A Dangerous Moment For Social Security

By Justin Spittler – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Social Security funds are drying up…will there be any money left when you retire?

Social Security is America’s largest federal program. In 2015, it paid out $870 billion to more than 59 million Americans.

Most Americans see Social Security as a retirement savings program. During your working life, you pay 6.2% of every paycheck to Social Security. In return, the government sends you a check every month after you retire.

However, unlike a retirement plan like a 401(k), the money you pay into Social Security doesn’t land in your own personal account. Instead, it goes into one big pot called the “Social Security Trust Fund.”

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Flooding And Planning: We Don’t Need To Live Near Rivers Anymore

By Dr Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Petula Clark sang, “Don’t sleep in the subway, darling. Don’t stand in the pouring rain.” More helpful advice would urge, “Don’t live in the floodplain, darling. Don’t you know it’s pouring rain?” It’s called a floodplain for a reason. The dangers of flooding mostly involve people living in dangerous places. Why are people allowed to live in these regions without being forced to accept full responsibility for their actions? They are encouraged by governments and insurance that enable bad practices, questionable, and unnecessary behavior.

There was a time when living near a river was important for transport, water supply, waste removal, and even food supply. We don’t need to live close to rivers or at least within the area identified as the floodplain. If you live there, flooding is inevitable, even if flooding protection is in place. In fact, the protection creates a false sense of security. Inevitably the protection will fail through neglect, accident, or water levels that exceed the design capacity.

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Windfarms Paid Double the Market Price to Cut Power

By Jillian Ambrose – Re-Blogged From The Telegraph

The grid operator is now taking action to avoid future wind power waste.

Wind farms were paid more than double the market price to stop generating electricity this week, despite the country facing an increased risk of blackouts this winter.

Strong wind conditions in the early hours of Monday and Tuesday morning threatened to overwhelm the grid with more subsidised power than needed, forcing National Grid to offer lucrative payouts of between £58 and £115 per MWh to turn the turbines off.

Spring arrives early in Britain following mild winter weather

The payouts stand well above the current market rate of around £45/MWh to compensate wind farms for the subsidies they might otherwise have earned.

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The End Is Near (Part 8): Apple’s Revenue ‘Falls Off A Cliff’

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

One by one the pillars of the recovery are toppling. Last year the Chinese infrastructure party ended and the shale oil boom went bust. More recently the FANG stocks went from pulling the market up to pushing it down. And today Apple — whose sales would always go up because everyone on Earth wants an iPhone and there were still some people in Africa and the Amazon Basin who don’t yet have one — reported that not only is its revenue no longer growing, but it might shrink in the year ahead.

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Shift the Manufacturing Jobs Away From China

By – Re-Blogged From China IQ

It seems as though everyone is complaining that China has all our manufacturing (zhìzàoyè 制造业) jobs these days, that all these “wonderful” jobs could be brought back to us.  This simply isn’t true.  All the important manufacturing jobs like engineering and welding

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 (please read these two sources to learn more: market research and employment increase) still remain in the US and in the West, in general.  The truth is that we are giving all the jobs we really don’t want to foreign countries like China.  With the high emphasis on the service industry in the developed nations, I have a hard time believing the masses in the West would be willing to slave away in a sweat shop.

The real issue is that we give almost all of these textile and low-level manufacturing jobs exclusively to China.  that means a lot of capital is being handed over directly to the Chinese.  For some odd reason, it is almost like we think that it is only the Chinese that is capable of these jobs or that it is only economically feasible to pay the Chinese.  What we really need to start doing is giving these jobs to other countries, like the Philippines and Indonesia.  It is a plausible solution, since hundreds of thousands of Southeast Asian people migrate to places like Hong Kong to land very low wage and unstable work in often unsuitable working conditions:

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Hong Kong alone has over 300,000 domestic helpers.  Every Sunday, these domestic helpers flood the streets of Hong Kong on their day off.  With nowhere else to go, they lay down blankets in the street, play musical instruments and card games, and call their children and family back home.

Although these domestic helpers are given a place to sleep and food to eat, they are typically only payed about US$500 a month.  As an alternative to this kind of work, I think they may find working in a factory closer to home for comparable wages as a feasible alternative.

To provide these nations with the opportunity to work in the manufacturing industry would lift their living conditions and would prevent China from receiving all the capital.  I’m not saying it is bad that the developed world pour all their money into the Chinese economy, but it isn’t really a good thing to put all eggs into one basket, especially since ties between the West and China haven’t exactly been the best these days.

Final Thoughts

I want to finish by saying that I am not really a fan of the way the developed world puts its demands upon the developing nations, forcing these people to go underpaid and essentially slaving away, performing menial tasks day-in and day-out.  This can be further extended by saying that those that are rich–from any nation–has the privilege to practically bath in money while others may be working twelve-hour shifts manufacturing things like Christmas ornaments, breathing in toxic chemicals the entire time, just to feed their families and pay the bills.

The world order under capitalism may be considered as being cruel, but at least it does provide a means for the developing countries; if the citizens of these nations are creative enough to find a niche for their economy, these countries can dominate a market, providing a opportunity for that nation to make progress.  An example of this being China and its manufacturing base or Argentina with its wines.  In the case of the low-level manufacturing industry, it might be about time to start sharing the jobs with even less developed countries than China.

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THE RAPIDLY APPROACHING LAYOFF TSUNAMI

By Andrew Hoffman – Re-Blogged From blog.MilesFranklin.com

Well, I may not have had “much” to say yesterday, but I SURE DO TODAY!  My god, have the “horrible headlines” multiplied in the past 24 hours (it’s early Tuesday morning), which the following two pictures summarize perfectly – in spades.

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Yes, the Baltic Dry Index plunged 6% last week to a new all-time low, down a whopping 70% in the past five months.  Meanwhile, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, despite yet another “record liquidity injection” by the PBOC, plunged 6.4% today alone – down 46% from June’s hyper-bubble top, as it sliced through August’s spike-bottom low of 2,850 like a hot knife through butter.  The 10-year Treasury yield is back below 2.0% – “rate hike” and all; WTI crude plunged an astounding 8% yesterday alone, again, to below $30/bbl; whilst the PPT was routed in yesterday afternoon’s trading.  And how about that?  Yet again gold and silver prices rose.  Not to mention, U.S. Mint gold and silver Eagle sales; which, based on early-year results, are on pace to set new annual records.

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