economy

Commercial Rooftop Solar Vast Untapped Resource

Commercial Rooftop Solar Vast Untapped Resource
Panels on shopping centers could increase solar power by 10-fold,

Charlotte, NC— On the heels of recent reports that solar power is growing in North Carolina, a new analysis from Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center demonstrates that commercial buildings in the state are a largely untapped resource for harnessing the power of the sun. The report, “Solar on Superstores,” shows how rooftop panels at shopping malls and big-box stores could increase solar capacity in the state by more than ten-fold.

Reagan/Bush economist worries for bond investors. Who cares about the unemployed?

One expects a Reagan/Bush appointee to stand up for the welfare of the 1%, and Martin Feldstein certainly delivers. He has nothing to say about the effect of low rates on employment, but he agonizes over any loss of capital gains.

Unemployed workers are losing productive years now, which they will never get back. Not only lost wages, but also mounting debt, erosion of skills, and family crises. Feldstein can't spare a single mention of their losses.

Let's not forget how that risky capital can also be invested in new ventures, new plants, and new equipment. Why are companies sitting on cash in the bank, or investors chasing a few basis points by going after T-bonds? Why aren't we seeing productive investment?

We've all heard the GOP blame over-regulation, but no amount of complexity ever deterred a hedge-fund or derivatives broker. What industry needs is demand, and demand comes from consumers who spend what they earn - assuming they are employed.

N.C. Legislative Black Caucus lays out agenda

From the Triangle Tribune online:

The N.C. Legislative Black Caucus held a press conference Tuesday to discuss current and upcoming legislation that will affect minorities in the state.

'The Black Caucus is here to serve as the vehicle in which we will keep the issues of people of color and those in our community at the forefront of the General Assembly,' Chair Rep. Garland Pierce, D-Scotland, said.

Read the agenda released last week here:
http://www.triangletribune.com/index.php?src=news&srctype=detail&categor...

Indentured servitude right now in North Carolina

Crossposted at Daily Kos; posted here by invitation. Thanks, James.

Indentured servitude is, essentially, debt bondage. By definition, an indentured servant would work under a contract that specified the terms of his indenture, especially how long he would work until his indenture was redeemed. However, one business owner here in North Carolina has found a way to keep two of his workers in perpetual economic bondage. It's been easy for him because one of the workers in question, "John," is a paroled felon and uniquely vulnerable for exploitation.

I'm hoping that someone reads this and provides me with contact information for ex-convict prisoner rights groups or something that can help John and his fellow worker, his girlfriend "Mary," get some representation and some help. Right now they're, essentially, economic slaves with no hope of escape.

My betting is on Obama

This post is from Robert Reich's FB page and it expresses my own sentiments eloquently.

"This is going to be a squeaker of an election. Polls are showing Obama and Romney within a hair's breath of one another in the critical swing states that will determine the outcome. How can that be when Romney is an empty suit who believes nothing, hasn't articulated any program, and has (along with his running mate) called for more tax cuts for the wealthy, more spending cuts for the poor, and an evisceration of Medicare and Medicaid? When they want to deregulate Wall Street and regulate women?"

Prosperity, not Austerity

"...the economy is running on the fumes of the investments we made in public goods decades ago." -- Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All

As the Mongol army swept across the Asian steppes in the 13th century, psychological warfare was one of their most powerful weapons. Looking much like their victims, Mongol spies easily infiltrated towns in the army's path to foment panic. "The Mongols are coming! The Mongols are coming! They kill the women and rape the men! The Mongols are coming!" Just as the Mongols hoped, many towns surrendered without a fight.

Come to think of it, the relentless psychological messaging from Washington sounds a lot like that. Austerity. Fiscal cliff. Debt crisis. America could go the way of Greece. America is broke. Grand Bargain. Surrender Dorothy.

I need your help to stop fracking in North Carolina

Thank you so much for the your wonderful support and comments on my story about trying to stop the runaway fracking train in North Carolina. The need for clear evidence-based comments is urgent because the east coast Triassic Basins could be the most dangerous shale-gas plays in the America. These shallow ancient lakebed shale gas deposits, located near several North Carolina's most important rivers for water supply, are riddled with near vertical faults and basaltic (diabase) dikes. These vertical geologic structures and the shallow depth make the potential for accidental vertical transport of gas and drilling fluids much higher in these basins than for deep shale deposits like the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania and New York.

Why North Carolina must demand an end to hemp prohibition

Cannabis sativa; two words that never fail to draw strong opinions from those who know their meaning.

For the benefit of the three people left in the world who do not know, Cannabis sativa is hemp, also known as marijuana. Some people prefer to make a distinction between the two crops, noting that industrial hemp contains a very low level of THC, the intoxicating agent found in varieties more commonly used for medicinal and recreational purposes.

NC-10: Help us create jobs

There are a lot of issues facing our nation right now, but none are more important than creating jobs and reenergizing our economy. No one knows that better than me. I’ve seen this recession first hand as Mayor of Asheville and I know the toll it’s taken on thousands of middle-class families right here in Western North Carolina.

But I know that we can overcome anything as a nation if we work together – and while Washington may have forgotten that, we never will. That’s why I’m excited to announce a brand-new project as part of our campaign that will help us come together as a local community to create good jobs.

Today, we’ve launched helpuscreatejobs.com – a new website where community leaders, small-business owners, and middle-class families can share ideas to create jobs. Submit your idea here!

On holding down the conversational fort, or, jobs, Republicans, and hooey

As the next Congressional fight over payroll tax extensions and unemployment benefits and pipelines gets set up in the next few weeks for either its final chapter or to be kicked down the road a bit farther, one or the other, you’re going to hear a lot from our Republican friends about how much they value work and workers; most especially, they’ll tell you, they value American jobs for American workers.

After all, they’ll say, creating American jobs is the most important thing of all.

But if we were to look back over just the last few months, some would tell us, we could quickly find examples of how Republicans promote ideas that don’t seem to value work or workers at all, much less American jobs.

Well as it turns out, “some” seem to be right; to illustrate one of those examples we’ll look back a month or two or three to a time some Republicans might wish was long, long, ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

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