• Daily Digest

    Daily Digest 12/5 – The Age Of AI, The Stoic Virtue Of Self-Sufficiency

    by Daily Digest

    Thursday, December 5, 2019, 7:47 AM

Economy

Inequality, Climate Change And The Role Of Central Banks (Alex M.)

“Should central banks resist the calls to take more account of ethical distributional and environmental concerns in the design and implementation of the wider set of monetary policy tools they have been using in the past decade?” asks Honohan.

“Many central bankers will balk at the idea, fearing a damaging loss of independence and a dangerous distraction from their core competencies. These are clearly valid and important concerns.”

Hospitals Sue Trump to Keep Negotiated Prices Secret (thc0655)

While the administration is already requiring hospitals to post some of their list prices, the public outcry over surprise medical bills and high out-of-pocket costs led the administration to seek even more detail on rates. Patients have long complained that they are completely in the dark about what a doctor’s visit or surgery will cost until after they receive the bill. Knee surgery, for example, can cost thousands of dollars more at one hospital than at another in the same region.

At the heart of the administration’s efforts is an attempt to tackle rising hospital costs, which have outpaced the increase in physician prices, according to a recent study by health economists in Health Affairs. The economists estimated that hospital inpatient prices increased 42 percent from 2007 to 2014.

Poor students are not going to universities that their grades deserve, study finds (Thomas R.)

The study, which was funded by the Nuffield Foundation, also found that white students were more likely to “undermatch” than their peers from ethnic minorities.

Students who prefer to live closer to home, who are less sure about whether they will go to university by age 16, and those who do not get into university with their first choice of subject, are all more likely to undermatch.

Frontline: The Age Of AI (Sparky1)

A documentary exploring how artificial intelligence is changing life as we know it — from jobs to privacy to a growing rivalry between the U.S. and China.

History Was Supposed To End. What Happened? (Matt H.)

As always with politics, the reform efforts were too little too late. Public anger at the status quo built until the end of the century even as private enterprise effectively constructed a completely new system based on information and decentralized control. Ten years later, we had the app economy, the ubiquitous cell phone, and globalized commerce to the point that more than 60% of the GNP of the world was attributable to imports and exports. It seemed like there was no going back.

Self-Sufficiency: the Ultimate Stoic Virtue (westcoastjan)

There are those who argue against self-sufficiency as if it’s the enemy of progress. And there’s an element of truth to this. Since we don’t all have to worry about harvesting our own food, sewing our own clothes, or building our own tools, we can get further up on the hierarchy needs. We can trade chores and focus on what we find meaning in. This is progress.

Silver and the Deep State (GE Christenson)

But the U.S. government doesn’t extract enough tax dollars to fund the programs that our paid-for congress deems necessary, so government borrows the difference.

The consequences are clear. Debt increases every year, dollars are devalued, and prices rise. Wall Street, the financial cartel, and the military-industrial-security complex increase their wealth and influence over the economy… and the game continues.

Zimbabwe Begs White Farmers To Return As Nation Teeters On Brink Of ‘Manmade Starvation’ (thc0655)

South Africa is teetering on the brink of a race war after President Cyril Ramaphosa called on parliament to pass a law allowing white-owned land to be “confiscated” by blacks without any form of compensation.

Ramaphosa called white land ownership the “original sin”, and stated that he wants to see “the return of the land to the people from whom it was taken… to heal the divisions of the past.”

Comedy, Metaphors & Emotional Resilience (newsbuoy)

While we do use metaphors as part of sayings, intentional practice and use can help us deal with anxiety, uncertainty, frustration and depression. Explaining how you feel with a metaphor may help you to become more empathetic toward oneself and others.

Why Apocalyptic Claims About Climate Change Are Wrong (thc0655)

Journalists and activists alike have an obligation to describe environmental problems honestly and accurately, even if they fear doing so will reduce their news value or salience with the public. There is good evidence that the catastrophist framing of climate change is self-defeating because it alienates and polarizes many people. And exaggerating climate change risks distracting us from other important issues including ones we might have more near-term control over.

Climate Change Is Accelerating, Bringing World ‘Dangerously Close’ to Irreversible Change (RS)

In a recent commentary in the journal Nature, scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research in Germany and other institutions warned that the acceleration of ice loss and other effects of climate change have brought the world “dangerously close” to abrupt and irreversible changes, or tipping points. Among these, the researchers said, were the collapse of at least part of the West Antarctic ice sheet — which itself could eventually raise sea levels by four feet or more — or the loss of the Amazon rainforest.

Grandmother dumps burnt remains of home at Parliament House in climate change protest (ezlxq1949)

“We’ve got no leadership, we’ve got no discussion, we’ve got no debate, we’ve got nothing,” she said.

“We need a bipartisan approach. I completely understand that the Labor Party are absent in this as well.”

Gold & Silver

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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."

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4 Comments

  • Thu, Dec 05, 2019 - 10:44am

    #1

    Matt Holbert

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 03 2008

    Posts: 84

    4+

    The Forbes Climate Change Article

    I’ve come across links to this article three times this morning. In addition to DD @ PP, I’ve seen it at The Automatic Earth and Zerohedge. At TAE, Dr. D comments with a warning that the elites will use climate change fear to wrest more control from the average joe. Dr. D may well be right but he needs to understand that the author, Shillenberger [intentionally misspelled], has made a career of kowtowing to these very elites.

    Those like Shillenberger cite the work of Nordhaus who has essentially ignored key factors in making the case that Climate Change will have minimal impact on GDP in the future. Work like this gets you a Nobel prize.

    For those who are interested in the flaws of Nordhaus thinking — the key part of the Forbes/Shillenberger article — I can recommend Steve Keen’s perspective as outlined in this video (hat tip to Illargi at TAE).

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  • Thu, Dec 05, 2019 - 12:20pm

    #2
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 29 2009

    Posts: 282

    2+

    Fantasy economics

    Please watch the video that Matt Holbert links to. It’s excellent. In it, Steve Keen tells us that neoclassical economics has excluded land and energy from its economic modelling. Unbelievable that utterly fundamental components such as these have been left out and yet the economists claim to have a handle on reality.

    Steve gives the world 20 years before we have damaged the biosphere sufficiently to leave us with no economy. He also opines that most people will not act before a crisis arrives. I think PP people are not most people.

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  • Thu, Dec 05, 2019 - 4:33pm

    Reply to #1

    Mots

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 18 2012

    Posts: 115

    3+

    Economists omit the most important factor of all: energy

    Matt
    Thank you very much for providing the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCyjsZ9FseU&feature=youtu.be
    I recommend watching from 2:46 into the video, which goes into how real wealth is tightly linked to the availability of energy (and possession of land) but that economists ignore this most important fact but instead rely on capital and labor.

    A major first step in designing a resilient life style (or escaping the matrix, if you will), seems to be the acquisition of land and focus on energy.  I will now have to sign up and spend some money as a paid member here in order to see how CM treats this in his recently posted plans………..

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  • Thu, Dec 05, 2019 - 6:22pm

    Reply to #2

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4908

    3+

    Steve Keen Interview

    I interviewed Steve Keen just a few months back and we discussed these same issues.

    https://www.peakprosperity.com/steve-keen-could-a-debt-jubilee-really-work/

    He’s a great guy and he ‘gets it’ unlike the vast majority of other economists.  It all seems so blindingly obvious – the economy is a subset of the environment, not the other way around.

    Energy is THE master resource, it cannot be assumed away.

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