Tag Archives | Economy

America: Afraid of Shadows in the Dark While Ignoring the Elephants in the Room

via chycho
usa-fear_thumb

What baffles the mind about the United States of America is that many of its citizens have been conditioned to fear shadows in the dark while ignoring the elephants in the room.

I. Homelessness and Bankruptcies

For example, in the last few years anti-homelessness laws have been passed across the United States, some going as far as making it illegal to feed the homeless. As if that wasn’t enough, to deal with America’s homelessness problem (2), some government representatives have turned to violence:

“Remarkably, this vigilante isn’t just some random Hawaiian, but five-term State Rep. Tom Brower (D).

“Noting that he’s ‘disgusted’ with homeless people, Brower told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser about his own personal brand of ‘justice’: ‘If I see shopping carts that I can’t identify, I will destroy them so they can’t be pushed on the streets.’ Brower has waged this campaign for two weeks, estimating that he’s smashed about 30 shopping carts in the process.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Bitcoin Bubble, Or Is It? Two Charts, Historical Price Movement, and the Conspiracy

via chycho

800px-Stages_of_a_bubble

I wish I wasn’t making this post and I hope I’m wrong. I love the concept of Bitcoin and the prospect of the decentralization of power brought about by the introduction of “an open source peer-to-peer electronic money and payment network” and the inevitable collapse of fiat currencies that are controlled by central banks which are in the business of transferring wealth from main street to Wall Street.

I’ve been tracking bitcoin for almost three years, since it was trading for less than a dollar. I even mined it a little a couple of years ago and recommended friends to buy them. Now that bitcoin has breached $1,200 and counting, would I still be giving it a buy recommendation? Absolutely not. Would I be recommending friends to keep most of their bitcoins at these valuations? Absolutely not. I would be telling them to sell almost all of their holdings, letting 1% ride.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Black Friday Isn’t Even the Best Day to Get a “Deal”

dawn_of_the_dead_1978_404_303_photos121This won’t be news to most disinfonauts, but here are some details you can share with your less informed friends and family.  Tiffany Hsu writes at the Los Angeles Times:

As the hardiest of shoppers prepare for the annual Black Friday consumption frenzy, many are convinced it’s their one shot at a great deal.

But “that’s not even close to the truth,” said Matthew Ong, senior retail analyst at online personal finance company NerdWallet Inc. Bargain hunters can — and, in some cases, should — avoid the Black Friday weekend crush, several experts said. Many characterize the shopping bonanza as an expertly marketed ploy to capitalize on shoppers’ fear of missing out. By dangling a small batch of irresistible savings, stores land hordes of hopeful shoppers all scheming to score the retail version of Willy Wonka’s golden ticket. Yet only a tiny percentage of customers end up with the most desirable deals.
Read the rest
Continue Reading

Bronies are Crashing America’s Economy

My-Little-Pony-Friendship-is-Magic-my-little-pony-friendship-is-magic-32310685-1600-1000Okay, maybe not crashing the economy, but the My Little Pony-loving subculture does catch a little flack in this article from American Public Radio. Disinfonaut “Anarchy Pony”, why must you anger The Economy? ScapePonies!

New numbers out Thursday show America’s third quarter gross domestic product rose 2.8 percent, well above what economists predicted. The headline number may sound good at first, but it masks signs of ongoing economic weakness deeper in the report.

A bit of digging shows that 0.83 percentage point of the GDP boost came from the change in real private inventories. It may sound like an obscure technicality, but it is not. It’s actually quite simple and simply bad.

“Stores were accumulating a lot of goods to sell, but people weren’t buying them,” says Julia Coronado, chief North American economist at BNP Paribas.

You can see this at Big Fun Toy Store, a Cleveland shop specializing in collectibles.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Bitcoin Flirts With Price Above $300 Per Coin, New Record High

opengraphBitcoin has achieved the impossible, becoming the world’s most valued currency not created by any central bank or government entity. Earlier today, markets saw Bitcoin go above $300 per coin with a total market capitalization above $3.2 billion.

As Bloomberg News noted, today’s price spike might have to do with the BTC China exchange coming online, providing another way for international users to buy and sell their Bitcoin holdings.

At time of publication, I hold a small quantity of Bitcoin. The price of Bitcoin is volatile, not insured, and may lose value.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The First Bitcoin ATM

Could this be the stepping stone to the exchange of completely electronic currency?

Bitcoin ATM

VIA NBC NEWS

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – A silver and blue ATM, perched up next to the espresso bar in a trendy Vancouver coffee shop, could launch a new era for
the digital currency bitcoin, offering an almost instant way to exchange the world’s leading virtual money for cash.

The value of a bitcoin soared from $13 in January to a high of $266 in April as more businesses and consumers used them to buy and sell online. Some investors are also treating bitcoins like gold, using them to hedge against currency fluctuations and speculating on their rise.

The kiosk, which looks like the average ATM but with hand and barcode scanners, opened for business on Tuesday and by mid-morning people were lined up to swap their bitcoins for cash, or to deposit cash to buy more bitcoins.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Working Less for a Sustainable Future

sisyphus-1549Anders Hayden writes at Solutions:

Since the Industrial Revolution, two main motivations have driven the movement for work-time reduction. Free time away from the job improves individual well-being, while reducing work hours can cut unemployment by better distributing the available work. These historical motivations for work-time reduction have been joined by a new rationale: the need to reduce the impact of human societies on the environment.

The urgency of reducing humanity’s impacts on the earth is well documented. Estimates of our ecological footprint suggest that we need 1.5 planets to sustain current consumption practices, while studies of humanity’s “safe operating space” have concluded that we have already crossed some critical planetary boundaries, including safe levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Two dominant responses to this threat have emerged. One has been to carry on with business as usual, pursuing endless economic expansion while downplaying or denying the severity of environmental problems.

Read the rest
Continue Reading