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Daily Digest 7/25 - The End Of Plenty, Don't Laugh At Solar Powered Airplanes

Saturday, July 25, 2015, 10:47 AM

Economy

Gap Widening as Top Workers Reap the Raises (jdargis)

For the first time since the economic recovery began six years ago, white-collar professionals with specialized skills in fields like technology, finance, engineering and software find themselves in the catbird seat.

But despite the steady addition of more than 200,000 jobs a month and a decline in the official jobless rate to a postrecession low of 5.3 percent, most American workers, including many college graduates, still face lukewarm wage growth at best and very limited bargaining power with bosses.

‘The End of Plenty,’ by Joel K. Bourne Jr. (jdargis)

After all, through the 20th century, successive American governments were worried about what hungry and fecund third world citizens would do if their governments didn’t keep their bellies full. The Rockefeller Foundation crystallized these fears in 1951, observing in an internal report that was to provide the basis for funding a massive agricultural program that “whether additional millions . . . will become Communists will depend partly on whether the Communist world or the free world fulfills its promises. Hungry people are lured by promises, but they may be won by deeds. Communism makes attractive promises to underfed peoples. Democracy must not only promise as much, but must deliver more.” The solution involved making food cheap for cities, and reducing fertility rates, heading off Malthus at the pass.

Americans Are Finally Eating Less (jdargis)

The encouraging data does not mean an end to the obesity epidemic: More than a third of American adults are still considered obese, putting them at increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Americans are still eating far too few fruits and vegetables and far too much junk food, even if they are eating somewhat less of it, experts say.

Which State Is in the Most Ecological Debt of Them All? (jdargis)

Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Virginia all have serious IOUs—these states top the list of ecological debtors whose residents suck up far more resources than their natural surroundings can provide. On the other end of the spectrum, Alaska, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Nebraska have plenty to spare. How does your state stack up? Head over to National Geographic for a deeper dive into the data.

Don’t Laugh at Solar-Powered Airplanes (jdargis)

Innovations in transportation almost always strike contemporary observers as useless, dangerous, rickety contraptions that don’t stand a chance of being anything more than curiosities. The loud, belching steamboat Robert Fulton launched on the Hudson River in 1807 was dubbed “Fulton’s Folly” by observers. The Wright Brothers’ first plane (which is now recapturing some of our imaginations thanks to a new biography by David McCullough), didn’t look particularly airworthy as its insubstantial frame wobbled along the North Carolina coastline. Henry Ford’s first cars were clanking, clattering, high-end menaces. When they first appeared, each of these transport modes was a one-off—an expensive home kit produced by hobbyists. And yet each developed over the course of a few decades into a dominant, economically efficient, safe standard.

The Earth stands on the brink of its sixth mass extinction and the fault is ours (LesPhelps)

These are extraordinarily difficult questions. There are many millions of species, many elusive and rare, and inhabiting remote and dangerous places. There are too few skilled biologists in the field to keep track of them all. Demonstrating beyond reasonable doubt that any single species is extinct is arduous and painstaking (think how long it took to show – to most people, at least – that Loch Ness probably does not harbour a large monster).

Crickets: The Farmers’ Solution to Grow More with Less? (jdargis)

Using the data collected by the sensors installed in farmers’ cricket cages—a few dozen variables collected for each, he says, such as temperature—McDonald wants to help farmers optimize their operations by determining the conditions that will enable crickets to thrive.

“Globally, the agriscience that goes into optimizing large-scale insect farming is still in its early stages compared the agriscience for soybeans,” he says.

Dried oregano in 'latest food fraud' says Which? (westcoastjan)

"It particularly happens with things that come from far away places and with many different people interacting in the supply chains, they do tend to be very, very vulnerable," he told BBC Radio 5 live's Breakfast programme.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 7/23/15

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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3 Comments

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2009
Posts: 811
The End of Plenty

Thomas "Robert" Malthus was not an "armchair scold" because his ideas were not sound, or because they were easily refutable.  He was and is attacked by mainstream thinkers because they do not like the reality he tries to force us to see.  

Yes, he talked about food production and sex, but he also talked about the difference between exponential growth and arithmetic growth.  Simplified, it boils down to; one base in the equations grows, i.e. population, but the other, the size of the Earth, does not.  That Problem is irrefutable and will never change.  It is why any level of population growth is eventually unsustainable.

Robert also talked about the inadvisability of wearing down the desire for self reliance in humanity by legislating ill considered welfare or charity.  His point here was twofold.  The first point is the desirability of self reliance.  The second is that, ultimately, welfare does not reduce the number of hungry people at the margin.  Welfares only result is to increase the size of the well fed population available to create more population. I believe we have proven both of these points quite effectively.

A side note on welfare not, to my recollection mentioned by Robert, is that welfare codifies the inherent indirect relationship between population growth and population wealth.  In a finite resource environment, more people means fewer resources per person.  Welfare takes resources from people who possess them and uses these resources to encourage population growth.  Well fed people have babies, whether they are subsidized or not.

People still dream that a balance is going to be achieved, but population growth is still encouraged and subsidized.  At this moment, abortion clinics have been almost entirely eliminated in Texas.  Extra children place extra burden on society, but, in the U.S.  the more children you have, the lower your tax bill is.  Schools are supported by property taxes which is completely independent of a family size.  And of course, as we always talk about here, growth in all it's forms, is the number one God of modern society, economics and politics.  It is encouraged.

I won't believe we even have a snowballs chance on the day side of Mercury, until the Catholic Church embraces birth control.  That is my litmus test on humanities ability to intelligently adapt.  Until then, we are, as a species, about as intelligent as algae.

 

 

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4240
Puerto Rico seeking liquidity to make Aug. 1 debt payment

Headlines:

  1. Puerto Rico seeking liquidity to make Aug. 1 debt payment
  2. More than half of FTSE 350 companies have risky pensions
  3. Pensions, health care add to big 2017 budget holes (Oregon)

On Thursday I gave a personal warning on our debts/risks and strongly stand by it. Please note that Chris Martenson also gave his alert on June 29. If you are just visiting this site please examine the headlines and news stories I have posted in the comments sections this week. The risks we have are currently very high and they are around the globe and should not be ignored.

 

 

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4240
Debt conundrum to keep Greek banks in months-long freeze

"Greek banks are set to keep broad cash controls in place for months, until fresh money arrives from Europe and with it a sweeping restructuring, officials believe.

Rehabilitating the country's banks poses a difficult question. Should the euro zone take a stake in the lenders, first requiring bondholders and even big depositors to shoulder a loss, or should the bill for fixing the banks instead be added to Greece's debt mountain?"

"Nearly 50,000 energy jobs have been lost in the past three months on top of 100,000 employees laid off since oil prices started to tumble last fall, according to Graves & Co., a Houston energy consultancy. Initial rounds of layoffs this year tended to be blue-collar jobs, such as roughnecks on drilling sites, fracking crews and workers at industrial-equipment manufacturers.

Now the job cuts are starting to extend to engineers and scientists."

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