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I used to think I knew a lot about macroeconomics, but over the decades I didn’t demonstrate any kind of track record on anticipating what would happen. So I’ve pretty much given up offering opinions on macroeconomic questions.

Fortunately, not everybody is as reticent as me. Here is iSteve commenter Lot’s view:

TARP 2.0 is brewing, hundreds of billions in corporate giveaways coming.

Stock market fall sucks for me and many others here, but most of the market is owned by the ultrarich and foreigners.

A CV relief bill focused on big corps thus goes mostly to the ultrarich and foreigners.

What we need ASAP is Trumpbux. Everyone with a SSN on record with any W2 or 1099 income in 2018-2020 gets a $5,000 check to their last known address.

Total cost: about $900 billion. The garbage Senate GOP bill costs much more than this but delivers less. At best you’d get $1200. Make more than 75k in 2018: phase out, presumably to 0 if you make more than 100k.

Last time Trump outsourced a major economic bill to the Congressional GOP he got a similar highly unpopular giveaway to the ultrarich and a tax increase on the upper middle class that caused generational-level destruction to the GOP in many upper-middle class suburban areas and the Dem 2018 House takeover.

What do you think?

 
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  1. BenKenobi says:

    I swear the name is a coincidence.

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
  2. Jack D says:

    Too big to fail is real. If Boeing goes broke then the US loses its #1 export and thousands of job FOREVER. $5,000 bucks will be gone in a flash, especially in the ghetto, but losing our leadership in aerospace is forever. We’ll never make a jet again, maybe not for a century.

    Trump also said today that he’s not giving out money that is going to get used in the future for stock buybacks. He’s not an idiot. Trump knows how to negotiate a deal when the other side is desperate. He should treat this like a Trump deal and make Boeing and whatever corps get Federal money pledge their balls and their 1st born child and the shareholders and officers never see another cent until the taxpayers are repaid with a big profit.

  3. Anonymous[367] • Disclaimer says:

    Agreed; Middle Class will get nothing. Third big screw job on Middle Class since Tech Bubble burst.

    • Replies: @George
    , @Kronos
    , @Desiderius
  4. BB753 says:

    Nobody really knows anything about macroeconomics. Economists are just pretending, like the augurs of old.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  5. OT: Harvey Weinstein has Coronavirus:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8140715/Harvey-Weinstein-isolation-contracting-virus.html

    I expect we will soon be told that Weinstein has died. He might leave prison in a body bag, but he will be very much alive, and will live out his remaining years somewhere far more pleasant than Wende Correctional Facility.

  6. @Jack D

    If Boeing goes under, than Lockheed will buy them. Or vice-versa. Or Raytheon. Or General Dynamics. Or Textron.

    If there’s one bipartisan constant in American life, it’s the DI-complex.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  7. Anon[216] • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, I have a serious question for you. Why do we see lots of footage of streets being sprayed in China and South Korea but absolutely nothing like this in the U.S.?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Neoconned
  8. Anonymous[800] • Disclaimer says:

    OK people here’s the transmission profile for Wuhan Bat Flu:

    —Aerosol/breathing transmission: extreme low risk
    —Hand touching transmission: very low to moderate risk
    —Face touching transmission: extreme high risk

    This profile allows for public mask wearing to massively reduce transmission not by filtering breath but by eliminating facial kissing/touching/pressing.

    This profile solves the dilemma of the cruise ship married couples being quarantined in the same damn cabin for weeks with only one spouse getting infected. Fact is a lot of older married couples do not kiss.

    This profile solves the ski vacation vector question also. As someone who has done a lot of skiing I can tell you very little handshaking goes on. It’s just not that kind of environment. But it is a hug & kiss environment.

    This profile solves the political convention conundrum. In a handshaking businesslike environment the virus doesn’t transmit very well.

    This profile MIGHT solve the political leader infection phenomenon. Some of these leaders tend to hug and press faces a lot more as a greeting than the average business person.

    This profile solves the Italian and Japanese radically divergent trajectories etc. Cultural norms regarding facial contact.

    • Replies: @Charon
  9. 216 says: • Website
    @Jack D

    Nationalize Boeing

    WA State has refused to elect a GOP Senator since 1994, and a Governor since the 1970s. They outright stole an election in 2004.

    They want socialism, they get socialism. From the Right.

    • Replies: @Thomas
    , @Eric Novak
  10. but most of the market is owned by the ultrarich and foreigners.

    NO! the largest holders of stocks in the U.S. markets for publicly-traded stocks are U.S. institutional investors: pension funds on behalf of millions of beneficiaries; mutual fund money managers on behalf of millions of retirement accounts; insurance companies; etc.

    Check the top ten holders of the stock of just about any large publicly-traded company and that’s what you’ll find.

  11. @Jack D

    $5,000 bucks will be gone in a flash

    It could buy quite a few airline tickets. Everyone will want to take a vacation overseas.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @Dutch Boy
  12. George says:
    @Anonymous

    At this point my fear is fed gov will bankrupt most businesses and refinance with preferred stock effectively making the preexisting shares and private sector retirement plans like IRAs worthless. The preferred stock will be used to finance government pensions, social security ect.

    What can be done about the economy, assuming you actually wanted the economy not to collapse? You could remove all restrictions from males 30 and under and females maybe up to 50. Actually you could remove all restrictions and let people do what they feel comfortable doing.

    As far as the so called bailouts, Fed Gov should lease all airline assets until Fed Gov permits the airlines to operate again. I personally do not regard them as bailouts as the government is preventing them from doing business.

    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
  13. We could accept that death is a part of life and not obliterate all value creating activity because of a disease that mainly kills the elderly?

    But of course this is clown world, we will attempt a trillion dollar solution for this problem.

    Of course money is simply a store of value, with no economic activity happening we’re quickly reaching the point where we won’t have any value to provide to those most impacted by our collective suicide attempt.

  14. Anonymous[367] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Per Ron Unz, that is actually footage of undercover disguised US Troops/spies spraying the virus.

    • Replies: @NOTA
  15. Daniel H says:
    @Jack D

    Save manufacturing, let banking/Wall Street die. Let all of Wall Street die.

    • Replies: @anon
  16. Daniel H says:
    @Steve Sailer

    We lack the organizational smarts to do things like this anymore.

  17. @James N. Kennett

    They’re going to have a hell of a time making his face into something no one would recognize.

    • Replies: @Anon
  18. Charon says:
    @Anonymous

    OK people here’s the transmission profile for Wuhan Bat Flu:

    —Aerosol/breathing transmission: extreme low risk

    Why not just start out by saying “Hi everyone, I’m that anonymous bozo on the internet you’ve heard so much about.”

  19. vhrm says:

    i disagree about the huge relief checks. Especially right now.

    For the initial impact on individuals we already have a system in place: unemployment insurance. Let’s use it. It will help people in the short term.

    Sending consumers a check right now isn’t going to help all the businesses that are closed (or about to be closed).

    Those businesses could use some sort of help so they can hibernate until we open things up.

    Perhaps a little while after we reopen you can inject more cash to the people so they start spending there again.

    a more fanciful balancing: once everything’s open again, Amazon, doordash et al have to suspend operations for a month or three to make up for the business that the government gave them at the expense of brick and mortars.
    Sometimes i wonder if this whole thing is Bezos’s finishing move against the remnants of offline retail.

  20. Neoconned says:
    @Anon

    When i visited San Diego in 2016 i walked from the Greyhound station hut thing up to Commerce Street past a line of junkies. I caught a homeless black dude w his wang out peeing on the side of a condo tower. I said “really dude” as i walked to my hostel…..he blabbed something back @ me.

    Anyway i found out in 2017 the city of San Diego sprayed down its sidewalks w bleach:

    https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/09/13/550674476/san-diego-washing-streets-with-bleach-to-combat-hepatitis-a-outbreak

    I’m guessing our pols will wait tilthe suburban moms bitch about it to do something about it….

    • Replies: @Mike Zwick
    , @Lot
  21. Charon says:
    @Jack D

    If Boeing goes broke then the US loses its #1 export and thousands of job FOREVER.

    There’s so much wrong with that sentence I hardly know where to begin. First of all, the top three U.S. exports are petroleum, machinery, and motor vehicles. Secondly, even if Boeing went BK the pieces would be picked up the next week by Boeing execs and/or competitors. Sorry about your stock. But nothing is forever, especially this.

    $5,000 bucks will be gone in a flash

    Speak for yourself. BTW that reads “Five thousand dollars bucks.”

  22. he got a similar highly unpopular giveaway to the ultrarich and a tax increase on the upper middle class

    The tax bill was dumb but this tax increase on the upper-middle-class didn’t happen.

    • Replies: @Impolitic
  23. @Jack D

    You don’t know what you’re talking about. If Boeing goes broke, the result is that their creditors own Boeing. Bankruptcy does not mean the company vanishes. It means the stock value vanishes. The physical and human capital is still there and can be run productively by people other than those who ran it before and didn’t do a very good job. If it’s as valuable as you say, it will be.

    Trump knows how to negotiate a deal when the other side is desperate.

    LOL.

    Trump also said today that he’s not giving out money that is going to get used in the future for stock buybacks.

    So they’ll pay back their investors through regular-old dividends. Only the rubes will be fooled by the tough guy act. This is a giveaway, plain and simple.

    • Replies: @Yak-15
  24. Anon[378] • Disclaimer says:

    Microeconomics makes sense because it pertains to a household. Macro jumps the shark because it’s based in theory and not real life, thus it’s a home for scalawags.

  25. Anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:

    What we need ASAP is Trumpbux. Everyone with a SSN on record with any W2 or 1099 income in 2018-2020 gets a $5,000 check to their last known address.

    That will make an awful lot of illegal aliens very happy.

  26. @ColoComment

    That’s correct but the fact is that most of those investors are going to have more, many of them far more, than they put in, even accounting for inflation. Only recent investors will end up poorer and if they hold long enough they’ll make it back. If they wanted to take no risk, they had options, things like T-Bonds.

  27. trelane says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Because they’re insane and we’re not nearly enough so

  28. danand says:
    @ColoComment

    ColoComment, you are right. Of what was the ~$30+T (currently ~$24T ) that make up all of the US equity markets, roughly half is “retirement account” owned.

    I hope it does not occur, but at this point it seems unlikely that the markets still don’t have a ways to go prior to finding a, at least short term (multi month), bottom. “Looks like” the broad index, S&P 500, may be headed towards the ~1,800 level to find support:

    098E8D5A-6E46-425B-9305-302C18B0DA9E

    Longer term, barring a whole lot more immigration into the US, we almost certainly will have a market that somewhat resembles that of Japan’s NI225. If a market is to go up, at a minimum, its supporting population has to increase:

    579ACF25-DA66-4060-B064-7546ACC3A0C2

    One peice of good news is that we may be able to pile on a years worth of current GDP (~$20) in debt without totally debasing (worthless currency) our economy:

    40827DBA-81C3-4B13-AF13-52501E36F5FC

    Wonder how many doctors, nursers, etc… the US will be offering instant citizenship to over the next year?

  29. Alice says:

    $5000 is a) nothing. maybe its two months’ of expenses for families, but that won’t help at all when you need to ramp UP your expenses to be sure you’ll have food in the pantry in the future.

    and then what? they’re talking August. that’s 5 MONTHS of no income!!

    b) stupid. now my restaurant or food truck or clothing store business is completely shut, but becauee i made miney in 2018, too bad???

    Even AOC got this right: give EVERYONE the money now, and let it be taken out of income tax later if THEY HAVE INCOME to tax!

    c) But none of this amount of money to people will do anything, because the issue isn’t just people out of work lack income. It’s that no one is allowed to go to work to make anything, and no one can go anywhere so they have no reason to buy anything.

    the danger isn’t just lost income. it’s lost product. why make Easter dresses when no one can go out for Easter? who is gonna buy an Easter dress even if they get a check, when there’s nowhere to go for church or brunch? who is buying tickets to sporting events when there aren’t any? no one is taking a cruise. no vacation. no movies, orchestras, comedy clubs. no dinner or drinks. no music lessons, soccer team fees, trips to visit colleges.

    Florists aren’t essential, so they don’t need to buy flowers. so flower growers don’t need to exist. Salons are closed, so no demand for hair spray and finish and style products and bleach and sunscreen and..

    cash won’t create demand for services. the only goods being bought are food, cleaning products, and guns.

    • Agree: Cortes
    • Replies: @David
  30. We may all learn something of macroeconomics in the coming test of the proposition that deficits don’t matter. But since it’s a worldwide crisis with common response the analogy comes to mind of drunken sailors getting down the road walking arm-in-arm.

  31. Bubba says:
    @Steve Sailer

    If you bleached Gracie Mansion then the wife and kids of the NYC Mayor formerly known as “Warren Wilhelm Jr.” may start going white like the late Michael Jackson. And that definitely cannot happen considering his White House aspirations.

    BTW – what happened with copying tweets? James Woos is on fire with his China Wu-flu tweets and I can’t copy them

    • Replies: @Bubba
  32. Bubba says:
    @Bubba

    James Woods, not Woos.

  33. JimDandy says:

    We’re going to have to set up soup kitchens in all the shut down restaurants.

  34. Anonymous[368] • Disclaimer says:

    Let Boeing go bankrupt. I suppose this is bad for the airlines, somehow; let them go bankrupt too. My birth cert doesn’t read “Delta Airlines Memorial Hospital” on it. These Wall Street/D.C. jerks would connive any crisis that fits to bail out their Confederate Slave Holdings/U.S. Hay/Amalgamated Spats portfolio

  35. @vhrm

    I’m not so sure. This is a microscopic, hyper-local anecdote but I can’t be the only one.
    A childhood friend started a coffee store and it’s an adored town tradition. The owner of the property it’s housed in is an ancient social club that’s entering irrelevance (think Elks Lodge etc). They’re open to selling the building.
    The last few weeks have been v tough for the coffee shop. Everyone local really likes the place and it has a lot of “public good” intangibles but it won’t survive a 3 month Covid moritorium and my friend doesn’t have the cash on hand to weather the storm.
    “Great!”, I thought. I’ll buy the building and charge no rent until my friend can resume business. I feel the commercial property is at least a reasonable store of value/long term appreciation and if there’s a future revenue stream from my friend’s rent once this is all behind us, even better.
    I called a local bank (medium sized, I have a great relationship with. They have my kids’ 529s etc). I offered 50% downpayment (!!!) and was flat out told the bank was not offering ANY commercial loans AT ALL at this time. No way no how. It felt very 2008 all over.
    A bit of cash in ppl’s pockets makes that commercial lender a little less scared and then I’d have bought the property and a business employing locals and eg hosting a new mother’s Baby Story Time would still be around.
    Market confidence is king in these equations

    • Replies: @Dave3
    , @Mr. Anon
  36. MBlanc46 says:

    The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer.

  37. Kronos says:
    @Anonymous

    What are you talking about? The government intervened twice to sustain artificially high stock prices for middle class boomer retirement. If they didn’t, those stocks would lead to an equal 1=1 P/E ratio. Finance was heavily deregulated out of the New Deal jailhouse on the promise that’ll make Boomers rich on passive income.

    Both government and the financial sector see the stock market as a quasi-private/public retirement program. The Feds can’t clean up Wall Street corruption and illegal dealings without stocks dropping and pissing off the Boomer electorate who’ll bloody those agencies via their elected officials. Nobody wants to wake up the “Boomer Baby.”

    https://freeworldeconomicreport.com/epstein-case-could-shake-global-confidence-martin-armstrong/

    Any non-boomer middle class members (and the working poor) are absolutely screwed. It’s important to note that the major millionaires/billionaires of the last 50 years have emerged from finance, not industry. They had the great idea to offshore manufacturing jobs to increase boomer shareholder revenue. That benefited the ultra rich boomers and their middle class co-generationalists.

    • Agree: Daniel H
  38. Pericles says:
    @James N. Kennett

    … Clinking glasses with Jeffrey on the terrace.

    • Replies: @NOTA
  39. Anonymous[411] • Disclaimer says:

    Why not just start out by saying “Hi everyone, I’m that anonymous bozo on the internet you’ve heard so much about.”

    Why don’t you show proof of significant aerosol transmission? How about a list?

    There’s a long list of recirculated air environments and sundry indoor gatherings that have failed to trigger any transmission let alone mass transmission.

    The social distancing is 99% crap. The record shows persons can be in confined close quarters for extended periods with no transmission. Airlines subways buses trains cruise ships etc.

    Without hugging/kissing facial pressing healthy people under ~80 are not at significant risk.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
    , @NOTA
  40. SFG says:
    @James N. Kennett

    Sure he won’t just commit suicide like Jeffrey Epstein?…

    …oh come on, y’all needed a laugh.

  41. Anon7 says:

    We have to figure out a way to get back to normal economics, which means normal behavior. We need belief in masks, and we need federal support for massive testing – like 50 million tests per week – and massive follow up. Nursing homes can stay locked down.

    Here’s a scary one for the readers of this blog: the government needs access to everyone’s cell phone data to follow up on positive tests.

    Americans won’t shelter in place for more than a few months. They won’t. And we can’t print a big enough money pile of money to climb out of the hole we’re already in.

  42. Kronos says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Maybe they do it at night? The rich organic/non-vaccination crowd get riled up when mass chemical spraying is performed.

    Everything is essentially spraying innocent happy kids with DDT. So they add stuff to the sewers where nobody (except Pennywise and sewer crocodiles) are around to watch.

  43. Nothing can be done about the economy except for ending the quarantine and workplace closures.

    The damage is already immense, especially in the stock market, where so many retirement funds are invested. And the S&P futures are already down the maximum 5% overnight, so the whole stock market could easily lose another 10% tomorrow (Monday).

    A grand summit of all the developed nations would not be a bad idea, but do not count on the White House to show global leadership.

    • Agree: AnonAnon
    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    , @Svevlad
  44. @Just Saying

    If there’s one bipartisan constant in American life, it’s the DI-complex.

    Correct.

    Any young STEM guys out there that need a job – my personal experience indicates that the MIC is desperate for talent right now.

    • Replies: @Wency
  45. Dave3 says:
    @James N. Kennett

    “…and the suggestion that Epstein is still alive is just nuts. People who know too much about the Clintons don’t get sent to a remote tropical island. If that was not Epstein’s body on the slab, it would be because the real body showed indications of strenuous and violent disinclination to commit suicide.” -Jim Donald

  46. Polynikes says:

    What can be done about the economy is a better question.

  47. @BB753

    Economists have corrected predicted 5 out of the last 3 recessions.

    • LOL: Muggles
  48. Sailer Brain Trust Or Brain Freeze?

    [- some half-baked (or less) thoughts sent to myself, but not posted on 3-14 shortly after Mr. Sailer’s WWII posts gave promise of “getting the ball rolling .” Since then I’ve missed entire threads with hundreds of comments, but suspect that not enough has been posted along the few lines below.]

    Duh.
    Like many, if not most readers, I’ve read only a fraction of the posts on this subject, but it seems that little has been written from a rough armchair reasoning approach on measures likely to vastly increase domestic production and distribution of masks which might reduce in or out transmission of the virus in the general population. There are surely some lessons to be learned from WWII. Thought should be given to what the “market” does well and what it does not.

    1. Rationing of masks to the general population and to health care workers (broadly defined) seems like a no-brainer.
    2. The feds should put out dozens of contracts to domestic firms which have some potential for production.

    [MORE]

    [Other Deep Thoughts included proposals to make such domestic contracts long term – with prices set (with some cost plus provisions) and guaranteed for a period of a couple of years or so for many billions of masks of various types, gowns, shields, etc. so that domestic producers would have some protection against potential floods of cheaper products. A few posts by others confirmed that domestic producers had indeed been harmed in the past by foreign competition. Any foreign products at this point should be welcome, but should not void long term contracts. “Excess” masks and so on could be stockpiled. It seems that during WWII U.S. firms were not actually nationalized, but instead given humungous contracts to produce small arms, tanks, planes, trucks and so on. I doubt that most firms suffered bankruptcy as a result. It seems certain that there was some real and some imagined “war profiteering.” Industrial production had, of course, been greatly diminished by the Great Depression (with a lot of potential “slack”) I hope that this post is followed by much more informed and better written comments.]

    • Replies: @reactionry
  49. MattinLA says:

    Steve, millions are being laid off as we speak. 30%(!!!!!!!) unemployment.. $5,000 is a band aid on an amputated limb. Stop acting like this is a normal recession. It is a hyper-depression caused by insane government action. Bailouts aren’t needed. We need to stop this mad shutdown immediately, or there won’t be a country left.

    • Agree: botazefa
    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  50. Thomas says:
    @216

    A lot of the Washingtonians who work at Boeing are the kind of people Trump supposedly represents. Certainly at least relative to the “panfluid genderqueers” and subcontinental code coolies Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, et al, have been importing into this state hand over fist. If you want to blame Washington’s political drift on anybody, Boeing’s workforce isn’t top of the list.

  51. Thomas says:
    @vhrm

    Agree. There’s little point to consumer “stimulus” right now when the economic activity that would be otherwise be stimulated can’t occur. In previous financial crises, it may have made sense to try to prop up demand. The problem we have now though is that basically there are major portions of the economy that essentially can’t function due to an exogenous event. People getting Trumpbux can’t go spend it on dinners or vacations now.

    We need to keep business functioning as a going concern (“hibernate,” as you put it, or in a “medically induced coma”). I’d stipulate though that they keep as many people on their payrolls as possible and avoid filing bankruptcy in exchange for relief. The permanent systemic economic damage is really going to start when the layoffs and defaults do.

  52. Impolitic says:
    @Alexander Turok

    De facto it did by eliminating deductions

    • Agree: Lot
  53. Impolitic says:

    Agree. Don’t worry about income limits- give it to everyone and raise the taxes of high earners by an equivalent amount.

  54. whiskey says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer

    The playbook is already well known:

    A. Soak up massive (Drudge predicting 30% unemployment) by massive military spending and scaling up of manufacturing here. New Orleans went from 55% unemployment in Dec 1941 to about 2% in two months. That much was spent on Higgins Boat manufacturing there. We need new ships, planes, infantry rifles, pretty much everything to deter the Chinese. Arnold never got sand kicked in his face, that was a daily occurrence for Jimmy Walker. Dynomite!

    B. Give people cash IMMEDIATELY. People are out of work and desperate. Putting cash in hand directly to people (say everyone under $100K earnings).

    What will happen — nothing. The Democrats are obstructing in the Senate ANY bailout. They aim to crash the economy good and hard figuring that will get Biden and of course they are correct. Chucky Schemer is much much smarter than anyone in the Republican side so he knows he can just obstruct and obstruct and get his guy Biden in (or Hillary if she replaces him in the Convention which is likely — Biden has a weak organization and no real power base).

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  55. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    Joe Wiesenthal of Bloomberg had a great post about why the best approach was to send checks to everyone immediately, without any means testing or restrictions.

    • Replies: @Lot
  56. @MattinLA

    It’s not a country without McDonald’s…

  57. @whiskey

    We need new ships, planes, infantry rifles, pretty much everything to deter the Chinese.

    What the heck are you talking about? They say generals are always fighting the last war, you aren’t even fighting that one. How can you suddenly produce that junk with everything locked down?

    They aim to crash the economy good and hard

    No, the shutdowns in production crashed the economy. Production is the foundation of wealth, not magical pieces of paper.

  58. what should be done?

    people over 60 should be quarantined and every business in America reopened immediately. boom, done, crisis over. quarantine for people over 60 lasts 1 month pending virus presence nationally. could be extended to 2 months or more if it’s still not safe for the old people to come out. borders remain highly controlled pending global virus presence.

    that’s what SHOULD be done. stop talking about anything else. stupid UBI, federal reserve printing and interest rates, TARP, QE.

  59. @Anonymous

    The irony is that we thought this would end up discrediting the Chinese system. But now it’s the American system that looks pretty bad right now. A lot of people took the civics class too literally and so any idiot thinks he gets an opinion and will bleat out these theories without evidence and then tell you to disprove them.

  60. @reactionry

    [took some time out to set up a woefully inadequate room humidifier having disconnected the whole house thingee many years ago with furnace replacement]

    So now President Trump has triggered the Defense Production Act. So where the devil are the details? (Granted, it would be surprising to learn that FDR had been subject to anything like the press conference that DJT’s team has faced.) The President has said that he has “talked” to various captains of industry. Totalitarian genocidal scumbuckets such as Pelosi, Schiff and Schumer would doubtless love to “force” companies to do this and that and ideally shoot millions of “wreckers” who fail to meet Five Year Plans. Is the administration, however beholden to the rich, paralyzed by fears that Democrats will howl about “war profiteering” if – gasp! – some new and old companies make some money while doing good? Bernie Sanders comment that he finds it “disgusting” that some people might get rich or words to that effect are what one should expect from a stone cold commie rat bastard.

    [MORE]

    Stalin’s USSR produced enormous amounts of war materiel, but the Soviet command and control economy was not built overnight nor without a lot of bloodshed.

    Large companies with huge contracts might initially have to rely on small scale, inefficient producers. 3-D printing and sewing machines look awfully slow for mass production. Does the U.S. have the ability to make the machines which make the machines which make the machines which can spit out vast quantities of PPE? Ventilating machines have far more parts, of course, than protective equipment. US manufacturers didn’t have to worry that they would be outbid by, say, importation of hundreds of thousands of planes, tanks, trucks, army boots and chocolate bars from Chiang Kai Shek’s China.

  61. Dave3 says:
    @Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang

    You don’t need a bank to issue a mortgage. Call the owner directly and offer e.g. a 3.5% 20-year mortgage with 50% down. My dad did that when he sold his late sister’s house. He didn’t need full payment right away and the principal is paying him a higher interest rate than any bank would.

    • Replies: @botazefa
  62. Mr. Anon says:

    What Should be Done About the Economy?

    The Government should send every American a relief package filled with Lucky Strikes, Hershey bars, and nylons.

    • Agree: vhrm
  63. Mr. Anon says:
    @Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang

    Big Businesses would probably love to use this as an opportunity to crush small businesses. There are very few local hardware stores anymore; they have almost all been killed off by the big box stores like Home Depot. Why should your local independent restaurant be any different? And every dollar spent at a local non-chain coffee house is a dollar not spent at Starbucks.

  64. Very very few people ended up paying more in tax as a result of the TCJA. The minuscule number of people who got screwed by SALT deduction limitations deserved it, and their districts had already broken D in 2016.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  65. @Jonathan Mason

    Leadership requires followers to STFU and do what their told. Not very likely.

  66. Lot says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    “ without any means testing or restrictions.”

    If you had zero reported income from employment 2018-2020, you probably aren’t losing anything in this economy, or you’re a tax cheat.

    No Trumpbux for them!

    Dave, you really think retired people on social security or people on disability or permanent mom’s basement NEETs or prisoners should share in the bounty?

    I agree more generally in something quick and without a phaseout. But we need some limits.

    AD suggests limiting to citizens. I like that in theory, but I don’t think the IRS and SSA actually knows with high accuracy which people with SSNs are citizens or not in a big database. I also worry that this would lead to a flood of lawful permanent residency becoming citizens and then eventually voting.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  67. What Should be Done About the Economy?

    Wall Street Week would ask a less-statist question:

    They also had a neat theme in 5/4 time– paid for in part by Enron:

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  68. anon[383] • Disclaimer says:

    Should? Doesn’t matter. Will be done? No need for helicopters.

  69. Lagertha says:

    Nothing. Give a date when the supposed Pandemic is over. It will be like Helsinki saying the bars are open during the WWs. Alcohol and “Whatevs,” is a thing in the Arctic Circle.

  70. Gordon Gekko already explained everything in 1987:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TLCaDbBv_s’

    “Win a few, lose a few, but you keep on fighting.”

    Goddamn right!

  71. [caution: transcribed and channeled poorly]

    No, Not The HMS Mr. Magic Christian

    Dear Mr. Sailer & Motley Crew of Disloyal Colonists,

    You are correct that all would do well to wear masks in broad daylight though they give one the appearance of mad highwaymen. One and half billion heathen chinee* can’t be wrong. The difference between them and thee is as plain as the nose on thy (uncovered) face. Even if said queer accoutrements do not in truth ward off foul contagions, they might nonetheless give one the confidence to KBO – Keep Buggering On – as in my old world of rum, buggery and the lash.

    [MORE]

    Your President could do worse than to direct one of his aides to demonstrate (while making a claim of much vaunted “Yankee ingenuity”) the construction (posted on your scurrilous site several times) of a mask from rubber bands, staples and a paper towel. With respect to the brand of the last, one should always choose the Bounty.

    And if it’s a “war” that you’re in, may your Victory Gardens prosper with the blessings of breadfruit.

    Three Spreadsheets To The Wind,
    William Bligh

    * https://twain.lib.virginia.edu/roughingit/map/chiharte.html

  72. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Lot

    If you had zero reported income from employment 2018-2020, you probably aren’t losing anything in this economy, or you’re a tax cheat.

    2020 taxes don’t get filed until 2021, and most people haven’t filed their 2019 taxes yet, since the filing deadline just got pushed back to July and tax prep offices are closed in places under shutdown. So we’re going by 2018 taxes. You might have been unemployed then, or in college. Or you might have been making big money, and you’re not now. That’s why it’s pointless to speculate about it.

    The longer this goes on, the more likelihood it’s going to turn into a depression. St. Louis Fed President Bullard is already predicting 30% unemployment in the second quarter. The checks should have started going out as soon as the shutdowns started. There’s zero reason why we need limits right now. None. We can argue about who didn’t deserve what later and raise taxes on them then if you want.

    • Agree: Charon
    • Replies: @Lot
  73. Sailer wrote:

    I used to think I knew a lot about macroeconomics, but over the decades I didn’t demonstrate any kind of track record on anticipating what would happen.

    Ah, but that is the core of wisdom in macroeconomics: to realize that neither you nor anyone else can predict the macro-economy!

    Seriously: a sound and stable monetary policy, a modestly restrained fiscal policy, oh, and don’t encourage “financialization” — that is about the best we can expect from our “policy experts.”

    Attempts to manage the macro-economy at best just add noise to the system. At worst, they dramatically amplify instability by pursuing short-term gains at the expense of very severe long-term pains — so-called “political business cycles.”

    One lesson we need to take away from both 2008 and what is likely to unfold over the next few months is that a financial system that valorizes “financial efficiency” as measured by some unrealistic mathematical model that ignores the real bumps and uncertaintites of the real world is extremely dangerous.

    Countries get rich by becoming very good at producing goods and services for which people are willing to shell out their own money. High finance has a role in directing funds to efficient and innovative entrepreneurs and businesses. But, when finance becomes an end in itself, or when it is mainly a means of avoiding inflation or the taxman, reality has become inverted.

  74. @prime noticer

    prime noticer wrote:

    what should be done?

    people over 60 should be quarantined and every business in America reopened immediately. boom, done, crisis over. quarantine for people over 60 lasts 1 month pending virus presence nationally. could be extended to 2 months or more if it’s still not safe for the old people to come out. borders remain highly controlled pending global virus presence.

    The over-60s quarantine needs to be encouraged but not enforced by law. After all, some 62 year-olds are healthier than most 52 year-olds.

    A lot of us who are over 60 can generally stay at home but want to be free to pick up a book at the library: with reasonable use of masks, this need be no more dangerous than picking up takeout Chinese. (Shutting down libraries during a lockdown?! Shows what our rulers actually think about books.)

    They better open businesses soon. Our whole economy is built on a fragile web of interlocking debts. Unravel it here and there and the while thing collapses.

    A Web friend of mine who lives in Germany — probably middle-of-the road politically by European standards but with some real knowledge of economics — says that even Germans will not endure this for months on end.

    Sometimes, I really think our ruling classes are just incredibly stupid.

  75. If universal giveaways were treated as taxable income, they would be less resisted by the leftists.

  76. @PhysicistDave

    “Shutting down libraries during a lockdown? Shows what our rulers think about books.”

    In many local library branches in the large cities, there are no books in the libraries. There are computers, video equipment… and lots and lots and LOTS of Muslim babies. Also lots of homeless people reading magazines and watching TV.

    But mostly urban libraries are Muslim and Mexican nurseries.

    Our new country is gonna be great!

  77. anon[283] • Disclaimer says:
    @Daniel H

    let banking/Wall Street die. Let all of Wall Street die.

    What, are you some kind of anti-semite?

    • LOL: Svevlad
  78. @Steve Sailer

    Spraying the streets is just psychops, it is not effective in lowering the curve, but does make people feel like the government is on top of things. Besides since the goal now is to get most people to stay indoors; spraying the streets would send the wrong message. Transmission is almost always person to person by either direct touch or more likely from airborne projectiles.

  79. BB753 says:
    @James N. Kennett

    So his grand strategy was spreading the virus in prison and breaking free?

  80. David says:
    @Alice

    I’ve been racking my brain about what “goods” are really important and which aren’t. Everything you listed is essentially superfluous, though personally things I enjoy too. Are canned beans still getting canned? Ranchers ranching? It just seems that 70% of what we spend our time and money on could be eliminated with no loss except for the people who make their living by them.

    We need bread. Do we need all these circuses?

  81. guest007 says:

    Axios is reporting that the Trump Administration does not have the discipline or patience for long term solutions and wants to end social distancing and stay at home orders. In a couple of weeks, President Trump is bound to say something or propose something so stupid that Dr. Fauci and everyone else who is trying to solve the problem will be forced to quit.

    Image what happens to the stock market is Fauci quits and says that President Trump is so stupid that we will have to kill 3 million Americas to get over the situation. In addition, what happens to financial markets and the healthcare system is President Trump decide to remove the national emergency declaration too early, decides to implement policies that will force healthcare workers to quit in mass, and decides to cut funding to states that are trying the hardest to control the epidemic.

    Also, what happens to financial markets if after the 2018 election, Biden is President, the state has more than 60 Democratic Senators, and the house is ore than 2/3 Democratic.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @anon
    , @Art Deco
  82. @AnotherComment

    “We could accept that death is a part of life and not obliterate all value creating activity because of a disease that mainly kills the elderly?”

    I’m sure that the sounds of the elderly struggling for their last breath will provide the appropriate ambiance for worshipping Mammon.

    • Replies: @ken
  83. SFG says:
    @Steve Sailer

    My best guess is they’re afraid of lawsuits from someone allergic to/getting cancer from the chemical, or there’s some regulation against it.

    It would probably be less effective here given our lower population density….but still worth trying in, say, NYC or Chicago.

  84. Aren’t we forgetting that retirement and pension accounts are tied to these megacorps and that many retirees planned on a 4% + return after retirement? Many people depend upon these megacorps for their existence.

    It’s not ideal, but that’s the way it works.

  85. Svevlad says:
    @Jack D

    Ah, look at the poor nonpragmatist, afraid of the economic n-word.

    I’m gonna say it…

    Nationalization.

  86. Svevlad says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. It’s a RETIREMENT fund, not an investment fund. If they gambled away all their retirement money, well fuck ’em, their dumbasses did themselves in

  87. Jake says:

    Unless the Globalist class of billionaires is relieved of its powers, there is virtually nothing that will matter positively for the majority of non-rich whites.

  88. NOTA says:
    @Anonymous

    That’s unusually dumb even for an anonymous internet comment. Nothing about that makes any sense at all.

  89. Realist says:

    What Should be Done About the Economy?

    Whatever is done it will be to benefit the Deep State.

  90. NOTA says:
    @Pericles

    Is Elvis bringing them their drinks?

  91. NOTA says:
    @Anonymous

    The best data I know of shows virus survives in aerosol form for 3 hours, and on surfaces for at most 3 days.

  92. @Mr. Anon

    The government should send every American masks , gloves and hand sanitizer.

  93. Wency says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    I second this. It’s one of the few places where your status as a native-born American is still a major asset. I know a guy who has done very well going this route, and he tells me about kids nowadays graduating with a 1 or 2-year programming degree from the freaking DeVry Institute and making six figures within a few years.

    One advantage also is that you might be able to get a job in a place like Huntsville, AL (which is actually a neat little town) and quickly earn a salary that renders you upper-middle class, instead of having to live in SF, where besides the wokeness singularity you also need about $300,000/yr. to graduate from the ranks of the working poor.

  94. @Jack D

    losing our leadership in aerospace is forever.

    We’ll never make a jet again, maybe not for a century.

    Lol…

    Giving five thousand dollar bucks to the ghetto dwellers would create a bubble in the collectible sneaker market.

    So much leadership….

  95. giveaway to the ultrarich and a tax increase on the upper middle class

    Business as usual. All part of the plan.

    Nothing to see here. Please move along.

  96. botazefa says:
    @Dave3

    You missed the point.

    The point is that, by implication, banks have stopped offering corporate loans. That is a significant data point.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  97. GU says:

    Re: Trumpbux

    Means testing by 2018 income is a bad idea because it fails to consider people who recently lost their job or are making less money, and vice versa (e.g., someone who was in college in 2018 but is now an investment banker at Goldman Sachs).

    Moreover, using income reported on the tax return is simply a poor way to judge standard of living, wealth, need, etc., especially with a $100k/$200k cutoff. Consider a retired couple with a few million in a 401(k) and a paid off house; their reported income is likely underneath the cutoff, but they are wealthy. Likewise, imagine the same couple who instead of a 401(k) has a $125,000 government pension; again, they don’t need the help. Or how about the successful small business owner that, due to tax deductions from his business, reports an income low enough to qualify, but again, is actually wealthy. There are literally millions of Americans that fit in this category.

    Now consider a married couple who work long hours at an upper middle class job in an expensive city. They make $300k, have a mortgage, student loans, and two kids. This couple is in the upper 5% in income terms, but they have a modest or negative net wealth, and a standard of living comparable to the couple earning $100k in Oklahoma City. This couple—again this describes millions of folks—is “too rich” to get Trumpbux.

    Finally, many people cheat on their taxes by under reporting income. This is especially common among immigrants, the self-employed, cash businesses, and certain ethnic groups in America (which coincide heavily with “self-employed and cash business”).

    If we must use reported income to means test, at least put the cutoffs at $500k/$1M. Then income is starting to correlate a lot better to wealth and standard of living. If we keep lower thresholds, I propose that if you have more than $25k in outstanding student loans, you should automatically qualify regardless of income. No wealthy person on earth has student loans.

    • Replies: @Rob
  98. @Anonymous

    No, that bill was very good for the Middle Middle Class. And SALT reform was long overdue. SALT deductibility abuse served as the motive force behind the Brain/Babe Drain away from the Heartland.

  99. @Neoconned

    Once I was in New York, pre 911, and, on a Sunday, I took a subway to the station that was under the World Trade Center. The area was pretty empty. Suddenly a rush of cops, in uniform and plain clothes, ran up the escalator I was on so at the top I quickly jumped off and held the door for them, as they looked to be in a rush somewhere. Suddenly one of the plainclothes cops stopped and looked off to the right and said “Are you pissing on that phone?” I looked over at who he was talking to and there was a black homeless guy with his wang out pissing on a pay phone, directing the stream so that entire phone was dripping wet. The cop must have had a more important thing to go to as he kept on running. The homeless guy looked like he was pissed off at being caught.

  100. @prime noticer

    I think we should have a hybrid strategy. Allow some people to come out of quarantine so long as they do the following:

    1. Agree that if they do get sick with corona or some disease that looks like it could be corona, they will renounce their right to all medical care more serious than CVS Health Day & Night Cold + Flu Plus Softgels, whether they have insurance or not, whether they have the ability to pay or not, and that if they try to renege on this they will be criminally prosecuted.

    2. Agree to wear a special symbol on their clothing so that others can distinguish them from responsible people who go out once a month to buy needed supplies or work jobs which must be done, and agree that others have an absolute right to discriminate against them, such as by refusing to hire them, refusing to allow them to use their stores, segregating them within, etc., for the remainder of the pandemic. I suggest the symbol be a pinhead.

    3. Since ~1% of people in their fifties who are infected will die, and since all those dead bodies would be a public health hazard, they will agree to pre-dig backyard graves so that their remains can be disposed of quickly and efficiently.

    Okay, 3. is kind of a joke but 1. and 2. seem pretty reasonable to me. Would you sign up for that, prime noticer?

    • Replies: @HA
  101. Yak-15 says:
    @Alexander Turok

    It will essentially be a fire sale to the best bidder. Nothing about that tells me that they would run the company any differently. It’s nearly impossible to avoid these types of situations given the businesses many of these companies are in, the competitive landscapes they face, and the pressures by shareholders to use idle cash. Shareholders would have and will simply replace management who doesn’t do the investors right.

  102. Art Deco says:

    Why not leave stimulus to the Federal Reserve, bar in circumstances like that faced during the Depression?

    • Replies: @epebble
  103. Dutch Boy says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Since the typical American household can’t put its hands on $500, $5000 is actually non-chump change.

  104. Jack D says:
    @AnotherComment

    We could accept that death is a part of life

    This is ridiculous. Death is a part of life but when a forest fire breaks out we still try to put it out rather than letting it kill everyone in the vicinity – we don’t shrug our shoulders and say “death is a part of life”. Death is a part of life but we institute all kinds of expensive safety measures in our workplaces so that workers don’t fall to their death or get sucked into machines. Death is a part of life but we spend vast amounts on pollution control and auto safety and health care, etc. because we want to delay it as long as possible (and much of that expense mainly benefits the elderly BTW – someday if you live long enough you will be elderly too). Death used to be a much bigger part of life (and still is in some 3rd world shitholes) but one of the things that distinguishes advanced societies is that we do a lot to make it LESS of a part of life than it used to be.

    Death is a part of life but pandemics are NOT a part of modern life. Everywhere this virus has broken out, whether democratic or dictatorship, governments have taken certain measures to stem it and rightly so. Mass death, death from lack of medical care because all of the hospital resources are overwhelmed by a raging epidemic is NOT a normal part of modern life. It is tragic. Look at the scenes from Northern Italy – they are heartbreaking.

    Now obviously there needs to be some sort of balancing of cost and benefit. We can’t end all economic activity forever just to save the life of one old geezer. But neither can we just let this epidemic burn through our entire population and kill off half of the elderly if there are reasonable measures that can be taken to slow it down. Now what those measures should be, how long they can and should be maintained. etc. is a topic for discussion but you can’t just dismiss the whole thing.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  105. Anon7 says:

    Cui bono? Who benefits?

    In mid-January, the Chinese signed a trade deal with the United States that finally started to address some of the gross inequalities over past decades. Manufacturing was starting to move back to the US. The tariffs put in place were forcing the Chinese to cooperate. The DJIA was at an all-time high; US unemployment was at historical lows.

    The Chinese government announced that a new coronavirus had been identified; we now know that the first cases occurred in November.

    Cui bono? Who benefits?

    At the end of March, the DJIA had lost a third of its value; tens of millions of people were out of work. Multi-trillion dollar packages were/are being put in place to try to keep businesses open, and keep money in the hands of those who were unable to work.

    Cui bono? Who benefits?

    By fall of this year, China will have passed the United States to become the largest economy in the world.

    Cui bono? Who benefits?

    • Replies: @keypusher
    , @keypusher
    , @Jack D
  106. epebble says:
    @Art Deco

    Federal Reserve is for managing monetary policy. Stimulus is a political and economic decision. They are very different. The former is concerned with stability and supply of money, the latter is concerned with welfare of citizens. They are not interchangeable for the same reason that a doctor or a policeman cannot be your parent.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  107. Muggles says:

    Like the Dire Straits song says, “money for nothing, chicks for free!”

    Who could object? Though in this time of feminist man hating, maybe the “chicks” would, but not the fat ones…

    Lots of bad ideas here being expressed. Panic brings out the worst.

    I’d think with legal weed and liquor stores open, folks would chill. No instead we have a torrent of Magic Wand economists here. Like in the film Trading Places, the racist old guys losing their shirts on Orange Juice futures screaming, “stop the market, halt trading!” But now Fear trumps Greed. In a month or so, it will be the other way around.

    The helicopter money won’t last long, but it will help those who never save a nickel. Sad.

    Though I guess, per the photo above, it is now Drone Money.

    • Replies: @Adam Smith
    , @Rob
  108. Not Raul says:

    TrumpBux sounds like a great idea.

    I like the idea of sending a check to everyone with a SSN and an address. No means testing, no complicated applications and requirements — keep it simple.

    Something to consider: making it simple decreases the administrative burden. A lot of people are either very busy already, or away from where they can be most productive due to fear of infection.

    If a lot of paperwork is required, it’s unfair to people who work on tips, as 1099 contractors, or as sole proprietors.

    Just give the same amount to everyone with a SSN.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  109. @PhysicistDave

    Sometimes, I really think our ruling classes are just incredibly stupid.

    Our globalist establishment was utterly unprepared–despite all the warning shots (SARS, H1N1, Ebola) … and now they are running around over-reacting with counter productive commands that serve only to show the are “doing something” and have *power*.

    This thing is pretty much a “super-flu”. Same sort of transmission vectors, just a much–10x, 20x, worse case 100x–more likely to kick off severe respiratory issues. It’s grandpa/grandma killer.

    — Sick people stay home. Take the sick leave. Stay out of public spaces.
    — Get people in masks when out in public indoor, or crowded outdoor venues–stop lying!
    — Have the alcohol gel at entrances to all public facilities. But the only business that really need to close are those that jam people into close contact with their mouths open. Restaurants. Bars. Clubs. Even some restaurants could maybe operate their outside venues in the summer with larger separation. Until then–carry out.
    — Otherwise stop closing everything and get people back to work!

    Save the lock it down stuff for the real killer yet to come.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @Corvinus
  110. anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:
    @guest007

    Image what happens to the stock market is Fauci quits and says that President Trump is so stupid that we will have to kill 3 million Americas to get over the situation. In addition, what happens to financial markets and the healthcare system is President Trump decide to remove the national emergency declaration too early, decides to implement policies that will force healthcare workers to quit in mass, and decides to cut funding to states that are trying the hardest to control the epidemic.

    Oooooo.

    Liberal Trump porn! It’s the chubby little incel’s version of “Letters to Penthouse,” except less likely.

    The limited number of premises go something like this:

    1. Oh, I’m dying of coronavirus! Thanks, Trump!
    2. Oh, I was spared getting coronavirus, but my resulting financial
    situation now makes me long to be dead! Thanks Trump!

    Progressive Democrat Prime Directive: It’s easy, and even self-esteem-building to be wrong, when the costs are suffered by others.

  111. Economy?

    There is no economy.

    There is only the Fed.

    The Fed Death Star is now fully operational.

    Plenty of coverage at Zero Hedge and Marketwatch.

  112. @Wency

    I second this. It’s one of the few places where your status as a native-born American is still a major asset. I know a guy who has done very well going this route, and he tells me about kids nowadays graduating with a 1 or 2-year programming degree from the freaking DeVry Institute and making six figures within a few years.

    The US citizen requirements for the MIC are very helpful and impossible to overturn for the foreseeable future.

    I will say that the FedGov is heavily encouraging the industry to poz itself with useless vibrants. Better companies stick them in make-work and do nothing roles where they can’t do damage. The poor companies actually promote them and give them responsibilities.

    Programming is a great, portable skill to have. It can be learned and practiced on the cheapest computing hardware with open source software.

  113. JMcG says:
    @Not Raul

    Hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens have SSNs.

  114. @Muggles

    The helicopter money won’t last long, but it will help those who never save a nickel. Sad.

    But it will punish those who did save by reducing the purchasing power of their saved dollars. Mad.

    • Replies: @Muggles
  115. anon[207] • Disclaimer says:
    @guest007

    Also, what happens to financial markets if after the 2018 election, Biden is President, the state has more than 60 Democratic Senators, and the house is ore than 2/3 Democratic.

    That’s a really interesting question. Let me answer it with questions of my own, both for you and VP Biden:

    1. What’s today’s date?
    2. What did you have for breakfast?
    3. Who’s the President?

    • LOL: ben tillman
    • Replies: @guest007
    , @Inquiring Mind
  116. Anon[567] • Disclaimer says:
    @Neil Templeton

    Liposuction away the 3 chins, give him a normal nose, grow a long beard and dress him up in a black hat forelocks and the long coat and send him off to Israel. Rabbi Harry Stein can get a job supervising the girls dorms on those Heritage Israel tours for American teens.

  117. What Should be Done About the Economy?

    Stick a fork in it. They’ve already initiated phase one of the Return to Feudalism, and if you aren’t already living in the castle or the manor, you are just another of the serfs.

  118. Art Deco says:
    @guest007

    Thanks for the partisan Democrat’s wet dream. Been an education.

    • Replies: @guest007
  119. keypusher says:
    @Anon7

    By that logic coronavirus is the work of the sanitizer-industrial complex. “Cui bono” is the best excuse for lazy pseudo-thinking since da Jooz.

  120. Art Deco says:
    @epebble

    They aren’t different at all. Fiscal policy is generally pretty ineffective at macroeconomic demand management. Monetary policy is not.

  121. Art Deco says:
    @AnotherDad

    It’s not a flu at all.

    The severity of it and how contagious it is in comparison to ordinary influenza is unknown because no one is sure how many are infected. Your single best guess is the Diamond Princess, where about 11% of the passengers were known to have been infected and had actual symptoms and about 3-4% of the symptomatic passengers over 60 have died.

  122. keypusher says:
    @Anon7

    Incidentally, here is a link to Financial Times graphs showing the enormous impact of the shutdown on the Chinese economy. Cui bono when a pandemic breaks out and China shuts down huge portions of its economy? Not China. Obviously.

  123. guest007 says:
    @Art Deco

    Anyone who believes that the U.S. can just go back to normal and ignore Covid-19 is an idiot. Remember, corporations started closing before government at any level started reacting. Also, does anyone really believe that multi-national corporations are going to have one set of rules for the U.S. and one set for everyone else.

    If there are corporations who would try to force their employees back to work in the middle of a pandemic, many of the employees would revolt and many of the companies would end up being put out of embarrassment.

    Look at Microstrategy, Gamestop, and Charter Communication for how the average reacts to a greedy company in the middle of a pandemic.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  124. Jack D says:
    @Anon7

    Cui bono is not a good test because life is perverse – the person who THINKS he is going to benefit is not always the one to benefit in the long run. In the end, the #1 beneficiary from the rise of Hitler turned out to be Stalin. But Hitler was not a Soviet plant. And even a dude as evil as Stalin would not have traded the vast death and destruction inflicted on the Soviet Union for their resulting ascendancy.

    If the Chinese wanted to tank the world economy with a virus, starting it off in their own country and killing a lot of their own countrymen and doing a lot of damage to their own economy was not a great idea. Chicoms may be evil, but not THAT evil.

    • Replies: @Anon7
  125. When the money is distributed to the citizens, please call it reparations when given to a certain group. There, that takes care of that.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @William Badwhite
  126. guest007 says:
    @anon

    Ok, do you really think that President Trump will be re-elected in November 2020 if there are more than 50,00 dead Americans from Covid-19. Also, do you think that the Republicans will retain the majority of the Senate in Jan 2021 while the Republicans are arguing that more Americans need to die for the good of the economy and rich people want to go to brunch.

    Also, most of the states would resist the easing of restriction while the infection rate and death rate are still growing. Many large corporations would refuse to start up their business against while the death rate is increasing. Remember, Disney closed its amusement parks before the government closed the schools in many places.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @res
  127. Art Deco says:
    @guest007

    Anyone who believes that the U.S. can just go back to normal and ignore Covid-19 is an idiot.

    Now you’re changing the subject. I’m not paid to listen to you free-associate.

  128. ken says:
    @Ozymandias

    How many people are you willing to bankrupt and get evicted so that granny can have three additional golden years before she dies of something else?

  129. Lot says:
    @Neoconned

    “ When i visited San Diego in 2016 i walked from the Greyhound station hut thing up to Commerce Street past a line of junkies. I caught a homeless black dude w his wang out peeing on the side of a condo tower”

    Absolute worst part of San Diego! The rapid development and gentrification is creeping south into that area though.

    We were the worst hit per capita in the homeless Hep A outbreak of 2016, but it seems like we’re avoiding CV.

    There were less than 20 cases when schools closed and about 60 when the lockdown started. Since then cases have been growing 20-30 a day, ie not exponentially. Zero deaths within the county still.

    • Replies: @Neoconned
  130. Lot says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    “ There’s zero reason why we need limits right now. ”

    I’m not proposing any limit other than “reported earned income anytime in the past 2.25 years.” As for 2020, most working people will have payroll taxes reported with their SSN.

    We agree the bill should be huge. But you give 5k to prisoners, NEETs, people with stable federal disability checks, and wealthy retirees and you have to give less to others.

    The only working people I might be excluding would be 1099 people who reported nothing in 2018 and 2019 and haven’t paid estimated taxes in 2020. I doubt that’s more than 0.2% of the active labor force.

  131. Muggles says:
    @Adam Smith

    >>But it will punish those who did save by reducing the purchasing power of their saved dollars. Mad.<<

    That seems to be the conventional wisdom, but that is often wrong. The QE post 2008-2009, which pumped billions into the banks via the Fed, was also predicted to create inflation. But it didn't. Those bank funds were stuck in the Fed to keep their legal reserves above bankruptcy. And they had to pay that back. Very little escaped into the economy. But banks didn't close, mostly

    Right-wingers and libertarians, especially, seem to be fixated on the money supply via the Fed. Not a bad thing, but like any fixation it can warp proper view of reality.

    Of course as of my writing, not sure exactly what will be done. What we now see is massive deflation via stock and asset valuations (real estate, ongoing private businesses, etc.) Valuations determine credit worthiness. Hence borrowing. As many Unz commentators have reported, even very secure loans are not being made. Bankers are sitting on cash they can borrow for free from the Fed. So this Drone Money bailout will mainly be quickly spent by consumers. Businesses will reopen and some especially affected won't go bust (Trump will insist on a lot of that.)

    Hence deflation will abate. Most of the business money is in the form of loans. The small ones are "soft" but will have to be repaid, mostly. The big ones the feds can collect later in many ways.

    So I don't think these trillions (or billions) will work like it would had this been done six months ago during the boom era. We will see interest rates rise as a result of non deflation and eventually rise as the Fed pushes that up, post re-election. Of course if the Dems take over, this might not work so readily, as Dems won't want to stop creating money to buy voters. But in the meantime savers will be fine I think. Not everything is Weimar Republic Germany post WWI. Just like it's not 1939 Europe either.

  132. I remember back in the 1990s, looking at a graph of income/wealth inequality vs. time.

    The gap started out pretty small, then got really big a few times in our history.

    The first time was in the 1770s. Then came the Revolution. Many wealthy Tories had their lands confiscated as they ran off to Canada or the Bahamas or wherever. The gap between rich and poor narrowed for a while, then grew again until:

    The second time was in the 1850s. There was a bubble in the value of slaves, making people who lived rather frugally seem extremely wealthy on paper. Then came the Civil War (*). Since an enormous percentage of the wealth in the country was human chattel, emancipation wiped out much of this wealth. Also, the infrastructural of the South was destroyed. As my aged mother pointed out to me, the South didn’t really start to recover until the TVA.

    The third time was the 1920s. The extra wealth was wiped out partly by the stock market crash, and partly by the enormous Depression and WW II era taxes on the rich. There was a long period of less inequality of wealth and income until things started to really get out of whack starting in the 1980s.

    The fourth time is now. I was hoping we could reconfigure things after the Great Recession a little over a decade ago, but the Powers That Be decided to bail out the rich instead of the rest of us. So the inequality will persist until SOMETHING REALLY BIG comes along and wrecks things. Then, after we pick up the pieces, we can have a few decades of decent life for the middle class.

    Is Corona-chan the big event? Or will we just use this as a way to make the rich richer and the poor poorer, and the middle class poor?

    (*) Yes, I know, but I’m using the term Civil War anyway.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @res
  133. anon[346] • Disclaimer says:
    @guest007

    Ok, do you really think that President Trump will be re-elected in November 2020

    You and Joe Biden need to answer my questions first, to establish a baseline fact. Then we can go on about your predictions for the 2018 election results. Ok?

    1. What’s today’s date?
    2. What did you have for breakfast?
    3. Who is the President?

    Come on, now, these shouldn’t be difficult for a healthy, normal person.

  134. JMcG says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Hey Best Buddy, glad you’re ok. Hope all of yours are doing well!

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  135. res says:
    @guest007

    Go back and take a closer look at your comment 82 then maybe you will understand comment 118. Here, I’ll make it even easier for you by reproducing the last paragraph of comment 82 along with some explanatory highlights.

    Also, what happens to financial markets if after the 2018 election, Biden is President, the state has more than 60 Democratic Senators, and the house is ore than 2/3 Democratic.

    • Replies: @guest007
  136. Art Deco says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    Then, after we pick up the pieces, we can have a few decades of decent life for the middle class.

    There’s nothing indecent about the life of the middle class.

    Thanks for recycling Ravi Batra. Been an education.

  137. res says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    Do you have some data for that? Because what I am seeing does not correspond completely with your description (in particular I don’t see high 1770s inequality or low inequality after the Civil War).
    https://voxeu.org/article/american-growth-and-inequality-1700

  138. Anon7 says:
    @Jack D

    In China, about 3,270 people died of the coronavirus. That’s about .0002% of their population. Don’t think the ChiComs would hesitate. They’ve been conducting an economic war against the United States for the last thirty years. There can only be one biggest economy in the world, and they’re going to have it. The death toll estimates for China’s Cultural Revolution ran up to 20 million people. Sure, they’re that evil.

    Of course, we have no way of ever knowing what happened. I’m just asking who benefits from destroying our economy, that’s all.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  139. @Buffalo Joe

    Pretty funny.

    Also, welcome back Joe!

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  140. HA says:
    @Alexander Turok

    “Agree that if they do get sick with corona or some disease that looks like it could be corona, they will renounce their right to all medical care more serious than CVS Health Day & Night Cold + Flu Plus Softgels”

    CVS? Get out of here, you and your racist white-boy remedies. What about the Robitussin?

  141. @Anon7

    Of course, we have no way of ever knowing what happened

    Yes we do. We can look at the evidence. Or at least some of us. Others wouldn’t even know where to start, so they just parrot the latest dumb theory they learned from the History Channel.

  142. @William Badwhite

    Bill, I kept reading but not commenting but I could not find a site with as many intelligent commenters (with some notable exceptions.) This whole COVID situation is confusing. NY is in a lockdown, almost all businesses shuttered. Cuomo and DiBlasio say NYC will be out of medical supplies in 2 to 3 weeks, and yet with a couple of phone calls to some contractors I know I secured a box of N-95 masks, and turned down an offer of hazmat suits. I know two companies with 50 gallon drums of 99% isopropyl alcohol. Every commercial painting/sand blasting contractor, lead or asbestos abatement contractor and collision shop has N-95 masks. WNY’s huge GM, Ford and Tesla plants are shut down and I am sure they have N-95s by the case. That’s just local companies. The Buffalo News today printed that Erie County, were I live, recorded its 87th case today. The County population exceeds 925,000, so that is one ten thousandth of a percent. About 10 weeks ago an 11 year old, healthy, active boy, whose family I personally know, died from the flu. It was wall to wall coverage here (Google Buffalo News stories about Luca.) And now suddenly this virus has led to the meltdown of the economy. NPR’s website listed 25,000 cases nationwide and 307 deaths or .0123%. I can’t figure out where this is going. But be safe.

  143. Corvinus says:
    @AnotherDad

    “Otherwise stop closing everything and get people back to work!”

    That is the WORST possible advice. People are not reacting to the epidemic, they are reacting to their feelings of how things cannot go on as they had been before.

  144. @AnotherComment

    I’m sure mammon will be pleased when the lives of the elderly are sacrificed to him. BIG LINE GO UP!

    Weirdos like you don’t seem to get it. If the system is so fragile the the lives of our grandparents and sick have to be sacrificed in order to keep the system running smoothly, then the SYSTEM IS THE PROBLEM.

    Capitalism has poisoned your brain. The lives of grandparents and sick are now part of an economic value calculus. Disgusting.

  145. @anon

    Uh, question 2. is “What did you have for lunch?”

    And those questions are a kind of medical intellectual property, so you cannot ask them without paying a fee to someone — see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini–Mental_State_Examination

  146. @Buffalo Joe

    Welcome back, Joe.

    • Agree: BenKenobi
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  147. @Steve Sailer

    Thank you, but I had my reasons for leaving.

  148. @George

    remove all restrictions and let people do what they feel

  149. @Jack D

    Jack, my mother will be 103 in August. The assisted living facility where she resides is on total lock down…no visitors. I know this may sound ghoulish, but at $4000 plus per month, they definitely want to keep my mom healthy.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  150. Well here is a quickly thrown out idea, hammer me if you wish. Any government cash to US citizens must be spent on oly US made goods or services.

  151. @vhrm

    Sometimes i wonder if this whole thing is Bezos’s finishing move against the remnants of offline retail.

    Yep. I immediately saw billions more finding their way into Bezos’s pockets.

  152. Anon87 says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Welcome back!

    Also, if I remember correctly you may be in a vulnerable demographic, so stay healthy.

  153. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Because street spraying does nothing to the actual spread of the virus. It’s just a feel-good measure to assure that the government does something.

  154. @Wency

    Not so anymore. The invasion has no gone on for so long, and the government is so autistically naïve about the whole point of the statutory requirements, that “native born Americans” with names like Leung and Rajabramanathan whose parents invaded thirty years ago are taking these jobs, and helping their employers meet the demanded quotas for discrimination against white men. Hell, some of the invaders who have since obtained the required citizenship have also taken the jobs themselves.

  155. @botazefa

    How does a “data point” differ from a “datum,” a mere “point,” or even a “fact?” Does it differ in the same way a “skill set” differs from a “skill” or from “skills?”

    I suspect you work in a “space” rather than an “industry,” you “touch base” or “synch up” instead of “meeting” with your colleagues at work, and rather than being merely “busy” you “don’t have the bandwidth” to write with fewer dopey coinages and silly jargon.

  156. @Reg Cæsar

    Thank you.

    I was thinking to myself “Nothing, of course.” Just as the federal government should be doing nothing about freedom of association, about firearms, or about the education of children (among a million other matters). Of course, one cannot have the kind of zany freedom and agency that inaction leads to, so the government must confiscate one third of our earnings and “DO SOMETHING about ‘”the economy’” – ensuring my economy, and that of many other productive people – which is doing about as well as it ever does, since we are resourceful and self-sufficient – can be disrupted to subsidise shittily run, multi-billion dollar corporations like Boeing and obese Latinx women with five bastard children who’ve lost their jobs at Arby’s.

    οίκος νέμoμαι (roughly, “household management”), is a concern for individuals and families, not hegemonic, imperial kritarchies.

  157. guest007 says:
    @res

    I always find people who focus on typos on the interest some of the most narrow minded people.

    Do you really think pointing out typos will keep Biden from being elected in 2020 and taking office in 2021?

    • Replies: @res
  158. Rob says:
    @Muggles

    Paging Dr. Cæsar, Dr. Reg Cæsar…

    Though in this time of feminist man hating…

    Is this true, though? Do people really hate feminist men? Now, feminist man-hating, that has a constituency!

  159. Rob says:
    @GU

    Income support should be restricted to American citizens, and based on reported income. A phaseout just rewards tax cheats, as you say, and should be a nonstarter. I could see an argument for supporting legal permanent residents with citizen spouses. Not mere citizen children. Any illegal can have citizen children. If non-citizens want to take their citizen kids back to their homeland, they are of course free to do so. Either we’ll have legal changes to keep them from coming back, with or without alien spouses, or it won’t matter anyway. Mexicans can be supported by Mexico. Is El Salvador even having a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak?

    House Democrats want a Corona-Christmas this spring, and so do I. We just want different presents. This is a great opportunity to halt the alien plague. It’s not like they’re filling jobs that wouldn’t be done without them, and colleges aren’t full of them, so the traitors w at least need new propaganda. Illegals can’t stage demonstrations. That gay Filipino (redundant, I know) can’t make the talk show rounds. Patriotic Americans will have time to hassle their legislators. This could be golden.

    Trump will, of course, fuck it up.

    • Replies: @Anon
  160. Neoconned says:
    @Lot

    I stayed at 1 of the hostels on Commerce St.

    It was strange….in 2016 there was a line of tents and junkies hanging there. They didn’t mess w me so i kept moving but i was impressed when i returned in 2017. Long story short my friend owns a coffee shop in SD and he picked me up from the hostel and we grabbed dinner and we chilled w his partner and shot the sh-t etc

    He was telling me about how his dad used to own a bunch of downtown SD property. 1 of his dad’s old warehouses was now a health food store. Another was a fire station. He stays out in Emerald Hills & was telling me about how he hadn’t been to that part of downtown since the 1990s.

    When he dropped me off at the Greyhound hut we were astonished because there were like 4 new condo towers right there bythe homeless tent city.(the towers weren’t there in 2016….they were erected in less than a yr….)

    The way he explained it to me was since they had run out of room to expand downtown they were building the only way they could…..up…..

    I miss San Diego. If this Corona crap blows over by summer I’ll probably come back for a visit

  161. Anon[368] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rob

    Trump will, of course, fuck it up.

    The rallying cry of the low-T beta male bitch loser. There are millions of you scrambling like cockroaches on every single place on the internet that allows comments. That’s how interesting and original you are. Does that make you feel better momentarily, talking shit about a man who is more successful than you? Did you get your little dopamine hit? Thank God we don’t have ineffectual little whiners like you in charge.

  162. Jack D says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Joe,

    Welcome back. We missed your good common sense, which we need now more than ever. I understand that you had your reasons for leaving. Family is more important than anything. But welcome back.

    God bless your mother and keep her healthy. They can cut off visitors, but weak link in the chain is that the staff goes home every night. There’s no easy fix for this.

    My 97 y.o. mother in law still lives in her own home but she has an aide who comes in part time. Physically I think she could get by without help if she had to but I think she would go nuts if she was completely alone most of the time. Humans are social creatures. There’s a reason why solitary confinement is considered to be a severe sort of punishment.

    The really right thing would be to bring her to our house or her son’s house since we are already isolating but it’s not the American way to have multiple generations under one roof. It wouldn’t bother me much (contrary to stereotypes, she’s actually a nice person and we have a pleasant relationship) but it would actually be more stressful to my wife who has the usual mother-daughter baggage.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  163. res says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Glad to have you back, Joe. Hope you and your daughter are well.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  164. res says:
    @guest007

    And I find people who don’t attend to details often are not worth listening to. I am also amused by using “typos” to include all sorts of errors which look more like errors of thinking rather than fumble fingeredness.

    FWIW, your original comment read more like concern trolling than an effort to keep Biden from being elected.

  165. @Jack D

    Jack, My Mom lived on her own until she was 96. People,Inc. would have an aide stop by daily but Mon wanted constant company and contemporaries. My friend had her mother live with them, she and her husband, until her mother died at 103. The arrangement was super stressful and my friend still has guilty feelings, but she was a good daughter. For what we have paid for Mom’s assisted living I could have easily had a 1200 sq. ft. addition added to my house as a Mom apartment, but, big but, we would not have been able or willing , to be with her constantly.

  166. @res

    res, thank you all is well with the Buffalo herd, scattered as it is.

  167. @JMcG

    JM, all is well, a heartfelt thank you.

  168. @216

    Boeing is a Chicago company.

  169. @Buffalo Joe

    The Covid-19 Live World Map shows 51,547 US cases and 674 deaths as of 3/24/20 3PM CST.

  170. explorer says:

    We should nationalize the Federal Reserve, seizing their assets. Then shut it down and have the government issue our money supply……

  171. RSDB says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    As far as I know the best thing you can do right now (as in really right now if you haven’t done it already) is to get on the horn to all these people you know of who have stocks of masks or other protective devices, or, indeed, any sort of useful “materiel”, and ask them to consider contacting local hospitals and local government to see if anyone needs anything (hospital staff, paramedics, police, the list goes on). Some people tend to assume that if they are needed for something, they’ll be asked.

    I’m sure this is sometimes the case, but hospital people have a lot to worry about right now and may miss simple things like potential alternative sources of supply. And local government folks were never the most competent bunch in the first place. After this thing is over there may well be a glut of masks (etc.) on the market and these people and companies should be able to restock fairly easily.

    Also (and here this is not really advice, I’m not a doctor) for you personally, while masks may help a little, the best help might be to avoid the kind of occasions where you might figure you would need a mask. If you have a situation where you need to be in public, maybe get your kids to do it for you if possible. If you do use masks (and, if you absolutely must be in public, use them), don’t adjust them while out, and don’t reuse without sterilizing.

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