Shipping Freighters Flying Flags of Convenience 


The flags flown atop ships are also known as a “flag of convenience” as the owners of shipping companies and shipping vessels often fly a flag different from that of their own nationality or where their business is headquartered. Nations have 19 kilometers of territorial water which is considered part of their land, 322 kilometers of an exclusive economic zone in which countries can pull in ships for inspection and seize their goods or extract resources from the sea bed, and the high seas which belong to nobody. Ships are subject to the laws of the country of the flag they fly however most Greek, Japanese, Chinese, and German ships are registered in Panama, Liberia, the Marshall Islands, or Mongolia, slipping away from the laws of their country of origin, a move which can be very financially rewarding. Doing so allows companies to dodge taxes, safety standards and requirements, labor codes, and minimum wages. This method can reduce shipping costs by up to 65%. Countries promote the efficacy of flying their flag at large gatherings in an attempt to entice large shipping magnets into utilizing their flag which is a mutually beneficial endeavor as the country on the flag gets to collect taxes for its development and the company using the flag gets to save a lot of money, funds which would have been paid out in higher tax brackets had they used the flag of a wealthier nation. On top of all of these perks, most flags of convenience guarantee anonymity to their clients which helps ensure the entire industry is difficult to track and regulate

The Average Lifespan of a British Employee for the East India Company 


Death was quite common among the British stationed in India, with 33% of the entire British workforce dying in a single year due to the rainy season set by the monsoon. The average lifespan of a British worker in India was said to be just two monsoons, and the East India Company regularly had shipments of blank tombstones shipped from England just to keep up with the number of dying workers each month. The East India Company tried to help decrease these numbers by shipping vast quantities of spirits and wine, in the hopes that it would help increase the overall health of the workforce but unfortunately it did not do much good

China’s Desire For Ivory and the Effect Upon African Countries 


China is one of the only countries in which recently acquired ivory can be sold legally, and because it is in such high demand, China’s insatiable thirst for ivory is devastating elephant populations around the world. 80% of the Chinese middle class own one or more pieces of ivory and 84% of those people intend to purchase more in the future. Trade between Africa and China between 2003 and 2013 has jumped from $6,000,000,000 ($6 billion) to over $100,000,000,000 ($100 billion). China has been investing in Africa, building roads and shipping ports as a way to streamline the trading process. Some of the most popular goods traded include turtles which are eaten, shark fins which are also ingested, rhinoceros horn which is ground up and consumed, and elephant ivory which is carved into decorations. 60,000 shipping containers enter Chinese ports each day, with less than 1% being searched, making Chinese ports a smugglers paradise. Only 16% of ivory sold in China is legally traded and can be verified to have been sourced from legally acquired sources. Kenya has achieved success with elephant protection due to private philanthropy which funds the ability to patrol Kenyan parks via helicopter and land vehicles with armed security personnel, trained guards who have been authorized to shoot to kill when poachers have been identified actively poaching or attempting to poach

The Unsustainability of Massive Debt 


A major driver of prosperity during the last 50 years of the 20th century has been debt. Prior to World War II, significant debt (e.g. mortgages) did not exist. Debt has been the fundamental driver of all of this forward momentum. This system of prosperity is dependant upon one’s financial ability to service it, and although it is accepted as normal, it is unfortunately unsustainable. This movement has created the enormous financial sector and markets which the industrialized world is now familiar with. The mindset of enjoying now and paying later creates a mindset in which people are divorced from affordability. History has consistently demonstrated that this model is highly volatile and worse, unsustainable in the long run

The Vancouver, Canada Housing Market and the Theory of the Greater Fool 


The Fraser Valley is the fastest growing suburb in Canada. The housing market in Vancouver, British Columbia is by far the most expensive in Canada, even more so than in Toronto, Ontario which for a long time was the most destabilized market in Canada. The most expensive region of Vancouver to live in is West Vancouver. 65% of residents of Vancouver and the Greater Vancouver area which includes the Fraser Valley are homeowners. Fundamentally, the Vancouver housing market is easy and cheap income, and from that, lots of it. The chasing of returns on a speculative basis has no basis in reality in terms of what an assets (e.g. a physical property) true valuation is but it is justified on the notion that it does not matter what a buyer pays now, as another buyer will pay more in the future. This is referred to as the “Greater Fool theory” in that the next person will cover the cost of the last person. This model is for obvious reasons unsustainable

The Ancient Greek Ruler Draco and the Ancient Greek Reformer Solon 


Draconian laws which are associated with being especially unfair and cruel stem from the tyrant Draco who commissioned them in 621 B.C.. Draco forced farmers who couldn’t pay their debts into slavery and simple crimes like stealing a cabbage were punishable by death. The wise reformer Solon saved Athens by freeing all indebted slaves, eliminating the death penalty for all but extreme cases, and wrestling the political power out of the hands of noble bloodlines by establishing a council of 400 citizens to run the city, a bold step during its day, to untether governance from inheritance

The Ancient Greek Philosopher Thales 


The Ancient Greek philosopher Thales, considered the world’s first philosopher by Aristotle, used geometry to calculate the distance of ships from the shoreline, the height of the Great Pyramids of Egypt, was the first person to predict a solar eclipse, and posited a cause for earthquakes. Thales perceived that the earth floated upon water like a giant raft which of course was wrong, but his scientific inquiry into the reasons as to why things occur rather than attributing it to the god’s was the first glimmering scintillation of a revolutionary way of thinking. Thales inspired more great minds like Pythagoras who developed the concept that numbers and mathematics could explain the universe, and Hippocrates who developed an ethical code for practicing medicine