The Desperate Hustle As A Way Of Life (jdargis)
This WaPost piece on how hard it is to “regulate” Air BnB limns the issue and never confronts it. But this life of hustle—the idea that everything you do, every day, needs to turn a profit or you starve—is familiar to anyone who lives or grew up in an inner city. In Salon today, D. Watkins points to the junkies putting on a fight-show for crack, and the lady who runs the candy/cig shop out of her second floor window, lowering the product down in a pencil box tied to a rope of shoelaces. You’ve seen the guys moving “loosies” and the guys selling the bags from the food pantry.
This increase in US Treasury holdings reflects another easy money element of our federally subsidized banking system. Banks take deposits from individuals for which they pay close to zero in interest, in fact, charge customers fees for keeping their money (courtesy of the Fed’s Zero-Interest-Rate policy.) They can turn that around to make a cool risk-free 2.3% by parking the money in 10-year US Treasuries. Why lend to Joe the Plumber, when the US government is providing such a great deal?
Currently there are about 144 million working Americans with about 100 million not in the labor force for various reasons. So, just to pay off those liabilities, every single working American would have to spend the next 45 years of their lives sending 100% of their income to the government.
That’s how bad of a situation this is.
Since starting calculation of the index in mid-2008, PriceStats inflation series has remained consistently above the CPI as reported by the BLS. Considering the differences in methodology this provides an estimate to how much Hedonic Quality Adjustments have been used to understate the head-line CPI figures. Currently, the CPI uses quality adjustments on over 32% of the items used in its calculation.
Over the next several years, more dollars will be destroyed than any other currency and that will rebalance the great devaluation of 1985 to 2007. The dollar will continue to go up. Not forever… but at least over the next few years when this deleveraging is likely to be at its worst.
The chart below shows the U.S. dollar index from 2008 to present against the six major currencies of the world.
The U.S. “is also one of the few countries to tax worldwide corporate income, rather than just domestic earnings. This creates a clear incentive for companies to keep their foreign earnings abroad, and this is unlikely to change,” Dales and Hunter wrote. “And even if tax laws were relaxed, it seems unlikely that foreign cash holdings would provide any significant boost to the economy.”
Acknowledging the importance of energy to Louisiana’s economy, Landrieu and Cassidy have championed completion of the pipeline, which would transport oil from the tar sands of Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. The GOP-controlled House voted several times in recent years to support the pipeline, while the Senate, in deference to the administration’s review, has resisted holding a vote on the matter despite strong objections from several moderate Democratic senators from rural or energy-rich states.
Britain, says their report, proved to be one of the most generous countries. In the five year period to 2014 it gave tax breaks totalling over $4.5bn to French, US, Middle Eastern and north American companies to explore the North Sea for fast-declining oil and gas reserves. A breakdown of that figure showed over $1.2bn of British money went to two French companies, GDF-Suez and Total, $450m went to five US companies including Chevron, and $992m to five British companies.
In this nascent stage, solarpunk appears as a loose collection of ideologies, manifestos, and desires for a sustainable, achievable future. It's elegant high-end technology powered by renewable energy. It's a shift away from geometric centralised infrastructure to a decentralised, organic, free-flowing design. It's microgrids instead of national grids. It's stained glass solar panels, and natural fabrics merged with solar cells. It's bespoke instead of mass-produced. It's permaculture and microbreweries. It's communal instead of corporate. It's radical sustainability: when hippies and hipsters meet, and techno-geeks crash the party.
Despite what appears to be a saturated oil market in 2014, oil producers around the world will struggle to meet rising demand over the next few decades. In its latest annual World Energy Outlook, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that the current period of oil abundance may be fleeting, and in fact, without heroic levels of production increases, oil markets will grow dangerously tight in the coming years. Global oil demand is expected to increase by 37 percent by 2040, with a dominant proportion of that coming from developing countries – i.e. China and India.
But whereas one side gave it a high gloss, the other seemed to be trying to bury it under the rug. The top story on the website affiliated with the Communist Party flagship paper The People’s Daily was about Xi and Obama meeting the press — but the article made no reference to the climate agreement. Other stories on the homepage touched on the climate statement but tended to relegate it to the latter half of the article, and omitted the American-style superlatives. The popular Beijing News, a state-run paper known for gently testing the editorial boundaries, also didn’t mention the climate deal in its Nov. 12 cover story on the APEC meeting that brought Obama to China. It focused instead on the meeting’s anti-corruption accord and progress on plans for a pan-Asian free trade zone spearheaded by China.
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