grow the economy

Grow Your Own: ‘Edible Yards Proliferate in Vancouver Neighbourhoods’

From The Vancouver Sun:

The landscaping installed by young entrepreneurs Katie Ralphs and Ruth Warren is a far cry from the patchy lawns and scruffy rhododendrons that are near ubiquitous in front yards across much of the city.

Lush caches of rainbow chard, peas, beans and lettuce dot Vancouver’s Riley Park neighbourhood between 18th and 29th avenues, in some places as many as two, three and even four yards on a block and a half dozen yards adjacent to a city bike lane.

Ralphs and Warren — the twentysomething proprietors of City Beet Farm — maintain 17 yard gardens all within ten blocks of each other, essential because they move themselves and their produce by bicycle.

Similar businesses — Inner City Farms, Frisch Farms, Barefoot Farms and Yummy Yards to name a few — are converting dozens of Vancouver yards into micro-farms, paying the owners vegetables as rent.

Yard farming is hitting the mainstream, at least in Vancouver, according to Jennifer van den Brink, who specializes in vegetable garden installations and garden maintenance for Yummy Yards.

“It started out that we were just doing conversions in yards that we were then going to farm, but a lot of people just wanted help starting their own vegetable garden,” she said. “So, most of what I do now is installations for people who want to grow their own food.”

Check out the rest of the article here


(Photo: Steven Godfrey)

Successful Entrepreneurs Do Six Things When Their Business Is In A Rut

Starting a business can be difficult, but sustaining and growing a business is an entirely different effort. When your business is in a rut, and you begin to sense that you are losing ground and growth momentum because you are not paying close enough attention to the details, the following six actions will serve you well as an entrepreneur – and get you back on track:

1. Critically evaluate your existing products/services.

2. Apply strategic focus.

3. Market to the right clients.

4. Be a better business person.

5. Build strong strategic partners.

One more tip for entrepreneurs.
Billionaires are holding $1.7 trillion in cash
The world's 2,473 billionaires are keeping 22.2 percent of their total net worth in cash, according to the Wealth-X Billionaire Census.
By Robert Frank

Because of what they perceive to be growing risks in the economy and world, the world’s 2,473 billionaires are keeping 22.2 percent of their total net worth in cash, according to the Wealth-X Billionaire Census.

The group has also benefited from the recent surge in so-called liquidity events from corporate acquisitions and mergers. Altogether, their cash hoard is now roughly the size of the Brazil’s GDP.

“Billionaires are taking money off the table where available, while uncertainties in the economy and the historical highs found in deals have resulted in cash-flush portfolios,” the report said.

The firm’s findings are in line with those from other recent surveys. A study released by UBS last month said wealthy Americans are keeping around 20 percent of their portfolios in cash, in line with their post-2008 average. More are considering reducing their exposure to the markets because of uncertainty over the presidential election, UBS said.

Tunisia's new government wins parliamentary approval, eyes austerity
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By Tarek Amara

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s new government won a confidence vote late on Friday after the Prime Minister Youssef Chahed warned in Parliament an austerity programme will be inevitable with thousands of public sector job cuts and new taxes if Tunisia does not overcome its economic difficulties.

The Unity government was backed by 167 of the parliament’s 217 members.

The North African state is struggling with lower tourism revenues after two Islamist militant attacks on foreign tourists last year hit what is one of its key industries. Strikes and protests for jobs have also hurt the country’s phosphate production.

Chahed has promised his new government will take tough decisions to help the economy grow and create jobs as the country comes under pressure from international lenders to push through reforms and trim public spending.

Lawmakers were meeting on Friday to vote whether to approve Chahed’s new government - a broad coalition of secular, Islamist and leftist parties, independents and trade union allies which he believes can deliver on economic reforms.

“If the situation continues like this then in 2017 we will need a policy of austerity, and dismiss thousands of public sector employees and impose new taxes,” Chahed told lawmakers before the vote.

Chahed, an ally of President Beji Caid Essebsi, promised a tough line on the economy. But critics question whether he has the political clout to overcome the labour union opposition, strikes and party infighting that have dogged past governments.

He said economic growth this year would not surpass 1.5 percent, below the official target of 2.5 percent for the year.

Chahed said state production of phosphate - a major revenue earner - had declined in the past five years by 60 percent, while public wage payouts had more than doubled from 6.7 billion dinars ($3.06 billion) in 2010 to 13.4 billion dinars this year.

He also expected the budget deficit to widen by 2.9 billion dinars to 6.5 billion dinars by year-end.

Chahed, at 41 the youngest prime minister Tunisia has ever had, said his government would be tough on illegal strikes.

“We will not allow interruption of production at any factory and we will be firm and severe in dealing with illegal strikes and sit-ins.”

He vowed to press ahead with economic reforms sought by international lenders such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

At 13.5 percent of GDP, Tunisia’s public sector wage bill is proportionately one of the highest in the world. But labour unions and other groups have resisted attempts to reform pensions and introduce more taxes.

An estimated $3 billion in debt service payments is due next year and the state is likely to struggle just to come up with the roughly $450 million it needs every month to pay employees.

($1 = 2.1900 Tunisian dinars)

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; writing by Patrick Markey; editing by Richard Balmforth, G Crosse)

from Yahoo News - Top Stories

reading narrative non-fiction about the ephemeral empty industrial spaces that exist amidst china’s rapidly growing economy & listening to blond(e) by frank ocean is a really weird combination i dont know how to describe how i felt a second ago, it was a really weird feeling. i feel like a high school graduate in a provincial town in mid-southern china in her late teens at karaoke with her friends on a tuesday night, it’s been hours and nobody is singing anymore, everyone’s slumped over, not drunk but just exhausted, and the tv has automatically switched to a generic heartbreak ballad that is simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar, only one of us in the group has a future and she’s leaving the country in three weeks, but at this moment there’s no future and no past, nothing but the cheap violet light that illuminates the room and traces the dark forms of everyone’s bodies like hills.