Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

Wuhan Flu Apocalypse 3rd Post on Day 5

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

This post is going to be full of half-baked assertions. I won’t be linking to many articles. There will be no charts, etc.

Take a look at this:

The part of the house were there are the five windows and the door with the concrete in front of it used to be a little neighborhood grocery store. I would walk or ride my bike there (we lived two blocks away) when I was in 4th grade to get things like milk or eggs. The family that owned the store lived in the house that is attached and hidden behind the tree.

Yes… other parents would send their 4th graders there to get cigarettes. They were, of course, awful parents and all those children are now in prison.

It is located in this neighborhood:

In our rush for more efficiency and lower prices we have driven these little businesses from our neighborhoods. Zoning has knocked them out. NIMBYism has knocked them out. Wall Street has knocked them out. They are gone. There is nothing like this in my part of Dallas. There never was, as this part of town wasn’t built until the 70’s. Any part of Dallas that had this sort of thing (lower Greenville Ave.) now has problems between the commercial operators and the residential owners.

It’s probably different on the other side of the river, but everything is different on the other side of the river. Including code enforcement.

I often think about how our drive for efficiency. Wall Street can’t fit that little grocery stores financial needs into one of their pre-package loan programs. And, since banks are now lend and sell, and not lend and hold, there is no longer any banker that has the ability to understand the financial needs of that little grocery.

These changes have driven commerce and the good examples the owners of businesses set for others from the neighborhoods.

In their place we have the soulless big box stores that offer us all the wonderfully cheap goods made in China, Vietnam, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

I don’t think it was a good trade.

You will keep hearing economists talk about comparative advantage. That free trade works because comparative advantage. I think that is correct. In some cases, anyway. But what I really think is that comparative advantage works best on a level playing field. If the foreign countries that corporations moved their production to had similar regulatory environments then comparative advantage would come into play.But what has really happened is that corporations moved their production offshore to avoid U.S. regulation and to also not have to pay U.S. level wages.

Again, not a good trade.

And then… And then… we get to an event like the Wuhan Flu. And we see an even more important reason to keep things at home. Our sanitary regulations are a lot better. Our public health regime is better.

I’d wager a bunch of Italy’s problem are Chinese nationals that are essentially slave laborers in the garment factories of Northern Italy. We are getting no information about the people suffering in Italy.

I really have been thinking about this and related issues for a long time. I guess becoming an old man will do that to you.

More later. Meanwhile, back to Wuhan Flu all the time…

Wuhan Flu Apocalypse 2nd Post on Day 5

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Back when the AIDS epidemic was a big deal, we were constantly told to practice safe sex.

We were never told not to have sex.

Wuhan Flu Apocalypse Day 5

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

I’m beginning to think this whole thing is a grift designed to destroy the chance for a second term for Trump. I will, again, say that I’m not a fan of Trump, I just don’t hate him like the media so obviously hate the man.

Through yesterday, March 17th (That link was put here the morning of March 18th, it will update over time), there were 75 deaths in this country attributed to COVID-19. That is about 1% of the daily death toll in this country. Now… that is the count of deaths since CDC started tracking the deaths. Not yesterday’s count.

Some perspective: As of March 7th (again a link that will change over time with updated numbers), the CDC is reporting an estimated 22,000 deaths from the flu this season. This is part of the 7,700 deaths per day in the U.S.

Very little reporting that I’ve seen about this Wuhan Flu has mentioned how this virus will add to the death rate. And if it is reported, you kind of have to tease the information out of what has been emphasized. That is the only thing count that matters: How many additional deaths will there be?

Here in North Texas, some guy with double pneumonia died yesterday. He was 74, according to the article in the Dallas Morning News. A 90 year old in Houston has died. No word on whether or not either of them were smokers. But the average age of these two is 82, which while a small sample is inline with the rest of the world.

Day 4 of the Wuhan Apocalypse

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

The e-mails… The stupid e-mails…

Each one telling me what Company X is doing in response to the Wuhan Flu.

I really could not care less. That is your problem Company X. Not mine. I may or may not choose to use your services during this event, so my only real concern is that you fulfill my orders and otherwise provide the service I’m used to enjoying. Home Depot, Lowe’s, Kroger, Tom Thumb… the list goes on. The e-mails I really am irritated with are from the web only companies. Telling me that you are disinfecting your keyboards is of very little interest. I also don’t need any advice on how to pass the time. Passing time while participating in useless activities is the least of my problems. I’m really good at passing time. I like to fish and read. What passes time better than fishing?

I also have the fermentorium project going. I’m pressing on with that. When I get that done, we’ll be making mead and cider right off the bat. Then also starting on the brewing system.

I just received an e-mail from The Catholic Foundation. They are going to continue making grants. You all can sleep tonight. I’ll have to figure out how I got on The Catholic Foundation’s e-mail list sometime.

Again… the non-falsifiable nature of this event bugs the crap out of me.

More store closures. I’m sure anyone finding their way here is on top of the news.

Family members in hospitality are out of work for the time being. There is no place for them to go to find additional work. Lots of acquaintances are out of work too (I spend to much time in cocktail joints of ill repute). This is going to have knock on effects on rent payments, which will then have knock on effects on mortgage payments. Which of course will mean that the banks get bailed out again.

This all sucks.

Day 3 of the Wuhan Apocalypse

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

Missed the post yesterday as I was absorbed in Kung Flu news and reactions at work. But this is going to be about what happened yesterday on Day 3 of our current adventure.

I know this is uncharted waters for everyone, but my God I wish I had a higher level of confidence in the management of my little outfit.

Everyone’s response is bemusing. The people doing the most talking (media) are probably the least qualified to speak. I only know of what the media says because of reactions of friends and family. I have several friends that want to lay all of this at the feet of Trump. I will admit I don’t like the way things are being handled. I will also admit I have no way to evaluate the danger.

I am very confident, however, that the media are wrong. They are always wrong. How they retain an audience amazes me.

But… Like I said below. This is quickly becoming a non-falsifiable sort of event. It will be years before we will know what was done that may have been correct and good. It will be years before we will know what was wrong and bad. And even with the passage of time there will be a political aspect to all the arguments over the history of this event.

I’m sure my response is bemusing to some too.

For a unique and refreshing take on the Fu Man Flu problem, go spend some time over at The Z Man’s site. He’s always entertaining. Smart too.

I am surprised at the reaction Steve Sailer has had to this event. He seems to have lost his normal skepticism. He has retained his powers of observation, noticing that an important vector in the spread of the Wuhan Flu is the international ski set. Reading through the comments of one of Sailer’s post on the pandemic is interesting. Yeah… anonymous comments are a problem, but he seems to attract an intelligent group and there has been a variety of ways his readership is responding.

Day 2 of the Wuhan Apocalypse Addendum

Sunday, March 15th, 2020

The bars and restaurants in Ohio are closed.

The bars in California are closed.

The bars and restaurants in MA are to go only. The casinos there are closed.

We are being nagged that we are not social distancing enough. That we are not taking this event seriously.

This is becoming a non-falsifiable event. If nothing happens, the government did its job. If the death toll and severe illness numbers rise. If the hospitals become overwhelmed. If the health care system and the economy collapse, it will be because we, the citizens, didn’t do what we were told.

This from the government that gave us three years of Russia Russia Russia. They gave us an impeachment that was idiotic. They have been losing a war in Afghanistan for 19yrs. They set up the 2008 financial melt down. They monetize the budget deficit to the tune of, oh I really don’t know, but maybe $100 billion a day. This is a completely corrupt and incompetent government. The people involved are buffoons and criminals.

Yet… They want us to believe them this time.

And the media is cheer leading for them.

I know it will be years before someone that can be trusted, someone that is disinterested and has no axe to grind will be able to give a reasonable estimate of the additional deaths here in the U.S. do to the Wuhan Flu. Remember 7400 to 7500 people die each day already.

Day 2 of the Wuhan Apocalypse

Sunday, March 15th, 2020

We are surviving at the White Rock estate.


But this is mostly because SWMBO’s sister is here. She always presents a challenge to my patience. She likes to talk. Which shouldn’t bother me much but she likes to talk about things I have no interest in at all.

I’m back working in the fermentorium. This is a bit of detail from yesterday’s shot:

There will be a 50amp circuit for the eventual HERMS system that will go in there. That is the black wire on the left. There will be a 30amp circuit (black cable on the right) for an oven. The white wire hanging on the left is for lights in the fur down that will be built. The white wire hanging in the center will be for the vent hood that will be hanging from the fur down. It will be vented through the fur down. I am just going to cover the walls and then use an epoxy paint. I was going to tile it, but it is the garage. I don’t need to spend that amount of time and money on the project.

I’ve done a lot of work in the garage over the last 8 or 9 months. I’ve insulated the space and installed a mini-split:

I’ve had the unit running often when it has been really humid. It dries the space out nicely and makes working out there a lot more comfortable.

I see that the government and all the other busy bodies are currently admonishing us for not enough social distancing. We are guilty. SWMBO and I went to Khao Noodle Shop last night for dinner. This restaurant was named the 2nd best new restaurant in the U.S. by Bon Appetit (I’m not going to bother with the special character). Dinner was amazing.

I can’t remember the names of the dishes, but this is their Laotian take on Spam musubi:

Simply delicious. We stopped at Bar and Garden on the way and picked up this bottle of wine:

It worked really well with the food. It is dry and has an earthy finish. It was great with the spicy dishes.

We also stopped by a small gathering on the way home. Had a nice visit with people that we haven’t seen in a while. It was interesting that there was a lot of fun being made about the whole Wuhan Flu self quarantine and social distancing. There is also, as most of them listen to NPR as if what they hear comes from the burning bush, an undercurrent of concern that they/we are wrong to not take this more seriously.

There are now two sisters-in-law here. Conversation turns every once in a while to the economic catastrophe this Wuhan Flu is going to become. One SIL works in the convention biz. She is totally shut down. The other SIL here is a hairdresser. She’s notice traffic dropping off the last week. I have a brother that is a bartender in a hotel. Room occupancy percentage is in single digits. I have a significant percentage of my income derived from commissions. My rich clientele are staying home. This is going to be rough.

I’ll continue to post.

Day 1 of the Wuhan Virus Apocalypse

Sunday, March 15th, 2020

This is going up a day late.

It is my plan to memorialize for future generations the story of how my family and I survived the Wuhan Flu pandemic of 2020. That is optimistic of me, isn’t it? I’m assuming that I’ll survive.

Some of you may argue with my calling Saturday, March 14th, 2020 as the first day of the Apocalypse, but it was the first day of important events like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade being cancelled here in the Metroplex and all across the nation.

I know some of you may say the Apocalypse started on Wednesday the 11th with the NBA’s announcement of the suspension of their season.

I myself might mark it as Thursday the 12th when the more important NHL suspended their season.

But… if you had driven down Greenville yesterday in the rain and saw the few drunks and their sad faces, you too would mark Saturday the 14th as the first day of the Wuhan Apocalypse.

I did do a little survey of the White Rock estate to see how well prepared we are:

The liquor status is completely unsatisfactory.

I’ve been working on the fermentorium:

I have plenty of work to do there. It is funny how that space when done, will be a perfect way to self quarantine. My plan is to do anything and everything with traditional (old world) food preservation there. Brew. Distill. Pickle. Smoke. Salt. Cure. Ferment. Preserve.

But… checking on other items in the house, I did go make this purchase:

Yeah… some mono and some bullets.

I’m ready now.

Ready for everything except the coming economic disaster. I’m going to be working without commissions for several months. I can feel it coming. Rich people (“rich people” being a phrase that will be undefined by me for a bit), the people that started this with their international business and ski travel, are going to stay home and sit this out.

Boeing’s 737 Max Software Outsourced to $9-an-Hour Engineers – Bloomberg

Friday, June 28th, 2019

Boeing’s 737 Max Software Outsourced to $9-an-Hour Hindu Engineers

Probably the most politically incorrect thing I’ve posted to date, but that society is famous for short cuts. I would think that Boeing management would actually know better.

This is at its heart an H1-B visa thing too.

The H1-B visa program is the most corrupt government program there is currently.

It’s as if there is Aircraft Software rotting in the fields near Seattle and we need to have Hindu immigrants to fix the problem.

The Latest In The Cholesterol Wars

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

The Latest In The Cholesterol Wars — Manhattan Contrarian

It really is hard to know what I should do.

The skeptic in me knows that there is too much money in statins and that the Dr. is not really concerned with my health so much as his reputation.