Are you happy enough with the response to SARS2 to do this again with SARS3?

I’m taking a survey. What do you think? Was it the right choice to isolate healthy people and close businesses in response to SARS2 (covid-19)? If there were another novel coronavirus of unknown infectious potential, say SARS3, should we follow this policy set again? Send me a comment and tell me what you think.

Addendum: See this source about false positive test results discovered in Conneticut testing for covid-19. The test that tested with so many false positives is one that has been widely used across the U.S.:

Conneticut State Department of Public Health, Press Release, July 20th, 2020—2020/Connecticut-State-Public-Health-Lab-Discovers-False-Positive-COVID-19-Test-Results, accessed 22nd July 2020.

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When more money doesn’t matter anymore.

My friend sold her house in March of this year, 2020. She got her asking price for it because some investors were bidding in search of a stable investment along with a few other people who wanted to live in her house and weren’t just looking for a place to park their money. The person who bought her house enabled my friend to get a townhouse in a larger city so that she could get a job in her profession which would provide her an income.

It has been her fourth move in the last nine years. She didn’t prefer her 90’s era townhouse in a larger city to the house she left behind in a smaller city, but she had to move in order to remain employed. She’s middle aged now and she has to remain employed in her established career because it’s so hard to get work in a new profession when you are older. She has wondered about going back to school to learn something new but she decided she probably couldn’t find work doing something new even if she invested in more education. She can’t increase her income by going back to school. School no longer offers a way for her to get ahead. The value in university schooling has declined for her and also for others who got an education but can’t find a job.

You can look on-line anytime to appreciate the high price of real estate across America. Everytime the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates since the Great Recession, housing prices in the U.S. have gone up. Even middle-sized communities offer no respite to high prices as compared with bigger cities. Even foreclosures are listed at high prices; even so when the property has been damaged. Retirees can’t trade a large house to buy a smaller house for less money. All houses that I see when I look on-line of every size and type are expensive now. Empty lots for sale are expensive too. The value in housing has been damaged by capital buyers in an easy-money low-interest system. There are no bargains.

If you imagine the future of real estate in a slow economy with high healthcare costs, high costs in tuition, high cost cars, high cost food, in an unstable economy with periodic crashes and less employment there aren’t likely to be buyers that can afford the use-value of a house and living in a community. It’s still desireable but no longer is it affordable. Many ordinary people can’t afford the high cost and their employment isn’t secure enough to risk a mortgage. Investors may be all that will remain of buyers in real estate. Even if investors trade houses with each other, the use value without a real market of family buyers is disappearing. Homelessness is rising. This is the new-normal economy.

Sometimes the new-normal economy has appeared to me as a poker game where the stakes are always high and the player across the table has way more money than me and no betting limits. I know the idea with poker is to win a big pot of money with a lucky hand of cards but if you can’t leave the game and you have to continue playing, you will eventually lose to the player with more money to bet who can stay in the game longer. That’s bad enough. But it’s worse than that. The player across the table can rely on the Federal Reserve to lend him an unlimited amount of money while my smaller amount of money is worth less every moment as the Treasury continues bringing more money into existence beyond the amount of money generated by GDP. Because the Federal Reserve has kept investors flush with money, some have bought out companies and fired the workers who take an income hit while they are unemployed. They have a lot of time to play poker but no money flow.

The number of living-wage jobs has fallen across America since the Great Recession when the Federal Reserve doubled down on their financial experimenting. Shall I sell my house in order to get some capital? My house seems to be worth more on paper than it once was. Investors bidded up the price of housing. But dollars when I cash out are worth much less than they once were when I earned them. And dollars can’t help me when they are worth less every day.

I read an article last week. Here’s a quote from Imprimis, with Heather Mac Donald writing in an article titled “Four Months of Unprecedented Government Malfeasance,”:

“Capital is accumulated effort and innovation, the sum of human achievement and imagination. Its creation is the aim of civilization.”

The word capital can mean more than one thing, according to the Dictionary of Banking and Finance. It can mean the money and assets needed to establish a business, for example a million dollars to buy a franchise with some of that money being used to buy equipment, some to hire workers and other money used for the franchise permission. A second meaning of the word capital is the money that people or companies own which they can use to invest.

What Heather McDonald said is not true if she is speaking of the second meaning where money and capital are terms being used interchangeably. Capital in the second meaning of money people own, is only a means of exchange. It isn’t the same as what people or societies make and do. Even if you mean the means to acquire assets when you say capital-like-money, capital in that instance is only the means to buy an asset or hire a person. Even if you buy a factory to make widgets, its isn’t the capital that makes them. Even if you buy robots to make the widgets, someone has to program and mind the robots.

In fact, as we live in this neoliberally broken economy, it is harder to use capital to make worthwhile exchanges at all or even use it to buy assets with a stable value. Capital is becoming worth less as it loses its mojo. This loss of mojo has happened after the Federal Reserve’s experimentation with our monetary system.

The Federal Reserve, in the Greenspan Put, put a backstop against investor’s losses in high risk capital markets. They decided to use tax dollars to backstop losses and guarantee that investors could keep betting with or without losses. Investing was considered to be the energy that turned the wheels of the economy. It was thought that the value of money could be kept high by the constant trading and buying of capital–capital like a commodity, like gold once was.

In the managed gold money system that FDR put into play, gold partially backed the value of the dollar. That was before our current fiat money system of dollars without any gold backing which we have had since the Nixon Shock. Investors in the managed gold money system maintained the value of gold by trading it. They agreed to buy enough of it to maintain its price. But gold as a traded commodity has a limited supply and the supply of capital is not limited.

It isn’t really possible to make the analogy between gold markets and capital markets working in the same way because the value of an unlimited commodity tends to decrease. Also, deciding to back investment risk with tax dollars caused an additional problem beyond dollars losing value. It undid the need for caution when investing. It made malinvesting seem of no consequence to risk takers by externalizing the consequences to tax payers. But wasting any resource has consequences for everyone. The economy we live in produces less and can accomplish less right now than it could before. Individuals have fewer opportunities. More money can’t change that.

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How does covid-19 phobia resemble antisemitism?

Part of my summer reading is a book by Hannah Arrendt titled The Origins of Totalitarianism, published originally in 1968. I decided to buy it after press coverage about covid-19 became fraught with exagerrations and the arguments about staying at home became strange.

I have only begun to read what promises to be an intellectually honest examination of totalitarianism from a well educated Jewish intellectual who lived through that horrible time in history when the Nazis tried to take over the whole world, waging war against all resistance. The volume that I have is a compilation of three books, the first on antisemitism, the second on imperialism and the third on totalitarianism. I’ve just read the preludes to all three.

According to Arrendt, attacks on Jews under Hitler’s fascism were outrageous in that they were unexpected and horrible and made no sense. Jews had assimilated into society across Europe and they were part of everyday life in many nations, participating as workers and property owners. After WWII, several histories claimed that antisemitism accompanied life in Europe all the way from the Middle Ages but Arrendt states that this is a false history that was assembled after WWII.

As a Jewish woman who aspired to becoming a scholar from a young age, she remembers that only crackpots cared about a person’s Jewish heritage. The commonplace of Jews living across Europe was exploited by Hitler to take away Jewish economic opportunity and give that opportunity to others. He used hurting Jews as a fulcrum for his power. No one expected that. The large numbers of Jewish Europeans made his final solution one that he could apply everywhere. It was outrageous, didn’t make sense, was murder on a gigantic scale and moved economic fortunes into new pockets while terrorizing everyone. It politically disempowered people who deserved to belong and cast them out as a demonstration of total power.

Why does this remind me of press responses to covid-19? First of all, illnesses from microbes have been common across all nations for all of history. They are widespread, much as Jews were widespread across many nations during WWII. To single out one microbe and make it a mascot-excuse for controlling people’s movements and choices doesn’t make sense–like how attacking Jews didn’t make sense. The original excuse of preventing hospitals from being overwhelmed by a new virus by isolating healthy people has been replaced with an argument that no one can be safe in public because of covid-19. This is in spite of the low threat that covid-19 poses for most people. Press coverage has been phony and has failed to enhance anyone’s understanding, appearing instead to be more like fear enhancing propaganda. It’s not science. Over history, isolating sick people has been how quarantine works. Isolating healthy people is a new strategy that has actually failed to prevent the spread of the virus.

Does isolating people across the globe because of covid-19 make sense? Not now. Is there a reason to single out this illness when the CDC says that the overall death rate in the U.S. hasn’t exceeded what was seen last year at this time? No. Is it outrageous? Yes. It’s not anything like Hitler’s plan for mass murder but it is an effort to control people and prohibit their lives in specific ways that don’t respect natural rights.

A long time ago, a psychologist warned me about being conned with “if” statements in everyday life. In philosophy, you can use if/then statements to make arguments. But prefacing a real world generalization by “if” usually means that you are departing from reality and entering the world of fantasy, where any idea may be deemed valid even when it’s contradicted by real experience. This morning I heard a radio announcer say that if covid-19 can be carried by children and make even one child sick then it isn’t safe for public school to go into session this fall. But wait. Illness often makes children sick. It is a commonplace happening. There’s no reason to keep schools closed now that it has become clear that the threat from covid-19 has passed from being huge threat to becoming a small one.

Is the resemblance between covid-19 phobia and the outrageousness of antisemitism just a case of one absurdity resembling another? Is the additional absurdity of arbitrary declarations calling people’s jobs essential vs. non-essential another resemblance because it singles out one group for economic hardships? A haunting detail of commentary from Arrendt is the idea that totalitarian systems get more power by destroying their economy. Ever since the Great Recession, parts of our economy have been destroyed. Homelessness increased after the Great Recession and it is thought to be increasing after the covid-19 economic downturn.

Let’s keep our eyes and ears and hearts open to a better understanding about covid-19 than the one being handed to us in the press. Let’s recognize that arguments about the continued necessity of social distancing are not credible and that human rights are being abused by our government when it restricts people’s freedoms.

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Press hype implies no end in sight for covid-19.

Press coverage continues to blather about increasing virus risks.

It’s time to notice that these arguments aren’t rational.

There’s no science behind them.

There’s no scientific method in the definition of death or even illness by covid-19/ SARS-2/novel coronavirus.

A person who has antibodies to the novel coronavirus is counted as a new infection and not an old one.

Tests have never been reliable.

Multiple tests each count as a new positive case of covid-19 even when they come from the same patient.

If you have already gotten over an infection with SARS-2, no one will say that you should stop being afraid.

Quarantine powers will never end according to some.

The emergency will continue screaming into the future.

It’s up to you to decide what you think about this.

How much influence do you want these fear-managers to have over you?

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Covid-19 shows us once again why we should keep government out of healthcare.

Happy Independence Day! Today, I sit in my office reviewing our recent history since Dec 2019 when I first heard of the novel coronavirus breaking out in Wuhan. Many months have gone by and what I notice is how poor our information about covid-19 continues to be. It’s also obvious that some in politics and in the press want that fuzzy obscurity to continue. It should end.

Our federal state and municipal government response to covid-19 was too authoritarian and it continues to confuse rather than clarify. In fact it makes clear to me and perhaps also to you that our government shouldn’t be involved in healthcare because politics doesn’t belong in healthcare.

Declaring that some businesses should be shut down to isolate healthy people from a new infection was costly and didn’t protect people from catching the virus. In history it has been common to isolate sick, not healthy people. People are suffering economic harms right now because so much of the economy was shut down. Even after the death rate has fallen, there are many who call for mask wearing and isolation of healthy people.

If most people don’t get sick and many don’t get any symptoms, there’s already some level of immunity. There’s no need for a free-for-all spree of new rules that flout historical precedents for dealing with new contagious illnesses. It’s time to update the deathrate and admit that it’s not that different from regular seasonal flu. Covid-19 stopped being worthy of quarantine when the death rate dropped from the millions that had been estimated in March.

Exagerrations of covid-19 fatalities should stop. Covid-19 declared deaths should be followed up and checked to see if they can be confirmed in the laboratory. If they can’t, they shouldn’t be counted. People who did multiple tests for covid-19 should be counted as a positive once; right now they are being recounted as a new positive covid-19 test as though they are a new covid-19 patient each test.

Back when trains were improving transportation and connecting the nation in a new way, the press gained a new importance because people started travelling and getting to know their neighbors within a train’s ride from where they lived. Suddenly news could expand beyond local information. Social problems in far away places gained a new importance because there was a new audience that could read stories that made far away cities suddenly more real. During covid-19 news coverage we’ve been saturated with global misinformation and panicked descriptions of millions of soon to be seen deaths everywhere. Covid-19 press coverage has been intoxicated with fear, intoxicated with fake statistics and models that failed to approach real experience.

Who wins? Banks got a multitrillion dollar subsidy. Jobs evaporated, putting more downward pressure on wages. Online buying increased as compared with stores that were closed down.  Some people gained a temporary enhanced level of importance as experts and they continue to believe that you should heed their warnings. I agree with Rand Paul who thinks that Fauci and crew have overplayed their expertise and abused your trust.

What do we still need? We still need a treatment regime that works and I heard recently that hydroxychloroquine is back in focus as an effective treatment. We need to change what’s not working in healthcare and in politics and in banking and in our economy. Covid-19 shouldn’t continue to distract us from doing that. If you want to learn more about the United States and how we can solve our current problems in the twenty-first century, buy a copy of Political Catsup with Economy Fries available at