News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Nov. 27-28, 2018

News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Nov. 27-28, 2018

Linking ≠ endorsement. News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Nov. 27-28, 2018

Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Humanity faces simultaneous climate disasters

2) As I said, if done correctly, tariffs work and work well

3) To Secure a Future, Britain [and the world] Needs a Green New Deal

4) Studies Find Houston Skyscrapers Slowed Hurricane Harvey, Causing More Rain

5) Solutions to Wildfires in Time of Climate Change Are Costly, Unpopular

6) The Tragedy of the Commons, Revisited

7) California Wildfires: Where Is the Climate Change Outrage?

8) China expands ban on waste imports

9) The Dark Side of China's Skyscraper Boom (Sarcastic Video)

10) An Up-Close Look at Housing Insecurity (and How to Help!)

11) Republicans Want to Make Entitlements the Next Caravan

12) Kentucky's new tax favors for the wealthy won't spur the economy. They will worsen inequality

13) Michael Hudson: "How the Bronze Age Saved Itself from Debt Serfdom [Why are we less enlightened then the leaders of the Bronze Age?]

14) Beach Town Developers Now Believe in Stronger Building Codes, Construction

15) EPA Warns on Chemical Found in Nonstick Coatings ["dangerous at less than a hundred parts per trillion"]

16) Inflation and the Gig Economy: Have the Rise of Online Retailing and Self-Employment Disrupted the Phillips Curve?

17) Scientists warned this weed killer would destroy crops. EPA approved it anyway

18) The Fed Is Tightening More Than It Realizes

19) China Intensifies Crackdown on Marxist Student Activists

20) Climate change could cost US 'hundreds of billions' a year

21) A Hog Waste Agreement Lacked Teeth, and Some North Carolinians Say They're Left to Suffer

22) US Renters Face 'Unprecedented Affordability Crisis,' Fed's Community Council Says

23) Home Economy & Politics Federal Reserve Social Capital Get email alerts The US job market doesn't feel so hot despite the low unemployment rate

24) Measuring Housing Insecurity in the American Housing Survey

25) Opponents of Amazon's 'unconscionable' HQ2 deal rally in Queens

26) Researchers Just Found a Way to Turn CO2 Into Plastic With Unprecedented Efficiency

27) Shampoo, hair spray, and skin lotion is polluting the air

28) Study Examines Minnesota Landslides [draws attention concerning many other states]

29) Move to relax rules that ban health-care kickbacks

30) Records Show Woman Admitted Setting Iowa Fires for Insurance Money

31) Corporate Giants, Hurting the Economy

32) The Monopolization of America

33) The changing nature of work | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal

34) Silent Inflation

35) Texas Is About to Create OPEC's Worst Nightmare

36) We need a Green New Deal, and we need it now [But how are we going to pay for it?]

37) It's now cheaper to build a new wind farm than to keep a coal plant running

38) Research Finds Fire-Resistant Building Codes Do Not Raise Home Prices

39) CLO Fever: Small Insurer Bets Big on Booming Leveraged Loan Market

40) XL Insurance to Cut Coal Industry Business Under Parent AXA's Climate Order

41) Report Puts Losses from California Wildfires at $15B to $19B

42) Greenhouse Gases Reach Level Last Seen 3-5 Million Years Ago: WMO Report

43) Apartments are getting smaller — but renters are paying more

44) Climate fight can be America's new New Deal — Breakingviews

45) 7 Lessons I Wish I'd Known When I Started Investing in Real Estate

46) Mexico accepts housing migrants, seeks US development aid

47) Trying Again for Full Employment

48) How Pollution Can Hurt the Health of the Economy

49) How Opportunity Zones Benefit Investors and Promote Displacement

  1.    Humanity faces simultaneous climate disasters

    ... if carbon pollution continues at its current pace, the Big Apple will more likely be hit by up to four such calamities all at once, including extreme rain, sea level rise and storm surges.

    Sydney and Los Angeles might have to cope with three climate calamities simultaneously, Mexico City four, and Brazil -- along its Atlantic coast -- could face up to five.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  2.    As I said, if done correctly, tariffs work and work well

    An estimate, but still:

    U.S. companies and consumers will only pay 4.5 percent more after the nation imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, and the other 20.5 percent toll will fall on Chinese producers ....

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  3.    To Secure a Future, Britain [and the world] Needs a Green New Deal

    In an essay: The National Accounts, GDP and the 'Growthmen' [1]Geoff Tily, the TUC's chief economist, explains that the concept evolved as recently as 1961. OECD technocrats were encouraged by economists like Financial Times columnist, Samuel Brittan to promote policies that would turbo-charge the economy. At the time, Britain was in the happy position of providing full employment to her people. Macmillan's 1957 comment that Britons 'had never had it so good' still rang true. The 'growthmen' as they called themselves were nevertheless discouraged by these high, sustainable levels of employment and economic activity. It is my view that they were frustrated because profits made in the 'real' economy were not as high as the capital gains that could be made through financial speculation. The question was: how to turbo-charge profits? The answer: accelerate 'growth'.
    ...
    "But....but" says the reader: "I'm afraid there's no money." So wrote Liam Byrne MP, in a note for his successor on leaving the Treasury, 6 April 2010. Byrne was doing no more than echoing Mrs Thatcher, who in a speech to Conservative Party Conference in October, 1983 said:

    "The state has no source of money, other than the money people earn themselves. If the state wishes to spend more it can only do so by borrowing your savings, or by taxing you more. And it's no good thinking that someone else will pay. That someone else is you."

    "There is no such thing as public money.

    There is only taxpayers' money."

    Her flawed understanding of the public finances was subsequently echoed by David Cameron on the campaign trail, 6 April, 2015. "We know that there is no such thing as public money — there is only taxpayers' money".

    It is this flawed economic theory — that all spending is financed from taxation, that the government has no other source of financing, and that like a household, it has, under all circumstances, to 'balance its books' between expenditure and tax income. But governments are not like households, and have other sources of finance. The Treasury working closely with the monetary authorities could finance the Green New Deal without having recourse to tax revenues. In fact, tax revenues (from, for example, increased employment) would be a consequence, not a source of government investment.

    Mrs Thatcher's flawed economic ideas are tacitly supported by professional and academic economists, including those at the Treasury, the OBR and the Institute of Fiscal Studies.. It is a flawed theory that has had disastrous consequences, as witnessed by 'austerity' in Britain and Europe. It is economic theory that has delivered a severely weakened British economy, while at the same time it has led to a rise in public and private debts.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  4.    Studies Find Houston Skyscrapers Slowed Hurricane Harvey, Causing More Rain

    ... global warming increased rainfall 8.9 percent in Hurricane Maria, 6.3 percent in Hurricane Irma and 8.7 percent in Hurricane Katrina.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  5.    Solutions to Wildfires in Time of Climate Change Are Costly, Unpopular

    "More and more places around the country are getting affected in areas that were never labeled extreme," Mowery said. "We need to stop thinking in terms of limited areas."

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  6.    The Tragedy of the Commons, Revisited

    Now more than ever, we need trusted governance of our shared environments, natural and built. We need to explore if, when and how commons governance can scale. Yet we don't have decades to wait for social scientists to pursue isolated research projects in loosely connected academic networks. We don't have time for a piecemeal approach. We need a broad, interdisciplinary, international and coordinated research effort focused on commons governance.

    Actually, we don't need a study. We need democracy.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  7.    California Wildfires: Where Is the Climate Change Outrage?

    This is a hard-hitting piece.

    If you don't believe we are causing global warming and more extreme weather resulting in more severe fires and all the other negatives we're seeing, the article may shake you.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  8.    China expands ban on waste imports

    Other countries aren't rushing in to fill the gap because they know how bad the environmental damage can be too. Therefore, it's more our problem. We can't simply export it.

    We also all need to be on the lookout for illegal dumping right here in the USA.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  9.    The Dark Side of China's Skyscraper Boom (Sarcastic Video)

    This is a rather unusual post for this blog. It's not a full endorsement.

    Skyscrapers are popping up all over China, and may be doing far more harm than good.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  10.    An Up-Close Look at Housing Insecurity (and How to Help!)

    I really have to hand it to Zillow. When they post like this, it never, never comes off as PR to me. I get the sincere sense that they really mean it, that they honestly really care, as in give a damn about the poor.

    Now, charities that are run well so that a high a percentage of donations goes into truly productive results for those targeted for a hand up are absolutely terrific; however, we must tackle these issues societally and not simply say, oh, the charities will take care of it.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  11.    Republicans Want to Make Entitlements the Next Caravan

    The article is great at getting at Alan Greenspan's first and correct statement but completely ignores or doesn't get the second part, which part is vastly more important right now because it's the part most people who are finally catching onto the first part simply don't yet get.

    Paul Ryan: "Do you believe that personal retirement accounts can help us achieve solvency for the system and make those future retiree benefits more secure?"

    Alan Greenspan: "Well, I wouldn't say that pay-as-you-go benefits are insecure, in the sense that there's nothing to prevent the federal government from creating as much money as it wants and paying it to somebody. The question is, how do you set up a system which assures that the real assets are created which those benefits are employed to purchase."

    So, what does that second point say? Even Greenspan pointed out right there that it's the more important of the two. It's a pure supply-and-demand price-inflation statement. Greenspan said there that unless the services are in place to fulfill the Medicare and Medicaid needs, then creating more money and pumping it into the welfare system will cause price inflation. Demand will push supply higher, but there will be a lag while the system brings on more capacity to meet the demand (to use up the new dollars so inflation will level off or prices even drop to pre-inflation levels). Greenspan is making the same point I've made more times than I can remember: if we create more money while we have already planned to increase the supply of goods and services and infrastructure (the reasons we'll have even wanted to create more money), we won't have runaway inflation but a stable growth economy without borrowing a dime to do it. Now, Greenspan, of course, didn't have faith in the government to spend the money to do that. He wanted the private markets to do it because he falsely believed that the markets are magically self-regulating enough, something he admitted after the onset of the Great Recession simply isn't true.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  12.    Kentucky's new tax favors for the wealthy won't spur the economy. They will worsen inequality

    ... the low income tax credit means people in poverty do not pay state income taxes. But because the state fails to provide refundable tax credits to offset sales, excise and property taxes that low-income people do pay, and because the state has a flat rather than progressive income tax rate, the poorest 20 percent of Kentuckians, who make just $10,000 a year on average, end up chipping in a greater share of their income in taxes than do millionaires.

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  13.    Michael Hudson: "Moral Hazard" vs Mutual Aid — How the Bronze Age Saved Itself from Debt Serfdom [Why are we less enlightened then the leaders of the Bronze Age?]

    Jubilee is better than debt slavery, but why do we even have a debt economy? Our current system is less enlightened than certain societies of the Bronze Age; but, do we only want to get to the level of the Bronze Age, or do we want to far exceed it?

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  14.    Beach Town Developers Now Believe in Stronger Building Codes, Construction

    For Lamkin, Hurricane Harvey was a proof of concept: that with the right building techniques — like doors and windows that can sustain 130 miles-per-hour winds, steel rods and straps that tie down the roof, and base floors elevated above flood levels — it's possible to invest profitably in coastal real estate.

    Before Harvey, he says, he believed in the hurricane construction codes in theory. "But now I really believe in them."

    I'm glad developers are taking better building-codes more seriously; however, I want to emphasize that if we don't work equally hard on curtailing CO2 in the atmosphere, storms will continue getting stronger, putting even what's considered the best codes to more than a test in the not too distant future.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  15.    EPA Warns on Chemical Found in Nonstick Coatings ["dangerous at less than a hundred parts per trillion"]

    PFAS are used in nonstick coatings on things ranging from pans to fast-food wrappers, as well as firefighting foam.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  16.    Inflation and the Gig Economy: Have the Rise of Online Retailing and Self-Employment Disrupted the Phillips Curve?

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  17.    Scientists warned this weed killer would destroy crops. EPA approved it anyway

    No one tracks damage to specialty crops such as tomatoes or home gardens, trees and wild plants.

    I'm sure that includes typical landscaping at rental properties.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  18.    The Fed Is Tightening More Than It Realizes

    Our calculations also suggest these balance-sheet effects will soon get larger. If asset run-offs continue at the Fed's announced pace ($50 billion per month), then by the end of 2019 they will tighten monetary conditions as much as a policy-rate increase of 220 basis points (2.2 percentage points)—as the far-right end of our right hand figure shows.

    What are the implications for the U.S. economy? The Fed estimates that once interest rates surpass three percent—their "neutral level"—monetary policy will shift from stimulating economic growth to constricting it. Today, the Fed expects that rates will remain below this neutral level until the end of 2019. But by our calculations, the combined effects of balance-sheet reduction and conventional rate hikes will produce an equivalent tightening in monetary conditions much sooner: by the end of 2018. This fact suggests that monetary policy will start to contract economic growth early next year.

    If we could only take this in isolation. Unfortunately, there were the tax cuts and corporate buybacks and also the tariffs. It's a new ball game.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  19.    China Intensifies Crackdown on Marxist Student Activists

    This is exactly why I've been saying all along that Xi simply does not know what he's doing and that what he is doing simply will not work, cannot work.

    Not to toot my own horn, but I did write on this blog that Xi doesn't know what he's doing before I saw it in major mainstream news. It sure showed up there for a bit after I said it. What's happened since?

    We've had the tariff wars but not a war for democracy, just a better trade balance. That's not good enough. It won't work either.

    Chinese university students, inspired by their studies of Marx, are facing an increasing state crackdown on their movement in support of workers who have been trying to organize Shenzhen's Jasic Technology. Prof. Zhun Xu analyzes the situation.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  20.    Climate change could cost US 'hundreds of billions' a year

    Climate change is already hurting the global economy and will cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars annually unless drastic action is taken to cut carbon emissions, a major US government report warned on Friday.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  21.    A Hog Waste Agreement Lacked Teeth, and Some North Carolinians Say They're Left to Suffer News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Nov. 27-28, 2018

    Who's buying residential income-property in North Carolina, and what impact do the "concentrated animal feeding operations" (hog farms) have on where they invest?

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  22.    U.S. Renters Face 'Unprecedented Affordability Crisis,' Fed's Community Council Says

    ... the Fed's Community Advisory Council offered its own set of recommendations:

    Strengthening the grading process to ensure more lending and strategic investments that help poorly served communities thrive
    Requiring public/community-informed plans that reflect local community input and scrutiny
    Downgrading scores when banks act outside of the spirit of the CRA and against the interests of the most vulnerable
    Creating additional CRA assessment and/or investment areas to reflect the modern age of online banking
    Bringing transparency to small business lending by implementing section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act)
    Including mortgage companies, credit unions, and insurance companies under the CRA to level the playing field for other financial actors that impact the most vulnerable

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  23.    Home Economy & Politics Federal Reserve Social Capital Get email alerts The U.S. job market doesn't feel so hot despite the low unemployment rate

    Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, a former private-equity executive, sounds downright jubilant about the outlook: "Our economy is in such a good place right now," he said during a Q&A event last week. Last month, he said things were "remarkably positive," "extraordinary," and "particularly bright." For Powell, this appears to justify further interest rate increases well into next year, maybe into 2020.

    Yet the Fed waited for stocks to skyrocket for several years before it even began consider raising rates from zero, where it had left them for seven years. Couldn't it just wait for workers to see some of that GDP dividend in their paychecks before worrying about the economy running too hot?

    To be fair, Powell has recently hinted strongly he knows he better be ready to turn on a dime away from rate hikes and he knows the Fed isn't getting all the info it should and hasn't been doing the best job interpreting the info it does have.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  24.    Measuring Housing Insecurity in the American Housing Survey

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  25.    Opponents of Amazon's 'unconscionable' HQ2 deal rally in Queens

    Exactly what math did Cuomo and de Blasio do in coming up with the deal? Who benefits? Which landlords will benefit and by how much? Who gets hurt and by how much?

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  26.    Researchers Just Found a Way to Turn CO2 Into Plastic With Unprecedented Efficiency

    Okay, this sounds fascinating; however, how toxic and how biodegradable are the "carbon-based products"?

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  27.    Shampoo, hair spray, and skin lotion is polluting the air

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  28.    Study Examines Minnesota Landslides [draws attention concerning many other states]

    A lot of the ground that makes up ravines and bluffs in the area is becoming more prone to erosion because of increasing rainfall and urban development.

    Therefore, you need to keep your wits about you concerning changing climate due to global warming due to carbon burning with inadequate sequestration.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  29.    Move to relax rules that ban health-care kickbacks

    PropertyPak doesn't deal in health coverage directly, but fraud, abuse, and regulations are a general theme throughout insurance and the economy. We come down on the side of preventing fraud and abuse over rewarding anyone with more profits.

    "Good providers can work within the existing rules," said Joel Androphy, a Houston lawyer who has handled many health-care fraud cases. "The only people I ever hear complaining are people who got caught cheating or are trying to take advantage of the system. It would be disgraceful to change the rules to appease the violators."

    We can't say that, that's always the case, but we'll err on the side of caution over increased profits.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  30.    Records Show Woman Admitted Setting Iowa Fires for Insurance Money

    Court documents say Mittman told investigators that she'd set a fire Oct. 22 at an apartment ....

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  31.    Corporate Giants, Hurting the Economy

    If we allow unnatural monopolies, we will make startups nearly impossible, innovation or not. When were you a startup? Are you still a startup? How soon will the window for startups close if we don't lock it open?

    "What we must realize is that, once again, we face what Louis Brandeis called the 'Curse of Bigness,' which, as he warned, represents a profound threat to democracy itself."

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  32.    The Monopolization of America

    Here's another by the same author, David Leonhardt, on the same subject.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  33.    The changing nature of work | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal

    I dislike articles on this subject that don't fully address even the subject's most basic fundamentals.

    First of all, the article is covering the international rather than purely domestic implications. For the US, for example, the article is nearly irrelevant for the simple reason that the following quoted conclusion of the authors does not apply: "Other initiatives would have to be cut or taxes raised to provide the necessary cash." The US can simply create the money without raising taxes and without borrowing.

    Secondly, concerning the following: "The changing nature of firms coincides with a shift in the demand for skills among workers. The demand for less-advanced skills that can be replaced by technology is declining. At the same time, the demand for advanced cognitive skills (Krueger and Kumar 2004), socio-behavioural skills (Cunningham and Villaseñor 2016), and skill combinations associated with greater adaptability arerising (Hanushek et al. 2017)," the authors merely assume that this time isn't different. They are assuming incorrectly that it will be possible, and even necessary, for human beings to keep pace with or get out in front of and stay out in front of technological innovation. It's simply unnecessary for the reason already stated: the US can simply create the money without raising taxes and without borrowing.

    Look, there will be major advancements in human cognition; however, AI will not have to wait for that. AI could, and if left to its own devices, will, outstrip what we currently think of as what is needed to produce the goods and services we need and want. My point is that AI won't require human labor in order to supply humanity with everything humans are supplying now. AI will not only meet the percentage we are accomplishing now but continue increasing meeting demand up to 100% with zero human work required.

    By the way, VOX appears to be on a crusade trying to convince the masses that they have no choi ce but to look forward to struggling educationally to remain valuable in our capitalist-welfare-state mixed economy. Why?

    Why do they appear hellbent on ignoring a Universal Living Income for each and all?

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  34.    Silent Inflation

    Robert J. Shiller is always worth reading.

    While it is right to worry about massive deflation, the historical relationship between deflation and recession is not all that strong. In a 2004 paper, the economists Andrew Atkeson and Patrick Kehoe concluded that most of the evidence of a relationship comes from just one case: the Great Depression of the 1930s.

    The real point is that we might not need a 2% cushion against a period of price deflation at all. I tend to think we don't need it. I tend to think deliberate inflation is a very bad idea. I think deliberate inflation is really a banker-guaranteed-income provision.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  35.    Texas Is About to Create OPEC's Worst Nightmare

    An infestation of dots, thousands of them, represent oil wells in the Permian basin of West Texas and a slice of New Mexico. In less than a decade, U.S. companies have drilled 114,000. Many of them would turn a profit even with crude prices as low as $30 a barrel.

    Missing from the article is any mention of global warming. Mark my words, just as Monsanto is undergoing an onslaught of law suits, the US oil industry will too.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  36.    We need a Green New Deal, and we need it now [But how are we going to pay for it?]

    So, the article is against Pay-Go, that is, pay as you go, that is, not increasing the federal budget deficit. That's because the article subscribes to MMT (Modern Money Theory) talk that diminishes the problem of deficits if those deficits aren't allowed to swell too much. However, there really is Pay-Go without tax increases or budget cuts and which Pay-Go will pay for all the Green New Deal we might want.

    I've said it over and over and over, over the decades now: just create the money without any federal borrowing, without any bonds being issued. Just create the exact amount of money to match the real productivity that the Green New Deal will create, and that's that.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  37.    It's now cheaper to build a new wind farm than to keep a coal plant running

    If you factor in the environmental damage and subsequent costs, it's no contest. Alternatives win hands down.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  38.    Research Finds Fire-Resistant Building Codes Do Not Raise Home Prices

    Fiber-cement siding is fire-resistant and less than half the price of cedar.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  39.    CLO Fever: Small Insurer Bets Big on Booming Leveraged Loan Market

    "CLOs have a self-healing mechanism in a recession: if the loan market breaks down and there are forced sellers, we will be able to invest in better priced loans to make up for any losses."

    How deep and liquid will their pockets be at that crucial moment?

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  40.    XL Insurance to Cut Coal Industry Business Under Parent AXA's Climate Order

    European insurers have been more proactive than rivals in the United States in terms of their climate change policies.

    "more proactive"? I'd say smarter.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  41.    Report Puts Losses from California Wildfires at $15B to $19B

    ... building, content, and additional living expenses, and the estimated losses include fire, smoke, demand surge and debris removal.

    Do you want cheaper gas at the expense of lower insurance premiums?

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  42.    Greenhouse Gases Reach Level Last Seen 3-5 Million Years Ago: WMO Report

    The WMO said higher CO2 concentrations are melting ice caps and leading to more violent weather events, which the Bank of England said [on Wednesday, Nov. 21] were responsible for a record $140 billion in insurance losses in 2017.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  43.    Apartments are getting smaller — but renters are paying more

    Micro-units are becoming more popular, following on the tiny-house trend, as millennials tend to be more environmentally conscious than previous generations. Apartment developers are supplementing the smaller units by adding more common spaces to their buildings, in which residents can both work and entertain.

    The trend seems to be toward dormitory-style living.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  44.    Climate fight can be America's new New Deal — Breakingviews

    Fully decarbonizing by 2050 the world's cement, steel, plastics, trucking, shipping and aviation sectors could require investing some 0.5 percent of global GDP a year using mostly existing technology, according to the Energy Transitions Commission. But it would bring efficiencies, employment and advances in technology that could more than offset the costs.

    Similarly, modernizing aging infrastructure has multiple benefits. Investing the $800 billion or so needed to upgrade America's water systems could generate an almost 300 percent return, according to the U.S. Water Alliance — and generate 1.3 million jobs.

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  45.    7 Lessons I Wish I'd Known When I Started Investing in Real Estate

    1. Learn how to forecast cash flow accurately.
    2. House hacking is an ideal way to get started.
    3. The perfect deal is a myth; look for a good deal.
    4. After purchasing, properties' ROI comes from strong management.
    5. Focus on the fundamentals (and forget the rest!).
    6. Leave the slums to the slumlords.
    7. You do need a cash reserve, but it doesn't need to be a fortune.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  46.    Mexico accepts housing migrants, seeks US development aid

    Immigrants typically rent, so that's why I'm posting this link.

    I'm going to deliberately avoid the issues of racism and ethnic bigotry in my own commentary, because they are too politically charge. Different people believe they can or can't read other people's minds and emotions enough to label those others as racists or bigots.

    What I do want to address very directly is employment. The article and the Mexican authorities, as far as the article indicates, are focused upon creating jobs, especially in Honduras. However, many of the people who've left Honduras have left because of political oppression and abuse.

    If the US is to help stem the tide of migration, it must address the severe lack of democracy in Honduras and not simply money for jobs.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  47.    Trying Again for Full Employment

    Current job-guarantee proposals create jobs through an updated model of the New Deal work programs that vastly expanded our national resources during the Great Depression. Updated how? They guarantee employment, whereas the New Deal work programs, though unprecedented in size, did not serve all of the unemployed and often short-changed women and black people. The direct government job-creation approach has the added benefit of being anti-inflationary, because it can target job-creation to unemployed workers in contrast to an overall stimulus like a tax cut, which can heat up an economy in areas where there is little surplus labor. The updated New Deal model is a potential political asset. In a recent campaign to promote a municipal Jobs for All program, the National Jobs for All Coalition distributed a Map and Guide to New Deal Public Works in New York City showing that many of the iconic sites associated with New York were created by workers employed in New Deal work programs. (See Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg, "The Living New Deal," D&S, September/October 2017.) A job guarantee achieved through direct government job-creation would not only provide employment and training to unemployed workers and reduce the debilitating social problems caused by joblessness that are so costly to both the unemployed and to society. Jobs-for-all legislation would employ workers in upgrading the nation's depleted physical, human service, cultural, and environmental resources. This is a persuasive rallying cry: that conquering unemployment by government job-creation would not only benefit jobless people, their families, and communities—it would benefit all of us.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  48.    How Pollution Can Hurt the Health of the Economy

    "Pollution harms everyone," she said. "But kids are hit the hardest. Pollution impacts kids' health in the short and long term, and ultimately translates into poorer labor market outcomes — lower productivity at work and lower incomes."

    It lowers IQs, and those with those lower IQs don't have the intelligence to end the pollution.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  49.    How Opportunity Zones Benefit Investors and Promote Displacement

    The estimated benefits from opportunity zones stem from the idea that providing a tax benefit to the rich should boost the economy of struggling communities, yet this analysis failed to consider lost revenue that could have been spent directly on investment in housing, education, transportation, and other government programs that help build infrastructure in low-income areas.

    Even if the tax breaks drive some new investment into low-income areas, this does not guarantee that these investments will ultimately benefit low-income families within the opportunity zones. In fact, additional investment driven by opportunity zones could have the unintended effect of fueling higher real estate prices that serve to displace low-income citizens and businesses rather than benefit them.

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