Economies won’t be able to recover after shutdowns

Citizens seem to be clamoring for shutdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There is one major difficulty, however. Once an economy has been shut down, it is extremely difficult for the economy to recover back to the level it had reached previously. In fact, the longer the shutdown lasts, the more critical the problem is likely to be. China can shut down its economy for two weeks over the Chinese New Year, each year, without much damage. But, if the outage is longer and more widespread, damaging effects are likely.

A major reason why economies around the world will have difficulty restarting is because the world economy was in very poor shape before COVID-19 hit; shutting down major parts of the economy for a time leads to even more people with low wages or without any job. It will be very difficult and time-consuming to replace the failed businesses that provided these jobs.

When an outbreak of COVID-19 hit, epidemiologists recommended social distancing approaches that seemed to be helpful back in 1918-1919. The issue, however, is that the world economy has changed. Social distancing rules have a much more adverse impact on today’s economy than on the economy of 100 years ago.

Governments that wanted to push back found themselves up against a wall of citizen expectations. A common belief, even among economists, was that any shutdown would be short, and the recovery would be V-shaped. False information (really propaganda) published by China tended to reinforce the expectation that shutdowns could truly be helpful. But if we look at the real situation, Chinese workers are finding themselves newly laid off as they attempt to return to work. This is leading to protests in the Hubei area.

My analysis indicates that now, in 2020, the world economy cannot withstand long shutdowns. One very serious problem is the fact that the prices of many commodities (including oil, copper and lithium) will fall far too low for producers, leading to disruption in supplies. Broken supply chains can be expected to lead to the loss of many products previously available. Ultimately, the world economy may be headed for collapse.

In this post, I explain some of the reasons for my concerns.

[1] An economy is a self-organizing system that can grow only under the right conditions. Removing a large number of businesses and the corresponding jobs for an extended shutdown will clearly have a detrimental effect on the economy. 

Figure 1. Chart by author, using photo of building toy “Leonardo Sticks,” with notes showing a few types of elements the world economy.

An economy is a self-organizing networked system that grows, under the right circumstances. I have attempted to give an idea of how this happens in Figure 1. This is an image of a child’s building toy. The growth of an economy is somewhat like building a structure with many layers using such a toy.

The precise makeup of the economy is constantly changing. New businesses are formed, and new consumers grow up and take jobs. Governments enact laws, partly to collect taxes, and partly to ensure fair treatment of all. Consumers decide which products to buy based on a combination of factors, including their level of wages, the prices being charged for the available goods, the availability of debt, and the interest rate on that debt. Resources of various kinds are used in producing goods and services.

At the same time, some deletions are taking place. Big businesses buy smaller businesses; some customers die or move away. Products that become obsolete are discontinued. The inside of the dome becomes hollow from the deletions.

If a large number of businesses are closed for an extended period, this will have many adverse impacts on the economy:

  • Fewer goods and services, in total, will be made for the economy during the period of the shutdown.
  • Many workers will be laid off, either temporarily or permanently. Goods and services will suddenly be less affordable for these former workers. Many will fall behind on their rent and other obligations.
  • The laid off workers will be unable to pay much in taxes. In the US, state and local governments will need to cut back the size of their programs to match lower revenue because they cannot borrow to offset the deficit.
  • If fewer goods and services are made, demand for commodities will fall. This will push the prices of commodities, such as oil and copper, very low.
  • Commodity producers, airlines and the travel industry are likely to head toward permanent contraction, further adding to layoffs.
  • Broken supply lines become problems. For example:
    • A lack of parts from China has led to the closing of many automobile factories around the world.
    • There is not enough cargo capacity on airplanes because much cargo was carried on passenger flights previously, and passenger flights have been cut back.

These adverse impacts become increasingly destabilizing for the economy, the longer the shutdowns go on. It is as if a huge number of deletions are made simultaneously in Figure 1. Temporary margins, such as storage of spare parts in warehouses, can provide only a temporary buffer. The remaining portions of the economy become less and less able to support themselves. If the economy was already in poor shape, the economy may collapse.

[2] The world economy was approaching resource limits even before the coronavirus epidemic appeared. This is not too different a situation than many earlier economies faced before they collapsed. Coronavirus pushes the world economy further toward collapse. 

Reaching resource limits is sometimes described as, “The population outgrew the carrying capacity of the land.” The group of people living in the area could not grow enough food and firewood using the resources available at the time (such as arable land, energy from the sun, draft animals, and technology of the day) for their expanding populations.

Collapses have been studied by many researchers. The book Secular Cycles by Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov analyze eight agricultural economies that collapsed. Figure 2 is a chart I prepared, based on my analysis of the economies described in that book:

Figure 2. Chart by author based on Turchin and Nefedov’s Secular Cycles.

Economies tend to grow for many years before the population becomes high enough that the carrying capacity of the land they occupy is approached. Once the carrying capacity is hit, they enter a stagflation stage, during which population and GDP growth slow. Growing debt becomes an issue, as do both wage and wealth disparity.

Eventually, a crisis period is reached. The problems of the stagflation period become worse (wage and wealth disparity; need for debt by those with inadequate income) during the crisis period. Changes tend to take place during the crisis period that lead to substantial drops in GDP and population. For example, we read about some economies entering into wars during the crisis period in the attempt to gain more land and other resources. We also read about economies being attacked from outside in their weakened state.

Also, during the crisis period, with the high level of wage and wealth disparity, it becomes increasingly difficult for governments to collect enough taxes. This problem can lead to governments being overthrown because of unhappiness with high taxes and wage disparity. In some cases, as in the 1991 collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union, the top level government simply collapses, leaving the next lower level of government.

Strangely enough, epidemics also seem to occur within collapse periods. The rising population leads to people living closer to each other, increasing the risk of transmission. People with low wages often find it increasingly difficult to eat an adequate diet. As a result, their immune systems easily succumb to new communicable diseases. Part of the collapse process is often the loss of a significant share of the population to a communicable disease.

Looking back at Figure 2, I believe that the current economic cycle started with the use of fossil fuels back in the 1800s. The world economy hit the stagflation period in the 1970s, when oil supply first became constrained. The Great Recession of 2008-2009 seems to be a marker for the beginning of the crisis period in the current cycle. If I am right in this assessment, the world economy is in the period in which we should expect crises, such as pandemics or wars, to occur.

The world was already pushing up against resource limits before all of the shutdowns took place. The shutdowns can be expected to push the world economy toward a more rapid decline in output per capita. They also appear to increase the likelihood that citizens will try to overthrow their governments, once the quarantine restrictions are removed.

[3] The carrying capacity of the world today is augmented by the world’s energy supply. A major issue since 2014 is that oil prices have been too low for oil producers. The coronavirus problem is pushing oil prices even lower yet.

Strangely enough, the world economy is facing a resource shortage problem, but it manifests itself as low commodity prices and excessive wage and wealth disparity.

Most economists have not figured out that economies are, in physics terms, dissipative structures. These are self-organizing systems that grow, at least for a time. Hurricanes (powered by energy from warm water) and ecosystems (powered by sunlight) are other examples of dissipative structures. Humans are dissipative structures, as well; we are powered by the energy content of foods. Economies require energy for all of the processes that we associate with generating GDP, such as refining metals and transporting goods. Electricity is a form of energy.

Energy can be used to work around shortages of almost any kind of resource. For example, if fresh water is a problem, energy products can be used to build desalination plants. If lack of phosphate rocks is an issue for adequate fertilization, energy products can be used to extract these rocks from less accessible locations. If pollution is a problem, fossil fuels can be used to build so-called renewable energy devices such as wind turbines and solar panels, to try to reduce future CO2 pollution.

The growth in energy consumption correlates quite well with the growth of the world economy. In fact, increases in energy consumption seem to precede growth in GDP, suggesting that it is energy consumption growth that allows the growth of GDP.

Figure 3. World GDP Growth versus Energy Consumption Growth, based on data of 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy and GDP data in 2010$ amounts, from the World Bank.

The thing that economists tend to miss is the fact that extracting enough fossil fuels (or commodities of any type) is a two-sided price problem. Prices must be both:

  1. High enough for companies extracting the resources to make an after tax profit.
  2. Low enough for consumers to afford finished goods made with these resources.

Most economists believe that an inadequate supply of energy products will be marked by high prices. In fact, the situation seems to be almost “upside down” in a networked economy. Inadequate energy supplies seem to be marked by excessive wage and wealth disparity. This wage and wealth disparity leads to commodity prices that are too low for producers. Current WTI oil prices are about $20 per barrel, for example (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Daily spot price of West Texas Intermediate oil, based on EIA data.

The low-price commodity price issue is really an affordability problem. The many people with low wages cannot afford goods such as cars, homes with heating and air conditioning, and vacation travel. In fact, they may even have difficulty affording food. Spending by rich people does not make up for the shortfall in spending by the poor because the rich tend to spend their wealth differently. They tend to buy services such as tax planning and expensive private college educations for their children. These services require proportionately less commodity use than goods purchased by the poor.

The problem of low commodity prices becomes especially acute in countries that produce commodities for export. Producers find it difficult to pay workers adequate wages to live on. Also, governments are not able to collect enough taxes for the services workers expect, such as public transit. The combination is likely to lead to protests by citizens whenever the opportunity arises. Once shutdowns end, these countries are especially in danger of having their governments overthrown.

[4] There are limits to what governments and central banks can fix. 

Governments can give citizens checks so that they have enough funds to buy groceries. This may, indeed, keep the price of food products high enough for food producers. There may still be problems with broken supply lines, so there may still be shortages of some products. For example, if there are eggs but no egg cartons, there may be no eggs for sale in grocery stores.

Central banks can act as buyers for many kinds of assets such as bonds and even shares of stock. In this way, they can perhaps keep stock market prices reasonably high. If enough gimmicks are used, perhaps they can even keep the prices of homes and farms reasonably high.

Central banks can also keep interest rates paid by governments low. In fact, interest rates can even be negative, especially for the short term. Businesses whose profitability has been reduced and workers who have been laid off are likely to discover that their credit ratings have been downgraded. This is likely to lead to higher interest costs for these borrowers, even if interest rates for the most creditworthy are kept low.

One area where governments and central banks seem to be fairly helpless is with respect to low prices for commodities used by industry, such as oil, natural gas, coal, copper and lithium. These commodities are traded internationally, so it is not just their own producers that need to be propped up; the market intervention needs to affect the entire world market.

One approach to raising world commodity prices would be to buy up large quantities of the commodities and store them somewhere. This is impractical, because no one has adequate storage for the huge quantities involved.

Another approach for raising world commodity prices would be to try to raise worldwide demand for finished goods and services. (Making more finished goods and services will use more commodities, and thus will tend to raise commodity prices.) To do this, checks would somehow need to go to the many poor people in the world, including those in India, Bangladesh and Nigeria, allowing these people to buy cars, homes, and other finished goods. Sending out checks only to people in one’s own economy would not be sufficient. It is unlikely that the US or the European Union would undertake a task such as this.

A major problem after many people have been out of work for a quite a while is the fact that many of these people will be behind on their regular payments, such as rent and car payments. They will be in no mood to buy a new vehicle or a new cell phone, simply because they have been offered a check that covers groceries and not much more. They will remain in a mode of cutting back on purchases, not adding more. Demand for most kinds of goods will remain low.

This lack of demand will make it difficult for business to have enough sales to make it profitable to reopen at the level of output that they had previously. Thus, employment and sales are likely to remain depressed even after the economy seems to be reopening. China seems to be having this problem. The Wall Street Journal reports China Is Open for Business, but the Postcoronavirus Reboot Looks Slow and Rocky. It also reports, Another Shortage in China’s Virus-Hit Economy: Jobs for College Grads.

[5] There is a significant likelihood that the COVID-19 problem is not going away, even if economies can “bend the trend line” with respect to new cases.

Bending the trend line has to do with trying to keep hospitals and medical providers from being overwhelmed. It is likely to mean that herd immunity is built up slowly, making repeat outbreaks more likely. Thus, if social isolation is stopped, COVID-19 illnesses can be expected to revisit prior locations. We know that this has been an issue in the past. The Spanish Flu epidemic came in three waves, over the years 1918-1919. The second wave was the most deadly.

A recent study by members of the Harvard School of Public Health says that the COVID-19 epidemic may appear in waves until into 2022. In fact, it could be back on a seasonal basis thereafter. It also indicates that more than one period of social distancing is likely to be required:

“A single period of social distancing will not be sufficient to prevent critical care capacities from being overwhelmed by the COVID-19 epidemic, because under any scenario considered it leaves enough of the population susceptible that a rebound in transmission after the end of the period will lead to an epidemic that exceeds this capacity.”

Thus, even if the COVID-19 problem seems to be fixed in a few weeks, it likely will be back again within a few months. With this level of uncertainty, businesses will not be willing to set up new operations. They will not hire many additional employees. The retired population will not run out and buy more tickets on cruise ships for next year. In fact, citizens are likely to continue to be worried about airplane flights being a place for transmitting illnesses, making the longer term prospects for the airline industry less optimistic.

Conclusion 

The economy was already near the edge before COVID-19 hit. Wage and wealth disparity were big problems. Local populations of many areas objected to immigrants, fearing that the added population would reduce job opportunities for people who already lived there, among other things. As a result, many areas were experiencing protests because of unhappiness with the current economic situation.

The shutdowns temporarily cut back the protests, but they certainly do not fix the underlying situations. Instead, the shutdowns add to the number of people with very low wages or no income at all. The shutdowns also reduce the total quantity of goods and services available to purchase, regardless of how much money is added to the system. Many people will end up poorer, in some real sense.

As soon as the shutdowns end, it will be obvious that the world economy is in worse condition than it was before the shutdown. The longer the shutdowns last, the worse shape the world economy will be in. Thus, when businesses are restarted, we can expect even more protests and more divisive politics. Some governments may be overthrown, or they may collapse without being pushed. I fear that the world economy will be further down the road toward overall collapse.

 

 

 

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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4,744 Responses to Economies won’t be able to recover after shutdowns

  1. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    https://theintercept.com/2020/03/31/rikers-island-coronavirus-mass-graves/

    “NEW YORK CITY is offering prisoners at Rikers Island jail $6 per hour — a fortune by prison labor standards — and personal protective equipment if they agree to help dig mass graves…”

    it’s just the flu… (sarc)…

    but it’s odd that they wouldn’t use heavy digging machinery…

  2. Fast Eddy says:

    Did the Central Banks (Elders) who run the world, create and unleash the Wuhan Plague as a controlled demolition — and therefore the entire point was to crash the economy and blame the Plague?

    If not, (a big IF), then they had two choices:

    1. Do nothing. Allow the Plague to wash over the planet infecting what surely would be billions – and killing hundreds of millions. The effect of doing nothing would have been — literally within a few weeks — that all businesses would have ceased to operate.

    Not only would workers be infected (or die) and be unable to operate businesses, government offices, schools, hospitals, public services, coal plants, nuclear plants, grocery stores etc…. nor would there be enough people to maintain the grid…..

    But even healthy workers would refuse to come to work for fear of being infected.

    We would likely already be toasted by now if there was no attempt to contain this Chinese plague (Chinese plague Godfrey… get it?)

    2. Lockdown + Massive Stimulus & Bailouts. This is the choice that has been made by most governments. They are in a desperate fight to defeat the CCP Plague … and obviously know that if a key pillar of the economy (see Korowicz) fails… we get a total collapse. So far they have been able to hold back the tsunami …. obviously at some point they fail.

    But we are still alive and kicking due to containment. We continue to fight another day.

    While the human race prays for a miracle.

    Only gods perform miracles… and there is no god…. so the humans will be disappointed.

    But the PTB have made the right choice (if you believe there is merit in the human species continuing)… and that is to fight the China Plague ….

    With Option 1 the chances of survival are 0.

    With Option 2 the chances of survival are perhaps 1 in a trillion.

    Brazil seems to have chosen Option 1. Let’s keep an eye on that country….

    Obviously… this is not going to end well, no matter which choice was made.

    • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

      Brazil 5,000+ cases and 200 deaths…

      but! their first reported case was February 24th, about 4 weeks behind Italy…

      so if those numbers double every week…

      10,000 and 400…
      20,000 and 800…
      40,000 and 1,600…
      80,000 and 3,200…

      those LOW numbers would be more likely with a lockdown…

      no lockdown = pandemic and pandemonium….

      • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        “Comparisons:
        Every year an estimated 290,000 to 650,000 people die in the world due to complications from seasonal influenza (flu) viruses. This figure corresponds to 795 to 1,781 deaths per day due to the seasonal flu.”

        estimated 1,300 deaths per day due to the seasonal flu…

        only 1,300…

      • Fast Eddy says:

        These numbers are actually useless. Most people are not getting tested.

        My mate in Bali (who is recovering from Wuhan) says there are loads of people with the Wuhan … his wife runs a spa and 5 of their staff had the symptoms … sent them to the hospital — hospital told them to go home… no test…

        These numbers are as has been stated by many medical agencies ‘the tip of the iceberg’

  3. CTG says:

    Guys, please read the following link. This is what Gail’s article is all about restarting the economy. the inertia to continue to stay at home even after the lockdown is release is very high. People are still scared, reluctant or short of money.

    ‘Relax, Eat Out & Shop’: China In Desperate Bid To Jump-Start Consumer Economy As Rest Of Globe In Lockdown

    As China believes it’s over the coronavirus hump, with signs that “normal” could be just around the corner, leaders in Beijing are attempting to jump-start the economy once again. “Relax, eat out and shop. That’s the latest message from the Chinese government to its people, after months of warning them to stay indoors because of the coronavirus,” Bloomberg writes.

    We noted earlier that it’s smaller employers that remain the beating heart of China’s economy, accounting for 99.8% of registered companies in China, employing 79.4% of workers, and contributing more than 60% of gross domestic product and, for the government, more than 50% of tax revenue. The fact that retail sales plunged 20.5% in January and February and once-bustling malls and market spaces remain largely empty means many cash-strapped small businesses are unlikely to survive long enough to see consumers return to the streets in normal numbers.

    Yet residents, after months in self-isolation, with whole cities and provinces that were on government enforced lockdown only now opening their gates, might have good reason to be skittish and untrusting about venturing out to cafes, restaurants and malls – given fears a dreaded potential ‘second wave’ could hit – but also given rampant unemployment due to the national shutdown (with some 5 million losing their jobs in the first two months of 2020 alone) will naturally encourage more families to stay in thrift mode, forgoing their regular consumption habits of better times before the outbreak…………………..

    https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/relax-eat-out-shop-china-desperate-bid-jump-start-consumer-economy-rest-globe-lockdown

    Anyone has any delusions that there will be a V-shape recovery?

    • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “the inertia to continue to stay at home even after the lockdown…”

      that’s good…

      in·er·tia
      /iˈnərSHə/
      noun
      1.
      a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged.

      also, it has been said that it takes a person about 21 days to change a habit…

      and fear is a really great motivator…

      all together, this crisis has permanently changed the behavior of billions of people… the ones who have some money will be holding on to it more tightly… or just afraid to go to where they would normally be spending…

      as has been repeated, the recovery will be an L shape…

    • timl2k11 says:

      “Anyone has any delusions that there will be a V-shape recovery?”
      Most investors, apparently.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      China appeared to be bouncing back, with flight cuts being reversed, services added and fuller planes, but then imposed further travel restrictions. The measures stalled its recovery in domestic travels and dealt a blow to neighbouring countries, which will only benefit once travel restrictions are lifted.

      https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/transport/article/3077905/coronavirus-covid-19-crisis-deepens-recovery-hopes

      The fraught world of theatrical experience was struck another blow on Friday as China abruptly closed all its movie theaters—again. The news, reported by the Hollywood trade press on Friday, came just one day after it was announced that the city of Shanghai was set to reopen more than 200 theaters over the weekend.

      https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2020/03/china-closed-movie-theaters-coronavirus

      This demonstrates how intractable this problem is… you really cannot re-open anything until every single case of the virus is eliminated…

      If a single person is infected (symptomatic or asymptomatic) out of 1.4 billion people — and you reopen — you are pretty much guaranteed to head back into hell.

      If a single person from another country enters China and is infected… you head back to hell…

      The only way out of this is if the virus burns out on its own.

      We are likely already too late — you cannot get toothpaste back into a tube.

      • Ed says:

        “The only way out of this is if the virus burns out on its own.”
        Thank you Fast, that is my understanding also. There is no magic about two week, half a lunar cycle, there is no magic with the new 30 days. Maybe some sacrifices to the virus ban cigarettes.

      • We keep getting inklings that China really doesn’t have the problem solved, no matter how much its official numbers have claimed that the problem was solved.

        • Fast Eddy says:

          Unless a country eliminates the virus internally and bans all travel into their country…. then there is no way to eliminate WP19 (Wuhan Plague 2019).

          A vaccine is highly unlikely — the virus will likely eventually burn itself out…. Spanish Flu did after 3 years…

          Oh hang on… HIV has not burned itself out. There goes that theory….. File it under ‘the virus will abate with the hot weather’

    • Right! It is the fact that people still don’t feel safe from a second wave. It is the fact that small businesses failed. Many things go together.

  4. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    https://www.breitbart.com/radio/2020/03/31/dr-nicole-saphier-reason-hope-developing-coronavirus-treatments/

    treatments… no vaccine in sight:

    “Antiviral medication Remdesivir is also being tested as a treatment for coronavirus and, noted Saphier. The drug demonstrates “some benefit in patients,” she added, and is being prescribed via compassionate use as it has not yet been sufficiently researched for safety as a treatment for coronavirus.

    Saphier said she is “excited” about research into Lenrolimab as a treatment for COVID-19.

    “[Lenrolimab] is an immunotherapy antibody that [shows] a lot of benefit in triple-negative breast cancers, which is one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer,” said Saphier. “They also tried using it in some HIV patients and saw some benefit, and now they’ve tried it in COVID-19 patients, and they’re seeing some benefits there, as well. Mind you, it’s an extremely small subset. They’ve given it to less than 10 patients, but over half of those patients were quickly withdrawn off the ventilator, or even moved out of the ICU.”

  5. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    https://news.trust.org/item/20200331222223-j5t3m

    “LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) – Losing your sense of smell and taste may be the best way to tell if you have COVID-19, according to a study of data collected via a symptom tracker app developed by British scientists to help monitor the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus.

    Almost 60% of patients who were subsequently confirmed as positive for COVID-19 had reported losing their sense of smell and taste…”

    this may be old news to some…

  6. Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:
    • All of this quarantining at one point was just about helping the healthcare system level the load of case. The idea wasn’t really to stop all cases, just to stop some cases. There will be a lot of cases around until we get herd immunity built up. We are basically trying to delay building up herd immunity as long as possible, with all of the shutdowns.

      Of course, now the health care system is laying off people in great numbers. They really need elective surgery and office visits to survive financially.

    • If you click through to the model, it projects a total of close to 94,000 deaths by August. If the mortality rate is 0.4%, this would imply 23.5 million people had the disease by then. With 325 or 330 million population, that is only a small fraction of what we would need for herd immunity. We likely will back with the virus, as soon as the controls let up.

  7. davekimble3 says:

    Increased GDP is built on increased Energy Consumption, which in a fossil fuel powered country leads to increased CO2 emissions, which leads to increased Global Warming and drier weather patterns, which leads to increased frequency of droughts, cyclones, wildfires, deaths from heat-stroke, extinction of species and widespread environmental destruction.

    So increasing GDP leads to more chaos and destruction. So we should want a REDUCTION in GDP, but where is the politician saying that ? Nowhere, because they wouldn’t get themselves elected promising LESS of everything.

    The people want MORE bread, MORE circuses, MORE fuel and MORE jobs. The people don’t care about Polar Bears. They never cared about Giant Pandas, Bengal Tigers and Northern White Rhinoceroses so why would they care about Polar Bears ? The scientific community haven’t even documented all the species that exist now, let alone collected sample specimens.

    While we in Australia get fined $1,000 if we get too close to each other, when we should be “social distancing”, in India the slums pack millions into very close proximity to each other without running water or any form of sewage disposal. This demonstrates that we don’t care about Indians any more than Polar Bears. The same goes for Africans and Indonesians.

    • Mostly, what people care about is immediate risks for themselves. They continue to eat food that they know they shouldn’t eat. They don’t exercise. And they certainly don’t care a whole lot about the people in India.

  8. psile says:

    Hundreds of cars waited as long as five hours in line to receive emergency supplies from a food bank in the Pittsburgh area.

    They served 1500 cars and then ran out.

    • One of the most dystopian scenes ever, lining up in ~150hp automobiles to get some token relieve food ration.. The energy leverage mismatch is just out of this world..

  9. >>>>THE POST -CORONAVIRUS E-CONOMY when GLOBALIZATION has COLLAPSED……. a NEW CAPITAL-LESS ECONOMY ….. with VIRTUAL E-CAPITAL —- . SO WHAT TO DO for survival ?
    …when disasters like coronavirus will shut down the world’s economy, and WHEN it would require 50++ TRILLION DOLLARS for massive medical care and massive welfare to sustain survival … WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM? ….WHEN INVESTOR’S TRUST has ERODED, ans GOVERNMENTS ARE BANKRUPT AND WHEN THERE IS NO MONEY TO FEED 800 MILLION PEOPLE GOING HUNGRY EVERY DAY … or 3 BILLION JOBLESS PEOPLE WORLDWIDE, …So what should nations do in order to survive on their own without PRIVATE-CAPITAL,…===>>> CREATE VIRTUAL E-CAPITAL WIITH A NEW INNOVATIVE PUBLIC-PRIVATE BANKING PARTNERSHIP ..or REVOLUTION ….. Dr. Anthony Horvath author of http://www.capitallessism.com

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