Jensen Beach Green

Building the futures high performance "Shelter-in-Place" sustainable home TODAY

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The disruption has started and it is not GLOBALIZATION……I see cheap global labor losing and American ingenuity and labor winning.

We have just ended one of the most engaging elections in the nation’s history and one of the driving globalizationforces behind it was the economy.  Our nation is at a crossroads, there are Americans  with and Americans without and everyone is scratching their head trying to figure out how we got to where we are today.  Are we seeing the effects of globalization and could we be entering the back side of the bell curve and started our downward descent?  Over the past 26 years the median family income in the United States of America has increased a mere $4,000 dollars.   Add in inflation and the median income has gone down.  So much for every policy enacted and every politician elected as Americans are worse off now than they were 26 years ago. It does not mean crap if it does not improve the conditions for every American.  Should we be surprised? I say no as Ross Perot sounded the alarm 24 years ago when he made the infamous statement during the Presidential debates of 1992 that NAFTA would create this great sucking sound.  At the time, Mr Perot was looked at as a crazy nut, but in hindsight Mr Perot was 100% right.  Hanjin Shipping, the seventh largest shipping company in the world, just filed for bankruptcy because of declining volumes and declining freight rates.  A decline in global demand could be and very likely  an indicator that there is a something happening within the globalization model.  Could the benefits of globalization peeked and be reversing?  Are we reverting back to a more local and or regionalized economy?  

True disruptions are driven when economies experience massive shifts in cultural demand and not just “in-industry” innovations.  Industries never disrupt themselves, it always come from outside.  Even whole nations can experience disruptions because of failed policies just like industries are shaken up when outsiders enter a market with a different strategy and execution.  Look how the space industry has been shaken up.  It was not the industry leaders like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and United Technologies but a credit card processor, book salesman and a record salesman.  Who is to say a whole spacex-grasshopper-reusable-rocketcountry could not experience the same radical disruption when a particular strategy fails to deliver.  One’s income or lack of thereof is a mighty force to drive a population or county to disruption as we have seen in the past election cycle.  Americans, those who work or have worked, are at a breaking point in time where they are willing to change course, even encountering risk, in search of a better solution.  Most of those wanting economic change have all seen the effects of doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.  Today’s voter saw it first hand with the bubble of 2000, the housing bubble of 2007, and great recession of 2008.  Bubble after bubble saw the average American loosing every time while those on the inside profited every time expanding the separation of the 1 percenters from the rest of the nation.  The pieces of the oncoming wave of the “Local Manufacturing and distribution” revolution have been cast over the past three decades:  direct to consumer distribution, additive manufacturing, clean manufacturing, technology, direct to consumer communications, and social media.

The future of America comes down to our ability to pivot from a global model to a LOCAL model.   We can see just how it will work by examining what it cost to manufacture and distribute a pair of sneakers – 409661nothing more nothing less but the cost of sneakers will move us from a service orientated economy to a manufacturing economy.  A quick analysis of what goes into a sneaker tells us everything about where we have been and where we are going.  According to solereview the average cost to manufacture a pair of sneakers is 18 – 20% of the retail price.  On a 100 dollar pair of shoes, the cost to manufacture is approximately 18 – 20 dollars.  The manufactured cost includes all the labor, materials, overhead for the factory, taxes, profits, while leaving approx 10% in profits for the contract manufactures.  Next we add on approx 4 – 5% for transportation or (4 – 5 dollars) cost to get the shoe from China to the USA.  The shoe now has a landed cost in the USA of 22 – 25 dollars.  The brand doubles the price to 50 dollars to create the wholesale price in order to cover overhead, branding cost (athletes and celebrities), salaries and profits to shareholders.   Now the product is priced for distribution.  The “distribution network” of retailers doubles the price again to cover the cost of transportation to warehouses and retail stores, storage, labor, retail outlets, insurance, and profits.  

The most interesting part of this example is the cost of manufacturing labor as a percentage of the retail price.  Using the assumption labor should not exceed 15 – 20% of the manufactured cost, we are looking at approx $4 dollars or labor cost at just 4% of the retail price based on the current global sourced model.  The coming disruption will consolidate all $100 dollars and redistribute in such a fashion labor can be paid a living wage, profits will be higher and flexibility improved.  Who would not want better choice of labor, located closer to the end users and the fact that labor would be earning a living wage?  redeyefactory2Currently our nation is struggling with the fact that many service jobs do not provide a “living wage”  and the government has moved to force an artificial wage on such businesses by way of a 15 dollar minimum wage in many states and cities.  Problems are not fixed by way of artificially changing what is the free market price by regulations, but by fixing what has caused the problem in the first place.  Our abundance of cheap labor and lack of demand for this segment of the workforce has kept overall wages stagnant for the past 3 decades.  Our government officials and their supporters have profited from this situation while our nation has paid the ultimate price. We can see by the record high stock market compared to the horrible median family income. During the Bush administration 50% of all employment growth was in the construction trades helping to accelerate the housing crisis and encourage the employment of illegals for profit.  Enforcement of our existing immigration laws and the development of localized manufacturing to offset the need for foreign manufacturing will create the demand and environment where workers earn more than 15 dollars an hour because their productivity and their supply warrants such pay based on merit not regulations.  The “Local Manufacturing & Distribution” disruption eliminates the need for external intervention by governments while allowing smaller more nimble companies the ability to compete against multinational companies on their home turf.  

We have seen the distribution side of the model change significantly in the shoe industry by way of Amazon and their newly acquired division Zappos.  The new consumer distribution model does not benefit the manufacturer’s margin but it does change the margins and suggested retail price offered on the retail side.  The online model proves brick in mortar distribution is not required to reach the final customer even when it comes to shoes.  The next step of the disruption is when the manufacture takes over the retail distribution of the product and sells directly from factory to the customer.  More and more manufactures are selling directly to the consumer through many different models most being either direct sales or subscription.  Window manufactures are a prime example of “factory direct” selling of locally or regionally manufactured products.  The manufacturer now has 75% of the retail revenue stream to get the product from the factory to the consumer, a much better position than 50% of the wholesale revenue stream.  Now comes the real disruption that has global implications, the shortening of the actual distance between the site of manufacturing and the consumer.  Under the current globalization model parts and product are shipped around the world multiple times over before a product is purchased by a consumer.  The distance between the factory and the consumer is changing with the invention of new manufacturing processes like additive manufacturing or minimal subtraction allowing for cost effective manufacturing to take place right here in the USA.  Add the growing number of consumers connected directly to the cloud via mobile devices and manufactures have a marketing platform direct to the consumer that is practically free.  Transportation cost is more or less eliminated because local and regional manufactured products benefit from factory direct shipping where the purchaser pays for the delivery cost direct from the factory their home of business.  In addition, manufacturers are able to redistribute cost what would have been used to pay import tariffs to the offset increased labor cost all while being extremely competitive in a global market.  The United States of America is half way through the greatest disruption since the industrial revolution and no one sees it or will admit it is happening.

Disruptions have direct and indirect effects throughout the economy and this disruption is no different.  Beyond the obvious of manufacturing, the real estate industry, advertising, branding and support agencies will all be effected in this changing environment.  The need for these services will be changing as companies consolidate operations into more manufacturing facilities and less office space – all in one facilities will be the wave of the future.  Not a good time to be investing in office space.  Traditional channels used to connect the manufacture with the consumer will also be challenged as mobile devices and social media eliminate whole industries and layers of cost normally associated with traditional wholesale distribution, retail distribution and sales.   The final explosion and driver of the disruption willrendering3 come with the reduction in corporate income taxes and possible implementation of tariffs, on imported goods subsidized by foreign governments, in order to offset any unfair advantage the imported goods may have over locally produced American goods.  The wave will start as companies across the nation world  find it more profitable to onshore, to the United States of America, manufacturing and services that were once off shored, to foreign countries like China, to improve profit margins.  Companies will invest in new manufacturing methods to capitalize on the latest technology and take advantage of government incentives.  Manufacturing jobs will flourish in areas of our nation that have been decimated by globalization.   America will once again be a competitive manufacturing and exporting nation giving any nation across the world a run for their money while providing affordable quality products for consumers here at home.  The “Rust Belt” will no longer exist and it will become known across the world as the “Manufacturing Belt” of America.  Quality and price will once again return to our nation as we rebuild our nation and make it great again.

The Insanity Never Stops…….

Why, why do we still operate a nuclear power plant anywhere in the USA when its value is only $110 million dollars?  635984152088163036-pc042616-oswego-nuclear-22No one wants a nuclear power plant in their backyard – nobody – and nobody should be made to live by one.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  I feel local communities would be willing to pay for nuclear power plants to go away (looks like they are paying to keep them even if it is against their will because decisions are not made by citizens but obscure boards).  The Oswego County nuclear power plant was scheduled to be closed because it was losing money and if it was not for government intervention (taxpayer money) it would have closed.  YES, nuclear power is not cheap and the price consumers pay on their meters is not the actual cost of the power.  Subsidies keep nuclear power alive – JUST SAY NO TO ALL SUBSIDIES and we say good by to this dirty energy.  The sale only happened because the purchasing company received taxpayer money “But Exelon agreed to purchase it after the state approved a ratepayer-backed, multi-billion-dollar subsidy for upstate nuclear plants earlier this year.” as stated in the article.  Entergy was losing money because nuclear could not compete with low cost “natural gas” produced electricity – wow go figure – looks like we can not have competition.  

The deal was closed because, in New York, nuclear is considered “renewable” and will be part of NY’s solution to reduce greenhouse gasses by 50% in 2030.  So, in exchange for CO2 reduction we get a nuclear reactor in our back yard?  Is this really what the citizens of the State of New York wanted – more old nuclear power plants subsidized by fukushimathe taxpayer dollars?  I am old enough to remember Three Mile Island and it was not nice thought – we were lucky because it could have been much worse.  Chernobyl and Fukushima are more recent accidents that show just how bad it can be if something goes wrong.  This is crazy to spend taxpayer money on old and dangerous solutions when there are much better strategies and solutions available with much less risk.  Why not take the billions and invest in clean natural gas and distributed solar.  Train the 600 employees in operating a natural gas facility and solar technology and installations.  Nuclear has run its course and it is time to retire it.  The solution to our future energy lies in our ability to increase efficiency, to micro manage loads and reduce the need for centralized power via natural gas and distributed renewables.   The ability to reduce the demand for the natural gas produced energy will take place as the renewable energies improve in efficiency and decline in cost. The natural gas solution is scalable and manageable such that power operators are able to bring online and offline units to increase efficiency and reduce CO2 during peak and off peak times much like new cars start and stop at a traffic light.  Our energy and CO2 problems will not be solved by 50 year old solutions, but by 21st century technology and ideas.  It is time now as a nation we embrace our technology, re-evaluate the risk and rewards of centralized utilities and open up to new ideas that will protect our economy while at the same time protect our environment and planet.   Call your state regulatory boards, call you congress people, call your local government representatives (they do work for US the taxpayer) and tell them NO MORE NUCLEAR.



Intersting reading as to the effects of the Fukishima nuclear disaster

Look in the mirror, the problem is you stupid……..

It makes me so mad when everyone wants to blame everyone else for our problems.  The solution to limiting the out put of pollutants generated by the transportation (and cruise) industry is in the hands of the people not governments – supply and demand. The global shipsmokeshipping industry formed just over the past 40 years as the concept of globalized sourcing hit main stream in the 90’s with NAFTA and China joining the World Trade Organization and the demand exploded. This whole concept of sourcing parts and manufacturing globally “just in time” could already be on the backside of the bell curve  as technology is changing  how we produce stuff.  High tech manufacturing is moving processes that are currently being performed half way around the world to your home and this is having a huge impact on the global transportation industry.  From ships to to packaging to buildings to people, the disruption is enormous.  The global shipping industry is imploding at this time due to declining demand and over tonnage making most forward pollution assumptions wrong. With the decline will come higher freight cost as carriers look to cover losses which in turn will raise the cost of goods produced afar in conjunction with rising labor cost in many of the nations that capitalized on cheap labor will accelerate the on-shoring of manufacturing and a growth of locally manufactured products.  If we stop buying the crap, no ships will be needed – that simple. Make it in our communities and we eliminate the impact of transportation.  Apply this to EVERYTHING everywhere in our lives and “we” have solved the problem of transportation’s impact on the environment.  So it is not transportation that is the problem, but we are the problem – we want to much cheap crap.  We have to solve the problem by way of changing what is consumed and where it is consumed in conjunction with what is produced and where it is produced if we are going to have a fighting chance at change.

CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE “Dirty Fossil Fuel – business as usual”


FitLife Unlocked Presents: Mastering Mindset, Nutrition & Movement

Why wait until the first of the year to make your life better?  Why spend money to make your life better when my great kult_model_jonathan_hippensteel_88549friend Jon Hipp will get you started on a road to a better life for FREE?  Stop procrastinating and join in on Jon’s webinar this Saturday and you will be on the road to a better you today, tomorrow and the years to come.  Make your 2017 the best it can be.

There’s no shortcut to a healthy life but there is a way to get there! Learn about it on this LIVE WEBINAR w/ Jon Hipp and Naeem Mahmood!

DATE: Saturday, 19th of November
TIME: 9AM California | 12PM New York | 5PM London
WHAT: Learn about the FitLife Foundational Four
Awareness | Nutrition | Movement | Fitness



It does not take a rocket scientist……

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that if it rains on our head why do we not drink it.  The definition of rainwater-harvesting2insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.  So why do we still continue to rely on centralized water harvesting, treatment and distribution when it was this same industry that was the father of the plastic water bottle because our tap water was and still unfit to drink.   The process of transferring most of (80%) our drinkable rain water to storm drains to run into our waterways instead of our faucets is just dumb.  Why not just catch the water on the roof, store it in a tank, filter and mineralized it, and then DRINK IT.  No energy, no waste, no contaminants, no plastic, and no problems.  So what is the definition of insanity?

Emerging Water-Smart Design

Big Food Strikes Back……now is the time for Small Food

Great article by Michael Pollan and the battle consumers have against Big Food.  Our food production and distribution system operaoverweightkidtes on a razors edge.  Just one contamination can cause recalls in the millions.  It is sad when you realize that most all of our food is controlled by a small group of American oligarchs.  Crappy food in large quantities is killing Americans daily with no change in site.  Just like plastic cups and bottles, nothing will go away if we continue to support their use (bring your own cup to Starbucks – EASY).   If we continue to buy crappy food we will always get crappy food and crappy results.  The time is now for personal resilience where we start to produce our own food in our own space before we ask of our community to provide it.


Home automation is endless and down right frustrating – I have found a solution

For everyone who has tried to develop a plan to automate their home and failed, I am with you.   Everyone and their brother is out there promoting their platform and their “internet of things” devices without a road map or a starting photo_chunliew_20151217point.   I found a community website called designed and built by a Dutch-born Singaporean named Chun Liew.  Smart Home DB’s goal is to accelerate the roll-out of mainstream consumers upgrading to a smart home by filling the ‘smart home knowledge gap’ and educating mainstream consumers in a user-friendly manner on how to properly upgrade to a smart home.  He does an amazing job.  Users get to share their configurations and the site maps it out while calculating a cost so you know what you are looking at in regards to your budget.  By looking at “playbooks” (individual configurations) you get ideas on what technology is out there and how it is deployed.  Great place to create a strategy and a budget.  One great site for anyone looking into home automation and monitoring.


Repair Cafe and Seeing the Beauty in Broken Things

I find this article to be very interesting and refreshing.  Growing up in a culture of “if it breaks you better be able to fix it” was brokenwhat made America a nation of doers.  As far as I can remember back, there was a tool box in the garage and if anything you had broke you went out into the garage and fixed it.  From a bicycle to a skateboard, you break it you fix it.  In today’s culture of “disposable” products, we have lost this skill and passion to be independent and self sufficient.  Fixing is not just about being to cheap to pay for a repair, but about being one with your possessions.  Fixing is about understanding how things work and interact.  It is about feeling when something is about to go wrong before it goes wrong.  Much can be said about our whole life, it would be much better to sense the accident before the accident happens.

I feel fixing in a community among fixers or want to be fixers is a great way to bring community together and strengthen the resiliency of the community.  What a rewarding feeling it can bring someone to know their skills in repairing “something” helped someone else and just might even taught someone else the same skill.  I experienced this first hand when I was about 8 years old.  One day I was at the library (the place with the books) during a summer program and an elderly gentleman was there to teach us how to weave fishing nets.  I was amazed and caught on quickly.  Next thing you know it, I was ordering my shuttles and making my gauges and had a small business going making nets.  The cool part about this was not just the fact that I could make nets, but the relationship I made as an 8 year old with Mr Snyder who had to be in his 70’s (this was 1971).  The relationship lasted for years as I would ride my bike to his house and we would weave nets together.

Building resilient communities is not just about critical resources, but about all resources developed individually and while in community all coming together to put margin back into our lives both in times of peace and shocks.  Take time and think how you can work with your local hardware store to build a fixer network in your community.


Solar cells of the future could be based on iron molecules

It is not a matter of if but when and will we be ready?  We are on the verge of another large price drop in renewable technologies.  Combine this with the rapid price drop in energy efficient devices and we have a the foundation for a revolution in resilient communities, resilient domiciles and a resilient personal lifestyles.  Great research here in the advancement of affordable PV technologies that are kind to the wallet and the environment



Just Say no to Florida Amendment #1

No consumer benefits in Amendment #1 –  all for the benefit of the utilities.

In November, when Floridians see “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice” on the ballot, they’ll probably assume they’re voting on that solar power amendment that’s been in the news for the past year.

We need real reform, but we will have to wait.   Please share with your friends to make sure they vote NO on amendment #1


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