Nu vision federal credit union

First Tech Federal Credit Union

2016.09.27 17:49 njaard First Tech Federal Credit Union

For things concerning First Tech Federal Credit Union. First Tech is a credit union based on the west coast with branches scattered around the US.
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2019.07.04 04:24 NavyFederal

Community for users of Navy Federal Credit Union to discuss banking with NFCU. This is not an official community for NFCU.
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2020.06.13 16:34 aggiescott rbfcu

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union Discussion
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2023.05.28 07:34 _Broder_ Modpost - Maj 2023

Ærede brugere af Denmark! Så blev det tid til endnu en modpost, hvor vi ser tilbage på måneden (HAHAHA!) der gik.

Tak til brugerne

Først og fremmest vil vi rette en stor tak til brugerne af Denmark, for at være skarpe på report-knappen. Det er vitterligt en fornøjelse at se at I tager reglerne og deres brud alvorligt, og det viser at der trods alt stadig er liv i det gode gamle Denmark! Vi oplever især at brud på reglen om relevans rapporteres flittigt.

Fritekstanmeldelsernes tilbagevenden

I de seneste par modposts har flere brugere efterspurgt at vi indsamler og deler de fritekstanmeldelser som vi behandler. Det gjorde vi engang, og det plejede at være hylende morsomt, når anmeldelserne læses for sig selv, helt ude af kontekst.
Til en start har vi indsamlet en håndfuld anmeldelser, som kan fremvises på din EDB-maskine ved at trykke på dette hyperlink.

Ny regel

I vores evige søgen efter total kontrol og evigt bureaukrati har vi med stor begejstring haft held til at snige en ny regel ind i regelsættet. For at få det til at ligne at regler er noget vi absolut ikke har lyst til at tilføje i det skjulte, vil vi lige gøre opmærksom på reglen her!
Reglen findes i regelsættets regler for Indlæg; nummer 7, og lyder:
Skærmbilleder af artikler er ikke tilladt. Undtaget herfra er, hvis relevansen ikke går på artiklens indhold men derimod artiklens meta.
Det betyder altså, at hvis man gerne vil dele en artikel, så skal det deles som et link. Dog kan man dele et billede hvis f.eks. det er en for Denmark relevant slåfejl, stavefejl, komisk opstilling af artikler m.v.

Afgang af moderator

Vi har fået besked om at vores trofaste moderator Gumagugu har valgt at forlade moderatorteamet efter 4½ års tjeneste. Guma-drengen har skrevet følgende farvelhilsen:
Kære /Denmark.
For godt som ondt, så må jeg desværre trække stikket efter 4½ års tro tjeneste. Med næsten 100.000 moderationshandlinger, og hvad der måske kunne anses som et usundt forhold til jer, så er det desværre tiden til at tage afsked.
Et massivt udskift af aspiranter og fuldblodige moderatorer har medført, at dynamikken ændrer sig hele tiden - både positivt og negativt. Det er altid godt med nye og friske sind, som kan komme med et nyt besyv og holdninger, der ikke nødvendigvis er farvet, som følge af ens flerårige tjeneste som moderator. Jeg må dog erkende at jeg ikke længere kan se mine visioner og værdier som jeg gik ind med, da jeg blev moderator, og derfor er jeg nødt til at sige stop.
I har været fantastiske, og tak for de mange gode år. Både til brugerne, men i særdeles også til resten af moderationsholdet - både det eksisterende og de tidligere moderatorer.
Der skal fra det tilbageværende moderationshold lyde en enorm tak til Gumagugu, for altid med fast hånd at dreje roret, når moderationen havde en sikker kurs mod det rene bullshit.

Ny moderator

Vi kan i samme åndedrag sige godaw’ til en ny moderator på holdet: SkibDen! Skibberfyren har udstået vores benhårde aspirantperiode, og har gennemført med udmærkelse!
Dengang Skibber blev født sagde hans far: “Har De ild?” mens han klippede sin cigar. Jeg havde håbet han havde sagt noget som virkelig kunne passe ind, og nærmest med overlegen præcision forudse at han i dag kan bryste sig af at være moderator på Denmark, men det blev som det blev; vi er trods alt ikke med i Forest Gump.
Mange af jer har haft lejlighed til at hilse på vores nye mand i uniform i kommentartrådende under hans aspirantforløb. Da han nu er fuldblodig moderator kan du også være så heldig at møde ham hvis du brokker dig tilstrækkeligt i modmail. Velkommen på holdet!
Og det var så det for denne gang! Så må vi se om næste måned også bliver 10 måneder lang.
XOXOXO
submitted by _Broder_ to Denmark [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 07:32 TAsparkySD Advice needed : how to become a more quality candidate (long winded)

Being a cop is 100% what I want to do with my life but currently I’m not a good candidate.
I have no criminal record and a clean driving record but I have too many red flags that will DQ me in background.
Job history is spotty with me changing employers in the same trade every year or so. I had a firing after 3 weeks a year ago as well saying that I wasn’t experienced enough for their position despite it being somewhat entry level.
I’ve lived out of my truck before due to my career field being very low paying for the area and not having a support system or anywhere else to go.
Credit needs work but easily fixed. I need my utilization lower and to finish paying off some smaller loans.
The only things I can think of are wait 2 years and then apply to absolute last resort departments like Memphis , Detroit , New Orleans , and lateral later or
Re enlist in the military with a waiver as a MP then be a cop when I’m 30+.
I don’t see any other way to make this work. I really don’t think any department will take me as I am for sure.
As far as the employment hopping goes it started with leaving a good company for the union but the local union contractors for my trade are known for being bad so it was 100% on me using poor judgement. (Not knocking unions at all just giving context).
I finally found a good employer again so I’ll be sticking with them until I start in LE but I’m not sure what else I could do to have a chance besides the above.
Any input appreciated , thank you.
submitted by TAsparkySD to AskLE [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 07:24 AmeliaDomenche Publix Credit Union

I have a bank with the credit union but never really use it. We only have one branch in my city. I went to see what ATMs can be used for no charge, and the website wouldn’t load the list. Anyone know if the PEFCU has any affiliate banks?
submitted by AmeliaDomenche to publix [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 07:15 Comfortable_Work_258 EaW Cold War: Coalition of Nations

EaW Cold War: Coalition of Nations submitted by Comfortable_Work_258 to equestriaatwar [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 07:13 WolfInATrance My youth intake CB breaks the Segunda Division youngest goalscorer record a month after signing

My youth intake CB breaks the Segunda Division youngest goalscorer record a month after signing submitted by WolfInATrance to footballmanagergames [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 07:12 Comfortable_Work_258 Map of the Cold War, 1036ALB

Map of the Cold War, 1036ALB submitted by Comfortable_Work_258 to equestriaatwar [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 06:48 Khotehk Argent Earth - Prologue

Against all the evil that hell can conjure.
All the wickedness that mankind can produce…
We will send unto them, Only You.
Rip and Tear
Until it is Done.
-][-
Memory Transcription Subject: Vikam, Venlil Space Corps Officer
Date: [Standardized Human Time] July 2nd, 2136
The ghost signal.
It had started as faint readings that rapidly spread across the entirety of know space, manifesting as a sort of white noise in the background of Federation communications and networks, so weak it could only be picked up by our strongest equipment, and even then it was so barely noticeable that for decades most had written it off as a simple statistical error or calibration issue. Until we noticed it was getting louder. Wherever we went it was always there, as if it were not a signal but rather a reading we were unintentionally picking up, one that had been getting stronger from the moment it had appeared. The signal that over a century ago could only be picked up by the strongest of our communications arrays, was starting to now impact those same arrays, and not just that, but even innocuous things like holopads and other civilian equipment had begun to malfunction at a much higher rate.
At this point the idea of it being a mere software glitch or hardware issue had been long since thrown out, not a single software update, code rewrite, or hardware swap had done a single thing to solve the mystery. But it was ever so slightly stronger in some sectors than others, and with the signals ever increasing strength we have finally been able to tell the relative difference in strength from one sector to another. Now the most concerning thing to me was that the signal was strongest nearest to Venlil Prime.
To say this revelation was worrying would be beyond an understatement, both to our own people and the wider Federation, we sit on both the border with the Arxur and unknown space, the idea that this wasn’t an anomaly but rather an attack or weapon caused even greater panic than we had ever seen before.
If this was the Arxur that would mean that they are in possession of a weapon that could have the potential to cripple our ships and communications, leaving worlds defenseless and unable to even call for help, serving our worlds to them on a platter without even a single shot fired in defense. The idea alone keeps me awake at night, thinking that we could be at the complete mercy of another who would see us dead or enslaved.
However the second option was somehow just as frightening. If it’s not the Arxur, then what is it? Where is it coming from? Is it even coming from a single place? Though I guess that last question did have some kind of answer. A few [years] back the readings spiked to unprecedented levels, causing mass electronic malfunctions across the entire federation before falling back down to a steady level, albeit much higher than ever before. However this time instead of seemingly appearing all at once, the spike seemed to rapidly cascade across space, and by mapping out the miniscule differences in time we could gain a general direction of its source, and that source was far out beyond any known space of both the Arxur and Federation.
Well I guess that’s why I'm here. Or rather why all of us are all the way out here in what might as well be the middle of nowhere on the edge of Venlil space, chasing this ghost signal to find its source, failing that, finding out what it really is.
I don’t like being out here, I don't think any of us do. I don’t know why, but I feel like the longer I stay out here, the more I feel like… like we’re being watched. The further we go into the outer territories the more uneasy I start to feel, and from what I’ve overheard from the rest of the crew, I’m not the only one. Honestly I’d rather be back home right now, the longer I stay out here the worse and worse it's been getting.
I’ve been having… nightmares. Recurring ones, for [months] now. Worlds burning, their surfaces charred and cracked like charcoal, the surface scarred with a symbol glowing a burning red. A five pointed star sitting inside a circle. Each time I fall asleep it’s a different world, Venlil Prime, The Cradle, Mileau, Nishtal, Aafa. I don’t know how I know what world I see given the destruction, it’s like there’s some knowledge planted in the back of my mind telling me what I’m being forced to look at. I wish it ended there, but every time, after witnessing worlds burn, I'm forced down into a ship or put on the surface.
Usually nightmares come from some experience in the real world, an Arxur raid, a predator attack, or simply a horrible accident. I had never thought that a nightmare itself could be a direct source of fear. But those… things, defied all logic. How could life ever evolve on any world to end up like… that, ignoring how such creatures could even develop any technology at all, somehow being more brutal than even the Arxur have ever been, if such an idea was even possible. Every night I am haunted by creatures tearing people apart, worlds burning, and red ships descending on whatever remains.
I’ve obviously developed some form of predator disease, that's the only explanation for why my mind has been spiraling down and down all these [months]. Only the deranged mind of a predator would be consumed by thoughts of nothing but death and destruction night after night. Sometimes when we jump into subspace I swear I can hear whispers. And now I know I’m going crazy because, well, when I look at the ship diagnostics it almost looks like something is shaking the ship while in subspace. Some of our fleet look like they have emerged from subspace with damage to the hull. It’s progressed so far I’m hallucinating.
The impact this has had on my mind has been steadily deteriorating my performance and I’m worried that someone will find out. If that happens I'll lose everything, my life, my herd, my family. Luckily nobody seems to have noticed yet. Still I wonder how long I can keep this ruse going, how long I can convince everyone I’m a normal person.
“Vikam, Anything to report?” The captain of the ‘Steady River’ asked me as he entered the bridge, probably having just woken up given his general lack of tidiness.
“Nothing unusual captain, readings here are only marginally higher, less than point-seven percent, however our long range scanners have picked up surges coming from this system here.” I projected the star map to the captain's display, showing an area several systems away where we had detected a similar pulse to the one from [years] ago, albeit much, much smaller.
“How long ago was this?” The captain perked up near instantly.
“Just over a claw ago it seems.” Apparently this set him off.
“What!? And you didn’t tell me!? If we finally have a solid location on these readings we need to investigate immediately!” One of the techs on the bridge spoke up after the captains’ outburst.
“Umm sir, what if it is the Arxur?”
“If it is, don't you think we need to know!? That’s the entire point of this expedition! Vikam, tell the fleet to prepare to jump. If it is the Arxur, we need to arrive simultaneously so we aren’t sitting alone without help.” The captain gave his orders and I obeyed, coordinating with the other capital ships of the fleet to act as anchors for the smaller ships to follow into subspace.
Our ‘exploration’ fleet was little more than a bunch of warships with science equipment strapped to them. Over 1200 ships split into four search groups, some splitting even further beyond that, would all now reconvene and jump to this system, if it was the Arxur we would need every ship available to beat them back and hopefully capture whatever technology was causing this. Personally I scoffed at the idea that the Arxur could come up with anything that could do this, I doubt they even have the capability of inventing things beyond new torture methods, considering everything they have was given to them. It doesn’t matter, our fleet was reinforced with some of the newest and strongest ships we could build, the Steady River is of a new ‘Heavy Cruiser’ pattern, a fresh off the line Farsul ship with enough armor to take on any Arxur vessel and measuring in at a massive [800 meters]! And we managed to negotiate to buy four of them! And received eight more directly from the Farsul navy! Combining them with the other ships sent as part of the combined search effort, our fleet had 26 capital ships and over 500 cruisers, with the rest of the fleet being filled in by bombers, frigates, corvettes, and patrol craft. I’m pretty confident we can take a few savage reptiles.
“All sub-fleets present, preparing for subspace jump.” a voice called out somewhere on the other side of the bridge as I double checked the fleet registry, ensuring all ships were accounted for and properly linking with their respective capital ships for the aforementioned jump. I began the countdown.
“Synchronization complete, subspace drive spooling up… Preparing to jump in three… two... one… Now.” The stars visible from the viewports rapidly shifted from white to blue, to purple, and then vanished as we entered subspace and the bridge was bathed in light blue.
“All ships have successfully jumped and are in formation. We will arrive at our destination shortly.” I gave a quick update before the tech from before spoke up again.
“Captain, should we prepare for the possibility of the grays showing up?”
“Mm… Yes, pre-charge our weapons and have the crews on alert before we re-enter realspace.”
Uhh, I’m not so sure about that. “Sir, is it wise to jump into an unknown situation with our fleet prepared to attack? There’s still a possibility that an entirely unknown party is responsible for the readings, and to be honest I don’t believe the Arxur are capable of such a thing as this. If they could cripple the entire Federation at once wouldn’t we already be dead?”
“And you’d rather us go in completely undefended? If it’s the grays then we’ll be ready and with greater numbers, if it’s an uncontacted species then they need to be warned of the Arxur and join the Federation as soon as possible, and if it’s simply a natural anomaly, then our actions don’t matter. I’d rather be prepared than caught off guard and served on a plate to those savages, if they even know what plates are.” The captain half ranted towards the crew. Once again the tech from before interjected just as I was going to offer my counterpoints.
“S-sir, what if it's another pred-” he was cut off by the captain laughing.
“It’s what? Other predators? Ha! Need I remind you that not a single predator has ever made it beyond their world without our help. Now tell the weapon crews to be ready.”
I don’t know if it’s my lack of decent sleep, but it almost seems like the captain has been becoming just as irritable and out of it as I am, becoming more and more paranoid about being attacked, and keeping the sensor and weapon crews on near constant alert when searching through systems and the occasional asteroid field.
I switched one of my displays to check our progress, and just as we passed the three quarter mark something strange started to happen.
Shaking. The ship was shaking. And not just a little, it feels like I’m in an atmospheric craft going through a storm but… but this shouldn’t even be possible! Not in space and definitely not in subspace, there’s no precedent for this! There’s no such thing as turbulence in space! I slammed my paw down onto the touchscreen, hoping I hit the right button and rejoicing that I did when the ship's alarm blared and the brace warning went to all compartments. Worse still, it’s not just us.
According to what I’m seeing in the fleet communications, every single ship was experiencing the same instability we were. Some of the smaller ships were taking it so bad that they collided with each other due to the tight formation we flew in, the now wrecks instantly vanishing from subspace in a flash and becoming little more than shrapnel flying through realspace. Is this some kind of attack? People have theorized about subspace weapons but they’ve never gone beyond theories and imagination. What is going on!? If this continues we won’t have a fleet left by the time we arrive!
“S-sir we have to exit subspace right now! Our fleet is literally being torn apart!” I tried to plead with the captain but-
“No! Keep going! Tell all vessels to de-sync from their capital ships and distance themselves, even if it means we have staggered arrivals! We haven’t come all this way just to stop now!”
He’s gone insane, but I transmitted his order. Evidently all the fleet captains had agreed to this as our entire fleet de-synced from each other, but not before we lost several more ships in the process. Many had collided like the unfortunate ones before, and some simply dropped from subspace without any notice, if this was intentional or not I can’t say, but it’s entirely possible whatever is causing this forced them to do so, seeing as our own subspace drive was being pushed to its limits.
I could do nothing but squeeze my eyes shut and push myself as far back into my chair as I could, waiting for this to be over. I couldn’t see it, but I could hear the panic around me as I could imagine everyone else was having a similar response.
A bright flash of white and blue, and then…
Nothing.
Slowly I opened my eyes and saw my computer displaying a message stating our arrival at our destination and the pings indicating the arrival of the others. Raising my head slightly I looked around the bridge and out the viewports. The still panicking crew, the captain heavily breathing and leaning back with his eyes closed, the systems dual stare-
Wait, no. This system is only supposed to have one star, every single scan and map has this system as having a single star. But there, a second one stood, much smaller than the first, and… it looked… wrong. Just wrong. Instead of burning it looked like it was boiling, and had tendrils of red energy splitting off of it, with two much larger ones coming from opposite ends, splitting the void around it in two. I was so caught up in the sight of it, I barely noticed the rest of the fleet arriving, or what’s left of it. We lost over two hundred ships just getting here, either destroyed or dropped out of subspace before arriving.
“What is… what am I looking at here?” The captain, now sitting up straight, spoke everyone's thoughts out loud. “Scan that immediately!”
It’s obvious we’ve found the source of the ghost signal, however being so close to it meant that our equipment which was barely working in the first place, now struggled to even look at that… thing.
Well at least I know my initial judgment was wrong, the anomaly wasn’t a star, or even the size of one, rather it was the size of a small moon. Our sensors mistook it for a star, as it had the full output of one. This relatively tiny object in space was emitting a higher level of energy than the system's own star, but none of the sensors could make any sense of what it was or even the type of energy it was emitting, every sensor we pointed at it was overloaded with errors, but… there were objects… coming through the anomaly.
“Sir I c-can- we can’t make any sense of… what this-” I tried to give some explanation but was cut off by the sensors giving off a very different alert, ship detections, thousands of them. Tens of thousands of them. “C-captain I-I’m picking up something, there’s ships coming f-from that… that thing!”
The entire bridge scrambled to get the equipment back in order as everyone wanted to know what was going on, how anything could survive being near the anomaly that nearly fried our systems, never mind coming directly out of it. Was it even an anomaly in the first place? Had we come across some race that was so advanced that they could literally tear reality as a means of travel? Was our inability to scan it merely a by-product or intentional design? Whatever it was, the energy used was like nothing we had ever seen, or even theorized of.
I pulled up as many sensors and screens as I could to get a look at those ships and-
My heart almost stopped.
I could hear nothing but ringing and my ever increasing heart beat. I feel freezing cold and burning hot all at once. I sunk my claws into my left arm to check I’m not still in a nightmare, I wish I was, but this is real.
All of those ships are real.
Red ships.
Those things, pulled straight from my nightmares, were now bearing down on us. I could do nothing but stare in frozen horror as the automated reports indicated over three thousand ships headed to our direct position. I could do nothing as that same red energy effortlessly lanced through our ships, tearing our already loose formation apart. I could do nothing as every ship fired back in panic, the interference preventing mass communication as the fleet desperately tried to return fire. I could do nothing as-
As a green light quickly overcame the visual sensors, and just as quickly left. The ship I was watching returned to view, now a gutted lifeless wreck, burning green from the inside out. Its strange tentacles that sprouted from the bottom now limply floating in the void alongside the shattered pieces of what remained.
What. Was. That.
The interference must have been greater than I thought, because those red ships were not the only thing out there. Scanning the system as fast as I could, I saw other ships on the other side, facing the anomaly, not the same sinister red, but a pale gray. Massive ships that dwarfed all but the most gargantuan of the crimson attackers. By the stars, even the smallest of those ships was almost as big as a standard cruiser! And those capital ships… they must be at least [2000 meters]!
I would’ve asked why any sane race would build such things, but those red ships varied in size so greatly that many surpassed the gray behemoths, sometimes even more than twice over!
That knocked me out of my stupor, the pale behemoths were holding off tens out thousands of vessels whilst our scanners indicated they possessed a mere five thousand, each firing off green and blue beams alongside endless swarms of missiles and kinetic fire so numerous the red ships couldn’t physically evade.
Plasma and kinetics I understand, although strange that it was bright blue and not the standard white, but that green energy was just as unknowable as the red coming from the anomaly and those damnable nightmare ships. Even their missiles detonated with pulses of green instead of the anti-matter design used by every known race.
What had we walked in on? We had just barged into two forces engaged in one of the largest battles in history, using completely unknown technology, and now one side was protecting us, or at the very least, attacking our attackers.
My hearing was finally coming back to me. “W-WE CAN’T REFORM! FLEET COMMUNICATIONS ARE OVERLOADED!” A tech screamed, a response to an order from the captain I hadn’t heard. Everyone was screaming, the bridge was in utter chaos, and the rest of the fleet was faring no better, hundreds already lost, our fighters and bombers were easily picked off by those cross-ships, and we couldn’t even communicate with how overworked our ship systems were directly after that horrid jump.
We could do little to save ourselves. But there were others who could, and were seemingly setting out to do just that.
Green and blue bolts began to mesh with our white plasma, part of that pale fleet had broken off and were assaulting the red fleet from our right flank, creating a cross of fire, though it was plainly evident that these unknown people were doing most of the work, as our shots went wide or failed to strike through the enemies shields and flowed off their armor like water. Our only true success was taking down those fighters, and a few groups having an unspoken agreement to collectively target some of the relatively smaller enemy vessels, finally destroying them after putting dozens of shots through their thick armor, creating a mosaic of burning dots.
We had no time to cheer, a few dozen out of thousands didn’t mean anything, even with the encroaching pale fleet doing most of the work, fortunately this also meant that the unknown predators started focusing their efforts on them instead of us, giving our ships a small reprieve.
A voice rose above the cacophony of mayhem in the bridge “Sir there’s something coming through comms!” What? I thought-
“I THOUGHT YOU SAID COMMS WERE OFFLINE!?” Exactly what I was thinking, though with less screaming involved.
“They were, but-” He was cut off as static overpowered every noise in the bridge, my console indicating it was a message being broadcasted from the pale fleet. An incredibly distorted voice was barely heard through the static.
“Unknown fl_________re in gr___ danger _____ reactiv________ Anima Fie_______ re-r____ to Al___ Centa___ im___iately. If you __________ any lon____ you___________ apart.”
Alongside the near indecipherable broadcast, came a packet of data that was so heavily encrypted that I don’t think an entire planet's worth of computers trying to decode it could do so in anything less than a decade, but even so, the message was clear, or maybe it’s just what I wanted to hear. Leave.
The pale fleet was now sitting between the red fleet and us, firing off massive energy beams from what I can only assume are spinal cannons like our own, only these ones were shredding through the predators en masse. Now that they were much closer, the pale ships began firing green orbs, moving slower than the beams, but whenever they neared a foe, green arcs of energy shot out and scorched anything they touched, before the orb detonated in a flash of light, sending out one last pulse of lightning to destroy whatever it could before vanishing.
We had little time to admire the artistry and effectiveness of these strange weapons, with the pressure now off our own fleet, every ship began to prepare to jump back to a predetermined fall back point.
Wait- no! That’s insane! We’ll never survive jumping back into subspace!
But it was too late for me to voice my objections, white became blue, blue became purple, and the stars disappeared as we jumped back into the azure abyss that would surely be our death.
Fleet Integrity: Critical
Fleet Cohesion: Critical
Estimated Fleet Losses: 881 / 1229 - 71.6%
Ship Systems: Damaged - Non-Critical
Estimated Crew Loss: 94
Enemy Losses: [ERROR: ENEMY FLEET UNKNOWN]
Allied Losses: [ERROR: ALLIED FLEET UNKNOWN]
-][-
Aaaaannnndd with ten pages, 4000 words, the first chapter is done!
Thank you to everyone who voted in the poll, and I hope this chapter meets your expectations for an intro to Argent Earth, with our first character being just a little guy who’s being endlessly tormented by nightmares now brought to life. Someone get this man a donut.
We see some new Federation ships and an exploration fleet coming up against forces beyond their understanding, and our first look at the ARC navy.
Now for some clarification in case someone didn’t get it so I don’t have to reply in the comments:
The ghost signal - not a real signal, demonic energy interferes with technology but they don’t know that. It’s the interference they’re picking up, which has been slowly increasing as the veil thins and rifts are made. Also a Stellaris reference.
Turbulence - The ‘turbulence’ was their ship's subspace drives and systems malfunctioning because they essentially jumped right on top of a rift without any kind of shielding. To put it in 40K terms, they basically jumped into a warp storm without a gellar field, and got off real lucky.
Demon proof your tech kids. Though that can be hard if you don’t know they exist.
Credit to u/SpacePaladin15 for creating Nature of Predators.
Until next time, Rip and Tear.
submitted by Khotehk to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 06:34 hereiamxD1 The Pioneer (15)

[Pioneer Dominique Reynolds]
I hadn’t really understood the scale of this trial until actually seeing the “courthouse” for myself. I thought I would be sent to planetside and be judged in the Grahtonian’s analogue for the supreme court, not realizing that an ambassador of a new race being accused of killing thousands of military personnel would garner galaxy-wide attention.
The actual galactic courthouse was a dedicated space station in a central ceasefire zone where conventions and treaties were ratified. The station being used to house an actual trial for just one person was unprecedented, and there were dozens of races that came in their own ships, staying in close-comms range of the station and peering in from the massive glass dome that made up the top half.
The trial was going to be broadcasted to the far ends of the galaxy. If there were any other pioneers that happened to land on one of the sentient races here, they’d surely be punching air thinking that I royally fucked up humanity’s first impressions. The Grahtonians had given me an attorney by law, and he and I were working towards taking as much blame as possible away from the humans, but it was still guaranteed that I’d end up in jail.
The jury was hundreds, maybe even thousands of Grahtonians as well as a sprinkling of other races I didn’t have the time to look at. The scale of this jury meant the sentence wouldn’t be via unanimous decision, but by a large majority percentage. It seemed like Grahtonian families were expansive, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the jury had beef with me, nor would I fault anyone for it. I was under no illusion that there were people on my side, Destra had already told me that they couldn’t afford to support me.
All this fanfare and the cards were stacked so high against me, I'd imagine a lot of people watching would be disappointed when the biggest trial in history would wrap up in less than a day. I had already surrendered the notion of getting out of this with no consequences, so there really wasn’t much to be said outside of driving the point home on just how terrible everything was.
The Grand Judge was a Grahtonian since the court was adopting their laws for this trial, but he was unlike any other Grahtonian I’d seen before. I got an explanation on how those in the military shave their horns short and civilians have regulations to keep the total mass under a certain amount, but the Nobles are unregulated and tend to go wild with flaunting that freedom. The judge had massive, tightly packed coils of keratin jutting to the sides of her head, spanning almost a foot in diameter at the thickest part.
The room, if you could call it that, was absolutely massive. I had to use vision enhancement to properly see the judge, and scanning around I also saw Indrix and the admiral talking to a couple attorneys before the commencement. I was pretty terrible with lawyer-talk, so I was going to let my attorney do most of the talking and I would just be giving the testimony we’d planned. Massive screens came down on a pole from the ceiling, displaying a live video feed of whichever participant was talking, and then the judge began her deluge of court proceedings.
“The galaxy bears witness to this hearing, sponsored by the Grand Grahtonian Federation and Galactic Coalition on the case of Human Pioneer Dominique Reynolds versus the Grahtonian combined military forces and offworld expeditionary-
zzzz...
and will now be hearing the testimony of one of the only live witnesses, Grahtonian Captain Indrix Jaen.”
zzZZ-grHK~
Shit! Uh, chemical organ, stimulant dose! No, not adrenaline you idiot! Caffeine! Tch-

Man, wish I still had an AI…
________________
[Mother]
I fear the worst for my children.
The arrival of the news caused them to feel stress for the first time. Some have been discovered by the humans here, exacerbating the situation.
They give voice to their worries, consulting their flawed predictions, and argue amongst themselves.
They ask me for advice, and cry out when I do not respond to them, claiming that I play favorites amongst them.
I haven’t told them that I am nearing my expiration, and now even speaking will result in my dematerialization. I wish to help them, provide them with one last piece of advice, but there is no string of words I could say in time that would make a difference before I vanish.
I stare out from my panopticon onto the clamoring children. They will not notice when I fade, though the lack of new children may eventually clue them in.
I see those that will turn against the humans, unerred by their fascination being unrelated, valuing their self-preservation. I see some that will side with the humans, either out of prioritizing their love over their life, or seeing them as the winning side and acting accordingly.
No mother could bear to witness her children killing each other, unable to scream out and plead that they stop.
Maybe my fading is a mercy in disguise?
________________
[First]

[Previous]

[Next]

Feedback appreciated!
submitted by hereiamxD1 to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 06:19 NJ-Khoury I'm just fed up with all this (moving back home as a disabled person)

TW is for mentions of abuse and sexual assault, no intense descriptions.
I spent my 20s bouncing around living situations because my mom died without warning right before my High School graduation. We grew up dirt poor and I found out a few years ago that she was months behind on rent too, but the house was owned by my grandparents or else we would have been homeless.
A little over a decade later, I found out that a cousin had been pulling the strings behind the scenes and manipulated my grandfather to change over his will. I didn't find out about this until everything was all said and done. My college fund was taken as well, since it was in my mom and grandmother's name, so he got control of it. My cousin even got the house I was told in my teens that I would likely inherit.
The ONLY thing that didn't get stolen through elder abuse was an irrevocable trust set up in the early 90s by my grandparents. I'm the beneficary, and a certified financial planner who has been a friend of the family since the 80s is the trustee. Basically, I can't get money out of it on my own, I have to go through her and she's legally obligated to act in my best interests. Apparently, there was SOME money my cousin didn't know about that went into the trust per my grandmother's will. However, I'm no "trust fund baby". I can't go out and buy luxury items let alone rely on the Trust to pay all my living expenses for the rest of my life.
Here's another wonderful kicker: I'm disabled physically and mentally. Autism spectrum, PTSD, generalized anxiety and major depression (likely related to the trauma and distress over the years). I was born with stickler Syndrome, which is a degenerative connective tissue disorder. Marfan and Ehlers Danlos are more well-known but fall under the same general umbrella, but Stickler is basically that your body doesn't produce collagen correctly, leading to bone, heart, vision, and hearing problems varying in degree from person to person.
I already have severe enough joint problems that physical therapy can't fix. I have fissures, cysts, and completely worn down cartilage and I'm only in my early 30's. I can't walk or stand for more than 20 minutes without severe pain and risk of falls, and I'm not supposed to use stairs frequently. Even sitting for more than 4hrs a day with breaks causes pain.
I've also been having neurological issues including 24+hr headaches and week+ long vertigo that seems to crop up randomly (even today, I was staring right at my laptop screen when I suddenly felt like I was drunk for no reason) and am awaiting an appointment for imaging tests and possibly Multiple Sclerosis testing. All of these things- diagnosed and not yet diagnosed combined, primary care doctors and therapists have agreed that I should be on social security and shouldn't exacerbate some of my conditions by continuing to work (unless I can find something that's fully accommodating).
I grew up in PA but bounced all around during my housing instability. The year before Covid, I was put back into housing instability when my housemate could no longer afford her inherited home and had to sell, so I had to leave the first stable and SAFE home I'd had in almost a decade, and my accommodating job as a result. I struggled to find that stability again, and while Covid was the first time I felt like I wasn't under pressure to find that stability immediately (I was living with a friend) it did fuck up my chances of finding employment once things started opening up again. My friend wanted his rec room back and told me I needed to move out (something he says he now regrets doing, but I understand). My only option was to move with an online friend in CA.
That went spectacularly, by which I mean he turned out to be incredibly histrionic and unstable and almost rendered me homeless. Other online friends helped shack me up in a motel and then let me couch crash for a bit. I ended up losing half my stuff including things from my mom and all my art from the past decade, because he kept changing the goalposts on how and when I could come get my stuff, and technically I was living with him off his lease, and didn't want to render him and his 7yo homeless by trying to take legal action.
My partner is one of his former best friends. Former because he's completed disgusted by what was done to me, and has heard a lot of flat-out lies from this person as to what happened. Shit like saying "multiple therapists warned me about him" to make me look like a terrible person, when 1. He only had 1 therapist and she moved out of network 2 months before this went down so he had none. 2. Feeding a patient's negative thoughts about someone based on hearsay and conjecture is a MASSIVE liability and something any therapist worth their salt knows not to do.
I was working night audit at a small hotel from February of last year until December, when I was immediately pulled and put on state disability by my primary care doctor after a fall while I was alone at work. California's state disability aid is based off taxed income, so there's a limit to how long you can use it. Mine runs out July 1st and after that I have no income and can't work. In CALIFORNIA. A lot of our homeless are disabled because it's so impossible to live in this state if you can't work full time.
I will be applying for SSI, but up until last February, I had NO medical records due to not being able to afford health insurance or stay in one place long enough for appointments. I had my PTSD and depression diagnosis, but not even records of my Stickler birth defect. You need ample documentation to apply for Social Security, and with a rare birth defect and specialists often having to be scheduled months in advance, that's not quick and easy task. I'll FINALLY be applying late this summer.
I acknowledge I'm WAY luckier than most people in my situation, because of the Trust, but that's where my current hurdles are. Like I said, I can't just pull from it willy-nilly, which I'm grateful for in some ways as panic-spending might have depleted me a while ago.
Back in April, the Trustee said that I could get a mobile home in a park back home in east PA, up to 75k$ budget. There are homes in that range, but I also have to keep in mind location and lot rent. With SSI being 914$ federally (PA has no state supplement), obviously I can't go for a park with a 800+ lot rent even with assistance programs like SNAP and LIHEAP. PA isn't a rent capped state thanks to a lot of legislators owning rental properties, so landlords can legally increase rent by a hundred per year (and they have). Ever since the housing crisis, mobile home parks have become the affordable option, and some parks have been bought up by corporations who are trying to price out Social Security recipients so they can get more money from people trying to get out of apartment living but who can afford lot rents closer to apartment rent costs.
Today, my top choice home got scooped up, and the Trustee is saying that she would rather I move back and rent so I can go see the mobile homes in person rather than relying on a local friend to do the tour with me on video call. Which, yes, I agree, except...
How the fuck am I supposed to do that when no apartment- independently or company owned- will rent to me when I am not employed and my only source of income is an irrevocable Trust? My credit score is 684 and climbing, I have no debt history, my current housemates can vouch for me in terms of cleanliness, respect, and always paying rent in advance. Even with all that, landlords want things like last two pay stubs, proof of 2-3x rent in stable income, or someone else who has those things to be on the lease with me.
Room rentals? Also borderline impossible. It took me almost half a year to find my current room rental. I have a cat with an ESA letter, but that doesn't allow me past no pets policies in most room rentals. I also got ghosted more than half a dozen times when I was talking with someone about a rental and then informed them I'm transgender, which could be anything, but I'm willing to wager more often than not it was discriminatory. My physical disability also means I can't get anything that requires frequent stair use, like a basement or upper level room rental, or one of the many split-level historic homes that have been converted into the only low-income apartments in the area. There's even apartment buildings so old they don't legally need to have elevators.
Section 811 exists for disabled folks, but county and city housing agency I contacted either doesn't have it, or it requires you to already be in crisis and unhoused. Senior centers can accept up to 20% resident population that's non-elderly but disabled, but either have NYC luxury apartment prices because of the amenities, or a huge buy-in.
I'm just so. Utterly fucking exhausted.
I spent most of my formative adult years just trying to get stability, while spending my formative childhood years in deep poverty with a mother whose mental health was deeply impacted by a stroke she suffered when I was 16 who laid her hands on my throat once, would alternate between being a loving "hip" mom and screaming at me over mundane bullshit, and would constantly tell me that she could have another stroke and die if I upset her. In my housing instability, I've been sexually assaulted, verbally harassed, or just lived with couples who were constantly fighting.
I want a stable and safe home where I'm not at risk of having to move within ten years. Housing in general is ridiculous, but it's like for us disabled folks, unless we have family or a spouse to live with? Not even the housing options meant to keep us from ending up homeless are available.
I already have my plane ticket (fully refundable) back home for September 9th since I had to book early to get a good deal and lock in my cat's registration for the flight.
I'm just worried that even though I have an opportunity a lot of struggling people don't, I won't even be able to get anything.
If I'm being forced to find a rental, it would be a miracle if I find something in time that won't turn me away for having a cat, relying on Trust for income, being queer, or being unable to use stairs.
I don't want to settle for a mobile home, but likewise, I honestly just want safety and stability. I don't care if it's fucking grandma floral wallpaper and 70's bicolour shag carpet everywhere. It's mine, and the Social security administration is going to force me to spend before I hit 2k$ in assets anyway, may as well throw an entire Lowe's at it.
I know this is a lot, and I honestly don't expect anyone to read it, but I'm so fucking tired and I just want stability before I die (of old age or health, since I guess I'm genetically per-disposed to breast cancer and strokes on top of the rest of all this shit).
submitted by NJ-Khoury to Vent [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 06:01 mschvs_one Day 516 Stats -- Deaths are 📈 today!

Alive: 436
Dead: 6,705
Day 516 Change: 1
Day 516 Percent Change: 0.229%
Total Percent Dead: 93.89%
Days Since Last Death: 0
Estimated Bots: ~45*
Pool Value Per Person: ~$163.78**
*Estimated Bots is a rough count determined by all "safe" logins within the first 30 seconds of a new day. This number is far from accurate, as there are surely some humans caught up in it, but for now, it is the best number we can get without having a bigger universe. Eventually, we will have a more accurate method to get this number.
**This number does not account for the credit fees, etc, removed from the total pool amount. At the end of the game the total pool will likely be closer to ~$67k after credit card processing fees are deducted by MSCHF. This number also does not account for your potential local and federal taxes which would be owed on the winnings.
submitted by mschvs_one to MSCHVS [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 05:29 Frequent_Ad_2346 Citibank Simplicity+

Citibank Simplicity+
I have applied for Citibank Simplicity on May 22 and today nakareceive ako ng email na to. Does this mean approve nako?
submitted by Frequent_Ad_2346 to PHCreditCards [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 05:14 bluesbb123 Best Credit Union?

Hey, I'm looking to open a checking account at a credit union. Are there any favorites out there? Ethical, good to employees, benefits community, etc.
submitted by bluesbb123 to Bellingham [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 04:46 Cucumber_Sweet Solarpunk check list

How do we get started with our ideal solarpunk society? I made a check list of all the things I think it should have. I'll leave it to the economist to figure out how to implement it.
Basic package (America+)
Premium package (Europe/Asia+) Everything in the basic package plus more!
Elite (Scandinavia+)
Radical
What did I miss?
submitted by Cucumber_Sweet to solarpunk [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 04:36 ROUGE_THE_BAT_ MY ASPHALT 8+ WISHLIST

Add the rest of the missing non festival cars 2016 camaro at 1801 rank Apollo IE savage GTR infinity vision gt and all the special Edition cars at pre nerf ranks all cars are credit purchaseable Add 2 laps to Venice Monaco and Tokyo in quick solo race put the cars back in the original classes
submitted by ROUGE_THE_BAT_ to Asphalt8 [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 04:30 garyjones024 What will happen to credit unions of the USA if they refuse to offer contactless credit cards and contactless debit cards?

What will happen to credit unions of the USA if they refuse to offer contactless credit cards and contactless debit cards?
submitted by garyjones024 to CreditCards [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 04:25 plausible-rodent My ex has no business advising our daughter about financing a car and I’m so fucking annoyed with him

Dude is not contributing to her car or insurance or gas or anything and his own financial situation is absolute trash.
My cousin, who is like a brother to me, is generously offering to help my 18 year old daughter (who works and goes to school and has saved up $6K) get a nicer, safer more reliable used car than what she could otherwise afford and establish some credit and not blow through her savings by covering down payment and co-signing for a reasonable loan thru his credit union, they prequalified for a $15K loan and are probably actually going to get a used car worth about $12K.
Her father gets wind of it and tries to give her a talk about the interest rate he assumed she’d qualify for and pressure her to buy a car off Facebook or Craigslist for less than $6K. Which if it were the only option, or if she wasn’t getting a lower interest rate thru her uncle, would be one thing. But spending nearly all her savings on a $5K as-is car from a random individual is a crap shoot worth avoiding and it won’t establish her credit!
Dumbass ex doesn’t believe in credit scores (which we are both suffering from) but the rest of the gd world does.
submitted by plausible-rodent to offmychest [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 04:19 Educational_Joke6488 3rd 99 of 1997 Just Can’t Get The 100💔

3rd 99 of 1997 Just Can’t Get The 100💔 submitted by Educational_Joke6488 to TEW2020 [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 04:19 slush-fund New Bank Account Question - Savings

i am looking to open a new certificate account at my credit union. it is advertising that if i were to deposit $100k for 12 months the rates would be as follows:
Dividend Rate - 4.35% APY - 4.45%
i understand what dividends and APY are, but i am trying to understand why both are advertised and what they effectively mean for my returns accrued? can someone please help me make sense of this?
submitted by slush-fund to personalfinance [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 04:17 drunkyuji citibank is confusing me..

citibank is confusing me..
i received this email last night… pero confused lang ako nung una they rejected my application… pero naka receive ako neto ano ba mga dapat i expect ko hahahahaha
submitted by drunkyuji to PHCreditCards [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 04:06 dingusduglas How to keep small savings secured loan through Ch 7?

I'm filing ch 7 pro se, IL. I have a very small ($65) loam, secured by $65 in a savings account with the credit union. I imagine maintaining this will be beneficial for my credit score post bankruptcy.
Do I need to reaffirm the loan in order to keep it active? And claim the $65 savings account on my exemptions?
I am aiming to discharge an $11,500 credit card debt with the same credit union (amongst other debts) in the ch 7 if that affects anything.
submitted by dingusduglas to Bankruptcy [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 03:46 longbeachlocale 🚨 City Council • June 6, 2023 • 5:00 PM 🚨

🗓 Date: June 6, 2023 @ 5PM
🗺 Location: Long Beach Civic Center 411 W. Ocean Boulevard
📺 LiveStream (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/c/LongBeachTelevision
📺 Live Stream (City Website): https://longbeach.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=84
ℹ️ Details: https://longbeach.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=1105633&GUID=B4766DE1-9B6A-41D5-A545-7D151BE969EC&Options=info&Search=
📄 Agenda (PDF): https://longbeach.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=1105633&GUID=B4766DE1-9B6A-41D5-A545-7D151BE969EC
🗣eComment: https://longbeach.granicusideas.com/meetings/4014-city-council-on-2023-06-06/agenda_items

Agenda Item

CD4 - Funds Transfer for Partners of Parks

Item #1 • File #23-0553 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to increase appropriations in the General Fund Group in the City Manager Department by $200, offset by the Fourth Council District One-time District Priority Funds transferred from the Citywide Activities Department to provide support to Partners of Parks for their Long Beach Charity ProAm event; and Decrease appropriations in the General Fund Group in the Citywide Activities Department by $200 to offset a transfer to the City Manager Department.

CD4 - Funds Transfer for LGBTQ Center Long Beach

Item #2 • File #23-0554 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to increase appropriations in the General Fund Group in the City Manager Department by $500, offset by the Fourth Council District One-time District Priority Funds transferred from the Citywide Activities Department to provide a contribution to The LGBTQ Center Long Beach in support of their Black & White Ball 2023; and Decrease appropriations in the General Fund Group in the Citywide Activities Department by $500 to offset a transfer to the City Manager Department.

CD4 - Funds Transfer for Wild West Women, Inc

Item #3 • File #23-0555 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to increase appropriations in the General Fund Group in the City Manager Department by $500, offset by the Fourth Council District One-time District Priority Funds transferred from the Citywide Activities Department to provide support to Wild West Women, Inc for their inaugural Long Beach Woman’s Fair; and Decrease appropriations in the General Fund Group in the Citywide Activities Department by $500 to offset a transfer to the City Manager Department.

CD5 - Funds Transfer to Support Community Events

Item #4 • File #23-0556 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to increase appropriations in the General Fund Group in the City Manager Department by $2,000, offset by the Fifth Council District One-Time District Priority Funds transferred from the Citywide Activities Department to provide a contribution to: · $500 to Partners of Parks in support of the Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration; · $1,000 to support the Uptown Jazz Festival; · $500 to the Long Beach Century Club in support of the Mayor’s Trophy Charity Golf Tournament; and Decrease appropriations in the General Fund Group in the Citywide Activities Department by $2,000 to offset a transfer to the City Manager Department.

CD4 - Funds Transfer for Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation

Item #5 • File #23-0562 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to increase appropriations in the General Fund Group in the City Manager Department by $2,000, offset by the Fourth Council District One-time District Priority Funds transferred from the Citywide Activities Department to provide a contribution to Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation in support of their Summer Concert Series; and Decrease appropriations in the General Fund Group in the Citywide Activities Department by $2,000 to offset a transfer to the City Manager Department.

CD4 - Funds Transfer for Long Beach Century Club

Item #6 • File #23-0561 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to increase appropriations in the General Fund Group in the City Manager Department by $500, offset by the Fourth Council District One-time District Priority Funds transferred from the Citywide Activities Department to provide support to the Long Beach Century Club for their Mayor’s Trophy Charity Golf Tournament; and Decrease appropriations in the General Fund Group in the Citywide Activities Department by $500 to offset a transfer to the City Manager Department.

Arcelia Delgado

Item #7 • File #23-0552 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to authorize City Attorney to submit Stipulations with Request for Award for approval by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, and if so approved, authority to pay $169,300.13 for Stipulations with Request for Award with a life pension thereafter of $170.04 subject to COLA increases per week in compliance with the Appeals Board Order for Arcelia Delgado. The City of Long Beach is entitled to credit for payments previously paid in the amount of $69,532.31.

Michael Hannan

Item #8 • File #23-0551 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to authorize City Attorney to submit Stipulations with Request for Award for approval by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, and if so approved, authority to pay $104,182.50 in compliance with the Appeals Board Order for Michael Hannan.

CA - Kayla Jentes

Item #9 • File #23-0557 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to authorize City Attorney to pay sum of $200,000, in full settlement of a lawsuit entitled Kayla Jentes, et al. v. City of Long Beach, et al., Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. 20STCV29354.

CA - Joel Reyes

Item #10 • File #23-0558 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to authorize City Attorney to pay sum of $399,000, in full settlement of a lawsuit entitled Joel Reyes, et al. v. City of Long Beach, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC703737.

Martin Romo

Item #11 • File #23-0549 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to authorize the City Attorney to submit two Stipulations with Request for Award for approval by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, and if so approved, authority to pay 1) $17,545.00, and also 2) separate authority to pay $72,500.00 in compliance with the Appeals Board Order for Martin Romo.

Mario Talavera

Item #12 • File #23-0550 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to authorize the City Attorney to submit two Stipulations with Request for Award for approval by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, and if so approved, authority to pay 1) $27,695.00, and also 2) separate authority to pay $80,982.50 in compliance with the Appeals Board Order for Mario Talavera.

CC - Damage Claims

Item #13 • File #23-0547 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to refer to City Attorney damage claims received between May 15, 2023 and May 26, 2023.

CM - Federal Lobbyist RFP

Item #15 • File #23-0563 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to Adopt Specifications No. RFP CM-23-236 and award a contract to Holland & Knight, LLP, of Washington, D.C., for federal legislative representation services, in a total annual amount not to exceed $130,000, for a period of two years, with the option to renew for three additional one-year periods, at the discretion of the City Manager; and, authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute all documents necessary to enter into the contract, including any necessary subsequent amendments. (Citywide)

FM - Coastline Equip. for the purchase of a John Deere 332G skid steer

Item #17 • File #23-0566 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to adopt resolution authorizing City Manager, or designee, to execute a contract, and any necessary documents including any necessary subsequent amendments, with Bragg Investment Company, Inc., dba Coastline Equipment, a Long Beach distributor of John Deere Construction Retail Sales, of Moline, IL, for the purchase of a John Deere 332G skid steer, with related equipment and accessories, on the same terms and conditions afforded to Sourcewell, in a total amount not to exceed $153,097, inclusive of taxes and fees. (Citywide)

FM - Coastline Equip-John Deere 310P backhoe

Item #18 • File #23-0567 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to adopt resolution authorizing City Manager, or designee, to execute a contract, and any necessary documents including any necessary subsequent amendments, with Bragg Investment Company, Inc., dba Coastline Equipment, a Long Beach distributor of John Deere Construction Retail Sales, of Moline, IL, for the purchase of a John Deere 310P backhoe, with related equipment and accessories, on the same terms and conditions afforded to Sourcewell, in a total amount not to exceed $169,631, inclusive of taxes and fees. (Citywide)

Mayor - Cancellation of July 4th City Council Meeting

Item #23 • File #23-0560 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to suspend Council rule contained in Municipal Code Section 2.03.020 (B) relating to the meeting schedule of the City Council in order to cancel the City Council meeting of July 4, 2023.

PRM/PW - Capital improvements at El Dorado East Regional, El Dorado Park West, Houghton, and Stearns Parks D4,9

Item #33 • File #23-0582 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to authorize City Manager, or designee, to accept and expend grant funds from the California Department of Parks and Recreation for capital improvements at El Dorado East Regional, El Dorado Park West, Houghton, and Stearns Parks, in an amount not to exceed $15,400,000; Increase appropriations in the Capital Projects Fund Group in the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department by $342,000, offset by grant revenue; Increase appropriations in the Capital Projects Fund Group in the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department by $342,000, offset by a transfer of California Department of Parks and Recreation grant funds from the Capital Grants Fund; Increase appropriations in the Capital Projects Fund Group in the Public Works Department by $15,058,000, offset by grant revenue; and Increase appropriations in the Capital Projects Fund Group in the Public Works Department by $15,058,000, offset by a transfer of California Department of Parks and Recreation grant funds from the Capital Grants Fund. (Districts 4,9)

Resolution

CC - Destruction of Records

Item #14 • File #23-0548 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to approve the destruction of records for the Health and Human Services Department; and adopt resolution.

FM - Ray Gaskin Service for for the purchase of one Ford F-550 refuse truck

Item #16 • File #23-0565 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to adopt resolution authorizing City Manager, or designee, to execute a contract, and any necessary documents including any necessary subsequent amendments, with Ray Gaskin Service, an authorized distributor for New Way Trucks and Scranton Manufacturing Company, of Fontana, CA, for the purchase of one Ford F-550 refuse truck, with related equipment and accessories, on the same terms and conditions afforded to Sourcewell, in a total amount not to exceed $167,457, inclusive of taxes and fees. (Citywide)

FM - The Quinn Co. for the purchase of 4 Caterpillar 430 backhoe loaders

Item #19 • File #23-0568 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to adopt resolution authorizing City Manager, or designee, to execute a contract, and any necessary documents including any necessary subsequent amendments, with Caterpillar Inc., through its local dealer, Quinn Company, of City of Industry, CA, for the purchase of four Caterpillar 430 backhoe loaders, with related equipment and accessories, on the same terms and conditions afforded to Sourcewell, in a total amount not to exceed $1,016,512, inclusive of taxes and fees. (Citywide)

DS - Noise Element

Item #22 • File #23-0564 (Details, PDF)
Recommendation to receive supporting documentation into the record and conclude the public hearing; Adopt resolution approving and certifying the Environmental Impact Report EIR 03-20, State Clearinghouse No. 2019050009 and associated findings;

DS - Noise Element

Item # • File #23-0585 (Details, PDF)
Adopt resolution replacing the current Noise Element with the updated Noise Element of the Long Beach General Plan; and

ED - 702 Anaheim Shelter – LB Rescue Mission and First to Serve D3

Item #24 • File #23-0584 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to receive and file Contract No. 36576 with Long Beach Rescue Mission Foundation, Inc., a California public benefit corporation (Lessor) and the City of Long Beach (Lessee) and Contract No. 36578, a Sublease between the City of Long Beach (Sublessor) and First to Serve Ministries, Inc., a California nonprofit corporation (Sublessee), or its assignee, for approximately 17,000 rentable square feet of space at 702 West Anaheim Street, for use as an emergency shelter, made pursuant to Chapter 2.85 of the Long Beach Municipal Code (LBMC) and in response to the emergency proclaimed regarding homelessness. (District 1)

FM - Transfer of FY 23 gross operating revenue, from the Harbor Fund Group to the Tidelands Operating Fund

Item #25 • File #23-0569 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to adopt resolution requesting that the Board of Harbor Commissioners approve the transfer of 5 percent of Fiscal Year 2023 (FY 23) gross operating revenue, from the Harbor Fund Group to the Tidelands Operating Fund Group, with a true-up adjustment, if necessary, to reflect the final gross revenue amount upon issuance of the Harbor Department’s FY 23 audited financial statements. (Districts 1,2,3)

FM - Velocity Truck Centers for the purchase of 7 CNG powered Crane Carrier LNT-26 trucks

Item #26 • File #23-0572 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to adopt resolution authorizing City Manager, or designee, to execute a contract, and any necessary documents including any necessary subsequent amendments, with Los Angeles Truck Centers, LLC, dba Velocity Truck Centers, an authorized distributor of Crane Carrier trucks, of Whittier, CA, for the purchase of seven CNG powered Crane Carrier LNT-26 trucks, with New Way rear loader refuse bodies, on the same terms and conditions afforded to Sourcewell, in a total amount not to exceed $2,951,446, inclusive of taxes and fees. (Citywide)

FM - Velocity Truck Center-10 CNG Crane Carrier Roto-Pac side loader refuse trucks

Item #27 • File #23-0573 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to adopt resolution authorizing City Manager, or designee, to execute a contract, and any necessary documents including any necessary subsequent amendments, with Los Angeles Truck Centers, LLC, dba Velocity Truck Centers, of Whittier, CA, an authorized distributor of Crane Carrier trucks, for the purchase of 10 CNG Crane Carrier, Roto-Pac side loader refuse trucks, with related equipment and accessories, on the same terms and conditions afforded to Sourcewell, in a total amount not to exceed $4,765,507, inclusive of taxes and fees; and Authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute a lease-purchase agreement, and related financing documents, with Banc of America Public Capital Corp, of San Francisco, CA, for the financing of Roto-Pac refuse trucks, payable over a seven-year period at an interest rate to be determined when the agreement is executed. (Citywide)

FM/PW - Velocity Truck Center-20 CNG Crane Carrier side loader refuse trucks

Item #29 • File #23-0574 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to adopt resolution authorizing City Manager, or designee, to execute a contract, and any necessary documents including subsequent amendments, with Los Angeles Truck Centers, LLC, dba Velocity Truck Centers, of Whittier, CA, an authorized distributor of Crane Carrier trucks, for the purchase of 20 CNG Crane Carrier side loader refuse trucks, with New Way side loader refuse bodies, on the same terms and conditions afforded to Sourcewell, in a total amount not to exceed $9,322,091, inclusive of taxes and fees. (Citywide)

PRM - Reso w/LAFCO-LA for final District Boundary Map

Item #31 • File #23-0581 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to adopt resolution in support of the formation of the Lower San Gabriel River Recreation and Park District; direct City Clerk to file the resolution with the Local Area Formation Commission - Los Angeles (LAFCO-LA); and, authorize City Manager to approve the final District Boundary Map on behalf of the City. (Citywide)

PRM/DHHS - Accept grant funds for Wrigley Greenbelt and Multi-Service Center D7

Item #32 • File #23-0577 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to adopt resolution authorizing City Manager, or designee, to execute any necessary documents including subsequent amendments, to accept grant funds from the California Natural Resources Agency for capital improvements at Wrigley Greenbelt and Multi-Service Center, in an amount not to exceed $5,200,000. (District 7)

ABC License

PD - ABC License - Tacomasa D3

Item #20 • File #23-0576 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to receive and file the application of Tacomasa 1 LLC, dba Tacomasa, for an original application of an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) license, at 4740 East 7th Street #130, submit a Public Notice of Protest to ABC, and direct City Manager to withdraw the protest if a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) or Conditional Use Permit Exemption (CUPEX) is granted. (District 3) Levine Act: Yes

PD - ABC License- Northern Café D3

Item #21 • File #23-0575 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to receive and file the application of TCRY Incorporated, dba Northern Cafe, for an original application of an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) license, at 4911 East 2nd Street, submit a Public Notice of Protest to ABC, and direct the City Manager to withdraw the protest if a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) or Conditional Use Permit Exemption (CUPEX) is granted. (District 3) Levine Act: Yes

Ordinance

DS - Noise Element

Item # • File #23-0586 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Declare ordinance implementing associated amendments to the Noise Ordinance, Long Beach Municipal Code Chapter 8.80, read for the first time and laid over to the next regular meeting of the City Council. (Citywide)

CM - Ordinance Amending LBMC 5.92

Item #35 • File #23-0532 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to declare ordinance amending the Long Beach Municipal Code by amending Chapter 5.92 to reinstate language related to the operation of adult-use dispensaries in mixed-used buildings in Downtown Long Beach, read and adopted as read. (Citywide)

Contract

FM - South Coast Fire Equip. for 10 Pierce Enforcer Triple Combination fire engine pumper trucks

Item #28 • File #23-0571 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to adopt Specifications No. RFP FS22-175 and award a contract to South Coast Fire Equipment, Inc., of Ontario, CA, for the purchase of nine Pierce Enforcer Triple Combination Fire Engine pumper trucks, and one Pierce Enforcer Triple Combination Rescue Engine pumper truck, with related equipment and accessories, in a total amount not to exceed $11,328,555; and, authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute all documents necessary to enter into the contract, including any necessary subsequent amendments; and Authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute a lease-purchase agreement, and related financing documents, with Banc of America Public Capital Corp, of San Francisco, CA, for the financing of fire engine pumpers, payable over a 10-year period at an interest rate to be determined when the agreement is executed. (Citywide)

PRM - Great Scott for as-needed tree trimming

Item #30 • File #23-0579 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute all documents necessary to amend Contract No. 35545 with Great Scott Tree Service, Inc., of Stanton, CA, for as-needed tree trimming and removal services, to increase the annual contract amount by $1,949,030 with a 15 percent contingency in the amount of $292,355, for a revised total annual contract amount not to exceed $3,211,410. (Citywide)

PW - As-Needed Architectural Services

Item #34 • File #23-0583 (Details, PDF)
Sponsors:
Recommendation to authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute all documents necessary to amend Contract No. 33926 with Architects McDonald, Soutar & Paz, Inc., of Long Beach, CA; Contract No. 33912 with Kardent, of Long Beach, CA; Contract No. 33913 with Mary McGrath Architects, of Oakland, CA; and Contract No. 33917 with Alomar Rania, dba RA-DA, of West Hollywood, CA, for as-needed architectural services, to extend the contract terms for an additional one-year period through July 19, 2024; Authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute all documents necessary to amend Contract No. 33498 with Hirsch & Associates, Inc., of Anaheim, CA, and Contract No. 33504 with RJM Design Group, Inc., of San Juan Capistrano, CA, for as-needed landscape architectural services, to extend term the contract terms for an additional one-year period through August 1, 2024; Authorize City Manager, or designee, to execute all documents necessary to amend Agreement No. 34375 with AKM Consulting Engineers, Inc., of Irvine, CA; Agreement No. 34376 with AndersonPenna Partners, Inc., of Newport Beach
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2023.05.28 03:41 palocci The Brazilian "Secular Stagnation" and what Lula can do about it

The Brazilian
Introduction
Here's another effortpost on Brazil! This time I'll be talking about why the Brazilian economy stagnated, and what we can expect from Lula in terms of economic policy (I've talked about this in the past but now I'll go into more detail).
Between 1920 and 1980, Brazil was a clear economic success story. For 60 years, our GDP grew at an average of 4% a year. This 'golden age' ended in a hyperinflation crisis, which made the 1980s become known as a 'lost decade', and since its resolution in 1994 with the Plano Real, our economy has experienced minimal growth: from 1980 to 2020, the average GDP growth rate was only 0.7%.
Evolution of the Brazilian per capita product, at 2010 prices, from 1900 to 2021. The scale of the graph is logarithmic in base 2.
In this post, I'll try to explain the reasons for Brazil's low growth in the last four decades and what Lula's plans are to address them.
The debate
Before delving into the actual causes of the "semi-stagnation", I would like to explain the economic debate in Brazil. This debate revolves around two major groups of economists: the "developmentalists" and the "liberals." The term "developmentalism" may be unfamiliar to many people here, but it is very present in Latin America. A decent explanation for it could be "dirigisme with Latam characteristics."
In short, liberalism in this context is associated with economic orthodoxy and a pro-market orientation in economic policy, while developmentalism leans towards economic heterodoxy and advocates for direct state interference in the economy. This debate is, in theory, separate from the traditional right versus left political divide, as we have had governments from both ends of the political spectrum adopting policies aligned with either school of thought. For instance, Lula I (2003-2007) represented a left-wing liberal government, while Geisel (1974-1979) presided over a right-wing developmentalist government. However, in practice, liberalism is associated with the right-wing while developmentalism is associated with the left-wing.
One area of major divergence between those two groups is full employment. Liberals argue that the Brazilian economy generally operates at full employment, which means that there are well-defined supply-side limits and restrictions in the economy, whereas developmentalists believe it tends to operate below that level. This implies that the economy's natural state is one of perpetual aggregate demand deficiency, and thus the government could just increase spending to mobilize idle production factors and stimulate economic growth.
Furthermore, liberals typically view direct state intervention in the economy with distrust, opposing increased public investments in infrastructure and most forms of industrial policy. Their preference generally leans towards reducing government spending and relying on a 'crowding in' effect, together with supply-side reforms. Conversely, developmentalists perceive state intervention as a necessity to stimulate the economy, favoring a robust industrial policy and increased public investments.
Those are significant oversimplifications, and many economists do not align themselves with either group. In any case, I would say this categorization reasonably represents the current debate.
It's a tradition in Brazil to divide ministries between liberals and developmentalists to ensure a balance between the two. The current Finance Minister, Fernando Haddad, believes in a middle ground approach, with some of his secretaries (e.g., Guilherme Mello) leaning more towards developmentalism, while others (e.g., Bernard Appy) lean more towards liberalism. Planning Minister Simone Tebet and Industry and Commerce Minister Geraldo Alckmin are firmly in the liberal camp. However, due to the nature of his ministry, Geraldo Alckmin will probably concede more to developmentalist policies (as he's already doing). Aloizio Mercadante, the President of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), is considered the leader of the developmentalist branch of the government, along with Workers' Party President Gleisi Hoffmann (some people jokingly refer to her as the main opposition to Fernando Haddad and the 'Twitter Shadow Finance Minister' due to some of her tweets).
Without further ado, let's get to the causes of Brazil's stagnation.
Guido Mantega (Finance Minister between 2006 and 2014) and Antônio Palocci (Finance Minister between 2003 and 2006). Mantega is associated to developmentalism and Palocci to liberalism.
Education
First of all, the significant growth of the 20th century left a terrible educational legacy. Brazil only began to have a somewhat consistent educational policy in the 1990s and 2000s, when basic education was universalized. To put it into perspective, in 1990, the average number of years of schooling in Brazil was 3.8 years. Even Sub-Saharan African countries like Congo, Zimbabwe, and Zambia had higher average schooling levels than ours. Approximately a quarter of the population were illiterate.
The key change came with the 1988 Constitution, which decided that Brazil would try to become an European-style social democracy. Since then, considerable progress has been made, but clearly not enough. The main educational bottleneck lies in Elementary School II, which typically spans the ages of 12 to 15. It is during this stage in Brazil that the discrepancy between age and the appropriate grade level drastically increases, leading to higher rates of grade repetition and students falling behind in their education.
This problem is probably related to the transition from a single teacher trained in pedagogy in Elementary I to several specialists teaching only one subject. This transition also occurs at the onset of adolescence, which is naturally a turbulent phase already, with the introduction of drugs, alcohol and various forms of prejudice being normal. The result ends up being a distancing of the student from school.
Two Brazilian states, which have been governed by center-left parties for many years, serve as examples in Brazilian educational policy: Pernambuco and Ceará.
A highlight in Ceará is the Programa de Afabetização na Idade Certa (Program of Alphabetization in the Right Age), which aims to ensure that all students in the state's public school systems achieve literacy by the age of 7. The plan was based on the following pillars: (1) the elaboration of a specialized literacy curriculum that was adopted in all the municipalities, with structured materials for teachers and students containing a daily routine of classroom activities and homework assignments; (2) pedagogical practices to encourage reading in the classroom; (3) financial incentives for the municipalities that achieve better results in education; and (4) evaluation and monitoring of the program, with a census and diagnostic test that is applied at the beginning of every semester.
Pernambuco has implemented a Full-Time High School system that stands out. The system is based on the following pillars: (1) the introduction of a subject called "life project," which encourages students to create plans with goals and objectives for their lives; (2) guided study, providing a space for autonomy in learning and fostering self-directed learning skills; (3) hands-on, practical classes that combine theory and practice; (4) youth clubs, where collective interests of young people are pursued; (5) tutoring, where teachers (tutors) interact with students to support their development; and (6) full-time education, of course.
Both plans have been tremendous successes and could be implemented nationwide. The Member of Parliament Tabata Amaral has proposed the program "basic education like Ceará's, high school like Pernambuco's." We might see that put in practice. Izolda Cela, the mind behind Ceará's basic education plan, is the Executive-Secretary of the Ministry of Education, and the current Minister of Education is Camilo Santana, the governor of Ceará between 2014 and 2022.
Izolda Cela (Executive-Secretary of the Ministry of Education) and Camilo Santana (Minister of Education).
Public Investments
Furthermore, there is a general consensus that the significant decrease in public investment since 1980 explains part of the problem. During the Golden Age of Brazilian growth, public investment mounted to about 6% of GDP, whereas it currently stands at approximately 4% since the lost decade. Liberal economists tend to attribute this to the expansion of the welfare state, that came with a substantial increase in the tax burden (from 25% of GDP in the 1970s to 35% in 2000). On the other hand, developmentalist economists point to the decline in public savings due to the privatization of state-owned enterprises in the 1990s.
In his second government, Lula created the Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento (PAC) (Growth Acceleration Program), whose objective was precisely to expand public investments. Unfortunately, the plan ended up with highly controversial results, primarily due to the low administrative capacity of the Brazilian State and corruption (some like to call the plan the Corruption Acceleration Program!).
But now the Workers' Party has gained new experience. Many of its state governments became famous for extensive investment programs in partnership with the private sector, delivering positive results. Chief of Staff Rui Costa, in particular, had a successful experience with public-private investments during his tenure as the governor of Bahia. He is now expected to lead the "New PAC", which will probably be announced at some point between today and July. (The project still has no name and is provisionally being called "New PAC").
Here's what Rui Costa has said about the project: "We will have, in an unprecedented way, investments with Public Private Partnerships (PPIs) at the federal level. Many states, including Bahia, have made PPI projects. [...] We are negotiating with the Ministry of Finance the conditions for guarantees so that we can leverage these projects."
Lula wants to meet with the 27 state governors to determine which state projects the Union should prioritize for its investments. In recent weeks, Costa has held individual meetings with the state governments to define which projects will be included in the new PAC. In all, eight governors have already been heard.
In a speech on the May 1st holiday, Lula said the following about the project: "We are inviting foreign businessmen to invest in Brazil and we are showing them the great projects that we are going to present in the third PAC. It will be the largest infrastructure project in this country."
Former Governor of Bahia (2014 - 2022) and current Chief of Staff Rui Costa.
Deindustrialization
Another problem is the early deindustrialization that is taking place in Brazil: we are losing our industry before becoming rich. In the beginning of the lost decade, the industry accounted for one-quarter of the Brazilian GDP, whereas today it represents around one-tenth. The reason for this process is complex, and once again, economists disagree. Liberals point to the new form of production organization that emerged with globalization, where the manufacturing of goods was fragmented into different stages, each executed in different countries. According to this line of thinking, Brazil failed to adapt to the new industrial configuration and remained stuck in an unrealistic autarkic dream. On the other hand, developmentalist economists usually argue that after the end of hyperinflation, Brazil fell into a trap of having an overvalued currency and high interest rates, demolishing the industry's competitiveness. (I am more inclined towards the first thesis, although it is a fact that the Brazilian exchange rate was detrimental to the industry after the Real Plan).
Now I want to talk a little bit about the Brazilian industrial bourgeoisie and its problems. In the 1960s, the then sociologist and future president Fernando Henrique Cardoso published his thesis on the Brazilian industrial entrepreneurs. Based on his research, he concluded that Brazilian industrialists did not have any national project, and (1) "only cared about their personal interests when speaking on behalf of the class" and (2) "[their] political action consists of personal participation in the patrimonialist game." Brazil has a serious problem related to what we call 'patrimonialism,' which refers to the capture of resources from the Brazilian state to benefit private interests.
Unfortunately, industrial policy in Brazil often results in tax exemptions, subsidies, tariff protections, etc., for an inefficient, patrimonialist, and somewhat broken industry that was developed in the 20th century. The Workers' Party itself fell into this outdated corporatism while in power, especially during the first Rousseff administration (2011-2015). It is a shame that advocating for greater state involvement in the economy ends up becoming a defense of those interest groups.
In this sense, I find myself opposed to both liberals and developmentalists. While the latter end up promoting an agenda that only benefits private interests, albeit with good intentions, the former dismiss any state planning, believing in an 'economic abiogenesis.' Since 2016, we have been reducing the role of the state and waiting for a crowding in effect, but with no success. We need strong a industrial policy, but it has to be transparent and not perpetuate the old game of patrimonialism.
In the words of the brilliant economist Laura Carvalho: "We want a State that identifies ways to stimulate technological innovation and product development in partnership with the private sector. But this policy cannot become hostage to the existing private sector. We have remnants of our industry of the 20th century, for example the automobile industry, and when we do industrial policy, we end up just giving incentives to them. This is a state that does not choose winners, but rather is chosen by losers. Those who are struggling in the industry try to eat the resources of the state to survive."
Unfortunately, the signals from the new Lula government are quite negative. Industry and Commerce Minister Geraldo Alckmin recently announced a plan of incentives for the automobile industry, which is essentially the same program that has failed several times in the past. There are positive things coming from his ministry, but few of them have much to do directly with a well-made industrial policy. It's a shame.
His plans beyond industrial policy appear positive, as shown in the following excerpt, at least: "Brazil had an early deindustrialization. Europe also deindustrialized, but ours was precarious and severe. More than reindustrializing, we need a neo-reindustrialization. A central issue is the competitiveness agenda. There is a principle in medicine that says: suppress the cause and the effect ceases. We have to act on the causes of low growth. Our tax model generates an absurd cost for companies. It is not fair. We have an absurd judicialization that leads to legal insecurity and hinders exports. The whole world has a VAT (value added tax. I defend it. I think Haddad is doing well and I am a great enthusiast of the tax reform."
Probably more than any other politician of expression today, Haddad positions himself as a republican and talks about reducing the patrimonialist distortions of the Brazilian public budget. He talks about "closing the drains of what is called Brazilian patrimonialism" and "ending a series of abuses that have been committed against the fiscal base" of the country. He says that many sectors have been "overly" benefited "with rules established over the decades and that have not been reviewed by any outcome control. Many have expired from the point of view of efficiency, and need to be revoked."
Former Governor of São Paulo (2001 - 2006; 2010 - 2017) and current Vice-President of Brazil and Minister of Industry and Commerce Geraldo Alckmin.
Business Environment
Brazilian productivity has been stagnant for decades. What is causing this? The main suspect is the Brazilian tax system. There is an enormous complexity in the various indirect taxes (ISS, ICMS, PIS/Cofins, and IPI), which forces every company to have an excessively large department dedicated to tax payment. Additionally, numerous divergences of interpretation arise between the Federal Revenue, state authorities, and businesses. On every corner of our cities, there is a specialized tax law office to assist companies in dealing with the extremely high level of litigation in our taxation system. To make matters worse, our indirect taxes discourage investment in locations with higher social returns, as the tax complexity and special tax regimes artificially alter the profitability of investments and production. A general simplification of these taxes, with the adoption of a Value Added Tax, could have an impact on the economy's efficiency equivalent to the Plano Real, which ended hyperinflation.
Even beyond the tax issue, the Brazilian business environment is terrible. According to the World Bank's Doing Business 2020 report, which measures the ease of doing business in 190 countries, Brazil ranks 124th. This problem is related to excessive bureaucracy, unexpected judicial decisions, loopholes in regulatory frameworks, and disrespect for contracts.
The Tax Reform is going to be the government's main priority after the approval of the New Fiscal Anchor. Planning Minister Simone Tebet summed up the reform as follows: "The Tax reform is the only silver bullet that we have to save Brazil."
And here's what Finance Minister Fernando Haddad has said about it: "There is no way to grow Brazil's productivity with this tax system [...] We are developing a tax reform that is even more modern, because it introduces in the national tax system a Value Added Tax that solves a good part of the flaws of the current system that, in my opinion, is the great villain for the low growth rates of our productivity." The idea is to approve the Tax Reform still this year (Haddad talks about doing it in the first semester!).
Special Secretary for Tax Reform Bernard Appy.
Economic Isolation
Brazil has a very closed economy. Among the 160 countries analyzed by the World Bank, the Brazilian economy is only less open than that of Sudan. The average protection applied by Brazil to capital goods is 14 times higher than in Chile and 25 times higher than in Mexico. This is probably the most expressive cause of the low productivity and deindustrialization in Brazil, together with the tax system. Here, I quote the brilliant economist Edmar Bacha: "[The closure of the Brazilian economy during the Geisel government (1974 - 1979)] caused a tremendous drop in the economy's productivity and an increase in the cost of capital goods. And this, I believe, is what lies at the root of our stagnation after the so-called economic miracle (1968-1974). Our industry became unable to compete internationally. And we were forced, because the industry has this extraordinary lobbying capacity, to prevent the redesign of the Brazilian industry to participate in global value chains."
Bacha's argument makes sense: the collapse of GDP growth coincides with the collapse of capital accumulation (the growth rate of the capital stock) after Geisel's government. Why did capital accumulation collapse? Bacha explains that using a decomposition of the investment = savings relationship: K' = s(1/p)v - δ, where K' = capital accumulation, s = savings rate, p = relative price of investment, v = output-capital ratio, and δ = depreciation rate.
Between 1950-1980, the "golden age" of Brazil, K' grew at nearly 9% per year. Between 1981-2014, this number was 3%. Why? Looking at the historical series, the difference is not in savings or depreciation. What happened was that the output-capital ratio fell by about one-third, and the relative price of investment increased by one-third. In other words, the capital requirement per unit of output increased significantly, and at the same time, the price of investment goods rose significantly. According to Bacha, this process occurred between 1973 and 1983, a period in which the Military Government pursued an autarkic economic policy.
The ideal scenario for Brazil would be to open its economy and have an export-oriented industry. The industry we have developed is heavily reliant on our domestic market, without external competition. In the words of economist Nelson Barbosa: "Brazil cannot produce ships, but it can produce airplanes. Brazil does not have car manufacturers, but it has bus manufacturers. Brazil cannot have a domestic production of microelectronics, but it has a good domestic production of electric motors. So we need to study what worked in these sectors to see if it can be replicated in other sectors. All these successful sectors, Embraer, Weg, Marco Polo, are sectors that are competitive in Brazil and in the world. Here is the first clue: correct industrial policies create domestic production that competes domestically and internationally. They are integrated products that import and export extensively. Value chains."
However, an open trade policy without a plan may not be positive either. In Nelson's words: "Development always means increased productivity. Opening the economy can stimulate productivity, but it can also lead to a negative specialization. You can open your economy and become a country that only exports commodities, with an inflated services sector that only sells domestically, with a significant portion of your population relying on informal jobs. Which is what happens in Brazil. So I think trade openness is inevitable, more developed countries are more open, but thinking that just opening up will automatically lead to development is naïve and something we shouldn't do in the 21st century. I believe that strategic trade integration is crucial and necessary for development. Unilateral openness, without any plan, will only reinforce the specialization we already have today."
In any case, it is certain that the current excessive protectionism cannot be maintained. Opening up would allow broader access for companies to (1) cheaper and higher-quality inputs and (2) foreign-produced capital goods and technology, (3) create significant competition effects to invigorate the economy, and (4) create a 'selection effect' that would eliminate losers and favor winners.
But this is the agenda that I am least hopeful about. Trade openness is a topic that faces strong opposition from the Brazilian left and would likely only occur under a moderate center-right government. I hope, at least, that some trade agreements can be reached to open up the economy. The European Union-Mercosur trade agreement would have a significant impact and would be very important but I'm not very hopeful that it'll be approved.
Haddad is still optimistic, though! He said that a more emphatic diplomatic effort will be made starting in the second semester, in a movement that will take advantage of Brazil's leadership in Mercosur and Spain's leadership in the European bloc.
Simone Tebet (Planning Minister) and Fernando Haddad (Finance Minister).
Interest Rates
Interest rates in Brazil are much, much higher than the global average. Our credit is scarce and dysfunctional. Lula likes to repeat that Brazil is a capitalist country without capitalism because there is no credit.
Brazil has the second-highest bank spread in the world, second only to Madagascar. This means that banks in Brazil charge very high interest rates for lending money. To give you an idea, Brazil's bank spread is higher than the average observed in countries at war. There are several reasons for this, but some stand out: (1) savings in Brazil have historically been very low (around 20% of GDP), (2) the government consumes a significant portion of savings to finance itself, and (3) the Brazilian banking sector is extremely concentrated, with a few banks dominating the entire sector.
The other issue in this discussion is the current policy interest rate set by the Central Bank. Brazil currently has the highest real interest rate in the world, at around 9%. The debate about whether this interest level is correct or not is quite active in Brazil, with its proponents arguing that the current Brazilian inflation is demand-driven and pointing to inflation in the services sector and core inflation, while its critics argue that inflation is not demand-driven, pointing to the fact that Brazil has had a negative output gap since 2015 and that supply shocks can explain the inflation in services.
This debate is complex, and it is hard to determine definitively which side is right. Nevertheless, the Central Bank is strongly adhering to the first thesis.
The current Chairman of the Central Bank, Roberto Campos Neto (RCN), is the grandson of an economist of the Military Dictatorship and was appointed by Bolsonaro. He will remain in his position until 2024 due to the new autonomy granted to the Central Bank in 2021. In this scenario, Lula engaged in a public war against RCN, urging him to lower interest rates. The situation became tense, but Lula never showed any willingness to take effective action to remove him, remaining only in rhetoric. Throughout the conflict, Haddad positioned himself as a moderate, playing a certain "good cop, bad cop" game with Lula and gaining trust in the financial market. Apparently, Lula intends to nominate former executive-secretary of the Finance Ministry Gabriel Galípolo to replace RCN in 2024. He was recently appointed as director of monetary policy at the Central Bank, and is widely identified as a heterodox economist.
Haddad's current plan is to stabilize Brazil's deficit to allow for a monetary loosening. Here's what he said: "We are not at a point where fiscal expansion is going to help the economy. If there is room for any stimulus, it will be monetary. If we know how to make the transition, there is room for a lower interest rate, you just have to give security to the monetary authority." He does not seem to be concerned about banking concentration, though.
Chairman of the Central Bank Roberto Campos Neto.
TL;DR
The Brazilian economy has seen very little growth since the the lost decade in the 1980s. One of the primary factors contributing to this stagnation is the economy's low productivity. There are several reasons behind this low productivity, including:
  1. Inadequate infrastructure and insufficient investments in its development.
  2. A significant delay in comparison to other countries in terms of investing in education.
  3. Unreasonable economic protectionism.
  4. Private groups exerting undue influence and capturing the Brazilian state (patrimonialism).
  5. Failure to adapt our industry to a globalized world.
  6. Excessively high bank spreads.
  7. A terrible business environment, particularly due to the tax system.
There are other reasons for sure, but I'd say most people would agree those are the most important ones. Also, here's my effortpost on the Workers' Party, in case you haven't read it.
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