The Trumpbux dropped this week. Everyone got some money in their account. This was the small amount of cash they shot out to everyone to tide them over and to pacify them as the massive bailout procedures were set up by Congress. This will be an interesting experiment. There is the chance though that more money will have to be thrown at corporations and other lending facilities, so another round could come in May.
Exactly what happens with it will be the fun part. The feds are taking out a loan on very low interest to juice consumption for everyone as we do live in a consumer driven economy. If black twitter is any indication, these checks will be superior to any tweet citing ‘lowest black unemployment ever‘. Their reaction has turned liberals into deficit hawks and libertarians. Someone else has decided to try to bribe blacks, and gosh darn it, money is going to
white employed people who don’t need it.
Because of the unemployment jam up, this could be the money people use to tide them over as state governments sort through all their system problems to get unemployment flowing. Once employment is being paid at 100% of earnings, people will feel relieved. The key is how fast everything comes back. That is where you may see some people sock this money away just in case the layoff becomes permanent or we have a very slow recovery.
The talk of re-opening the economy is not the economy but society. The money part will come and go, we saw this with the 2008 crash. Society and people are what matter. We are re-opening society. We are just using language to focus people on getting back to work and to take focus away from the fact that we have shut down the world. Those photos of clean skies over LA are pretty. They are also a horrifying image telling you that a metropolis of millions is too scared to go outside. Even if we re-open, will people go out again? Will it be the same as before?
They will. Behavior will change. It might be in masks, but they will. Flights are still going on now but virtually no one is flying. Where can you go anyway? This is where preferences come into play. Once state parks and trails are re-opened, people will go to them. Tourism will be slow to come back, but not a return to nature style tourism. Disney World may suffer but the Gulf Coast will bounce back. Our national parks and forests may see an uptick in visitors while indoor water parks take a hit.
Behavior will change. If you doubt it, think of wrong moves. Provided corona (SARS2) does not just disappear as SARS1 did. Bad decisions will have consequences. Hospitalization, death, organ damage. A filter will return. The elderly will suffer more than anyone else, but consider the shaming mechanisms that would form as families could pinpoint gramma’s death on one specific cousin or aunt. Survivor guilt is real. Not everyone hates their grandparents or parents. We live in an era where reaching 80 is easy. Think of the family anger if a 72 year old goes from spry to dead all because of carelessness of younger relatives.
Behavior will change at work because coming in sick will no longer be tolerated. This has already shifted. Formalizing paid leaves, mandating short leaves and companies learning that high R0s can destroy productivity will shift them to more paternalistic behavior. Paid leave was already a trend in corporate America, and this will accelerate it. It is going unreported but many large firms are already expanding what they consider leaves, the rules for leaves and what will be paid. This is a huge shift for American corporations.
The last behavior to change is another acceleration of a trend. Privacy. After the openness of the early Internet era and social media days wore off, people became much more concerned about privacy. Privacy protection was formerly associated with personal information with regards to identity theft. Now it is to hide at all and be left alone a bit. Humans are social creatures. We will never stop seeking people out. This will come with the idea of vetting and invitation only events. With privacy comes trust. We’re going to have to trust the people we meet again.
We’re going to have to define the outsider.
Myth guys get McAfee – The Myth crew gets an interview with John McAfee. Please listen.
History Might Pause – This covers the death of populism, catastrophe capitalism, quarantine corporatism and other changes or features we will deal with. A great line is, “The left’s real trauma might be that neoliberalism died without them actually killing it”. Sums up the Bernie experience in America very well.
After Covid – Alain de Benoist covers the ground of possibility that lies ahead. He correctly points out how our globalized world needed to adjust and accommodate every fluctuation because anyone could be anywhere at anytime. Now we seek the place and things that bind us, secure us and keep us together. States of exception exist and in them, the norms we are used to no longer apply.
Elite Paranoia, Elite Control – Panic works for the elite and is produced by them to reinforce their control.
New World Disorder – Essay points out how the flu pandemic of 1917-1918 created a lot of change in the old world order. We skim over this in schools as the interwar years are avoided, pointing to the flu would be asking too much from our education experts.
Lib discusses federalism/secession – This has “cries out as she strikes you” bits to it. The right is accused of destroying the norms and rule of law, leaving California with nothing to do but go its own way. It is a bit insane, but frankly, let California go its own way.
The College Ponzi – I once wrote on SM how the college system was a fiefdom forever expanding because it could always suck in more kids and money. Corona might end that. Multiple factors to this but if revenue streams do shrink in any manner, the scalpel will come out.
Cowen at Princeton – Cowen gives a talk and Arnold Kling gives additional commentary so it is a twofer. America is situated perfectly for autarky, but we need buy in from decision makers. This should end immigration zealots, which combined with autarky is a statement that the global situation is a tailwind for the Americans First crowd. Boohoo that universities will suffer, and Cowen saying that unis will take in worse domestic students is goddamn laughable. Harvard and their ilk reject plenty of kids who score perfect on their SATs and finish at the top of their high school classes. Cowen sees the end of the progressive woke crowd as well as the libertarians (hahahah). Centrist authoritarianism is mentioned here, and sadly if you want to keep America together as a unit a right of center authoritarian who ends immigration and kills off the woke ideology is the way to do it.
Bloomberg + China – NPR does some real reporting. They cover how Bloomberg the news outlet reported on Chinese oligarchs, received death threats and then Mike Bloomberg intervened to suppress everything. This is a good lesson on our elites selling us all out for money as well as how the media is in no way free, except maybe to destroy little people. That moment Bloomberg looked like the Democrat nominee for President seems like a year ago. It was 6 weeks ago.
Caldwell on Sovereignty – Caldwell tackles how corona has shown that globalism has massive downsides, and that borders must matter again. He deftly swats at the Cuomo cheer-leading, which breaks down to Cuomo providing support emotionally for New Yorkers and not being Trump. Day in and day out Cuomo praised Trump and dumped on DeBlasio, yet the media never quite caught on to this game. It was because Trump provided goods and services for NY while DeBlasio was a dunce.
Memo on Infrastructure – This essay hopes to nudge what exactly comes of any infrastructure program that DC dreams up this month. There are plenty of projects that would not just address economic needs, but set us up to have a better economic foundation for the ’20s and attack a corona world.
NY Times thinks it’s the end of globalism – Even the NY Times cannot deny that the globalism of 1990-2016 is done. It is over. America is situated to come out of a pro-autarky trend stronger than everyone else, provided we do not let GoldmanSachs run the reorganization of our economy. Peter Navarro could steer it in a positive direction.
Parallax on Heretics – Parallax takes a tweet thread of his and turns it into an essay on heretics and the problem our current order faces. “The Cathedral needs Heretics to think outside its own path-dependant thought structures / output. But it can’t admit them / their ideas because doing so would trigger a preference cascade, redistributing professional status“.