Paper money is unfit for a world of high crime and low inflation (james_knight_chaucer)
The idea of finding creative ways to get around the zero bound on interest rates has been championed for more than a decade by Willem Buiter, a former UK Monetary Policy Committee member. Phasing out paper currency is by far the simplest. With electronic payments mechanisms becoming increasingly prevalent even in small transactions, and with the supply of paper currency overwhelmingly top-heavy with large-denomination notes, the case for keeping the currency status quo has weakened.
The five-year-old organization is pursuing an ambitious aquatic mission: to develop floating microcountries that will dwell in international waters with the same sovereign status enjoyed by cruise ships. Think secessionist, do-it-yourself nation building meets the 1995 post-apocalyptic science-fiction stinker ‘Waterworld.’
In the settlement, the state agreed to spend an additional $215 million to provide replacement housing, on top of the $379 million it had already allocated for that purpose. Critics of the state’s handling of the federal aid, including the groups that filed the complaint, questioned why so much money was going to inland counties when so many people remained displaced in the counties along the Jersey Shore that suffered the brunt of the damage.
Before getting into an analysis of the repercussions of this data, however, it’s necessary to properly qualify the data. Obviously, even in the most-nightmarish economic Armageddon, a (relatively short-term) 75% collapse in gasoline consumption is simply not possible. Unless we were dealing with a nation whose economy had been suddenly ripped apart by civil war, or some small nation devastated by a massive earthquake or tsunami; it’s simply not possible for any economy to just disintegrate that rapidly, without there being some ultra-powerful exogenous force also at work.
So how can this raw data, produced by the government itself, be explained? To begin with; the government chooses to measure U.S. gasoline consumption in a very odd manner: by measuring the amount of gasoline entering the domestic supply-chain rather than by measuring actual consumption at the other end of the supply-chain – i.e. “at the pump”.
Fixing the problem at the department now becomes an urgent political matter for the president, once again raising questions about whether the candidate who pledged in 2008 and 2012 to make government work efficiently has lost grasp of the government he now leads.
The department’s troubles, however, remain a far more serious concern for the millions of veterans whose access to timely health care has been steadily eroding as waves of wounded soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan have converged with those who returned from earlier wars.
“I haven’t been able to find 5-liter bottles of water in the supermarket for the past two weeks, and there haven’t been half-liter bottles this week,” Maria Hernandez, a 36-year-old secretary, said in an interview in Caracas today. “I have four at home, but I’m afraid that they’ll run out and that I won’t be able to find more. They ration water at my house on Wednesdays.”
Among these many options, none possesses the lethal combination of high costs and deleterious environmental impact that torching petroleum does. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, burning oil to create electricity emits about 50 percent more carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour than natural gas and only about 25 percent less than coal, while producing nearly as much sulfur dioxide and nitrogen.
So began the latest phase of a plan to convert the people of New York City into composters, collecting food scraps like vegetable peels, chicken bones and even greasy pizza boxes and saving the pungent blend for days at a time to be someday converted into renewable energy. A voluntary city pilot program has already taken root in neighborhoods like Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, which has eagerly embraced it, and Westerleigh, Staten Island, which was not quite as enthusiastic.
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