One of the phenomenal crossover events of the last month was Andrew Yang showing up to the White House to meet with President Trump about cutting checks to the American people. This is not UBI as he proposed it, but could turn into something like it for the immediate crisis. This was a feel-good story. It is a small white pill in a week that was a massive looting.
Congress managed to push through a massive multi-trillion dollar fiscal relief bill at the same time that the FED pulled out every tool in its garage to provide liquidity, provide confidence and keep the machine operating. This is a great example of how the system will work to protect itself. Losing 50,000 Americans a year to opioids does not threaten its existence (not one iota), but the collapse of the big line and economic dislocation threatens them, therefore bills pass 96-0 in the Senate. There was not even a moment of pushback like during TARP, which did get modified because it was so ridiculous. The pandemic hysteria made it easier for people to clamor for the corruption.
The online hysterics were rather entertaining. Cernovich managed to squander whatever good points he accrued for being early on the corona worries by acting like a toddler about the money sent to Americans. Nearly as entertaining was Kantbot. I do feel bad for him if he is A) still in NYC and B) still obese. Stay safe but stop peddling the revolution bullshit. Pretending that the system would be honest is an act. It’s easy to see Cerno lisping hysterically as an actor, but Kantbot always seemed more savvy and above it all. The regime does not work for you. Readers here and everywhere in our sphere and adjacent circles know it.
Is the one time payment big? At $1200 per person with $500 per kid it is not, but Yang-gang was happy with $1000/month last year. There is the option that this may be repeated. It is means tested which is a little lame, but go look up median American wages now. Go look up household income and tell me it will not be a nice boost. Tens of millions of your fellow Americans work for less than $40,000 a year, which is $770 a week, which after taxes is like $600 week, which wouldn’t you know it, is what $1200 is for two weeks. Means testing will hit the upper and upper-middle classes harder, which have drifted leftward, so maybe they can sacrifice for their woke allies. Who is this for though? Most of those upper middle class workers are likely working from home and collecting a salary. The retail, dining and working class is not.
Those are the people that need it, which is the mass out of work due to shutdowns. Amazon’s thousands of employees that took their laptops home and kept collecting paychecks do not need it. This is a shock to the system, which is forcing closures that would normally not happen. That one time payment was not all though, which is why the hysterics were unwarranted. Unemployment is getting a boost for four months which will make it a 100% income replacement for many workers and now 1099 and the self-employed are eligible. This is the exact type of temporary UBI type program to target the very people affected by this temporary crisis. It will not create a dependency as everyone is operating on the assumption that once the outbreak is under control, people will go back to work ending the need for money. The underclass already gets their welfare, so they do not need anything additional yet still get that one time payment.
The other extraordinary steps like suspending evictions for two months, waiving student debt interest indefinitely, waiving student debt payments for several months, etc. all add up to a system that realizes this is an existential threat and they have to start paying out. I mentioned this on the Sun’s twitter account but the next step is a debt/rent freeze to enforce a pari passu environment. Right now, landlords are acting as landlords do and demanding their payment, but student debt got waived, and credit card companies, car loans, etc. will get screwed in favor of landlords getting paid first? That is not right. A two month freeze of all should be a second step.
Are the loans to small businesses enough? We do not know. Are the bailouts for big business awful? We will see but likely. Large corporations employ 50% of all American workers, so this does matter. We do know that a temporary bridge must be built for the immediate crisis and then current structural issues need to be adjusted. I am worried this may cause consolidation of business further and the pauperization of the citizenry to formally move us to North Brazil status. This is late stage looting with all the wrinkles of a banana republic. It is disgusting to see the partisan dance when immediate relief is needed. It is disgusting to see progressive wish lists put in things. This is the Mafia bust out method. Jump in, run up credit for a lot of inventory you can turn around and sell on the black market, waste a lot of money on luxuries, and then walk away as you light the place on fire for the insurance payout.
If you want to be hysterical and you want to advocate, push hard for waiving FDA regulations on mask manufacturing. Push for pro-mask messaging and awareness, maybe even a Mask Monday social media event. I’ve worn a mask out. People can laugh but someone else will see it, wear one and not feel like the lone weirdo. This advocacy is not to get us back to work faster a la Con Inc’s drones. It is to spruce mask production for guys still going to work because they are deemed essential. Your payout is insignificant compared to the health of truckers making sure groceries get delivered on time, the health of nurses going into hospitals while cops don’t answer calls in a real crisis, or the health of infrastructure workers making everything else flow so you can punch on your phone about the paltry payout.
The rot is top to bottom and widespread. Don’t be a serf happy for some crumbs they toss your way. Be an engaged member of your social circle and community who will work to carve out a safe, calm area in our dysfunctional world.
On to the links, frankly, corona has sucked the air out of the room for good reads.
The Bronze Age University – With colleges and even kindergartens closed down, now is an opening for a different type of education for the youth. Rather than Fortnite and Minecraft, how about we expose the youths to the tales of old.
Viral Empire – The attempt to rule the world and interconnect everywhere was bound to unearth a bug like this to challenge it. I enjoyed the line that we do not have a wartime economy but an anti-wartime economy as we shutter sections of the economy. Something new will come.
Is Covid Less Deadly Than Feared – This essay got me thinking about the people still complaining about testing. Testing has ramped up. Well what exactly is going to change treatment for the many mild cases out there. Lack of testing might be altering the denominator for the virus’ lethality calculations. I happened to learn of a case in my social circle, but they were not tested. All symptoms present. They recovered by day 11. That is not a recovery though in our stats.
Lemoine questions the Imperial College – This is a cool review of the Imperial College study that said millions will die. Lemoine was criticized because he was not a credentialed expert. After all, how smart can a philosophy PhD candidate at an Ivy be? The chumps of Twitter criticized him, but within a week, that Imperial College study was revised with an entirely different model. Score one for the amateur.
Icke on Corona – David Icke of conspiracy theories too numerous to list here comes across as very sharp when considering this as a forced crash. Surveillance can be deployed under an invisible threat that may be anywhere. I do like the claim that this is an Op by the big money powers so that they could pop this bubble with an external excuse that no one could see coming. Pop the bubble is not a great phrase, but let us call it a controlled demolition like when giant buildings collapse into their footprint. Now the banks get the FED to go full money printing, helicopter money arrives and the system gets to try out some police state tactics. China itself is just taking Xinjiang surveillance and control techniques and applying them nationwide.