Daily Digest 8/27 – Fed Shift Could Keep Interest Rates Low For Longer, Hurricane Laura Arrives On LA Coast

Economy

Why Trump is betting his political life against Black Lives Matter protests (edelinski)

Trump will, tonight, address a Republican convention that has made clear the extent to which he sees the chaotic streets as a path to his re-election. His bet is essentially the same he’s been making since May: that, eventually, disorder will send voters into the arms of the candidate who enthusiastically embraces police.

“We will always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line and we’re not going to defund the police — not now, not ever,” Vice-President Mike Pence said Wednesday night in a preview of the president’s message.

Fed’s Shift Could Keep Interest Rates Low for Longer: Live Updates (jdargis)

“Our revised statement emphasizes that maximum employment is a broad-based and inclusive goal,” Mr. Powell said in remarks prepared for delivery Thursday, and “this change reflects our appreciation for the benefits of a strong labor market, particularly for many in low- and moderate-income communities.”

The Fed had been raising rates as joblessness fell to avoid economic overheating that ended in breakaway inflation, but in recent years, price gains have been tepid. The changes are an explicit recognition that too low, rather than too high, inflation is the problem.

Long Beach Mayor Plans Universal Basic Income Experiment (tmn)

Long Beach would be following in the footsteps of cities like Stockton, where 125 residents have been getting $500 per month since early 2019. Early results there indicate people are spending much of the money on basic necessities like food, household goods, clothing and utilities.

Garcia said these efforts are more important than ever, due to the widening economic inequality brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, especially for people of color.

When Half Of NYC’s Tax Base Leaves And Never Comes Back (thc0655)

New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has seen a bit of the iceberg in the distance. He recently took to MSNBC to beg the city’s wealthy, who fled the coronavirus outbreak, to return. Cuomo said he was extremely worried about New York City if too many of the well-heeled taxpayers who fled COVID decide there is no need to move back. “They are in their Hamptons homes, or Hudson Valley or Connecticut. I talk to them literally every day. I say. ‘When are you coming back? I’ll buy you a drink. I’ll cook. But they’re not coming back right now. And you know what else they’re thinking, if I stay there, they pay a lower income tax because they don’t pay the New York City surcharge. So, that would be a bad place if we had to go there.”

New Covid-19 testing guidelines, crafted at the White House, alarm public health experts (tmn)

“This is a collective experience that grows more concerning each day. It is substituting potential partisan policy for good regulatory and public health science,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy.

“The two foundational organizations in this country for public health really have been the CDC and the FDA” — the Food and Drug Administration — and the credibility of both has just really been undercut,” Osterholm said.

Remember The Pandemic? (tmn)

If the pandemic were truly in the past, however, Kudlow would have been delivering that message to a packed, roaring crowd at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Instead, Kudlow was speaking from a wood-paneled room at his home in Redding, Connecticut—a rural community with a population of fewer than 10,000 in one of the few states that has brought the coronavirus outbreak under control. He introduced himself as someone familiar to viewers who have seen him frequently “on TV and radio,” but so too was the tableau: a talking head surrounded by bookshelves and the comfort of a home that is not safe to leave.

Starbucks Cafe’s Covid Outbreak Spared Employees Who Wore Masks (tmn)

The Starbucks case is one of “the most important opportunities to study risk factors among a more or less controlled cohort of people,” said Arnold Bosman, director at Transmissible BV, a Netherlands-based developer of training materials for outbreak control. “This Starbucks event will be a very valuable training exercise for future generations of epidemiologists.”

Historynet: Debunking Boston Tea Party Myths (000)

As MPs debated the advisability of a government takeover, they also discussed schemes for unloading the company’s 18 million pounds of surplus tea. The European market was already saturated, but the American market was not. In theory, the East India Company could sell many tons of tea there if taxes were lowered. Two separate taxes were involved: one imposed on tea coming through Britain on its way from India and China to Western markets and another imposed when it arrived in America. Although cutting either one was an economically viable option, repealing the American tax would have had the added benefit of improving relations with colonists. That’s precisely why Lord North, the prime minister, rejected the idea.

Hurricane Laura arrives on Louisiana coast as Category 4 storm (Sparky1)

AccuWeather meteorologists warned that complete destruction of mobile homes along with roof and wall failure is possible from Laura. Locations could be uninhabitable for weeks or months, and roads impassible from large debris.

The US is in a water crisis far worse than most people imagine (Sparky1)

Each water system is unique, but some of the most toxic offenders include hexavalent chromium (an anticorrosive agent), PFOA (used to make Teflon pans), PFOS (a key ingredient in Scotchgard), TCE (used in dry cleaning and refrigeration), lead, fracking chemicals, chloramines (a water disinfectant) and more. Many of these chemicals are undetectable for those drinking the water. Many cause irreversible health problems and people in communities throughout the country are dealing with these repercussions.

Like a blood test for disease, you can only find what you test for. If you don’t order a specific test for one of these chemicals, you won’t know it’s there. And you can’t treat water unless you know what’s in it.

Unless we change course, the US agricultural system could collapse (Sparky1)

Even as snowmelt gushing from the mountains dwindles, the Central Valley farming behemoth gets ever more ravenous for irrigation water, switching from annual crops that can be fallowed in dry years to almond and pistachio groves, which require huge upfront investments and need to be watered every year. As a result, farm operations are increasingly resorting to tapping the water beneath them. Between 2002 and 2017, a period including two massive droughts, farmers siphoned enough water from the valley’s aquifers to fill Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain three times.

Bill McKibben: 130 Degrees (000)

The nations that use fossil fuel in large quantities have raised the temperature of the planet one degree Celsius (that’s about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above its level before the Industrial Revolution. We passed the mark around 2015, which was coincidentally also the year we reached the first real global accords on climate action, in Paris. A rise of one degree doesn’t sound like an extraordinary change, but it is: each second, the carbon and methane we’ve emitted trap heat equivalent to the explosion of three Hiroshima-sized bombs. The carbon dioxide sensors erected in 1959 on the shoulder of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii recorded a new record high in late May of this year, showing an atmosphere of about 417 parts per million CO2, more than a hundred above the levels our great-great-grandparents would have known, and indeed higher than anything in at least the last three million years.

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