neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
It's been more than a month since I promised you all an analysis of the Census for Detroit. I haven't exactly followed through, even though the Census figured in several posts since then, so it's high time I bring you some more news inspired by the Census, even if it is a bit old.

Detroit News: Empty homes dot Oakland County's upscale suburbs
Laura Berman
Last Updated: April 07. 2011 5:47PM
Numbers don't lie: They tell unpleasant stories, including new census numbers pinpointing high vacancy rates in some of Oakland County's most elite suburbs.

The half-secret behind many of the well-maintained facades and manicured lawns of some of the area's most lavish properties is that nobody's home.

Birmingham (9.4 percent) and Bloomfield Hills (10.2 percent) showed vacancy rates significantly higher than 10 years ago. Those rates are similar to Detroit's vacancy rate a decade ago.
Those of you from metro Detroit reading this entry should understand exactly what this means. For those reading who are not familiar with the area, these two towns are very upscale suburbs, the equivalent of Beverly Hills and Westwood/Bel-Air in Los Angeles. Imagine those areas with 9-10% vacancy rates. That would be very distressing.
Tiny Lake Angelus, with 132 households in north Oakland County, is historically a pocket of the county's wealth. Always private, the census takers also found that 13.2 percent of the residences were unoccupied. Vacancies in Farmington Hills were 6.8 percent, up from 3.3 percent in 2000.
The first one--eep! This enclave of Richistan is not doing well at all! The second shows that things are bad, but that areas that are more solidly middle-class instead of rich, people are staying in their homes if they can.
"One of the striking things is that the foreclosure crisis has hit parts of Oakland County that we would have thought are untouchable," said Andy Meisner, Oakland County treasurer.
This is one of the signs that things are not business as usual (BAU), nor are they going to be for the foreseeable future. Too bad. In a BAU climate, I'd be very optimistic about an economic recovery around here. There's nothing a lot of energy for economic activity wouldn't fix. But this isn't BAU, so I'm not very optimistic about BAU solutions.

Back to the article.
Vacancy is a distress signal and communities try to hide the red flags of emptiness. Owners — even banks — maintain the lawns and exteriors, and when they don't, neighbors call the city.

"Even our blight is better," quipped Annabel Cohen, a Bloomfield Township homeowner who hasn't noticed any deterioration.
Snerk You wish. Also, let's see how long that lasts.
Others aren't as chipper, saying that as the crisis goes on, homeowners are more likely to be as distressed as their unsold properties.
Lots more at the link in the headline. I will pass on on one bit of advice from the article before moving on--watch the lawns this summer to see which houses are really occupied, and which are just being kept up to look that way by the bank. Also, keep in mind that those figures are from a year ago. Things could be worse by now. Or, they could be better.

The Detroit Free Press has more articles about the real estate situation here in Metro Detoit. I'll give the good, the bad, and the ugly. )

Above originally posted as The Census on vacancy rates plus the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly about March 2011 real estate in Metro Detroit on Crazy Eddie's Motie News along with Earth Day in the National Progressive Press.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
For Earth Day, I present the Detroit Free Press Green Leaders for 2011!

In an earlier post, I said that the solutions created here in Michigan and especially in metro Detroit for the problems of economic and societal collapse will be exported to the rest of the continent, including the bad ones. I actually said that to my environmental science class tonight as part of the conclusion to my last lecture of the semester. I then told the students that the lesson that they were to take away from the class was that it was their responsibility to encourage good solutions and squash the bad ones. They applauded.

I've already told you all about a bad solution to be squashed. Now it's time to point you all to some good solutions to be encouraged, courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Video and linkspam at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

From Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future, I wish you all pleasant reading and a happy Earth Day!
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Crazy Eddie's Motie News: Earth Day Events at University of Michigan and Oakland Community College

University of Michigan: Earth Day celebrations planned at U-M

Oakland Community College: Back to Earth (PDF)

Oakland Community College: The Impact of Urban Farming on American Cities (PDF)

Oakland Community College: 1st Annual Sustainability Fair (PDF)

Details for the PDF-phobic and commentary at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
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Fat Cat goes Galt

Box Office Mojo: 'Atlas Shrugged' Derails?

Atlas Shrugged: Part I was the top-grossing limited release of the weekend, generating an estimated $1.7 million at 300 single-screen locations.

For a pure independent release, Atlas Shrugged: Part I's opening was fine. But for the first-ever adaptation of Ayn Rand's influential mega-selling 1957 novel that had far more media hype than any other independent movie could dream of, it was disappointing.

There aren't many direct comparisons, because it's rare that an adaptation of such a famous book gets such a modest release. Atlas Shrugged: Part I opened higher than recent limited Christian movies The Grace Card and To Save a Life, and it was distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures' third highest-grossing launch, behind End of the Spear and Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. But none of those movies are significant in the grand scheme of things. They're all still blips, even if Atlas was a slightly bigger blip than many.

What's more, Atlas Shrugged: Part I's box office dropped six percent from Friday to Saturday, further indicating niche appeal. The movie would require exceptional holds moving forward to right its course.

Atlas Shrugged: Part I was reportedly produced for $10 million in a rush to retain the movie rights before they reverted back to Ayn Rand's estate, and its producers eschewed Hollywood (only one theater showed it in the Los Angeles area) after decades of failed attempts. Instead, they took a grass roots approach and tried to capitalize on the Tea Party movement, which was credited with the Republicans' landslide win in last November's election.

The conservative media championed Atlas Shrugged Part I, and it received plenty of general coverage as well. It's also a topical movie, given the goings on in Washington (it was defiantly released on April 15, normally tax day), but topicality isn't necessarily a theatrical draw, especially when the core audience is already flush with the topic. )
The critics were not impressed. As The Nation noted in Rand Appalling: New 'Atlas Shrugged' Movie Booed Off Planet:

It takes a lot to get a 0% at the mass market critics' consensus site Rotten Tomatoes. Pick an awful movie you can think of and it probably managed a 5% or maybe even a 25%. Somehow, Atlas Shrugged, Part I (yes! more to look forward to!), which opens Friday, has at this writing achieved the rare feat.

In other words, not a single critic to date, from major and minor outlet, high or lowest of low of lowbrow, likes it one bit.
As of Monday, the movie had improved its rating to 8%, which still made it the lowest rated movie out of the top 50 in theaters.

The ratings didn't include this one from io9, Atlas Shrugged: A movie this demented ought to be against the law, which basically said it was so bad it's good.

Charlie Jane Anders — Every cult needs its own wacky trainwreck of a movie. Scientology got Battlefield Earth, and now the cult of Ayn Rand gets Atlas Shrugged, Part 1. But how does Atlas stand up to Battlefield Earth?

Quite well, actually. Atlas Shrugged Part 1, which just opened in theaters today, is a grand addition to the roster of movies that are both kooky and clunky. A movie this hideously wonderful really ought to be against the law.
I'm not sure that even Rotten Tomatoes would count that as a positive review.

I have more comments here.

Above posted to ontd_political on LJ and awaiting moderation.
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Lansing Community College: LCC celebrates Earth Day

The story at the link calls Walmart "a proven leader in sustainability." That claim deserves some unpacking, especially since one of the parts of sustainability involves a sustainable society. On its own website, Walmart describes its sustainability efforts and supports its reputation with an impressive list of awards, but note how it defines sustainability:

Our broad environmental goals at Walmart are simple and straightforward:

•To be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy;
•To create zero waste;
•To sell products that sustain people and the environment.
These goals are all about ecology and economy; there is little or nothing about society. The makers of the movie Walmart: the high cost of low price had a lot to say about the chain's effect on society and local economies. Walmart changed many, but not all, of its behavior after that film came out. Note that the corporation earned most of awards for good corporate citizenship after 2005.

Sunshine works as a disinfectant.

Longer version of this entry originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News as Lansing Community College Earth Day event with a comment about one of its sponsors--Walmart.
neonvincent: For posts about food and cooking (All your bouillabaisse are belong to us)

Another two for one.

Book recommendation: Stuffed and Starved



Stuffed and Starved
Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World’s Food System

In this book, Raj Patel gives a piercing critique of the way global capitalism shapes what humans grow and eat, exposing many of the flaws in the food system that contribute to collapse and what can be done about it. It's also an entertaining and informative read and Raj Patel is a charming and compelling person who knows his gin.

Food News from La La Land

April2011Badge


From PoliticusUSA:

ABC’s Food Revolution May Have Prompted Change in LA Schools’ Lunches

This season “Food Revolution” is filming in Los Angeles, even though the Los Angeles Unified School District refused Oliver and his show access.
Much more, including a video, at the link.

Time to run. I have an event to go to tonight. Hey, I can't be all doom all the time.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

April2011BadgeDetroit Where the Weak are Killed and Eaten


Once again, the news delays my project of blogging about Contemplating the Hedgehog with the following story from the Detroit Free Press.
Experts to meet in Detroit to discuss urban revitalization
John Gallagher
Several dozen of America’s leading thinkers on urban revitalization will gather in Detroit later this week for a four-day brainstorming session to help distressed cities reinvent themselves.
This comes on the heels of yesterday's post about shrinking Detroit. Looks like a hot topic (and not the store that sold Faygo to Juggalos, either).

The meeting is sponsored by the American Assembly, an organization founded by President Dwight Eisenhower and based at Columbia University in New York that tackles some of the nation’s toughest problems.
"Nation's toughest problems"--they have no idea. I'm not talking about Detroit; I talking about the issue of societal collapse and reinvention. Just don't know yet that's what they're really meeting about. Or maybe they do...

The goal is to come up with new approaches that various cities can adapt to their own circumstances as they work toward revitalization, said David Mortimer, president of the American assembly.

“The assembly expects to develop a more informed and successful response to the challenge of population loss and contraction, drawing on a wide range of expertise and experience,” he said. “This event will be one of the first major gatherings in the United States dedicated to these problems and to policy responses.”
As I commented yesterday over on Kunstler's blog, I suspect the largest political unit that is aware that it is managing contraction is the City of Detroit, where they can't avoid the realization. I'm glad that people outside Detroit are realizing that its problems are not unique to the city. About time, too.

It’s no accident the assembly is holding this conference in Detroit, he added.

“Detroit may be the best illustration of these problems in the United States — and also the leader in developing coordinated policy responses,” he said.
I recommend you read the rest of the article. You'll find that it's not just North Americans who are interested in our problems and offering solutions.

As I've written before, welcome to Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future. Whatever solutions are devised here for our problems will be exported to the rest of the continent. It's an exciting time to live here, and I wouldn't miss it for the world!

Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News as American Assembly to meet in Detroit to discuss urban revitalization.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
April2011BadgeDetroit Where the Weak are Killed and Eaten

N.Y. Times via Columbus Dispatch: Reversing Detroit
Fast-shrinking Motor City plans best way to manage population loss
Sunday, April 10, 2011 03:18 AM
By Monica Davey
New York Times News Service

Marja Winters, deputy director of Detroit’s planning and development department, speaks with community members at a church.DETROIT — When Marja M. Winters was studying urban planning in graduate school, she learned the art and science of helping cities grow.

Now, Winters, a native of Detroit and deputy director of the city’s planning and development department, finds herself in an unexpected role, one that no school would have thought to prepare her for: She is sorting out how to help her hometown shrink, by working through difficult decisions that will determine which neighborhoods can be saved and which cannot.

“It was always this notion that the population of the world continues to grow, and more and more people want to live in cities,” Winters, 33, said about her courses at the University of Michigan. “The reality is very different. Who knew?”
Read the rest at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Meta note: I know in my previous post that I would continue analyzing Contemplating the Hedgehog, but it's not every day that the New York Times covers exactly those aspects of Detroit that I cover in this blog. Better yet, it was picked up by the Columbus Dispatch, which doesn't have the 20 article limit before hitting a paywall that the New York Times has. Also, a friend of mine in Columbus posted the link on my Facebook wall. Who am I to refuse a good story when it's dumped in my lap?

In short, I'll get around to the series sooner rather than later. Unless LiveJournal completely disappears because of a DDoS attack (in Soviet Russia, LiveJournal trolls you!), it's not going anywhere.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

keep calm and carry onApril2011Badge 

As I wrote in the first post in this blog:

I'll also post reviews of other blogs about societal collapse and what to do about it. There are plenty of them out there, and they all deserve a good meta look.
The first one was an obituary of Joe Bagaent as told through his interactions from a distance with Jim Kunstler. The second was supposed to be a review of Clusterfuck Nation. For some reason, I keep postponing that review. As I wrote in my second post on this blog:

[T]oday isn't the day for that review. It's not that I don't have a lot to say about him; I do, but I can always repackage my opinions on a slow news day.
Or when don't find another blogger that I think deserves more attention, which brings me to the subject of today's post.

My friend andelku on LiveJournal has been posting a series she calls Contemplating the Hedgehog. Why "the Hedgehog?" In the first post in the series, Welcome to the Hedgehog, she wrote:

When I was just a wee lass, me and my talented underachieving college friends spent large amounts of time sitting around kitchen tables and on back porches of our cheap apartments drinking bad wine and talking about how we all sensed this country, if not the world, was headed for some kind of crisis. Until finally one girl says "I'm tired of calling it the Big Awful Thing That Nobody Knows What It Is But Everyone Can See Coming. Let's call it The Hedgehog." And so we did.
In reality, she's looking at the same situations that I'm writing about here; it's just that she's doing it from a more global (pun fully intended) perspective than I am. That means her series is exactly the kind of material I should be reviewing. Besides, I rather like this conceit, so I'm looking forward to commenting on her posts. Not only will it get her writing the attention it deserves, it should be fun.

Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News here.
neonvincent: For posts about food and cooking (All your bouillabaisse are belong to us)

April2011BadgeMichigan Stand Up and FightDetroit Where the Weak are Killed and Eaten


It's the weekend, which means it's time for me to select this week's news from midwestern universities about food and sustainability. Once again, Michigan State University has pride of place as the first Michigan university mentioned with the only two food stories.



Food

Michigan State University: MSU class building a better popcorn kernel

EAST LANSING, Mich. — A group of Michigan State University students is taking a course this semester that has the official title of “Science of the Foods we Love.” But most everybody knows it as the “popcorn course.”

That’s because in addition to teaching the students the finer points of scientific research, and how the worlds of science and industry come together, another result of the course might be a better kernel of popcorn.

With the help of a gift from ConAgra Foods, the maker of, among other things, Orville Redenbacher popcorn, the class is studying different aspects of popcorn (e.g., explosivity, hull thickness and kernel size distribution) as they relate to the overall quality of a popped bag of microwave popcorn.

Later this month the class will travel to ConAgra headquarters in Omaha, Neb., to present their findings to the company’s scientists.
As I wrote in one of my early linkspam posts:

The flip side of Purdue's concern with food is that it's very much in the pocket of industrial agriculture, and this article shows that relationship in unapologetic detail. Honestly, I find Michigan State University, where there is a program in organic agriculture that was created by student demand, to have a more progressive perspective, and MSU is also a land-grant agricultural college.
They may be more progressive, but they are still strongly connected to industrial agriculture.

Michigan State University: Oxygen sensor invention could benefit fisheries to breweries

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Monitoring oxygen levels in water has applications for oil spills, fish farming, brewing beer and more – and a professor at Michigan State University is poised to help supply that need.

The concept of oxygen sensors isn’t new. The challenge, however, has been manufacturing one that can withstand fluctuations in temperature, salinity, carbon dioxide, phosphates and biological wastes. Ruby Ghosh, associate professor of physics, was able to overcome those obstacles as well as build one that provides real-time data and is relatively inexpensive.
...
Constantly testing dissolved oxygen is critical in industries such as:

  • Aquaculture – where fish are raised in oxygen-rich, high-density environments.
  • Beverage manufacturing – which constantly monitors dissolved oxygen levels during the fermentation and bottling processes.
  • Biomedical research – which could use probes to further cancer research by detecting changes in oxygen dependence in relation to tumor growth.
  • Petroleum manufacturing – to monitor ocean oxygen levels and detect/prevent oil leaks in rugged, saltwater environments.
...
To test her prototypes, Ghosh and her students worked with Michigan’s fish farmers to see how they would hold up in a year-round, outdoor environment.

“My lab focuses on solving real-life problems through our technology,” Ghosh said. “Raising trout for recreational fishing is economically important to Michigan, and our prototype proved that our sensor performs well in the field and could help that industry thrive.”
Since the most read posts this month so far has been Detroit Food and Sustainability News for 4/4/11 and its popularity has been driven by Google searches for people searching for the news story about Russ Allen of Seafood Systems in Okemos and his proposal to raise shrimp in Detroit (Let's see what that phrase does for this post's Search Engine Optimization--muahahahahaha!), I decided to put this story about aquaculture above the fold as a food story.

More news stories about sustainability, science, economy, politics, and law at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
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Mo' Food Panel

There are advantages to being a fan of Model D Media on Facebook. One of them is getting invitations to their events, such as this one.

Model D Speaker Series: Mo’ Food: Creating a New Local Economy

Model D Speaker Series: Mo' food panel in review

Sounds like a great evening. As I wrote yesterday, exciting things are happening here in Detroit, and I wouldn't miss living here for the world.

For details, read the full report at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
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Model D Media on Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future

Detroit Where the Weak are Killed and EatenApril2011Badge


Today, Model D Media reminded me why it is one of my favorite news sources in Detroit, and why I should read it more often. True, they have all kinds of great food stories from the past week on their front page right now, which I'll post about in the very near future, such as tomorrow. But that's not why. Instead, the managing editor posted a great statement about the potential of Detroit.

Editor's notebook: The death and life of a great American city
Walter Wasacz | Tuesday, April 05, 2011

While census workers did their job we did ours: produced ideas, converting them into real action. Detroit's creative juices have been flowing over the past decade. Managing editor Walter Wasacz says hang on, this is just the beginning of a long, wild ride into the unknown.
"A long, wild ride into the unknown"--and that's exactly what we're all embarking on, whether we live in Detroit, Los Angeles, or anywhere else in the world, including the readers from Canada, Australia, India, China, the Russian Republic, or Yemen who have stopped by this past week. Yes, folks, I see you. The difference is that Detroit knows this, even if the rest of you don't, and we're likely to arrive at the future first. As I'm fond of typing out, "Welcome to Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future."

What I posted above was just the teaser. For the highlights of what Wasacz wrote in the editorial itself, as well as my comments, read the rest of the post on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
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Detroit Where the Weak are Killed and EatenApril2011Badge

Whole Foods to be an oasis in Detroit's Food Desert

If you had asked me last week which major supermarket chain would have been the first to come into Detroit, the last chain I would have expected would have been Whole Foods. Looks like I was wrong.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
Crazy Eddie's Motie News: Detroit Food and Sustainability News for 4/4/11

Detroit Where the Weak are Killed and EatenApril2011BadgeMichigan Stand Up and Fight

Detroit Free Press: Indoor shrimp farming could grow into big industry for Michigan

To ramp up the automotive industry in Michigan, Henry Ford built the Rouge Plant -- a manufacturing infrastructure that could produce everything needed, from glass to steel, to make cars.

Today, Russ Allen is looking for a way to build a shrimp Rouge Plant -- a pollution-free, recirculating facility that could breed, grow, process and ship a million pounds of shrimp a year.

It's not as far-fetched as it sounds. Allen, who spent 23 years establishing outdoor shrimp farming in Central and South America, has been raising shrimp indoors in Okemos since 1994 at his Seafood Systems research facility.
...
"This could be the start of an entirely new industry for Michigan, a clean industry, with new jobs," he said -- if he can find the $10 million he needs to build a commercial plant.
There is a photo gallery.

People talk a lot about Detroit as a center for urban agriculture, but this is the first story I've seen about urban aquaculture here. Honestly, I have to say I find this one to be a complete surprise to me. As for his idea, it will most likely work (he already raises 25,000 pounds of shrimp a year in Okemos), although I wonder how sustainable it really is. Shrimp are tropical and require a lot of heat.

Associated Press via Detroit Free Press: Environmental rule on large factory farms upheld

For various reasons, I don't quote AP articles. However, I will link to them if I find them worth reading. This one is, as it describes how factory farms have to abide by water quality standards.

And now, someone worth watching, or keeping an eye on, depending on your perspective.

Detroit Free Press: In Detroit, urban farming waiting to take root

When Detroit's city council approved the sale of 20 parcels of land to the proposed Hantz Farms project this month, it looked like commercial urban agriculture might be about to start in the city.

But the council imposed restrictions on the sale of the land, which lies behind a warehouse owned by businessman John Hantz at 17403 Mt. Elliott. Hantz Farms, a subsidiary of the larger Hantz Group of financial service firms, cannot grow crops or sell any produce from the site without the city's permission.

Instead, Hantz Farms will beautify the roughly 5 acres of blighted land behind the warehouse with landscaping, either with grass or some small plants, as a demonstration of how it can clean up an abandoned site, said Michael Score, the president of Hantz Farms and a former Michigan State University agricultural extension worker.

Hopefully soon, Score added, the city will allow Hantz Farms to farm the site and others in the city.
Last year, my neighbor showed me a newspaper clipping about Hantz and asked me what I thought about him and his idea. I think the idea has merit, but I'm not sure about him. The article mentioned that he was inspired by the ideas of Ayn Rand. I really don't care for Rand or her followers and think anyone who thinks favorably of her could be real trouble.

There are 99 comments on this article. I suggest you read them; you'll get a good idea of the controversies around this project, and the range of agendas and concerns that people have about urban agriculture.

Video reports on Hantz Farms and the non-profit organization Urban Farming along with news about Detroit's water system and municipalities in metro Detroit coping with the economic crisis at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
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April2011BadgeMichigan Stand Up and Fightsolidarity wisconsin

Crazy Eddie Motie News: Weekend News Linkspam--Midwest University News

By virtue of having a week's worth of news as green as its school colors, Michigan State managed to have yesterday's linkspam pretty much all to itself. Now, the rest of the Midwestern public research universities get their turns.

University of Michigan: The Population Bomb: How we survived it

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—World population will reach 7 billion this year, prompting new concerns about whether the world will soon face a major population crisis.

"In spite of 50 years of the fastest population growth on record, the world did remarkably well in producing enough food and reducing poverty," said University of Michigan economist David Lam, in his presidential address at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America.

Lam is a professor of economics and a research professor at the U-M Institute for Social Research. The talk is titled "How the World Survived the Population Bomb: Lessons from 50 Years of Exceptional Demographic History."

In 1968, when Paul Ehrlich's book, "The Population Bomb," triggered alarm about the impact of a rapidly growing world population, growth rates were about 2 percent and world population doubled in the 39 years between 1960 and 1999.

According to Lam, that is something that never happened before and will never happen again.
I think someone is being too optimistic. Then again, it's an economist saying this, not an ecologist.

University of Michigan: Personal income up, but are we better off?

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Although U.S. personal income per capita has risen 5.7 percent since 2000, an increase in tax-exempt benefits provided by the government and employers accounted for all of the income growth in the past decade, says a University of Michigan economist.

Thanks to these nontaxable transfer payments, which include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, health insurance, unemployment, welfare and disability benefits, inflation-adjusted personal income per capita rose nearly $2,200 since 2000, despite America's worst economic recession since the Great Depression.

But when growth in transfer payments and employer-paid benefits are excluded, U.S. taxable income per capita actually decreased 3.4 percent from $32,403 to $31,303, says economist Don Grimes of the U-M Institute for Research on Labor, Economics, and the Economy.

"Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released preliminary personal income statistics for all states and the data shows that personal income per capita in the United States increased," Grimes said. "But, why don't we feel better off? Because the personal income per capita data includes 'spending' that we don't recognize as contributing to our economic well-being.

"Most people are not going to feel better off if their employer has to pay higher health insurance premiums, even if to government statistics experts it is the appropriate way to measure our well-being, which strictly speaking it is."
See this graph from Calculated Risk for personal income minus transfer payments:

PersonalIncomelessTransferFeb2011

No, we're not back to where we were before the recession.

News from Wisconsin, Purdue, and Ohio State at Crazy Eddie Motie News.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

April2011BadgeMichigan Stand Up and Fight

April Fools is over, and so is focusing on "business as usual." It's time to return to what this blog is about, which is fighting off or surviving collapse.

Since it's Saturday, it's the day when I survey scientific, environmental, and economic research news from the local universities. This week, Michigan State University receives top billing, as they have a plethora of environmenal news.

Top Story

MSU kicks off Earth Month with weekly ‘Dim Down’

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University will kick off Earth Month festivities this Friday, April 1, with the annual Dim Down program.

Sponsored by the MSU Office of Campus Sustainability, the program is designed to encourage faculty, staff and students to engage in collaborative energy conservation.

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to participate in voluntary energy conservation each Friday from noon to 1 p.m. throughout the month of April by turning off lights, computer monitors, speakers and other nonessential items.
...
“The Dim Down program has very successful in the past several years at MSU,” said Ashley Hale, senior communication undergraduate and founder of the Dim Down Program. “In 2009, Dim Down events equated to a 3 percent decrease in overall energy usage on campus.”
That's not much, but it's better than nothing.

Each week an event will be hosted by the Office of Campus Sustainability to encourage participation and facilitate discussion on environmental issues.
Oh, cool. What's on the agenda?

*April 1: Turning Trash into Treasure — A crafting activity designed to help participants learn how to reuse household materials and reduce land-filled waste. The event will take place from noon to 1 pm. in the Union lobby. Craft materials will be provided.
Darn, missed it--and it looks like it would have been fun, too.

What else?

*April 8: Sustainability Research Symposium — Research conducted at MSU with a focus on sustainability will be presented in Wonders Hall Kiva from noon to 2 p.m.

*April 15: State of the State Energy Discussion — Learn more about statewide energy policy, MSU’s Energy Transition Planning Process and energy efficiency at home from noon to 1 p.m. in Wonders Hall Kiva.

*April 22: Take-a-Tour — Stop by the MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center from 12-1 and take a tour of the facility which has earned LEED gold certification.

*April 29: Dim Down Walk — Celebrate a month of energy conservation and enjoy the sunshine. The walk starts at noon in front of the Hannah Administration Building.
Fridays look like good clean green fun at MSU.

More at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: For posts about food and cooking (All your bouillabaisse are belong to us)

April2011Badge

April 1st and it's business as usual

Expect foolishness.


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