Sunday assorted links

1. David Perell autobio short essay about his early years in school and why they were terrible.

2. 35 predictions about the world after coronavirus, some of them terrible (in quality that is, I don’t mean terribly pessimistic).

3. How SARS was stopped.

4. Eli Dourado on accelerating vaccines.

5. Kevin Erdmann’s coronavirus home equity line of credit.

6. Auren Hoffman praises McDonalds.

7. Megan McArdle has a cooking blog.

8. Is the coronavirus squeezing Mexican gangs?

9. Chess in the time of corona.  I liked this one.

10. Slavoj Žižek on coronavirus.

11. Will Saudi face a balance of payments crisis?

12. “Bogus stories of wild animals flourishing in quarantined cities gives false hope—and viral fame.

13. “There’s plenty of competition, but most ineffective world leader responding to coronavirus right now goes to Brazil President Bolsonaro. This weekend he’s blasting governors taking lockdown measures. Will seriously damage his mandate.”  Link here.

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Thiago, please come to the MR trolling phone, stat.

And Americans, don't take this sitting down - Trump can take out the captain with one hand tied behind his back, blindfolded.

The situation in Brazil is basically under control because the federal government acted in a decisive way.

@Martin Berg - "The situation in Brazil is basically out of control because the federal government acted in a derisive way" - that I can agree on.

It is not true.

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+1

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#2 doesn’t predict the obvious: widespread poverty, increased homelessness ,crime and domestic abuse, more suicides.

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13. On the face of things, most ineffective right now would seem to be Italy, with Spain not far behind.

Exactly.

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#3. SARS was a bit easier to tame. It’s spike protein doesn’t bind to the ACE2 receptor as well as Covid-19. It was also a seasonal virus which Covid may yet prove to be as well

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Being in quarantine as of basically now, that question takes on a different flavor.

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McArdle's cooking looks to be about as basic as her commentary.

I recently received cooking advice watching a college lacrosse game on ESPN. To wit, put olive oil on your hands when mixing/rolling meatballs. It works to keep the hands less fouled.

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-1

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McArdle: "Take about a tablespoon of salt in the palm of your hand and hold your hand about 6-8 inches above your bird" - as Harvey Korman might say, "kinky!"

I don't think I have the reach for that.

+1

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She needs a better camera.

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7. As a rude alternative, an air fryer and a big bag of frozen french fries. Precooked chicken wings the same way, but in greater moderation.

(I have been down the hill with the weed whacker. Works up an appetite. I feel for anyone isolating without a back yard.)

Tried several air fryer chicken wing recipes lately and they were all disappointing. I had so much hope.

We are just reheating precooked, but the golden rule seems to be not to overload it. Just like 1 1/2 layer of wings.

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"I feel for anyone isolating without a back yard."

In accord with this. My husband remarked on how lucky we are to have a green vista - okay, "vista" is too grand, green surroundings - out the window. He is content watching for signs of spring (the very moment they appear, this year!). I noticed a distinct fall off in my mood when it turned too rainy a couple days ago to mow/trim/garden/bloveate outside anymore.

And I expect people in rural areas are weathering this with still greater equanimity. A land broker we know sent out a picture of wide open empty spaces, as he drove to a client: "Practicing my social-distancing." They kind of pioneered it.

Hopefully where spring hasn't arrived, people are at least cozy, and everyone has an econ blog, with an indulgent host, to follow.

+1, for people who live out on a farm, miles from anyone, plus ca change.

For white collared workers in decent sized houses who are extremely online and can telecommute, like, me, again what's the change?

Poor urban folks who live in a small, cramped tenements with family members mostly outdoors sitting on a stoop with their community, not much of either interest in being online or much tech to do it with? Pretty tough. You've got to feel for that.

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Agree with your assessment of #2. That Politico article is mostly a waste of time. The only predictions that seem likely are 1) more attention to the resiliency of supply chains, and 2) more daily transactions and chores staying online after this is over. Long time reader, first time poster. MR is a treasure. Tyler and Alex, stay safe and stay healthy.

I only glanced at politico, but it sure looks like everybody is talking their book.

Meanwhile on Twitter everybody is demanding the Defense Production Act be invoked. That might be big staters talking their book as well.

I have much more faith in markets, and the public spirit of capitalists, than that. We are gearing up.

https://twitter.com/strangeharbors/status/1241057919128526856?s=19

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#2 is 35 variations on "people will finally give some respect to the hobbyhorse that I've been riding for my whole career."

10. Zizek is the same category. Really underscores the uselessness of what passes for our public intelligentsia.

The general theme is "We will start doing this thing which I have long advocated because people will finally notice its importance and validity and in addition Orange Man Bad"

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Most of the predictions aren't that bad. Some of them, such as the ones about telemedicine, have already started happening in my life, which I'm actually not thrilled about.

Some of them are a bit of a stretch, I admit. Especially the ones from people clearly just trying to advertise their books.

Telemedicine is a great deal for doctors, they get to spend time in person with patients they care about and they also get to take a pass on human interaction with patients they do not care about, and at the other end of the internet connection, those uncared-about patients don't even have a clue that they are second class.

That being said, for all of us the key to happiness is this ---- understand that justice is good, and evil should not be indulged, and we need to at least try to love every creature as much as God loves that creature.

You do not need to have had a mystical experience to understand that - it helps but it is not necessary. You simply need to get a little better every day at caring about others ----- and remember, if you think it is hard to care about boring, selfish, coldhearted people --- well, imagine that feeling you once had, seeing a sad little animal, maybe a wet abandoned cat on the side of the road, and you thought -- THERE HAVE BEEN MILLIONS OF GENERATIONS OF CATS ALL OF THEM WITH SOME BASIC LOVE IN THEIR HEARTS FOR OTHER CATS .... and STILL there are sad wet cats on the side of the road. Sad!, and sort of preposterous, but it is what it is, and it is SAD!

General selfishness, and the very wet General Coldheartedness, and ignorance and stupidity, are to us humans what the cold rain is to sad little animals who have been abandoned on the side of the road. It is no small thing to show even a little compassion for a creature who has never known what it is to have someone show that they care.

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why do i bother ....

why do I bother, after all ----
there have been millions of generations of cats, and dogs, and monkeys, and gorillas, all of them with love in every generation for their kittens and their puppies and their newborn monkeys and their little pint-size gorilla rugrats (I remember, Magilla my friend, Nineteen Sixty Five, Yonkers, and the sound of the horns from all those silly yellow cabs and how we laughed!, and when your gorilla parents offered me extra cake to take home because they were so happy IN THE MOMENT I said NO! - I remember) and all those millions of generations of dogs and cats and monkeys and gorillas have EVIDENTLY failed to get their act together enough to make sure that even just one generation of their offspring would have a decent, happy life free from sin and care.

SAD!

Ask yourself, is there anything I, a human, can do to address this problem?

YES THERE IS

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I am actually very familiar with the better chapters of the best known works of Keynes (Probability and Finance) and even more familiar with the best Hayekian passages from his midcentury writings but I gotta say, unless you are a very unusual person

Proverbs 8

is the place to start
IF YOU THINK IT IS POSSIBLE I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.

Maybe I don't - I am extremely humble, and I mean that ----- but if someone else has connected sad abandoned puppies on the side of the road in the rain to THAT DAY IN YONKERS IN 1965 where Mr and Mrs Gorilla were so kind to me BECAUSE WE ALL SHARED A HAPPY DAY OF FRIENDSHIP **** AND HOPE **** AND BIRTHDAY CAKE on their beloved son's birthday ...
well then take their advice instead of mine on what to start thinking about when you wanna start thinking about

the beautiful future you can create for those you care about by reading and understanding Proverbs 8, and so on .

or just ignore me, that is fine too, there are millions of angels who are seeking to encourage someone you know to make you realize

la nuestra ultima esperanza esta la injusticia de Dios

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I did not take the slices of cake home because I preferred the thought of them (Mr and Mrs Gorilla) having as much cake as they wanted the next day, possibly remembering the beautiful day we (they and I) had spent together.... I preferred that thought to the sad lonely thought of my waking up the next day and putting those slices of cake in my lunchbox where, at school, I would sadly eat them, along with the sour milk from the little cardboard plastic milk boxes that the older generation inflicted every day on us BECAUSE THEY DID NOT CARE ENOUGH, knowing I would never again have a day quite like that day in Yonkers in NINETEEN SIXTY FIVE.

(I have had many better days since but my family moved away and - what can I say, I was small and did not own a car ---- I never drove to Yonkers again until the 1980s, when Mr and Mrs Gorilla and everyone they loved and cared so much about were long gone from the vicinity).

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Four words:

"telemedicine" is cheap medicine.

Back in the 1980s I was sort of creative with words, or so I was told, but there is NO WAY anyone could have asked me, hey, Efim, what is a four word sentence that makes little sense now but will make a lot of sense 30 plus years from now .... and I would have replied "telemedicine is cheap medicine" --- that scenario was never going to happen, back then ....

AND DON"T GET ME STARTED ON THE WAY MY PALS WOULD HAVE LOOKED AT ME IN 1989 IF I SAID....

"hey, 30 plus years from now people are gonna know exactly what I mean when I say

'my friend's cancer doctor called him and said that because some dude in China sold a tortured lab bat at a wet market near the biolab at Wuhan, he was triaging his cases and would he mind waiting a few more months to start his life-saving treatment"

Proverbs 8 (THE BATS ARE INNOCENT, by the way)

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and if you decide not to read Proverbs 8, at least remember this ---

whatever you do, refrain with all your might

from touching in anger a single hair on the head of one of those innocent bats.

I don't like bullies, and neither does God.

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and don't even think about touching in anger a single hair on the head of one of those bats.

I don't like bullies.

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Thanks for the bandwidth.
There are not a lot of us out there telling other people what it takes in order to care about boring, selfish, coldhearted people.

I am one of them.

I wish you knew what I knew ....

I met them all the boring cold-hearted people I have met before they were born.

I remember that look in their eyes

everyone once knew God loves us.

Time is our little friend, not our unpleasant little boss.

Elizabeth of the Trinity, Ephesians 1.

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#13 “There’s plenty of competition, but most ineffective world leader responding to coronavirus right now goes to Brazil President Bolsonaro. This weekend he’s blasting governors taking lockdown measures. Will seriously damage his mandate."

Why do you lie so much? Brazil has fewer coronavirus cases than New York. President Captain Bolsonaro has declared national emergency, directed billions to emergency measures and sped up chloroquine production. Beds are being added to the healthcare system. Millions of tests are being produced. The ambulance fleet has been renovated.
Panicking will not help anyone. The situation is basically under control. As Mr. Bolsonaro pointed out, the country can not stop. We can not allow hysteria to win the day.

+1

Twitter is such a hotbox of ignorance. Out of charity we ought to excuse Cowen’s hyperventilating as a byproduct of his fetish for totalitarianism.

Bolsonaro is wholly correct for the reasons Heather MacDonald recites, which are an order of magnitude more relevant in Brazil: https://spectator.us/consider-costs-coronavirus/

But speaking of Brazil, rather than succumb to the hysteria, one can see some fantastic Superliga volleyball finals on the Globoplay app. Check sporttv2.

It’s bee a joy reliving great moments from a true sport, one, which in which the outcomes are decided by the actual play, unlike the figure-skating style activities like baseball, basketball, and football where more than half the outcome is determined by officiating idiosyncrasies. And most of all a great opportunity to see the fantastic Natalia Pereira perform, perhaps the greatest athlete produced so far this century.

Exactly.

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#2 I didn't read all of the responses. Most of them are off the same wish list the left has had for decades now. I don't think I saw a single recommendation that we effectively hold the Chinese commies responsible for setting this plague loose in the world, so that they think twice before being idiots again. Will we just wait for them to be stupid and inhumane yet another time?

What do you recommend? Cruise missiles on the Wuhan seafood market? No more bachelors degrees for Chinese students? Make Apple products in West Virginia? Who will section chickens if all the poultry workers move to the U.S.-based Apple factory? Increase Mexican immigration to fill the gap? What if avian flu comes out of a Tyson's farm? Should China hit it with an ICBM.

It's pretty telling that you treat all these hypotheticals with the same degree of incredulity. And for the record: no; yes; yes; other Americans; absolutely not; we'll cross that bridge when we get there; only if they want the favor to be returned x1,000.

Not at all. I just want answers.

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Interesting. I would be concerned that in the long run the STEM professors will be tempted to move to China. Surely this strategy results in slower wage growth in the U.S. and more intensive recruiting of STEM professors willing to move to China.

Paid agents of the most leftist institutions in our society leaving the country to live in a communist society?

Oh no, Br'er Fox, please don't fling me in that brier patch!

(Do you think they'll promise not to come back?)

No, I think you would find that high-paying STEM jobs are not, in fact, A Job That Americans Just Won't Do™. And if perchance they were, and some colleges currently training H1-Bs for Zuckerberg et al. were forced to close, I guess we'd just have to manage.

Alternatively they could always go online, probably a good idea in the home of the Wuhan Flu anyway.

You sound conflicted. Either you want STEM professors to go and not come back or you want them to stay and teach China online. Neither of us may have any say in this matter if China decides to really open up the wallet. China will be unlike Japan with its (formerly) protectionist recruiting.

To be clear, I want them to leave and never come back, along with the rest of America's left.

But they won't, because like all leftists, they talk the talk, but they can't walk the walk. College professors, least of all. They are possibly the most r-selected profession; they live and work so far divorced from the means of their existence that it's small wonder they act as they do. Making a 95th-percentile salary, funded by wealthy benefactors and government-sponsored loans, to spew whatever agitprop they like to captive teenagers while calling it critical thinking. And they can't get fired!

Do you see anyone leaving this type of life to make peanuts in a second-world country for any period of time longer than a sabbatical? I don't think so.

Now granted, STEM professors tend to be more grounded in reality than their loony coworkers in the humanities, but the average STEM prof is still significantly more leftist than the general population, so let's kick them out while we still have a country to kick traitors out of. If we don't have foreign students, we don't need as many professors, and if we do, we'll find other Americans to do it.

Or we'll get along without them! I work in a field that requires a master's just to get licensed, and I could have learned everything I need to do my job, on the job, and avoided paying tens of thousands of dollars to get lectured on white privilege.

"Now granted, STEM professors tend to be more grounded in reality than their loony coworkers in the humanities, but the average STEM prof is still significantly more leftist than the general population"

You mean they did not believe Fox News when it said the coronavirus was a Democrat hoax to hurt Trump's Administration?

Probably not, but they probably did believe their networks of choice when they said that (pulling examples from the past week alone) Orange Man told state governors they were on their own re: COVID-19; the Wuhan flu was actually a bio-weapon developed by the US Army; people don't need masks; Gropin' Joe's ceilings in his house are too low to accommodate lighting for cameras; Trump has coronavirus; Trump said his test was negative but he's probably lying; Trump is guilty of negligent homicide over his awful botching of the bat soup fever that's killed millions if not trillions, etc.

Actually, I doubt that your average academic watches cable news; they read the Times or the Economist. (Maybe Mother Jones, but only for the articles, honest!) They seem to be the type to relish the purity spiral that is the leftist media outlet circle-jerk, even more than their students; although, like the others, they fail to see the irony in bashing Faux News as a corporate mouthpiece with a discrete agenda.

And before you ask, I just stop at the gas station every morning and watch whatever they show on those newfangled screens while I get two gallons of unleaded.

"Trump is guilty of negligent homicide over his awful botching of the bat soup fever that's killed millions if not trillions, etc."

Reaaly? Millions? I am pretty sure TV networks are doing a better of keeping record of number of victims than you think. The negligence part, hower, is undeniable.
"the Wuhan flu was actually a bio-weapon developed by the US Army"
You really live in a different world, don't you?

Well, you know, sometimes the gas station TVs show a Faux News clip, so I'm really at the mercy of whatever Murdoch wants me to see. We can't all be so lucky as to see unbiased, objective coverage from CNN or MSNBC.

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There are several steps to take against China. Band together with the other nations of the world seize the accounts of PBoC and SOE. That's several trillion in foreign assets. Pay restitution to the impacted nations of the world. Follow it up with a naval blockade and challenge the Chinese people to disband the communist party.

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Some simple things can be done: 1) Economic sanctions on China (especially its leaders) until it imposes basic hygiene requirements on its "wet markets". A totalitarian regime ought to be able to manage that much. 2) No Confucius Institutes in the U.S., closer monitoring of American academics, and stiffer requirements for Chinese students. 3) TPP was a good idea as is more military aid to Taiwan. Further efforts should be made to design a containment policy with the rest of Asia directed squarely at China. China is America's strategic competitor and needs to be treated as such.

What specific "basic hygiene requirements" do you have in mind?

Also, the source of this disease has not been definitively proven yet (the wet market being the most educated guess), and plenty of pandemics begin from domesticated animals too, such as the 2009 swine flu from pigs.

Of course it has been proven. The source was China. And of we're talking about trade balances I don't think several decades of cheap electronics and lead-paint children's toys are going to make up for shutting down our entire economy for a month or more.

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Anon7, how do you define a "strategic competitor"? How you define this determines what a suitable response would be.

How soon we forget. "Strategic competitor" is the term adopted by Bush 43 against Clinton, who preferred to view U.S.-China relations as a "strategic partnership." Here is the 2005 DoD security review (recommendations begin on p. 201): https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/annual_reports/2005-Report-to-Congress.pdf

Strategic competition? The 1980s called. They want their foreign policy back!

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What do you propose China have done? And are there any other countries that did what you are proposing in the context of any past epidemic, or are you holding China to a standard based on hindsight? If the latter, how good was your hindsight--did you sell all your stocks in January?

The fact is that only a handful of countries have been able to control this epidemic. Most countries have not controlled it successfully. It just happens to be extremely contagious and hard to control. So it does not seem reasonable to expect China to have been able to control it.

Compare this to the 2009 swine flu outbreak that began in Mexico from domesticated animals and ultimately killed an estimated 500,000 people globally. That outbreak spread much further than COVID before its origin was even identified as Mexico. In fact, the 2009 swine flu was already spreading widely within the United States by the time it was identified. By contrast, China identified COVID very quickly even though it could have waited a few more weeks for another country to identify it and take the blame instead. China responded to COVID much faster than Mexico responded to the 2009 swine flu, yet no one in their right mind would suggest that Mexico is "responsible" for the swine flu that began there.

I hope you are getting paid well to be a China apologist as you repeatedly ignore and minimize the incontrovertible facts reported about China's failures (which are intimately linked to the tyrannical character of its regime).

Hanlon's Razor dictates that our friend is simply one of many mid-wits we have here whose leftist education and terminal TDS lead to their unwitting sedition, performed free of charge.

On the other hand, leftists always project, which implies they weren't spending the last three years claiming everyone was a Russian agent for no reason.

Tell you what, we won't worry about the details, we'll just expel them either way.

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Incompetence at the start (Mexico) =! Malice and ass covering (PRC).

How much would we have seen Mexico trying to intimidate and suppress Mexican doctors when they identified the thing in Veracruz? How much would did we see them putting the squeeze and charm show on the WHO to play it down? How many bellicose statements towards countries that tried to block from there? How much public theorizing on Mexican state media that it was in fact a US created artificial plague?

The PRC is more technocratically effective as a state than Mexico (if one is willing to discount the lack of regulation of wet markets and bushmeat, which is a big if).

We all have to be careful not to overreact towards China if it means acceleration towards something very bad, but at the same time, don't mistake what China did, and is still doing, here for ordinary incompetence. It's an authoritarian, one-party state doing what to authoritarian, one-party states comes naturally.

Wikipedia - "Both the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have praised the response by the Mexican government, calling it "a model of rapid and transparent reporting, aggressive control measures, and generous sharing of data and samples" in addition to labeling it "courageous and impressive".". They did what they could with what they had.

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This will be China's "New Coke": a terrible fumble that improbably transforms into a triumph and a lasting advantage. We may have just lived through a tipping point in the global balance of power.

The longer the crisis lasts, the more likely that this is the outcome. In late 2020 it will be hard to hold China to account if Western economies are still on their knees and theirs has long since roared back to life.

This is especially telling if you consider the fact that many people believe The Coca-Cola Company purposefully rolled out New Coke, knowing it would fail, in order to reinvigorate interest in its original product.

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Could take out that Brazilian pretender with both hands tied behind his back.

No, he could not. Brazil's leader is a military hero and is a lean, mean machine.

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Reading the Žižek article is an absolute treat. Watching the communist suddenly have to confront the immense dangers of communism that all the capitalists in the West have/had been preaching for decades is too much. Apparently, in a crisis everyone is a socialist except for the socialists who have to come to grips with the realities of their desires.

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Senator Rand Paul has been struck down and I am informed that the virus did not possess a Letter of Marque! This is a constitutional outrage!

He had lung problems.

Pre-existing condition exclusion.

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#2...Looking at how human beings responded to epidemics in the past, I have to be optimistic. It was often shockingly cruel. When my grandmother's sister died in an epidemic in 1917, she was sure that it had something to do with what she and her family had done. Many fewer people carry that heavy weight nowadays through their lives. I'm very impressed with Germany, which wouldn't be a big deal but for that fact that, as a kid, it was my least favorite country in the world. Two of my friends that I talked to yesterday were having block conversations outside. I don't think the people on those blocks had previously known who lived on their block. Finally, we don't need bigger government, but better, more effective government, which might in fact be smaller government. In any case, I agree that complaining about government or bureaucracy in general isn't very useful. We must judge each case on its merits. And, as Burke put it, "All government — indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act — is founded on compromise and barter" Second Speech on Conciliation with America (1775)

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#13 “Most ineffective world leader responding to coronavirus right now?” U.S. free market capitalism perhaps. The world’s largest economy spending 18% of GDP for health care can’t meet hand sanitizer demand. Runner-up, Trump's two trillion-dollar tax cut bill now apparently as helpful as an empty shelf in the toilet paper aisle.

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#2 Glass houses Tyler. You’ve made some pretty boneheaded predictions yourself.

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The B.C. government will temporarily allow bars and restaurants to deliver liquor products along with food amid the coronavirus pandemic — and unemployed servers can be hired to make the deliveries.

Reasonable loosening of regulations to ease harm, or protection of a revenue stream?

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13. Cuomo has to be in the running. Not sure you'd call him a world leader, but WTF is he doing in NY? Sniping with De Blasio who wanted a lockdown a week ago?

Running for President in 2024?

Or possibly 2020 (look at some of the prediction markets!)

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I live in NJ and, under usual conditions, go to NY pretty often.
My information about government policy is coming from Phil Murphy, who somehow looks like a clown about as much as he is one, Donald Trump, and Cuomo. Also the head of Bergen County who got into a heated argument with Phil Murphy over some stupid shit.

We are all dead. I swear, Phil, Cuomo, De Blasio, and the commissioner of Bergen County are all Democrats, and though I am not one, I have to ask: Why can't they all get on the same page?

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Andy Slavitt, former head of CMS, discusses pandemic response options. Discusses how they may have to thread the needle between suppression of the pandemic and releasing people to engage more.

Of course, it is on Al Franken's podcast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPq5rzu9hiI

He’s still around? Sexually assaulting his interns now i guess?

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#5 - Erdmann's solution to a cash flow crunch is to take out a HELOC, which arguably would put people more in debt. A better solution might be to buckle down, tighten the belt, cut expenses. But arguably the goal for most Americans is to get to a state of bankruptcy faster, so Erdmann's solution is optimal for the USA. I did not know Erdmann was a scholar, if so, perhaps I'd not have flamed him so viciously. Or maybe not.

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1. Perell makes the same "why can't we all be free?" argument we used to make in the 1960s (remember "Summerhill"?). School sucks, work sucks - wow, how come nobody ever noticed this before? We should do something about it! But the truth is, existence is a real-time business, and, you need to keep your personal supply chain of status, friends, money and creative production going and growing all the time - because if it breaks down, well ... you see the results sleeping in the streets all around us. As someone once said, there's no honorable way to be poor in America.

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#5 How would this solution be beneficial to bartenders and service industry workers and the folks who need the money right now? I would guess many of them aren’t home owners.

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The idea about the HELOCs is a good one -- but will never happen.

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#2. The predictions that I find likely are also trivial. It should be no surprise that online alternatives to direct contact are going to get a boost.

But the less obvious predictions seem to be variations on a theme: More trust in experts, more government, more inequality, the rich getting attacked by the poor, more support for big government... In short, ideas informed by a left-wing worldview.

I, on the other hand, would have listed these:

1. More skepticism of open borders.
2. A shift away from mass transit towards personal transit.
3. A shift to the suburbs instead of crowded city cores.
4. A rise in telework, which could put huge pressure on extremely expensive places to live, such as Manhattan and Silicon Valley, and help drive #3 above.
5. Less tolerance for large homeless populations, especially if LA and San Fransisco suffer more severe health outcomes because of it.

Of course, these choices reflect my own priors, and in truth no one really knows how a huge shock to the complex global human ecosystem will manifest itself. We're all guessing.

But think of the difference in lifestyle and risk right now between people living in apartments in dense cities and who rely on mass transit, and people in the suburbs in private homes with yards and personal transportation. I live in a suburb,, and when I have to go to the store I leave my protected garage and drive to a suburban grocery store in my own vehicle, then come home and clean up. My risk is close to zero if I am careful.

On the other hand, a city dweller in an apartment has to risk the apartment hallways and doors, then get on mass transit with an unknown number of strangers just to get food or other staples.

If this goes on for a long time, those differences in quality of life will become large.

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I would change suburban to rural. If you are telecommuting anyway, why not move an hour or two from the city. You can still go into the office once a twice a month. If your going to work, I would still rather be in a rural area away from the jet set crowd.

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#2- Not terrible as long as you throw away all the:
"X will become more important"
- A person who has built their career on believing that X is important.

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We have to learn to think outside the coordinates of stock market and profit and simply find another way to produce and allocate the necessary resources.

What does the stock market have to do with the production and allocation of necessary resources? All of the infrastructure and capital that was needed to keep the great engine of democracy turning is still here in the same condition it was two months ago. The plants haven't been destroyed by fire or earthquake, the raw materials are still available, actually cheaper than in the past, and the worker bees involved haven't moved on to other planets in the solar system. The biggest problem seems to be financial. That should be easy to sort out and remedy.

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#2: 80% of the respondents took it as a prompt to spew vapid political nonsense. I guess I needed a reminder why one should never click on a Politico link.

Just look at the list of people they queried. My favorite was Mary Frances Berry, a name that I had almost forgotten. Look up her Wikipedia entry to remind yourself of her history. This is where Politico looks for authority?

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#10..."As the saying goes, in a crisis we are all socialists – even Trump is considering a form of UBI – a check for a thousand dollars to every adult citizen. Trillions will be spent violating all the market rules – but how, where, for whom? Will this enforced socialism be the socialism for the rich (remember the bailing out of the bank in 2008 while millions of ordinary people lost their small savings)? Will the epidemics be reduced to another chapter in the long sad story of what Naomi Klein called “disaster capitalism,” or will a new (more modest, maybe, but also more balanced) world order emerge out of it?"

Nice try, but government responding to a crisis isn't socialism. As for disaster capitalism, Milton Friedman's example was Deposit Insurance, something FDR wasn't for personally. No wonder Zizek is a communist. He doesn't even have a basic understanding of how capitalism works, and could work better. I'm for massive spending right now to try and contain the misery of this crisis, and even for a means-tested guaranteed income but, under normal conditions, the government running everything is a guaranteed nightmare.

Right, the $1,000 checks will only be temporary, just like the income tax and all of the federal welfare programs.

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“It's as if you took a lot of very good food and some dog excrement and blended it all up so that you can't possibly figure out what's good or bad.”

That was Hofstadter on Kurtzweil. Zizek seems to aspire to this.

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Government forces business to shut down due to a virus government can't contain, government sending out $ compensation for it's decrees is a capitalist failing. The Communist swooners are always a delusional bunch, is it a projection of low self esteem?

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Random idea I thought I would throw out:
Maybe the CDC could harness social network analysis to determine which people are most likely to be infected and get them to get tested and/or self-isolate.

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Why would one link to wild predictions from some rambling guy on the internet instead of GJOpen's Corona challenge or its Superforecaster Covid prediction dashboard?
https://goodjudgment.io/covid/dashboard

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#7 Ahh the cooking blog - the last refuge of the scoundrel

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#2 – possible outcome of pandemic…Definitive End of American Exceptionalism? End of Anglo-Euro lead in historical dominance/narrative? Asia ascendant/dominant next 50-150 years?
So far the best handling of Covid19 seems to be asian countries. It's still early of course, but I can see an outcome, where the "west" basically ends up with a good chunk of awfulness in both the body count and economic side of things. The economic damage will permanently lower the trajectory of western standards of living. We will be off the trajectory that we were on, and we will never be able to get back to the old trajectory. South Korea, China and Japan will all maintain a trajectory closer to the pre-epidemic one. The general populations of the west will see Asians with higher standards of living, more scientific advancement, greater cultural prominence and wonder how the west fell behind.
We may have already been headed this way, but I think this epidemic could very much solidify/expedite/catalyze this as the Chinese century.
Imagine a world where the west, or even just America, has Covid casualties orders of magnitude larger than China.

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