Wednesday, April 29, 2020

maybe huge corporations aren't such a good idea

"Decades of consolidation have made food systems more vulnerable, say experts. Beginning in the 1980s, the federal government allowed more agribusinesses to merge and grow largely without restraint in the name of efficiency—before, antitrust and other policies helped keep these industries decentralized and competitive. Consequently, a small number of giant, often vertically integrated, firms, produce and distribute the bulk of food in the U.S. Their hulking and specialized supply chains are not so efficient in the face of disruption."

Covid-19 is exposing a lot of weaknesses in our corporate system. Just a friendly reminder that corporate law can be changed.

Friday, April 24, 2020

drones to surveil the poor

"Calvert County is one of at least four law enforcement agencies across the country using drones during the coronavirus outbreak to communicate with homeless people, many of whom are surviving outdoors without sinks to wash their hands, and without reliable bathrooms, healthcare, internet access or electricity.
The idea, according to law enforcement officials interviewed by NBC News, is that homeless encampments are often tucked away in hard-to-access areas, and a drone can allow police to patrol with a live camera feed and blast information from the sky without having to venture in person at a time when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging social distancing."


Friday, April 10, 2020

Trickle down is a lie

“Between the first computation in 1982 and today, the wealth of the 400 increased 29-fold — from $93 billion to $2.7 trillion — while many millions of hardworking citizens remained stuck on an economic treadmill. During this period, the tsunami of wealth didn’t trickle down. It surged upward.”

Warren Buffet is a smart man.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

a new attempt at plastic recycling

Since only 10% of plastic is actually recycled right now, many are trying to find a way to raise that trivial number.  Now a French company has developed an enzyme that can break down plastic into usable form.  This new process should be economically sustainable...

"How much would using recycled PET cost compared to starting with petrochemical feedstocks? The authors estimate that, if the protein can be made for about $25 a kilogram, then the cost of the process will end up being about 4 percent of what you can get with for the PET made from it. While that might not be as cheap as petrochemicals—especially now, after oil prices have collapsed—it's going to be relatively immune to future price shocks and is far more sustainable."

We can hope!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Spain moves toward universal basic income after Covid-19

Calviño didn't offer a specific date as to when basic income could be rolled out in the country. But she said the government hoped it would become "a permanent instrument."
"We're going to do it as soon as possible," she said. "So it can be useful, not just for this extraordinary situation, and that it remains forever."


This may be the first time in modern history anyway that a country has adopted this idea.

Basic income money spent on important stuff

"A new story from the Associated Press breaks down expenditures: the payee spends about 40% of his money on food, 24% of sales and commodities, and 11% of utilities. They spent the rest of their money on car maintenance, medical expenses, insurance, education, self-care, and even donations."

with the Covid-19 upsetting the social order, it is becoming obvious that everyone not only should have, but for the health of all of us must have, some basic safe and healthy lifestyle.  We literally are all in this together.