Struggling U.S. Dairy Farmers Fight to Survive

By Associated Press- Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

At Rosendale Dairy, each of the 9,000 cows has a microchip implanted in an ear that workers can scan with smartphones for up-to-the-minute information on how the animal is doing — everything from their nutrition to their health history to their productivity. Feed is calibrated to deliver a precise diet and machines handle the milking. In the fields, drones gather data that helps bump up yields for the row crops grown to feed the animals.

Technology has played an important role in agriculture for years but it’s become a life and death matter at dairy farms these days, as low milk prices have ratcheted up pressure on farmers to seek every possible efficiency to avoid joining the thousands of operations that have failed.

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Irrational Fears Of Deflation

The benefits of a deflation of prices brought about by a combination of sound money and markets free from government intervention have been demonstrated to be the best economic environment, the denial of which in favour of inflationary financing has led to repeated monetary and systemic failures.

This article explains how this has come about and puts the record on deflation straight. The development of macroeconomic theory had to deny the benefits of a deflation of prices, unbelievably telling us we need higher prices to stimulate our consumption.

Deflation and investment funded by savings is a far better, natural economic environment than the false gods of easy debt and money printing. There can be no return to the stability of gentle price deflation without seismic shifts in economic thinking and government responsibilities.

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A Textbook Case of Inflation for College Students

By Megan Zogby – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

As college textbook prices have increased 88 percent since 2006, education reformers wonder how universities can make books more affordable. One simple thing they could do is to stop selling textbooks with absurdly high mark-ups, the difference between the cost incurred by the bookstore for textbooks and the price at which they’re sold. While some progress has been made within the UNC system, much room for improvement remains.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, for example, signed a contract with Barnes and Noble in 2009 to merge its university bookstore with Barnes and Noble. That conjunction promised students lower book prices, bringing down the mark-up from 23 percent to 18 percent. However, merging the bookstore has meant that students still pay higher prices than they would if they bought books from an online competitor or the book publisher. The rationale for the merger may have been affordability, but textbooks remain expensive for students who trust UNC-Charlotte’s bookstore to offer the best price.

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Massachusetts Town Votes for Freezing in the Dark

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Brookline passes bylaw banning future use of oil, gas in new buildings

BROOKLINE, Mass. — A Massachusetts town overwhelmingly voted Wednesday night to ban the future installation of oil and gas pipes in future construction projects as well as in renovations of existing buildings.

The bylaw, which passed the Brookline town meeting with 210 votes in favor and just three opposing, would be the first such prohibition in the state of Massachusetts.

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Keith’s Mistakes

  By Bob Shapiro

Keith Weiner is a bright guy. I Re-Post his articles to my blog regularly. He has a way of clearly getting to true relationships in economics. But even bright guys make mistakes.

One recent theme of his is trying to explain why prices rise and fall. Now this is a very complex subject, and there are multiple reasons why sometimes a given good or service costs more (or less). And, causes don’t happen all at once – there may be lags of years.

Keith likes to talk about Useless Ingredients which are mandated by federal, state, and local politicians. Keith is very right on this.

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Silver Miners’ Q3’19 Fundamentals

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

The silver miners are finally enjoying higher prevailing silver prices, a great boon for this sector. Silver surged this past summer after gold’s first new bull-market highs in several years rekindled enthusiasm for precious metals. The long-neglected silver stocks rallied strongly with their metal. Their recently-reported Q3’19 results reveal whether those gains are justified, and how much fundamentals improved on higher silver.

Four times a year publicly-traded companies release treasure troves of valuable information in the form of quarterly reports. Required by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, these 10-Qs and 10-Ks contain the best fundamental data available to traders. They dispel all the sentiment distortions inevitably surrounding prevailing stock-price levels, revealing corporations’ underlying hard fundamental realities.

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Fracking is Saving Families $2,500 Annually

By Tim Benson, The Heartland Institute – Re-Blogged From WUWT

A report released in October 2019 by the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) estimates increased oil and natural gas production from hydraulic fracturing  (“fracking”) saves American families $203 billion annually on gasoline and electricity bills. This breaks down to $2,500 in savings per family per year.

“From 2007 to 2019, innovation in shale production brought an eight-fold increase in extraction productivity for natural gas and a nineteen-fold increase for oil,” the report states. “These productivity gains have reduced costs and spurred production to record-breaking levels. As a result, the United States has become the world’s largest producer of both commodities, surpassing Russia in 2011 (for natural gas) and Saudi Arabia and Russia in 2018 (for oil). CEA estimates that greater productivity has reduced the domestic price of natural gas by 63 percent as of 2018 and led to a 45 percent decrease in the wholesale price of electricity. Shale production has also reduced the global price of oil by 10 percent as of 2019.”

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