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Archive for the ‘Demographics’ tag

Is the US becoming an Ineptocracy?

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As one commenter over at ZeroHedge so fittingly put it:

Ineptocracy: A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or suceed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminshing number of producers.

They revisit their analysis from two years ago, explaining how it has become increasingly more lucrative – in the form of actual disposable income – to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work.

Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a state best known for its broke capital Harrisburg) […] explained […] “the single mom is better off earnings gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.

Of course, that’s just the catchy part – the details are (as usual) much scarier. Full summary and presentation by the Pennsylvania Secretary of Public Welfare, Gary D. Alexander

Written by mo

November 27th, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Posted in United States

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Chris Martenson’s presentation on exponential growth

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In this video Chris Martenson, economic analyst at http://chrismartenson.com and author of ‘The Crash Course’, explains why he thinks that the coming 20 years are going to look completely unlike the last 20 years. In his presentation he focuses on the so-called three “Es”: Economy, Energy and Environment. He argues that at this point in time it is no longer possible to view either one of those topics separately from one another.

Since all our money is loaned onto existence, our economy has to grow exponentially. Martenson proves this point empirically by showing a 99.9% fit of the actual growth curve of the last 40 years to an exponential curve. If we wanted to continue on this path, our debt load would have to double again over the next 10 years. By continually increasing our debt relative to GDP we are making the assumption that our future will always be wealthier than our past. He believes that this assumption is flawed and that the debt loads are already unmanageable.

Martenson explains how exponential growth works and why it is so scary that our economy is based on it. In an example he illustrates how unimaginably fast things speed up towards the end of an exponential curve. He shows that an exponential chart can be found in every one of the three “E’s” for instance in GDP growth, oil production, water use or species extinction. Due to the natural limitations on resources, Martenson comes to the conclusion that we are facing a serious energy crisis.

This energy predicament is namely that the quantity of oil as well as the quality of oil are in decline. He shows that oil discoveries peaked in 1964 and oil production peaked 40 years later. Martenson also shows how our return on invested energy is rapidly declining — the “cheap and easy” oil fields have already been exploited. In 1930 the energy return for oil was 100:1 or greater. Today it is already down to 3:1 and newer technologies such as corn-based ethanol only provide a 1.5:1 return. Martenson predicts that the time in between oil shocks will get shorter and shorter and that oil prices will go much higher.

Not only oil but also other natural resources are being rapidly used up as well. At the current projected pace of use, known reserves for many metals and minerals will be gone within the next 10 to 20 years. The energy needed to get these non-renewable resources out of the ground is growing exponentially. So we live in a world that must grow, but can’t grow and is subject to depletion. The conclusion out of all this is that our money system is poorly designed and that we need to rethink how we do things as quickly as possible.

After finishing his presentation Chris Martenson answers questions regarding a rise in efficiency, alternative technologies and oil prices. He also responds to questions regarding electricity, shale gas, gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and uranium and the race for global resources.

This video was recorded on November 16 at the Gold & Silver Meeting 2011 in Madrid.

Written by mo

December 25th, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Unnatural Selection: Missing females in Asia

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There are over 160 million females “missing” from Asia’s population. That’s more than the entire female population of the United States. And gender imbalance—which is mainly the result of sex selective abortion—is no longer strictly an Asian problem. In Azerbaijan and Armenia, in Eastern Europe, and even among some groups in the United States, couples are making sure at least one of their children is a son. So many parents now select for boys that they have skewed the sex ratio at birth of the entire world.

How did this occur? Why are women and girls becoming scarce in Asia and Eastern Europe as those regions develop? And what will happen when the world’s extra boys grow up?

Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men addresses these questions and more—and reveals some unexpected answers. Drawing on extensive reporting in China, India, Vietnam, South Korea, Albania, and other countries, Science magazine correspondent Mara Hvistendahl weaves together the story behind the world’s “missing” women into a riveting narrative. The cast of Unnatural Selection includes everyone from prostitutes, mail-order brides, and militant nationalists to geneticists, activists, and AIDS researchers—along with the California fertility doctors hard at work selling the world’s parents on the latest form of sex selection. But perhaps the book’s most disturbing finding is that the gender imbalance is not, as has often been argued, simply the outgrowth of entrenched sexism. In fact the story of the world’s missing women traces, in part, to the United States.

 

“Yes, it’s a rigorous exploration of the world’s ‘missing women,’ but it’s more than that, too: an extraordinarily vivid look at the implications of the problem. Hvistendahl writes beautifully, with an eye for detail but also the big picture.”
Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics

Written by mo

November 25th, 2011 at 1:10 am

Posted in Asia

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