Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 1/12 - CA Gov. Predicts $1.6B Deficit, What Is the Real Cost of the Wage Increase?

Thursday, January 12, 2017, 9:47 AM

Economy

Gov. Jerry Brown predicts a $1.6-billion deficit as he unveils state budget (Adam)

Brown's budget does not take into account a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which would be unlikely to happen during the fiscal year at hand. But the governor made clear such a rollback could have a significant impact on California, where federal subsidies to Medi-Cal now top $16 billion.

"That's very bold," said Brown of efforts by Republicans and President-elect Donald Trump, "and, I think, a move that isn't very consistent with decency or even being a very smart political leader."

Life in a post-flying Australia, and why it might actually be ok (Walter S.)

This historically unprecedented aeromobility has enormous environmental costs.

The only solution to these intractable environmental impacts is the dramatic reduction, or complete elimination, of air travel. It might be hard to imagine life without the plane, but the idea is not as crazy as it sounds. … If we abandoned all tourist flights, the economy would be A$14.4 billion better off.

California Today: What Is the Real Cost of the Wage Increase? (jdargis)

“You know that in the entire country: You raise the minimum wage, you will have less employees,” said Ilse Metchek, president of the California Fashion Association.

Among economists, the question is contested.

How Albert Woodfox Survived Solitary (jdargis)

Woodfox, who is sixty-nine, strolled along Malcolm X Boulevard with three former Panthers: his best friend, Robert King, one of the Angola 3, as well as Atno Smith and B. J. Johnson, members of local chapters of the Party. He had never met Smith or Johnson before, and the conversation was halting and restrained; they spoke of gentrification, Jackie Wilson, and the type of diabetes they had. Woodfox is reserved, humble, and temperamentally averse to drama. When he talked about himself, his tone became flat. He was scheduled to speak at a panel on solitary confinement the next day, and he felt exhausted by the prospect. “I get apprehensive when somebody asks me something I can’t answer, like ‘What does it feel like to be free?’ ” he said. “How do you want me to know how it feels to be free?” He’d developed a stock answer to the question: “Ask me in twenty years.”

U.S. Oil And Gas Jobs See First Gains In 2 Years (Josh O.)

While one month’s worth of statistics does not make a trend, the data suggests that the worst is over. The market is passed the low point and even as companies continue to repair balance sheets, oil trading above $50 per barrel is sparking a rebound in drilling activity and hiring. The rig count is already up by more than 200 oil rigs since the middle of last year, posting six consecutive months of gains. U.S. shale output is also rising, up about 300,000 bpd from a last summer, according to preliminary data.

The Rise Of Black Gold (Tiffany D.)

Shale companies need all the cash they can get. Because in the fracking game, old wells are quickly depleted. They have to be replaced with new ones. That takes a continuous flow of cheap money.

It was easy enough to do when oil was above $100 and the long-term cost of fracking a well was around $50 to $60 per barrel. Today, that’s just enough to keep the lights on and service the ball-and-chain load of debt that came with the bargain.

Japan Copes With The disappearing Eel (jdargis)

For other types of seafood, farm-raised stocks remain relatively stable when wild catches decline. But unagi, which hatch at sea but mature in freshwater, cannot be effectively bred in captivity, so farm-raised stocks rely on young eels, known as glass eels, which are harvested at sea, then raised to maturity at eel farms in China, Korea, and Japan.

Should We Rent Out Endangered Species to One-Percenters? Maybe. (jdargis)

But the idea has gotten some serious attention: in October, Dick Smith, one of Australia’s richest philanthropists and a prominent environmentalist, publicly came out in support of the idea. “This is lateral thinking at its best,” he told Australia National University. “I support the initiative.” Then Australia’s Threatened Species Commissioner told the Sydney Morning Herald in October that “building partnerships with private sector institutions is essential to winning the fight against extinction."

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 1/11/17

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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."

16 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Posts: 4145
S&P downgrades Dallas credit rating

Trump's tax cuts may pressure US's top credit rating: Fitch

Reuters-4 hours ago
Fitch's negative outlooks on sovereign ratings currently outweigh positive outlooks ... Emerging markets are particularly vulnerable because higher U.S. interest ...

 

Most Americans are one medical emergency away from financial disaster

South Africa: SA's Negative Outlook Sign of Downgrade to Follow - S&P

AllAfrica.com - ‎2 hours ago‎
In its last update at the end of 2016, S&P kept South Africa's sovereign credit rating one notch above junk at BBB- with a negative outlook. The rating agency said low gross domestic product growth contributed to the negative outlook, and that the ...

S&P downgrades Dallas credit rating

Dallas Business Journal-14 hours ago
... safety workforce, and to reaffirm the City's sovereign immunity," Reich said. ... “Should the debt and contingent liabilities profile improve and a credible and ...

Troubled Dallas pension in debt talks with Bank of America

Dallas Business Journal-15 hours ago
The problem, along with a multi-billion-dollar lawsuit over emergency worker back ... Along with BofA, the pension has outstanding debt owed to Texas Capital ...

-Moody's says unfunded pension liabilities will continue ...(Chicago)

Reuters-29 minutes ago
WASHINGTON, Jan 12 Ben Carson on Thursday told lawmakers he is fit to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, an agency that offers ...

ECB Minutes Show Officials Worried About Political Uncertainty

Wall Street Journal - ‎2 hours ago‎
FRANKFURT—European Central Bank policy makers extended their massive bond-purchase program by a longer-than-expected nine months to support the eurozone's €10 trillion ($10.5 trillion) economy during a year of potential political upheaval, ...

China banks extend record 12.65 trillion yuan in loans in 2016 as debt wor...

Reuters - ‎4 hours ago‎
BEIJING China's banks extended a record 12.56 trillion yuan ($1.82 trillion) of loans in 2016 as the government encouraged more credit-fueled stimulus to meet its economic growth target, despite worries about the risks of an explosive jump in debt ...

Pension Fund Projections Could Be Too Rosy (Florida)

WJCT NEWS-17 hours ago
... a new report from the Department of Management Services warns the $144 billion system is ... made by the government agencies to cover that actuarial deficit.

Governor's Proposed Pension Shift Cuts Public Employees' Take ...(New Mexico)

KUNM-14 hours ago
... families to make them pay for this budget deficit, but that's exactly what we are doing. ... The governor's plan would hold spending at $6 billion next year. Tags:.

 

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
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The Swiss Army knife for Social Domination: "Terrorism"

The concept of terrorism: A Swiss army knife for domination by TPTB

 

Terrorism is an awesome conceptual construct.  We instinctively hate “terrorists” and would have no problem if “those monsters” were killed.  Terrorists are so despicable that we tolerate legislation violating the US constitution allowing arrest and imprisonment without charges or due process.  If they were “accidentally” shot during arrest, we would all (secretly) be relieved.

 

But who exactly are these monstrous terrorists?

 

This is the beauty of the concept.  Everyone can be designated a terrorist.  No evidence is required or expected. 

 

Just issue a news release:

 

“Today, law enforcement officials raided the based of a domestic terrorist cell with links to ISIS/Saddam/Putin/Hitler/Genghis Kahn.  All of the suspects were killed while resisting arrest.  The mayor of _____ thanked the law enforcement team conducting the raid for ensuring the safety of the citizens of our fine town.”

 

TPTB are now enabled to execute those who challenge the status quo to “fight terrorism.”

 

Such is the beauty of this ultra-flexible concept.  The Swiss army knife for domination by TPTB.   (This assumes sufficient control of federal law-enforcement, congress and the media and that the public doesn’t think too deeply on this process.)

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Ha ha! Good Luck Mylan!

As you may remember, I have a daughter that needs to have Epipens around, and Mylan was the disgusting, awful, predatory, heartless company that jacked the price up from ~$100 to over $600 per two-pack for this essential medicine.

The ridiculous and intensely rapacious CEO of Mylan, Heather Bresch, daughter of US Senator Joe Manchin, tried to defend the indefensible.

Recall, in Senate testimony, under oath, she said this:

The $100 profit figure, or $50 per pen, was greeted with incredulity by committee members. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D., Mass.) said “the numbers don’t work, based on the documents you’ve given us.”

Rep. Buddy Carter (R., Ga.), a pharmacist, called Ms. Bresch’s explanation of EpiPen’s pricing a “shell game.” He reminded Ms. Bresch she was under oath and asked: “Is that the truth, $50 per pen?”

“Yes,” Ms. Bresch replied. “Our profit is approximately $50 per pen.”

Without the tax reduction, the company’s profit is $83 per pen, the filing shows.

(Source)

Those are super suspicious numbers, especially now that CVS has managed to come out with a competing product (yay!) at a retail price that is far less than what Mylan tried to claim was their cost of production.

CVS Now Selling Generic Competitor To EpiPen At A 6th Of The Price

Jan 12, 2017

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) — CVS is now selling a rival, generic version of Mylan’s EpiPen at about a sixth of its price, just months after the maker of the life-saving allergy treatment was eviscerated before Congress because of its soaring cost to consumers.

The drugstore chain says it will charge $109.99 for a two-pack of the authorized generic version of Adrenaclick, a lesser-known treatment compared to EpiPen, which can cost more than $600.

Well, if Mylan is selling them for $600, but somehow “only” managing an $83 profit per pen, or $166 per two pack, then Mylan is about to have a terrible year as CVS is now underselling their stated cost of production.

Obviously, that’s not really what’s happening; what happened was Ms. Bresch certainly stretched the truth past the breaking point in claiming $50 per pen profits (under oath we should add) and it would be wise to assume that Mylan is making a lot more even than the tax adjusted $83 per pen profit.

But the $100 figure by CVS shows what the actual costs are in this story and now Mylan has real competition and they are about to not only be clobbered on price, but on ire from customer such as my family who will, forever after, never buy anything from Mylan if at all possible and will tell everyone we can to do the same.

Sorry Heather, being a complete waste of a fellow human means there’s no amount of marketing money you can spend to recover with people like me.

We Americans are tired of rackets being foisted upon us, and we’re angry.

So yay for CVS and Boo! For Mylan. Their looming profit demise will be welcome and cheered by my family at least.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Posts: 3936
The Politics of Climate Change down under.

I have already offered up a formal (professional) definition of what a terrorist is SP. And for a good reason, the word is becoming insipid through overuse.

On another topic I would like to offer this podcast up for your inspection in order to avoid the adjective of Bigot.
Here a One Nation politician of Australia discusses his success at blocking any action on Climate Change.
My comment he says that the "hoax" of climate change must be called out, bravely no doubt, but he never does

http://www.breitbart.com/podcasts/

Scroll down for Malcolm Roberts.

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
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Posts: 1885
The Western Banking Oligarchy Behind the Cash Ban in India

If this account is true, the ban on cash imposed by Indian PM Modi had its origins in the western banking financial elite and the US foreign aid office, USAID.

Quite a gathering of western banking powers were behind this effort.

An Open Secret:  Washington is Behind India's Ban on Cash

 

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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ReginaF's picture
ReginaF
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Posts: 93
Epipen

Dear Chris,

curious, as I am, I looked what a "Epipen" is - first Website was a german online pharmacy which sold it for € 105 per Pen... A lot of price difference to the 600 $ in US...

Best

Regina from Germany

 

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Posts: 2830
Hmmmm...

So if aircraft are bombing Damascus...where are the S300's and S400's?

fated's picture
fated
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Epi pens & Greed

Wow Chris. You Americans really get shafted in the realm of health 'care' - as I'm sure you well know.

Here in Australia an Epi-pen is $100 without a script. eg. a scout group who just want one in their first aid kit, just in case.

Foe a legitimate user, who has suffered anaphylaxis, they can be obtained for $30-$40- a pair from the pharmacy with a script from the GP. Visit to the GP can be bulk billed (free visit) through our medicare system if you visit the right Dr's clinic.

The greed in this situation is disgusting, especially considering this item can mean the difference between life and death - and considering the trivial things out healthcare system does waste money on.

However people learn to work around the system and it's greed.

Friendly ambulance officers advised me to 'tell the Dr' I needed two, not one, as we often go out bush, and they only give you 10 minutes or so of reprive.

Once they expired I returned to GP for a script for new ones, but only after I did my research. As long as adrenaline is clear you can still use it, it just may not be as effective, and even if it discolours (which may cause a temporary psychosis) you can still take the risk (this is not health advice of course) and use it. Risk or imminent death = easy choice.

So now I have four.

Two in my handbag for around town, and another two in our first aid kit when we go up the bush. Total of four when we are up the bush.

My family know which ones to use first, and so do I. It also means I can potentially buy myself up to 40 minutes of time while waiting for an ambulance, instead of 5-10 minutes. Handy when we have a shortage of Ambulances here and steadily deteriorating ambulance response times.

Plus, with my epi-pen 'wealth' I am more than happy to administer one of the in date ones to another person who may be in need - then go get a repeat script because I 'had to' use one.

If the system makes it too hard/or expensive for people to protect themselves and their rights, people who care and can help, will respond with ways to work around it.

As for the greed at the top, patent time outs usually rearrange the pricing of a product fairly quickly once generics come on line, as has happened in this case. YAY.

And Heather Bresch, well she has obviously never been so lucky as to have an anaphylaxis 20 minutes from the nearest hospital, or live in the remote Australian outback where it could take RFDS 4 hours to fly to you. There must be a certain comfort in being rich and living in town. of course that may well soon change.....

 

blackeagle's picture
blackeagle
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Epipen in Canada

Not very recent articles...

Americans turn to Canada for cheaper EpiPens

 
And actual price from one Canadian online reseller in Manitoba (Weird claim "Product of Canada" ??????)
 
 
 

 

 

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
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Posts: 1885
Bulk Epinephrine, Lying, Rule of the Elite

Many companies sell products to the Emergency Medical Services market (paramedics and EMTs).  Epinephrine is available in multi-dose and single-dose vials and is dirt cheap.  One example is this 30 ml vial for $42. 

Another this 1 ml vial (2-3 doses) for $5.

Google: "Epinephrine 1:1000 in 30 ml vial or 1 ml vial or ampule"

For a severe allergic reaction, the epi dose given is 0.3 mg (=0.3 ml) to 0.5 mg (=0.5 ml) injected into a muscle or the fatty layer just under the skin.  So one of these 30 ml vials has about 100 doses.  You would also need to get a box of small syringes such as these 1/2 ml  "insulin syringes." 

You would need to ask your doctor for a prescription for both medicine and syringes.  Most doctors would have no objection to doing this for an emergency kit for those who "wander about in the bush." (hat tip to fated)

A flustered/panicky patient or family might be safer using the 1/2 ml insulin syringes as a syringeful is the correct dose.

---------------------------------------------

Lying.  What does it mean?

To me, the most remarkable aspect of this is how Ms. Bresch looks right at congress-persons and lies to them.  This is a profoundly important.  How does this person work who can look you in the eye and tell an obvious lie?  Not a subtle exaggeration likely to be overlooked and forgotten.  But a big, obvious, honking, world-class lie.

When we talk to each other to share an understanding, we join with another in a shared cognitive space.  It is an act of intimacy.  For example:  I show you pictures of my recent trip to Nepal.  I am showing you what Nepal looks like and we understand Nepal together.   Lying destroys intimacy and can only be done to those you view as objects.  How would you view my Nepal pictures if you realistically understood that I was a compulsive liar and that these may or may not actually be real pictures of Nepal?

I am only aware of 2 possible reasons for this bold and blatant lying:

Option 1.  Ms. Bresh is psychopathic and has a hard neurologic incapacity for empathy with (all) other human beings.

Option 2.  She regards herself as being in a privileged in-group that does not experience empathy for the out-group.  She may be self identify as "the elite."  "The elite" may consider themselves to be entitled to rule the masses and harvest their resources by divine decree or some natural superiority.

Monarchs were viewed as fundamentally different from commoners as they had "royal blood."

In the same way that a farmer has no problems controlling his herd and slaughtering them to meet his own needs, "the elite" may have this same relationship with the rest of "the masses."  The masses are viewed as objects to be ruled and harvested.

This is of course, the very approach recommended by Leo Strauss and Niccolo Machiavelli.

A quick review of Machiavelli's statements.  (Can you hear where he is coming from?)

  • 'Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.'
  • Machiavelli (1469-1527) asserted that only the appearance of virtue counts, and that the successful prince must be a “great simulator” who “manipulates and cons people’s mind.”
  • 'obtaining the goodwill of the populace is the best way to maintain power. Thus, the appearance of virtue may be more important than true virtue, which may be seen as a liability.'
  • “Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.”
  • Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
  • “…he who seeks to deceive will always find someone who will allow himself to be deceived.”
  • Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
  • "The vulgar crowd always is taken by appearances, and the world consists chiefly of the vulgar.”
  • Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

The "vulgar" is Machiavelli and Strauss' term for the "stupid masses," easily deceived and lead, to be harvested at the whim of "the philosopher elite."

And I must add of course:  Sometimes buildings "just collapse."

 

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
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Posts: 1885
And again

And again, right next to it, an hour later.  Nothing like this has ever happened in history.  But do not think about it.  It is all perfectly natural.  Everything has been explained by "experts," (though their analysis cannot be released for professional review).

Do not worry.  Do not think.  Just accept.  Sleep.  For you are the "vulgar" and we are "the elite."

fated's picture
fated
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Posts: 51
Bulk epinephrine

SP - this works in practice as it does in theory. (on animals anyway) wink

Many years ago I worked in a Vet clinic.

Our epinephrine arrived in 1ml glass vials in box of 10. Snapping any number of these vials open to gain an adequate dose for a large dog/goat/horse in hurry was not an easy or stress free task.

To make life easier we would spend the first day of each month referring to our calculated doses, snapping vials, drawing up volumes into 2ml and larger sized syringes, connecting appropriate sized needles, and labelling the end of each syringe with a kg reference.

These were placed labelled end up into special bright orange containers that lived in the large and small animal Emergency operating theaters.

Everyone knew where they were. And we had multiples of each dose drawn up ready to go. Plus it was so cheap that it only cost maybe 20 bucks to throw away each month any that had turned color.

So: 1) if you are friendly with your local Veterinary surgeon, and have aseptic technique skills you can bypass the system.

2) as this was an emergency prep we have a routine and protocol for it. Great reminder for everyone here (preaching to the converted I know) that prepping is not a once off and items need to be routinely used or checked!!

 

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davefairtex
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Posts: 5408
lying elite

SP-

That's a great deconstruction.  I'd add one more line item: rationalizations.

"Everybody is doing this same thing; if it wasn't me, it would be someone else, so why shouldn't I be the one profiting?"

and

"This Congressional testimony is just a show.  They pretend to care about the questions but actually expect me to lie, and so I am just playing my part.  Behind the curtain, they eagerly accept my bribes and the system just keeps rolling along.  Everyone knows this is just a show, so my lies don't really matter."

and

"Besides, medicare and insurance end up paying.  Real people (mostly) don't get hurt."

and

"We are saving their lives.  They should be grateful!"

I'm not sure I can tell the difference between sociopathy and some hard core rationalizations.  Maybe they net out to the same thing.

bowskill's picture
bowskill
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Posts: 78
Getting epinephrine from a vet

fated,

I had a vet practice in Australia until I sold it last year. My wife is also a vet and has anaphylactic reactions to bee stings. I'll get to the vet angle on this but first I will digress.

We had never had to pay much for epipens in Australia. But in 2015 while visiting Alaska my wife was stung by a hornet and had an immediate reaction. We gave her an epipen that we carried into the country with us and then went about trying to find someone to drive us to a hospital in Fairbanks. Nobody would take us. Not even the tour bus company. We were forced to wait more than 30 minutes for an ambulance to take us the 10 minute ride to the hospital. My wife got great attention once we got there and made a rapid recovery. But the epipen kept her alive during the wait.

The reason nobody would take us to hospital was fear that my wife might die en route and that we could then sue the driver. It was put much more politely than that - but that is what it boiled down to. In fact, a tour bus company later confirmed that it was their policy to never ever carry anyone ill or injured but to always call an ambulance. Where I live, common sense would always prevail over fear of litigation. Its a cultural difference I guess.

We were not prepared at all for the cost of the replacement epipen. We had to buy a 2 pack and it was over A$700. I was sure the decimal was in the wrong place.

To us these were shocking differences between the US and Aus. Firstly that fear of litigation would compromise anyones willingness to save a life and secondly that the healthcare costs including the epipen were astronomical.

Anyway, as I said, that was a digression. Now regarding epinephrine and vets. Not sure how serious you were but any vet in any western country who gave epinephrine out for human use would risk losing their license to practice. Having said that, we were once advised by a doctor to simply self administer a dose of epinephrine sub-cutaneously from our own stock if we ever had to. The drug is extremely cheap and so are syringes and needles (preferably short needles for sub cutaneous injection). If you can get hold of it then good luck to you but don't ever divulge your source. Keep it locked in a safe place too.

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
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Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1885
Mylan from Hell

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