Friday, May 1, 2020

The minimum wage is now $25 per hour

Chart #1

Unemployment is becoming a gigantic problem that is turning out to be much bigger than anyone anticipated. As Chart #1 shows, some 30 million people have been added to the ranks of the unemployed in the past six weeks, and virtually all of them from the ranks of the private sector. That means that about 25% of private sector employees have lost their jobs! The 30 million newly-minted jobless are not hopeless, at least yet. Thanks to the generosity of Congress (it's always easy to spend other people's money, isn't it?), the average weekly unemployment check now resides in the princely neighborhood of $1000 per week, or $25 per hour. Congress has effectively raised the minimum wage to $25/hr. by boosting weekly unemployment checks by $600/wk through the end of July.

What, you say?! Consider: for any business in trouble because of the shutdown, the very best solution is to fire or lay off employees, since most, if not all, of them will be able to collect unemployment benefits which are the equivalent of $25 per hour through the end of July. The 30-million-strong army of the recently unemployed now work for the government, you see. Their job? To stay at home and watch TV all day, or whatever else suits their fancy. Do nothing, and the government will pay you $25 per hour. Not a bad job, if you can just get fired or laid off! Think of it as a paid vacation with time-and-a-half! And it's all for a good cause: to win the war against the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, employers who dare to re-open before August 1st, when Congress' $600 per week unemployment sweetener expires, will find few workers willing to work for less than $25/hour. This creates a very unfortunate headwind to any early attempt to reopen the economy.

Employees who welcome this largess will be slow to realize that the government is effectively buying their cooperation in the war against the coronavirus. Unfortunately, many of the generals (er, Governors) directing the battle have no idea what they are doing. Governor Newsom of California, for example, just fired the second salvo in his Battle of the Beaches. When his first beach closure was lifted prior to last weekend, the public thronged to the beaches to seek respite from a blistering heat wave. What he saw instead was a personal affront to his directive to shelter at home. Yesterday (Friday) he announced, in a fit of pique, the resumption of a "hard closure" of all state beaches, while adding that it needn't be permanent—if everyone could just learn to behave themselves and not have too much fun at the beach.

The above photo was taken this morning above Lost Winds beach, about ½ mile south of San Clemente pier (which is to the right). The two trucks are from the State Park rangers, and they have set up a "roadblock" for those wandering down the beach from the right. The city beach is open, but not the State Park beach. Note also the words written in the sand to the left of the trucks. This is one of the first anti-Newsom salvos to be fired at the beach. I'm told there were police in full riot gear at the pier, apparently waiting to repel anti-Newsom protestors.

Mind you, all of this is happening in a state that enjoys one of the lowest rates of coronavirus deaths per capita in the nation: 54 per million, less than 5% of New York's 1227 per million.

This is the same governor who persists in building a hundred-billion-dollar, high-speed Train to Nowhere. This is the same governor whose state has accumulated a staggering unfunded public pension
liability of more than $1 trillion. Instead of addressing the looming disaster of public pensions—which owe their size to unbelievably generous pension benefits awarded by politicians to their union supporters—Newsom is staking his reputation, or what is left of it, on stopping the public from going to the beach! Such courage in the face of public adversity! Such stupidity!

My friend H. Cademartori was inspired by these thoughts to pen yet another editorial cartoon which I am honored to feature here:

The way to win the coronavirus war is easy to see, thanks to the accumulating evidence of deaths. It seems that the overwhelming majority of those who die from covid-19 are either very old or very sick to begin with. I figured that out a few weeks ago, as readers of this blog know. Here is the latest example, from Minnesota: it turns out that 99.24% of Minnesotans who have died from covid-19 "either died in nursing homes or otherwise had significant underlying conditions," such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc. (and in many cases at least two underlying co-morbidities). So why tell everyone to shelter in place? Why tell people to avoid the beach, where the sunshine kills the virus quickly, and the fresh air so disperses it that the average person never receives a lethal dose of viral particles? Staying home, or in any confined space (e.g., mass transit) is just about the worst thing you can do to avoid the virus. Why not just make sure nursing homes are isolated and those with significant health issues stay at home? The rest of the population, especially the kids (who face virtually zero risk from the virus), should be free to pursue their lives and their educations. And in the process get infected and develop antibodies, thus protecting everyone with herd immunity.

Chart #2

This is all depressing, but it seems that the stock market continues to look across the Valley of Despair in the belief that this coronavirus war shouldn't be too difficult to put behind us (Chart #2).

I prefer the collective wisdom of the stock market to Governor's Newsom's nanny-state lectures. But I sure wish he would pay attention to the real problems that face California's future.


rhapsody said...

the latest example, from Minnesota: it turns out that 99.24% of Minnesotans who have died from covid-19 "either died in nursing homes or otherwise had significant underlying conditions," such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc. (and in many cases at least two underlying co-morbidities). So why tell everyone to shelter in place?

Scott, I live in Minnesota. The Minnesota Democrats want desperately to replicate the California political climate. My guess is that Minnesota will not lift “shelter in place” until California does. I hope I’m wrong. But we’ll see.

It’s hard to know with us, because we get hit hard with the flu every winter. That said, my guess is that I know dozens of people that had COVID in mid-to-late January. In fact, we had a guy from CA come to our shop for a few days of training in mid-January. He was sick as a dog. Everyone he worked with got sick in the following days. We didn’t think anything of it because it happens here every year. And, COVID was not getting much of our attention at the time.

If you ask me, the testing can’t come soon enough.

My parents are mid-80’s. And, my Dad has some underlying concerns. Luckily, they are still in their own house. If I recall, a great deal of the deaths you refer to are coming from multi-family dwellings.

For Minnesota, I think we should be spending $2T on keeping the at-risk people (as you have noted) safe. The rest of us are going to be just fine. Or, at least not in significantly more danger than we are every year…

Not enough worth bankrupting the country over.

Unknown said...

Excellent article, Scott. The pensions problem is not new. California's unfunded liabilities of over 1,3 Trillion dollars grew even during good economic times. I can't imagine what will be the effect after the economic disaster caused by the draconian measures taken in the last two months. One thing I don't understand, and maybe you can have a follow-up to your article, is what happens if the state or county or city can't meet their pensions obligations. They can files for bankruptcy, I imagine, as some have done in the past (e.g. Stockton, San Bernardino). What happened with the pensions? Are the pensions not included in the bankruptcy?
And if they don't have the money, they can't pay anyway, can they?
Maybe one of your readers can answer this questions.
Keep up the good work.
Hector Cademartori

didier said...

So in short you say all those countries quarantining their population have people in charge who don't understand what you do. Impossible.

amritsari said...

Estimate of case fatality rate of covid-19 from NYC puts it at 0.9%

The population of New York City, according to the 2018 Census estimate, is 8,398,748 people.

The most recent estimate from New York State’s on-going blood antibody (serology) testing suggests that 24.7% of New York City residents have COVID19 antibodies and were infected with the disease. (We don’t know precisely when these tests were conducted – probably about one week ago. There’s a couple week lag before you develop antibodies.) If we apply that percentage to the city population we get 2,074,490 infections in the city.

New mortality data updated this afternoon shows the total number of confirmed (lab test) and probable (diagnosed without a test) COVID19 deaths is 18,231.

If we take those deaths and that total number of infections we get a death rate of .878%. We can round it to .9%.

Ron Gruner said...

I'll go off topic and question the $25 minimum wage.

Measured in 2019 dollars the minimum wage peaked in 1968 at $11.75. By 2019 non-farm labor productivity had increased from $42.77 to $109.17. Had the minimum wage scaled by the same amount, today's minimum wage would be $31.99.

Ridiculous? From 1950 through 1968 labor productivity increased from $26.92 to $42.77, a 59 percent increase. The real minimum wage increased by nearly that amount, from $7.96 to $11.75, a 48 percent increase.

So, $25.00 is not absurd.

I know this is a tired argument, but still worth having.

cbt141 said...



Unfortunately, politicians more often than not structure their responses to crisis in terms of their own post crisis electability.

There are quite a few times when numerous countries have made tragic mistakes in unison: WW1 and the Great Depression are two examples. It is fair to call the Coronavirus another such example..

In the case of COVID 19 is a tragedy. Tens of thousands have died just in the USA. More will certainly die. The prospect of human anguish resulted in political pressure to “do something” and in a matter of days governments around the world, using insufficient data and flawed models, locked down their economies in knee jerk fashion.

We are now confronted by a situation where no one is satisfied: people are still dying, the economy (which we need to survive) is crushed, tens of millions are unemployed, healthcare to the non-COVID population is deeply damaged, and food shortages are almost certain. We are now living lives that are completely unsustainable, but political factionalism has made an exit strategy almost impossible.

Anyone watching the news must realize that what is motivating the response of politicians everywhere is politics. Politics wrapped in its usual hypocrisy, but political firmly focused on November above all else.

F.A. Hayek characterized the problems confronted by central planning when he wrote:
“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

Mencken remarked :
“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve.”

cbt141 said...


Wages as well as all other prices would serve the economy better if established by bargaining between buyers and sellers rather than by artificially constructed indices.

“ The chief merit of the price system is that it makes effective use of information that is not available to any single decision maker. When the price system is overridden, information is discarded. When information is discarded, resources are misallocated. When resources are misallocated, prosperity suffers. If you’re trying to make people prosperous, relying on prices is your best strategy.“ Steven Landsburg

Welschman said...

all a power grab...37k CONFIRMED CV19 deaths in the US per CDC report

K T Cat said...

As a San Diegan, I am here to tell you that Governor Newsom is living in a fantasy bubble. Dig this.

Since I wrote that and took the picture of the Home Depot parking lot, I've been to Lowe's twice. It's jammed, as full as it was before the Chicom Flu hit. While Home Depot is regulating the number of people allowed in the store, Lowe's is wide open.

California's political leaders continue to confuse words on paper with reality.

Rick Jones said...

Welchman said:

>all a power grab...37k CONFIRMED CV19 deaths in the US per CDC report

The problem, dingdong, is that you neglected this:

Therefore, the data shown on this page may be incomplete, and will likely not include all deaths that occurred during a given time period, especially for the more recent time periods. Death counts for earlier weeks are continually revised and may increase or decrease as new and updated death certificate data are received from the states by NCHS. COVID-19 death counts shown here may differ from other published sources, as data currently are lagged by an average of 1–2 weeks.

Now, if you had just added a bit of conditionality, you might have achieved some level of credibility and induced people like me to take you seriously. But, since you chose to cherry pick the information and confuse confirmed with possible, you have once again tossed yourself into the camp of ideologues who are willing to let other people die in order to make an ideological point.

Duncan said...

We are all very fortunate that Scott shares this blog. I kid you not, buy side managers pay tens of thousands every year for the research and insights far less valuable than what is found right here, simply because Scott likes to share his experience and wisdom. Thanks.

Ron Gruner said...

We should all meet back here August 4. The IMHE projects 72,443 total U.S. deaths by Aug 4 based on Social distancing assumed until infections minimized and containment implemented. By now, the IMHE should have its model tuned. So if actual deaths are significantly different, we'll learn something.

Rick Jones said...

Ron Gruner said:

> The IMHE projects 72,443 total U.S. deaths by Aug 4 ...

I'm not sure the IMHE model is all that valid. I don't know how credible this website or this article are, but the article calls into serious question the IMHE model...

What the Coronavirus Models Can’t See

Rick Jones said...

Ron Gruner said:

>The IMHE projects 72,443 total U.S. deaths by Aug 4 ...

Right now the World-o-Meter shows the U.S. as having close to 67,000 deaths. It also show approximately 2,000 deaths a day since 07 April. Assuming the Word-o-Meter numbers are close to accurate -- sorry, Welchman -- there would have to be an incredible drop off in deaths not to surpass by far the IMHE projections.

Robert said...

Not sure about the rest of the post, but wanted to check on this "the average weekly unemployment check now resides in the princely neighborhood of $1000 per week,...". Obviously, you are not the recipient of one these checks. But perhaps you can tell me where in the US I should move to get one? Here, in South Florida, we are nowhere near anything like that. Not even close.

Robert said...

At $275 max. your numbers drop from about $52k/year to just a mere 14K (annualized basis) or $7.25/hour.

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

Unemployment benefits are $875 per week in Florida, thru end of July

Benjamin Cole said...

Another AMEN to Scott Grannis.

Here is another totally apolitical and a-polemical view on the spread of Covid-19, very worth reading:

Sadly, like everything else, Covid-19 is no longer about the right policy, but about supporting policies that are politically correct, or controlling the narrative to the detriment of one's political opponents.

Welschman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Welschman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Welschman said...

Left nothing out, provided the link Mr Ad Hominem

Welschman said...

World o Meter or CDC?

Benjamin Cole said...

Note to Rick Scott:

Six or seven weeks again is ancient history. I do not remember looking at your profile. Send me a message on Linked In.

Rick Jones said...

Benjamin Cole said:

>Note to Rick Scott:...

Rick Scott?

Rick Jones said...


World-o-Meter or CDC?

Welschman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Welschman said...

Worldometer shows the US with 67k cv19 deaths, the CDC shows 37k. Pick the one that suits your narrative

Benjamin Cole said...

Rick Jones then. I am having a few senior moments these days.

Rick Jones said...

Welschman said:

blah blah blah...

Didn't read the article, huh?

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

Here is a link: "Remdesivir is probably worthless"

9 members of the NIH panel that establishes U.S. treatment guidelines for COVID-19 have disclosed an active financial interest in Gilead (researchers, consultants, board members, etc), which makes Remdesivir, the drug being hyped as a treatment option.
Makes u wonder if Dr. Scott Gottlieb (board of Pfizer) is thinking about a merger with his buddies at Gilead.

Meanwhile, Doctors all over the world keep reporting life-saving results with hydroxychloroquine & azithromycin, while MSM tells us they are worthless. Even in nursing homes with helpless cases are reporting miraculous outcomes.

CNBC reported (all day long) that the market was up one day last week because of excellent trials that Gilead ran. Not true. The futures were already up 500 points before that news ever broke. Sure seems like CNBC is invested in Big Pharma, and Government Control.
When CNBC broke in breathlessly at end of day Friday that the FDA had just granted emergency approval for Remdesivir, the market yawned, and went down a little more. Irrelevant.

I want the cheap, ubiquitous, decades-old Trump pills that work, if I ever get the COVID flu.

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

OK...the link I posted doesnt work. Spell check foils again!

Here is another try: "Remdesivir is probably worthless"

Welschman said...

Rick Jones,

hope you didn't hurt yourself reaching for that blah, blah, blah response.
Snappy reparte'

Scholar87 said...

The earlier comments about $275 p/w unemployment payments does not taking into account the $600 p/w sweetner that the Congress approved, which will expire in late July. Everything that Scott Grannis stated is absolutely correct and easily checked. If we do start to wake up from this nightmare and restart the economy, I wonder if consumer spending will be way up in the second half of 2020.

Rick Jones said...


I believe it's repartee.

And you still haven't read the article, have you?

Rick Jones said...

Interesting Wall Street Journal article:

Why Doesn't Flu Tank the Economy Like COVID-19

Among other things, explains why "confirmed cases" is not something to hang your hat on.

For starters, the flu tallies are estimates of total flu burden, while the Covid-19 figures are confirmed cases only. Eventually, the CDC will estimate the total Covid-19 burden, but for now, the numbers are not an apples-to-apples comparison. “We always know confirmed cases are an underestimate,” said Lynnette Brammer, who leads the CDC’s domestic influenza-surveillance team.

Meanwhile, World-o-Meter lists current COVID-19 death count is the U.S. at 68,247.

Welschman said...

I stand corrected...repartee...nice. yes I read it about 3 weeks ago when a number of the reporting sites cited it.
To quote my friend, blah blah blah

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

CDC lists US provisional deaths at 37,308 thru April 25, their latest update.
Worldometer is not a credible source.
COVID a little over half the deaths by pneumonia so far.

If real deaths were even 10 times that much, it would not justify destroying 30 million lives, and locking up perfectly healthy individuals, and seizing Constitutional rights.
What's next to justify this idiocy? Vaccine papers? An implanted scannable chip?

Oregon Governor just extended Lockdown to July 6; DESPITE ranking 40th on State-by-state Coronavirus List with 104 Deaths. Hmmmm. There is going to be violence.
Did you fine people see the video today of 4 NYC policemen severely beating a man, and an innocent bystander for not social distancing? What country is this?

Djaja Ottenhof said...

If this whole thing is as overblown as Scott says (and I tend to agree), we will 'open up' sooner rather than later and there will not be a second wave in the fall. Here in the Netherlands it's happening already: many more people outside, primary schools opening in a week, restaurants, gyms (and everything else that is still closed) will probably follow early June.

But assuming a strong recovery does happen, will there be any real long-term damage? And if not, could we then still say it was an enormous policy mistake?

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

Trillions of unsustainable new long term debt, loss of Liberties, and setting a precedent for doing it all again, except worse.
There are actually people out there who think all of this has been proper policy.

Welschman said...

Actually people who think the policies weren't stringent enough

Regina said...

what'dya think?

Djaja Ottenhof said...


About the debt, if it's mainly long term is it really an issue? With the low interest rates the impact on government budgets is limited in any case, and if it's put on central banks' balance sheets, the net impact is zero. I am aware there is an element of magical thinking there (MMT). But Scott and others have pointed out many times, debt is not something to worry about to much. I wonder why it would be now?

I worry about civil liberties too. On the other hand, there seems to be pretty strong push back against governments overreaching, at least in the US and here in Northwestern Europe. And a precedent? You could also argue it's been a good test run if at sometime in the future a virus would emerge that doesn't spare the 'young' (under 60/70) and healthy. Think a more robust healthcare system and a population that is more aware what it can do to slow the spread of a highly infectious disease.

But going back to the damage, what else is there if the impact on output and profits turns out to be limited because of a strong recovery? More corporate debt? A sharp increase in bankruptcies in retail, leisure and energy? But is that necessarily a bad thing when many of those companies are overleveraged (energy and leisure) and, or don't really have a viable business model (retail)?

Rick Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EHR said...

No one will listen to a non expert which is why I am asking Scott to please get this to an expert. I am a physician and nerd and had this virus solution reviewed by two geniuses I know and neither could find a flaw in it.
Kibbutz Covid
A Voluntary government sponsored program for those over 55 to provide sequestered accommodations for them and their well paid support staff to ride out the storm until outcome. ALl test negative and are monitored. Use vacant hotels, wealthy could pay partially for better rooms-can also use Army Corps of engineers etc.
As Americans, those who refuse take their chances and the consequences of their choice.
Everyone else goes back to work and school immediately. This helps everyone economically and medically at a fraction of the cost and death of what we are doing now.

Rick Jones said...

Djaja Ottenhof said:

>About the debt, if it's mainly long term is it really an issue?

It's not an issue. The Treasury sells bonds, the Fed buys them. When other countries buy our debt, they are not doing us a favor...we are doing them a favor. As the keeper of the world's reserve currency, we enjoy the exorbitant privilege. We don't need them; they need us (or, our dollars more precisely). At some point this will end, but I doubt anytime soon.

And MMT is not "magical thinking"'s actually a description of what we're doing now and have been doing. This is one of the most widely misunderstood things about it: it's not a prescription, it's a description.

Ron Gruner said...

Rick -

Thanks for the description.

What happens if the dollar loses its premier reserve currency status?

1) We use the U.S. dollar as a financial weapon slapping sanctions somewhere almost weekly. That must be causing a lot of smart people to find ways around the dollar.

2) What if China decides to dump their U.S. debt, even if it hurts them badly short-term?

3) What if some Black Swan event causes the dollar to lose its reserve currency status?

Rick Jones said...

Ron Gruner said:

>What happens if the dollar loses its premier reserve currency status?

As an American living in Europe on U.S. dollars, this is something I think about a lot. That, or the dollar radically devaluing.

I am not an expert on this stuff in any way, shape, or form, but I can give you my thoughts based on the reading and stuff I've done.

1) We use the U.S. dollar as a financial weapon slapping sanctions somewhere almost weekly. That must be causing a lot of smart people to find ways around the dollar.

A year or so ago some of the Europeans got really pissed at the way the U.S. was weaponizing the dollar with respect to Iranian sanctions. I believe they tried to create a "special purpose vehicle" to get around it. I'm not sure how successful that was, but that fact that our older allies were so pissed off and tried it is telling.

I have read that the real reason we invaded Iraq in 2003 was because Saddam Hussein was threatening to sell non-dollar denominated oil. I don't know how true that is, but that's what I read.

And I recently read that the IMF is proposing a digital reserve currency...some blockchain-based currency.

So yeah, people are pissed, and I suspect that at some point the dollar will lose it's premier status. But I think that's a long way off.

For starters, I read that there just isn't enough of any other currency to be the global reserve. True? I don't really know, but at this point it sounds reasonable. I mean, what are the other big currencies? The Euro...the Renminbi...compared to the dollar, neither holds a candle.

Second, U.S. dollars are actually a pretty safe haven. The validity of the national debt is written into the Constitution, and it's highly unlikely the U.S. would try to default (although with the self-described "King of Debt" in the White House, one never knows).

So again, people are pissed at the weaponizing of the dollar, no error, and there has been nascent movement to replace it. But I do think it's a ways off.

2) What if China decides to dump their U.S. debt, even if it hurts them badly short-term?

The first time I started looking into this, it seemed highly unlikely. The pain was perceived as being way too much. But, you know...Trump.

So what would happen? Again, I'm no expert, and since it's never happened before that I know of, I don't think anyone could say for sure. Since the Fed is buying trillions from the Treasury, perhaps the Fed would step in and buy China's debt. And don't forget, during the recent liquidity crisis I believe the Fed bought foreign-held U.S. debt (but don't quote me on that).

3) What if some Black Swan event causes the dollar to lose its reserve currency status?

Well, by definition a Black Swan event is something that can't be foreseen, so I will have to punt on that.

Some years ago I had a colleague who had been a professional meteorologist. He was very conservative; not at all the kind of guy who would buy into any liberal concerns about anything.

So I asked him one day, "What's the real deal with climate change and sea level rise?"

He said, in essence, "If you own waterfront property, in 50 years it will be useless. It will be under so much water as to render it unusable. But in 25 years that trend will be so obvious as to make it worthless. In 25 years the trend will be so obvious you won't be able to sell it."

Now clearly he did not mean every single foot of waterfront property, but you get the drift.

That's how I think about the dollar.

At some point -- probably far off in the future -- it will lose its status as the reserve currency. But long before that happens the trend will be so obvious as to make as to make it lose a substantial portion of its value.

Again, just some musings from a decidedly non-expert.

Regina said...

Woodstock occurred in the middle of a pandemic:

Ron Gruner said...


Thanks for the very thoughtful analysis. One of the best ever on this blog IMO.

Benjamin Cole said...

EHR-- I like your plan but raise the age for sequestration to 65.

That is my non-expert opinion but I did play a role in public policy making for a while, in my router checkered career.

cbt696 said...

65+ is roughly 10% of population and holds a strong likelihood of being the most threatened by Coronavirus. A general lock down never made sense.

Research at link:

“Our main result, however, is that better social outcomes are possible with targeted policies. Differential lockdowns on groups with differential risks can reduce both the number of lives lost and the economic damages significantly. We also find that the major- ity of these gains can be achieved with a simple targeted policy that applies an aggressive lockdown on the oldest group and treats the rest uniformly. These qualitative conclu- sions are quite consistent across different parameterizations of our model and are the main take away message from the paper. For our baseline parameterization, the optimal semi-targeted policy can reduce fatalities to 1% of the population and economic dam- ages to 10% of one year’s GDP. Alternatively, if we keep the loss of output the same as the baseline uniform policy, we can reduce the overall fatality rates to 0.71% and save approximately 2.7 million lives.
We showed that these conclusions are robust to a range of changes in parameters and the gains from targeted policies can be substantially increased if we also combine them with additional measures to reduce interactions between groups. For example, increas- ing the “social distance” between the oldest group and the rest of the population—by norms that temporarily reduce visits to older relatives or regulations that segregate the times when different demographic groups can go to grocery stores and pharmacies—can reduce fatalities to as little as 0.6% of the population (as compared to 1.83% in the baseline with uniform policies). Semi-targeted policies combined with identification and isolation of infected individuals can lead to even larger gains, especially when there is social dis- tancing between groups as well, and may obviate the need to have lengthy or even any
lockdown of younger age groups.”

EHR said...

Thank you Benjamin and cbt696 for your comments.
It has been lonely trying to find an expert on my own, especially in California.

The reason for 55 is the arbitrary 1% (flawed) IMR at that level, agree more bang for the buck the older you go.

Please understand I thought a long time about this and tried to make a proposal that is not just numbers based but is also based on the political realities. Please also consider that the program is voluntary and not everyone will opt in for it. Making it available makes it a lot easier to get everyone else back to work immediately. What Trump is doing now is going to fail without adequately preparing the populace as a large number of cases will result. He will be forced to back down and shut down America again unless he changes to Dr. Sara Fortune or somebody like that. One very encouraging sign today was Gary Gottlieb admitting that he was basically wrong in overpromising what could be achieved in the US. Please see my Twitter at galitzia if you are curious for more details.

I honestly can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to forward the link and I look forward to researching it further. Many thanks.

cbt696 said...

Stanford researcher Jay Bhattacharya MD
March 2020

Stanford researcher Jay Bhattacharya MD
April 2020

Swedish epidemiologist on Sweden’s approach to Coronavirus mentions particular vulnerability of elderly:

Also, YouTube presentations of
John Ioannidis MD Stanford medical researcher.

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

The Diminutive Doctor is a FRAUD:

Link: PLANdemic

Might want to watch before it gets removed, again.

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

LINK: Government scientist Neil Ferguson resigns after breaking lockdown rules to meet his married lover

The scientist whose advice prompted Boris Johnson to lock down Britain resigned from his Government advisory position on Tuesday night as The Telegraph can reveal he broke social distancing rules to meet his married lover.

Professor Neil Ferguson allowed the woman to visit him at home during the lockdown while lecturing the public on the need for strict social distancing in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The woman lives with her husband and their children in another house.


On at least two occasions, Antonia Staats, 38, travelled across London from her home in the south of the capital to spend time with the Government scientist, nicknamed Professor Lockdown.

The 51-year-old had only just finished a two-week spell self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus.

Ms Staats, a left-wing campaigner, made a second visit on April 8 despite telling friends she suspected that her husband, an academic in his 30s, had symptoms of coronavirus.

Pure hypocrites. Reminds me of the global warming scammers. Rules for THEE, but not for ME.

Regina said...


Sorry. I was wondering when you guys would start looking into that ghoul.

randy said...

JBD - regarding Neil Ferguson... I had to go check and make sure you didn't get that from Zero Hedge to be sure. But wow, that's outstanding. You can't make this stuff up and have it be any less weird.

Rick Jones said...

Putting all politics aside, would anyone care to comment on Harley Bassman's paper:

Where is the Folder?

Mr. Bassman is a fairly pedigreed fellow in finance, and he seems to have some interesting thoughts about the future and how to prepare.

steve said...

For me the worst fallout of covid 19 and the US pitiful response to it is that it seems politically we have regressed to pre Civil War era mentality. It has been said that it took the Civil War to make the US truly the UNITED STATES. Given Trump's absolute narcissistic focus such that states are making decisions independent of the federal government, I can't help but think it will be a LONG time before states trust the federal government to truly have their backs.

Covid 19 does not care about state borders. Coordination would have been nice between the federal government and state governments and obviously that has not happened. This is a sea change and its implications are unknown.

As re that piece that Rick posted it is the height of hubris to think that anyone can prognosticate markets with any degree of accuracy except in the very long run (not a shot at you Rick but rather the author). As a trader, I never even try to predict markets. I REACT to markets and that is a huge difference. Right now, you must be long risk-however you choose to define it because risk it treating you best. When the markets signal a change, I'll change but I will not tell you where XYZ is trading at year end.

steve said...

BTW, I did not mean to imply that certain state's governors are not complicit in lack of cooperation. Newsom of CA is particularly guilty in that regard. As a country we have taken a giant step backwards in political hacking. As a history enthusiast it it particularly depressing to watch.

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

PLANdemic video has been removed from all platforms.
What country is this?

rsswg said...

The cause of the mistakes across the board was government lack of planning and leadership.

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

"Lack of planning and leadership". AMEN
Fauci has been in charge of that agency for THIRTY SIX YEARS.
His job was to plan and be ready for this.
Instead, the man has been a total disaster in this entire debacle.
Yet DEM Senators and the press seem to give him a total pass.

EHR said...

Government at its worst.

And now the reopening “failure” and KibbutzCovid inevitably.

Trump today mentioned isolating older folks (teachers).

Two quotes come to mind about #KibbutzCovid

“ All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident”. Schopenhauer

“Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing…after they have exhausted all other possibilities.“