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Until a sufficiently effective vaccine is available, the basic activities that characterize life in the modern West will remain unavailable. “Not sure” responses, constituting 16% of the total, are excluded:

Over the last few months, $3 trillion in wealth was taken from the unconnected lower and middle classes and transferred to the well-connected, richest, and most powerful interests in the country. The largest wealth transfer in American history has happened. It happened in broad daylight and with bipartisan backing. With anything like a return to normalcy effectively out of the question and the soma supply set to run out at the end of the month, another round of pillaging is on the way.

In Russia, the Soviet Union collapsed and then the oligarchs stripped the place for parts. In America, the bust out is happening ahead of the collapse. History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Economics • Tags: Economics, Polling 
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  1. Over the last few months, $3 trillion in wealth was taken from the unconnected lower and middle classes and transferred to the well-connected, richest, and most powerful interests in the country. The largest wealth transfer in American history has happened. It happened in broad daylight and with bipartisan backing.

    What exactly are you talking about?

    • Agree: V. K. Ovelund
    • Replies: @lloyd
  2. The growth in the Fed’s balance sheet. It was unlikely QE would ever be unwound a decade ago. Now it’s obvious beyond a shadow of a doubt that it never will be. It’s QEternity until the dollar breaks. The kleptocrats are on the receiving end of that $3 trillion, not us–and I define “us” broadly.

  3. lloyd says: • Website
    @Alexander Turok

    Well that’s the point. You don’t know because of Covid-19. The news about it has not got into public circulation. The money doesn’t exist anyway except as an illusion.

  4. What’s the percentage of “I will personally take the vaccine as soon as it becomes available” though?

    OT – the online right wing complainers got their wish, Parscale is out as campaign manager.

  5. eee says:

    Democrats want to stay closed, Republicans want to re-open. Doesn’t that go against Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations theory that conservatives are concerned with purity while liberals are not? Maybe the care dimension is the important one here.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Alexander Turok
  6. TG says:

    Ah, but no – the oligarchs are not looting the country.

    it’s invisible racism that is to blame!

    Not class war.

    Not looting by the oligarchs.

    RACISM.

    Or are you a white supremacist?

  7. The pandemic, BLM, the Fed, etc. are doing their best to sell Sortocracy’s minimalist rules for me. I, of course, thank them for doing yeoman’s work but, as most yeomen know, stupid mules sometimes require more than one or even two kaWACK!’s right between the eyes before you’ve got their attention.

    Carry on, yeomen!

    PS: But please do try to avoid additional brain damage to the poor stupid creatures.

  8. Waiting For Vaccine is like the new Waiting For Superman or Waiting For Godot.

    Vaccines are mostly just another scam from the same people who brought you globohomo. Consider these graphs.

    This is measles in England:

    This is tuberculosis in the US:

    If you look closely, you might notice that the deadly pandemics declined along a standard sigmoid curve. And if you look really really closely, you might notice that vaccines had almost nothing to do with it.

    In reality, almost all epidemic diseases follow this pattern. At best, the vaccinators can claim to have shown up after the battle was won and bayoneted a few of the wounded. At worst, well…

    Like people in every arrogant age, we assume we understand more than we do. Epidemics appear, grow, and decline. Other than basic sanitation and hygiene, most of our countermeasures aren’t much more effective than the invocations savages scream to the gods to return the sun at an eclipse. Our narratives today for why epidemics appear and disappear are only slightly more reliable than the narratives a thousand year ago.

    tl;dr: The 74% of people waiting for vaccine may as well check out now. They are canceling themselves.

    • Agree: Cloudbuster, Dutch Boy
    • Replies: @res
  9. Mark G. says:

    By the time a vaccine is available, most countries with the exception of out of the way and semi-isolated countries like New Zealand will have developed herd immunity and the disease will be mostly gone. This happened after the 1918, 1957 and 1968 flu epidemics. A year later the disease had mostly vanished.

    Sweden followed a herd immunity strategy. It’s had an average of one death a day the last week. You wouldn’t vaccinate everyone in a country to stop a disease that kills one person a day since the vaccine may have negative unknown side effects. Other countries in Europe that have had high case rates like Belgium or Italy may also have herd immunity by now. The state of New York here in the U.S. has probably reached herd immunity. This wasn’t a conscious decision on their part. They tried to suppress the disease but a combination of ineptness and the fact that you can’t effectively lockdown after the disease has started to spread led to herd immunity there.

    The areas that haven’t reached herd immunity yet can learn the lessons of Sweden and New York and shelter the elderly while herd immunity builds up in the young. The extreme heat in the southern states has driven everyone indoors where the disease is more easily transmitted and caused a spike there but cases should head back down soon. There may be a second spike in the northern states that weren’t hit hard the first time next winter as everyone huddles inside but by next spring it will all be mostly over. What would be the point of vaccinating 300 million people here in the U.S. then?

    • Agree: Dutch Boy
  10. We can’t see clear, but what we see’s all right.
    We make up what we can’t hear, then we sing all night.
    — Sonic Youth

  11. The windows of the world are covered with rain.
    What is the whole world coming to?
    Ev’ry body knows
    When a virus goes around
    You don’t shut employment down,
    I mean, what the f**k?
    Let the sun shine through.
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/calling-raj-chetty/#comment-4033403

    • Replies: @ChrisZ
  12. iffen says:
    @Audacious Epigone

    Will the dollar “breaking” be a prequel or a sequel to the dissolution of the U. S.?

  13. It is unsafe to fully reopen the country until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available

    Did the survey define “fully reopen”? Possibly quite a broad swathe of opinions being lumped together there.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  14. @Mark G.

    Your analysis is correct but the media can keep the hysteria level suffiiently high to maintain the pressure for a vaccine. Or it can just be made mandatory.

    Mass use of a rushed-to-production vaccine: what could possibly go wrong?

    • Agree: Dutch Boy
  15. @iffen

    You could reformulate the question as, what will happen when the Feds can no longer pay the military, and the states and towns can no longer pay police?

    The Left has been screaming to “defund the police” in some undefined way at some undefined time, but what happens when every government function is defunded simultaneously without any deliberative process?

    • Replies: @iffen
  16. you all miss the damn point. the economy started imploding last august 2019 when us t bonds were no longer acceptable for bank to bank over night loans and the REPO market seized up.

    in effect sovereign debt was found to be unacceptable collateral in other words the END of endless borrowing to fund government wish lists has taken place.

    what is happening now is pure money printing since faith in government debt has collapsed.

    the covid virus was merely the means to misdirect the public from this reality.

    the game is …..over…. for the west, for socialism and for the cult of liberalism.

    all that remains is what the funeral will look like.

  17. With the usual hesitation in being shocked by polls with words that could be weasel words (what do you mean by “fully”?), this is another great succinct post, A.E. Whether it’s been on purpose, something I doubt just because the journalists are just too stupid for that, or just a timely instance of not letting a crisis go to waste, this Infotainment Panic-Fest, now in Season 2, has been a great distraction from the HUGE money transferring going on.

    After a while it becomes “oh, just 3 Trillion dollars?. They said it might be 6. That’s not too bad”. The numbers are beyond most people’s comprehension. $3,000,000,000,000 is in the neighborhood of $9,000 more owed per US resident. However, per actual taxpaying family, that’s closer to $30,000 each. There’s no chance in hell of our becoming a productive enough economy for people to pay that back, much less the base $23,000,000,000,000, close to a quarter million per actual tax-paying family, before people just don’t trust the US dollar anymore.

    Or, oh, yeah, they can inflate it away to nothing. That won’t be pretty either. It’s been going on at a “low” 4-5 % actual inflation rate*, but that’s not enough to turn this approaching $30 Trillion dollar debt into chump change. We’re gonna need a bigger boat inflation rate.

    .

    * Not so bad, you say? This means the FED, via government minions, is stealing 1/2 of your savings in 14-18 years (5% – 4%),

  18. @Diversity Heretic

    I ran out of [Agree]s already today. This AGREE is for yours and Mark G.’s comments …

    … and Almost Missouri, and Mr. Bowery, and TG …

  19. Realist says:

    This latest graph demonstrates the abject stupidity of the vast majority of Americans.

  20. unit472 says:

    Anybody trying to pound their political ideology through the irregular and unknown shapes of the holes this virus is creating is a fool. Using it to ‘defeat’ Trump and destroying the country isn’t even a Phyrric victory. Its suicide.

    The truth of the matter what government does matters little as this is a virus so it will do as it pleases. Yes, I wish we could relax quarantine measures but the virus decides that not men. The reality is you cannot run factories, food processing plants or anything that requires large numbers of workers in close proximity to each other when large numbers of those workers are getting sick and must stay home ( or in hospital) for weeks at a time. As the travel and hospitality industries have found out it makes no difference what Gavin Newsom or Ron DeSantis decide people have decided on their own they aren’t going to travel or stay in hotels.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  21. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Mark G.

    The areas that haven’t reached herd immunity yet can learn the lessons of Sweden and New York and shelter the elderly while herd immunity builds up in the young.

    Yes, herd immunity is definitely the answer. Look how well it worked with the common cold. Once populations built up herd immunity the common cold just disappeared. I mean, when was the last time you heard of someone catching a cold?

    I predict that herd immunity will be just as successful with COVID as it was with the common cold.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  22. dfordoom says: • Website
    @unit472

    As the travel and hospitality industries have found out it makes no difference what Gavin Newsom or Ron DeSantis decide people have decided on their own they aren’t going to travel or stay in hotels.

    Yep. And you can’t reopen the economy if people are unwilling to go back to work.

    Once you allow a virus to get out of control you’re pretty much screwed. Until the virus burns itself out but even then it will probably recur. How long has the flu virus been with us?

  23. @dfordoom

    Below herd immunity, there’s herd durability — the ability of the herd to cope with and endure the virus. We don’t have herd immunity to the cold virus, but we have herd durability — it’s an annoyance, not an existential problem. Keep killing off the susceptible people and in the end you may not get people who are immune, but you get people who won’t die, which is good enough for natural selection.

    • Replies: @unit472
    , @Dutch Boy
    , @dfordoom
  24. res says:
    @eee

    Thanks. It is interesting to think about COVID-19 in the context of that theory. Here are the six foundations and some comments.

    First, some relevant background.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_foundations_theory

    Researchers have found that people’s sensitivities to the five/six moral foundations correlate with their political ideologies. Using the Moral Foundations Questionnaire, Haidt and Graham found that libertarians are most sensitive to the proposed Liberty foundation,[4] liberals are most sensitive to the Care and Fairness foundations, while conservatives are equally sensitive to all five/six foundations.[7] Joshua Greene argued however that liberals tend to emphasise the Care, Fairness and Liberty dimensions; conservatives the Loyalty, Authority and Sanctity dimensions.[23]

    Care/Harm – As you commented, I think this is the important one. We can’t have a single death which is possibly preventable (and we’ll ignore the cases otherwise, see Cuomo and nursing homes). On the Republican side–the economic effect of the cure is worse than the disease.

    Fairness/Cheating – Does not seem terribly relevant. What relevance I see centers on Democratic concern about countermeasure violation.

    Loyalty/Betrayal – Pretty much the same as Fairness/Cheating.

    Authority/Subversion – This is one that seems to run counter to stereotype. The Democrats seems to have gone all in on authority. Which makes more sense when realizing we are talking about THEIR authority (cf. free speech).

    Sanctity/Degradation – I think this is your purity. I don’t see the relevance. Could you elaborate? Are you talking about the sanctity of life vs. mere economics?

    Liberty/Oppression – This is another driver for Republicans. As the excerpt above notes, probably more towards the libertarian side and people who lean that way.

    My take is the respective responses are dominated by Care/Harm for both Democrats and Republicans plus Liberty/Oppression for the Republicans and Authority/Subversion for the Democrats. What does everyone else think?

    In this context Liberty/Oppression and Authority/Subversion seem rather the same (but in opposite order) to me. Almost like both give the positive take of that side before the /. Compare Liberty/Authority. But that would not fit with the other foundations which all seem focused on a good/bad dichotomy rather than a tradeoff.

    P.S. On topic, any thoughts on how a vaccine is likely to perform with respect to effectiveness and side effects?

    • Replies: @eee
  25. unit472 says:
    @Cloudbuster

    I don’t believe ‘herd durability’ is really possible with this virus. Medically its a lot more severe than a cold. It limits the ability to breath, has cardio vascular, renal and even brain damage.

    Right now it seems to have stabilized in the US at a daily run rate of 50-70,000 cases and 500 to 1000 daily deaths. How long can we keep the health care system running under this kind of stress? Doctors and nurses get infected too and non emergency procedures postponed. It isn’t sustainable. Then there is the economy. The Fed and the US government have papered over but not fixed anything. Rents are coming due and millions will be evicted or foreclosed on. A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall on us.

    • Agree: dfordoom
  26. res says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Here is your tuberculosis sigmoid curve. Everyone, if you include a graphic from Wikipedia make sure you are including the actual image rather than the Wikipedia File: (notice that text after the final / of the link above) page (if in doubt click on “open image in new tab” or equivalent). The ONLY thing you see in the browser should be the image–not any navigation or information controls.

    • Agree: Haruto Rat
    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
  27. You deal in data. This is one reason your readers respect you. Moreover, your data are mundane data from mundane sources, a fact that makes the interesting observations you draw from the data all the more persuasive.

    Nevertheless, during recent weeks I have been reading everything I can find (The Wall Street Journal, the Congressional Research Service, Ellen Brown, etc.) regarding CARES Act finances, and I cannot identify the $3 trillion of which you speak.

    As far as I can tell, about half a trillion dollars has passed through the Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) under the management of Blackrock to … well, the destination of that money remains unclear to me. It is a large sum of money. It does not amount to $3 trillion, though.

    [MORE]

    The Treasury’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) seems to have been haphazardly implemented but didn’t most of that money end up being used to pay wages? The money is fungible. I get that. What I do not get is any total approaching $3 trillion.

    What have I missed?

    I do not mean to play coy, so I should openly declare my position. My position is this: despite trying, I cannot perceive the U.S. macroeconomic armageddon you foresee. That I cannot perceive it does not make you wrong, nor do I wish to quibble, but this larger doubt of mine is the underlying reason I ask specific questions regarding particular points like the $3 trillion you mention today.

    On cannot expect you to engage in a colloquy with each and every reader who challenges you! You have kindly replied to specific comments of mine before and I do not think that anyone would blame you if you passed over my comment today in silence. However, if you chose to reply, anyway, then I would read your reply with interest.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  28. res says:
    @Mark G.

    The extreme heat in the southern states has driven everyone indoors where the disease is more easily transmitted and caused a spike there

    Thanks. That had not occurred to me (sad on my part).

    It looks like air conditioning typically tries to keep the indoor dew point under about 55 degrees. I wonder if that matters as well.
    https://www.csemag.com/articles/controlling-dew-point/

    • Replies: @follyofwar
  29. A123 says:

    AE,

    Sorry to be OT, but I would like to hear you analysis of this piece about Secret Trump Voters. (1)

    [Pennsylvania] Voters remain relatively split on who they believe will ultimately win Pennsylvania in November, with 46 percent choosing Trump and 45 percent selecting Biden, despite the survey showing the former vice president leading Trump by double-digits. The phenomenon is likely driven by the widespread belief in “secret Trump voters.”

    The Trafalgar Group was among the first to focus on the existence of hidden Trump support, looking “for hidden preferences by asking people who their neighbors are supporting” in its surveys, as Breitbart News detailed in November 2016:

    That question about neighbors allows respondents to present their preferences as the opinion of others, so minimizing possible fear of stigma or embarrassment for supporting Trump.

    In Pennsylvania, the “neighbors” question boosts Trump’s score by 4.4 points, up to 52.8 percent. Similarly, Clinton’s score drops from 46.5 percent down to 40 percent. That shift converts a 2-point gap into a 12-point valley. The poll was conducted Nov. 3 to Nov. 5, with 1,300 respondents.

    This concept looks like it produces much more accurate results.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    (1) https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/07/15/poll-majority-pennsylvania-voters-believe-secret-trump-voters-in-their-communities/

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  30. @eee

    You don’t see the left/right pattern internationally, just in America.

    The basic question is this:

    Are there some questions where you need mathematical understanding to determine the correct answer? Where if all you have is rhetoric and no math, you will be blindfolded, walking in circles?

    I’d like to hear the corona deniers here give their answers to this question. The American Right is increasingly defined by an insistence that average Joe is entitled to an opinion on every single question in the world. That if the city wants to design a bridge, he is entitled to submit a proposal and not be laughed out of the room. The question is not just what the average Joe’s psychology predisposes him to believe about corona, but whether he has the necessary tools to have an informed opinion at all. You could say it’s a result of taking the fairness/equality foundation to an extreme.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Kratoklastes
  31. Dutch Boy says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    It will be forced on the military first so the rest of us might get a good notion of what to expect.

  32. Dutch Boy says:
    @Cloudbuster

    Some epidemiologists think that as much as 80% of the population may have immunity already due to previous exposure to coronaviruses that are similar enough to Covid (but relatively benign) to produce T-cell level immunity.
    “a Swedish study,37,38 which found “SARS-CoV-2 elicits robust memory T cell responses akin to those observed in the context of successful vaccines, suggesting that natural exposure or infection may prevent recurrent episodes of severe COVID-19 also in seronegative individual.” Similarly, a German study39 concluded:

    “SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell epitopes enabled detection of post-infectious T-cell immunity, even in seronegative convalescents. Cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 T-cell epitopes revealed preexisting T-cell responses in 81% of unexposed individuals, and validation of similarity to common cold human coronaviruses provided a functional basis for postulated heterologous immunity in SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
    , @anon
  33. SafeNow says:

    A Chinese study published June 18, 2020 in Nature Medicine found that the antibodies produced by having had covid dissipate severely after a few months, compared with a year or two for sars and mers. Thus, it may be that there will be no significant herd immunity. More studies are needed. This one consisted of only 74 patients, 37 who had a mild case and 37 who had a severe case. I worry because I have read that the best a vaccine can hope to do, is to do is as well as herd immunity from actually having had the disease. Thus, if this study and its implications hold-up, people will need to be revaccinated every few months?

    https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/studies-report-rapid-loss-of-covid-19-antibodies-67650

  34. A123 says:
    @Alexander Turok

    Let me fix that for you:

    I’d like to hear the SJW Chinese Coronavirus exaggerators (who deny science to manufacture unwarranted crisis level fear) here give their answers to this question. The American SJW Globalists are increasingly defined by an insistence that semi-literate SJW extremists are entitled to an opinion on every single question in the world, even when the SJW’s lack the necessary tools to have an informed opinion at all.

    It is quite clear that science denying (or outright falsfying) SJW’s have led the world to fantastically irrational and unworkable solutions for outrageously expensive wind and solar power.

    These same SJW science deniers are creating false hysteria over WUHAN-19 to achieve a political end. The science deniers are willing to increase deaths and maximize human suffering if that is the price for ending Trump’s defense of America.

    A degree is no proof that the person knowledgeable or truthful. Dr. SJW Fauci denied science when he misrepresented the CQ/AZ/ZN generic treatment. He was shilling for his SJW Globalist, BigPharma pay masters who wanted to created a market for the $1,000+/dose Remdesivir, developed by Gilead Sciences Inc.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  35. @A123

    semi-literate SJW extremists are entitled to an opinion on every single question in the world, even when the SJW’s lack the necessary tools to have an informed opinion at all

    No, they aren’t. I answered your question, now you answer mine. Are there some questions where you need mathematical understanding to determine the correct answer? Where if all you have is rhetoric and no math, you will be blindfolded, walking in circles? I am simply not interested in listening to the opinions on corona from people who can’t do math. It doesn’t matter if they’re blue-hairs or rednecks or what, their opinions are not valid.

    These same SJW science deniers are creating false hysteria over WUHAN-19 to achieve a political end. The science deniers are willing to increase deaths and maximize human suffering if that is the price for ending Trump’s defense of America

    Projection. You politicize everything and project that tendency on everyone else. If they are “panicking” in China, Russia, Iran, and India, must all be a conspiracy to stop Dumb Prole President’s “defense” of America.(Exactly what he is doing beyond Twitter rants is beyond me.)

    He was shilling for his SJW Globalist, BigPharma pay masters who wanted to created a market for the $1,000+/dose Remdesivir, developed by Gilead Sciences Inc.

    Claims which can be made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    • Replies: @A123
  36. @Dutch Boy

    Yet there are places in the world where more than 20% were infected.

  37. In Russia, the Soviet Union collapsed and then the oligarchs stripped the place for parts. In America, the bust out is happening ahead of the collapse. History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.

    Sorry to return with a cut and paste bit, but I wrote this on Sailer’s Blog on March 16, 2020, and I barely remember writing it, but I certainly still think the same way about Bat Soup Fever and the Globalizer Ruling Class Financial Central Banker Scam:

    LET IT ALL GO, DAMMIT! LET THE FINANCIAL MARKETS FIND THEIR PROPER LEVEL!

    The asset bubbles in stocks and bonds and real estate — commercial and residential — must be allowed to undergo PRICE DISCOVERY unhindered by the anti-capitalist machinations of the globalized central banker shysters.

    This is the third frigging asset bubble, starting in the 1990s, that the plutocrat- and privately-controlled Federal Reserve Bank has inflated using monetary extremism — low or zero or negative interest rates, asset purchases, quantitative easing, dollar swaps, direct central bank purchases of sovereign and corporate debt, balance sheet ballooning, bailouts…etc. — and enough is enough, DAMMIT!

    A lot of sonsofabitches are saying they want this thing that is so-called “capitalism” and I say give it to ’em with both barrels. Stop the monetary extremism from the Fed and you greedy stupid boneheads will get your damn “capitalism.”

    There is no “capitalism,” you damn dirty ape fools, there is only globalized central banker shysterism. You can’t have any damn thing called “capitalism” when you have a debt-based fiat currency system. The greedy and immoral and evil ones will always use the electronics of an electronic debt-based fiat currency system to their advantage and they don’t give a frigging damn about what is in the best interests of the nation as a whole.

    The hostile and evil and immoral JEW/WASP ruling class of the American Empire is actively engaged in attacking and destroying the USA using globalization and fiancialization(financialization) and mass legal immigration and mass illegal immigration and globalized trade deal scams and monetary policy and foreign policy and tax policy as a political weapon to kill the historic American nation and to attack and destroy the European Christian ancestral core of the USA.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/taleb-on-why-panic-is-good/#comments

    The Charles Pewitt write-in campaign for President has resumed operations after the Bat Soup Fever suspension period and I hereby challenge Joe Biden and Corn Pop and Trump and Mitch McConnell to a debate on monetary policy and trade policy and immigration policy and foreign policy and tax policy and multiculturalism and globalization and free speech and the concentration of media power and money power and any other damn thing.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  38. @unit472

    Right now it seems to have stabilized in the US at a daily run rate of 50-70,000 cases and 500 to 1000 daily deaths.

    500-1000 daily deaths? If you mean 1000 3 months ago and 400 for the last month, sure. That’s an odd way of framing it. It isn’t bouncing between 500-1000, in fact it’s been below 500 for a month. And decrease from 1000 to 500 wasn’t some random noisy thing, it’s been a steady and consistent decline for months.

    It limits the ability to breath, has cardio vascular, renal and even brain damage.

    Empty hype. All viruses do that when they are actually killing you. Flu does that to the people who die of the flu. Corona does not do that to people it can’t kill.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-does-the-flu-actually-kill-people/

    One Sunday in November 20-year-old Alani Murrieta of Phoenix began to feel sick and left work early. She had no preexisting medical conditions but her health declined at a frighteningly rapid pace, as detailed by her family and friends in local media and on BuzzFeed News. The next day she went to an urgent care clinic, where she was diagnosed with the flu and prescribed the antiviral medication Tamiflu. But by Tuesday morning she was having trouble breathing and was spitting up blood. Her family took her to the hospital, where x-rays revealed pneumonia: inflammation in the lungs that can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, or both. Doctors gave Murrieta intravenous antibiotics and were transferring her to the intensive care unit when her heart stopped; they resuscitated her but her heart stopped again. At 3:25 P.M. on Tuesday, November 28—one day after being diagnosed with the flu—Murrieta was declared dead.

    Apart from a bacterial pneumonia, the secondary complications of the flu are numerous and range from the relatively mild, such as sinus and ear infections, to the much more severe, such as inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), brain (encephalitis) or muscles (myositis and rhabdomyolysis). They can also include Reye’s syndrome, a mysterious brain illness that usually begins after a viral infection, and Guillain–Barr syndrome, another virus-triggered ailment in which the immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system

    Those are the things that happen to anyone who dies of any virus. Covid is not special.

  39. A123 says:
    @Alexander Turok

    Are there some questions where you need mathematical understanding to determine the correct answer?

    Yes. However this leads to two additional questions:

    — How can you tell who has legitimate math skills?
    — How can you tell if that subset is being honest?

    If several buildings are constructed there is a physical, objective to durability. It is hard to fake which one lasted the longest under similar conditions.

    In the abstract world of “models”, SJW science deniers with math skills actively pick the model that produces their desired outcome even though it is not rooted in scientific reality.

    Projection. You politicize everything and project that tendency on everyone else.

    You started with the projective, biased terminology “corona deniers”. Oddly enough, no such group exists. No one denies the existence of WUHAN-19. The objection is to government overreaction and authoritarianism.

    I merely pointed out the objective truth… SJW science deniers are the problem.

    Claims which can be made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    If you are open to evidence, rather than science denial, Fauci’s background is highly problematic: (1)

    Links between Dr. Tony Fauci, China, French company Sanofi Pasteur, George Soros and the Gates Foundation are old and deep. The China coronavirus ties them all together.

    Soon after, in 2007, Dr. Fauci personally licensed and saw to the performance of clinical trials to create a vaccine for the H5N1 pandemic that was previously declared by Fauci. The company that Fauci worked with to create and stockpile a vaccine for the avian flu was Sanofi Pasteur

    Fast forward to February 18, 2020, as America was preparing for the China coronavirus, the HHS engaged Sanofi Pasteur to help develop a coronavirus vaccine. At the same time and through April, Dr. Fauci was arguing against the use of hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the China coronavirus

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    (1) https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/04/tying-together-china-dr-fauci-french-company-sanofi-pasteur-george-soros-gates-foundation/

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  40. anon[231] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dutch Boy

    When you excerpt text from studies it is common courtesy to include at least the title and authors, or better still a live link to the work. That way other people can easily read it, and do not have to rely on what you say.

    • Replies: @Dutch Boy
  41. @unit472

    500-1000 daily deaths is negligible to a nation this size. We can run at that rate literally forever.

  42. @Alexander Turok

    Statistical averages don’t mean the population is a uniform blob. Hotspots should neither surprise anyone nor be cause for rejecting the data.

  43. @A123

    How can you tell who has legitimate math skills?

    You have to have them yourself.

    How can you tell if that subset is being honest?

    Well, if you are A123, you just assert without evidence that they are not being honest, projecting your own wishful thinking and stupidity onto everyone else.

    If several buildings are constructed there is a physical, objective to durability. It is hard to fake which one lasted the longest under similar conditions.

    In the abstract world of “models”

    “Models” are what they use to construct buildings. They don’t just pour concrete every which way and see what stands. Every branch of science and engineering uses “models.” The scare quotes around “models” just shows you’re a moran who doesn’t know how the real world works.

    SJW science deniers with math skills actively pick the model that produces their desired outcome even though it is not rooted in scientific reality.

    Just more projection and assertions without evidence. It’s entirely possible to use mathematics to get the wrong answer, particularly if you are motivated to find that answer and don’t care about the truth. But if you have no mathematical knowledge, you’re simply not going to be able to do it even if you want to find the truth. So I’m not interested in hearing the masses’ opinions on corona. I’m not interested in hearing them tell me “look at these scientists doing science wrong but don’t ask me if I’ve actually read any of the studies I just know they are wrong because they’re finding what they want to find, not what I want to find, er, I mean, what’s true, which I know because well I just know okay.”

    • Replies: @A123
  44. A123 says:
    @Alexander Turok

    Why did you ignore my evidence about Fauci’s conflict of interest? Could it be that you have no evidence?

    The ball is in your court to produce evidence defending your Dr. Fauci’s misleading statements about the CQ/AZ/ZN combo treatment.
    _____

    Your science denial without evidence will be dismissed without evidence.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  45. @unit472

    The virus is mild to asymptomatic in most people who get it. We already have herd durability.

  46. @A123

    “Conflicts of interest” are inevitable in a world where government officials have private sector experience. Would you rather have someone with no private sector experience in biomedicine? Well, I’m sure you would, since you’re the type who thinks he can solve any problem with rhetoric and no math and would make a fine CDC furher. You have no problem with the “conflict of interests” of dumb prole president, I don’t have any problem with Fauci’s.

    The ball is in your court to produce evidence defending your Dr. Fauci’s misleading statements about the CQ/AZ/ZN combo treatment.

    No, it’s not my burden to refute your claims about miracle-gro working because Trump put his dumb branding on it.

    • Replies: @A123
  47. A123 says:

    Corvinius,

    Why are posting as Turok?

    Why do you refuse to produce evidence?
    ___

    Your science denial without evidence will be dismissed without evidence.

    PEACE 😇

  48. A123 says:
    @Alexander Turok

    Hmm… The intermittent site / reply threading bug is back. #43 was meant for you.

    PEACE 😇

  49. There’s no point to arguing with Alexander Turok. He’s apparently unaware that no pandemic flu has ever been “ended” by a vaccine. They all – all! – burn themselves out.

    This one is, before our very eyes, evolving to become less deadly. That’s how flu’s work. Turok behaves as if it’s still March or April. He’s unbelievable.

    This in reply to A123

    • Thanks: A123
    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
    , @A123
  50. @res

    If that is the case, and our Rulers know it, then why do they Close the Damn Beaches?

  51. @Realist

    True, the graph demonstrates that most Americans are fools and sheep easily manipulated by the media’s leftist propaganda streaming. The indoctrination stays in the schools and is reinforced via television, films, radio , internet etc…. Now the oligarchs are taking control of social media and the internet to block the last remaining voices. Worse than the blacklists which kept communists from working in Hollywood, they now target all Americans and you will be blacklisted from most professions if you have politically incorrect opinions or question authority.

    • Agree: Realist
    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  52. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    He’s apparently unaware that no pandemic flu has ever been “ended” by a vaccine. They all – all! – burn themselves out

    And in 1945 no war had ever been ended by nuclear weapons.

    This one is, before our very eyes, evolving to become less deadly. That’s how flu’s work

    This is a tendency, it is not absolute. See smallpox.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  53. @Hernan Pizzaro del Blanco

    Not to mention the Russian and Chinese people, indoctrinated by the American Leftist media. *eyeroll*

  54. eee says:
    @res

    Sanctity/Degradation – I think this is your purity. I don’t see the relevance. Could you elaborate? Are you talking about the sanctity of life vs. mere economics?

    Here is how it is defined on moralfoundations.org:

    5) Sanctity/degradation: This foundation was shaped by the psychology of disgust and contamination. It underlies religious notions of striving to live in an elevated, less carnal, more noble way. It underlies the widespread idea that the body is a temple which can be desecrated by immoral activities and contaminants (an idea not unique to religious traditions).

    There is a physical component, not just a spiritual one. Wikpedia describes it as an “abhorrence for disgusting things, foods, actions.” It seems people especially concerned about that would want to take every step to keep from being infected and certainly wouldn’t object to face masks and might even shame others for not wearing them so that they don’t come into contact with infected sputum people around them are hacking up.

  55. A123 says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    There’s no point to arguing with Alexander Turok. He’s apparently unaware that no pandemic flu has ever been “ended” by a vaccine. They all – all! – burn themselves out.

    Yes. Sadly, it is definitely a battle with someone from the shallow end of the gene pool. Science Denier Turok has lost badly and lacks the mental ability to realize it.
    ____

    Do you observe the cognitive similarity between Science Deniers — Corvinius & Alexander Turok?

    — They both are extreme SJW Globalists
    — They both have Trump Derangement Syndrome [TDS]
    — They both demand evidence
    — They both fail to accept evidence meeting their demands
    — They both refuse to provide evidence

    Assuming there are actually two of them. I am suspicious that they are both the same irrational, emotional, fact free, SJW fanatic. If not… They have gone to the same school for TROLLS.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  56. SafeNow says:

    Maybe it should be “N95s for all, or Bust”
    (KN95 means made in China. There is a shortage of N95s (in my view, forever) said the CDC, so we are okaying the use of KN95s.) K, you see, stands for China. The fact that”K” stands for “China” perfectly illustrates our era of misleading information.

  57. @Alexander Turok

    John Burns: That’s how flu’s work.

    Turok: See smallpox.

    When did smallpox become a flu?

  58. @Alexander Turok

    Exactly. Anyone who claims the COVID response is driven exclusively by “leftist politicians” or a “government and oligarch conspiracy” or “media hype” can immediately be written off as having absolutely no awareness of global affairs beyond the US. Governments all over the world, including many right-wing ones, have taken the virus seriously, and many have seen success at containing it as a result. I realize not all Corona-skeptic types fall in this category, the smarter ones acknowledge its deadliness but just have a low value of human life vis-a-vis economic health. But it seems like a solid majority do.

    It’s actually pretty amazing how clueless these people are, considering they are on a globally-focused website with writers from all sorts of countries.

    • Agree: dfordoom
  59. iffen says:
    @Almost Missouri

    I have asked the question more than once. What is the upper limit of how much money can we lend to ourselves? My answer is that it is unlimited as long as we accept our IOUs.

    • Agree: Yahya K.
  60. @SafeNow

    Interesting, thanks for the link. Hopefully more studies are in the pipeline because we are approaching the 3-month mark after it became widespread in the West.

    Thus, if this study and its implications hold-up, people will need to be revaccinated every few months?

    Even if the immunity only ends up lasting a few months, if vaccine coverage is widespread enough, community transmission should be halted within that timeframe. Which is why mandatory vaccination would be so crucial in this case.

    If the antibodies do not dissipate so rapidly, mandatory vaccination won’t be as vital, although it would still probably save some lives.

  61. Ola says: • Website
    @SafeNow

    I find it strange that the antibodies lasted that long. From what I recall from my immunology courses, antibodies generally only stay in the body for a few weeks.

    Immunity, whether acquired naturally or artificially (i.e. from a vaccine), is due to the formation of memory T-cells, memory B-cells, and so called long-lived plasma B-cells.

    Memory B-cells and long-lived plasma B-cells produce more potent antibodies the second time the pathogen appears. They are also much quicker the second time.

    There are several type of memory T-cells, but they also activate faster the second time.

    People with lots of antibodies have an ongoing infection. But most people who are immune to a disease have no more antibodies than someone who has never had the disease! They, however, have the means to produce new and more potent antibodies much faster.

    I find all these newspaper articles about antibodies really weird/stupid. Ditto about T-cells, which are presented as a new scientific discovery. I don’t get it.

  62. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Cloudbuster

    Below herd immunity, there’s herd durability — the ability of the herd to cope with and endure the virus. We don’t have herd immunity to the cold virus, but we have herd durability — it’s an annoyance, not an existential problem.

    So how long did that take to happen? Did it take a few years or a few generations? How many people died in order to bring about herd durability? We probably don’t know, since herd durability to the common cold was presumably something that evolved in the days before viral infections could be accurately diagnosed. Was the common cold at one time a serious killer? Do we even know? In the past lots of people died of fevers and nobody really knew what exactly those fevers were.

    Keep killing off the susceptible people and in the end you may not get people who are immune, but you get people who won’t die, which is good enough for natural selection.

    So how many deaths would be an acceptable price for herd durability?

    Natural selection works kinda slowly. By the time it works to bring about herd durability we may have endured decades of economic misery. Imagine something like the Great Depression but a Great Depression that goes on for decades. Can civilisation survive something like that? Would it eventually lead to total economic collapse?

    Can we afford to wait for herd durability and are we prepared for the resultant death toll? I suspect that most ordinary people will answer No to both questions.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
    , @Cloudbuster
  63. @A123

    — They both are extreme SJW Globalists

    We’re similar in that we’re both opposed to Dumb Prole President. I’m sure as hell not supportive of the bureau of land management stuff, but I understand that that doesn’t matter to you. Just as commies call anyone not a commie a “Fascist,” a globalist to Trumptards is anyone opposed to Dumb Prole President for any reason at all.

    They both have Trump Derangement Syndrome [TDS]

    Trump Derangement Syndrome is thinking that Trump insulting some celebrity on Twitter is a “threat to our precious democracy.” I don’t want to be associated with those idiots just as I don’t want to be associated with corona deniers.

    • LOL: A123
    • Replies: @A123
  64. @iffen

    If it’s that simple, why aren’t we all doing it and becoming quadrillionaires?

    Or to put it another way, at some point everyone else will stop accepting our IOUs.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
  65. SafeNow says:
    @Ola

    Thanks for the info regarding immunity. Another issue: The bystander immunity of having an MMR vaccination. The theory is that the sailors on the aircraft carrier had a mild case because the Navy vaccinates MMR. And children have recently have MMR. Some researchers claim that a flu shot confers better bystander immunity than the MMR. Their thinking is that children catch flu viruses so often in school that this has given them bystander immunity to Covid.

  66. SafeNow says:

    Elephant or bust?

    My dentist has acquired a giant sucking machine to inhale the aerosol around my mouth and between him and me. He calls it “the elephant” because the long, wide tube resembles a trunk. I am looking forward to meeting his elephant in person when I have my appointment next week. I will take a selfie with it and perhaps use it for my Christmas card photo, because aerosols seem to be the next big thing with Covid. In fact the dental elephant might wind up being time magazine‘s runner-up person of the year (everyone knows who the person of the year will be.) When you must make a dental appointment, you might ask whether or not your dentist has one of these. $2,200.

  67. Yahya K. says:
    @iffen

    I have asked the question more than once. What is the upper limit of how much money can we lend to ourselves? My answer is that it is unlimited as long as we accept our IOUs.

    I agree. There is no upper limit to what can be borrowed since the central bank can always print money.

    I think the two main issues with the debt are a) inflation and b) interest on the debt, rather than how much can be borrowed per se.

  68. A123 says:
    @Alexander Turok

    I don’t want to be associated with corona deniers.

    Embracing Science Denial as a core value to avoid “corona deniers” is a losing proposition.

    Denying accurate science about the CQ/AZ/ZN generic combo because it came from the Trump administration is illogical. If you want to support your shared position with SJW Fauci, “The generic combo is ineffective” … The ball is in your court… you must present evidence.

    Please present current (not stale stories) evidence, with citations, supporting your position.
    ___

    Your science denial without evidence will be dismissed due to lack of evidence.

    PEACE 😇

  69. @dfordoom

    By the time it works to bring about herd durability we may have endured decades of economic misery.

    So instead we’re trying to engineer the economic misery to be as fast and drastic as possible! Great!

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  70. @Ola

    A scientific tradition is nothing if it is not living and effective in men worthy of it. That hasn’t been the case in the West for several generations. There really isn’t any Western science anymore. There is only a cargo cult imitating certain surface aspects of what used to be science, and that includes the so-called experts. Does not Anthony Fauci strike you as an incredibly little man, literally and figuratively?

  71. @dfordoom

    Has there ever been an epidemic in human history that kept killing a population for decades?

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  72. Lot says:
    @Audacious Epigone

    The Fed’s balance sheet expansion does not involve taking money from anyone, but buying bonds (mostly US Gov) with dollars. It creates a liability (federal reserve notes) and gets an asset in return (the bonds).

    This makes the owners of the bonds marginally richer by increasing their market price, but not by trillions.

    Logically, if you want to call the 2020 balance sheet expansion “$3 trillion in wealth taken from the unconnected lower and middle classes and transferred to the well-connected” then the $800 billion decrease in the Fed balance sheet in 2018-2019 was “$800 billion in wealth taken from the well-connected and transferred to the unconnected lower and middle classes.”

    Japan is an egalitarian nation with zero migration and zero inflation for decades now. Its central bank has taken these same steps for much longer and to a far greater degree. Fed assets are about 25% of US GDP, the Bank of Japan it is more like 120%. Unzer favorite China has a central bank balance sheet of 36% of GDP pre-COVID, higher now.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-economy-boj/bank-of-japans-balance-sheet-now-larger-than-countrys-gdp-idUSKCN1NI07Z

  73. @Alexander Turok

    Are there some questions where you need mathematical understanding to determine the correct answer? Where if all you have is rhetoric and no math, you will be blindfolded, walking in circles?

    Of course there are – literally every single question that involves trading off value streams.

    Otherwise you’re in a world where there is no such thing as a benefit-cost calculation, and every decision becomes a competition about who has the most persuasive marketing (i.e., bullshitters’ paradise). That’s just at the first stage – considering what ends to pursue.

    Without calculation, best means must also go out the window… and nobody gets to discriminate between competing means by determining which set gives effect to the decision affordably, efficiently (worse still, nobody can determine if the “most feelingful” means is likely to satisfy the actual objectives).

    You can’t emote your way to a higher standard of living. Unless you’re the beneficiary of a transfer of value, which is only possible in an economy whose productivity is undergirded by people whose calculations are the basis for a significant surplus over subsistence.

    Technological progress happens at post-Industrial-Revolution rates because of an epistemic worldview: the view that in decisions about how to decide ends and means, knowledge and facts are more important than opinions and beliefs.

    This worldview enables bad ideas to be evaluated and discarded, and good ideas to be absorbed into a growing body of technical prowess that enables the system to produce more output with less waste.

    We would still be living in a pre-industrial theocracy if decision-making processes were still significantly doxastic – where the outcomes of key economic questions were determined by how strongly different groups of people felt about each side of a decision (and how much raw might each group of believers can bring to the table).

    Bear in mind that doxastic approaches are logically consistent even when the thing believed is objectively false.

    Everyone’s entitled to their an opinion” is perfectly valid, but the person whose opinion should win a contest, should be the person whose opinion accords with the facts… and it’s not the case that everyone’s entitled to their own facts.

    As it stands, there is still far too great a role accorded to belief/opinion/doxas, in decisions that have groupwise ramifications. People are encouraged to think that their feelings about things matter, even if they know fuck-all about the relative payoffs of each side of a decision.

    It’s an appealing strategy for the parasite classes, because their schtick – bullshit and fraud – gets more traction if people think it’s all just ‘competing opinions’ even if most of those opinions have no evidentiary basis whatsoever.

    .

    The American Right is increasingly defined by an insistence that average Joe is entitled to an opinion on every single question in the world. That if the city wants to design a bridge, he is entitled to submit a proposal and not be laughed out of the room and have the application assessed on its merits.

    FIFY… although I don’t think it characterises the “American Right”, who couldn’t organise a fuck in a brothel if you gave them a fist full of fifties. It’s a decent précis of a meritocratic view of the world: let opinions be assessed on the merits, and only on the merits; if it turns out that a bridge made of swastika-shaped pieces of discarded foreskins satisfies all engineering criteria and is the least expensive, that ought to be the winner.

    .

    The question is not just what the average Joe’s psychology predisposes him to believe about corona, but whether he has the necessary tools to have an informed opinion at all.

    Of course the average schlub does not have the tools to hold an informed opinion. Access to abundant free information does not help if the machinery being used doesn’t understand how to analyse it. It would be like having abundant petrol when all you own is a dray cart.

    What the schlub does have, is the inalienable right to form poorly- or un-informed opinions so long as the actions that result, do not affect anyone except himself.

    Opinions are like arse-holes. Everybody’s got a right to their own, even if it’s wrong.

    However wrong opinions do not have the same ramifications as right opinions, so people do not have the right to act on their opinions if the action will affect people other than themselves.

    Utility-interdepedence exists: an arch-utilitarian like myself accepts that the range of actions that Joe Schlub gets to decide for himself, is circumscribed by the extent to which it affects others.

    For example, Joe Schlub might form the opinion that punching his wife solves his current ‘yappy wife’ problem. He absolutely has the right to hold that opinion, and he might even be right over short timeframes – but he’s not permitted to operationalise it (more accurately, his wife can justly retaliate, incorporating a ‘violence premium’ to change the husband’s expectations).

    .

    It’s absolutely retarded to think that innumerates can have a meaningful role in distinguishing between competing ends (or competing means).

    In a properly meritocracy, innumerates would – like everyone else – get to have opinions about, and even to propose , ends and means.

    Numerates then evaluate the candidate ends and means, and reject those that deserve it.

    We are so far from that at present, that it’s no surprise that “feelz” are getting to be a problem that is impinging on output quality. (That is: the more a product has its development and production overseen by a process that overweights “feelz”, the less reliably the product provides value for money).

  74. @iffen

    I have asked the question more than once. What is the upper limit of how much money can we lend to ourselves? My answer is that it is unlimited as long as we accept our IOUs.

    If US debt was 100% held domestically, and the US had a fixed exchange rate to major global currencies, the only limit is the willingness of people to hold IOUs where the return is consistent with a loss of purchasing power.

    When people say “how much can we lend to ourselves” they invariably ignore the key variable: the rate of interest on the “loan”. Lenders will not accept a situation where the expected rate of return on a loan implies a loss of future purchasing power.

    Also ignored in the “we lend it to ourselves” trope is that without significant takeup of new US debt issues by foreign countries, the US would already have 2-5yr rates 300bps higher than they are now (and no amount of Fed ‘twist’ could stop it, except at the cost of massive depreciation of the USD and loss of control over US domestic prices). An important chunk of all new US debt issuance isn’t loans to ‘ourselves’ – it’s loans to foreigners. The US couldn’t fund it’s own government debt issuance at current rates, if it sought to sell it solely to domestic buyers.

    At present, the rate of return on US debt is artificially low for a variety of reasons – chief among them is the fact that USD is a default global reserve currency: foreigners must hold significant USD balances because a great deal of global commodities trade (particularly in energy) is denominated in USD. This regularity mostly happened because US commodity exchanges were the ‘deepest’ (i.e., the most liquid, especially in forward markets), and because cross-currency transations took time to organie (that latter is no longer the case; anyone can get spot ±0.05% for billions of dollars without moving the market).

    If the quasi-reserve status of USD changes, US governement debt will no longer be a ‘safe haven’ during risk-off. The current ‘safe haven’ is because US government debt presents a series of known cash flows, denominated in a currency that foreigners want to accumulate anyhow. So in times of equity slumps, US govt debt is the beneficiary of ‘flight to quality’ (even more so than bond markets that are ‘domestic’ to foreign investors – e.g., risk-off in Germany means flight to US treasuries, not to Bund).

    That’s the key thing that the Chinese BRI, and Russian manoeuvring in European and Central Asian energy markets, are seeking to undermine. If they can get broad acceptance of instantaneous bilateral currency-agnostic settlement of commodities trade (and particularly energy trade), it blows a hole in the required USD balances for commodities trade… half a trillion dollars a year is a low-ball estimate, because both buyers and sellers have reduced need to hold USD balances.

    What about US corporate debt? Well, if the US is no longer a quasi-reserve currency, there is an implied increased depreciation risk to coupon payments on USD-denominated debt (if you’re accumulating USD anyhow, you don’t care about depreciation risk – USD is always stable against USD lol).

    Corporate issuers of USD-denominated debt will face greater scrutiny (bond managers stopped believing Moodys, S&P, and Fitch a decade ago) and there will be a (small) upward revision to US corporate spreads, and a (small) downward revision to the rating of an arbitrarily-selected USD corporate bond. The impact on cash-flows of a 10 or 15bp re-rating across the board, would be in the hundreds of billions of dollars a year… and that will have flow-on effects to US investment.

    We lend to ourselves” is a bit of plausible-sounding pilpul that people like Krugman expound. It’s a sophism that is specifically designed to encourage the schlubs that the US to believe that the US – alone in the annals of economic history – can borrow itself to prosperity. In other words, it’s the idiocratic “American Exceptionalist” trope, rewritten to keep the Money Fooling gravy train on the tracks.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
  75. @iffen

    Thinking about debt in monetary terms misses the point. Money is just the intermediary and the unit of account. The real issue here is consumption and production. When debt is used to consume things that aren’t matched with an equivalent amount of production, the capital base of society is drawn down.

    At the rate we’ve already borrowed, the economy will seize up long before we reach “unlimited” borrowing. Too many real goods and services and the connections between them will have been wasted, and the economic machine will not function.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
  76. anon[296] • Disclaimer says:

    Something in this article for everyone.

    https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/#latest

    For example: Zinc plus hydroxi works if started early enough. Wait too long and it’s not as effective.

    The chances of “cooked up in a lab” are stronger.

    Etc.

  77. @Intelligent Dasein

    These words illuminate much:

    Money is just the intermediary and the unit of account. The real issue here is consumption and production.

    This is correct, too:

    Thinking about debt in monetary terms misses the point.

    In microeconomics, cash is more or less interchangeable with goods and services. In macroeconomics, not.

    [MORE]

    The average college-educated citizen can hardly be blamed for failure to distinguish between the micro and the macro, though. Federal authority has willfully made the distinction hard to grasp. Federal authority may have had little good alternative, but the result is a system in which the public lacks confidence.

    The last is a problem. Whose fault is that?

  78. @Lot

    This makes the owners of the bonds marginally richer by increasing their market price, but not by trillions.

    True, bondholders are made richer in the immediate effect on market price (absent any bond market vigilante response) but as Ron Paul points out monetary inflation hurts savers. Ron likes to refer to “granny” as the saver that stands to lose future purchasing power as a result of inflation, but of course the bulk of US treasuries are held throughout the world by entities and individuals of tremendous wealth. So the 3 trillion in monetary inflation is a mixed bag: much of the spending has gone to corporations, yet this “hidden tax” of inflation is borne by the rich bondholders, and the longer-term effect of inflation (in theory at least) in eventually spreading to wage inflation can produce a greater transfer effect than the nominal (3 trillion) amount in consideration in broadly easing the burden of debt as those with debt are able to pay it down with devalued currency.

    The tremendous wealth transfer from middle to upper resulting from bankruptcies of small businesses amid the pandemic and rioting is another matter.

    • Thanks: V. K. Ovelund
    • Replies: @John Achterhof
  79. @Alexander Turok

    Difficult to know. How do you define infected ?
    Are those who text positive to CV considered infected? The CDC has a different definition to being infected than the WHO. In Florida everyone who thinks they may have been exposed is considered infected, no need for a test to be counted among the CV victims. No need for symptoms to be counted among the infected.

    thus all the reports about the number of infected people cannot be trusted. In addition to the labs lying about the results , the CDC numbers are fraudulent and not based on accurate testing.

    The number of people dying from CV continues falling. The fatality rate is approaching .02% now , about the same level as a bad flu epidemic like in 1968. Children are immune to it , as are most adults. Most “infected” people never get a fever , many get no symptoms, only 1% need to be hospitalized.

  80. ChrisZ says:
    @the one they call Desanex

    This takes me back to 1970s-vintage Mad Magazine parodies, where they’d describe current events to the tune of some popular song (well, popular according to the memories of the middle-aged writers).

    The use of Bacharach tunes was copious then, too, and they could always find a good rhyme in “Georges Pompidou.” I can still sing some of the revised lyrics.

  81. @Lot

    I had not known this:

    Fed assets are about 25% of US GDP, the Bank of Japan it is more like 120%.

    Nor had I thought of this:

    It creates a liability (federal reserve notes) and gets an asset in return (the bonds).

    Both make sense, though.

    [MORE]

    @Audacious Epigone (AE) made a strong point March 16 when he wrote,

    There isn’t enough liquidity, there isn’t enough resiliency, there isn’t enough production.

    In other contexts, AE has drawn attention to the U.S. dollar’s apparently overleveraged status as international reserve currency. (I am unsure how the last point enters the analysis but it probably ought to enter somewhere.)

    I have only somewhat more confidence in the Fed to anticipate consequences than AE has, but I also suspect that few persons can anticipate. If many can anticipate, then I assume that the anticipators are professional economists. In that case, the professional economists have poorly communicated the anticipation to us.

    On the other hand, if professional economists cannot anticipate, then we have entered partly uncharted territory.

    But “partly uncharted” does not imply collapse.

    Lest I be misunderstood, I believe that the fundamentals of AE’s mode of analysis are sound. AE certainly communicates the fundamentals to the public better, and more pithily, than many professional economists do! However, I remain unsure that AE has reached the right conclusion in the present instance.

    Perhaps he has. Time will tell.

    • Replies: @A123
  82. A123 says:
    @V. K. Ovelund

    For the “total end of all civilizations” on planet Earth. The dollar could go down and be replaced with nothing. However, that would require a joint suicide pact of epic scale.

    The alternative is replacing the dollar with another option. The € is laughable. The Chinese yuan is even worse than the €. Every other government currency has even less liquidity.

    Trying to a use a commodity (e.g. gold) is also unworkable. It gives huge financial power to countries that have gold mines. And, gold is highly vulnerable to fraud. (1)

    more than a dozen Chinese financial institutions, mainly trust companies (i.e., shadow banks) loaned 20 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) over the past five years to Wuhan Kingold Jewelry with pure gold as collateral and insurance policies to cover any losses. There was just one problem: the “gold” turned out to be gold-plated copper.

    83 tons of gold bars used as loan collateral turned out to be nothing but gilded copper. That has left lenders holding the bag for the remaining 16 billion yuan of loans outstanding against the bogus bars.

    As long as the dollar is necessary, it will be used.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    (1) https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/83-tons-fake-gold-bars-gold-market-rocked-massive-china-counterfeiting-scandal

    • Replies: @John Achterhof
  83. @Kratoklastes

    We would still be living in a pre-industrial theocracy if decision-making processes were still significantly doxastic.

    I like the word. However, I am unsure how closely the word relates to the Industrial Revolution, which I believe had more to do with James Watt’s steam engine than with abstract decision-making processes.

    Even if that were not so, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Caesar, Tacitus, Aurelius, Aquinas, da Vinci and many another pre-industrial might have been amused to be judged doxastic.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  84. @ChrisZ

    You guessed it, Chris, Mad magazine is the inspiration for my “song parodies.” Glad you enjoyed this one. I might do parodies of contemporary songs, if there were any good contemporary songs.

  85. @Kratoklastes

    Technological progress happens at post-Industrial-Revolution rates because of an epistemic worldview: the view that in decisions about how to decide ends and means, knowledge and facts are more important than opinions and beliefs.

    This worldview enables bad ideas to be evaluated and discarded, and good ideas to be absorbed into a growing body of technical prowess that enables the system to produce more output with less waste.

    We would still be living in a pre-industrial theocracy if decision-making processes were still significantly doxastic – where the outcomes of key economic questions were determined by how strongly different groups of people felt about each side of a decision (and how much raw might each group of believers can bring to the table).

    While I agree that objective truth exists outside of beliefs or feelings, ultimately all decision making is “doxastic” because normative beliefs cannot be objectively “proven” using a purely epistemic approach. For example, you start by saying “you can’t emote yourself to a higher standard of living…” but putting a “higher standard of living” as your foremost objective is itself essentially doxastic. There is no logical reason to do so, except those reasons which depend on other reasons that lead to an infinite regress.

    What we now call “natural science” has always been epistemic in nature, so trying to pin modern technological change on some kind of change in decision-making processes is misguided. As Mr. Ovelund alluded to previously, it’s far simpler to attribute this change to certain technologies which make the discovery of new technologies beyond them much easier; for instance, electricity.

    • Thanks: V. K. Ovelund
    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  86. @John Achterhof

    Edit: perhaps not so much wealth transfer (with less competition, and demand accruing to surviving business with the large number of small business bankruptcies) but rather wealth destruction is the notable consequence of the quarantines and riots.

  87. Talha says:

    Until a sufficiently effective vaccine is available, the basic activities that characterize life in the modern West will remain unavailable.

    Pfffffshshshsh…whatever dude! Obviously you didn’t get the memo that denying the rights of sex in public is a reflection of your entrenched support of “racism, classism, gentrification, and police surveillance.”

    Pandemic shpandemic!

    Peace.

  88. @A123

    In a digital transaction system with gold as hard currency the option to take possession of some amount of gold would rarely be exercised. It’s basically just a standard unit of measure. As long as a bank is financially sound nobody would have reason to put in an order to take physical possession of their gold.

  89. @V. K. Ovelund

    Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Caesar, Tacitus, Aurelius, Aquinas, da Vinci

    The only names in that list that I would view as worth engaging are Cicero and da Vinci – but even then, Cicero’s views aren’t germane to the argument because he’s mostly on about winning by persuasion.

    Cicero understands that the orator’s job was to be convincing. Familiarity with the subject matter helps the orator do his job, but there’s no moral injunction not to resort to sophism if that’s what’s required to get the job done.

    It’s interesting to consider Cicero’s view of the aims of an orator: “docere, delectare, et movere” (teach, delight, and move). That is to say, show the audience the your case, while being entertaining and emotionally convincing.

    So it’s not as if Cicero had some unwavering desire to be led by facts; in his view, if you have a strong factual case, that’s not a good thing per se… it’s a good thing because it helps reach the goal.

    Imagine if every lawyer who knowingly had a dud case based on the facts, simply stood up in court and said so. That’s not a Cicero-type world: Cicero would require the orator to do his best with a bad case.

    .

    As for Da Vinci… it’s hard to make any case that he wasn’t a strict empiricist – the ultimate epistemic edgelord.

    If Da Vinci’s epistemic worldview is not made obvious by the thousands of pages of notes of experiments, dissections and so forth that he left, and his contributions to mathematics, engineering, cosmology/astronomy, anatomy… well the phrase “Eppur si muove” is an edgelord-level “Fuck you” to people who insisted that his facts had to take a back seat to their (putative) beliefs.

    ..

    I’m not a fan at all of the Socratics, but even then it’s pretty clear they repudiate doxa and strongly-favour episteme.

    Plato’s allegories (the sun, the dividing line and the cave) make it clear:

     • the sun (and its absence) divide those who are able to see, from those who can’t. Those in the dark are only able to form very weak impressions of what might be going on.

     • even if there’s some available light, the divided line orders philosophical progress from the most primitive to the most advanced –
    εἰκασία (conjecture/guesswork) < πίστις (faith) < διάνοια (technical thought) < νόησις (perceptive intelligence)

    Note that doxa encompasses both conjecture and faith; it is taxonomically inferior to episteme which requires technical thought and perceptive intelligence.

    At the highest level are those who understand mathematics, geometry and deductive logic (i.e., the most epistemic, most empiricist).

     • the cave: the people who remain in chains trying to work out what’s going on by observing shadows on the wall, are supposed to be the ‘guesswork’ people from the Divided Line.

       There are a series of conjectures about people freed from their bondage: at each increase in perception of the world as it actually is, there is a period of intense discomfort (glare in the eyes etc).

       Once they are freed, some balk at the first discomfort, and continue to believe (on faith) that the cave is the real reality. They don’t try to leave the cave, but can be accustomed to weak awareness of the reality behind the images on the wall. Those dragged all the way up to the sunlight – after a further period of disorientation – divide themselves between those who accept this new world as it is, and those who choose to gain more awareness of the underlying reality. The highest decision is to go back to the cave, knowing that you will have another period of disorientation, and that you face difficulty communicating reality to people who are largely in the dark.

    But wait… there’s more evidence that the Socratics value fact over belief (as if more is required).

    They strongly disliked Sophism – i.e., rhetoric used for its own ends. Contrary to the much-later Cicero, the Socratics were hostile to winning arguments on false factual pretenses (or at least they claimed to be).

    This is best shown by their antagonism towards Gorgias – who they considered a bit of a prick for being a smartarse all the time, and shitposting in response to serious arguments. That is, he thought (and taught, and acted as if) being convincing was the goal – not getting to the ‘right’ answer. The Socratics even went so far as to claim that Gorgias actually repudiated the notion that ‘personal excellence’ was a suitable goal.

    So in that sense it’s clear that they had (broadly) similar views to the Stoics: that real knowledge (epistêmê) is unchangeable by reason, whereas doxa is not (it’s “weak assent” that uses almost no cognition)… and that epistêmê and doxa are incompatible.

    That’s not surprising: Socraticism is Stoicism-Lite – it’s Early-Stoa shorn of its egalitarianism, abolitionism, anarchism, anti-militarism and atheism (and vegetarianism). Call it ‘Stoicism for Neocons‘. (And let’s stipulate: Marcus Aurelius and Seneca are worse. They’re ‘Stoicism for American Neocons‘)

    .

    The three non-Cicero Romans in the list wrote no original philosophy (at least, nothing that improved upon the Early Stoa) – which is not their fault because they were politicians, and politics has always been the realm of sophists (bullshit-artists).

    It is to be hoped that when they wrote things that purported to be histories, they would make the facts their first priority. Sadly, there is abundant evidence from earlier and later historians that facts are seldom the first priority of an historian…

    .

    Aquinas shouldn’t be in any list of thinkers. He was pure doxa, and encouraged the same shallow, unquestioning approach in others… which is why his stuff is such obvious bullshit that falls apart the moment anyone examines it from outside its own walled garden.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  90. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Cloudbuster

    By the time it works to bring about herd durability we may have endured decades of economic misery.

    So instead we’re trying to engineer the economic misery to be as fast and drastic as possible! Great!

    The idea behind efforts to control the virus outbreaks is that it’s better to have short-term economic pain rather than long-term economic pain. Which does make a certain amount of sense. We know from experience that short-term economic pain, even if severe, is survivable for a society. We don’t know whether long-term economic pain is survivable or not.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  91. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Cloudbuster

    Has there ever been an epidemic in human history that kept killing a population for decades?

    There have been plenty of epidemics that have recurred numerous times, sometimes for centuries.

    Modern methods of transportation and increased social mobility would seem likely to be make the recurrences more frequent. Probably much more frequent.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  92. @Kratoklastes

    Aquinas shouldn’t be in any list of thinkers. He was pure doxa, and encouraged the same shallow, unquestioning approach in others… which is why his stuff is such obvious bullshit that falls apart the moment anyone examines it from outside its own walled garden.

    This statement is completely inept and unworthy of you. At a time when the whole world is convulsed by Albigensian death-cults such as BLM and Covid-19—the latter of which no one has criticized more aptly than you yourself—I would think a better a appreciation of what St. Thomas accomplished in his own turbulent period is warranted.

    • Replies: @anon
  93. @Elmer's Washable School Glue

    putting a “higher standard of living” as your foremost objective is itself essentially doxastic

    That’s a hard row to hoe.

    You’re conflating preferences with beliefs (doxa), and ‘standard of living’ with ‘material consumption’.

    Those who claim that they want a lower standard of living, can obtain a lower standard of living with absolute ease – and I don’t mean by giving their shit to someone else until they feel that they have lowered their aggregate amount of shit.

    Giving away their shit would be counter-productive because it would raise their standard of living – if they are happier without it, their standard of living has gone up.

    That’s what people don’t understand about the utilitarian view of economic decision-making: it’s not about how much stuff you have, it’s about how happy/satisfied it makes you.

    It can be a tad reductive: any voluntary action is utility-augmenting because it represents a satisfied desire.

    Ownership and consumption of stuff is not ‘standard of living’ in and of itself: part of standard of living is the happiness/satisfaction/utility derived from ownership or consumption of stuff. It is rightly viewed as the basest part of happiness/satisfaction/utility but it’s the overwhelming bulk of everyone’s standard of living.

    To the extent that the modern economy can produce vast amounts of stuff at minimum cost, this enables the purely-corporeal hedonic “stuff”-based aspect of ‘standard of living’ to be satisfied with a smaller proportion of individuals’ budget (whether in time, effort or money).

    Anyhow… regardless of the basis on which ‘standard of living’ is measured: an individual who ‘thinks’ (i.e., believes) that a lower standard is a good thing, has no right to insist that anyone else be bound by what they ‘think’.

    (I mostly use ‘think’ to highlight the rhetorical elision between ‘know’, ‘think’ and ‘believe’; it’s almost always deployed to try to give beliefs a false legitimacy by making them seem like the conclusion of an epistemic approach to the problem).

    The closer a person gets to an epistemic worldview, the less excited they are about stuff, and the higher their standard of living at all levels of stuff. It’s why really smart people are perfectly happy in a small office with no window, and would never try to legislate that everyone was forced to have the same preferences as them.

    The corollary to this is that trying to explain this is really an example of the last bit of the Plato’s Cave narrative: if you go back into the cave, you will struggle to explain why the people there should leave because they simply can’t grasp your premises… so they assume that your premises must be wrong.

    • Agree: John Achterhof
  94. anon[179] • Disclaimer says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Albigensian death-cults such as BLM and Covid-19

    Lol. Truly funny.

    Ok, describe how Only Black Lives Matter is related to or in any way similar to Catharism. You may use both sides of the paper if needed.

    Extra Credit: Describe how the coof is related to Catharism. This could be entertaining.

    Double extra credit: Explain how the Cathars were a death-cult in any way. Was it because of this (in)famous phrase, “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius” perhaps?

    Prediction: he won’t do any of it. Because he can’t.

  95. @dfordoom

    Your response doesn’t answer the question I asked.

  96. @dfordoom

    I was just being snarky. I contest the idea that absent our government-engineered pain, there would be detectable long-term economic pain from this epidemic at all.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  97. anon[237] • Disclaimer says:

    G’day, mates! How’re they doin’ in the Down Undah?
    Australians thought they’d beaten the coof earlier this year…but not so fast.

    This bit has aged somewhat since July 6, but…

    https://apnews.com/fdee12c97b5dba09feb1b4d9c362ec0a

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australian authorities were preparing to close the border between the country’s two largest states, as the country’s second-largest city, Melbourne, recorded two deaths and its highest-ever daily increase in infections on Monday. The border between the states of New South Wales — home to Sydney — and Victoria — home to Melbourne — is due to be shut late Tuesday.

    …doesn’t look like a total victory to me.

    More recently:

    https://news.trust.org/item/20200717050418-nlqrg

    * Victoria state posts 428 new COVID-19 cases, daily record

    * Victoria premier urges residents statewide to wear masks

    * New South Wales limits wedding numbers; no dancing, singing, mingling

    Weddings in NSW will be performed in chairs. Period. No mingling! No dancing! And no singing!

  98. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Cloudbuster

    I contest the idea that absent our government-engineered pain, there would be detectable long-term economic pain from this epidemic at all.

    The problem is that nobody knows. And the issue is now so politicised that those arguing the issue are doing so purely on political grounds. One side insists that it’s a crisis that requires drastic solutions, because that fits their politically inspired narrative. The other side insists it’s all or mostly a hoax or a wild over-reaction, because that fits their politically inspired narrative. Neither side has the slightest interest in objective truth.

    Even without the politicisation of the issue there’s the problem that this is a new virus and its long-term consequences therefore cannot be predicted. And it’s a new situation – the long-term economic consequences of either taking drastic action, or moderate actions, or no action at all, cannot be predicted.

    We’re in uncharted waters.

    • Agree: V. K. Ovelund
  99. MEH 0910 says:
    @Charles Pewitt

    Sorry to return with a cut and paste bit,

    While you were away they cancelled Aunt Jemima.

    Aunt Jemima Pancake 1967 jingle

  100. @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    It did not, so the usual cautions about interpretation apply.

  101. @V. K. Ovelund

    Whenever the Fed’s balance sheet grows, “debits” are created. Corresponding “credits” are created somewhere else and booked as assets. A negligible amount of that $3 trillion ended up in the hands of the hoi polloi.

  102. @A123

    The idea that who people think is going to win is more indicative of who is going to win than actual polling results about who people are going to vote for is interesting. A few months ago, Trump had a 10 point lead in the “who do you think is going to win?” questions, but that margin has completely vanished now. The so-called Bradley effect never seems to materialize in a substantial way. Otoh, the stigma attached to supporting a person has never been as serious as it is today wrt Trump.

  103. @Lot

    That brief decrease in the Fed’s balance sheet did effectively take wealth from the connected in the form of a huge market drop. That’s a reduction in the claim on resources when actual resources didn’t change.

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