Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 4/5 - Trade A Matter of Survival for China, AI Experts Call for Boycott

Thursday, April 5, 2018, 9:35 AM

Economy

Facebook scandal affected more users than thought: up to 87M (TS)

On Monday all Facebook users will receive a notice on their Facebook feeds with a link to see what apps they use and what information they have shared with those apps. They’ll have a chance to delete apps they no longer want. Users who might have had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica will be told of that. Facebook says most of the affected users are in the U.S.

Trade Is a Matter of Survival for China (thc0655)

The problem is that “national emergency” can be defined broadly to include trade imbalances, lost jobs or any other economic adversity. President Trump may now use IEEPA to block a variety of Chinese deals in the U.S. in retaliation for Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property.

With the U.S. using its nuclear option in financial warfare, investors should hope that the Chinese don’t respond in kind.

Trump’s Scattergun Tariff List Sends China Companies Scrambling (jdargis)

“The list just reinforces that anxiety and alarm that our members, American businesses operating in China, feel about the danger and costs of going down the path of retaliatory tariffs,” said Keith Jarrett, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

The Five Keys to Crypto Evolution (Afridev)

Bitcoin’s furious rise scared the hell out of banks and governments everywhere. Banks saw their business models crumbling as programmable money took the world by storm and governments feared they might lose their iron-fisted control of the money supply. Authoritarian regimes raced to crush it. Regulators came out in force. The press unleashed a torrent of articles filled with fear, uncertainty and doubt.

As Volatility Spikes, Here’s What Could Be Ahead for Gold and Silver (Diane C.)

But silver is not always more volatile than gold. In the chart above, silver's price movements were bigger 71.5% of the time—meaning gold’s were bigger 28.5% of the time. And the two metals don’t always go the same direction; gold rose 0.26% on December 2, 2008 (not shown), while silver declined 5.05%.

'Killer robots': AI experts call for boycott over lab at South Korea university (TS)

The boycott comes ahead of a United Nations meeting in Geneva next week on autonomous weapons, and more than 20 countries have already called for a total ban on killer robots. The use of AI in militaries around the world has sparked fears of a Terminator-like situation and questions have been raised about the accuracy of such weapons and their ability to distinguish friend from foe.

Venezuela’s Oil Sector May Soon Have New Owners (Michael S.)

China’s patience with Venezuela seems to have worn thin. Reuters reported last month that China is likely to roll over a current financing arrangement it has with Venezuela, allowing for lenient repayment terms, but that it won’t lend the Venezuelan government any more money than it already has. China remains Venezuela’s largest debt owner with $23 billion in outstanding debt.

MIT and newly formed company launch novel approach to fusion power (guodong)

“Everyone agrees on the eventual impact and the commercial potential of fusion power, but then the question is: How do you get there?” adds Commonwealth Fusion Systems CEO Robert Mumgaard SM ’15, PhD ’15. “We get there by leveraging the science that’s already developed, collaborating with the right partners, and tackling the problems step by step.”

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 4/3/18

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."

10 Comments

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 2014
Population overload in pictures

Someone pointed me to images of the slums taken in the major cities of India.  Something similar to the homeless encampments in US cities, but x 1000.

Hundreds of amazing pictures to peruse.  Where are we headed?  Will something interrupt this trend?

Indian Slums Pictures

mntnhousepermi's picture
mntnhousepermi
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 19 2016
Posts: 170
slums and favelas

You might notice that proper favelas are not in the middle of a city park. We have a realy weird set of priorities here on the west coast. On the one hand, it is illegal to build a house that is "too small", and they must have a whole laundry list of items, having nothing to do with basic safety, like a coat closet within 3 ft of the front door. It is illegal to live in a trailer or tent upon your own property, even if you have proper water and sewage sanitation, and code compliant electrics. On the other hand, no one will stop you from living in a tent in the city park, defecating on the ground next to the river and throwing contaminated needles on the ground. Total disconnect.....

BTW, the people living on the streets in my county are doing so by choice. We have tried to find placements for all of them, the ones left on the streets are there because they cannot or will not follow rules to be housed, or are choosing a life of drugs and crime.

To interrupt the trend, I would recommend (1) Shrink the county code department and the government employees in general so that the counties are not so relient on Building fees to survive. It costs many 10's of thousands of dollars in fees to build a house, and some of these fees are tied to house size, thus the minimum requirement, but are overall just too high. So much so that most retrofits are not pulling permits, I see many outright 2nd houses with no permits. But, the new property owners are stuck with an impossiblely high barrier to live -- on land they own. (2) Stand firm on compliance and inspections for sanitation and electric hookups, but make the fees reasonable, a few hundreds, so that people do it. (3) Let people camp on their own property if they choose to, given safety items just stated (4) Re-open and build facilities for mentally ill. Commit people who clearly cannot take care of themselves until which time they can. We are not being compasionate, being that mentally ill on the streets is not better, it is worse, than a good facility. We need to take care of the ill among us. These are the "cannot follow rules" to be housed, as they are so disruptive and unstable, they are kicked out of all half way houses. They need help in a mental facility, it is not their fault. (5) change codes to allow campgrounds and/or trailer parks, run by private owners/groups. We do not need the government to fund this, just the government to get out of the way. Something that costs around $500/month for a campsite, clean toilets and water on site, like at any campground. We closed down campgrounds like this that used to exist because of NIMBYism. (6) for those that do not want to follow rules needed to stay in our many homeless shelters, the newly allowed campgrounds, a halfway house etc.... need to be escorted out of city limits and off of the public parks and playgrounds. There may be a need to allow favelas for this group. A favela is just an area ignored by the authorities.

( An area by me is at present spending $2,000 a month, per person, to let a group of 50 something individuals camp in tents on a city owned gravel parking lot. The money is spent on portapotties, security, cleaning, and more cleaning, social workers, medical personell....... this is a "temporary measure" . These people we are paying for because they do not want to sleep in the shelters we run (shelters do not allow drug use, dogs, weapons, etc....) We give them free needles and tie off kits, free food, free sleeping bags and tents. So, if I seem to have an attitude, this is why. )

mntnhousepermi's picture
mntnhousepermi
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Posts: 170
I forgot one on the list

I forgot one segment of unhoused, we also have people trying to live here on a fixed income, of social security, or disability or SSI. We need some of our large already existing State government employees to offer these people, who live in the greater SF bay area/Silicon Valley or alot of the greater LA area counselling on how and where to relocate. They have no idea how to do it, or where to go, and it costs money to move. Not everyone should live in the most expensive housing area of the country, especially as their check could pay for a roof over their heads and food in another area. If we can find the money to do these emergency efforts of paying for hotels etc... we can instead spend money to help this group get to a sustainable place to live. SO, counseling, help identifying the right place to go, wether a cheaper area of California or another state, and a one time paying of the moving service and first months rent/deposit. There are alot of towns in the country that have had too many people move away, do to lack of jobs, so if some of our people who cannot work, and get checks, would go there, it would help those other communities. They wuld be paying rent there, shopping there, etc....

mntnhousepermi's picture
mntnhousepermi
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Joined: Feb 19 2016
Posts: 170
better conditions in favelas

Better condtions can be had in Favelas by a small amount of government money or other incintives. I read about this being done in Brazil. There is an incentive given for every bag of trash turned in. This easily gets most to all of the trash on the ground gone. Sometimes the incentives are bus passes, but could be food or whatever works for the area.

I think the governments would be well served by putting in a few community water taps, where people can walk to to fill up water jugs. Out here, we could even have public toilets installed, if we could figure out how to incentivize the favela population to stop trashing them !! Or, we could just have more accessable public dump stations for RV's to dump the blackwater tank, for free. And, we could allow, as at least one state park I have been to in Oregon does, a small fee to come in and use the shower/bathroom facilities. A couple bucks there buys a hot shower, and a few business parking lots allow free overnight camping in RV's if the people -- follow rules  -- not disruptive or tossing out trash, etc...

In India, they just dont have toilets in so many area, it is not surprising they are not going to install them in favellas, but they could, if the government installed a few, and labor there is so cheap, that an attendent could be paid just by an extremely small fee paid per use by users of the facilities, this is done in Africa. And, yes, people in slums can and do pay small amounts of money there to have a safe, clean place to relieve themselves. It is just our west coast heroin addicts that flaunt defecating in front of everyone on the sidewalks and parks.....

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
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Posts: 913
SWAT trashed back neighbor's trailer

Does anyone know who pays for SWAT damage here in Virginia?

http://www.wavy.com/news/local/portsmouth

That trailer is right behind mine.

The lady who lives there is a sweet woman whose only daughter died; her family puts her up there, but she's poor.

She recently got her CNA.

Does anyone understand that little bit in the Constitution about "corruption of blood"?

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
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TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
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Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 452
Re; SS & Disability

mntnhousepermi Wrote:

"I forgot one segment of unhoused, we also have people trying to live here on a fixed income, of social security, or disability or SSI."

This is going away or the value will continue to demish. Just about every Western nation has huge unfunded entitlement programs. 

 Helping the poor as you suggest isn't the best option because people will count on the gov't safety net instead of taking there own responsiblity for there financial future. I see people that have no or very little retirement\rainy day savings still go on vacations, buy fancy cars they cannot afford, or by homes they cannot afford. All that capital that could go for retirement, ends up going to the banks as interest payments. 

mntnhousepermi Wrote:

"State government employees to offer these people, who live in the greater SF bay area/Silicon Valley or alot of the greater LA area counselling on how and where to relocate."

They are coming there for the free handouts. Why would they want to relocate when the state\county is offering free stuff in SF? There will never be a sustainable place to provide for people that don't want to provide for themselves. The more that CA & SF tries to help, the more people that will come. I am sure you recall the movie quote:"If you build it, they will come". That is exactly what is going on. People from all around the SF region and migrating to the SF to get the free handouts. It won't stop until the handouts stop.

 

 

 

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mntnhousepermi
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
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Posts: 170
TechGuy
TechGuy wrote:

mntnhousepermi Wrote:

"I forgot one segment of unhoused, we also have people trying to live here on a fixed income, of social security, or disability or SSI."

This is going away or the value will continue to demish. Just about every Western nation has huge unfunded entitlement programs. 

 Helping the poor as you suggest isn't the best option because people will count on the gov't safety net instead of taking there own responsiblity for there financial future. I see people that have no or very little retirement\rainy day savings still go on vacations, buy fancy cars they cannot afford, or by homes they cannot afford. All that capital that could go for retirement, ends up going to the banks as interest payments. 

mntnhousepermi Wrote:

"State government employees to offer these people, who live in the greater SF bay area/Silicon Valley or alot of the greater LA area counselling on how and where to relocate."

They are coming there for the free handouts. Why would they want to relocate when the state\county is offering free stuff in SF? There will never be a sustainable place to provide for people that don't want to provide for themselves. The more that CA & SF tries to help, the more people that will come. I am sure you recall the movie quote:"If you build it, they will come". That is exactly what is going on. People from all around the SF region and migrating to the SF to get the free handouts. It won't stop until the handouts stop.

 

 

 

 

Yes, we need to stop the free handouts ! I was talking about the actual disabled/retired portion of people, not the otherwise able bodied that we supply free food, free sleepingbags, free shoot up kits, free narcanon, etc....

 

I may not have been clear, there are different populations that make up the "homeless" here. When we look at the different segments of the population, we can differentiate ones that can be helped from ones we need to CUT OFF from the handouts and push out of our parks to go make themselves a favela or whatever outside of town.

The giving support to relocate part is to help those with a check, which means it is disability or retirement, to go where that will provide a roof over their heads. The part that was behind that statement I guess I left unsaid, so it is this, we need to STOP giving free stuff for people to camp out in our parks. So then they have a choice, leave the city limits with the drug addicts/criminals, or accept help in securing a place to be that can be covered by their check.

 

Yes, the value of disability and social security will continue to diminsh. And, as it does so, the issue of living somewhere more affordable increases. So, my point stands, no more giving free stuff to live on the sidewalk and parks, we will help you find a spot your check will cover, and it wont be in this area, this area is too expensive for you, no-one has a right to be given help to live in an expensive area, even if they grew up here, when they could live without help in another area of the State or in another State....

I live in the greater SF bay area. I absolutely agree that the handouts must stop, and the coddling. That said, we do have many people with a large enough check that would cover a SRO, or studio apt, or trailer park rent, etc... in a less expensive area, there is no reason that we should be subsidizing housing here, and I see no reason why our bloated social services gov workers shouldnt spend some time, that we are already paying their salaries for, to help them to get there. That is not a handout. SSI, Soc security, SSDI are federal programs, not state of CA programs, it would be better for the expesive parts of the state of CA to help and encourage those folks with those federal checks to relocate to where it can put a roof over their heads

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
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Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 452
mntnhousepermi Wrote: "SSI,

mntnhousepermi Wrote:

"SSI, Soc security, SSDI are federal programs, not state of CA programs, it would be better for the expesive parts of the state of CA to help and encourage those folks with those federal checks to relocate to where it can put a roof over their heads"

Those gov't checks don't provide enough to cover living costs (food, energy) and housing. I believe the average SS annual payment is about $16K/year. However, its likely that any of these retireed homeless people would collect less than the average since its unilkely they paid into the system during all their working years, or likely started collecting a 62 instead of 65 or older. SSI and other Federal entitlements are also being devalued as the payments aren't keeping up with inflation. SSI & Medicare/Medicaid are in a slo-mo collapse as the outlays exceed revenue, and there is no lockbox that saved the surplus collected over the past 60 years.

These homeless would never be able to relocate to someplace that has low cost housing which would be a rural or semi-rural area. They would need a car just to pick up food. These people will always end up in urban areas becuase they can walk our use public transportation to get the items they need, and urban areas will always have unaffordable housing for them.

 

 

mntnhousepermi's picture
mntnhousepermi
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 19 2016
Posts: 170
TechGuy
TechGuy wrote:

mntnhousepermi Wrote:

"SSI, Soc security, SSDI are federal programs, not state of CA programs, it would be better for the expesive parts of the state of CA to help and encourage those folks with those federal checks to relocate to where it can put a roof over their heads"

Those gov't checks don't provide enough to cover living costs (food, energy) and housing. I believe the average SS annual payment is about $16K/year. However, its likely that any of these retireed homeless people would collect less than the average since its unilkely they paid into the system during all their working years, or likely started collecting a 62 instead of 65 or older. SSI and other Federal entitlements are also being devalued as the payments aren't keeping up with inflation. SSI & Medicare/Medicaid are in a slo-mo collapse as the outlays exceed revenue, and there is no lockbox that saved the surplus collected over the past 60 years.

These homeless would never be able to relocate to someplace that has low cost housing which would be a rural or semi-rural area. They would need a car just to pick up food. These people will always end up in urban areas becuase they can walk our use public transportation to get the items they need, and urban areas will always have unaffordable housing for them.

 

 

You are making alot of assumptions. I actually know people living on these kinds of income, and here is the thing, unless you own your house, you cannot live on SS in the greater SF bay area paying rent, unless you live in a run down rural cabin, which is done, and there is no decent mass transit, but it works out. Some also walk a mile to the bus that runs once a day. Hitchhiking and getting rides from neighbors, for example. I routinely pick up elderly, low income hitchhikers getting to town. SO, you are wrong, people already do this. But, we do not have enough of that type of housing here, so many need to relocate. If the check is in the lower range, then they are also getting food stamps. A common way for low income to make rent is to not live alone, just like college students do not generally live alone. People are resilient when they need to be, when they arent addicted, mentally ill or otherwise impaired. Marginallized, poor people are very generous and help each other out. As purchasing power continues to degrade, I would expect more interesting arrangements being made, more house sharing, and more informal ( not Uber) rides, etc... Which doesnt change that numbers of it being too expensive here, and an awful lot less expensive elsewhere. It costs over 1,000 a month to rent a room in someone elses house here, and that is not house "sharing" that is renting the room, and this is the "cheapest" area of the greater SF bay area, the areas without alot of freebies or transit, it goes up alot in the cities, $2000 ? not sure..... A friend in a not cheap town out of state that I know, a 3 bedroom house can be rented for 1200, for a nice one, there are cheaper ones. That is 400 plus utilites for sharing the house, per person. That is in a town with food/ buses/resources. The more rural towns there are evenless expensive, and they also have stores and the daily bus to the city from the even cheaper towns. A $900 check with food stamps is enough money there, easily. A $1500 Social security check with no food stamps, even better. I believe a 2 bedroom apartment pencils out similar, so 2 older folks sharing is very doable.

 

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