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Posts Tagged "economy"

Food Matters

Culture of Resistance: Protesting Greece’s Politics With Yogurt

CultureofResistance

It’s official: Greek yogurt is all the rage. As Americans demand more Greek yogurt, Greeks demand more with yogurt–the economic crisis in Greece has led to a resurgence in yogurt protests. In the past few years, politicians including Haris Kastandidis, Liana Kanelli, and Alekos Alavanos have all been targets of Greeks expressing political frustration through [...]

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Observations

Obama to Announce $2-Billion Plan to Get U.S. Cars off Gasoline

President Barack Obama visiting at  Edison Electric Vehicle Technical Center in Pomona, California, 2009

This afternoon, President Barack Obama will ask Congress to direct our cars, trucks and buses to a realm that doesn’t include gas stations. During a visit to Argonne National Laboratory, he will call for $2-billion energy security trust fund dedicated to research to boost automobile efficiency, enhance battery technology and expand the use of biofuels, [...]

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Observations

Newer Docs Might Be Driving Up Health Care Costs

doctor experience health care cost

Health care spending increases have slowed over the past couple years. Still, we are spending some $2.6 trillion—that’s trillion with a “T”—a year on health costs, which is a higher percentage of our GDP than any other developed country. And we don’t seem to be getting that much healthier. So economists and policy researchers are [...]

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Observations

Job Killer? Try Bottom Line Booster: Workplace Safety Inspections Save Money, Jobs, Limbs

job safety inspection osha

Costly safety upgrades, nitpicky government inspection and resulting fines are often blamed as being bad for business. But a new study shows that when government job-safety inspectors make a surprise visit, they actually enable companies to save money—and jobs—for years to come. Occupational safety has improved immensely over the decades, but in industries with traditionally [...]

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Observations

Royal Society Calls for Redistribution of Wealth and More Birth Control to Save the Planet

earth

During the 352-year life span of the Royal Society, the human population has risen from less than one billion people to seven billion and counting. That boom has been supported by science and technology—Watt’s coal-fired steam engine, Haber and Bosch synthesizing nitrogen fertilizer, Fleming’s discovery of penicillin—and continues today as the world’s population expands at [...]

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Observations

Getting People to Kick the Cigarette Habit Pays Much More Than Tobacco Taxes–and Quickly

pack of cigarettes price

In 2009 California took in $839 million in taxes from the sale of cigarettes. And with its—and many other states’—budget in dire straights, it is hard to turn down any extra income. But that’s just what the state has been doing, with overall cigarette sales dropping year after year thanks to anti-smoking efforts. And these [...]

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Observations

Preschool Funding for Kids Now Pays Off Billions Later

preschooler playing

There are few sure investments in this chaotic economic climate, but on a national level, education has proven to pay off big down the road. As tight economic times have put the squeeze on education budgets here in the U.S., a new report shows the big benefits of even small investments in early education worldwide. [...]

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Observations

Can the U.S. build a clean, green economic machine?

Can cleaner sources of energy not only power our economy but also drive a recovery from the Great Recession? That’s the question confronted by policymakers across the U.S.—and by debaters in the Intelligence Squared series held March 8 at New York University. The list of political proponents of a clean, green energy economy is long, [...]

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Observations

Are high food prices fueling revolution in Egypt?

egyptian-bread

Even with government subsidies and ration cards for bread, the true price of wheat in Egypt is nearly 30 percent higher today than it was a year ago—thanks to global prices for that staple cereal that have increased nearly 80 percent in the same span. In more common terms, that means 5 piester (less than [...]

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Observations

Can ecological models explain global financial markets–and make them more stable?

stock traders in global financial marketplace

Bananas, cacao and bee-pollinated crops are all threatened with collapse in part because of their monoculture management. When a biological or social system is full of uniform individuals—be they bean plants or banks—one shared weakness can spell disaster for the whole lot. Even when a new beneficial trait or tool enters the picture, if all [...]

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Observations

If the world is going to hell, why are humans doing so well?

For decades, apocalyptic environmentalists (and others) have warned of humanity’s imminent doom, largely as a result of our unsustainable use of and impact upon the natural systems of the planet. After all, the most recent comprehensive assessment of so-called ecosystem services—benefits provided for free by the natural world, such as clean water and air—found that [...]

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Plugged In

Simplest Bike Commuting Infrastructure: The Shower

Research, as ever, tells us what we already know. Eric Jaffe, of Atlantic Cities, cites new research in Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, by Ralph Buehler of Virginia Tech. The shocking revelation? After you ride a bicycle, it’s nice to take a shower. I don’t mean to sound snide. The research is good and sensible [...]

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