older climbing from 13 percent to 19 percent of the total population over the period, with the percentage in the 20 to 64 age range falling from 60 percent to 55 percent...“This rapid growth of the older population may present challenges in the next two decades,” said Victoria Velkoff, assistant chief for estimates and projections for the Census Bureau's Population Division. “It's also noteworthy that those 85 and older — who often require additional caregiving and support — would increase from about 14 percent of the older population today to 21 percent in 2050.”

This is precisely one of the key, ongoing headwinds that faced Japan's stock market for 20 years. When Japan's economy moved steadily into its low-growth phase, unable to generate sufficient jobs, fertility rates and household formation declined rapidly. As I explained in The Arrival of Japan's Sunset, these will not be cured by the current devaluation of the yen, despite naïve cheerleading. And neither will they be solved here in the U.S.

But in contrast to Japan, the United States is only just embarking on its slow growth phase. Its demographically challenged culture and economy will reinforce each other as we move ahead in time. And, it's not just the retiring class of workers that will massively increase the Dependency Ratio in the U.S. in years ahead... » Read more