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marmar

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Gender: Male
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 72,176

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Watched about a half-hour of Headline News "Morning Express" (I know, I know - bad idea) ......


....... stories on a package thief wearing a Christmas sweater, tailgate food at the bowl games and youtube videos of pets celebrating New Year's Eve, with very brief stories on actual news. Bread and circuses.

And it just made me want to say thank you to:




And Happy New Year DU!



Richard Wolff with Thom Hartmann: The War on Austerity in Greece is Raging




Published on Dec 31, 2014

Dr. Richard Wolff, Economist / Democracy At Work joins Thom Hartmann. With new elections just weeks away - anti-austerity parties are poised to take over the Greek government. Could this mark a turning point in Europe's slow lurch towards economic depression?


Japan’s sexual apathy is endangering the global economy


(Washington Post) People in Japan are so averse to romantic relationships that the country's media even has a name for it: sekkusu shinai shokogun, or "celibacy syndrome," according to a widely circulated Guardian story on the country's low rates of marriage, childbearing and even sex.

But this is more than a story about Japan and its cultural quirks: It's a story about the global economy. Japan is the world's third-largest economy, a crucial link in global trade and a significant factor everyone else's economic well-being. It owns almost as much U.S. debt as does China. It's a top trading partner of the U.S., China and lots of other countries. The Japanese economy is in serious enough trouble that it could set the rest of us back. And the biggest source of that trouble is demographic: Japanese people aren't having enough kids to sustain a healthy economy. One big reason they're having fewer kids is that they're not as interested in dating or marrying one another, in part because they're less interested in sex.

Here are a few of the statistics, some from the Guardian story and others from a 2011 report by Japan's population center:

• Extremely high numbers of Japanese do not find sex appealing. 45 percent of women and 25 percent of men, ages 16 to 24, are "not interested in or despised sexual contact."

.....(snip).....

• More than a third of childbearing-age Japanese have never had sex: 39 percent of women and 36 percent of men, ages 18 to 34. That number hasn't actually changed much over the last decade, but it is unusually high. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/10/22/japans-sexual-apathy-is-endangering-the-global-economy/



The long, slow destruction of the U.S. Postal Service is set to continue next week


http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/usps_will_begin_plant_closures_next_week_20150101



via truthdig:



The long, slow destruction of the U.S. Postal Service is set to continue next week when 82 mail processing centers are closed and consolidated, despite calls from more than half the members of the outgoing Senate to stall the changes.

The Guardian reports:

Earlier this month, 30 senators, all but one of them Democrats, issued a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe urging USPS not to move forward with its “network rationalization” program until the agency has completed its analyses of potential impacts.

… Already, the Postal Service has consolidated 350 mail-processing facilities and taken other steps to reduce costs since 2006. In the past three years alone, the agency closed 143 plants and eliminated about 3,800 routes, in addition to reducing hours at more than 9,700 offices and trimming its workforce by 3,000 employees.

… Much of the Postal Service’s financial troubles in recent years stem from declines in mail volume, which have decreased by more than 27 percent since 2006. Nonetheless, some of the agency’s largest expenditures are beyond its control, including a congressional mandate to prefund retiree health benefits to the tune of about $5 billion a year.


Many critics have pointed out that the steady degradation of the U.S. Postal Service is consistent with plans by business and conservative politicians to enable shipping companies to capture larger and larger shares of the money Americans spend on mail delivery.

Read more here.



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