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The Burrito Index: Consumer Prices Have Soared 160% Since 2001

Calculating the real inflation rate
Friday, July 29, 2016, 3:31 PM

In our household, we measure inflation with the "Burrito Index": How much has the cost of a regular burrito at our favorite taco truck gone up?

Since we keep detailed records of expenses (a necessity if you’re a self-employed free-lance writer), I can track the real-world inflation of the Burrito Index with great accuracy: the cost of a regular burrito from our local taco truck has gone up from $2.50 in 2001 to $5 in 2010 to $6.50 in 2016.

That’s a $160% increase since 2001; 15 years in which the official inflation rate reports that what $1 bought in 2001 can supposedly be bought with $1.35 today. » Read more

Step 4: Knowledge Capital

The guidance provided in this section presumes you have already read the chapter on Knowledge Capital in our book, Prosper!: How to Prepare for the Future and Create a World Worth Inheriting. If you have not, we strongly recommend doing so first.

What Should I Do?

Book Cover Title

Farmer Phil’s Permaculture: The Original Permaculture Children’s Book

Free book for Peak Prosperity readers!
Monday, July 6, 2015, 6:25 PM

Most of the permaculture books and material you see is geared toward adults with at least a basic knowledge of the design science. My wife Denise and I feel strongly that children are under served in the permaculture world.

This is why we wrote a permaculture children’s picture book. This book is a great way to introduce young children to permaculture concepts. It is the original and the only permaculture children’s storybook in existence. As a thank you to Peak Prosperity readers, I am giving away a free PDF of the book for everyone to try. The download is at the bottom of this article. » Read more

Insider

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How Life Will Change

Logistics and values in the post-industrial future
Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 5:16 AM

Executive Summary

  • In a future defined by diminished economy, due to depleting resources, what can we expect?
  • A return to "old-style" cultural norms looks inevitable for:
    • Spirituality
    • Trust & Reputation
    • Values & Virtues
    • Leadership & Order
    • Education
    • Commerce
    • Jobs & Work

If you have not yet read Are You Crazy To Continue Believing In Collapse? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The journey to where we’re going, the transition to the next economy and the society that comes with it, is liable to be harsh and disruptive. Network breakdown will be the order of the day. Money and goods will stop moving. People will lose a lot. They’ll lose property, imagined wealth, comfortable routines, faith in institutions and authorities. In some places they may lose personal security or freedom. Depending on how disorderly politics gets, we may lose family, loved ones, and friends. People will be very unsure of who or what they can depend on. We might expect pervasive desperation, anger, and despair.

One thing I fully expect is... » Read more

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"The Government Comes Up With the Money"

A mindset that's killing our economy
Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 12:48 AM

I'm half-heartedly watching the State of the Union address right now. What a cynic I've become.

My younger self would be shocked and saddened to learn how I've come to view these annual addresses as little more than a game of charades. The President (not just Obama, but his predecessors, too) reads a carefully and expensively constructed script designed either to elicit self-congratulatory applause from the echo chamber side of the hall, or to lob political harpoons into the other.

But in the end, it's nothing more than a game of words. And the real issues that desperately need addressing get ignored, glossed over, or showered with pablum and over-promises that will never materialize. » Read more

What Should I Do?

The Crash Course Book Cover

Using the Crash Course to Educate Teens

A teacher's tool for navigating future career paths
Friday, December 13, 2013, 4:24 PM

Can you imagine how it must feel to be a teenager today confronting your economic future? Do you go to college and incur a debt you will spend the rest of your life repaying? Or do you consider jumping right into the job market, and finding a job, any job, to begin to build a resume? I am an independent studies teacher at a small charter school, and students are my special interest. The Crash Course materials have played a valuable role in answering some of those questions that teens confront. » Read more

Blog

The (Needed) Revolution Emerging in Education

The cartel-controlled college education model is failing
Thursday, October 3, 2013, 6:10 PM

There is a revolution underway in education that is being driven by digital technology.  Like all technologically fueled upheavals, this revolution requires creative destruction of the current industry, which is resisting the revolution even as it attempts to embrace the parts that might preserve the status quo. » Read more

Insider

The New Education Models Offering New Hope

More effective, cheaper, faster & possible today
Thursday, October 3, 2013, 6:09 PM

Executive Summary

  • The 4 higher education solutions of the Nearly Free University
  • How higher education can be both cheaper & better than today's alternatives
  • The catalytic roles played by both networking & network theory
  • Making decisions for yourself/your children in this new emerging education spectrum

If you have not yet read The (Needed) Revolution Emerging in Education, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part I, we surveyed the foundations of Higher Education and its obsolete Factory Model.  We described its predatory reliance on student loans to feed its bloated cost structure and its failure to provide students with the skills needed in the economy of the 2010s; i.e., the emerging economy.

In essence, the foundation of higher education has been completely upended.  Knowledge and instruction, once costly and scarce, are now abundant and nearly free. The only pricing power left to Higher Education cartel is the artificial scarcity of credentials.

That is not the power of a productive system; it is the power of a predatory system.

The Four Higher Education Solutions of the Nearly Free University

There are four broad technology-enabled solutions that would free higher education from its current cartel limitations on opportunities and accreditation... » Read more

Insider

Off the Cuff: The Social Contract Is Fraying

It favors the government over the governed
Thursday, September 26, 2013, 2:20 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles discuss:

  • Our Social Contract is Broken
    • Has been re-written to benefit those in power
  • Trust is Eroding
    • Faith in institutions like our justice & money systems is waning
  • New Models are Needed
    • Starting with education
Podcast

Charles Hugh Smith: The Nearly Free University

Our broken education model is ripe for creative disruption
Saturday, September 14, 2013, 12:15 PM

The cost of higher education has skyrocketed in recent decades. The average cost of tuition is up over 1,000% since the 1980s, far outstripping price inflation and most other goods and services.

Yet despite the accelerated cost, the value of a college degree has been diminishing, both in the terms of quality of education received, as well as future employment prospects. » Read more