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Old 2020-03-21, 03:55   #243
kladner
 
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Default The Smugness of Celebrity Self-Isolation -by Binoy Kampmark

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/03...elf-isolation/
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The rush to elevate self-isolation to Olympian heights as a way to combat the spread of COVID-19 has gotten to the celebrities. Sports figures are proudly tweeting and taking pictures from hotel rooms (Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton being a case in point). Comics are doing their shows from home. Thespians are extolling the merits of such isolation and the dangers of the contagion. All speak from the summit of comfort, the podium of pampered wealth: embrace social distancing; embrace self-isolation. Bonds of imagined solidarity are forged. If we can do it, so can you.
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Self-isolation has seen the rich with their entourages making an escape for holiday homes and vast retreats. Then come the eccentric and the slightly ludicrous options: the well-stocked and equipped bunker; the safe room. Such an approach is far more representative of the estrangement between haves and have-nots. “One of the best options is in Middle America,” comes the recommendation* from Adam Popescu in Vanity Fair. “If you’re part of the 1%, why wait or sluggish government support when you can burrow 175 feet underground in a refurbished Air Force missile silo in rural Kansas that markets itself as a survival condo?”
*Do have a look at this Vanity Fair link. Some mind-boggling stuff.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2020-03-21 at 04:36
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Old 2020-03-21, 04:37   #244
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For a mere $3M http://survivalcondo.com/full-floor/
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Old 2020-03-21, 04:49   #245
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"inefficiently producing" - you mean "actually paying our own country's workers a fair wage for producing them, perhaps charging a bit more for the end product, and not letting greedy CEOs ratchet up their own compensation to the moon?" Because the latter phenomenon is where a lot of the "promised cost savings" from offshoring have magically disappeared to.
I prefer to let the American economy focus on where it is efficient, and to let other economies focus on where they are efficient.

China has a fantastic model of gearing an entire town to the production of a single item. They produce it in great quantities, then when it's no longer needed everyone is retrained to produce the next thing. It's not something that we do in the US, but it's a major driver of the Chinese economy. This tends to require what we would consider unskilled to semi-skilled labor, though I think the term is somewhat unfair: though the workers may not be particularly skilled at this particular task, they have good general skills that allow them to be quickly retrained.

American labor is terrible at producing the kinds of products that China produces, in general. What American labor is good at is semi-skilled labor, like automotive assembly. In recent years companies have worked out how to have parts requiring minimal skill done in Mexico (a market unlike China, but also possessing many relatively unskilled laborers) resulting in less unskilled car parts and assembly in the US but more semi-skilled car parts and assembly in the US: a better fit for our strengths. Similarly, we've been increasing, year over year, our banking sector (a major export sector -- other countries increasingly bank with us) and our IT industries (another export sector). But it's not just skilled and semi-skilled labor that have increased. Some jobs are just hard to export, like delivery services. They have also increased. In exchange for these sectors increasing, others have decreased, with their products either no longer being consumed or being imported.

I'm very happy to modernize and optimize. If we stop trading, we'll have to do things we're bad at, and other countries won't be able to benefit from our strengths. Everyone loses.

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And how does domestic manufacturing interfere with "diversified supply chains", in a country as large and diverse as the US?
Considering that I not only mentioned but linked to an article on domestic manufacturing of medical supplies, I'm certainly all in favor of it. In a situation like this, price is used as a signal to industry as to when they should retool existing manufacturing to make, say, masks or ventilators instead. (Of course other tools are available; economists use the term "moral suasion".)

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They just wouldn't be able to offshore the manufacturing pollution and so eaily be able to hide abusive workplace conditions in some distant state-owned-enterprise in China.
Agreed: they need to internalize their externalities. It's hard to change foreign countries policies (but we should try!), but at the very least we can tax them for their pollution. (And when we can do more, we should, keeping with the general principle that externalities lead to inefficient solutions in a market economy.)

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Also, "buffering one's supply" sounds well and good, but since one typcially doesn't know in advance what sectors will be especially hard-hit by those "exogenous supply shocks", to do it for everything one can think of is the definition of inefficiency, and an invitation for piling up unused inventory. Many of these products, even "durable" ones have limited useful shelf lives, and even so, you gotta store 'em somewhere.
It's pretty easy to think of solutions to all of these problems, but fortunately I wouldn't even need to do that considering that it's already been done. (Good thing, too, because I suspect the Trump administration would not have thought to set it up.) But surely every organization of a reasonable size runs disaster simulations -- I've done them professionally, at places not very large at all -- and one would hope that the US government has done them in sufficient detail to have an idea of the amount of supplies needed in various scenarios, based on various other scenarios which have happened around the world. From there it's just a matter of prioritizing scenarios, concomitant equipment, and pricing things out to do proper cost/benefit analyses and you have a plan on what you want. Finding a place for it is trickier, as you want a particularly secure location (the locations of the Strategic National Stockpile are not disclosed) but I think you can imagine that building underground bunkers is already a skillset the US has in spades. Then it's just a matter of setting up the supply chain: who you'll buy the equipment from, at least two suppliers per item of course, with long-term purchase agreements, production guarantees, etc.; but also who you'll sell the items to, so you can rotate the inventory appropriately. That's just a general outline but I think you get the idea.

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I'm not preching xenophobia here, just a return of a significant amount of autarky, especially with respect to products which clearly are, or can very easily become, critical to national security or, as in the present crisis, public health.
You could build a beautiful Maginot line of autarky, by which we're ready to fight the last war, the last plague, and live in the last economy. Trump would surely approve of this return to the nonspecific past of American greatness. But I want to live in a world where we all move ahead together, and soldiers don't cross the borders because they're thick with goods. When North Korea is threatening us with ICBMs and hacking, it won't do much good to have Ford roll out tanks from Detroit.
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Old 2020-03-21, 12:09   #246
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Last night's numbers:
globally:
cases 275427, deaths 11397, recovered 88250
CFR1= 11397/(11397+88250) = 0.1144 = 11.44%
CFR2= 11397/ 275427 = 0.0414 = 4.14%

US:
cases 19624, deaths 260, recovered 147
CFR1 = 260/(260+147)= 0.6388 = 63.88%
CFR2 = 260 /19624 = 0.0132 = 1.32%
https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashb...23467b48e9ecf6
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Old 2020-03-21, 13:59   #247
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Good evening. My name is Paul Ryan. I used to be Speaker of the House. Dr Sardonicus has kindly let me post using his login.

Everyone's bound to get infected anyway, so we should just get on with life as usual. Not only would this be much less disruptive than shutting down all social gatherings, schools, restaurants, international travel, etc., but it will truly end the epidemic as quickly as possible. Besides, with a "frighteningly high" mortality rate among the elderly, it would work wonders to solve the financial problems of Medicare and Social Security.

Thank you.
I had the right state, but the wrong politician:
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I'm not denying what a nasty disease COVID-19 can be, and how it's obviously devastating to somewhere between 1 and 3.4 percent of the population. But that means 97 to 99 percent will get through this and develop immunities and will be able to move beyond this.

But we don't shut down our economy because tens of thousands of people die on the highways. It's a risk we accept so we can move about. We don't shut down our economies because tens of thousands of people die from the common flu.
-- Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
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Old 2020-03-21, 18:14   #248
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Life is cheap. And for the practitioners of abortion, deliberately ending lives generates a lot of revenue. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aborti..._United_States
Averaging around a million deaths a year in the US over the decades.
"in 2014, almost one in five pregnancies ended in abortion" https://www.guttmacher.org/report/ab...bility-us-2017

Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2020-03-21 at 18:35
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Old 2020-03-21, 19:24   #249
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Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
I had the right state, but the wrong politician:
Quote:
I'm not denying what a nasty disease COVID-19 can be, and how it's obviously devastating to somewhere between 1 and 3.4 percent of the population. But that means 97 to 99 percent will get through this and develop immunities and will be able to move beyond this.

But we don't shut down our economy because tens of thousands of people die on the highways. It's a risk we accept so we can move about. We don't shut down our economies because tens of thousands of people die from the common flu.
-- Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
That's horrifying.
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Old 2020-03-21, 19:39   #250
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Ron Johnson seems to echoing similar sentiments as his across-the-pond namesake, UK PM Boris Johnson. Social Darwinism at its finest!
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Old 2020-03-21, 20:45   #251
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Money is life, don't you agree? The lack of it has killed more people one way or another than a hundred Assassination Bureaus.

Human life is possibly the most expendable commodity we possess. It's so easily replaced, and so pleasurably.
-- lvan Dragomiloff, in The Assassination Bureau (1969)
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Old 2020-03-21, 23:09   #252
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Top causes of death according to the CDC. Note they do not include abortions. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

The freedom to kill one's own children before a certain age is a huge Darwinian selection experiment in progress now. There are indications that following generations have been selected in the Darwinian sense to be less willing to do that.

A person can be prosecuted for homicide including murder of an unborn child, when the death is by means other than abortion. https://www.nytimes.com/1994/05/20/u...is-murder.html

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Old 2020-03-22, 00:14   #253
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Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Ron Johnson seems to echoing similar sentiments as his across-the-pond namesake, UK PM Boris Johnson. Social Darwinism at its finest!
IMO, cold, maybe wrong, but not horrifying. There is little doubt that the upcoming sharp global recession, perhaps depression, will cost many lives in the coming years. Expect more suicides, deaths from inability to afford healthcare, deaths due to side-effects of poverty, etc.

Is an 80 year old's life now worth the same as a 40 year old's life 4 years from now?
Will most of the elderly population get the virus anyway before a vaccine is ready?
Would an extended shelter in place for all 60+ year olds that leaves the economy limping along been a better solution?

What is the right balance? I think that is an unanswerable question.
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