Friday, April 10, 2020

Timely Comments On The Federal Reserve, The Lack Of Social Contract In America And The Pandemic

It’s probably going to be a week or so before I get my next post on up why this pandemic is nothing more than the trigger for what was about to happen to the economy.  This is really being missed in the mainstream.  But, this pandemic fits perfectly into the economic analysis of the back end of this economic storm that I’ve anticipated will arrive before 2022. Actually, my major turn dates for changing events have been noted as 2013, 2016 and 2022, although I noted almost a decade that empire could disappear by 2020, or at the latest 2022.  This crisis is nothing more than a trigger for what comes next.  It’s interesting that this virus literally hit exactly as the U.S. economy was likely about to roll over.  This would make for a great conspiracy theory novel; the United States infects the world to collapse the global economy and protect its empire in the process through the all-powerful ability of the Federal Reserve to dictate global monetary policy.  Aka pick the world’s economic winners and losers.  Because that’s exactly what is happening.  The Federal Reserve is the central bank to the world.

It’s not a conspiracy although many certainly want to believe it is.

Anyhow, 2020 isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot. And, if one appreciates what the Federal Reserve is doing, U.S. empire may disappear sooner rather than later.  I’ll talk more about this in upcoming posts but the Federal Reserve is nationalizing the global economy.  That action is not a result of a few weeks of social distancing.  No other central bank in the world has taken these types of measures.  Ever.  In history.  That’s because no other country has ever counted the entire globe as its domestic economy.  And, that is exactly what globalization is.  It’s the expansion of the U.S. economy that consumed the entire global economy for the benefit of U.S. corporate empire.  If you don’t understand this, you don’t understand anything that is happening in the world today.  And, there’s no economists I have seen who understand this basic reality.  This moment in time is far more dire than a month-long hiatus for many non-essential aspects of the U.S. economy.   And, that makes the United States a very dangerous place to be.  And a very dangerous enemy to have.  More on this in my next post. 

There is no social contract, the basis of a civilized society, of any kind in the United States. Fundamentally, what that means is there’s no benefit or reason to continue with any appearances of society.  If we don’t have a social compact with others in our nation, why do we even have a society?  What’s the point other than exploitation on behalf of the ruling class?  I’ve talked repeatedly about social contracts but in a nutshell, civilization can only exist when individuals are willing to give up their natural rights for something greater than themselves.  There’s many eloquent philosophical treatises on this topic.  And, it is incredibly important to the Enlightenment movement.  Thomas Paine was far and away the most popular on this topic in the U.S.  In fact, Thomas Paine is the father of the American Revolution.  Period.  No one in power wants to admit this because his writings were radical and revolutionary for common people.  Paine was less philosophical and more practical in his delivery of the pocket guides to a just and decent society through his numerous writings and pamphlets.  Regardless, a social contract is no different than vows of marriage or even the decisions your sentient cat or dog made to live with humans in return for relaxing some of their natural rights in return for a common good.   

For only the second time in the last fifteen years, I would recommend everyone have as much food on hand as possible due to potential supply chain shocks.  Those are likely to exist outside of what happens with the current pandemic.  Also, civil unrest by the empire’s slaves is mounting.  Countries are withholding some food trade out of concern.  U.S. corporate empire has made our nation a food insecure one that likely does not have an ability to feed itself without rationing. At least in the shorter term.  And, possibly not at all.  It’s time to consider World War II-type Victory Gardens for yourself and your circle of life. 

In fact, on the note of civil unrest by the empire’s slaves, I would classify the Bernie Sanders’ presidential movement as a slave revolt with sympathetic citizens in the mix. The Roman Empire had many.  All of which were beaten down.  It’s nearly impossible to fight the force of the state with force and win.  In modern times, Sanders’ campaign also reminded me of Lech Walesa leading worker strikes in communist Poland that eventually led to the fall of communism aka state capitalism.  Sanders is really more of a union organizer than a presidential candidate.  And, that is why the corporate state did everything possible to smear and destroy his movement.  In the United States, the FBI has had a clear directive to infiltrate and destroy any movements that grant more democratic power to the people. (Available through FOIA data easily available online.)

It’s really painful to see so much poverty and the associated instability of the human condition it creates. My heart aches for the working poor and the poor in this nation and around the world.  This system dehumanizes people.  And, out of the fear it uses to control the masses, it dehumanizes our response to the suffering of others.  Does anyone believe there were not Germans who dissented to the Nazis?  Or for that matter, dissent in any authoritarian society?  There were large numbers who did.  But, what we their recourse?  Essentially death, financial ruin and isolation or silence.  Most Americans see the rot in this system.  Their choices are the same.  Conformity or their own destruction or economic isolation. 

The poverty and exploitation of American citizens and undocumented workers is now laid bare for everyone to see.  All one has to do is open one’s eyes and heart to see it.  The choice appears clear.  Stand to account on their behalf or turn a blind eye of fear, selfishness or lack of empathy.  I’m a big fan of those who have overcome any system’s fear-based controls to become selfless.  Not perfect. Selfless. King, Mother Jones Nelson Mandela, Lech Walesa and on and on.  Radicals for human dignity.  Vice President Pence recently all but ordered food workers to go to work with food processing plants closing due to workers not showing up out of fear and slave wages during a pandemic.   Interestingly, many of those workers don’t have any rights as citizens because they are undocumented and exploited by the corporate state.  Neither Pence nor any other politician can order anyone to do anything.  Pence is a public servant and I’d tell him to go fukc himself were I one of those workers.  I encourage all workers to strike for justice and their natural rights. It doesn’t fix the underlying issues in our society but it does bring to light that my person and my mind are my natural property rights.  Corporate capitalism’s artificially-created wage scarcity, economic scarcity and economic property rights are not natural rights.  They are instead the result of institutionalized, concentrated power and should be dissolved.  

There’s definitely no social contract underpinning corporate capitalism or our nation.  Well-t0-do people who have enriched themselves off of the backs of others isolate in their comfortable surroundings and amuse themselves to death on social media while a disposable class risks their lives with no protective gear, little access to healthcare and a non-living wage. They go to work because they don’t have the privilege of protecting themselves or their families without doing so.  How many people who are “famous” because of their wealth or because of our degenerate celebrity culture have stated they make far too much money and that our economic system needs reformed to be inclusive for all people?  All people are worthy.   Our society mocks its founding Judeo-Christian ethics. It mocks our natural rights granted to us by our Creator.  It mocks the Divine light of the eternal mind of all sentient beings.  No society can survive without an underlying ethical foundation respecting all people and the natural world unless it is propped up through force and violence. 

This crisis is far from over.  It’s only just begun.  As it pertains to the virus aspect of this crisis, I see nothing in the horrendous lack of data-driven science or crisis management  that leads me to “believe” this week will be its peak as is parroted in the press or by politicians.   I could certainly be wrong but it won’t be because of data.  The projections of where this crisis are going, both inside and outside of the U.S. are not clear-cut.  While the epidemiology may be based on a scientific process, it’s only as accurate as the data.  Bad data in, garbage out.  We have zero really actionable data in the U.S. that I have seen.  Zero.  Corporations can’t provide it.  Political organizations can’t provide it.  Public health can’t provide it.  And, today is the last day the federal government is funding testing facilities.  So, that’s nice.  All I can imagine is that the political and corporate leadership are going to marginalize science and testing and, instead, force us back to work.  And, given the data isn’t there to support a decision otherwise, they can obfuscate their way to that decision.  Obfuscation, creating lack of clarity, creating doubt, marginalizing science and the like are Trump’s mechanisms of control.  He argues with experts.  And, as Mark Twain said, “Don’t argue with a fool. Onlookers won’t be able to tell the difference.”.  That is exactly where we are.  Trump clearly understands this as a method to control dissent and to control the narrative.

I’m not certain the political and economic elites who are planting these statistical probabilities of future cases understands remedial math. Or maybe they are just doing the best they can without good data.  I see normal probability distribution curves everywhere on how this crisis will continue to abate.   We’ve seen enough of how this has unfolded around the world to easily draw some rational observations.  One is it’s wishful thinking that this crisis is likely to have a normal probability curve or tail.  Especially in the U.S.  The entire process for determining projections and a probability curve are based on social distancing rather than people catching the virus or the unscientific herd immunity baloney.  The government should hold a conference with experts, not the half-wit politicians, and explain how this model works to educate society.  And, why social distancing is used as inputs into anticipate mathematical outcomes.  Given we haven’t isolated the entire nation simultaneously, and there are still a dozen states who either haven’t isolated at all or just recently started, we are more likely to have a time series of independent distribution curves that goes on for months and months.  The peak death toll may be New York or not.  No one knows.  It certainly looks that way today but it looked like Washington state a couple of months ago.  With the data we have today, cases are rising exponentially across numerous states on their own probability curve that is independent of a national curve due to a lack of leadership and coordination by the federal government.  Is that Trump’s fault or the Congress?  It’s both.  They are both lacking any type of leadership.  Period.  Their normal job is to do the bidding of corporations.  To do as they are told.  Asking someone who seeks power outside of themselves to be a leader is like asking an apple to be an orange. 

I’d take a stab at the national tail on this curve not peaking across the entire nation until mid-May as it pertains to peak deaths on a daily basis.  It’s just a visual stab based on looking at where the curves are as the lack of data is everywhere.  Testing is a massive bottleneck.  And, even though it has generally been turned over to states and corporations, it isn’t scaling effectively.  Unforeseen events that could extend that peak until even later.    Given the U.S. government has not requested a nationwide shutdown because of fear the ruling class will suffer economic hardship,  I’m guessing this pandemic is going to be the gift that keeps on giving and the tail on this will be massively fat.  In other words, a lot of cases and potentially deaths extended over a long period of time rather than quickly tailing off to near zero as is expected.  We just aren’t following the science needed to see anything else.  This is due to the horrendous crisis capitalism has made out of this, the horrendous crisis neoliberalism has done to gut public policy, the horrendous federal leadership, the horrendous lack of synergistic national policies, the horrendous leadership by many states, the horrendous leadership of the CDC, the horrendous testing policies that are still a horrendous disaster, the lack of funding that is delaying testing to the point of making it useless for any avoidance and on and on and on.  Horrendous crisis management by the federal government.  Absolutely horrible. Beyond words horrible.  Then I see Justin Bieber or whatever Trump’s son-in-law’s name is up during the briefing spouting lies about federal stockpiles not being for the states. He’s a winner.  And, then the smarmy administration scurrying that evening to literally change the web site to fit his lies.  Literally.  You can’t make this stuff up.  It’s not even banana republic caliber.  Bieber, er Kushner is an idiot and a smarmy piece of shit. I highlighted on here years ago that he bought a huge piece of real estate with daddy’s money like a month before the 2008 collapse. Genius capitalist in the making. A real gem.  He would have followed Trump as a bankruptcy king if it weren’t for being bailed out by taxpayers in 2008.

The Army Lieutenant General Honore who was brought in to clean up New Orleans after FEMA’s bumblings has come out and said that Kushner’s handling of logistics is a nightmare.  That’s putting his words very mildly.  And, he’s literally never seen anything like what they are doing. The federal government is acquiring equipment then giving it to private businesses to sell to the states and manage the logistics. I suspect he knows what he’s talking about since he ran the Katrina crisis. That’s a joke. Of course he knows what he’s talking about.

The people who are throwing stones that the models aren’t accurate so let’s all go back to work need a remedial lesson in basic statistical math.  Social distancing is meant to slow the infection rate. So, you may see a rapid rise of cases but once distancing kicks in and slows the infection rate, the rate peaks and tails off.   That the models haven’t born out into predicted death rates is multifactor.  Because distancing is working. And, because clean and actionable data isn’t being captured due to various incompetencies.  It’s not because the science doesn’t work as many of our scientific illiterate are making accusations about. 

There is an ignorant, ego part of me that believes our karmic fate is to experience complete disaster in this pandemic because of our cumulative social ignorance enforced by the corporate state idiocracy.  If that is the case, Donald Trump is just the person to deliver it or as Isaac Asimov stated, “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”. 

Trump’s constant pushing to open the economy back up is self-interest for his own economic empire and that of others in the economic aristocracy.  He could lose everything other than his personal fortune because his wealth is concentrated in discretionary industries that rely on socialization.  The data should determine the path forward. And, the nation should have a plan on what that data should look like so we can all understand it and execute upon it.  And, in the interim, we should be providing for all of our citizens and protecting legitimate economic interests that involve useful production of core industry.  Not free money to paper speculators who add zero value to society or our economy.  Or money to corporations who were incredibly poorly managed.  The Washington politicians and public health officials should provide a living, breathing roadmap that is updated when variables change so we all know where we are going.  Instead, it’s based on Trump’s feelings.  Facts don’t care about feelings. I don’t expect Trump to be a scientist but he’s too goddamn stupid, corrupt and narcissistic to defer to the science for guidance.  He can still hold them accountable and challenge their science but if it’s data-driven, there should be little room for inaccurate interpretation.  And the Democrats are cowering in the corner doing nothing but taking pot shots at Trump while they don’t do a damn thing.  The Democrats are perfectly defined by Teddy Roosevelt’s famous speech of the man in the arena; if you aren’t willing to get into arena, don’t throw stones at those who try and make mistakes. Lead, follow or get out of the way.  They offer nothing constructive.  But they certainly do support Trump’s special favors for their capitalist buddies and for themselves.

What certainly appears is going to happen is exactly like what happened in the 1918 pandemic. A pandemic that is generally thought to have originated in the U.S. but we still don’t know one hundred years later.  (But we are so sure this one started in China immediately upon finding out about it.  Maybe the world should have sent the U.S. a bill according to the jingoism we see in the U.S. establishment today.)  What happened in 1918 was that war was more important than public health so men were sent off to fight and that resulted in a second outbreak that resulted in 500% more deaths than the first.  Trump’s push to open the economy is likely to have the same effect as what happened in 1918 if executed.  But, the reality is, Trump has no constitutional authority to force states to open up their social distancing efforts.  Regardless, this goes back to the planning comments I made back in February. The United States should have a crisis management plan and in that plan determine critical industries, how we are going to allocate food, how we protect our citizens, etc.  We need something far beyond a pandemic manual for public health.  And, the plan needs to be funded, modeled and tested so we know it works.  That takes government money and that is either constantly under democratic budget pressure or handed to corporations.

I’d be shocked if this virus is contained any time soon given the massive incompetence substantially created by neoliberalism.  That spans well beyond the United States although we certainly are the epicenter for such criminality.

A couple of links in closing for anyone who may be interested

If you like data and detail, the best coronavirus source I have found by far is the scientist Eric Topol on Twitter. He’s relentless in his data-driven approach. If it’s relevant, he’s likely to post it.  You can link to his posts here.  Just save this link if you don’t have a Twitter account.  It’ll update with his latest posts whenever you click on it. 

If you are concerned about anyone who may get this virus and be hospitalized, I would highly suggest watching this New York ICU doctor’s video.  He is essentially stating that American medical protocols are possibly killing people.  If you Google his concerns about using ventilators, you’ll find that German doctors identified this quite some time ago and are limiting intubation on a ventilator because ventilators are likely causing lung damage.  I believe The Hospitalist and ProPublica have reports on this.  You may want to ask your doctor about only providing oxygen to someone who may become seriously sick in lieu of ventilators.  Because if this is true, then American protocols are likely making the disease worse.

posted by TimingLogic at 3:34 PM