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Good Ideas? Options
LaserBillA
#21 Posted : Thursday, December 03, 2009 11:13:52 AM
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The government should use it's emininet domain powers and aparently deep pockets to quickly build a series of GigaWatt scale 900,000 volt DC transmisson power lines. The G&T's would then pay for the converters as needed.

1. This would create jobs since it would take an army of people to build a nation wide system of lines. (think interstate highway routes)

2. This would allow renable eneregy to be transported long distances effeciencly

3. 1 and 2 would give us the energy to do Co2 capture at the oil fields and then use the Co2 for enhanced oil recovery.

The system would also have a return on investment of about 20 years. That would put it's ROI at about the same point as the wind farms being built.

 

jd
#22 Posted : Thursday, December 03, 2009 5:47:15 PM
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I am disinclined to conspiracy theories but, OMIGOD there are a lot being promoted these days.  I am disinclined to believe the news - mostly because it is a business and thus 'altered' for profits.  I am disinclined to follow opinion (when have the masses ever been right?).  And I am disinclined to believe my or anyone's government - the always-lying perpetrators of poli-speak.  So, for me, the best indicators are what is happening around me and you'll be surprised to learn that our remote island has grown in population these past two years by an astounding 20%.  All young couples.  Our 11 pupil school went to 18.  We have half a dozen buns in the oven.  So, to me, the exodus has begun.  'Course, trends come and go and this may be a blip on the screen but, despite the cities still growing, I see urban refugees.  And I see them in my neighbourhood.  Doesn't that say something?

davisonh
#23 Posted : Saturday, December 05, 2009 2:42:40 AM
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Seen the news recently jd?Max growth in North America as a whole is only forecasted to be 2% or less in the next year,pretty much stagnant and I expect this to be the case for quite some time.Overseas is a different story and thats where the action is.As far as urban refugees are concerned,the masses think in basics jd,you well know that;if one cannot support themselves and their families they're gonna move to where they can.If it is an island off the coast of B.C. then that's where they'll go,or if it's in the middle of the desert,if there's work,thats where they'll go.Have to tell you jobs are seriously scarce.I think JEM will agree with me on that,here in N.H. we've enjoyed an unemployment rate thats been below 3 1/2% for years,but the recession has finally found us,we've shot up to 4 1/2 % I think,am I right JEM?My work hours have been cut to 32 for a week for this month and no word if that is going to continue into January.We had a really bad 4th quarter,but we know we're not alone either.Many have been laid off and hours cut all over.Our company's doing a neat thing though which I may be jumping into later this month.They will pay us 40 hours if we donate 4 hours on our day off that week to working for a charity.Really good idea I think.Might be doing the bellringing thing later this month.

I have been hearing that some are even going overseas to find jobs.India Indonsesia China and Brazil are hot job prospect areas for all trades and professions.They can't get enough people to fill positions.Been hearing a lot of Europeans are doing just that.I know of a few people here in my county,one went to live with her sister in China to work for Sports Illustrated another with his uncle in Malaysia for a factory managerial job for good $$.So who knows how this will all play out jd,I'm going to sit back and watch..

davisonh
#24 Posted : Saturday, December 05, 2009 2:46:08 AM
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Bill I think thats a great idea,bury the HVDC lines under interstates but you and I know it'll neever happen.makes too much sense,lol.

LaserBillA
#25 Posted : Saturday, December 05, 2009 10:08:22 AM
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>Bill I think thats a great idea, bury the HVDC lines under interstates

Technically they would be over and next to the interstates since Underground super conducive lines (at that scale) won't be ready till around 2040.

It's also one of those things where if we don't build the overhead lines now, we won't develop the super conducting ones before some other country does.

Davisonh: I know things arn't good, however I have two full time jobs this month.. one of them is for a company out of india.... That's right I'll be doing a subcontract software job for an overseas company... Then again I've been willing to work for peanuts for years and have survived by keeping my overhead low. It may be a harsh life, but it's a secure life.

PS: Minimum wage does not apply to sub contractors like myself.

John Edward Mercier
#26 Posted : Sunday, December 06, 2009 10:51:19 PM
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I think the last official numbers for NH were around six percent. But it doesn't take into consideration those employed only part time that wish to be full time... so the number is skewed.

I don't think NH is near the bottom. The correction in personal behaviour hasn't been strong enough to promote a recovery. I fully suspect if the economy started to pick up at this point that the price of crude oil would return to its recent highs. And the federal government through further borrowing has protected the States and local taxpayers from hard decisions regarding expenditures.

So we've seen credit debt transfer from consumer to the federal government... rather than an actual paydown.

 

 

LaserBillA
#27 Posted : Monday, December 07, 2009 12:13:04 AM
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It looks like some people are considering a super conducting underground transmisson line. The costs would be higher than an above ground line, however it would be more reliable.

http://www.dieselserviceandsupply.com/Power_Grid_Upgrades_and_Expansion.aspx

MC
#28 Posted : Wednesday, December 09, 2009 2:35:35 PM
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Speaking of looking to what's going on in your local community, jd, here in NW AR the survivalists are pulling out.  Selling whatever they don't need-- I've supplied a lot of my own project from their yard sales--packing up their old folks, their kids, and their friends, and heading for greener pastures.  Mount Ida, Mountain View, southern MO, Canada, the northern prairies.

Now THAT scares me.  The kids and I would die on our own.  As my garden this year shows, I simply don't know enough yet.  None of my people-- even the ones who call themselves "survivalists," though really they are role-players stockpiling guns and fantasizing about "systems failure" and their "band of brothers" standing up to the "Global Community," five points if you can name all three media references-- are ready to go.  They overestimate their skills, and they don't want to give up the soft life until they absolutely have to.  Grasshoppers.   

I want to look at the exodus here and say, "I will work.  I already know some stuff-- I can plant and hoe and pick, piece and sew, cook and can and dry, skin and butcher-- and I will work hard.  My daughter will work hard.  I have two babies, a terrible liability, but if they live 3 to 5 more years, they will work hard.  You don't have to take us as equals.  Take us as apprentices.  Take us as indentured servants, if you won't starve us or beat us.  Just take us with you."

It's not that I don't want to work or don't want to build.  It's that I don't want to be all on our own, with everything dependent upon my decision-making and expertise.  I am still too soft; even if I were not, there's a reason humans tend to band together.  We are only human.  Even the best of us fail.         

 

MC
#29 Posted : Wednesday, December 09, 2009 2:51:50 PM
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Sorry.  I know y'all hate it when I get scared.  I do wonder if anyone would treat that as a reasonable proposition, though.  It seems like the best hope for my family. 

Put another way, yes, I think the urban refugees are beginning to trickle out.  The Jews who realize what Hitler is  up to are schlepping it out of Europe. 

Do I think it's coming apart soon???  Not really.  It is still in the interests of those who hold power to hold it together, and for a while yet they still can.  We might have a decade or two. 

But it's those who have been readiest longest that will be in the best position when it happens.  The Amish, the hillbillies, the powerbrokers, and some of you guys.

Thoughts on barter goods:  bullets (or the stuff to reload them), firearms, bows and arrows.  The ability to teach the skills.  In some areas, salt.  Spices.  Coffee.  Basic medicines, or the knowledge and practice of local herbalism.  Most of all, skills and skills and skills.  The ability to supply the services that those skills represent.  Basic medicine, basic repair, the ability to construct a servicable shelter.  If you have a whole load of money-- or a whole lot of people-- stockpile land.  Soros and Company are already doing it.   

MC
#30 Posted : Wednesday, December 09, 2009 6:46:37 PM
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Tobacco.  Water filtration equipment, if you're not in a place where a simple sand filter can do the job.  Hand tools, or the supply equipment to operate power tools. 

But, skills most of all.  If you can be the leaders, the ones with the knowledge of what to do and how to do it, I believe a lot of the goods will be there and I believe the refugees will be willing to support you-- cooperation, labor, numbers.  Even right now, as I'm sure you've noticed-- don't kick them like yellow dogs-- and I'm talking outright abuse, not harsh criticism or a steep learning curve-- and those who scent what's coming but lack skills or confidence will flock to you. 

That's what I'm desperate for, anyway.  Knowledge, leadership, some kind of network I can work within. 

LaserBillA
#31 Posted : Thursday, December 10, 2009 8:46:18 AM
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Sticking with the theme of  "good ideas" we should post productive ideas in this thread.

As I sit here trying to say warm and keep the pipes from frezeing all I see is the gonvernment talking about "energy conservation" and I have not heard a thing from the gonvermnent about actualy starting consruction of a effecient nation wide power grid.

Worse yet the cancelation of the coal plant in ND has cancled the transmission line project that the new ND wind farms need to send the power to MN. It is starting to look like the only way to make a difference is to force the system into a crises point.

So if everyone bought green power credits... it would create even more stranded renable energy projects and eventually the utilities would reach a point where they would have to start construction of new transmision lines or face rolling blackouts.

Net-metering is another way to push the system closer to the brink since the utility has to pay you the same price that they charge you. If more than 5% did cogeneration under net-metering rules it would cripple the system since the utility would have to pay more for the power.. which would raise the rates.. which would increase how much they have to pay.... ect... it's a runaway positive feedback loop.

practicalman45
#32 Posted : Thursday, December 10, 2009 7:27:53 PM
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I guess I should chime in here.  I consider myself very fortunate to be where I am. My community is doing active things to promote sustainability. We have a group that holds skill share events. Gardening, homesteading, foraging wild foods, co-operative ordering of bulk fruit trees orders etc. The other thing that I'm real happy about is my self-employed trade: welding/fabrication. I've spent many years accumulating the tools and supplies/inventory that I use and sell in my small home business. For years I have bought nuts and bolts on ebay when  bulk lots come up for liquidation. The store is a long ways from me, and prices there are outrageous, making my inventory of hardware that I stock a real asset when I'm fabricating or someone else needs nuts and bolts for their projects. This year has been the best ever for selling the woodstoves that I make from recycled metal waterheater tanks.  Its a very sustainable skill making items that will be in demand and selling well as things decline economicaly. The other day a customer asked if I'll accept barter. I said what have you got? Well, we ended up settling on ammunition. There was talk in the thread of ammo as currency. Yes, I'm already accepting it as "currency" for the skills of my trade. The need for a medium of exchange alternative to the currency which is debt-based and has no intrinsic value is going to expand as the currency value declines from unchecked spending diluting the currency supply with trade units that have no value.  I'll accept precious metals readily for trade because I know they will still have value as the un-backed fake currencies move into hyperinflation. Later, when the need for alternate currencies expand, the stores of precious metal units, such as bullion rounds and other recognized coins will become way more valuable than they currently are. It is the most sensible way to save up value that I can see, besides actual barter items that you can actually use.

 

John Edward Mercier
#33 Posted : Friday, December 11, 2009 4:13:53 PM
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Actually the currency won't move into hyperinflation... though the dollar-crude fiat still stands and could be 'leveraged forced spread' should conditions arise that make it profitable to do so once more.

The demographic wave simply results in a draw down of capital (stored labor) faster than the creation of capital. Because this comes after a period of low interest rates with minimal capitalization requirements, it will mean a much slower economic growth (if any) until the creation of capital outpaces its consumption.

Its also not globally universal in that some countries have a younger median demographic, that will be the new consumer/production base going foward. Those countries will see an increase in capital creation and thus more prosperity.

 

Pat Miketinac
#34 Posted : Saturday, December 12, 2009 5:23:48 AM
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Another way money loses value is by revaluation, like North Korea just did. Even if you had the equivalent of $1,000,000 in their money, it can now only be exchanged for about $120 in their new money. Millionaire to pauper overnight. Another good argument for a sound currency.

The HVDC grid sounds good, but it is still a grid subject to government boondoggles and unforseen interruptions. I would rather see more homes and buildings energy independent, but it's not likely unless costs come down. I like what the guys are doing at otherpower.com. No grid there.

John Edward Mercier
#35 Posted : Sunday, December 13, 2009 7:29:21 PM
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Reevaluation occurs when a currency is pegged to something else.

Lots of nations are still pegged to the USD.

 

jd
#36 Posted : Sunday, December 13, 2009 10:58:14 PM
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Thanks for returning to the question.  The answers are helpful and pomising.  I am particularly pleased to hear that bartering bullets worked.  Our community is also planning to buy in bulk, build a few communal things (a woodworking shop) and 'shopping and picking up' for others when in town.  We have a local weekly-but-seasonal market day and all that.  Of course, everyone is off-grid and pretty self sufficient but it just feels as if it isn't quite enough.......I dunno...........just asking for more, I guess.  None of us are inclined to form a church or live communally or be much more social than we already are.  Still, we all feel as if there is more we could do on a community-come-self-help basis.  A year ago a bad part of our access washed out.  It was no big deal - we all just hiked around it.  But, in the winter, it got even worse and we were all getting frustrated because the govt. wasn't fixing the road.  I simply put up a sign and said, "I am rebuilding the road on the 17th.  Starting at 9:00 gravel trucks will dump the first of four loads.  Join in if you can." On the appointed day, 34 people showed and shovelled gravel in the rain for almost ten hours.  So, we are good.  But we are not yet great.  Another small community thirty miles away just raised a low-power radio station.  We all have some kind of expertise and apply it pretty generously (free, mostly, for community members).  But, aside from what we have said already, what more can we do to be a productive (and not so much reactive) community?

LaserBillA
#37 Posted : Sunday, December 13, 2009 11:22:31 PM
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Inflation is a necessary part of any coin or print based economy since it allows the government to effectively tax  possession of money.

After a while it starts to sound ridiculousness to buy a gallon of milk for a million dollars and they change from one printed style to another.

 You don't just go from being a millionaire to a pauper... you just exchanged 1,000,000 "flaglian foggle beads"(mostly worthless) for one "triganic pew" (a huge triangular rubber coin).   The name the call it does not matter, it just needs a new name. "Amero" anyone?

You could always exchange back again, however the new money type quickly takes over and people go on with life as usual.

-
If you don't have have the ability to send power long distances then you have to store it for when you need it.

 Last night I was talking to a guy that works at a place that sells electric only cars. I see a future where you drive your car into a docking station, which connects it to the power grid, so that the car/truck acts like a large UPS or energy storage device when not on the highway.

John Edward Mercier
#38 Posted : Monday, December 14, 2009 4:29:14 AM
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JD, what was the need for the access road? That is your next step as a community.

Bill, all inflation is not monetary in nature... this is where 'velocity of currency' comes into the play. Slight monetary inflation is easier to control than deflation, which is why the policy is tilted in that direction. But without pegging a currency the monetary inflation is so subtle as to not make any difference... as long as the currency is transferred to capital (stored labor).

EX: You earn $12 per hour take home. A gallon of milk cost $3. The milk equates to 15 minutes of your labor.

As long as that milk never cost more than 15 minutes of your labor... you've remained relatively stationary.

 

 

 

 

Pat Miketinac
#39 Posted : Monday, December 14, 2009 5:56:23 AM
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To clarify what happened in North Korea, let's say that you had enough of their old money to buy a million dollar house. When they mandated the new money only, you could only buy a $120 tent with your old money. Your fortune did indeed disappear overnight, that's how fast the mandate was.

As far as being a more productive community, there is only so much a human can do. It takes factories and machinery to boost output. That's how this country was able to produce almost half of all goods produced in the world by 1905 with only 6% of it's population. But there were no personal income taxes then, and negligible government interference. Great incentive.

I like electric cars, but I see a new tax coming on them to replace lost gas pump taxes. I sold my propane powered truck because they require all road taxes to be paid a year in advance here for propane motorfuel.

John Edward Mercier
#40 Posted : Monday, December 14, 2009 2:38:50 PM
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The method of taxation really has little to do with the outcome as much as the overall level.

Reevaluations are always painful.

They lower the cost of debt for the nation... but cause hyperinflation in the months/years following.

Unless the government decrees prices... which just sets up the next reevaluation.

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