Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 1/15 - 2.3M Children Have A Long-Term Jobless Parent, ASU Students Turn To 'Sugar Daddies' For Support

Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 12:27 PM


Older, costlier crowd leading health insurance sign-ups

Enrolling young and healthy people is important because they generally pay more into the system than they take out, subsidizing older adults. While 24 percent is not a bad start, say independent experts, it should be closer to 40 percent to help keep premiums down.

Silver-Coin Premiums Poised to Climb as U.S. Mint Supplies Ease

The premium charged by wholesale dealers for American Eagle coins from the U.S. Mint may rise to 17 percent from 14 percent yesterday, said Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago. The mint has said that weekly allocations will ease.

As tuition rises, some ASU students become 'sugar babies'

According to the College Board, the nonprofit group that oversees the SAT, in-state tuition and fees in Arizona increased 70 percent when adjusted for inflation over the past five years. The national average was an increase of 27 percent.
"Everything has just gone up," said Quintana.

Food pantry in Daytona Beach running low as demand doubles

The Deobils said the number of people coming to them doubled around November, which is when the federal government cut the amount of money food stamp recipients could get each month.

Resource nationalism alive and well as Indonesia bans key metal exports

Indonesia has kicked off the new year with a total ban on exports of nickel, tin and bauxite, a warning that resource nationalism remains a potent force despite the commodity slump.

Italy’s hated housing tax a drag on property market recovery

Italy has seen purchases of houses halve since 2006, as the sovereign debt crisis cut citizens’ disposable income and made access to loans more difficult and costly.

The number of property transactions fell in 2013 to 400,000 from more than 800,000 in 2006, when the market was enjoying a buying spree.

Brown budget plan faulted on bullet train, teacher pensions (California)

Administration officials estimate that the retirement system is underfunded by $80.4 billion.

Brown has proposed only the state's regular $1.4-billion payment to that system in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. State officials have said that it would take $4.5 billion a year for the next three decades to stabilize the pension fund.

Venezuela weighs pet food price controls

Price controls have become a staple of Venezuela's economic policies, drawing praise from supporters of Maduro and his government who say they make items more affordable for the poor. Opponents have sharply criticized such policies, arguing that they fuel goods shortages and harm businesses.

2.3 million children have a long-term jobless parent

More than 2.3 million children currently live with a long-term unemployed parent.

That's three times more than in 2007, according to research by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. The report comes as Congress considers whether to extend recession-era jobless benefits.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 1/14/14

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."


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Gail the Actuary: financial limits precede fossil fuel limits

Here is a great article by Gail the Actuary:

Why EIA, IEA, and Randers' 2052 Energy Forecasts are Wrong

The second paragraph contains the following:

Most researchers assume that the limit that they should be concerned with is the amount of oil, coal, and natural gas in the ground. This is the wrong limit. While in theory we will eventually hit this limit, because of the way fossil fuels are integrated into the rest of the economy, we hit financial limits much earlier. These financial limits include lack of investment capital, inability of governments to collect enough taxes to fund their programs, and widespread debt defaults.

To be fair, Tverberg qualifies the claim that financial limits will be more immediate catalysts of contraction with the following:

In my view, what causes a shift to contraction is a shift to higher energy costs. With higher energy costs, there is less surplus between the cost of extraction (broadly defined) and the benefit to society. 

So, it seems that she does believe that higher energy costs (declining EROI) are the most important independent variable, but it also appears that she believes that many in the limits-to-growth camp underestimate how economic and financial contraction may limit the exploitation of new energy resources earlier than would be the case if the resource depletion itself were the only factor.

I also appreciated Tverberg's diagrams on the relationship between energy, debt, and technology:



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Arthur Robey
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115d F in Adelaide.

I'm sailing for Esperance tomorrow. I have to work in 46 C sunny conditions. I had better get busy before movement is impossible.

I met an ocean biologist researcher last night. We had an interesting chat about the state of the oceans. He flies back to Hobart today.

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good saling, Authur.

Esperance sounds cooler. Only 75 F later today.

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Greeks Protest Syrian Chemical Weapons Burial In Mediterranean


While Greek (and Cypriot) leaders exclaim the recovery in their economies (factual data aside), the reality is that they remain low-man-on-the-totem-pole among the European Union (despite holding the Presidency). Nowhere is this better illustrated than the world's decision to sink two ships carrying Syria's chemical weapons in the waters near Greece and Cyprus. As KeepTalkingGreece notes, the first stage of destroying Syria’s chemical weapons has reportedly already begun with the aid of Norway, Denmark, Russia, China, Finland, UK and USA, among others. The chosen dumping ground for more than 800 tonnes of chemical weapons... Crete.


As KeepTalkingGreece goes on to note,

?he graveyard of highly toxic weapons will be off Crete, west from the Chania prefecture. Reason enough for Cretans in particular and Greek sin general to protest the process claiming environmental reasons. Aninternational petition against the dumping of the Syrian chemicals in the Mediterranean Seas has already been set up in the petition website avaaz.org:


Dumping of 800 tonnes of chemical weapons treated with hydrolysis in the Mediterranean will cause serious pollution, environmental degradation and severe threats to public health.It does not respect local societies, international conventions and very valuable ecosystems and marine species present in the area.” (read and sign petition here)

Speaking to defense news website onalert.gr, a Greek official said he couldn’t believe that any scientist at the OPCW would like to poison a broader area among so many countries.

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