We Need to Change Our COVID-19 Strategy

We would like to think that we can eliminate COVID-19, but doing so is far from certain. The medical system has not been successful in eliminating HIV/AIDS or influenza; the situation with COVID-19 may be similar.

We are discovering that people with COVID-19 are extremely hard to identify because a significant share of infections are very mild or completely without symptoms. Testing everyone to find the huge number of hidden cases cannot possibly work worldwide. As long as there is hidden COVID-19 elsewhere in the world, the benefit of identifying everyone with the illness in a particular area is limited. The disease simply bounces back, as soon as there is a reduction in containment efforts.

Figure 1. One-week average new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Israel, Spain, Belgium and Netherlands. Chart made using data as of August 8, 2020 using an Interactive Visualization available at https://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/ based on Johns Hopkins University CSSE database.

We are also discovering that efforts to contain what is essentially a hidden illness are very damaging to the world economy. Shutdowns in particular lead to many unemployed people and riots. Social distancing requirements can make investments unprofitable. Cutting off air flights leads to a huge loss of tourism and leaves farmers with the problem of how to get their fruit and vegetable crops picked without migrant workers. If COVID-19 is very widespread, contact tracing simply becomes an exercise in frustration.

Trying to identify the many asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 is surprisingly difficult. The cost is far higher than the cost of the testing devices.

At some point, we need to start lowering expectations regarding what can be done. The economy can protect a few members, but not everyone. Instead, emphasis should be on strengthening people’s immune systems. Surprisingly, there seems to be quite a bit that can be done. Higher vitamin D levels seem to be associated with fewer and less severe cases. Better diet, with more fruits and vegetables, is also likely to be helpful from an immunity point of view. Strangely enough, more close social contacts may also be helpful.

In the remainder of this post, I will explain a few pieces of the COVID-19 problem, together with my ideas for modifications to our current strategy.

Recent News About COVID-19 Has Been Disturbingly Bad

It is becoming increasingly clear that COVID-19 is likely to be here for quite some time. The World Health Organization’s director recently warned, “. . . there’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be.” A recent Wall Street Journal article is titled, “Early Coronavirus Vaccine Supplies Likely Won’t Be Enough for Everyone at High Risk.” This article relates only to US citizens at high risk. Needless to say, creating enough vaccine for both high and low risk individuals, around the world, is a long way away.

We are also hearing that vaccines may be far less than 100% effective; 50% effective would be considered sufficient at this time. Two doses are likely to be needed; in fact, elderly patients may need three doses. The vaccine may not work for obese individuals. We don’t yet know how long immunity from the vaccines will last; a new round of injections may be needed each year.

new report confirms that asymptomatic patients with COVID-19 are indeed able to spread the disease to others.

Furthermore, the financial sector is increasingly struggling with the adverse impact shutdowns are having on the economy. If it becomes necessary to completely “write off” the tourism industry, economies around the world will struggle with permanent job loss and debt defaults.

Shutdowns Don’t Work for Businesses and the Financial System 

There are many issues involved:

(a) Shutdowns tend to lead to huge job loss. Riots follow, as soon as people have a chance to express their unhappiness with the situation.

(b) If countries stop importing migrant workers, there is likely to be a major loss of fruits and vegetables that farmers have planted. No matter how much money is printed, it does not replace these lost fruits and vegetables.

(c) Manufacturing supply lines don’t work if raw materials and parts are not available when needed. Because of this, a shutdown in one part of the world tends to have a ripple effect around the world.

(d) Social distancing requirements for businesses are problematic because they lead to less efficient use of available space. Businesses can serve fewer customers, so total revenue is likely to fall. Employees may need to be laid off. Fixed costs, such as debt, become more difficult to pay, making defaults more likely.

Shutdowns cause a major problem for the economy, because, with many people out of the workforce, the total amount of finished goods and services produced by the economy falls. Broken supply lines and reduced efficiency tend to make the problem worse. World GDP is the total amount of goods and services produced. Thus, by definition, total world GDP is reduced by shutdowns.

Governments can institute benefit programs for citizens to try to redistribute what goods and services are available, but this will not fix the underlying problem of many fewer goods and services actually being produced. Citizens will find that some shelves in stores are empty, and that many airline seats are unavailable. They will find that some goods are still unaffordable, even with government subsidies.

Governments can try to give loans to businesses to help them through the financial problems caused by new rules, such as social distancing, but it is doubtful this approach will lead to new investment. For example, if social distancing requirements mean that new buildings and vehicles can only be used in an inefficient manner, there will be little incentive for businesses to invest in new buildings and vehicles, even if low-interest loans are available.

Furthermore, even if there might be opportunities for new, more efficient businesses to be added, the subsidization of old inefficient businesses operating at far below capacity will tend to crowd out these new businesses.

People of Many Ages Soon Become Unhappy with Shutdowns

Young people expect hands-on learning experiences at universities. They also expect to be able to meet possible future marriage partners in social settings. They become increasingly unhappy, as shutdowns drag on.

The elderly need to be protected from COVID-19, but they also need to be able to see their families. Without social interaction, their overall health tends to decline.

We Are Kidding Ourselves if We Think a Vaccine Will Make the Worldwide COVID-19 Problem Disappear

Finding a vaccine that works for 100% of the world’s population seems extremely unlikely. Even if we do find a vaccine or drug treatment that works, being able to extend this solution to poor countries around the world is likely to be a slow process.

If we look back historically, pretty much all of the improvement in the US crude death rate (number of deaths divided by total population) has come from conquering infectious diseases.

Figure 2. Crude mortality rates in the United States in chart from Trends in Infectious Disease Mortality in the United States During the 20th Century, Armstrong et al., JAMA, 1999.

The catch is that since 1960, there hasn’t been an improvement in infectious disease mortality in the United States, according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Society. As progress has been made on some longstanding diseases such as hepatitis, new infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS have arisen. Also, the biggest category of infectious disease remaining is “influenza and pneumonia,” and little progress has been made in reducing its death rate in the United States. Figure 3 shows one chart from the article.

Figure 3. Mortality due to influenza or HIV/AIDS, in chart from Infectious Disease Mortality Trends in the United States, 1980-2014 by Hansen et al., JAMA, 2016.

With respect to HIV/AIDS, it took from the early 1980s until 1997 to start to get the mortality rate down through drugs. A suitable vaccine has not yet been created.

Furthermore, even when the US was able to reduce the mortality from HIV/AIDS, this ability did not immediately spread to poor areas of the world, such as Sub-Saharan Africa. In Figure 4, we can see the bulge in Sub-Saharan Africa’s crude death rates (where HIV/AIDS was prevalent), relative to death rates in India, where HIV/AIDS was less of a problem.

Figure 4. Crude death rates for Sub-Saharan Africa, India, the United States, and the World from 1960 through 2018, based on World Bank data.

While the medical system was able to start reducing the mortality of HIV/AIDS in the United States about 1996-1997 (Figure 3, above), a 2016 article says that it was still very prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2013. Major issues included difficulty patients had in traveling to health care sites and a lack of trained personnel to administer the medication. We can expect these issues to continue if a vaccine is developed for COVID-19, especially if the new vaccine requires more than one injection, every year.

Another example is polio. A vaccine for polio was developed in 1955; the disease was eliminated in the US and other high income countries in about the next 25 years. The disease has still not been eliminated worldwide, however. Poor countries tend to use an oral form of the vaccine that can be easily administered by anyone. The problem with this oral vaccine is that it uses live viruses which themselves can cause outbreaks of polio. Cases not caused by the vaccine are still found in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

These examples suggest that even if a vaccine or fairly effective treatment for COVID-19 is discovered, we are kidding ourselves if we think the treatment will quickly transfer around the world. To transfer around the world, it will need to be extremely inexpensive and easy to administer. Even with these characteristics, the eradication of COVID-19 is likely to take a decade or more, unless the virus somehow disappears on its own.

The fact that COVID-19 transmits easily by people who show no symptoms means that even if COVID-19 is eradicated from the high-income world, it can return from the developing world, unless a large share of people in these advanced countries are immune to the disease. We seem to be far from that situation now. Perhaps this will change in a few years, but we cannot count on widespread immunity any time soon.

Containment Efforts for a Disease with Many Hidden Carriers Is Likely to Be Vastly More Expensive than One in Which Infected People Are Easily Identifiable 

It is easy to misunderstand how expensive finding the many asymptomatic carriers of a disease is. The cost is far higher than the cost of the tests themselves, because the situation is quite different. If people have serious symptoms, they will want to stay home. They will want to give out the names of others, if they can see that doing so might prevent someone else from catching a serious illness.

We have the opposite situation, if we are trying to find people without symptoms, who might infect others. We need to:

  1. Identify all of these people who feel well but might infect others.
  2. Persuade these people who feel well to stay away from work or other activities.
  3. Somehow compensate these people for lost wages and perhaps extra living expenses, while they are in quarantine.
  4. Pay for all of the tests to find these individuals.
  5. Convince these well individuals to name those whom they have had contact with (often their friends), so that they can be tested and perhaps quarantined as well.

Perhaps a few draconian governments, such as China, can handle these problems by fiat, and not really compensate workers for being unable to work. In other countries, all of these costs are likely to be a problem. Because of inadequate compensation, exclusion from work is not likely to be well received. Quarantined people will not want to report which friends they have seen recently, if the friends are likely also to lose wages. In poor countries, the loss of income may mean the loss of the ability to feed a person’s family. 

Another issue is that “quick tests” are likely to be used for contact tracing, since “PCR tests,” which tend to be more accurate, often require a week or more for laboratory processing. Unfortunately, quick tests for COVID-19 are not very accurate. (Also a CNN report.) If there are a lot of “false positives,” many people may be needlessly taken out of work. If there are a lot of “false negatives,” all of this testing will still miss a lot of carriers of COVID-19.

A Major Benefit of Rising Energy Consumption Seems to Be Better Control Over Infectious Diseases and a Falling Crude Death Rate

I often write about how the world’s self-organizing economy works. The growth in the world’s energy consumption since the advent of fossil fuels has been extremely important.

Figure 5. World Energy Consumption by Source, based on Vaclav Smil estimates from Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects, together with BP Statistical Data on 1965 and subsequent

The growth in world energy consumption coincided with a virtual explosion in human population.

Figure 6. World Population Growth Through History. Chart by SUSPS.

One of the ways that fossil fuel energy is helpful for population growth is through drugs to fight epidemics. Another way is by making modern sanitation easy. A third way is by ramping up food supplies, so that more people can be fed.

Economic shutdowns lead to reduced energy consumption, partly because energy prices tend to fall too low for producers. They cut back on production because of unprofitability.

Figure 7. Weekly average spot oil prices for Brent, based on data of the US Energy Information Administration.

Given this connection between energy supply and population, we should not be surprised if shutdowns tend to lead to an overall falling world population, even if COVID-19 by itself is expected to have a small mortality rate (perhaps 1% of those infected). Poor countries, especially, will find that laid off workers cannot afford adequate food supplies. This makes poor members of those economies more susceptible to diseases of many kinds and to starvation.

Epidemiologists Based Their Models on Diseases Which Are Easily Identifiable and Have High Mortality Rates

It is clear that an easily identifiable illness with a high mortality rate can be easily contained. A difficult-to-identify disease, which has a very low mortality rate for many segments of the population, is very different. Members of segments of the population who usually get only a light case of the disease are likely to become more and more unhappy as containment efforts drag on. Models based on very different types of pandemics are likely to be misleading.

We Need to Somehow Change Course

The message that has been disseminated has been, “With containment efforts plus vaccine, we can stop this disease.” In fact, this is unlikely for the foreseeable future. Continuing in the same direction that has not been working is a lot like banging one’s head against a wall. It cannot be expected to work.

Somehow, expectations need to be lowered regarding what containment efforts can do. The economy can perhaps protect a few high-risk people, but it cannot protect everyone. Unless COVID-19 stops by itself, a significant share of the world’s population can be expected to catch COVID-19. In fact, some people may get the disease multiple times over their lifetimes.

If we are forced to live with some level of COVID-19 (just as we are forced to live with some level of forest fires), we need to make this situation as painless as possible. For example,

  • We need to find ways to make COVID-19 as asymptomatic as possible by easy changes to diet and lifestyle.
  • We also need to find inexpensive treatments, especially ones that can be used outside of a hospital setting.
  • We need to keep the world economy operating as best as possible, if we want to stay away from a world population crash for as long as possible.

We cannot continue to post articles which seem to say that a spike in COVID-19 cases is necessarily “bad.” It is simply the way the situation has to be, if we don’t really have an effective way of containing the coronavirus. The fact that young adults build up immunity, at least for a while, needs to be viewed as a plus.

Some Ideas Regarding Looking at the Situation Differently 

(1) The Vitamin D Issue

There has been little publicity about the fact that people with higher vitamin D levels seem to have lighter cases of COVID-19. In fact, whole nations with higher vitamin D levels seem to have lower levels of deaths. Vitamin D strengthens the immune system. Sunlight raises vitamin D levels; fish liver oils and the flesh of fatty fishes also raise vitamin D levels.

Figure 8 shows cumulative deaths per million in a few low and high vitamin D level areas. The death rates are strikingly lower in the high vitamin D level countries.

Figure 8. COVID-19 deaths per million as of August 8, 2020 for selected countries, based on data from Johns Hopkins CSSE database.

The vitamin D issue may explain why dark skinned people (such as those from Southeast Asia and Africa) tend to get more severe cases of COVID-19 when they move to a low sunlight area such as the UK. Skin color is an adaptation to different levels of the sun’s rays in different parts of the world. People with darker skin color have more melanin in their skin. This makes the production of vitamin D less efficient, since equatorial regions receive more sunlight. The larger amount of melanin works well when dark-skinned people live in equatorial regions, but less well away from the equator. Vitamin D supplements might mitigate this difference.

It should be noted that the benefit of sunlight and vitamin D in protecting the immune system has long been known, especially with respect to flu-like diseases. In fact, the use of sunlight seems to have been helpful in mitigating the effects of the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918-1919, over 100 years ago!

One concern might be whether increased sunlight raises the risk of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. I have not researched this extensively, but a 2016 study indicates that that sensible sun exposure, without getting sunburn, may decrease a person’s risk of melanoma, as well as provide protection against many other types of diseases. Non-melanoma skin cancers may increase, but the mortality risk of these skin cancers is very low. On balance, the study concludes that the public should be advised to work on getting blood levels of at least 30 ng/ml.

(2) Other Issues

Clearly, better health in general is helpful. Eating a diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables is helpful, as is getting plenty of exercise and sunshine. Losing weight will be helpful for many.

Having social contact with other people tends to be helpful for longevity in general. In fact, several studies indicate that church-goers tend to have better longevity than others. Churchgoers and those with many social contacts would seem to have more contact with microbes than others.

A recent article says, Common colds train the immune system to recognize COVID-19. Social distancing tends to eliminate common colds as well as COVID-19. Quite possibly social distancing is counterproductive, in terms of disease severity. Epidemiologists have likely never considered this issue, since they tend to consider only very brief social distancing requirements.

A person wonders how well the immune systems of elderly people who have been cut off from sharing microbes with others for months will work. Will these people now die when exposed to even very minor illnesses? Perhaps a slow transition is needed to bring families back into closer contact with their loved ones.

People’s immune systems can protect them from small influxes of viruses causing COVID-19, but not from large influxes of these viruses. Masks tend to protect against large influxes of the virus, and thus protect the wearer to a surprising extent. Models suggest that clear face shields also provide a considerable amount of this benefit. People with a high risk of very severe illness may want to wear both of these devices in settings they consider risky. Such a combination might protect them fairly well, even if others are not wearing masks.

Conclusions – What We Really Should Be Doing

Back at the time we first became aware of COVID-19, following the recommendations of epidemiologists probably made sense. Now that more information is unfolding, our approach to COVID-19 needs to change.

I have already laid out many of the things I think need to be done. One area that has been severely overlooked is raising vitamin D levels. This is being discussed in the medical literature, but it doesn’t seem to get into the popular press. Even though the connection is not 100% proven, and there are many details to be worked out, it would seem like people should start raising their vitamin D levels. There seems to be little problem with overdosing on vitamin D, except that sunburns are not good. Until we know more, a level of 30 ng/ml (equivalent to 75 nmol/L) might be a reasonable level to aim for. This is a little above the mean vitamin D level of Norway, Finland, and Denmark.

Social distancing requirements probably need to be phased out. A concern might be temporarily excessive patient loads for hospitals. Large group meetings may need to be limited for a time, until this problem can be overcome.



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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2,353 Responses to We Need to Change Our COVID-19 Strategy

  1. bwhitly says:

    I believe there are cheap and effective treatments for the Sars-Cov-2 virus, even independent of hydroxychloroquine, that if widely promoted would dramatically reduce the need for the economically and socially destructive impacts of the Covid-19 lockdowns. These oxidation therapy treatments biggest drawback which keeps them from gaining more widespread recognition is that they would likely also affect the marketability and sales of the Pharmacuetical-Industrial-Complexe’s high-cost, wonder drugs like Remdesivir and also Bill Gates’ rushed into production vaccines – rushed into production means drastically shortened and quite indadequate safety and effectivity trials.

    I already posted two comments previously on this thread with links to reports of European trials showing the effectiveness of Ozone Therapy against Covid-19 and/or Covid-19 induced pneumonia. Here is a new report out of Spain of a trial in which 3 Covid-19 patients with severe pneumonia were discharged from a Spanish hospital within 3 – 4 days of starting Ozone Therapy treatments and without needing to be intubated.

    Case study in three patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia
    by Kate Kneisel, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today August 24, 2020

    Three patients present to a hospital emergency department in Ibiza, Spain, with severe COVID-19 pneumonia and respiratory failure and are given an unproven — and possibly dangerous treatment: oxygen-ozone (O2-O3) therapy — also called ozonated autohemotherapy, which has been used to treat gout and involves intravenous infusion of ozonated autologous whole blood.

    The FDA has called ozone “a toxic gas with no known useful medical application.” Furthermore, in April 2020, a federal court entered a permanent injunction halting a purported “ozone therapy” center in Dallas from offering unproven treatments for COVID-19, after the company claimed that the treatments were able to “eradicate” the virus and were 95% effective in preventing the illness even for individuals who had tested positive.


    For more on Ozone Therapy see this peer-reviewd paper: Ozone and oxidation therapies as a solution to the emerging crisis in infectious disease management: a review of current knowledge and experience by Dr. Robert Rowen MD of Santa Rosa, California (who claims to use ozone safely and effectively in his own medical practice, having successfully treated a variety of illnesses with ozone over a period of 30+ years).

    Now another US doctor, David Brownstein MD – a holistic medical practitioner, has published a paper detailing how nebulized hydrogen peroxide can also be a cheap, effective and safe treatment option against a host of repiratory illnesses, including Covid-19.

    How Nebulized Peroxide Helps Against Respiratory Infections
    Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

    Dr. David Brownstein, who has a clinic just outside of Detroit, has successfully treated over a hundred patients with what has become my favorite intervention for COVID-19 and other upper respiratory infections, namely nebulized hydrogen peroxide. He has published the results of his work in a study that you can download here.

    Since I first wrote about it at the beginning of April 2020, I’ve received impressive testimonials of its effectiveness from friends and acquaintances who got severely ill and used it.

    Brownstein is probably best known for his promotion of iodine and its supplementation. He was also an early adopter of vitamin D optimization and nebulized peroxide. He explains the background that led him to his current regimen:


    • Thanks for the link. I agree that there seem to be remedies for COVID-19 that we seem to be overlooking.

      I will get a new post up in the next day or two. You may want to repost this link on the new post, when it is up.

  2. Apparently, people are leaving Chicago, too, with the rioting. This is an article from Zerohedge:
    “She Hasn’t Done Her Job”: Looting, Riots, & Mayoral Ineptitude Prompt Mass Exodus Of Chicago Residents

    While mayor Lori Lightfoot continues to try and assure the public that she has everything under control, the exodus from Chicago as a result of the looting and riots is continuing. Citizens of Chicago are literally starting to pour out of the city, citing safety and the Mayor’s ineptitude as their key reasons for leaving.

    Hilariously, in liberal politicians’ attempt to show the world they don’t need Federal assistance and that they don’t need to rely on President Trump’s help, they are inadvertently likely creating more Trump voters, as residents who seek law and order may find no other choice than to vote Republican come November.

    And even though residents understand the looting and riots in some cases, they are not waiting around for it to get better on its own, nor are they waiting around for it to make its way to their house, their families or their neighborhoods.

    The problem is really an energy problem. The economy no longer has the surplus energy to support the large drain by centers of big cities.

    • Dennis L. says:

      Yours is a convincing story, something isn’t working and not only in the US; it appears around the world, energy is universal.

      It is a bit of a stretch and an amateur’s guess but secular humanism doesn’t seem to help us cope, things really aren’t that bad in the US compared to past eras and yet we seem to be falling apart. Looking at the history of secular humanism one might wonder if it correlates with increase of energy per capita. Humans need each other and yet some groups don’t get along well, humans also seem to need a belief system which is adapted to the circumstances in which they find themselves.

      Thanks for a place to think, share and have ideas with out drama.

      Dennis L.

    • Xabier says:

      Historically, the town has only existed to be a place where commerce and production can take place securely, wealth and food reserves stored, amenities enjoyed (brothels, taverns, etc) and the citizens – often armed militias manning their own walls and gates – sheltered from disorder and bandits.

      If former security is compromised, and the authorities decline – out of weakness or for political reasons to clean up – then there is no reason at all to remain a citizen and to pay taxes when the fundamental contract has been broken.

      I find the tacit approval of some mayors and even national political figures like Kamala Harris (‘the protests will continue and should continue’!) rather disturbing, and all very 3rd- World.

      Sad decline: I know the US is huge, and many areas seem peaceful still, but this should not be tolerated in any part of the country.

  3. Oh dear says:

    ‘How dare anyone express their own opinion, quick subject them to an investigation.’

    And we say that Communist China does not respect personal liberties – maybe our societies should take a look in the mirror.

    > NHS worker is under investigation after she claimed coronavirus is ‘a load of b*****ks’ and said she did ‘f*** all’ during Covid pandemic

    Care UK employee Louise Hampton recorded a video criticising a certificate she had been given thanking her for ‘making a difference to patients’ amid the virus outbreak. In the clip, posted to her Facebook page, she says: ‘I’m an actual NHS worker and apparently I worked really hard during Covid. Did I b*****ks. That’s why it’s a certificate of b*****ks. Our service was dead. We weren’t getting the calls, it was dead. Covid is a load of b*****ks, so this is my certificate of b*****ks.’ The following day, Ms Hampton posted saying she had received ‘so many messages of support’ from people, including NHS workers. A Care UK spokesman told MailOnline: ‘We are aware of this video, which we consider to be materially inaccurate in a number of ways, and can confirm that a member of staff is subject to investigation.’


    • Xabier says:

      I admire the lady’s spirit.

      ‘Clapping for the NHS’ every Thursday, and now certificates, such nonsense.

      I do hope she survives the ‘investigation’. Hopefully the publicity will ensure that.

    • Tim Groves says:

      Hands up everyone who suspected that this Covid thing was a charade when Boris supposedly came down with it?

      • I am sure that Boris really did come down with it. Medical treatment has been improving since then, among other things.

        • Tango Oscar says:

          I don’t understand how people can still believe it was planned or this whole thing is a game. It’s in over 200 countries and I personally know multiple people who went to the hospital with Covid19. Several of them thought it was a joke too and not real, they even made fun of the guy coming over in MOPP gear to help them. Then they went to the hospital for a week. Karma? That said, governments never let a good crisis go to waste. All Covid19 is doing is accelerating the changes that were going to happen anyways.

          • adonis says:

            watch the movie plandemic its planned depopulation the people you tell us had covid were either given covid through vaccination or did not have it at all probably had placebo covid why do you think they want to vaccinate 7 billion of us

  4. MG says:

    I have reached another definition of our predicament:

    As long as the creation and maintenance of the human habitats is easy and effortless, all is o.k. Once this process starts to be difficult and requiring more and more energy, all is doomed. The first signs of it being the meaninglessness of the human efforts.

    • Xabier says:

      Excellent reflection, MG.

      It’s really over, perhaps, when people feel that they cannot do anything positive, anything at all – those who are not ‘natural slaves’, that is, the ones who just want their bowls filled every day and a home provided and want to know or do nothing more, but those who have ,more to them.

      I read an interesting account of a simply lethal exploration by a group of Inuit, whose shaman led them in a quest to make contact with some distant group.

      They lost many lives, even resorted to cannibalism, but the survivors agreed that it had all been worth it as they had performed a great feat to be proud of and actually met the group they were trying to find.

      In essence, as fare as an outsider can hoep to understand them, it confirmed their belief in themselves as effective human beings.

      In the end I suppose one will just have to be proud of surviving, but the doors that lead to purposeful activity with meaning seem to be closing for many.

  5. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Earlier this year Oilprice reported on “Bitcoin’s Shocking Energy Consumption,” writing that the company “has an annual energy footprint slightly larger than the entire nation of Switzerland.”

    “…Now, just this week, Engadget released another damning report on Bitcoin’s energy footprint–which is still increasing. “Turns out that plugging a bunch of computers into our electrical grid that do nothing but draw current and hash through algorithms has had some negative environmental impacts,” the article begins with a wry smirk.

    ““Recent studies suggest that Bitcoin-related power consumption has reached record highs this year — with more than seven gigawatts of power being pulled in the pursuit of the suspect digital currency.””


  6. Harry McGibbs says:

    “In recent months, the world’s biggest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, has lost market share in China to the United States as the world’s top oil importer has boosted imports from America and reduced purchases from the Kingdom.

    “China has imported record volumes of crude oil in recent months, taking advantage of the lowest crude prices in two decades in April stock up on dirt-cheap oil.”


  7. Harry McGibbs says:

    The “golden age” of sovereign wealth funds has ended, according to academic research that predicts the coronavirus pandemic will result in profound changes for the state-backed investment vehicles.

    “Sovereign wealth funds, which oversee $6tn globally, are being tapped by governments to stabilise budgets and mitigate the effects of the economic fallout of the pandemic…

    “SWFs linked to commodities such as oil, in particular, are “facing the most severe adverse shock in their history”, with the pandemic adding to problems such as low oil prices and declining hydrocarbon revenues.

    ““The Covid-19 crisis is a turning point in the history of SWFs. This dramatic, unexpected shock accelerates the pre-existing negative trend of declining oil prices and slowing of global trade, the two main drivers of SWF growth,” said Bernardo Bortolotti, an economics professor and one of the report’s authors.”


  8. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Riots rock Malmö after far-right Swedish activists burn Qur’an.”


  9. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Thousands of Israelis demonstrated in Jerusalem in a continuation of months-long weekend rallies demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces a corruption trial and accusations of mishandling the coronavirus crisis.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Far-right extremists tried to storm the German parliament building on Saturday following a protest against the country’s pandemic restrictions, but were intercepted by police and forcibly removed.”


      • Robert Firth says:

        Everyone the Guardian disagrees with is a far right extremist, but this one is really over the top. What is far right, or extremist, about flying the flag of the last legitimate German government? The last one not levered into power by foreign tyrants? (Yes, Hitler was not German).

        • JesseJames says:

          If you are not left wing, you are branded as “far right”. There is no middle, or moderate, or conservative…..only “far right”!
          It does get one to the point that the term loses meaning, except for meaning they do not meet the strictures of the left.

          • Robert Firth says:

            Otto von Bismarck worked tirelessly to turn Germany into a unified constitutional monarchy, with a great deal of success. He was devoted to peace and the balance of power; his only major defeats were when a gang of (left wing) politicians demanded the annexation of Alsace Lorraine, and when the Roman Catholic Church supported the socialists against him in the late 1870s. Until, alas, the shooting at Sarajevo by a member of the Black Hand; not even a real Serbian group, but a bunch of rabid emigres based in, and funded by, the University of Chicago. Another inconvenient fact that has been written out of history.

            The Weimar Republic of 1919 was dictated by the “victorious” powers, who had agreed to an armistice and then broken every clause of that agreement. It was supported by David Lloyd George and Woodrow Wilson, two of the most stupid and corrupt people ever to hold power in our two countries. Wilson was also largely responsible for the creation of a “Polish” state half of whose territory was inhabited by majority non Poles.

            The rest you probably know, except for the string pulling that put into power in Germany a former member of the East German secret police, who now cheerfully executes the whims of her globalist masters just as she did those of her Soviet masters.

            And you think we won the two world wars? Think again.

  10. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Global corporations have announced more than 200,000 job cuts or buyouts in recent weeks, a worrying sign that more losses will come as furloughs implemented early in the pandemic turn into permanent layoffs…

    “The cuts cast a shadow on the fragile rebound in the global economy…”


  11. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Over the course of 150 years, America’s oldest continuously running hotel has never been closed for this long.

    “Yet, as stay-at-home orders took hold in March, all but one of the 1,641 rooms at the Palmer House Hilton in the centre of Chicago began to empty out, with the hotel eventually suspending operations on April 28 for all except a single long-term resident…

    “The fate of the property is not only emblematic of the severity of the crisis emerging for the hotel industry but also of the pressure building across the commercial real estate sector — from small-town malls to sky-high office blocks – hitting one of its primary sources of financing; the $1.4tn market for commercial mortgage-backed securities.”


  12. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said Germany should in two years time re-implement limits on the amount of new debt that the country can take on after borrowing huge sums to support the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.”


  13. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Congress is at a “tragic impasse” for the next stimulus package, says Pelosi, a California Democrat. Pelosi told Republicans that there won’t be further discussions until Republicans agree to a $2.2 trillion stimulus package, which is nearly double the size of the original Republican stimulus proposal known as the Heals Act.”


  14. Bobby says:

    Ha.. Come to NZ if you want, but be ready to live like a monk!

    The shortages of Imported goods has been a reality over here in ‘good old NZ’ for a while now, so we’re not immune to the systemic entropy griping the WWE dissipative system.

    Everything from lap tops and LCD screens to augment WFH. Sewing machines, parts, fabric, gorse and elastic to make masks or repair pants, are harder to get. Car parts, (you won’t get spark plugs for a Mazda 6 from repco or specific light bulbs in my home town. I brought the last sets) cameras, or replacement rechargeable batteries for some products can’t be supplied. Things like washing machine parts are on long order lists from retailers. Often stores only have the display models for many brands in stock, so if you ant brought it yet, you won’t get it much longer here.

    Interesting fuel prices are nearly on par with pre lockdown.
    Only seeing consistent FMCG imports in NZ personally.

    NZ Government is implementing compulsory face masks for all public transport from midnight tonight, that’s going to stifle commuters further and encourage more to WFH if they can.

    When NZ opens it’s boarders eventually, expecting a huge influx of goods, students and tourism.. nothing will happen…a non event at the end of a very very long strained JIT supply demand system that no longer works.

    Don’t hold your breath for the land of the long white cloud, It’s just a south western pacific archipelago not far from Easter island with a soon to close aluminium smelter.

    Our capital city ‘ Orcland’ is just a service industry town really, they don’t make anything up there, they just consume and do urban sprawl. We produce nothing but Dairy, wool, meat, wine and logs and pay high rental prices to the rent seeking elite….Hay ya want buy any Meat? We can sell you some cheep unprocessed radiata pine logs we got about 10 million on the docks and bare hills in the scenic background from all the clear felling.

    New Zealand wont be a paradise haven forever, we’re just riding a lucky wave heading into reset.

    • Wouldn’t this increase the insect populations that prey on food? How would fertility of all of these gardens be kept up? Aren’t there a bunch of details that need to be thought through?

      Where I live, there are a lot of huge trees and the land is very hilly. There are rocks not far below he soil surface. It is possible to grow a few things, if a person can find an adequately sunny place to plant things.

    • Erdles says:

      I grow a lot of food in my garden and believe me its pretty hard work and time intensive. People who live this way are worn out by 50.

      • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        reminds me of JMG, who did his “intensive gardening” in his yard in Maryland until a few years ago, when he moved to an apartment in Providence RI.

        I thought he was just over age 50 then.

        I had a garden, and I can confirm the time and effort, actually too much work just for mere vegetables.

        I like the bAU setup, where I spend my money at supermarkets and get yummy food from many places often thousands of miles away.

        I doubt that anyone with a backyard garden can grow the ingredients for dark chocolate.

        • Tim Groves says:

          If you spent less time stepping on ants and more time plowing, hoeing, reaping and sowing, you might make a good vegetable gardener.

          My philosophy is: Because it’s a Hassle, Do It!

          Avoiding work and seeking comfort and convenience at any cost are two of the things that have brought humanity to its present quandary.

        • Xabier says:

          It’s a conceptual problem for you, clearly: hard work and returns of low value.

          A ‘mere vegetable’ is, for me, something of use, beauty, delight and – above all – unpoisoned. Currently, my mouth is still filled with the exquisite taste of a raspberry plucked from the bush while I was weeding half an hour ago.

          I can’t think of a better use of my time than producing these delights! And the weeding was no trouble at all, as I use a beautifully designed Dutch hoe, which is virtually a power tool, so easily does it do its job.

          • Oh dear says:

            Yes, we have always maintained a vegetable garden, it is the easiest thing in the world, and one of the most natural and rewarding. The simple things in life have got a lot going for them. Not that one could economically maintain one’s lifestyle that way these days.

            Our culture tends to think of the peasant life as one of unmitigated oppression and poverty but I am sure that it had a lot going for it. Life has its own rewards. The sun, the breeze, the hills, the flowers, the birds, the streams, the family, the cows, the chickens, the sowing and the harvest – all good stuff.

    • Lidia17 says:

      You would have to recycle 100% of human waste to even approach such a scheme. I don’t think the health department will be keen on that.

      • Artleads says:

        Nate Hagens’ video that was posted here yesterday was good at explaining the stepwise, drawn out route that many survivable strategies would need to take. It’s clear that the need to grow food with humanure won’t be seen as long as there’s food to buy in stores. What this image illustrate for this society now is the need to think in more cooperative, community ways. It’s one more drop of water on the rock. Steps in this direction can be taken even here.

        So it’s not food production that would be the early driver of humanure composting. It would more likely be the coming together of increasing numbers of homeless people with aging sewerage system that cities can’t afford to repairs. Or systems collapse around energy, environment, economy and other factors prohibiting expanding and continually upgrading sewerage systems. I know a light would have to go on for cities to see it this way, but very simple homeless shelters in cities would recommend off-grid arrangements with humanure systems–maybe a passive systems just outside the city, where sewerage is taken by a local person or team to be stored and break down over some years?

  15. Oh dear says:

    I have reached BGE 259 and I have to concede that Lidia17 was quite right and that Nietzsche does equate will to power with will to life.

    In 259, he equates not only ‘life’ but explicitly WTL with WTP.

    ‘It will have to be the embodiment of will to power, it will want to grow, spread, grab, win dominance […] because it is alive, and because life is precisely will to power.’

    ‘it belongs to the essence of being alive as a fundamental organic function; it is a result of genuine will to power, which is just the will of life.’

    So yes, he does equate WTL with WTP but as WTP not simply as the drive for self-preservation – life itself is WTP – growth, consumption, domination. Lidia17 was quite right as to his sense.

    In which case, I am quite happy to say that democracy too and well-being for all are also WTP, though that is certainly not his gist.

    His idea seems to be that WTP is not simply an attendant circumstance to other motives, rather those other motives are WTP as organic life and its drives. Thus a fireman who saves a life saves an organism that is WTP and his act expresses a WTL that is WTP, a communal WTL/P.

    It seems to amount to saying that life has conditions and self-preservation cannot be abstracted from them as a simple, distinct drive apart from the others. It seems fair to say that no organism simply exists, it is always doing more than that in existing. – Living and the fulfilment of its conditions and drives are the same thing.

    His basic idea does not seem to be controversial, rather some of the lengths that he takes it to, and some of the conclusions that he draws from it.

    • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      I step on ants.

      often on purpose, but sometimes randomly I defer, which I’m sure is free will.

      Time, soon enough, will end me as quickly as every ant that ever lived, relative to this 13.7 billion year old universe.

      I’m tired.

      bAU tonight, maybe.

      • Oh dear says:

        I am pretty comfortable with being an organism with organic drives and I do not see anything contemptible about that.

        I am happy to eat all manner of other organisms because that is what living things do – and no doubt other animals would be quite without pangs of conscience or self-doubt to eat me too. I guess that is my free will, if you want to call it that.

        Almost the entirety of England has been deforested to allow for agriculture and farming, though we trade most of our food from abroad these days.

        That is what humans do, the same as other species – we grow, we spread, we appropriate, we dominate, we consume and utilise, we assert ourselves and our own interests – because those are the organic functions that life depends on. Surely we have not lost touch with such a basic truth.

        Yes, ants too. They are a highly successful predatory and dominant species that divides labour and social function into castes. They work together to dominate the environment and to spread as much as possible.

        They are not looking for any pity about their size AFAIK and they will likely be around in their trillions long after we are gone. Perhaps they should pity us? lol

        > Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. Larger colonies consist of various castes of sterile, wingless females, most of which are workers (ergates), as well as soldiers (dinergates) and other specialised groups. Nearly all ant colonies also have some fertile males called “drones” (aner) and one or more fertile females called “queens” (gynes). The colonies are described as superorganisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony.

        Ants have colonised almost every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants are Antarctica and a few remote or inhospitable islands. Ants thrive in most ecosystems and may form 15–25% of the terrestrial animal biomass. Their success in so many environments has been attributed to their social organisation and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves…

        Ants occupy a wide range of ecological niches and exploit many different food resources as direct or indirect herbivores, predators and scavengers. Most ant species are omnivorous generalists, but a few are specialist feeders. Their ecological dominance is demonstrated by their biomass: ants are estimated to contribute 15–20 % (on average and nearly 25% in the tropics) of terrestrial animal biomass, exceeding that of the vertebrates…

        Some species (such as Tetramorium caespitum) attack and take over neighbouring ant colonies. Others are less expansionist, but just as aggressive; they invade colonies to steal eggs or larvae, which they either eat or raise as workers or slaves. Extreme specialists among these slave-raiding ants, such as the Amazon ants, are incapable of feeding themselves and need captured workers to survive…

        Ants identify kin and nestmates through their scent, which comes from hydrocarbon-laced secretions that coat their exoskeletons. If an ant is separated from its original colony, it will eventually lose the colony scent. Any ant that enters a colony without a matching scent will be attacked…

        A conflict between the sexes of a species is seen in some species of ants with these reproducers apparently competing to produce offspring that are as closely related to them as possible. The most extreme form involves the production of clonal offspring…

        Lemon ants make devil’s gardens by killing surrounding plants with their stings and leaving a pure patch of lemon ant trees, (Duroia hirsuta). This modification of the forest provides the ants with more nesting sites inside the stems of the Duroia trees…

        Most ants are predatory and some prey on and obtain food from other social insects including other ants. Some species specialise in preying on termites (Megaponera and Termitopone) while a few Cerapachyinae prey on other ants…

        Army ants forage in a wide roving column, attacking any animals in that path that are unable to escape… – wiki

        Ants are a fascinating subject in their own right, thanks for that.

        • Bei Dawei says:

          For a real-life equivalent of Henry Pym–the genius scientist from Marvel Comics who invented shrinking / growing technology, human-ant communication, and an AI / von Neumann machine–was E.O. Wilson, who went from myrmecology to memetics and evolutionary psychology.

        • Bobby says:

          Interesting to augment ant collectives control systems into our ‘apes on gas’ collective. Hormonally mitigated dystopian harmony. Smell the popular aroma and turn into a popsicle.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Ants also practice agriculture and animal husbandry. and have done so sustainably,for a few hundred million years. Which makes them a lot better at living that a certain featherless biped.

          “Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways, and be wise.” (Proverbs vi:6)

      • Bei Dawei says:

        I step on them in order to communicate with the hive mind. Say my wife sees ants crawling across the floor of the vestibule and complains. I step on 100 or 200 of them. They get the message and pick a different route.

        • Oh dear says:

          A kettle of boiling water on their nest will do the trick.

          Now house flies, they really put the game into swatting. They fly around with their buzzing, begging out, ‘pls kill me, pls kill me’, swerving about at top speed with us thrashing at them.

          I find that a towel is the way to go with them when they settle, they cannot dodge them. Whack! But then one has to wash the towel and the surface, they are such a nuisance but it always ends worse for them.

  16. Dennis L. says:

    Continuing to beat the dead horse, education.

    This is a quote from the open discussion forum at Ecosophia, JMG’s blog.

    “An observation from my daughter who is a college professor that I thought might be of interest to the community: for the first time, yesterday, she told me that the college teaching community has agreed that colleges are done. As in, will close soon and not reopen again – at least in their current form. I know this is something many of us have been expecting, but the fact that she and her colleagues, who are the “true believers” in the current system, are finally discussing that it is all ending, seems significant. She said that first and foremost, the big public universities (she teaches at one) are realizing they don’t have the infrastructure and budget to teach tens of thousands of student remotely — and parents won’t pay the going rate for a remote program. And they can’t have those thousands attend in person because – pandemic. She said the small private universities are in worse shape and are just going to go broke and close. My daughter is switching over to teaching remotely through a company that provides classes to home school students, which is the growing market. And one other comment, again a big switch for a former “true believer” — she said the home school high school students she is teaching are better prepared and have better skills than most of her college students.”

    Collapse is all around us, it is happening. It is not only the university itself but campus housing and associate tax base for the surrounding community, it is the bar scene and even healthcare in the ER dealing with overdoses.

    Look at homeschooling as commented above, private enterprise is moving in for better or worse.

    MIT is a brand, they have been in online learning for years, it is not only STEM, they are online in a number of fields, and based on math, they are very good – one would expect them to be forward looking.

    Link is long, sorry about that.

    Dennis L.

    • I know that many private colleges were doing very badly, even before the pandemic. I can imagine quite a few of them not reopening.

      State sponsored universities seem to be doing somewhat better, but the current half-way teaching system (only a few students in class, alternating with others who come part of the time) isn’t sustainable. State sponsored universities are having their funds cut as well. I thought that maybe universities might be able to hold on a little longer.

      I suppose it depends on the path of the pandemic and how well the financial system holds together. It is a terrible time for young people. How do they start a new job, if they have to work from home?

      • Dennis L. says:

        Thanks for all your time and effort.

        For the young the lack of socialization seems huge to me. In mathematics sites like Mathematica Alpha will literally walk you through a problem, step by step and for a small yearly amount will give an on line tutor to help that process. What is missing is the nuanced way professors answer questions, keyboarding as we do can never catch that.

        A large university such as Madison, my alma mater, had students from all over the world, and incredible social activities besides drinking on State Street. That is all missing from sitting in front of a screen. It appears to me that this type of experience will be limited to the wealthy and they will have the opportunities to meet many different people, learn from them an indeed marry them and repeat the cycle of children of wealthy, successful parents going forward.

        Those of us who are less fortunate socially and economically might well be shut out. It seems both the economic and social problems will be a challenge.

        With regards the financial system, Nate seems to think it will need a trillion/month to hold together. That is ambitious.

        Dennis L.

        • Nate has an MBA from the University of Chicago. He may be right.

        • Robert Firth says:

          My former employer (a big university) spent a lot of time and effort on a distance learning platform. It was a disaster. At the graduate level, students learn more from each other than they do from the instructor, because their different experiences are shared and synergise. That is why the face to face workshops provided better and more memorable learning than the lectures. Virtual learning works for simple, well understood tasks (“this is how you design an efficient data base index”), but are very poor at real problem solving (“how do you prevent two underground trains from colliding?”).

  17. Darel Preble says:

    Thank you, Gail, for another excellent post.
    The invention of successful vaccines for retroviruses, such as COVID-19, depends greatly on the replication rate. With the feline leukemia vaccine invented by Dr.Olsen we learned that if the replication rate – how quickly the virus creates a new lethal mutation, or phenotype – is low enough a successful vaccine can be created to get ahead of the curve – its “defense”. That happened, when a successful vaccine was created for feline leukemia, then the leading cause of death among pets.

    However, if the replication rate is too fast, such as with HIV/AIDS, a successful vaccine can not be created because there will be too many phenotypes in the field to overtake the retrovirus. Treating the symptoms in those cases is the most successful course of treatment. This critical determination for COVID-19 is well underway: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(20)30366-0/fulltext

    • Thanks for the the link.

      We are now starting to see a series of patients who first became ill with one type of COVID-19, and later caught another variation of COVID-19. In the example in this article, the reinfection was more severe than the original infection.

      Keeping up with these changes may be a challenge. I understand that the current vaccines are being based on the original Wuhan version of the virus, which is less contagious but more severe that the type typically seen now.

      • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        “… but in all three cases, the patients either developed a milder form of COVID-19 or were asymptomatic the second time around, according to NBC News.

        But according to the new case study, the 25-year-old Nevada patient developed more severe symptoms the second time he was infected.”

        perhaps this is intuitive, that patients who had a worse case then had the immunity to fend off the second case.

        but then a mild first case perhaps would leave a patient more susceptible to a more severe second case.

        more data is needed.

  18. adonis says:

    Are the United Nations behind it all or part of a Grand Conspiracy?


  19. Kowalainen says:

    Here is one for Robert. With love. 😇


    I agree with everything in this.

    • Robert Firth says:

      Thank you, most interesting. Roger Penrose would say that the brain is not a machine, but that’s probably because he understands machine as based on classical (Newtonian) physics. More interesting, I found, was the mention of the little radio. I’d heard that before, but it always makes me wonder whether I also might be a “receiver” for something else. Cut the latest stupid demon possession movie.

  20. Ed says:

    Why no mention of Cornish independence?

    • Malcopian says:

      It’s been crushed. Boris secretly sent the army in to kill all the piskies. After all, he hasn’t modelled himself on Churchill for nothing, you know.

  21. Chrome Mags says:


    “The initiative postpones some payroll taxes that would normally be due between September 1 and December 31 and makes them due between January 1 and April 31, 2021. Under the plan, which would only apply to workers with an annual salary of less than $104,000, employers are asked to stop withholding the 6.2% payroll tax that represents an employee’s share of Social Security taxes.
    Employees would still be responsible for the taxes, just not immediately—that means employers who stop withholding payroll taxes now, would be able to withhold twice as much early next year.”

    So this A) amounts to a giveaway in the short term to curry votes? Or is it B) the first volley against social security. Or both, C? I guaranteed it’s C, but what I’m amazed at is this is even possible without House/Senate approval. What happened to checks & balances?

  22. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Belarus’s political crisis exacerbates risks to its banks’ financial profiles, with the initial impact on their funding and liquidity positions, Fitch Ratings said in a report on August 28… ATMs in Minsk have already been drained of dollars and the Belarusian ruble (BYN) is tanking.”


  23. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Any signs of a global rebound in economic data this month are coming with a constant caveat — that the coronavirus crisis is far from over…

    “That backdrop was a recurring theme in charts that appeared on Bloomberg this week.”


  24. Harry McGibbs says:

    “At the height of the coronavirus pandemic last spring, the heads of U.S. banks, including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp, pledged not to cut any jobs this year.

    “However, as executives prepare for an extended recession and loan losses that come with it, layoffs are back on the table, said consultants, industry insiders and compensation analysts.”


  25. Harry McGibbs says:

    “It was the head of Singapore’s monetary authority who best summed up the biggest fear gripping the virtual Jackson Hole conference this year.

    “We are not going back to the same world,” Tharman Shanmugaratnam warned.

    ““We’ve got to avoid a prolonged period of high levels of unemployment, and it’s a very real prospect. It is not at all assured that we will get a return of tight labour markets even with traditional macroeconomic policy being properly applied…

    ““We cannot afford at the current juncture a repeat of the fiscal tightening that we saw in the great financial crisis,” said Laurence Boone, chief economist at the OECD.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The message from Jay Powell at the annual Jackson Hole Symposium is that US interest rates will sit in the basement for a very long time, perhaps even well after the central bank reviews the progress of its new framework in five years’ time.

      “Not only does the US central bank desire a period of consumer price inflation running for an unspecified time above its target of 2 per cent — a goal it has missed for much of the past decade — but Fed policy has also shifted its definition of full employment for the economy.

      “Rather than raising rates once the unemployment rate drops below a certain level, officials will wait until a tight jobs market has begun pushing inflation higher before thinking about tightening policy.”


      • Harry McGibbs says:

        An apocalyptic interpretation!

        “In the last few months, central bankers and politicians have flooded the world with trillions of dollars in new currency. Their answer to every financial problem is to throw more and more currency at an ever-expanding list of government aid programs and targeted bailouts. Like Weimar Germany, the world is simply printing more and more currency to in an effort to solve its financial problems.

        “At best, the result will be a 1970’s-style stagflation with high unemployment and runaway inflation. At worst, we’ll see a total collapse of the purchasing power of all fiat currencies relative to gold, silver, and other hard assets…

        “If government cryptocurrency replaces paper currency, individual freedom and liberty will disappear…

        “The Bible says this is precisely what will happen in the end times. The Antichrist will establish a global system of commerce. His system will play a part in every economic transaction on earth. It will be so dominant, no one will be able to buy or sell anything without approval from the Antichrist (Revelation 13:17).”


        • Bill Gates and his idea of vaccines and permanent markers for all might be a different interpretation of Rev. 13:17. (so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.)

          • Azure Kingfisher says:

            He’s related to the rest of the cast of public figures we’ve been instructed from birth to idolize:


            Then there’s the Miles Mathis interpretation:

            “In my educated opinion, it means that the Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, and Microsoft itself are all fronts for the Matrix. Like Apple Computers and Steve Jobs, they don’t exist like we think. Microsoft would appear to be another big government entity, like Google, with a person from the families simply chosen to front it. Gates is sold to us as a genius of some sort, but I have never seen the least evidence of that. He comes across as a big dope who can barely follow the Teleprompter or the earpiece. He is marginally more presentable than George Bush or Donald Trump, but that isn’t saying much. He has all the charisma of a tunafish sandwich left out in the rain. Which indicates he wasn’t chosen for his personal qualities. He was chosen because he had to be chosen. He is a child of the richest families and demanded his ‘due’. These kids want to be famous, and Daddy can’t say no. The only question is, will they become famous in art, cinema, politics, sports or the media? Cinema and sports were out, and you couldn’t sell Gates as an artist. That left the outer reaches of the media, where Gates could be installed as a sometimes speaker and important person, without anyone ever catching on. Installing him as the front for Microsoft was a coup for his handlers, since it made that company look private: not connected to the military/industrial/spy complex… It also allowed for the creation of the Gates Foundation, by which they could channel money to Africa, Israel, or anywhere else in the world, under the cover of a charitable foundation. But there is nothing charitable about it. It was always just a clever form of money laundering, and you can be sure every dollar spent is an investment with a huge guaranteed return and no tax. Same as all other charitable foundations.”


            What I’m wondering is who out there, aside from public front Bill Gates, is trying to fulfill Revelations in our own time? Why would they want to do that?

            • Jarvis says:

              My god you Americans do love your conspiracy theories!

            • Tim Groves says:

              Miles’s take, as usual, is very plausible. Thanks for airing it here.

              Fronting for the Matrix is a nice clear explanation that, if true, solves the mystery of why so many obviously dim bulbs who are touted as genius-level supermen are heading some of the worlds biggest companies.

          • Dan says:

            This is really embarrassing you don’t have enough to do? I am so sick of the Q Anon B.S…..it really is sad the people propagating this crap. Most of the ones doing it are cult people themselves! Oh well maybe they will all get their sweat pants and new sneakers and quarters and kill themselves so they can ride on Haileys comment. Heavens Gate is waiting for you!

            • The issue is not conspiracy theory, in my mind. It is, “Is it possible that writers from years ago can have insight into what might happen in the future?” I am not willing to rule this out, regardless of the background of the writer. We know that in Japan, people made a big rock with the words, “Build nothing below this line,” marking the level to which an early tsunami hit. The book of Revelation in chapter 18 talks about the collapse of Babylon. Perhaps we are being warned about things that had been experienced in some form in the past and which might happen again.

            • Robert Firth says:

              Hey, I remember Bill Haley and his Comets. Mid 1950s, if memory serves. By the way, “heaven’s gate” is a reference to one of Shakespeare’s most famous sonnets, and also one of my favourites. Here it is:

              When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
              I all alone beweep my outcast state,
              And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
              And look upon myself and curse my fate,
              wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
              Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
              Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
              With what I most enjoy contented least;

              Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
              Haply I think on thee—and then my state,
              Like to the lark at break of day arising
              From sullen earth sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
              For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings,
              That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

              That sestet is flawless, even the embedded feminine rhyme, that indeed rises like the lark.

          • neil says:

            The gates of hell?

      • Perhaps this is an admission that the unemployment rate is flawed. People give up looking after a time.

        • Robert Firth says:

          The unemployment rate in the US is fiction. Uf people lose their jobs, they are “unemployed”. If people give up looking for jobs, they are “not unemployed”. In other words, if real unemployment gets worse, the official unemployment gets better. One of the seemingly incurable defects of democracy: if a government depends on votes, the cheapest way to secure them is to lie.

    • Without enough energy, it is impossible to produce enough jobs that pay well. That is the problem.

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