- Beyond a Jobless Recovery
- Flip, Flop & Fly Friday – Options Expiration Spectacular!
- U.S. May Be Headed for Downward Spiral, Says Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist
- Black Friday Forecasts: Are They Just Making This Stuff Up?
- U.S. in Vast Insider Trading Probe
- Companies Tapping the Tides in Quest for Renewable Energy
- BP Ignored Warning Signs Before Leak, Report Says
Beyond a Jobless Recovery (elwood)
This article explores the issue of a “Jobless Recovery” mainly from a heterodox economic perspective. It emphasizes the implications of ideas by Marshall Brain and others that improvements in robotics, automation, design, and voluntary social networks are fundamentally changing the structure of the economic landscape. It outlines towards the end four major alternatives to mainstream economic practice (a basic income, a gift economy, stronger local subsistence economies, and resource-based planning). These alternatives could be used in combination to address what, even as far back as 1964, has been described as a breaking “income-through-jobs link”. This link between jobs and income is breaking because of the declining value of most paid human labor relative to capital investments in automation and better design. Or, as is now the case, the value of paid human labor like at some newspapers or universities is also declining relative to the output of voluntary social networks such as for digital content production (like represented by this document). It is suggested that we will need to fundamentally reevaluate our economic theories and practices to adjust to these new realities emerging from exponential trends in technology and society.
China has tied the yuan to the dollar to promote exports that helped produce the fastest gains in gross domestic product of any major economy. China, which surpassed Japan’s GDP to become world No. 2 in the second quarter, recorded 9.6 percent annual growth in the three months through September. It holds about $2.6 trillion in foreign reserves, the most in the world. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Nov. 5 he was “dumbfounded” at the Fed’s actions, which won’t aid growth and will instead contribute to imbalances by driving down the currency. U.S. monetary policy is creating “grave distortions” and causing “collateral effects” on faster-growing economies such as Brazil, Meirelles said in October.
From the fall of Lehman and rescue of Merrill Lynch, to a housing crash that threw millions from their homes and catapulted the country into a recession, it has been a long two years for the U.S. economy and the American people. Recovery has been sluggish, but some would argue that things are starting to look up as we head into this holiday season (see Sonders: Building Blocks for Recovery). Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, however, says we may not be out of the woods just yet. Johnson thinks there is room for our economic situation to get much worse before it gets better.
The National Retail Federation says that as many as 138 million shoppers will be out hunting for Black Friday deals during the post-Thanksgiving weekend. This is 4 million more shoppers than NRF predicted last year, when it said 134 million Americans would be hitting the stores.But the recent buzz retailers like J.C. Penney(JCP_), Sears(SHLD_) and Kohl’s(KSS_) have created, by announcing pre-Black Friday deals throughout the month of November, may be lessening the hype surrounding Black Friday.
The criminal and civil probes, which authorities say could eclipse the impact on the financial industry of any previous such investigation, are examining whether multiple insider-trading rings reaped illegal profits totaling tens of millions of dollars, the people say. Some charges could be brought before year-end, they say. The investigations, if they bear fruit, have the potential to expose a culture of pervasive insider trading in U.S. financial markets, including new ways non-public information is passed to traders through experts tied to specific industries or companies, federal authorities say.
Tapping the tides is the latest niche in the search for affordable, renewable energy. Widespread use may be years off, but advocates say tides and other hydrokinetic systems, from ocean waves to free-flowing rivers, ultimately could meet up to 10% of America’s electric power needs — more than hydropower dams now supply. Pilot projects or studies are underway in Washington’s Puget Sound, in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, off the coasts of Florida, California, Oregon and Hawaii, in New York City’s East River, along the Mississippi River and elsewhere. “These are coastal resources, and most people live along the coasts,” said Hoyt Battey, a water power expert at the U.S. Energy Department. “When you’re talking about providing half the power of Alaska or Hawaii, or half the power of New York, that’s significant.”
In a 28-page report released late Tuesday night, an independent panel convened by the National Academy of Engineering said the companies failed to learn from “near misses” and that neither BP, its contractors nor federal regulators caught or corrected flawed decisions that contributed to the blowout. Those failures would be unacceptable in companies that work with nuclear power or aviation, said Donald Winter, a professor of engineering practice at the University of Michigan and chairman of the 15-member study committee.
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