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    Daily Digest 4/2 – McDonald’s To Increase Hourly Wages, What Your Garden Can Teach About Cities

    by DailyDigest

    Thursday, April 2, 2015, 1:36 PM

Economy

McDonald’s to Increase Hourly Wages, Offer Paid Vacation (jdargis)

Though the pay hike doesn’t affect most McDonald’s workers, it marks a dramatic early move for new Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook. After his promotion to the top job last month, Easterbrook has been working to reignite growth at the fast-food chain. Other efforts include a test of all-day breakfast at San Diego restaurants and an touch-screen system that lets customers customize burgers and sandwiches.

McDonald’s Wage Hike Is Thanks to the Economy, Not the “Fight for $15” (jdargis)

McDonald’s is part of a growing trend in big business. Wal-Mart made news earlier this year when it announced it would raise its wages for 500,000 workers to more than $10 per hour next year. TJ Maxx, Ikea, Target and Aetna have all raised their wages in the past few months. All of these companies are not buckling under societal pressure to boost pay. They’re doing so for economic reasons. And surveys of employers bear this out as well.

Stuck In Seattle (jdargis)

Megaprojects almost always fall short of their promises—costing too much, delivering underwhelming benefits, or both. Yet from the London-­Paris Chunnel to Boston’s Big Dig, cities still fall for them, seduced by new technologies and the lure of the perfect fix. A mix of factors has given Seattle a particularly acute sense of angst. The project depends on a singular piece of engineering. And Bertha’s building a highway for cars in a city where workers overcrowd buses and commuters wrap themselves in waterproof everything to bike in the rain.

Apple eaters visit the doctor just as often as everyone else, study finds (jdargis)

This analysis, led by University of Michigan assistant professor Matthew Davis, has a number of important limitations. While its subjects are nationally representative for the US, the data is based on their recall of food consumption over a period of 24 hours, which they assert to be representative of their usual diet. That’s then compared against their hospital or doctor visits over the previous month, which are again self-reported, and the metric for “keeping the doctor away” is to have no more than one meeting with a medical professional during that period. That leaves the nuance of why people might need treatment unaddressed.

Gold’s Bull Market In Europe and Japan Remain Unnoticed (Taki T.)

Going forward, yen gold should break through that 145,000 level and also break above the last top (the small green circle), in order to confirm its bullish setup. Note that, if this would happen, yen gold would be trading at the highest point in this secular bull market (since 2000).

Scotland Pulling Out All The Stops To Save North Sea Oil & Gas

Scotland’s oil sector has been severely damaged by the 9-month-old plunge in oil prices. Included in that damage are extensive layoffs. For example, Royal Dutch Shell, one of the largest oil companies operating in Britain, announced March 26 that it will eliminate 250 staff and contract positions, and Abu Dhabi’s Taqa will drop about one-fifth of its 500 member North Sea work force.

What Your Garden Can Teach About Cities (westcoastjan)

After watching and listening to your new garden community for a few seasons, you realized that the best way for any individual member to thrive with as little upkeep, energy, water, or pest control as possible, the overall design had to befit and benefit everyone else proportional to their needs and capabilities. You may have moved your daily attention-grabbing strawberries closer to the house and the more resilient dandelion further away. Perhaps you acquired some chickens for their eggs, just to discover that they could also be put to work tilling the topsoil and picking weeds and bugs.

Sharks, snakes and giant squid: Climate change driving exotic species north into B.C., but killing others (westcoastjan)

“Some organisms may not have reached B.C. but will make their way here,” says University of B.C. Okanagan biology professor Karen Hodges. “Would we get jaguars? That’s unlikely over the coming decades. We’re really looking at things in the 200- to 300-mile range.”

Wild animals that had rarely, if ever, been glimpsed in B.C. decades ago are already taking up yearlong residency.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 4/1/15

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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