The Works Progress Administration (WPA; renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration) was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing millions of people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. In a much smaller project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.
Almost every community in the United States had a new park, bridge, or school that was constructed by the agency. The WPA’s initial appropriation in 1935 was for $4.9 billion (about 6.7 percent of the 1935 GDP).
Headed by Harry Hopkins, the WPA provided jobs and income to the unemployed during the Great Depression in the United States, while developing infrastructure to support the current and future society. At its peak in 1938, it provided paid jobs for three million unemployed men and women, as well as youth in a separate division, the National Youth Administration. Between 1935 and 1943, when the agency was disbanded, the WPA employed 8.5 million people. Most people who needed a job were eligible for employment in some capacity. Hourly wages were typically set to the prevailing wages in each area.Full employment, which was reached in 1942 and emerged as a long-term national goal around 1944, was not the goal of the WPA; rather, it tried to provide one paid job for all families in which the breadwinner suffered long-term unemployment.
by Ugo Bardi
About 2,000 years ago, the Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca wrote to his friend Licilius noting that “growth is slow, but ruin is rapid”. It was an apparently obvious observation, but one of those observations that turns out to be not obvious at all if you just think a little about it.
Understanding the real message that LTG sent to us in 1972, and that it is still sending, takes a certain effort. First, you have to free your mind from the layers of legends that have accumulated around it over four decades, but that is not enough. You have to free yourself also from the common attitude that prevents us from understanding how complex systems behave. There is no fixed future for systems such as the world’s economic system, only trends. But these systems still obey physical laws: the limits of natural resources, the finiteness of the world system, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. And there are the constants of human behavior: mainly our tendency of preferring immediate satisfaction to a future one, a phenomenon known as “discounting the future.”
All together, these factors push the world system to follow a well defined path. We cannot determine exactly what the future will be, but we can produce a “fan” of trajectories that show to us where the system is heading to. The original 1972 LTG study had already identified the main factors that have been dominating the behavior of the world’s economy. The combined effects of resource depletion and pollution accumulation (seen today mainly in terms of climate change) have been gradually reducing the ability of the industrial system of accumulating capital and of fuelling growth. These factors will, eventually, cause the world’s industrial and agricultural systems to start a decline that could be defined as “collapse” which, later on, will involve also the collapse of the world’s population.
RACINE – A proposal to review vacant high-paying city positions in hopes of finding cost-saving opportunities failed to move past the Finance and Personnel Committee on Monday.
Under the proposal, any position vacant due to retirement or resignation that typically pays more than $100,000 in salary and benefits would be reviewed by the committee and City Council before any hire, said Alderman Eric Marcus, who proposed the idea.
In some cases, he said, the responsibilities of a currently unfilled position may be divided among other employees or the committee could decide to reduce a position’s salary.
“I think it’s an opportunity to see if there is some way we can combine positions in an era of real fiscal responsibility,” Marcus said.
There are about 150 city positions that are paid, through salaries and benefits, more than $100,000 a year.
Tax planning is a cornerstone of retirement planning. But by focusing on Uncle Sam, many retirees overlook the state-tax bite. States vary across the map on how they tax everything from retirement income to retail purchases. If you’re thinking of relocating, be sure to know how potential retirement destinations compare with your current state when it comes to taxes.
ERoEI for Beginners
The Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI or EROI) of any energy gathering system is a measure of that system’s efficiency. The concept was originally derived in ecology and has been transferred to analyse human industrial society. In today’s energy mix, hydroelectric power ± nuclear power have values > 50. At the other end of the scale, solar PV and biofuels have values <5.
It is assumed that ERoEI >5 to 7 is required for modern society to function. This marks the edge of The Net Energy Cliff and it is clear that new Green technologies designed to save humanity from CO2 may kill humanity through energy starvation instead. Fossil fuels remain comfortably away from the cliff edge but march closer to it for every year that passes.
The world economy seems to be seriously ill. The problem is not overly high oil prices, but that does not rule out energy as being a major underlying problem.
Two of the symptoms of the economy’s malaise are slow wage growth and increasing wage disparity. Tariffs are being used as solutions to these issues. Radical leaders are increasingly being elected. The Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund have raised concerns about the world’s aggregate debt levels. The IMF has even suggested that a second Great Depression might be ahead if major banks should fail in the manner that Lehman Brothers did in 2008.
The above graph courtesy of: https://beforethecollapse.com/2018/06/25/the-cost-of-civilization/
Essentially, this is the Cost of our Civilization, and it is on an exponential curvature;
And an exponential curve works like this…… a doubling every time…… 1 to 2 to 4 to 8 to 16 to 32 to 64 to 128 to 256 to 512 to 1024…. to infinity.
Politicians LIE for a living.
Politicians have to lie, because it is their only means of support.
They justify endless wars, instill fear, demand endless tribute, and bully the productive. Their ranks multiply until they become a unstoppable swarm whose insatiable demands exceed the capacity of the productive, rapes the land, and creates societal collapse. Soon to be coming to SE WI and beyond.
*UPDATED* – Oily Stuff Blog sends:
There Appears To Be No End To US LTO Growth
ALL OF THIS GROWTH WILL OCCUR ON DEFERRED DEBT, OR NEW DEBT. MOST, IF NOT ALL OF THIS NEW GROWTH WILL GET EXPORTED TO FOREIGN COUNTIES. MORE LTO PRODUCTION = LOWER PRICES (now down 18% in <5 weeks), NO PROFIT… AND WILL FURTHER REDUCE THE SHALE OIL INDUSTRY’S ABILITY TO PAY BACK DEBT OR REFINANCE DEBT AS MATURITIES LOOM.
While SRSrocco Reports:
The situation at Canada’s Alberta Tar Sands Operations has gone from bad to worse as the super-low oil price is now costing the industry billions of dollars each month. Unbelievably, the price for the Western Canadian Select heavy oil fell to a gut-wrenching $14.65 yesterday down from a high of $58 in May. Tar sands oil is now selling at an amazing $40 discount to U.S. West Texas Oil which is trading at $56.
In a recent article from EnergySkeptic.com titled, Why tar sands, a toxic ecosystem-destroying asphalt, can’t fill in for declining conventional oil, a review of the book, Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, stated the following four important points:
Many “energy experts” have said that a Manhattan tar sands project could prevent oil decline in the future. But that’s not likely. Here are a few reasons why:
- Reaching 5 Mb/d will get increasingly (energy) expensive, because there’s only enough natural gas to mine 29% of tar sands (and limited water as well). Using the energy of the tar sand bitumen itself would greatly reduce the amount that could be produced and dramatically increase the cost and energy to mine it.
- Since there isn’t enough natural gas, many hope that nuclear reactors will replace natural gas. That would take a lot of time. Kjell Aleklett estimates it would take at least 7 years before a candu nuclear reactor could be built, and the Canadian Parliament estimates it would take 20 nuclear reactors to replace natural gas as a fuel source.
- Mined oil sands have been estimated to have an energy returned on invested of EROI of 5.5–6 for mined tar sands (perhaps 10% of the 170 billion barrels), with in situ processing much lower at 3.5–4 (Brandt 2013). Right now, 90% of the reserves being developed are via higher-EROI mining, yet 80% of remaining oil sands reserves are in situ, so the remaining reserves will be much less profitable.
- Counting on tar sands to replace declining conventional oil, with an EROI as high as 30 will be hard to accomplish, especially if it turns out to be the case that an EROI of 7 to 14 is required to maintain civilization as we know it (Lambert et al. 2014; Murphy 2011; Mearns 2008; Weissbach et al. 2013)
I believe the biggest problem with the sustainability of tar sands if we ignore the nasty environmental issues, is the low EROI – Energy Returned On Invested. As point (4) states, a minimum of 7-14 EROI is needed to maintain civilization. However, I believe the realistic range of a minimum EROI to sustain our modern societies is likely 10-12 EROI. So, shale oil at an EROI of 5/1 or less (probably much less) and tar sands at 4-6/1, these are not sustainable energy sources.
Impoverishing the masses is merely conservation by other means.