Collision: Shaquille O’Neal Wants Your Life to be Steady

Today at Collision conference Shaquille O’Neal made an appearance to promote Steady, a company that wants to help working Americans get a steady financial life. The company was founded by Adam Roseman a few years ago with the goal of making life more predictable for the average American. As nearly everyone knows, inequality has been increasing since the last recession and now companies like Steady are looking to stop that growth. Their platform helps people find work while also learning how to budget and other financial bits of wisdom.

Growing up in a single-parent home, Roseman saw first hand the daily financial struggles many Americans face. The vision for Steady came to Roseman after seeing the plight of his recently retired father. Like many Americans, his father found he didn’t have enough retirement savings and needed to work part-time to make ends meet. Roseman stepped in, suggesting his father look for flexible work opportunities that fit his needs, availability and interests. And through Steady, Roseman and his team hope to help millions more.

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I’m attending Collision at Home this week.

New Zealand is COVID-19 Free

After a very well managed shutdown of the country, New Zealand is free of COVID-19 and people are able to live as they did before. The country had a strict, vast, and quick reaction to COVID-19 showing up in the nation and it’s paid off. Starting today New Zealanders are able to go gyms, work, parks, or wherever thanks to the efforts in following the government’s public safety rules. It’s great to see another nation get through the pandemic.

Ardern has drawn global headlines and praise from the World Health Organization for her government’s approach to the virus, with a strict and cautious approach that appears to have paid off. On 25 March she locked down the country for four weeks – requiring that most New Zealanders remained at home most of the time – before gradually easing restrictions.

“Our collective results I think speak for ourselves,” Ardern said. “This was what the sacrifice of our team of five million was for – to keep one another safe and to keep one another well.” She has regularly referred to New Zealanders as a “team of five million” in an effort to unite people and encourage them to follow her government’s rules to curb the virus’ spread

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Denmark Bans Bailouts to Businesses Paying Dividends and Using Tax Shelters

Every decade we need to bailout businesses so capitalism can keep functioning. In the last bailout, caused by American bankers, western countries gave banks corporate welfare cheques that went from the banks to the elite shareholders through dividends. This clearly didn’t work out well for 90% of people as the last decade saw a massive increase in inequality, tax cuts for the rich, and no behavioural correction from an unethical corporate elite. Thankfully, some countries have learned from that corporate welfare mistake and this time around when they give companies tax payer money they’ll put limits on what can be done. Denmark will only be giving corporate welfare to companies registered in Denmark (and thus paying Danish taxes) and ban them from paying dividends to shareholders until the money is paid back to the government.

Hopefully every nation follows Denmark’s example.

The government also said that companies which pay out dividends, buy back own shares or are registered in tax havens won’t be eligible for any of the aid programs, which now amount to a total of 400 billion kroner, when including loans and guarantees.

Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen said in an interview with broadcaster TV2, that Denmark, which is rated AAA, plans to finance new measures partially by issuing government bonds.

“We have a stronger position than many other countries and we are able to borrow money to get through this situation in the best way possible,” Wammen said.

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After this Pandemic Cities will be More Resilient

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Pandemic and other major health issues have hit cities before and they’ll hit cities again in the future. Each time this happens cities find new designs and solutions for the next time it occurs, and this year is no different. Urban planners and politicians are already working on ways to ensure that the next pandemic won’t be so disruptive. This means more green space for gardens, better transportation, and other things that are good (and I’ve been writing about here for over a decade).

Cities will aim to become more self-reliant and resilient, with a focus on transport, energy and food security, he added.

More than two-thirds of the global population is forecast to live in urban areas by 2050 – up from 56% today, according to the United Nations.

The coronavirus crisis would not be the first time that an epidemic has led to changes in city planning, research shows.

The cholera outbreaks of the 1830s led to better sanitation in London and elsewhere, while the tuberculosis epidemic in New York in the early 20th century paved the way for improved public transit systems and housing regulations.

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Eating Locally isn’t as Important as you Think

Diets make a difference in your individual health and our total global health. If we all eat healthier then the planet’s health will also improve, and the best way to do this is by eating foods with low green house gas (GHG) emissions. It turns out the best way to reduce your carbon footprint with food isn’t to eat local – it’s to change what you eat. The transportation of food is a negligible amount of the total GHG emissions from our processed food system.

For most foods – and particularly the largest emitters – most GHG emissions result from land use change (shown in green), and from processes at the farm stage (brown). Farm-stage emissions include processes such as the application of fertilizers – both organic (“manure management”) and synthetic; and enteric fermentation (the production of methane in the stomachs of cattle). Combined, land use and farm-stage emissions account for more than 80% of the footprint for most foods.

Transport is a small contributor to emissions. For most food products, it accounts for less than 10%, and it’s much smaller for the largest GHG emitters. In beef from beef herds, it’s 0.5%.

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Thanks to Delaney!

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