Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 7/26 - Prepare For Chinese Maxi-Devaluation, Methane Deathtrap Threatens Democracy

Thursday, July 26, 2018, 10:14 AM

Economy

(Why) The Future is a Choice Between Two Socialisms (Afridev)

Unless you believe in cosmic coincidences, the reason that ultranationalist movements have popped up, seemingly overnight, is straightforward: economies are stagnant and so people’s lives aren’t improving, . But what does that really mean? It means life has become governed by artificial scarcity. Middle and working classes are on the brink — because capitalism makes things artificially scarce, so that it can maximize profits. What things? Healthcare. Affordable education. A mortgage an average person can pay off in a lifetime. Decent jobs themselves. For young people, marriage, having kids, and homes of their own. When insulin costs thousands, though we all know it can and should cost pennies — that’s artificial scarcity.

Tariffs Are a Tax that Will Hurt American Companies Like Mine (jdargis)

International trade has been the single most important contributor to growth and hiring at Cummins for nearly two decades. Half of our business is outside the United States, and more than 20 percent of the 25,000 Cummins jobs in America are directly tied to international business. And when we are growing, it often means our suppliers are also growing.

Prepare for a Chinese Maxi-devaluation (thc0655)

They only import about $150 billion of U.S. exports. At the rate they’re going, they’ll run out of goods to impose tariffs on. Trump can keep going because the U.S. imports so much more from China than they buy from us.

But the Chinese are obsessed with not losing face. Chinese President Xi has just been named in effect dictator for life. He doesn’t want to start out his new dictatorial regime by backing down from a stare-fest with Donald Trump. So he needs another option.

Reflections on Media Gone Russia-Wild (Matt H.)

In the wacky aftermath of the Trump-Putin Helsinki summit debacle last week, Browder is back on the guest roster of a U.S. cable news establishment that has gone Russia wild. Last Wednesday night for just one example, MSNBC’s Russia-crazed ratings star Rachel Maddow leaped from (a) reporting a Sarah Huckabee-Sanders comment on how the Trump White House was discussing whether or not to honor Putin’s request to hand over McFaul and Browder to Russia (which would be a bizarre and astonishing development and was obviously never going to happen) to (b) telling ordinary Americans they could soon be at risk of being picked up by the White House and handed over to Russia to be killed by Putin (or “other foreign dictators”).

DHS: Russian Actors Infiltrated Electric Grids, Possibly Causing Blackouts – Attack Might Be Ongoing (Thomas R.)

The Russian hackers familiarized themselves with how the facilities worked normally in order to “take the normal and make it abnormal” in order to cause disruptions, Homer said.

Homer added that the Russian’s goal was to disguise themselves as “the people who touch these systems on a daily basis.”

Are recyclers ready for the coming glut of lithium-ion batteries? (tmn)

“We expect the global Li-ion industry to grow from 100 gigawatt hours of annual production to almost 800 gigawatt hours in 2027,” says Sam Jaffe, managing director of Cairn Energy Research Advisors, a battery consultancy. “That’s nearly an eightfold increase. Stationary storage will account for less than 8% of that. The vast majority will go into cars,” he adds.

The Regulation That Could Push Oil To $200 (Michael S.)

By 2020, diesel production will need to rise by at least seven percent, according to Philip K. Verleger, on top of the three percent increase needed for road transport and other uses. All of it will need to be low-sulfur. “It is not clear that the greater volumes can be produced,” Verleger wrote in his paper. “Instead…very large price hikes may be required to suppress non-maritime use.”

Greece wildfires – 74 dead, 150 injured and ‘eight missing’ as apocalyptic wildfires near Athens burn families alive in their cars (Thomas R.)

The mayor of Rafina, Vangelis Bournos told SKA that 1,000 homes had been destroyed by the ferocious blaze while later adding that he hopes the death toll would not reach "three digits".

Japan heatwave declared natural disaster as death toll mounts (tmn)

More than 22,000 people have been taken to hospital with heat stroke, nearly half of them elderly, officials say.

On Monday, the city of Kumagaya reported a temperature of 41.1C (106F), the highest ever recorded in Japan.

Methane Deathtrap Threatens Democracy (Cornelius999)

Climate scientists have long sighted methane (CH4) bubbles rising to the surface in the Arctic for well over one decade now, especially along the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS). Problem: Methane eruptions are gradually turning into virtual monsters, getting bigger and wider (up to a half-mile across of rippling bubbles, according to Russian scientists), and potentially more dangerous and destructive, expanding more and more, in anticipation of a gigantic CH4 burp (maybe 50 gigatons suddenly vs. only 5 gigatons now in the atmosphere) followed by a massive global self-reinforcing planetary heat stroke.

California power grid urges consumers to conserve energy in heat wave (Thomas R.)

Gas supplies are expected to remain tight in Southern California this summer and winter due to reduced availability from SoCalGas' Aliso Canyon storage facility in Los Angeles, following a massive leak between October 2015 and February 2016, and ongoing shutdowns of several pipelines.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 7/24/18

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."

5 Comments

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1924
Orlov: Collapse and the Good (simple) Life

Dimitri Orlov writes something that I think is very inspirational.  Reminds me of several of the homesteaders and boat-steaders around PP.

Much of what I have been writing about for the past 13 years, starting with the article Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century, has been negative: the topic of the ongoing, slow but accelerating, collapse of the United States is not a happy subject. The negativity is inevitable: my goal has been to inspire my readers to transform their lives in a way that will allow them to avoid getting hurt by the collapse, and the motivation to do so is two-part. One part is negative: understanding what to move away from; the other, equally essential, is positive: what to move toward. The negative part is much simpler to spell out than the positive, because while the negative factors tend to affect everyone, although in different ways and to different extents, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone to embrace and implement.

Over the years, I’ve tried to present various alternatives, some of which I have tested out, and all of them are entirely lacking in universality. But this is inevitable.

My first major lifehack was getting rid of the house and the car and living aboard a sailboat. This allowed me to eliminate all debt, to dramatically cut my burn rate and to quickly amass savings, while working corporate gigs within walking or bicycling distance of the marina where the sailboat was parked. My wife and I also sailed around quite a lot. We stayed on board after our son was born, and he grew up aboard until age five. He misses living on the boat now that we are on land.

I distilled our experiences into a boat design project—Quidnon, “A Houseboat that Sails.” The design process is ongoing, and it looks like I’ll have the funds to start building it next year. My goal is to make Quidnon an affordable option for anybody who wants to make a go of “seasteading.” But living aboard isn’t for everyone; some people get seasick and lots of people aren’t handy enough to take care of a boat.

Another lifehack I tried is overwintering rent-free in the tropics of Central America. There are plenty of caretaker opportunities—enough for anyone who wants one, and we found one quite easily. Not everybody can leave the US, or some other collapse-ready country that they happen to be stuck in, for extended periods of time, but it’s becoming an increasingly good idea. It is an especially good idea to move to a place where food can be grown or caught year-round almost effortlessly, where heating is unnecessary and air conditioning is provided by the trade winds, and where there are locals around surviving on almost no money.

Matt Bracken is a big advocate of living on a 30-40 foot sail boat, too.  [See Chapter 18, "Get yourself a 30-Footer and Go," from "The Bracken Anthology."]

Along the way I connected with Greg Jeffers and published his book Prosperous Homesteading. Greg tried a different approach: giving up on city life and shopping for food in favor of life on a self-sustaining homestead. He worked out the microeconomics of running a homestead, as opposed to running a farm. The difference is that a farm feeds people who don’t live on the farm, while a homestead feeds those who do (and makes a bit of money through sale of livestock). Farming is a fool’s game—underpaid, risky, overregulated work; homesteading is a lifehack.

Robie?  Is this you?

Greg recently wrote to tell me that his next book—on working with horses—will be ready sometime soon. (His first book has sold quite well.) Horses are an essential part of the system he has adopted once he found out that tractors fail to earn their keep (plus they fail to reproduce, don’t run on grass and aren’t nearly as personable). Dragging logs out of the wood lot or hilling potatoes with a hoe is backbreaking work—unless you have a horse, preferably a team of horses, pulling for you.

But living on a homestead isn’t for everyone either; you have to have a grubstake to buy the land and set it up, be fit enough for lots of physical labor, be good with animals and, perhaps most importantly, you have to be young enough (and married enough) to bear and bring up a bunch of homesteading children who will take over the running of the homestead, so that you can retire at 40, because your homestead will also provide for your retirement.

Community building

I also tried making a foray into writing about community-building, seeing as what passes for community in the US and other overdeveloped, collapse-ready countries isn’t worth writing about. There is perhaps more to be said on the subject, but the sad realization is that the best practices I uncovered are not applicable to most people’s situations. Communities that Abide can’t be organized artificially; they all evolve, mostly by going through dire circumstances and surviving. Perhaps some of them will take shape in the aftermath of collapse, but this is unlikely to happen as preparation for collapse. Still, there is an important lesson here: surviving collapse is a lot easier if you are with your own people rather than in a diverse, multicultural, highly individualistic, alienated setting. This is certainly unwelcome news for people who are diverse, multicultural, individualistic and alienated.

Finally, I seem to be managing to combine all these strands together. We moved back to Russia, where I was born and grew up, and where I interoperate and blend in with the scenery quite seamlessly. Here, we spend the summers at our summer house (dacha) in a small village. There are open fields, a river to swim in and lots of woods full of berries and mushrooms. The orchard, the kitchen garden and the greenhouse is providing us with a steady stream of produce. But it’s not quite complete as a self-sufficient homestead—although it once was and it could be again if the situation demanded it. In fact, there are few homesteaders left in these parts. Most people prefer to overwinter in towns and cities, and the Russian economy is doing much too well to make full-time homesteading attractive for too many people.

The lack of year-round residents is a problem for keeping livestock. But most other problems simply don’t exist here. High-speed internet is around $10/month, making it possible to work remotely. A couple of years’ worth of firewood, delivered by the dumptruck load, is around $100. Electricity is $0.045/kWh—roughly half of what it is in the US. Most other expenses—taxes, insurance, construction permits, etc., are either very low or nonexistent. There is nobody to give you a ticket for planting crops in your front yard or for failing to mow your lawn. (What lawn?) Fields for cultivation can be leased from the government at around $50 per year per acre. Although many people here own cars, we have been able to get by without one. Taxi service is available everywhere and is quite cheap ($5 for a ride for the nearest town), and there are trains from there to several large cities.

Building boats. In Russia

It also turns out to be a good place to build boats [the village in Russia where he lives simply]. There are all sorts of shops and skilled people in the vicinity, while the plywood, of the sort needed to build a Quidnon, costs nine times less here than in the US. Other ingredients, such as fiberglass and epoxy, wiring and electronics and so on, cost the same as anywhere else. It is likely that the first Quidnon hull will be built right around here, perhaps next summer, on the bank of a navigable river, and also tested around here, on a nearby lake. At 67,500 square kilometers, Lake Ilmen is not big enough to be called an inland sea, but it’s big enough for a proving ground. Once the shakeout is complete, Quidnon will be able to move to the Baltic Sea, via River Volkhov, Lake Ladoga, River Neva and the Gulf of Finland, and from there to the world. Taking a right instead of a left at Lake Ladoga and following a series of rivers, lakes and canals, would take one to the mighty River Volga and from there to the Black Sea and the Med—a trip of a lifetime.

Finally, the village a good place to bring up naturalists. I recently took delivery of a dumptruck full of firewood and my son was helping me stack it in the woodshed. During the day or so that passed between the delivery and the stacking a field mouse decided to make a nest under the pile of firewood and give birth. My son discovered the baby mice while picking up wood for me to stack. They were naked and blind, and my son looked at them in amazement while the mouse scurried around. Then he noticed that one by one the baby mice were disappearing! After a while we figured out what was happening: the mouse decided to relocate to the woodshed and was transporting the baby mice to the new nest in her mouth. I knew that cats did this, but mice? Well, it would appear that all mammals have pretty much the same set of maternal instincts. This was a truly exciting discovery for a six-year-old. Such teachable moments, plus the many tasks where children can help out, blurring the line between work and play, are priceless—and free

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: May 4 2014
Posts: 586
Investing in land?

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5752
Oh no! My gold and silver!
Uncletommy wrote:

A sad picture of my entire hoard of gold and silver slipping beneath the waves, the Marianas Trench right beneath.

:(

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1326
Load of poo!
article on socialism wrote:

 because capitalism makes things artificially scarce, so that it can maximize profits. What things? Healthcare. Affordable education. A mortgage an average person can pay off in a lifetime.

What a complete load of poo!  I also find it interesting that the things listed as scarce are those heavily controlled by government already.

Perhaps that's why there is such abundance in Venezuela!

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 1191
The good life

doesn't wail for the collapse,,, it has always been,(thanks SP)

 

collapse now, avoid the rush.

Kelsey didn't settle on her last exposure. However, her daughter is going to draft horse camp, and all who would like to attend can meet her and My partner and I at, well shit I cant cut and pastethe event.

 it is the American Suffolk Horse Assn.(the best of the heavy horses) in New river Valley VA. Oct 5,6,7.

PM me if really interested

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