News roundup for Tue, Jun 21, 2022

In short
  • Wall Street analysts say there’s a 40% chance the US will enter a recession in 2023
  • US gas prices fall below $5 a gallon
  • New York is banning the sale of soft bullet-resistant vests
Economy, supply chain, energy

New prediction: Wall Street analysts say there’s a 40% chance the US will enter a recession in 2023. “We look for GDP growth to slow to almost zero, inflation to settle at around 3% and the Fed to hike rates above 4%.”

US gas prices fall below $5 a gallon for the first time since April. Biden is considering a gas tax holiday and will make a decision by the end of the week. The move would suspend an 18.4-cent gas and a 24.4-cent diesel tax. Skeptics worry oil companies will pocket the tax cut, but new research shows consumers will get the bulk of the savings. The savings just wouldn’t be very big.

Some states are expanding tax-free periods. According to some research, the holidays may just shift when people buy stuff, so they don’t have much impact on the economy. Do you take advantage of tax holidays? Do you find it worth it?

A leaked memo revealed that Amazon is going to run out of workers by 2024. Amazon could delay the labor crisis by raising wages and automating the warehouse.

Germany switches to coal to save gas, while Russia cuts off gas to Europe. Here are some ways Germany is transitioning to renewables.

Extreme weather

Italy’s biggest river dries up, exposing a World War II barge that went down in 1943:

Jacobabad, Pakistan, is one of the hottest cities on earth. The city has experienced 100+ F (37+ C) degrees for 51 straight days since March and last month it reached 123.8 F (51 C). According to some experts, those extreme conditions will last for 10 months a year in the future.

Via Inside Climate News

Monsoons in India and Bangladesh killed 116 people in lightning strikes, flooding, and landslides. Bridges, cell towers, power lines were knocked off, cutting off communication for millions, and forcing hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated.

The rest

New York is banning the sale of soft bullet-resistant vests. Here is our primer on bullet-proof vests, with recommendations for prepping.

A tourist at Death Valley National Park was found dead after his car ran out of gas. He was found 2.5 miles from the car and only 30 ft from the highway. Learn here what to do if you find yourself in the same situation.

American Airlines will end service on Sept 7 to flights to Toledo, OH, and Ithaca and Islip, NY because of a pilot shortage.


    • brownfox-ffContributor

      What you can do about it:

      Good luck this week.

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    • Karl Winterling

      Suspending gas taxes is at least worth trying because it’s doing something to encourage companies to lower prices. It probably isn’t anywhere near fixing the affordability crisis, though.

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    • Eric

      “New York is banning the sale of soft bullet-resistant vests.”

      So they ban the kind of vest that a concerned citizen might choose for EDC, but allow the kind of heavy duty vest that someone would use if they were planning to start something today. Makes about as much sense as banning hard hats.

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      • Karl Winterling Eric

        There could be a “psychological” effect like the assault weapons ban (shootings went down during a ban on firearms that look like they’re made for killing people rather than hunting). It isn’t totally clear how effective a ban would be now or whether banning something defensive that people normally use for safety (and not a “tactical” purpose) would reduce shootings.

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      • Eric Karl Winterling

        “There could be a “psychological” effect like the assault weapons ban (shootings went down during a ban on firearms that look like they’re made for killing people rather than hunting).”

        As you noted, shootings went down during the assault weapons ban. What’s the reason for believing this was a psychological effect, rather than the effect of reducing the prevalence of a tool that was particularly good at killing people quickly?

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      • Karl Winterling Eric

        The Ruger Mini-14 has the same features as an AR-15, including support for large magazines, but doesn’t look as much like a military-style gun designed to kill people. It wasn’t banned in the 1994-2004 federal ban, but someone who’s psychologically disturbed and wants to kill people (and has crappy 1990s Internet) might not know that it’s just as good as an AR-15. The ban probably also had an economic effect because gun manufacturers couldn’t easily repurpose AR-15’s sold to the police so they can sell them to civilians.

        Most shooting deaths occur in incidents involving 1-2 people, so we wouldn’t expect magazine capacity to matter that much. Most pistols are semiautomatic and are good at killing people quickly. Countries like Japan, Singapore, and Australia ban pretty much all guns and have very low annual shooting deaths.

        For what it’s worth, most informed gun control supporters wanted to ban sale of all semiautomatic rifles unless the rifles were used for hunting. That wasn’t politically feasible in 1994 because it would mean all hunting rifles would have to be federally registered and everyone who owns a hunting rifle would need to have an individual federal firearms license. Part of the point of the 1994 ban was that guns classified as “assault weapons” look scary and the average person can’t tell the difference between an “assault weapon” and a machine gun, so the ban (which actually reduced shooting deaths, by the way) had more public support.

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      • Sbesch Karl Winterling

        Gun homicides declined during the AWB, but gun control proponents either fail to disclose (or aren’t even aware themselves) that gun homicides were already on a 20 year pattern of decline at that time, and maintained essentially the same downward trajectory during the AWB.  So, yeah, they declined during the ban, but the decline showed no statistical relation to the AWB at all.  There are a lot of statistics and analyses available from reputable sources (including JAMA and even the DOJ of an anti-2A administration – all linked in the article below) that demonstrate the AWB had no demonstrable effect when examined under competent statistical analysis:

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    • Greg P

      The Death Valley story made me recall my own “adventure” about 20 years ago in Colorado.  I hiked in a county park near Fort Collins out to a scenic overlook in late July.  I violated all the rules – left no note in my car, no one knew I was there, only carried a minimal amount of water, had no way to make fire, no flashlight, no food and was wearing a t-shirt/shorts/hiking boots.  As I made my way back from the overlook, I suddenly realized that I was off the trail – the rain had made the pine needles into what sort of looked like a trail, but it was not.  Steep hillside, covered in pine trees & not a person in sight/sound.  I initially thought that I was above the original trail & hiked downslope, but no luck.  I then thought that I would hike to the top of the ridge & get an overview of where I was and/or run across the trail.   As I made my way upslope the ground was sandy, with plenty of rocks that gave way.   After about 10 minutes this I realized that I was going to turn an ankle or break something.  

      At this point, I stopped, sat down, & drank most of my remaining water.  I gathered my thoughts and looked in all directions.  Off in the distance I could see the distinctive white rock that marked the scenic overlook that I had hiked to earlier in the day.  With a firm landmark in sight, I hiked in that direction, confident that I would stumble upon the trail sooner or later.  A short time later ( seemed longer of course) I hit the trail & made my way back towards the parking lot.  I stopped and related my story to a kind young couple coming the other way.  They graciously offered me some of their water, which gave me the energy I needed to finish my hike back.

      That experience has stuck with me for all these years since then.  My wife and I hike a fair bit on our own and even when we  travel with a commercial group I still make sure that I have water ( and a way to filter it), some food, light, fire making “tools”, and clothing to handle weather changes.

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      • Eric Greg P

        Thanks. I think this story will stick in my head as a reminder to carry extra supplies for even a short off-road trip. It’s so easy to get into just a little more trouble than you anticipated.

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      • Captain Peanut Greg P

        Glad you were safe and didn’t panic. Sometimes those hard lessons need to be learned to cement in us what we should do.

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      • Hardened Greg P

        Always carry a Personal Locator Beacon.

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