Showing posts from April 20, 2016

Trying a different look

Better? Worse? No different really? What do you say? *RON*

PS: I don't know why the graphics in the Popular Posts are sometimes so huge. I've asked Blogger and received a reply I don't understand in the slightest, but I'm still going to try to figure it out!

90% of world’s new electricity coming from renewables: Welcome to the end of the fossil fuel era

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["...we have two choices as Canadians: 1. Accept that the end of the fossil fuel era is nigh and get on with building a new economy that puts Canadians to work in sustainable, longterm jobs; 2. Remain in denial, chasing a vanishing sector, ensuring Canadians remain out of work…and then accept that the end of the fossil fuel era. The statistics don’t care. It will happen either way." See also this piece about those jolly coal-mongers in Australia: Modelling shows move to 100% renewable energy would save Australia money. *RON*]
By Damien Gillis, Commonsense Canadian, 18 April 2016

According to the International Energy Agency, a staggering 90% of all new electrical capacity brought online around the world in 2015 came in the form of renewable energy. That same year, China invested a record $110 Billion in clean tech – virtually 100% of its electrical capital – and in 2016, it’s set to close 1,000 coal mines. While Canada is shedding fossil…

Why Politicians Who Take Money from Special Interests Help Rig the Economy

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[Those in power determine the rules of the game. Most days I would email this one to Christy Clark. Today I'm feeling a wee bit too cynical. Let me know if you send it along! *RON*]

By Guy Rolnik, Evonomics, 18 April 2016

Last month, The George J. Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business launched the Capture Index that looks at the concentration of donations to the presidential candidates. As an economist, I tend to believe in what we call “revealed preferences.” Donations from industries are a better measure of their interest than the candidates promises and rhetoric.

When we look at the numbers, we see very clearly that presidential candidates are not different from most congressmen and women: they are happy to take significant amounts of money from industries whose business models are based on favorable regulation, usually regulation that limits competition and helps the incumbents. It is safe to predict that thi…

For-profit nursing homes provide 'inferior' care, new report claims

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[Governments need to care enough to maintain standards, whether they or anyone else provides the service. Peer-reviewed paper looked at evidence from years of studies comparing for-profit, non-profit and public care. Of course, if their retirement is funded by corporate kick-backs... See the original article here. See also 75% of nursing homes cited for not meeting some provincial standards. *RON*]

By Lisa Johnson, CBC News, 19 April 2016
Related Stories
Most senior care homes not meeting staffing guidelines says B.C. seniors advocate
Regina nursing home didn't follow rules in death of Margaret Warholm: Ombudsman
B.C.'s privatization of seniors' care raises concerns
(Note: CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.)

For-profit nursing homes provide "inferior" care to seniors, and though the evidence isn't perfect it's strong enough that policy makers should pay attention, argue authors …

Netherlands moots electric car future with petrol and diesel ban by 2025

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[Scandinavia just keeps doing what everyone in else says can't be done. The Dutch parliament will strive towards all-electric sales by midway through the next decade if senate passes motion into law. *RON*]
Alex Hern, The Guardian, 18 April 2016
Dutch politicians have voted through a motion calling on the country to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars starting in 2025.

The motion has only passed through the lower house of the Netherlands’ parliament, and would need to pass through the Dutch senate to become legally binding. But its success in a majority vote puts the earliest date yet on just when a major country might begin phasing out polluting transportation.

Initially, the motion – proposed by the Labour Party (PvdA), the junior member of the Netherlands’ coalition government – aimed to ban petrol and diesel cars entirely, but it was dialled back. As it stands, the proposal would allow existing cars to stay in use, but would “strive to …

Lord Adair Turner: Are Governments and Central Banks Out of Ammunition?

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[Betteridge's Law of Headlines: when a headline ends in a question mark, the answer is "Yes." *RON*]

By Paul McCaffrey, CFA Institute, 19 April 2016.

Why has the post-crisis recovery been so disappointing? Are we stuck in a world of diminished prospects and subdued demand?

These were the key questions Lord Adair Turner, chairman of the Institute for New Economic Thinking and author of Between Debt and the Devil, sought to answer in his wide-ranging keynote address at the 2016 Middle East Investment Conference in Bahrain. And his responses, while nuanced, offered some hope — and potential solutions — for the global economy in the years ahead.

Of course, to cure the world economy of its prolonged malaise, the causes must first be diagnosed, and for Turner, it comes down to one key factor: debt.

Robber Baron Recessions

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[More from the front lines of the class war. Krugman's good when he sticks to the knitting and avoids pandering for a job at the White House. *RON*]

Paul Krugman, New York Times, 18 April 2016

When Verizon workers went on strike last week, they were mainly protesting efforts to outsource work to low-wage, non-union contractors. But they were also angry about the company’s unwillingness to invest in its own business. In particular, Verizon has shown a remarkable lack of interest in expanding its Fios high-speed Internet network, despite strong demand.

But why doesn’t Verizon want to invest? Probably because it doesn’t have to: many customers have no place else to go, so the company can treat its broadband business as a cash cow, with no need to spend money on providing better service (or, speaking from personal experience, on maintaining existing service).

And Verizon’s case isn’t unique. In recent years many economists, including people like …