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Daily Digest 12/16 - U.S. Workers Compete With Robots, The Hidden Costs Of Cheap Oil

Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 10:24 AM

Economy

Eurozone Economy Expanding Slightly Despite Weakness in Germany and France (jdargis)

Poor demand is exacerbating the risk that ultralow consumer prices will tilt into outright deflation, a policy conundrum for the European Central Bank. The bank’s president, Mario Draghi, and his colleagues on the governing council have already cut interest rates to rock bottom, and the only major tool left at their disposal would appear to be so-called quantitative easing, or bond-buying on a large scale.

Good Economic News, but Democrats Differ on Whether to Take Credit (jdargis)

That conundrum remains a problem for Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats, who are a minority in the House and will also be a minority in the Senate when the new Congress convenes next year. Soon, however, it will be the defining challenge for the Democratic nominee to succeed Mr. Obama, whether it is Hillary Rodham Clinton or someone else. Even if the economy keeps growing — as many economists expect — prosperity could continue to elude many Americans, given forces predating the Great Recession that are depressing wage growth and widening income inequality.

Economic Recovery Spreads to the Middle Class (jdargis)

But Ms. Yellen and a majority of Fed policy makers, pointing to evidence that inflation remains well under the central bank’s 2 percent target, do not appear to be unduly alarmed and probably still prefer to leave interest rates as low as possible until the trend is better established.

As Robots Grow Smarter, American Workers Struggle to Keep Up (jdargis)

Economists long argued that, just as buggy-makers gave way to car factories, technology would create as many jobs as it destroyed. Now many are not so sure.

Oil price fall threatens $1tn of projects (Scott T.)

Goldman has examined 400 oil and gasfields around the world, many of which are still awaiting a final investment decision. Its analysis, based on a $70 oil price, shows that fields representing 2.3m b/d of output by 2020 and awaiting a green light have now become uneconomic. That figure rises to 7.5m b/d of production by 2025. The analysis excludes US shale.

The Hidden Costs Of Cheap Oil (Evan K.)

If you live in a country that exports a lot of oil (not just Saudi Arabia, but Mexico, Canada and Norway, too), you will not. The declining price of oil is supposed to have a balanced ledger of winners and losers. But we may be on our way to finding out that in the long run we will have a much larger list of losers than winners. And, the list will lengthen if the price continues to fall, and especially if it stays down for a long time. (Low prices are not necessarily an indication of future abundance. Remember that oil reached $35 a barrel at the end of 2008 before returning to record average daily prices in 2011, 2012 and 2013).

Keystone XL pipeline may no longer make economic sense, experts say (jdargis)

The prospect of abandoning the pipeline is something its Canadian builders and their supporters in Congress say they won't even entertain. Keystone is a decades-long investment that backers of the project say will not be changed by what they portray as a temporary glut in the oil market.

Maine local food movement inspires credit union focused on small farms (jdowling)

Budde had started his research while managing social impact pension funds for the New York-based TIAA-CREF, which now manages about $800 billion, primarily for academic institutions and hospitals. He and his wife — who met at Bowdoin College — moved to Maine about a year ago.

May, a Rockport native, previously worked at U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray as a managing director and research analyst. He now serves on the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association board of directors and the steering committee of the local food investment group, Slow Money Maine.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 12/15/14

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."

8 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4238
California controller warns of $72 billion unfunded retiree bene

California controller warns of $72 billion unfunded retiree benefits

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
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Most people can't think....

I was pondering why unconventional understandings are so difficult for many to consider when I came across this quote from Robert Heinlein.

Most people can't think, most of the remainder won't think, the small fraction who do think mostly can't do it very well. The extremely tiny fraction who think regularly, accurately, creatively, and without self-delusion- in the long run these are the only people who count.

I keep coming back to imagining Christopher Columbus standing in front of Queen Isabella trying to communicate his vision that the world was spherical to one who knew that it was flat.  "I believe that we can get to the East by sailing West, honest."

The evidence for the spherical-world viewpoint is not really very compelling--some slight, possibly imagined, curving of the horizon and the appearance of the tops of approaching ships before the bottoms.  At the same time, the objections to it are formidable-- the oceans would run off the edges, people on the bottom would have to walk upside down and hold on with their hands and would run into the turtle shell that supported the earth, etc.

Simply considering the viewpoint of a spherical-world disrupts MULTIPLE assumptions at the same time (Like gravity pulling ocean water not "down," but towards the center of the spherical earth, that "up" would be variable depending on location on the earth, and that no turtle would be needed for support) all while already being certain that the earth is flat.  

No wonder the spherical-world hid in plane sight for centuries without adoption by humans.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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It's Turtles All The Way

It's Turtles All The Way down..  .Sandpuppy.

Bankers Slave's picture
Bankers Slave
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 26 2012
Posts: 523
I have had trouble

all my life when I thought I was thinking but was really using the implanted thought process of another. It still hampers me greatly.

A great part of the antidote is coming to this site and reading the thought processes of others not affected so much by this flat earth affliction.

Thanks to you all.

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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Christopher H's picture
Christopher H
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Posts: 148
Columbus -- an example of someone who couldn't think very well

While I think that the Heinlein quote certainly has *some* merit, selecting Christopher Columbus as an example of someone who thought clearly really does not support your case very well.

In the time of Columbus, it was relatively common knowledge throughout Europe that the world was spherical -- at least among those classes who received some form of formal education.  Heck, it was the Ancient Greeks who proved this through mathematics, to within a pretty close approximation.  The reason that Columbus couldn't get support for his expedition wasn't that everyone thought that the world was flat.  Rather, it was because they were aware of the Ancient Greek calculations regarding the size of the earth, and Columbus was operating under the assumption that the earth was actually much, much smaller.  The only reason that Columbus and his crews didn't die of thirst and starvation while trying to navigate across a vast ocean to the west is that there was an unknown (to Europeans, at least) land mass between Europe and the East Indies.

As JMG has recently pointed out, though, to include these elements of the true story (that Columbus was actually operating on a false premise and was saved by dumb luck) would destroy the myth of Columbus, which is really just another narrative in the greater myth of progress -- that lone individual who, despite the ignorance and superstition surrounding him, rises above to push "progress" forward a few steps.

Tycer's picture
Tycer
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Posts: 617
Nice! Thanks Robie!

Nice! Thanks Robie!

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