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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,436

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

IMF Director bemoans Worldwide slow growth, offers suggestions, ignores biggest reason 4 slow growth


The head of the International Monetary Fund said Thursday that global growth remains "moderate and uneven" and that's "just not good enough" to erase the scars of the Great Recession.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, speaking ahead of next week's IMF-World Bank spring meetings in Washington, D.C., proposed steps governments can take to reduce debt, reform product and labor markets, and promote more cooperation among countries.

Lagarde's speech comes two days after World Bank President Jim Yong Kim told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington that slow global economic growth threatened the World Bank's goal of nearly wiping out extreme world poverty by 2030.

Bettering the world economy will be discussed more at next week's IMF-World Bank meetings that will be attended by central bank governors and finance ministers from 188 countries.

The richest 85 people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5bn. That should be a wake-up call to the deepest sleepers

The richest 85 people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion – or half the world's entire population – put together. This is the stark headline of a report from Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum at Davos. Is there a reason why the world's powerful, gathering at the exclusive resort to sip cognac and eat blinis, should care? Well, yes.

If one subscribes to the charitable view that neoliberal philosophy was simply naive or misguided in thinking that "trickle down" would work infinitely, then evidence that it doesn't, should be cause for concern. It is a fundamental building block of supply-side economic theory – the tool of choice these past few decades for those in charge to make adjustments. The realisation that governments have been pulling at economic levers which, for some time, have been attached to nothing, should be a wake-up call to the deepest sleepers.

Even if one subscribes to the cynical view that the elite knew what they were doing all along, observing that the "rising tide" is lifting fewer and fewer boats and leaving more and more to rot in the sediment – both at a personal and national level – must make most wonder "am I in the right boat and is it big enough?" Concentration is rampant. Credit Suisse estimates that the world will have 11 trillionaires within two generations.

It is not so much that the supply-side principle "if you build it, they will come" is no longer true. It is more that we appear to have passed a tipping point, where so much wealth has been concentrated at the top, they no longer need bother to "build" anything. In short, it has become more economically efficient to buy countries' economic policy than to create value in order to sell it on. If one can control government to favour the richest, while raising barriers for new entrants, thus increasing their share of the pie exponentially, what is the incentive to grow the pie?

Hillary announces, Republicans roll out their platform: ATTACK HRC, ATTACK HRC ATTACK HRC....

The GOP attacks on Hillary Clinton's family foundation are bogus and bizarre

Hillary Clinton has been in the national eye for almost a quarter of a century. Over that time, seemingly every aspect of Clintonland has been picked over by the national media and the Clintons' conservative opponents. So it's understandable that as Clinton embarks on a second run for president, the Republicans who hope to defeat her next year are looking for some fresh material.

The recent email kerfuffle — as secretary of State, Clinton used a personal email address hosted on a server located at her New York residence, an unusual arrangement to be sure — seems to be fertile ground (though perhaps slightly less fecund if you are/were a governor who doesn't want to release all of your own official emails). There has also been a flurry of criticism over the Clinton Foundation's acceptance of funds from a handful of foreign governments when Clinton was secretary of State and married to the foundation's founder. There were more donations from foreign governments after Clinton resigned from the Obama administration and joined the newly branded Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Foundation funding was the line of attack pursued by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday. "Hillary Clinton has taken money from countries that rape victims are publicly lashed," he said on NBC's Meet the Press. "I would expect Hillary Clinton, if she believes in women's rights, she should be calling for a boycott of Saudi Arabia. Instead, she's accepting tens of millions of dollars." Paul went on to call that "a grand hypocrisy."

Paul isn't the first Republican to criticize Clinton for serving on the board (until Sunday) of a family charity that accepted millions of dollars from countries with poor records on women's rights — though most Republicans haven't gone so far as to call for "voluntarily boycotting" America's closest Arab ally. Carly Fiorina, the HP CEO turned Republican politician, made a similar point at CPAC, and the Republican National Committee released a video criticizing the Clinton Foundation's donations from foreign governments.


The Clinton Foundation has $226 million in assets, and it uses them on an array of health, economic development, and women's issues around the world. It has to get that money from somewhere, and as Hillary Clinton pointed out recently, if the Saudis, UAE, and other countries with poor women's rights records are directly or indirectly bankrolling programs aimed at empowering women and girls, that's their choice: "I think that people who want to support the foundation know full well what it is we stand for and what we're working on," Clinton says.

John Boehner To Hold Tax Repeal Vote To Increase Welfare For the Rich


Despite the ever-widening income gap in America with the poor and middle class losing wealth to the richest Americans in the top one percent of income earners, Republicans still are on a crusade to hand more riches to the already uber-wealthy. This week, Speaker of the House John Boehner will hold a vote to repeal the “Estate Tax” and give the very richest of the rich another government handout at the expense of the rest of the population.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, “The Estate Tax is a tax on your right to transfer property at your death” to your heirs. As it stands now, no-one pays ‘Estate Tax” on any inherited estate unless it exceeds $5.4 million that affects the top 0.2 percent (two-tenths) of households in America. Everyone else, including the top 1 percent, pays no estate tax for inherited wealth up to $5.4 million. It is what gives the wealthiest families in America the ability to stay wealthy and become more powerful from generation to generation all while paying nothing for newfound wealth. Republicans want to completely eliminate the Estate Tax to unburden the richest 0.2% of households that include the likes of Romney and Kochs of America.

If one listens to, or believes, Republicans this country just has not been as generous to the wealthy as it has the overwhelming majority of Americans either wallowing in poverty and low wages or struggling to remain in a rapidly vanishing middle class. It is worth noting that the median income in America is below $50,000 and those families not only have little if anything to pass on to their heirs, they will likely struggle to survive right up until the day they die. Still, Republicans complain bitterly that the majority of Americans are sucking money from the government and the wealthy that should be given to the beleaguered and struggling ‘job creator‘ class.

The only problem with that assertion is that the wealthy are major recipients of government welfare most Americans are unaware of. If Republicans can eliminate the estate tax, super-wealthy families will be able to hoard, and increase, their wealth in perpetuity and become ever wealthier from other forms of government welfare Republicans refuse to subject to “reform” revealing the lack of morals they are known for around the world.

It is true that no-one in their right mind would ever accuse any Republican of having any morals, and in no small part it is due to demands Republicans make on the working poor and poverty class in order to receive government aid they need to survive like food and healthcare assistance; demands and requirements Republicans would never consider making on their wealthy recipients. Republicans have never subjected farmers receiving agriculture subsidies, oil companies receiving billions in subsidies, churches getting hundreds-of-billions in subsidies, or Pell Grant recipients getting free tuition assistance to any of the limitations or demeaning requirements they are putting on poor Americans for something as necessary as food stamps.

Why This New Study, Published in Nature - Climate Change, On Arctic Permafrost Is So Scary


Scientists might have to change their projected timelines for when Greenland’s permafrost will completely melt due to man-made climate change, now that new research from Denmark has shown it could be thawing faster than expected.

Published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, the research shows that tiny microbes trapped in Greenland’s permafrost are becoming active as the climate warms and the permafrost begins to thaw. As those microbes become active, they are feeding on previously-frozen organic matter, producing heat, and threatening to thaw the permafrost even further.

In other words, according to the research, permafrost thaw could be accelerating permafrost thaw to a “potentially critical” level.

“The accompanying heat production from microbial metabolism of organic material has been recognized as a potential positive-feedback mechanism that would enhance permafrost thawing and the release of carbon,” the study, conducted by researchers at the University of Copenhagen’s Center for Permafrost, said. “This internal heat production is poorly understood, however, and the strength of this effect remains unclear.”


What makes this new research so important is that it adds to the urgency of stemming permafrost thaw. Because even without this new discovery of heat-producing microbes, estimates for carbon releases from thawing permafrost have been alarmingly large. According to the National Snow & Ice Data Center, there are about 1,700 gigatons of carbon currently frozen in permafrost — more than the total amount in the atmosphere now (Earth’s atmosphere contains about 850 gigatons of carbon, according to the Center).

Monsanto Employee Admits an Entire Department Exists to "Discredit" Scientists

another responsible Roberts-person


just saw something on Shark Tank that I thought was a GREAT Idea: plant based cheese products!

... it doesn't have the cholesterol content of cheese and is much lower in sodium. A great idea. NOt available everywhere yet. A few Whole Foods stores carry the products but only in a few places for now..Texas, Okla., Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska.



Spain Got 47 Percent Of Its Electricity From Renewables In March


Spain is getting the vast majority of its electricity from carbon-free sources, the country’s grid operator reported on Tuesday.

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According to Red Electrica de Espana (REE), the Spanish peninsula got 69 percent of its electricity generation in March from technologies that produce zero carbon emissions — that is to say, renewable energy plus some of its nuclear power. Nuclear as a whole provided 23.8 percent of the country’s electricity in March, while 47 percent came solely from renewable sources.

Most of the renewable electricity being generated in Spain comes from wind, which alone provided 22.5 percent of the country’s electricity last month. Wind often competes with nuclear for the title of Spain’s top electricity generation source overall — in fact, though nuclear pulled through in March as the top source of electricity, wind has overall provided more electricity to Spain in the entirety of 2015. From January to March, according to REE, wind provided 23.7 percent of electricity generation while nuclear made up 22.7 percent.

Spain has long been a leader in renewable energy, just recently becoming the first country in the world to have relied on wind as its top energy source for an entire year. The country is attempting to use wind power to supply 40 percent of its electricity consumption by 2020, according to CleanTechnica.

Why food prices won’t fall as fast as gas prices (about a 6 mo delay beforethe lower oil prices

... impacts food commodity prices)


Americans who are benefiting from lower gas prices could see some food prices fall, especially dairy and meat products, but the rate of decline will be at a far-slower pace than the recent plunge in the price of gasoline, commodity traders and insiders say.

Just six months ago, oil prices were well above $100 a barrel, partially as a result of unrest in Iraq and fears of supply interruptions. Now, as the U.S. may supersede Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer, concerns over world economic growth (outside of the U.S. economy, which actually appears to be breaking out of a sub-par recovery) oil prices have plunged. West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices for the week ending Jan. 26, 2015, fell to $45.15 a barrel, down 53% from a year ago.

As a result, gasoline prices nationally have fallen 38% from the same period last year, down $1.25 on average, to $2.04 a gallon, for the week ending Jan. 26, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Farmers and ranchers benefiting from declining prices for fuel could lower the prices for commodity food items such as milk, eggs, pork and beef, just not right away or commensurate with the fall of gas, said Patrick Sullivan, a commodity trader at Great Lakes Trading Co., in Warsaw, Ind. “It could take a while to trickle through but we could see some lower food prices in six to eight months,” Sullivan said. “If fuel stays where it’s at, it will lower costs of farmers’ production and that could adjust everything down,” he said.

Food Waste Is Becoming Serious Economic and Environmental Issue, Report Says


Food Waste Is Becoming Serious Economic and Environmental Issue, Report Says


WASHINGTON — With millions of households across the country struggling to have enough to eat, and millions of tons of food being tossed in the garbage, food waste is increasingly being seen as a serious environmental and economic issue.

A report released Wednesday shows that about 60 million metric tons of food is wasted a year in the United States, with an estimated value of $162 billion. About 32 million metric tons of it end up in municipal landfills, at a cost of about $1.5 billion a year to local governments.


The report estimates that a third of all the food produced in the world is never consumed, and the total cost of that food waste could be as high as $400 billion a year. Reducing food waste from 20 to 50 percent globally could save $120 billion to $300 billion a year by 2030, the report found.

“Food waste is a global issue, and tackling it is a priority,” said Richard Swannell, director of sustainable food systems at the Waste and Resources Action Program, or Wrap, an antiwaste organization in Britain that compiled the new report. “The difficulty is often in knowing where to start and how to make the biggest economic and environmental savings.”

Food Waste Is Costing Countries Billions Every Year And Contributing To Climate Change - Think Progress
(emphases my own)

Food waste is costing the global economy billions each year, and governments should act quickly to reduce it if they want to save money and scale back their carbon emissions, according to a new report.

The report, published this week by the U.K.-based Waste & Resources Action Program (WRAP), found that if countries made a point of reducing their food waste, the globe could save a total of $120 to $300 billion each year by 2030. Globally, the report states, a third of all food is wasted, an amount that totals $400 billion each year. And that value will only go up, the report warns — if estimates that the world’s middle class will double by 2030 pan out, the yearly value of food waste could increase to $600 billion.

That’s bad news for the environment. In its report, WRAP looked at the greenhouse gas emissions associated with food waste in the U.K., and found that each metric ton of food that’s wasted in the U.K. is associated with 4.0 to 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Previous reports have also found food waste to be a significant factor in global greenhouse gas emissions: in 2013, a report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization found that, if global food waste was a country, it would be the third largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

“Reducing food waste is good for the economy and good for the climate,” Helen Mountford, Global Program Director for the New Climate Economy, said in a statement for WRAP. “These findings should serve as a wake-up call to policymakers around the world.”
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