Why Collapse Occurs; Why It May Not Be Far Away

Collapse is a frightening subject. The question of why collapse occurs is something I have pieced together over many years of study from a number of different sources, which I will attempt to explain in this post.

Collapse doesn’t happen instantaneously; it happens many years after an economy first begins outgrowing its resource base. In fact, the resource base likely declines at the same time from multiple causes, such as soil erosion, deforestation and oil depletion. Before collapse occurs, there seem to be warning signs, including:

  • Too much wage disparity
  • Riots and protests by people unhappy with low wages
  • Prices of commodities that are too low for producers that need to recover their costs of production and governments that require tax revenue to fund programs for their citizens
  • An overstretched financial system; conditions ripe for debt defaults
  • Susceptibility to epidemics

Many people have the misimpression that our most important problem will be “running out” of oil. Because of this, they believe that oil prices will rise high if the system is reaching its limits. Since oil prices are not very high, they assume that the problem is far away. Once a person understands what the real issue is, it is (unfortunately) relatively easy to see that the current economy seems to be quite close to collapse.

In this post, I provide images from a recent presentation I gave, together with some comments. A video of the presentation is available on the Uncomfortable Knowledge Hub, here. A PDF of the presentation can be downloaded here:

Slide 1
Slide 2
Slide 3
Slide 4

In some ways, a self-organizing system is analogous to a dome that might be built with a child’s toy building set (Slide 4). New layers of businesses and consumers are always being added, as are new regulations, more or less on top of the prior structure. At the same time, old consumers are dying off and products that are no longer needed are being discontinued. This happens without central direction from anyone. Entrepreneurs see the need for new products and try to satisfy them. Consumers decide on what to buy, based upon what their spendable income is and what their needs are.

Slide 5

Resources of many kinds are needed for an economy. Harnessing energy of many types is especially important. Early economies burned biomass and used the labor of animals. In recent years, we have added other types of energy, such as fossil fuels and electricity, to supplement our own human energy. Without supplemental energy of various kinds, we would be very limited in the kinds of goods and services that could be produced. Our farming would be limited to digging in the ground with a stick, for example.

The fact that there is almost an equivalence between employees and consumers is very important. If the wages of consumers are high, relative to the prices of the goods and services available, then consumers are able to buy many of those goods and services. As a result, citizens tend to be happy. But if there are too many low paid workers, or people without work at all, consumers are likely to be unhappy because they cannot afford the basic necessities of life.

Slide 6

The problem civilizations are facing is a two-sided problem: (1) Growing population and (2) Resources that often degrade or deplete. As a result, the amount of resources per person falls. If this were carried to the limit, all of us would starve.

Slide 7

As resources deplete and population grows, local leaders can see that problems are on the horizon. At first, adding technology, such as a new dam to provide water to make farms more productive, helps. As more and more technology and other complexity is added, there is less and less “bang for the buck.” We can easily see this in the healthcare field. Early antibiotics had a very big payback; recent medical innovations that help a group of 500 or 1000 people with a particular rare disease can be expected to have a much smaller payback.

A second issue with added complexity is that it increasingly leads to a society of the very wealthy plus many very low paid workers. Joseph Tainter identified the combination of these two issues as leading to collapse in his book, The Collapse of Complex Societies.

Slide 8

Françios Roddier is an astrophysicist who writes primarily in French. His book Thermodynamique de l’évolution was published in 2012; it is now available in English as well.

The issue of starving people in Yemen is an issue today. In fact, hunger is an increasing problem in poor countries around the world. The world tourism industry is dead; the industry of making fancy clothing for people in rich countries is greatly reduced. People who formerly made a living in these industries in poor countries increasingly find it difficult to earn an adequate living with other available jobs. Rich countries tend to have better safety nets when there are widespread reductions in job-availability.

Slide 9

Businesses often make long lasting goods such as machines to be used in factories or automobiles to be used by consumers. Governments often make long-lasting goods such as paved roads and school buildings. When making these goods, they take some combination of commodities, built machinery, and human labor to make goods and services that people will use for many years into the future. The future value of these goods is hoped to be significantly greater than the value of the inputs used to create these goods and services.

There are at least three reasons that time-shifting devices are needed:

  1. Workers need to be paid as these goods are made.
  2. Businesses need to build factories in advance.
  3. Businesses, governments and individuals are all likely to find the future payments more manageable, even with interest added, than they are as a single payment upfront.

I don’t mention the issue in Slide 9, but once time-shifting devices are created, they become very easy to manipulate. For example, no one knows precisely what the future value of a particular investment will be. Governments, especially, are prone to make investments in unneeded infrastructure, simply to provide jobs for people. We also know that there are diminishing returns to added technology, but stocks of technology companies tend to be valued as if complexity will save the world. Third, interest rate manipulations (lower!) and the offering of debt to those who seem unlikely to be able ever to repay the debt can be used to make the economy of a country appear to be in better shape than it really is. Many of us remember the collapse of the US subprime housing debt bubble in 2008.

Slide 10

The purpose of a financial system is to allocate goods and services. High wages allocate a larger share of the output of an economy to a particular person than low wages. Appreciation in asset values (such as prices of shares of stock, or value of a home or piece of land) also act to increase the share of the goods and services produced by the economy to an individual. Payment of interest, dividends and rents are other ways of allocating goods and services that the economy makes. Governments can print money, but they cannot print goods and services!

As the economy gets more complex, the non-elite workers increasingly get left out of the distribution of goods and services. For one thing (not mentioned on Slide 10), as the economy becomes more complex, an increasing share of the goods and services produced by the economy need to go into making all of the intermediate goods that make that industrial economy work. Intermediate goods would include factories, semi-trucks, hydroelectric dams, oil pipelines and other goods and services that don’t directly benefit an individual consumer. They are needed to make the overall system work.

As the economy gets bigger and more complex, the non-elite workers increasingly find themselves left out. Besides losing an increasing part of the output of the intermediate goods and services mentioned in the prior paragraph, there are other pieces that take slices of the total output of goods and services:

  • High paid workers take their quite-large slices of the total output. These individuals tend to be the ones who get the benefit of asset appreciation, as well.
  • Pension programs and other programs to help the elderly and unemployed take a cut.
  • Health insurance costs, in the US at least, tend to be very high, relative to wages, for lower-paid workers.
  • The work of some employees can be replaced by low-paid overseas employees or by robots. If they are to keep their jobs, their wages need to be suitably low to compete.

With all of these issues, the workers at the bottom of the employment hierarchy increasingly get left out of the distribution of goods and services made by the economy.

Slide 11

We know some of the kinds of things that happen when economies are close to collapse from the writings of researchers such as Peter Turchin, lead author of Secular Cycles, and Joseph Tainter, mentioned earlier. One approach is for governments to try to work around the resource problem by starting wars with other economies whose resources they might gain. Probably a more likely outcome is that these low-resource-per-capita economies become vulnerable to attack by other economies because of their weakened condition. In any event, more conflict is likely as resource limits hit.

If the low incomes of non-elite workers persist, many bad outcomes can be expected. Local riots can be expected as citizens protest their low wages or pensions. Governments are likely to find that they cannot collect enough taxes. Governments will also find that they must cut back on programs, or (in today’s world) their currencies will sink relative to currencies of other countries. Intergovernmental organizations may fail for lack of funding, or governments may be overthrown by unhappy citizens.

Debt defaults can be expected. Governments have a long history of defaulting on their debts when conditions were bad according to Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff in This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.

It becomes very easy for epidemics to take hold because of the poor eating habits and the close living quarters of non-elite workers.

With respect to inflation-adjusted commodity prices, it is logical that they would stay low because a large share of the population would be impoverished and thus not able to afford very many of these commodities. A person would expect gluts of commodities, as occurred during the Great Depression in the 1930s in the United States because many farmers and farm-hands had been displaced by modern farming equipment. We also find that the book of Revelation from the Bible seems to indicate that low prices and lack of demand were problems at the time of the collapse of ancient Babylon (Revelation 18:11-13).

Slide 12

Much of what peak oil theory misunderstands is what our society as a whole misunderstands. Most people seem to believe that our economy will grow endlessly unless we somehow act to slow it down or stop it. They cannot imagine that the economy comes with built-in brakes, provided by the laws of physics.

Armed with a belief in endless growth, economists assume that the economy can expand year after year at close to the same rate. Modelers of all kinds, including climate modelers, miss the natural feedback loops that lead to the end of fossil fuel extraction without any attempt on our part to stop its extraction. A major part of the problem is that added complexity leads to too much wage and wealth disparity. Eventually, the low wages of many of the workers filter through to oil and other energy prices, making prices too low for producers.

Collapse isn’t instantaneous, as we will see on Slide 26. As resources per capita fall too low, there are several ways to keep problems hidden. More debt at lower interest rates can be added. New financial techniques can be developed to hide problems. Increased globalization can be used. Corners can be cut on electricity transmission, installation and maintenance, and in the building of new electricity generating structures. It is only when the economy hits a bump in the road (such as a climate-related event) that there suddenly is a major problem: Electricity production fails, or not enough food is produced. In fact, California, Florida, and China have all encountered the need for rolling blackouts with respect to electricity in the past year; China is now encountering difficulty with inadequate food supply, as well.

Economists have played a major role in hiding problems with energy with their models that seem to show that prices can be expected to rise if there is a shortage of oil or other energy. Their models miss the point that adequate supplemental energy is just as important for demand as it is for supply of finished goods and services. The reason energy is important for demand is because demand depends on the wages of workers, and the wages of workers in turn depend on the productivity of those workers. The use of energy supplies to allow workers to operate tools of many kinds (such as computers, trucks, electric lights, ovens, and agricultural equipment) greatly influences the productivity of those workers.

A person who believes energy prices can rise endlessly is likely to believe that recycling can increase without limit because of ever-rising prices. Such a person is also likely to believe that the substitution of intermittent renewables for fossil fuels will work because high prices for scarce electricity will enable an approach that is inherently high-cost, if any continuity of supply is required.

Thus, the confusion isn’t so much that of peak oilers. Instead, the confusion is that of economists and scientists building models based on past history. These models miss the turning points that occur as limits approach. They assume that future patterns will replicate past patterns, but this is not what happens in a finite world. If we lived in a world without limits, their models would be correct. This confusion is very much built into today’s thinking.

In fact, we are living in an economic system/ecosystem that has brakes to it. These brakes are being applied now, even though 99%+ of the population isn’t aware of the problem. The system will protect itself, quite possibly using the approach of evicting most humans.

Slide 13

The opinions expressed in Slide 13 reflect some of the views I have heard expressed speaking with peak oilers and with people looking into issues from a biophysical economics perspective. Obviously, views differ from person to person.

Many people believe that resources in the ground provide a good estimate of the quantity of fossil fuels that can be extracted in the future. Peak oilers tend to believe that the available resources will need to have sufficiently high “Energy Returned on Energy Invested” (EROEI) ratios to make extraction feasible. Politicians and climate modelers tend to believe that prices can rise endlessly, so low EROEI is no obstacle. They seem to believe that anything that we have the technical skill to extract, even coal under the North Sea, can be extracted.

If a person believes the high estimates of fossil fuel resources that seem to be available and misses the point that the economy has built-in brakes, climate change becomes the issue of major concern.

My view is that most of the resources that seem to be available will be left in the ground because of low prices and problems associated with collapse, such as failing governments and broken supply lines. In any event, we do not really have the ability to fix the climate; the laws of physics will provide their own adjustment. We will simply need to live with whatever climate is provided. Humans lived through ice-ages in the past. Presumably, whatever humans remain after what seems to be an upcoming bottleneck will be able to live in suitable areas of the world in the future.

Slide 14

On Slide 14, note that today’s industrial economy must necessarily come to an end, just as the lives of hurricanes and of people come to an end.

Also note that with diminishing returns, the cost of producing many of the things listed on Slide 14 is rising. For example, with rising population, dry areas of the world eventually need to use desalination to get enough fresh water for their growing populations. Desalination is expensive. Even if the necessary workaround is simply deeper wells, this still adds costs.

With diminishing returns affecting many parts of the economy simultaneously, it becomes increasingly difficult for efforts in the direction of efficiency to lead to costs that are truly lower on an inflation-adjusted basis. Advanced education and health care in particular tend to have an ever-rising inflation-adjusted costs of production. Some minerals do as well, as the quality of ores depletes.

Slide 15

An important issue to note is that wages need to cover all the rising costs, even the rising cost of health care. The paychecks of many people, especially those without advanced education, fall too low to meet all of their needs.

Slide 16

Slides 16 and 17 describe some of the reasons why oil prices don’t necessarily rise with scarcity.

Slide 17
Slide 18

I was one of the co-authors of the Ke Wang paper mentioned in Slide 18. We developed three different forecasts of how much oil would be extracted in China, depending on how high oil prices would be able to rise. The Red Line is the “Stays Low” Scenario, with prices close to $50 per barrel. The Yellow Line is the “Ever-Rising Prices” Scenario. The Best Estimate reflects the expectation that prices would be in roughly the $100 to $120 barrel range, from 2015 onward.

Slide 19

In fact, oil prices have stayed fairly low, and China’s oil production has declined, as our paper predicted.

Slide 20
Slide 21

Note that the chart on Slide 21 shows wage disparity only in the US. On this basis, the share of wages going to the top 1% and top 0.1% are back at the levels that they were in the 1920s. Now, our economy is much more global. If we consider all of the low income people in the world, the worldwide wage disparity is much greater.

Slide 22

There are two things to note on Slide 22. The first is that producers, in inflation-adjusted terms, seem to need very high prices, approximately $120 per barrel or more. This is based on a presentation made by Steve Kopits, which I wrote up here: Beginning of the End? Oil Companies Cut Back on Spending.

The other thing to note is that oil prices tend to bounce around a great deal. Prices seem to depend on the amount of debt and on interest rates, as well as the wages of workers. The peak in oil prices in mid-2008 came precisely at the time the debt bubble broke with respect to mortgage and credit card debt in the US. I wrote about this in an article in the journal Energy called, Oil Supply Limits and the Continuing Financial Crisis.

The US instituted Quantitative Easing (QE) at the end of 2008. QE acted to lower interest rates. With the help of QE, the price of oil gradually rose again. When the US discontinued QE in late 2014, oil prices fell. Recently, there has been a great deal of QE done, as well as direct spending by governments, but oil prices are still far below the $120 per barrel level. Middle Eastern oil producers especially need high oil prices, in order to collect the high tax revenue that they depend upon to provide programs for their citizens.

Slide 23

Coal prices (Slide 23) tend to follow somewhat the same pattern as oil prices (Slide 22). There is very much the same balancing act with coal prices as well: Coal prices need to be high enough for producers, but not too high for customers to buy products made with coal, such as electricity and steel.

China tries to keep its coal prices relatively high in order to encourage production within the country. China has been limiting imports to try to keep prices high. The relatively high coal prices of China make it an attractive destination for coal exporters. There are now a large number of boats waiting outside China hoping to sell coal to China at an attractive price.

Slide 24

The blue line on Figure 24 represents total energy consumption up through 2020. The red dotted line is a rough guesstimate of how energy consumption might fall. This decline could happen if people wanting energy consumption coming only from renewables were able to succeed by 2050 (except I am doubtful that these renewable energy types would really be of much use by themselves).

Alternatively, this might also be the decline that our self-organizing economy takes us on. We are already seeing a decrease in energy consumption related to the current pandemic. I think governmental reactions to the pandemic were prompted, in part, by the very stretched condition of our oil and other energy supplies. Countries were experiencing riots over low wages. They also could not afford to import as much oil as they were importing. Shutdowns in response to COVID-19 cases seemed like a sensible thing to do. They helped restore order and saved on energy imports. Strangely enough, the pandemic may be a part of the collapse that our self-organizing economy is arranging for us.

Slide 25

Slide 25 takes the blue line from Slide 24 and looks at what happened in more detail. On Slide 25, we are looking at the average annual increase in energy consumption, for a given 10 year period. This is split between the rate of population growth (blue), and the energy consumption growth that went into other things, which I equate to change in “standard of living” (red). The big red humps represent very good times, economically. The post-World War II bump is especially high. The valleys are times of disturbing changes, including wars and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Of course, all of these situations occurred during periods when energy consumption was generally rising. If these unfortunate things happened when oil consumption was rising, what might possibly happen when energy consumption is falling?

Slide 26

We now seem to be hitting the Crisis Stage. In the past, collapse (which takes place in the Crisis Stage) has not been instantaneous; it has taken place over quite a number of years, typically 20 or more. The world economy is quite different now, with its international trade system and heavy use of debt. It would seem likely that a collapse could happen more quickly. A common characteristic of collapses, such as avalanches, is that they often seem to start off fairly slowly. Then, suddenly, a large piece breaks away, and there is a big collapse. Something analogous to this could possibly happen with the economy, too.

Slide 27

One of the major issues with adding intermittent renewables to the electric grid is a pricing problem. Once wind and solar are given subsidies (even the subsidy of “going first”), all of the other types of electricity production seem to need subsidies, as well. It is the pricing systems that are terribly detrimental, although this is not generally noticed. In fact, researchers who are looking only at energy may not even care if the pricing is wrong. Ultimately, the low pricing for electricity can be expected to bring the electric grid down, just as inadequate prices for fossil fuels can be expected to lead to the closure of many fossil fuel producers. Both Texas and California are having difficulty because they have not been collecting enough funds from customers to build resilient systems.

Slide 28
Slide 29

The focus of EROEI research is often with respect to whether the EROEI of a particular type of energy production is “high enough,” relative to some goal, such as 3:1 or 10:1. I believe that there needs to be more focus on the total quantity of net energy produced. If there is an EROEI goal for highly complex energy types, it needs to be much higher than for less complex energy types.

Slide 30

Today, it is common to see the EROEIs of a number of different types of energy displayed side-by-side as if they were comparable. This type of comparison is also made with other energy metrics, such as “Levelized Cost of Electricity” and “Energy Payback Period.” I think this approach makes highly complex types of energy production, such as intermittent wind and solar, look better than they really are. Even intermittent hydroelectric power generation, such as is encountered in places with rainy seasons and dry seasons and in places that are subject to frequent droughts, is not really comparable to electricity supply that can be provided year-around by fossil fuel providers, if adequate storage is available.

Slide 31

Earlier in this post, I documented a number of reasons why we should expect low rather than high energy prices in the future. I am reiterating the point here because it is a point energy researchers need especially to be aware of. Production is likely to come to an end because it is unprofitable.

Slide 32

One characteristic of human-made complexity is that it has very little redundancy. If something goes wrong in one part of one system, it is likely to ripple through that system, as well as other systems to which the first system is connected. An outage of oil is likely to indirectly affect electricity because oil is needed to fix problems with electricity transmission lines. An electricity outage may cause disruption in oil drilling and refining, and even in filling up automobiles at service stations. An international trade disruption can break supply lines and leave shipping containers at the wrong end of the globe.

We know that collapse tends to lead to less complex systems. We should expect fewer jobs requiring advanced education. We should expect to start losing battles against infectious diseases. We should expect a reduction in international trade; in the future, it may primarily take place among a few trusted partners. Some intergovernmental organizations are likely to disappear. Peak oil cannot happen by itself; it can only happen with disruptions and shrinkage in many other parts of the economy, as well.

Slide 33

The climate is indeed changing. Unfortunately, we humans have little ability to change what is happening, especially at this late date. Arguably, some changes could have been made much earlier, for example in the 1970s when the modeling included in the 1972 book The Limits to Growth by Donnela Meadows and others showed that the world economy was likely to hit limits before 2050.

It is clear to many people that the world economy is now struggling. There is too much debt; young people are having trouble finding jobs that pay well enough; people in poor countries are increasingly more food insecure. Leaders everywhere would like solutions. The “easy” solution to offer is that intermittent wind and solar will solve all our problems, including climate change. The closer a person looks at the situation, the more the solution seems like nonsense. Wind and solar work passably well at small concentrations within electric systems, if it is possible to work around their pricing problems. But they don’t scale up well. Energy researchers especially should be aware of these difficulties.

The book Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe by Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee points out that there have been an amazing number of what seem to be coincidences that have allowed life on Earth to flourish for four billion years. Perhaps these coincidences will continue. Perhaps there is an underlying plan that we are not aware of.

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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3,333 Responses to Why Collapse Occurs; Why It May Not Be Far Away

  1. Mirror on the wall says:

    A happy St. Patrick’s Day to one and all!

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      the Ides of March is safely behind us.

      for the rest of 2021, the road will rise to meet us.

      and the wind will always be at our backs.

      and the sun will shine warm upon our faces.

      or not.

  2. Ed says:

    I love the reports out of Israel about people objecting to their rights being violated by the government wrt CV19 removal of rights. It show religion is a high value. It gives people a place to stand. They are not isolated and alone. We can say God has given us rights and you are violating not just my rights but you are violating God and the right God has given us. The western tradition of individual rights starts with Judaism. The rule of law and reason starts with stories like the human who argues with God about the destruction of Sodom (?) asking suppose their are 100 righteous men will you spare Sodem? Well suppose there are 10? ….

    Some how we have rolled civilization back 3000 years. It is time for those who want to continue western civilization to form free city states. I do not see the few saving the many. It is time for the city wall between that which we hold dear and the surrounding darkness and savagery.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      Eve: ‘You know what, I would like to decide my own diet – and to judge good and evil for myself, freedom of conscience, right?’

      God: ‘Get out, you shameful woman!’

      * * *

      Noah: ‘Seriously, you are going to kill everyone?’

      God: ‘What do you think this is, human rights?’

      * * *

      Sodom: ‘What do we want? Gay liberation! When do we want it? Now!’

      God: ‘ [fire and brimstone] ‘

      * * *

      Israelites: ‘Hmm, maybe we will check out some other gods, freedom of religion, right?’

      Moses: ‘Die, sinners!’

      – –

      Individual ‘rights’ are a much more recent ideology with roots in the city states of the emergent bourgeoisie as feudalism began to give with to the free market. The OT was written back in the slavery stage of economic and political development and its ethos is one of conquest, law and submission not ‘rights’. Ideology reflects the times, the stage of economic development.

      • Ed says:

        Yes, the OT was a time of transition from the old blind obedience to thoughtful self rule.

        • Mirror on the wall says:

          The Iron Age OT Israelite kingdoms were based on conquest, slavery, law and submission. They were monarchical theocracies that imposed the Mosaic law. The closest modern equivalent would be ISIS, rule by theocratic law. ‘Rights’ are a much, much later development in Western and Northern Europe. The concept did not even exist in the Iron Age.

          The ‘individualism’ of ‘rights’ reflects the development of the capitalist economic base. If you are going to understand the Bible then you have to approach it historically and realistically. It is simply anachronistic to expect to find bourgeois political concepts in the Iron Age.

          Many mainstream Christians accept that the Bible reflects the time in which it was written and they accept a ‘development’ of theology that reconciles it with the modern world. Some others stick to the letter of the OT/ NT and entirely reject modern liberalism. It is really up to them but those are the options.

          • Robert Firth says:

            But Mirror is not modern Israel also based on conquest, slavery, law and submission?

          • Ed says:

            I agree with you for the most part. I am saying it was the awaking of a new enlightenment (to quote Star Trek).

            From wikipedia
            The accounts by Josephus and Philo show that the Essenes led a strictly communal life—often compared to later Christian monasticism.[35] Many of the Essene groups appear to have been celibate, but Josephus speaks also of another “order of Essenes” that observed the practice of being engaged for three years and then becoming married.[36] According to Josephus, they had customs and observances such as collective ownership,[37][38] electing a leader to attend to the interests of the group, and obedience to the orders from their leader.[39] Also, they were forbidden from swearing oaths[40] and from sacrificing animals.[41] They controlled their tempers and served as channels of peace,[40] carrying weapons only for protection against robbers.[42] The Essenes chose not to possess slaves but served each other[43] and, as a result of communal ownership, did not engage in trading.[44] Josephus and Philo provide lengthy accounts of their communal meetings, meals and religious celebrations. This communal living has led some scholars to view the Essenes as a group practicing social and material egalitarianism

  3. UK government is set to lift the ban on controversial gene editing in agriculture so crops and livestock can be engineered to boost yields and protect them against disease

    The UK government is expected to lift a ban which forbids the cultivation and sale of genetically edited plants and animals, according to reports.

    A consultation by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has been assessing the ban on the practice and concludes tomorrow.

    As it stands, genetic modification is prohibited on all foods sold in the UK and Europe.

    However, the i newspaper reports that it is likely the consultation will result in this being changed.

    The Government is expected to publish a response to the consultation in the next three months.

    If the law is changed, it would allow scientists to modify any crop or animal farmed in the UK.

    This could potentially result in drought-resistant cattle, fatter pigs, juicier tomatoes, sweeter apples and disease-resistant crops like wheat and barley.

  4. Norwegian journalist says she’d ‘LOVE TO DIE’ from AstraZeneca’s vaccine if it helps win the ‘war against the corona’

    Norwegian TV presenter Linn Wiik has proclaimed that she would “love to die” from AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine if her sacrifice would help ease public concern over the inoculation and win humanity’s war with the pandemic.

  5. Mirror on the wall says:

    ‘Genocide? Pfff.’

    TP will do trade deals with China but will make its views known to its counterparts. I can see how that might go.

    ‘You know that UK is really, really big on genocide, right?’

    ‘Don’t talk nonsense.’

    ‘OK, so long as that is understood…’

    > China: UK can’t ‘write countries off’ for trade links despite human rights concerns, says Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng

    The UK should not “write whole countries off” when it comes to trade despite concerns over human rights violations, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has told Sky News.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come under pressure from senior Conservative MPs after being accused of “naivety” in Britain’s relationship with China.

    It follows the publication of the government’s wide-ranging review of foreign, defence and security policy, which saw Beijing described as a “systemic challenge” but also said the UK would pursue “deeper trade links” with China.

    Despite MPs raising concerns about Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong and against Uighurs in Xinjiang, the prime minister warned against a “new Cold War on China”.

    Meanwhile, it has emerged Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told officials the UK should strike trade deals with countries even if they do not meet European standards on human rights.

    In leaked audio of a question-and-answer session with Foreign Office staff, published by the HuffPost website, Mr Raab said: “I squarely believe we ought to be trading liberally around the world.

    “If we restrict it to countries with ECHR-level standards of human rights, we’re not going to do many trade deals with the growth markets of the future.”


    • Xabier says:

      Perfectly consistent posture, as basic human rights are being crushed here in the UK.

      Very dirty stuff going on behind the scenes to compel people to get injected, and the denial even of the right to protest the loss of rights.

      Didn’t the EU say that they would turn a blind eye to human rights in China, just so long as they were assured about workers’ rights?

      The whole facade which reassured the West has been torn down, to reveal the truth.

    • Mirror on the wall says:

      A USA-UK trade deal is off the table indefinitely and may never happen. Biden ‘has other priorities’ and any trade bill would not get through congress anyway due to the situation in Ireland.

      UK will have to stick to deals with its ‘true friends’ like the ‘genocidal’ CCP.

      > US-UK trade deal ‘may not happen until at least 2024’ as Biden prioritises China

      Biden to tear up progress made under Trump in favour of more pressing domestic and foreign policy

      A US-UK trade deal may not happen until at least 2024, US sources have told The Telegraph, as Joe Biden prioritises his domestic agenda and the overriding foreign policy challenge of China.

      The proposed UK-US Free Trade Agreement, which was approaching fruition at the end of Donald Trump’s administration, is on ice amid questions over when, or even if, it will be revived.

      Potentially prohibitive stumbling blocks include Mr Biden’s focus on restoring the pandemic-ravaged US economy, a lack of enthusiasm for free trade deals in a Democrat-controlled Congress, and the all-consuming nature of China issues for US trade officials.

      “It would be a mistake to assume this (the UK negotiations) continues. I’m sceptical they’re going to move forward from what I’ve seen and heard.”

      This week, Brendan Boyle, a Democrat congressman and ally of Mr Biden, accused the British government of showing “wanton disregard” for international law in Northern Ireland.

      Mr Boyle sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has responsibility for trade deals.

      He said: “Certainly the continued provocations around the Northern Ireland Protocol, obviously make it very difficult to commence a US-UK trade deal.”


  6. Nehemiah says:

    US: Housing Starts decline by 10.3% in February, Building Permits fall by 10.8%

    Markets waiting in suspense, as they often do, for the Fed interest rate announcement scheduled for 1:00 pm eastern time.

  7. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Brilliant Energy LLC filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of Texas, adding to a growing list of companies that have stumbled after power outages caused by a winter freeze in February…

    “Brilliant Energy is at least the fourth firm to seek bankruptcy protection in the wake of the Texas freeze, underscoring the crushing financial pressure the outages have put on power companies in the state.”


    • It is my understanding that Brilliant Energy is just a reseller of electricity, so there is no great loss involved. It has always been hard to see how this layer of extra expense could possibly save money for the overall system.

      By the way, I am slowly working on my next post. It won’t be ready for tomorrow at the rate I am going now.

      • theblondbeast says:

        My guess is it has something to do with risk management like many of the wholesaler/retailer arrangements.

  8. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Russia may spend billions of dollars from its wealth fund this year on infrastructure and other investments, and projects related to Rosneft PJSC’s huge Vostok Oil venture in the Arctic are high on the list of candidates, according to two officials with knowledge of the discussions.

    “The largesse could represent a significant boost in spending as the government has been cutting back on other stimulus introduced last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.”


  9. nikoB says:

    This is worth watching or listening to regarding vaccines.

    “I would probably prefer to have natural immunity” — Dr Byram Bridle (Viral Immunologist)

    Thanks to undenial blog for linking.


  10. Fast Eddy says:

    P&O Cruises says travellers will need vaccinations


    I must rush out and get vaxxed!!!

    I so enjoy a good cruise — all those obese slobs … fantastic hamburgers and steak and cola — and you even have your own shopping mall on board!!!

    It’s like you’ve never left home — BUT — you get to jump off and take a selfie at each port of call.

    Then you can brag about having been to such and such place.

    I can’t wait for the next phase of the CEP … looking forward to the Great Cull!!!! I really cannot wait.

    • Minority Of One says:

      As usual these cruises will be dominated by the elderly (if they exist at all, I have my doubts), and quite a few of the passengers will not be turning up on the day.

    • Ed says:

      The Brazilian P1 variant might get us to 1% including young people. Still early days.

  11. Trump urges supporters to get ‘great’ COVID-19 vaccines

    Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he wants his supporters to take the “great” COVID-19 vaccines that were developed during his administration.

    Trump said in a Fox News interview with Maria Bartiromo that he wasn’t pleased that many Republicans say they don’t want to get the shots.

    “I would recommend it and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it. And a lot of those people voted for me, frankly,” Trump said.

    “We have our freedoms and we have to live by that and I agree with that also. But it’s a great vaccine, it’s a safe vaccine and it’s something that works.”

    • Xabier says:

      Trump has Israeli Bio-tech/banking links, so of course he would say that.

      He knows at least part of The Plan: maybe just the Great Digital Future part, and not the mass murder. Who knows?

  12. No more sweet spots left to drill?

    US Removes 1 Oil Rig: Oil rig count was 309 for the week through Mar 12 compared with 310 in the week ended Mar 5. Investors should also note that the current tally of oil rigs — far from the peak of 1,609 attained in October 2014 — is also below the year-ago figure of 683.

    Natural Gas Rig Count Flat in US: Natural gas rig count of 92 was flat with the prior-week count. Moreover, the count of rigs exploring the commodity was below the prior-year week’s 107. Per the latest report, the number of natural gas-directed rigs is almost 94.3% below the all-time high of 1,606 recorded in 2008.

    Rig Count by Type: The number of vertical drilling rigs totaled 25 units, in line with the prior-week count. Horizontal/directional rig count (encompassing new drilling technology with the ability to drill and extract gas from dense rock formations, also known as shale formations) of 377 compared unfavorably with the prior-week level of 378.

    Rig Count in Prolific Basin

    Permian — the most prolific basin in the United States — recorded a weekly oil rig tally of 211 versus the prior-week count of 210. Thus, the tally for oil drilling rigs in the basin increased for three weeks in a row.

    DUCs through January



    Monthly completions are outpacing monthly wells drilled. The companies are saving money by completing previously drilled wells but not investing as much in drilling.

  13. Tim Groves says:

    Who said the sun had set on the British Empire? Calm down! We’re taking your lithium.

    While you were watching him clown around, Boris Johnson oversaw the overthrow of President Morales in Bolivia, occupied the island of Socotra off the coast of Yemen, and organised Turkey’s victory over Armenia. You haven’t heard any discussion of this.

    The overthrow of Evo Morales and the first lithium war
    by Thierry Meyssan

    The world was used to oil wars since the end of the 19th century. Now the wars over lithium, a mineral that is essential for mobile phones, but above all for electric cars, are beginning. Foreign Office documents obtained by a British historian and journalist show that the UK engineered the overthrow of Bolivian president Evo Morales to steal the country’s lithium reserves.


    • Minority Of One says:

      There is also the Chagos Islands, that the UK stole from the people living there:

      “The Chagos was home to the Chagossians, a Bourbonnais Creole-speaking people, for more than a century and a half until the United Kingdom evicted them between 1967 and 1973 to allow the United States to build a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos Islands. Since 1971, only the atoll of Diego Garcia is inhabited, and only by military and civilian contracted personnel. Since being expelled, Chagossian natives have been prevented from returning to the islands.”

      The UN recently told the UK govt they had no rights to the islands and to allow the natives to return. And the UK said, get lost:

      UN court rules UK has no sovereignty over Chagos islands
      “The maritime law tribunal of the United Nations has ruled that Britain has no sovereignty over the Chagos Islands.

      It criticised London for its failure to hand the territory back to Mauritius.

      The judges’ decision confirms a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and a vote in the UN General Assembly.

      The Indian Ocean archipelago includes a US military base. The UK has said it will hand the islands back when they’re no longer needed for defence purposes [i.e. never].”

      As with other powerful countries, the UK govt waxes lyrical about the rule of law, when it suits them, and ignores the law when it doesn’t. We accuse Putin et al of war crimes invading Crimea, but when we do it, it is ok.

      • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

        There is Ethics and there is Political Business Ethics


        We all know a lot is just window dressings to appear as decent

      • Islands almost by their nature have a high energy requirement because goods of all kinds need to be shipped in. In particular, they often have a problem with electricity production, if they do not have coal or natural gas naturally available on the islands. Wind and solar do not work well, even when paired with imported oil. Buying oil, and getting it shipped to distant small islands is likely to be an increasing problem.

        A lot of islands will be abandoned by the rest of the system, I am afraid. They really need to have a unique product or service to make them worth “saving.”

        • neil says:

          Having worked on st Helena in the middle of the south Atlantic, I agree. It’s a population of a few thousand and they rely heavily on U.K. government support. Health care, road maintenance, police are a. Wildly expensive per thousand of population.

      • Nehemiah says:

        What war crimes in Crimea? Russia did not send more troops into Crimea than it was legally allowed to send, and the ethnically Russian (mostly) inhabitants of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia in a free and fair election. What’s the problem? Is voting not allowed when the people make a choice that the Davos elites don’t like?

        When the US detached Kosovo from Serbia and turned it into a separate country, Washington declared it could not be used as a precedent for similar actions elsewhere in the world. Well, the world doesn’t work that way. The rest of the world will conclude that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

        We egregiously interfered in Russia’s election in the 1990’s, and even with our massive interference, the drunken Yeltsin could not win reelection freely and fairly so our observers just stayed in their hotel rooms while Yeltsin’s henchmen stuffed the ballot boxes. The then obscure Vladimir Putin was supporting Zyuganov, the opposition candidate, in that election. Yet we loudly cried foul when a few Russians merely posted political messages on social media during our 2016 election, a trivial matter compared to our far more blatant interventions in elections in Russia and elsewhere in the world.

        During the Bush pere administration, we disliked the fact that a popular fundamentalist party was clearly going to win the election in Algeria, so we supported a military coup that canceled democracy. So evidently our policy is to support democracy and denounced undemocratic states as morally illegitimate, yet only so long as the people can be persuaded to vote the way we want them to!

        We saw this policy at work in our own presidential election in 2020. If the elites don’t get enough votes for the “safe” establishment candidate to win, they will just manufacture enough votes to fill the gap. Something similar happened in the Democratic primaries in 2016, when Bernie Sanders was cheated out of the Democratic nomination in favor of the compliant establishment candidate, Mrs. Clinton (like Boris Yeltsin, also a drunk). But in 2016, the establishment did not think it would have to cheat to beat Trump. By 2020, they had wised up and no longer underestimated their opponent. Biden is even more compliant to establishment insiders than the Clintons, Obama, and the Bush’s (which is why they overlooked Biden’s senility, or even regarded it as an asset!), and if he dies in office, Kamala too is a total shill for whoever butters her bread.

        • NomadicBeer says:

          @Nehemiah, great summary!
          What’s happening in US is not different from any other color revolution that CIA executed in other countries.

          As a side note, I remember last year I could not understand why the oligarchs would select Biden when they have so many stooges.

          It’s not just that he is compliant but more importantly he has no charisma and no leadership potential so there is no risk that he goes off script or develops a following (like Trump).

          That explains why they can present him exactly like the soviet press presented their dear leader: https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-sovietization-of-the-american

  14. Duncan Idaho says:

    Effect of Ivermectin on Time to Resolution of Symptoms


    Interesting, but not surprising.

    • There was a little effect, but not much.

      Findings In this randomized clinical trial that included 476 patients, the duration of symptoms was not significantly different for patients who received a 5-day course of ivermectin compared with placebo (median time to resolution of symptoms, 10 vs 12 days; hazard ratio for resolution of symptoms, 1.07).

      Conclusion and Relevance Among adults with mild COVID-19, a 5-day course of ivermectin, compared with placebo, did not significantly improve the time to resolution of symptoms. The findings do not support the use of ivermectin for treatment of mild COVID-19, although larger trials may be needed to understand the effects of ivermectin on other clinically relevant outcomes.

    • All is Dust says:

      (median age, 37 years [interquartile range {IQR}, 29-48]; 231 women [58%]), 398 (99.5%) completed the trial.

      Median age of 37 years. Give me a break.

    • Country Joe says:

      Everyone knows that drugs no longer work when their patent runs out.
      Lord JAMA knows all.

    • Country Joe says:

      Everyone knows that drugs no longer work once their patient runs out.

  15. VACCINE ESCAPE OF VARIANTS vs Pfizer-BioNTech & NIH-Moderna:

  16. COVID-19 Updates: New coronavirus variant detected in Punjab: Here’s why you need to worry
    A new Indian variant of COVID-19 detected in Punjab. Out of 100 — two have already been found infected with the found exhibiting the mutations of N440K variant. Read to know what this means to other states.

    E484Q mutation run throigh PLAAC (prion-genicity algo) – The new ‘bump’ at position 500 is Several times bigger than original spike protein:

    Orignal spike:

    New spike:

    • davidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “Here’s why you need to worry”

      when discussing the virus, the word “worry” seems quite overused.

      it’s a virus better to be avoided, but it’s just a virus.

      • Xabier says:

        I’d agree: there is far too much loose language, which has facilitated the whole scam.

        What we should worry about is the use that corrupt governments with ulterior motives (not quite so hidden by now!) will make of any novel variant – whether truly more dangerous or not.

    • JesseJames says:

      Michael, no I do not need to worry. I have a very healthy immune system.

  17. Watch Out: China Cannot Feed Itself

    Consider U.S. farmers happy. They are exporting record volumes of products to China. Shipments of soybeans, corn and pork are bringing smiles back to the American heartland.

    Or, to put this another way, Beijing is effectively acknowledging it cannot feed the Chinese people.

    China’s leader, Xi Jinping, recently made such an admission. Last August, he announced what became known as the “clean your plate” campaign to end what he called a “shocking and distressing” waste of food. Just about everyone saw this effort, to get the Chinese people to eat less, as a warning of food shortages to come.

    Chinese officials will not formally admit China is becoming increasingly dependent on foreign food—that would be political dynamite—but it is now apparent that the country needs to buy foodstuffs from abroad.

    We start in 2019, which according to Beijing was a very good year on the food front. The official Xinhua News Agency, in a piece titled “China’s Food Self-Sufficiency a Blessing To World,” claimed in October that China was producing far more food than it needed. The country, Xinhua reported, contained 20 percent of the global population and produced a quarter of its food. Moreover, Beijing felt it was time to brag, noting China had been able to accomplish this feat with only 9 percent of the world’s farmland and 6 percent of its freshwater.

    Xinhua in 2019 was exaggerating, and that became clear in 2020, an especially difficult year for Chinese agriculture. Floods in the country’s south, drought in the north, typhoons in the northeast and pest infestations in the southwest took their tolls. Disease continued to spread among animals across China.

    • China’s need for food is a real worry. I expect leaders have understood this issue for a long time. In fact, it probably underlies China’s one child policy.

    • Xabier says:

      I’ve never seen any obese Chinese among the tourists here over the last decade, and are they really so careless of food waste as in the West?

      It is simply an instruction to cut back on meals, full stop, with a flimsy moral pretext.

      Must be serious

      • Minority Of One says:

        China In Focus has raised this issue several times over the past few months. Namely that people in China in general don’t have any excess food to waste, it is the CCP members that do.

        Not mentioned in the article, Xi Jinping also insisted that all restaurants serve one meal less than the number of people in the group. No idea how that went.
        And so called mukbang (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukbang) was banned. When that was announced, all mukbang videos and their presenters vanished from the web in China, apparently.

        • Xabier says:

          Must be fun for Xi: a real Command Economy!

          Klaus and Bill are licking their lips: their turn next to micro-manage – those who remain…..

  18. Italian Researchers: Vaccines Will Not Work Because SARS-CoV-2 Is Also Entering Bacteria

    • Interesting article, but it causes a person to worry. Perhaps this is why China is using rectal swabs. Viruses causing COVID-19 land in the gut and hide inside the good bacteria of the digestive tract. They can infect, even after they leave the body. They also seem to create toxins which are problematic. According to the article, “Some [toxins] enhance the drugs normally taken by people being treated for other previous diseases.”

      I am afraid I don’t entirely understand this article.

      • Gerard d'Olivat says:

        Interesting article. In France, the so-called ‘Breton variant’ has just been discovered in a cluster. The problem was that the people who were infected were not detected by the ‘classical nose’ method with a cotton swab. They tested negative without exception. These are disturbing findings and recommendations in which you can again point out all kinds of ‘paradoxes’. Treatment’ and precautionary measures seem to be totally unfeasible, at least on a large scale.

        • Xabier says:

          Yes, fairly useless: except for ‘crowd control’ purposes.

          And yet, as it is so comparatively mild a disease in respect of the whole active population – and above all the young who are of the greatest value – this is not terribly worrying.

          If it goes undetected, it really is not a big deal.

  19. Physical therapist, 28, working at a senior living facility in Indiana dies two days after getting the COVID-19 vaccine

    ‘My 28 year old daughter took the vaccine on a Tuesday and she was dead by Thursday,’ Link allegedly said in the comment, which was shared by the blog.

    ‘Autopsy shows no other red flags. Corner (sic) has assured us he will get to the bottom of this vaccine crap.’

    She added: ‘Anything with Bill Gates or Quack Fauci’s name attached should be a red flag. Depopulation my folks, depopulation. That’s their objective.’

    • Interguru says:

      At 79 with congestive heart failure, I jumped at the opportunity to get the vaccine and have had both shots. I’m a numbers guy, I balance the small number of deaths from the vaccine against the 1/2 million deaths without the vaccine.
      Anyone who wants to drink the anti-vax Kool-Aid — be my guest. This means those of us who want to get it will get it sooner.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Haven’t you got that backwards? Surely the smart people are those that don’t want to drink the tax Kool-Aid?

        So, you’re a numbers guy? Hi, I’m an anecdotal guy. We are never going to get along. Statistically speaking we are poles apart. I’ve read hundreds of stories of people who were killed by the vaccine and hundreds more of people who’ve had quality-of-life destroying reactions and are in limbo, purgatory or hades because they took the shots you are so cockily boasting about having had. I wouldn’t trade you one of these anecdotal cases for all the numbers in the world. I read all those anecdotes so that I won’t end up as a statistic! 🙂

        What I do know is that t these vaccines kill. These vaccines ruin lives. By promoting them, you are making yourself an accessory to manslaughter, although doubtless it will never come to trial. But on the other hand, by promoting them here, you are providing those who are promoting abstinence, refusal and rejection of them with an excuse, a motive and a platform for denouncing them. So every cloud has a silver lining.

        As with any experimental intervention that is known to be killing and destroying livelihoods of a percentage of the people who take it, including of people who have a 99.99% chance of not being affected by the disease it is marketed to be efficacious against, the smart people will want to be in the control group.

        Go ahead, be my guest. Take a shot every three months if you feel it will make you any safer. And why not wear three masks simultaneously just to make sure?


        • Fast Eddy says:

          So when you get the jab… it’s like playing Russian Roulette… you could die or get really sick….

          Looks like Interguru has so far survived two rounds of that deadly game – congrats!!!

          But if one looks into this — and does not ignore the fact that nothing about this Covid story makes any sense… for instance you do NOT give an experiment to healthy people who are not at risk… then you have to wonder why the insistence on vaccinating every single person on the planet?

          Now could it be that there is something really good in the jab? Maybe it makes everyone fit!

          Or perhaps it results in immortality…. gosh who knows – it could be anything!!!

          The only thing we know is that everyone needs to get it.

          But then you have to say – hang on …. oil became a very very big issue in 2019…. and the FT Brookings barometer said a mega economic crash was imminent…

          If one were intelligent one would have to start to wonder if the dots connect …. so civilization was essentially about to end…. and then Covid (basically a bad flu) arrives… then this ridiculous vaccine nonsense (yep we can make a safe one in months — when the SARS one killed the animals and was terminated)…..

          Oh did I mention that the vaccine does not stop you from contracting or spreading covid? And Dr Brown and others say it does not protect you from severe symptoms….

          Hmmm…. WTF???

          Guru — you are playing RR with a bullet in every chamber.

          The vaccine is a Lethal Injection. Even a semi retarded child could be made to understand that.

          But hey – if you think it’s gonna give you eternal life…. well… if you believe in the Man in the Sky (who always needs more cash… and has a fondness for nubile boys)…. and the scales balance out for you at the Gate…. then you could be correct.

          I’ve already explained why I don’t want no ‘vaccine’… (lethal injection)

          I want to enjoy the end of civilization… don’t mind if Ardern sends me some Oxycontin though…

          • Xabier says:

            The ‘Inject Everyone’ programme (funny, didn’t it use to be ‘we have to lock-down and wait for vaccines to give to the elderly’?) serves both to condition people to being injected regularly , and also knocks off a % along the way -which from the point of view of the Elders is all to the good.

            It’s drinks all round for Happy Hour at Bill and Melinda’s ‘Bar at the End of the World.’

            There isn’t a rest room at the back of the bar, just furnaces and a very tall chimney…..

      • Fast Eddy says:

        Hahahaha … as I just asked another CovIDIOT mate of mine — what is the upside of taking the injection – perhaps you can answer as he ignores me…

        Here’s your opportunity to pitch me on why I should get the vaccine.

        Keep in mind I am not in your position in terms of declining health or age.


        If a person is vaccinated against COVID-19, will they still be able to spread the virus to susceptible people?

        An ideal vaccine stops everyone from carrying and passing on the infection as well as protecting them from becoming seriously ill. It is currently unclear whether COVID vaccines only protect against symptomatic and severe disease, or if they can also stop all infection, including asymptomatic infection (i.e. showing no symptoms). If the vaccine is only able to stop the symptoms of the disease, but unable to stop the virus from infecting us and reproducing, then the virus may still be able to be spread.


        The only upside I can see is that it will kill me before civilization collapses — ensuring that I do not have to suffer through starvation, violence and plumes of radiation – then die.

        I would take the vaccine because I don’t like suffering (hate – HATE the dentist!) but I also want to experience and enjoy the end of civilization – and the extinction of the vilest beast to ever walk this planet.

        Hopefully Ardern does not do an Israel on NZ and force everyone to take the jab.

        I should be denied the opportunity to dance on the grave of the humans. It is my god Damn RIGHT!

        • Xabier says:

          Gosh, almost as if the ‘vaccines’ had been developed to create a mass of asymptomatic super-spreaders – spreaders of new variants……

          Oh, but that cannot be!

      • I think that there probably is an age/health condition combination after which the new vaccines make sense. People who are in very poor condition to begin with may be kept from getting at least the current type of COVID-19 making the rounds. This can be helpful. Someone who is 79 and has congestive heart failure might very well want to take the vaccine.

        I don’t know where this cut-off begins. I have relatives in poor health who are taking the vaccine. It is difficult to suggest that they do anything else.

      • Xabier says:

        As a ‘numbers guy’, may I ask how many years you are likely to be expected to enjoy with congestive heart failure?

        I am genuinely curious.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      She didn’t die from the vaccine – she died from CovIDIOCY

  20. Fast Eddy says:

    95% hahaha

    Back in August 2020, Dr. Ronald B. Brown, PhD disrupted the academic world’s doomsday predictions about the COVID-19 pandemic when the journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness published his first paper on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As he told me in an interview:

    The manuscript cites the smoking-gun, documented evidence showing that the public’s overreaction to the coronavirus pandemic was based on the worst miscalculation in the history of humanity, in my opinion.

    On February 26, 2021, the peer-reviewed journal Medicina published another paper by Brown as part of a special issue, “Pandemic Outbreak of Coronavirus.” Brown’s paper, titled “Outcome reporting bias in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials” is also listed in the U.S. National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health.

    In Brown’s first coronavirus paper, he showed how mistaking infection fatality rates for case fatality rates exaggerated the predicted lethality of the SAR-CoV-2 virus. In this second paper, he shows how relative risk reduction measures are being used to exaggerate the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.

    I’ve read the latest paper two-and-half times (but only claim to understand 90% of it). The overall conclusion, however, seems clear to me: The COVID-19 vaccine trials, in fact, only showed a negligible reduction in risk of acquiring a symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection; not the near perfect immunization the media is portraying.

    As Dr. Brown writes in the paper’s conclusion:

    Such examples of outcome reporting bias mislead and distort the public’s interpretation of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine efficacy and violate the ethical and legal obligations of informed consent.

    The following is an informal interview I conducted with Dr. Brown, from his office in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. It offers a layman’s interpretation of his findings and conclusions.


    • I don’t have a big problem with reporting the relative reduction in risk. The trial didn’t go on very long and most people weren’t catching the illness, so the absolute reduction couldn’t be very high.

  21. racoon#9.5meg says:

    If our bodies have a relatively balanced impedance but that overall impedance consist of both capacities and inductive physiology the inductive physiology will not fare well at all when subject to high frequency EMF fields. IMO almost all things in the world have a combination of both capacitive reactivity and inductive reactivity when you break them down. To think that the building blocks of the human body are in devoid of bio electrical reactivity characteristics is unlikely IMO.

  22. MG says:

    A group of the catholic priests in energy poor Austria, that is situated on the north-facing slopes of the Alps, wants to bless same-sex couples

    Rebel priests defy Vatican, vow to bless same-sex unions


  23. racoon#9.5meg says:

    Is 5G a issue? If our bodies have balanced impedance maybe not. It our bodies or parts of them are inductive, frequency becomes a issue. How much of a issue? 5 gig to 50 gig 10x greater issue. If our bodies or parts of them are in fact inductive in nature we need to re-access if even meg EMF is safe.


    • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

      I suspect that given Capitalism needs ever expanding markets growth that this concern will be downplayed, or ignored until the next big thing comes along.
      Thank you, read about the harm smart phones can have on the human brain with possible cancer.
      Amazing to see that it has become an essential item in life.
      Very irritating to have to veep by cars horn to have the driver in front to go after a light turns green because they are waiting gazed at their mobile device screen

  24. Fast Eddy says:

    This is interesting … particularly given the author has worked for a major PR firm:


  25. MG says:

    Coronavirus and the sunshine

    During the last weeks, one person in my vicinity got infected with coronavirus. He lives under the northeastern slope, in a house that is barely reached by the sunshine during the winter. His wife became and alcoholic and died of alcohol overconsumption as a homeless person in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, several years ago. His state deteriorated so much that he had to be taken into the hospital, when his oxymeter levels fell under 90. Now he is at home again recovering, but he was severly hit.

    Imagine, that today there are big numbers of the people living in the locations with less sunshine, as the populations were increasing and the less favourable locations became inhabited by the people thanks to the fossil fuels.


    “To generate the same amount of vitamin D, dark skin needs about six times more UVB than light skin.34”


    “South-facing slopes (SFS) may receive six times higher solar radiation than north-facing slopes (NFS).”

    • Interesting!

      It’s another step in the decades-long erasure of the fact that our sophisticated and highly effective immune systems work well and don’t need any assistance from the biomedical/pharmaceutical industry.

      There’s abundant evidence that Vanden Bossche has a not-so-hidden agenda. For example, just before the three-minute mark in the video interview of Vanden Bossche by McMillan, Vanden Bossche indicates he’s a long-time vaccine developer. He adds he’s now is focusing on vaccines that “educate the immune system in ways that are to some extent more efficient than we do right now with our conventional vaccines.”

      Clearly he’s got significant conflicts of interest.

      Bossche still wants vaccines, just a kind of vaccine that has not been proven to really exist.

      • Nehemiah says:

        “our sophisticated and highly effective immune systems work well and don’t need any assistance”

        Why, then, is seemingly every type of autoimmune disease exploding in prevalence these days? Why do vast numbers of people (mostly children and mostly in Africa) die from malaria every year? How did a bacterial infection wipe out about 40% of Europe in the 14th century and, earlier, in the 6th century (when the Plague killed the empress Theodora and left her husband the Emperor Justinian permanently weakened)? How is it that a handful of Spanish adventurers were able to conquer the Aztec Empire by first gifting them with blankets infected by small pox? How did malaria force the Romans to move their capital away from the city of Rome? Why was the population of the Roman Empire unable to grow for several centuries, causing the Empire to suffer from prolonged manpower shortages (so it wasn’t a carrying capacity issue) after new diseases appeared in the Empire in the early centuries of the Christian era? How is it possible that the area around Plymouth Bay had recently become depopulated by an epidemic in the early 17th century, which was why the Pilgrims chose that area for their settlement? Why did Europeans armies laying siege to cities sometimes hurtle smallpox infected blankets or other materials if these diseases posed no serious threat to the besieged population? How does one explain the high death rate inflicted by the second wave of the Spanish flu in 1919? Why did anthropologist Jared Diamond while studying the isolated New Guinea highlanders report that they were terrified of superficial cuts?

        The predatory prowess of infectious microbes is just as “highly effective” as the human immune system.

        • Ano737 says:

          That’s quite a tour de force. Thanks.

        • There are certainly two sides to every story. Infectious diseases have killed an awfully lot of people throughout the ages. We have been living in a period during which we have become almost completely free of this problem (outside of the tropics). What we know about COVID-19 is that most people can recover quite well from it. But there still quite a few who don’t. There is also the issue of lost wages and increased medical costs of those who do recover. It is these high costs, as much as anything else, that many people are trying to protect themselves from. A few people even have lingering illnesses, making it worse for them.

        • Xabier says:

          We are mortal, and as Pascal said, can be killed easily ‘by a drop of dirty water’.

          We are evolved, as any animal, to last just long enough to reproduce, see the offspring to basic usefulness (say from about 7 yrs old in rural work) and then expire.

          But that is no reason to accept, credulously, Fauci with his proffered goblet containing the ‘Gift of Hope and Life’.

          A shining vessel, offered with a smile and words of reassurance – but what it contains is poison.

    • VFatalis says:

      Strange. After seeing his long interview on Discernable linked below, I was under the impression that the vaccine technology based on NK cells was still in very early stage of development and would come too late considering the imminence of the threat.

      Of course, if he succeeds at releasing it in a matter of weeks or months, it would be regarded as highly suspicious. Let’s see how that goes.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      Pfizer has a quota with the Israel Government… hmmmm …. https://www.globalresearch.ca/video-ilana-rachel-daniel-came-emotional-outcry-help-jerusalem-capital-israel/5739824

      And PR involving ‘pregnant women who are infected with Covid and their babies are dying’

      Quite the interview

      • Xabier says:

        Yes, I saw that: the Plan is being put into effect quite brutally in Israel, with complete disregard for the dangerous ‘side-effects’ (actually the main course) – a place worth keeping an eye on.

        It displays very clearly the total cynicism of these people. My Israeli neighbour is simply in awe of Bibi’s ability to hoodwink people,and at the gullibility of Israelis.

        Those who cannot tolerate the first mRNA treatments will simply not be required for the next stage of society.

        Another Israeli said ‘It feels like Germany in the 1930’s; let’s hope it doesn’t turn into Germany in the 1940’s!’

        Oh but it will, it will – everywhere.

        As at the death camps, the ‘Selection’ is followed by various ‘Actions’.

        If your business was identified as ‘inessential’ last year, your fate is already sealed, unless you can scrabble into an ‘essential’ sector. Even that will only be a temporary reprieve – as the masses of bureaucrats, teachers, lecturers and medical workers will be eliminated in whole or part once they too have served their purpose. They, too, need to be kept in fear.

        I cannot conceive of anything that could possibly stop this juggernaut, given the cowardice, conformism and brainwashed state of most people – I see in comments under videos that even with the blood clot revelations, and obvious clusters of deaths among the elderly, people are still prepared to get vaccinated ‘as Covid is even more terrible’!!!

        Those scare videos from a year ago – Italy, China – really imprinted terror in many minds.

      • Malcopian says:

        And when Norman heard that Fast Eddy had a nut allergy, he did the decent thing and left OFW.

  26. Third wave of hard lock-downs is coming into view..

    • Xabier says:

      I suppose we all have to become lock-down masochists,and want them harder and harder?

      I wonder if we will even get the whole of July and August out of lock-down here in the UK.

  27. Nehemiah says:

    Today’s econ reports hitting the wires: Feb retail sales, expected up 0.5% but were down -3%.

    Industrial production was expect to be up 0.6%, but instead was down -2.2%.

    Capacity utilization was expected at 75.8%, but instead came in at 73.8%.

    National Association of Home Builders’ housing market index was expected at 83, came in at 82.

    Just bad weather?

    • I see that the various US stock indices are down by varying amounts today. The one down the most is the index of small company stocks (Russell 2000). It is down 1.63%.

      • Ano737 says:

        Still near record highs.

        Sometimes bad news triggers rallies on expectation of further gov/fed intervention. It seems like pure speculation (gambling) in an extensively manipulated market.

  28. Nehemiah says:

    US retail sales down a very unexpected 3% in February. Bad weather is getting most of the blame, but that does not seem to explain why sales were down at internet retailers too.


    quote: Sales at U.S. retailers fell 3% in February due to a lapse in government aid and unusually bad weather, but cash registers are expected to ring loudly again soon after Washington sent $1,400 stimulus checks to most Americans.

    Sales had soared a revised 7.6% in January after the government sent out $600 stimulus checks before President Trump left office. It was the biggest increase since businesses exited a lockdown last May after the coronavirus pandemic first hit the economy.
    Sales fell in every major retail group except for groceries and gasoline, two major household staples.

    Receipts at grocery stores edged up a scant 0.1%.

    Sales at gas stations climbed 3.6% last month, largely because of higher prices. Americans still aren’t driving nearly as much as they did before the pandemic, but production cutbacks have pushed gasoline prices above year-ago levels.
    Sales also fell sharply at bars and restaurants, home centers, department stores and even Internet retailers that have been the biggest beneficiaries of changing shopping habits during the pandemic.

  29. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The UN World Food Programme has warned of a “very serious” economic crisis in Myanmar in the wake of last month’s coup, with food and fuel prices rising amid the political turmoil.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Fears mount over North Korean ‘great leap backwards’:

      “There are mounting fears over food security and economic collapse and there is no clear plan to vaccinate a population of 25m people.”


      • Perhaps we need to add North Korea and Myanmar to the list of countries not far from collapse.

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          I’ve been to Myanmar, but not NK.
          Was one of the UK’s richest colonies.

          • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

            In Moulmein, in lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people – the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me. I was sub-divisional police officer of the town, and in an aimless, petty kind of way anti-European feeling was very bitter. No one had the guts to raise a riot, but if a European woman went through the bazaars alone somebody would probably spit betel juice over her dress. As a police officer I was an obvious target and was baited whenever it seemed safe to do so. When a nimble Burman tripped me up on the football field and the referee (another Burman) looked the other way, the crowd yelled with hideous laughter. This happened more than once. In the end the sneering yellow faces of young men that met me everywhere, the insults hooted after me when I was at a safe distance, got badly on my nerves. The young Buddhist priests were the worst of all. There were several thousands of them in the town and none of them seemed to have anything to do except stand on street corners and jeer at Europeans


            George Orwell is in top form in this psychology essay of crowd pressure on an individual’s actions.
            He was stationed there and learned to distain Colonialism…his other title…Burmese Days is another

  30. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Jordan used tear gas on Monday to suppress protests against a curfew imposed to stem a severe outbreak of COVID-19, witnesses and residents said.”


  31. Marco says:

    Collapse Will start in poor country. We will see there before west countrys

    • Lebanon seems to be an example. Venezuela and Yemen seem to be examples, as well.

      • Nehemiah says:

        When times get hard, people tend to divide along pre-existing fault lines as diverse populations begin to struggle for control the state which has the power to skew distribution of resources in favor of its supporters. In Yemen and Lebanon these divisions fall along the lines of religious identity. In Venezuela, Chavez and his successor Maduro were supported most strongly by poor citizens with more indigenous ancestry against the more European descended minority who comprised most the small middle class.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I reiterate …. the Lethal Jab … is a GOOD THING. Everyone should take it. The Elders are doing right by 8B people. They really are.

        Let’s take a peak at what happens in a situation where collapse is brewing.

        BEIRUT: A Lebanese protester shot by police died on Tuesday amid violent clashes as people ignored curfews and took to the streets again in anger at the currency collapse and a surge in food prices.

        Dozens of protesters attacked banks and set an army vehicle ablaze as street demonstrations in Tripoli turned into riots.

        Six Lebanese army officers were hurt when troops confronted protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets, injuring more than 40 people.


        This is how people respond to the end of prosperity. They smash, loot, and destroy.

        In Lebanon they are kept in check by the police and military. But for how long? At some point the shops empty of food — the power goes off — the cops don’t get paid and they join the marauding hordes.

        The Elders obviously understand what the Great Unravelling would look like. They are not stooopid moronic DelusiSTANIS. And they have explained to the politicians and key individuals tasked with executing the CEP that the situation was critical long before it became critical in 2019.

        John Key walked away in 2016. So the explaining probably happened in 2015, possibly earlier.

        Lebanon gives us a glimpse of what the future looks like without the CEP.

        Do you prefer chaos – or being put down with a ‘vaccine’

        Your leaders have decided for you.

        • Xabier says:

          The Elders are simply trying to avoid a situation in which the mass of people struggling in the water might try to climb into their life boat, and possibly upset it, killing all.

          And so, they are now engaged in poisoning most of the crew who are not needed for rowing, and the majority of the passengers – so much neater, too, than chopping off the fingers of those grasping at the sides…..terribly messy!

          The only intelligent and realistic way in which to view the ‘Gift of Hope’ pseudo-vaccines is as a means of suicide, provided free of charge and very conveniently, if and when it all becomes too much to bear. Seen in that light, it really is very kind of them.

  32. Harry McGibbs says:

    “U.K. 10-Year Inflation Expectations Climb to Highest Since 2008… It follows record demand at a 10-year inflation-linked government bond last week, a sign that investors are scrambling to hedge their portfolio against the prospect of rising consumer prices.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Six charts that show how Covid hit UK economy harder than financial crisis:

      “The only sector that the pandemic has not infected appears to be the housing market, where supercharged prices just keep on rising.”


    • The gauge of annual inflation expectation has risen to 3.48%. The rate setting group will be meeting on Thursday. They will presumably take this into account when setting 10-year bond rates. (I would think that the market would determine the 10-year rates. The resale value would quickly change, for example, if the rate is wrong.)

      • Ano737 says:

        I’m pretty sure the Bank of England can (and has) set and maintained rates at the the level they desire by buying or selling bonds, just as the Fed has. They don’t always intervene, of course, but even then they affect “market” rates by setting expectations of what they’d like the rates to be. Financial markets are hopelessly and extensively manipulated.

  33. Harry McGibbs says:

    “To deal with the pandemic, governments around the world are spending like there is no tomorrow and, together with central banks, ripping up the rule books on how to fund it…

    “The world is already reaching crisis point with the growing burden of global debt… The odds are that borrowing will keep rising, raising the risk of a major credit event at some stage.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “17 Countries Drowning in Debt:

      “Though countries may appear to be well-to-do or economically thriving, many countries are actually drowning in significant amounts of debt. That includes the United States, which ranks fifth on this list, and Japan.”


      • The countries they consider at risk, simply from the quantity of debt that they have relative to GDP, include:
        1. Japan
        2. Sudan
        3. Greece
        4. Italy
        5. United States
        6. Singapore
        7. Portugal
        8. Mozambique
        9. Spain
        10. Zambia
        11. France
        12. Belgium
        13. Canada
        14. Cyprus
        15. UK
        16. Angola
        17. Brazil

        The debt ratios seem to be mostly ratios of governmental debt to GDP. For some of the smaller countries, it is not really clear that the ratios are comparable.

        • Harry McGibbs says:

          For comparison, Tim Morgan’s top five riskiest economies are (or were in 2019), according to his SEEDS analysis:

          1. Ireland
          2. France
          3. The Netherlands
          4. China
          5. Canada
          6. United Kingdom


          • It seems like there are multiple ways countries can detonate.

            Ireland is the corporate domicile for a lot of international corporations. I have no idea what Tim puts in his analysis at a country level. Perhaps Ireland depends on airlines to take board members back and forth for in-person meetings. This could easily be fixed to allow Zoom meetings instead of in person meetings.

            There is so much difference among countries in what they do that I am not sure his risk analysis really means much. Ireland, the Netherlands and China are not on the above list. China has a lot of debt at the regional level that probably should be aggregated and included in governmental debt. That would add China to the list of 17 countries. But Ireland and the Netherlands still get a “pass.”

            Time will tell which analysis is closer.

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              Yes. Although very interesting, I guess the analysis is also somewhat moot in the sense that a detonation in any one of the major nations is likely to reverberate throughout the entire financial system with ramifications for all of us.

          • Harry McGibbs says:

            “Most poor countries could default on loan repayments by June 30 when the G20 debt relief window expires, economists have warned.”


        • Nehemiah says:

          I am sure Red China belongs on that list of 17 countries.

        • Thierry says:

          Debt is not the problem, I guess. It is only if it has to be paid. By the end of the year we will probably realize that nothing will be paid, so that list doesn’t look relevant.

          • Thierry says:

            For those who are interested I suggest to read the history of Hjalmar Schacht, how he dealt with the german debt after WWI, and the creation of the Bank for International Settlements. A trip into the rabbit hole.

  34. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Global growth narrative set to shift as pre-pandemic legacy issues resurface… the old problems that dogged China’s economy before the pandemic struck: over-investment, excess capacity and too much state intervention in the allocation of resources have not gone away.

    “This contains an important lesson for other economies: as the effects of the pandemic fade, old problems will start to resurface.

    “The biggest challenge facing advanced economies prior to the pandemic was the extremely weak rate of productivity growth across the developed world, said Neil Shearing, group chief economist at Capital Economics in London.

    “The consensus is that the pandemic has compounded matters…”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The global economy needed a smooth vaccine roll-out – that’s not happening…

      “Experts have made clear that they don’t expect economies around the world to bounce back from the Covid-19 shock at the same speed. But developments this week underscore the risk that Europe could fall even further behind the United States and China.”


    • We use growing energy supplies per capita to leverage human labor.

      If energy per capita is growing too slowly, we can expect productivity growth to stagnate.

      If the cost of energy production was too high relative to the amount that could be recouped as its selling price before COVID problems hit, the problem with depletion and increasing shipping distances will tend to make this problem worse later.

  35. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Beijing has ordered all levels of government across China to lower their debt levels, as leaders move to address the fiscal risks that arose last year when policymakers boosted spending and cut taxes to fight the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.”


  36. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The ferocious sell-off in US government debt markets has spilled into corporate bonds, nudging companies’ borrowing costs higher during a time when the economy is still recovering from the pandemic shock…

    “…the rise in borrowing costs could counter Federal Reserve chief Jay Powell’s ambitions to keep his foot on the economic accelerator by keeping lending conditions easy.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “In total, measured from the Great Recession bond buying program begun under Chairman Bernanke in 2008, the FED’s balance sheet has risen $7 trillion. For perspective, $1 trillion in FED assets was accumulated over the previous 95 years of the central bank’s existence.

      “These quantitative easing efforts have injected $7 trillion in paper money and liquidity… into the financial system the last 12 years, producing the biggest bond/stock bubble in the financial world’s history.

      “At some point soon, if interest rates are not allowed to free float again, either capitalism will be supplanted by complete government management of the economy like other socialist experiments that ultimately failed miserably, and/or confidence in our currency by foreigners could implode.”


    • A spill over of rising debt costs from the governmental sector to the corporate sector (and to the housing sector) will push the economy downward.

  37. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Unemployment in Africa’s largest economy surged to the second highest on a global list of countries monitored by Bloomberg.

    “The jobless rate in Nigeria rose to 33.3%… The oil producer surpassed South Africa on a list of 82 countries whose unemployment rates are tracked by Bloomberg. Namibia still leads the list with 33.4%.

    “Nigeria’s jobless rate has more than quadrupled over the last five years.”


  38. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Alarm bells are starting to ring across emerging markets as countries brace for a new era of rising interest rates.

    “After an unprecedented period of rate cuts to prop up economies shattered by Covid-19, Brazil is expected to raise rates this week and Nigeria and South Africa could follow soon, according to Bloomberg Economics.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The Brazilian economic canary in the coal mine:

      “Brazil is Latin America’s largest economy, so a full-blown Brazilian economic crisis could have a domino effect on the rest of Latin America’s troubled economy. It could do so in much the same way as economic troubles in Thailand triggered the 1998 Asian economic crisis.”


      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “Tens of thousands of Bolivians answered an opposition call Monday for protests against the arrest and detention of former president Jeanine Anez on charges of leading a coup d’etat against her socialist predecessor Evo Morales.”


        • Harry McGibbs says:

          “A surge in Covid-19 cases has fomented a political crisis in Paraguay, as a week of protests at the inability of the country’s health system to cope threatens to undermine a weak government.

          “The prohibitive cost of treatment for coronavirus and one of the slowest vaccine rollouts in the region have aggravated simmering discontent with inequality and corruption…”


      • I looked to see what someone else had to say about Brazil. An article from December from Deloitte says,

        Overall industrial production, however, continues to be weighed down by volatility in mineral extraction. That is most likely due to shaky global demand and prices for minerals such as oil and gas and to a lesser extent, iron ore. This is unlikely to change in the near future given economic uncertainties in the global economy.

        Also, analysis of industrial output by type of goods reveals that intermediate goods have performed fairly well while output of consumer goods—both durables and nondurables—continues to face pressures from weakened consumer demand.

        The article also mentions that food inflation has been very high.

        Another article mentions “a a persistently weak exchange rate and investor concern over the public finances.”

        I think the public finances problem has to do with not being about to obtain enough tax revenue with respect to all of the oil that is being pumped. It is also related to the high debt level that was mentioned in the list of 17 countries with high debt levels.

        • Nehemiah says:

          I googled this real quick. Brazil govt. spending in 2019 was very nearly 38% of GDP. Over 31% of that spending was “social” spending (2014). I don’t think a poor country can afford that much government spending. Until it grew wealthy, the US had very low government spending, and almost no social spending. But in a democracy with lots of poor people, social spending will always be popular, and I am sure the non-social spending must be influenced by various other vested interests that benefit from it. Any government is like a cow that nobody owns but everybody wants to milk. Another variant of the “tragedy of the commons.”

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