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    Daily Digest 3/28 – Deaths Of Despair, The Four Deep Drivers Of Destabilization

    by DailyDigest

    Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 2:33 PM


Is the US facing an epidemic of 'deaths of despair'? These researchers say yes (jdargis)

Our 2015 paper highlighted the role played by suicide, alcohol-related liver mortality, and accidental drug overdoses in pushing mortality rates higher for WNH Americans. Our latest paper allowed us to take a deeper dive, looking at mortality and morbidity in much broader perspective. We found the mortality increases are in sync with the distress midlife WNHs face in many dimensions: poorer health and mental health, social isolation, obesity, marriage (or lack of marriage), poorer labor market opportunities, and weaker attachment to the labor market.

What the Berkshires Learned by Launching its Own Currency (Adam)

"Buy local" is a mantra that has appeal across the political spectrum. Small communities have preached this gospel for a long time. Our current president advocates a version on a national scale. So how do you put it into practice? One experiment has been taking place in the Berkshires — a region in the U.S. state of Massachusetts — that has its own currency called Berkshares. On this week’s Odd Lots podcast, we speak with Alice Maggio, the executive director of the currency, about how a regional currency works, what it accomplishes, and what they’ve learned from it.

The 21st Century’s Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The Big Four Deep Drivers of Destabilization (jdargis)

There are, in my estimation, four main major interrelated sources of threats to the human enterprise during that time frame: nuclear war, environmental crises, radical socioeconomic disruptions, and geopolitical instability. All four pose immense conundrums, and at least the first two of them are truly existential as regards the continuation of civilization as we have known it.

Step Free of Government Chaos (Tiffany D.)

I arrived in Uruguay a day early to get reacquainted with Punta del Este and to help prep for the Offshore Investment Summit. Ted Bauman and several friends I’ve made at these conferences are with me as I explore more of the area surrounding Punta del Este. Despite this being the region’s low season, the amazing beaches, quaint shops and simply wonderful restaurants are quite busy ahead of the upcoming Easter holiday.

An Alabama Prison’s Unrelenting Descent Into Violence (jdargis)

“The frequency of assaults resulting in life-threatening injuries is quite simply among the highest I have observed in my 43-year career in corrections,” Steve J. Martin, who has examined hundreds of prisons nationwide as a corrections expert, wrote in a 2016 report prepared for a lawsuit over conditions at St. Clair. The prison reflected “a total breakdown of the necessary basic structures that are required to operate a prison safely,” he added in an interview.

A Dream of Clean Energy at a Very High Price (jdargis)

ITER, short for International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, is being built to test a long-held dream: that nuclear fusion, the atomic reaction that takes place in the sun and in hydrogen bombs, can be controlled to generate power. First discussed in 1985 at a United States-Soviet Union summit, the multinational effort, in which the European Union has a 45 percent stake and the United States, Russia, China and three other partners 9 percent each, has long been cited as a crucial step toward a future of near-limitless electric power.

Texans Receive First Notices of Land Condemnation for Trump’s Border Wall (jdargis)

This is not the first time the federal government has wanted to seize the land for a border wall. In the wake of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, the Bush administration put up 110 miles of border fencing, much of it on private land in Texas. In 2008, Salinas’ family received a condemnation notice offering them the same low, low price of $2,900. Others in Los Ebanos were mailed similar notices.

Trump moves decisively to wipe out Obama’s climate-change record (jdargis)

Some of the measures could take years to implement and are unlikely to alter broader economic trends that are shifting the nation’s electricity mix from coal-fired generation to natural gas and renewables. The order is silent on whether the United States should withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, under which it has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions between 26 and 28 percent by 2025 compared to 2005 levels, because the administration remains divided on that question.

Gold & Silver

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