Economic Destruction

I don’t want to be right about this. I mean I really don’t want to be right, but we’re in for a bit of a rough winter, spring and summer economically. We will be continuing to pay the price for sending the snowflakes home from work during covid, a measure which has zero scientific foundation, but creates a powerful economic cost. Government’s can’t do a thing about weather but they sure can wreck a good working economy. I know people like to point fingers at the other party in government, or the latest foundation-free caricature of an argument, of claiming the whole world has the same problem so it’s not our fault.

What it was, was a manipulation of the politicians like Trump, who had no choice but to react ridiculously in the name of “safety first”. What we found out was that like Climate Science™, government paper cannot cure disease either. Weird, I thought governments were supposed to cure disease?

When you dump free money into the economy, everyone benefits – for a short time. Then you pay the price. Think of it like playing Monopoly with two sets of money. Prices for everything skyrocket very early in the game but all you end up with is higher prices and a bigger stack of worthless paper. The value of an economy is what you produce. Productivity breeds wealth, nothing else does.

Unemployment numbers are great they say, but in October last year in Michigan we had hundreds of thousands less people working, we have still not recovered. Under Trump, things were booming, real wages were rising and we had a higher percentage of productive workforce with a slightly higher unemployment rate. As soon as Biden and the Democrats cheated an election and used the majority numbers to attack energy production while giving out more free money, many people stopped working. You can see it in the graph. In other words, the unemployment number is a farce and in our state, we have 2012 level employment on a percentage basis. The same farce they used to claim we are not in a recession, remember they redefined recession because of the great unemployment numbers. Some of you dumbasses even celebrate it today.

Currently there are LARGE industries in the US which are reporting a 50% reduction in orders. This isn’t something known to those not in industry. This has already paid off in terms of layoffs that the news isn’t reporting. It will show up in a non-election year quite dramatically. You will likely hear more right about December 7-10th after Warnock beats Walker. Democrats have huge cash due to their money laundering schemes through corrupt organizations like Ukraine and Planned Parenthood, but even that huge advertising advantage can’t get them to win polls. It does pay for the fraud however and the fraud machine in Georgia cities will get it done. Then they will tell you the bad news.

Basically, we got a chance to try universal basic income for the unemployed. People loved it, shelves were empty because the labor force was insufficient to deliver goods but there was enough to survive and the vacation some of you had was thoroughly enjoyed and even voted for. Everyone wore masks and hid in their houses like sheep, pretending that it was somehow reasonable. However, the disease continued on as though nothing happened but the happy sheep were in the pen.

When the free money was handed out, prices skyrocketed and ports were closed, not because demand skyrocketed as the liars claimed, but rather it was due to the lack of workforce to move the goods. For those of you still not voting right, you are so short sighted, you didn’t predict what would happen. Oddly enough, I did and so did a lot of business owners I know. The rest of us continued to work to pay for it, and I for one, knew damned well that we are going to have very difficult times now, especially when we are flat dumb enough to attack energy production at the same time.

You have to stop the stupid ideas folks if you want to turn this around. Open up drilling, cut regulation and stop making new barriers to entry for smaller business. There is a reason that these giant companies don’t want conservatives to speak on Twitter. It eliminates competition for them. The lack of conversation allows them cover to make even greater barriers to entry, charge higher prices and take bigger profits. They give their money to the Democrats who happily help them grow. Free speech is one piece of the authoritarian puzzle, energy limitation, travel limitation, profit limitation, self-defense limitation, medical limitation all spokes on the Marxist wheel.

It would be nice to see a little sanity from the leftist apologists, but I for one expect nothing.

7 thoughts on “Economic Destruction

  1. To risk being called racist: the millions of illegally entering-and-remaining resident non-citizens are, by and large, here to work for better pay than they can earn in their nations of birth. Not as refugees from persecution. Not as aspirants of freely worshiping their own god. Not even as investors in “The American Dream” if we are to consider how many workers here send so much of their pay, as international remittances, back to “the homeland”. These are workers willing — avid — to accept a $15 dollar an hour job for $8 per hour. Willing to accept schedules of 20 to 70 hours per week.

    Our economy includes millions of workers who CAN’T hold still to be counted in the official census, lest they lose a day’s pay while they show up in court making worthless promises. Lest they have to re-locate from one unauthorized job to another. Lest the company that employs them send them away until the “heat” dies down. Lest a union local simply come in and bust heads.

    Similarly, our official statistics about housing are distorted. Residential properties zoned as “single-family dwellings” have “families” that include multiple generations, in-laws, cousins, and friends from the same town back in “the homeland”. Again, when the census taker or code enforcement official knocks on the door as asks “how many…” there are incentives to lie. Our stats about workplace accidents are distorted. Employers simply send the injured away and hire someone else. Our stats on auto accidents, emergency room occupancy, school “free lunch” participants (up until 8th grade, anyhow) and violent crime, on the other hand, DO tend to show the shadow of the populations that avoid the sunlight.

    Still, the stats have issues now.

  2. Jeff wrote: “We will be continuing to pay the price for sending the snowflakes home from work during covid, a measure which has zero scientific foundation, but creates a powerful economic cost. Government’s can’t do a thing about weather but they sure can wreck a good working economy.”

    When lockdowns were first introduced in the US in late March 2020 and in almost every developed country in the world, the reproduction rate was 3-4 (newly infected people from each existing infected person) and the number of new cases and deaths were doubling every 2.5 days. They would increased 4000-fold in March and – at that rate of exponential growth – cumulative cases would reach 100 million by May 1 – if nothing changed. Do the math! Hospitals wouldn’t have beds for all those “snowflakes” who were dying or might die without proper care.

    Of course, with hospitals overflowing, people would stop behaving normally and many would stay home for safety. And that would include a lot of essential workers, including some who produce and deliver food. Many shelves in grocery stores would begin empty (like they do during local emergencies like hurricanes and major snow storms). We wouldn’t reach 100 million cumulative cases by May 1, but civilized society could break down. No leader will stand by and watch civilized society break down when he can stop it.

    That is why almost every developed nation in the world – from the most capitalist to the most socialist, and from the most democratic and free to the most authoritarian and unfree – instituted lockdowns or other policies in late March of 2020 that brought this exponential grow in new cases to a halt about one week later. By keeping “non-essential” workers at home, we reduced the number of contacts between people so that the reproduction rate remained between 0.7 and 1.3 for the next year, making it safe enough that most “essential workers” kept working.

    There were some exceptions to the above generalization, most notably Sweden. In Sweden, the data showed that the number of cases was NOT doubling every 2.5 days in mid-March and a lockdown wasn’t essential to avoiding disaster. Sweden did far worse early in the pandemic than its neighbors Norway and Finland (appropriate comparators) but not worse that Germany (a less appropriate comparator) and parts of the US.

    In Taiwan and South Korea, experience with SARS and MERS had both countries well prepared to contain the pandemic with testing and mandatory quarantine for those infected and their contacts. Both countries successfully contained the pandemic without lockdowns until the population was vaccinated and the less deadly omicron variant had taken over. Then they removed most restrictions and allowed the pandemic to take off in their countries.

    In the US, we added emergency beds to hospitals so that we barely got through the surge in the winter of 20-21 without too many hospitals overflowing. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the trained staff to properly care for all those filled beds, so some died unnecessarily.

    In China, an intense lockdown managed totally eliminate almost all cases of COVID for the next two years. However, the US and most other nations only managed to limit the pandemic, not suppress it completely. If 200-250 million Americans needed to be infected with COVID for herd immunity to stop the pandemic and 1-2% of them die, what did our lockdowns achieve in the long run? Lockdowns initially prevented society from breaking down. Then they kept hospitals from overflowing, preventing unnecessary deaths. Finally they kept many Americans from getting infected before a vaccine was available to protect them. Israel was the first to vaccinate 50% of their people in March and the number of new cases dropped 10-fold each month for three months after. So they were probably about 50% of the way to herd immunity before vaccination.

    The US took much longer to vaccinate 50% of its population and new cases declined only 10-fold from approaching herd immunity before the delta variant arrived (rendering the concept of herd immunity obsolete). So, IMO the US was halfway to herd immunity when a vaccine became available in early 2021. By then 0.5 million Americans had died and 9-10% had suffered confirmed infections. Another 0.5 million would have died if lockdowns hadn’t kept them uninfected until a vaccine became available. That is the big picture, as I see it. Was it worth the economic cost and educational cost and many other costs? I can’t do that analysis. And even if a cost-benefit analysis said lockdowns were the wrong decision, I don’t expect any real leader to chose the “cost-effective” course and let a pandemic overflow his country’s hospitals and threaten the food supply and civilized society – when he can prevent that from happening.

    Of course, most Americans had little idea of the danger posed by uncontrolled exponential growth in March of 2020 and their government didn’t want to alarm them.

    1. “If nothing changed. Do the math! Hospitals wouldn’t have beds for all those “snowflakes” who were dying or might die without proper care.”

      Not true at all Frank. The correlation of disease communication was indoor vs outdoor living. Your perceived correlation had nothing to do with anything. That is why states with minimal regulations did the same as those with authoritarian stupidity. There was never a ‘halt’ to the disease, still isn’t. All pattern changes were completely correlated to the seasons in each region. Gets too hot in Florida, people go indoors, cases go up. Gets too cold in Illinois, people go indoors, cases go up. Immunity was developed for each variant as it came.

      It was a riot watching everyone point fingers at the useless government actions. Like the vote fraud, I was predicting when cases would rise and fall with near perfect accuracy.

      If you want to stay safe from a virus, go outside. At my business, my decision was to make a 2 acre garden for the employees to spend outdoor time. Worked pretty well.

      China’s plans had nothing to do with cases either. It’s actually funny because their data is completely different from ours and corrupted in a different way. Can’t be used for comparison.

      You shouldn’t watch that much news. Not good for the thinker.

      1. Jeff: Sorry I’m so slow to respond. I seem to be getting outraged by ignorance and/or deliberate disinformation all too often. I did my own semi-log plot of cumulative US COVID cases and deaths vs time for March and April of 2020. The cumulative number of confirmed cases is the least noisy and showed an almost perfectly linear fit (R2 0.99) for almost all of March with a doubling time of 2.5 days! Cumulative cases increased 4000-fold in March. The first lockdowns began around 3/20 and the linear fit starts to degrade on the last few days of the March. New cases reached a plateau in the first week of April and were falling in the second week. The timing is perfect for lockdowns to be responsible: It takes about a week for a person who was infected on the last day before locking down to get sick enough to get sick enough to be tested himself. Cumulative cases increased 4000-fold in March.

        I’ll share my spreadsheets if you want, but it is pretty trivial to do repeat the analysis on ourworldindata.org these day. They report the reproduction rate, the average number of new infections caused by each existing infection, instead of a doubling time, which is pretty meaningless once the number of cases begins to plateau of fall. A reproduction rate of 1 is a stable plateau. In almost every developed country (except Sweden), the reproduction rate early in the pandemic was about 3.5, equivalent to a doubling period of 2.5 days. When people were behaving normally, the average infected person infected 3-4 others, After lockdowns, the reproduction rate in the US remained between 0.7 and 1.3 for more than a year. That is thanks to people working from home, social distancing, wearing masks and being scared. Fear plays a critical role in the evolution of a pandemic. The people of NY, NJ and MA who had been badly hit by the first wave never had a big surge.

        As you noted, so does weather which keeps people inside more in different parts of our country and making us a pretty heterogenous place. (You can look at smaller European countries and see sharper surges and retreats than in the US.) I was following Nic Lewis hypothesis in the winter of 2020 and hoping see signs of approaching herd immunity when the number of cases exploded in ND and SD in early fall and then in nearby states. However Gretchen’s Gulag (MI) didn’t have a big surge in fall, they held off until people because optimistic the following spring. The surge in ND and SD had mostly ended by Thanksgiving topping out with 13% cumulative infections and higher in counties with large cities. Was that caused by fear or approaching herd immunity? Almost certainly the cause was fear. Cumulative cases rose above 16% in Arizona counties with both a summer and winter surge and even higher in Miami-Dade in FL. IMO we didn’t reach herd immunity until 50% of the country was vaccinated and new cases fell 10-fold after mid-April.

        So lockdowns and other measures may have appear to fail because the pandemic didn’t end. In reality, these measures reduced the reproduction rate from 3.5 to around 1.0, ending the exponential growth in new cases and leaving a relatively stable pandemic that slowly “surged” and retreated based on weather, fear and impatience.

        The other proof that lockdowns “work” is that we didn’t have the usual winter epidemic of seasonal flu. Since both flu and COVID are transmitted by the same mechanisms, the same measures work on both: masks, lockdowns and social distancing. BTW, an enormous flu season has already begun because few natural flu infections built up resistance in the last two winters. We’ve built up plenty of resistance to COVID through vaccination, booster and natural infections (often multiple). But measures to limit COVID the last two winters have prevented flu infections from building up fading resistance.

        Sorry to again be so lengthy and hope all is well with you, especially for the holidays.

        1. Frank,

          It is a multi-variate problem unfortunately and the most explanatory variable is absolutely not government response. Latitude and population are important variables in the regression. I found that states with and without lockdowns performed very similarly and that is the real test of your correlation vs causation. There are unheralded papers showing the lack of correlation across whole countries based on response as well but I stopped doing any covid research a year ago and hope to never do any again. There is simply too much bullshit out there.

          There was lag time in low population areas and I think you will find first population, then latitude being by far the most explanatory variables in disease spread with states like Florida doing very well in total numbers compared to others of similar population density despite their lack of government overreach and loss of freedom. Outdoor living saves lives.

          The seasonal flu has many other explanations BTW. I know I didn’t see any doctors for that entire time period. Frankly, I don’t believe any of the BS in the government data as people were being compensated for calling things covid.

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