Wednesday, March 25, 2020

No, This Senior Will Not Be "Sacrificing" For The Economy, I.e. Donnie Bonespurs

Image may contain: 1 person, possible text that says 'Some dumb fucker wants us to sacrifice for this economy! Can ya believe it? Ican with the idiots we got runnin' things!'Image may contain: text

"Donald Trump did not close any business so he cannot open them up. He has no control over state shutdowns of business or opening them, only the governors do.  ...This is a president who believes there will be more suicide deaths than coronavirus deaths.  This is vile madness spewing from the mouth of Donald Trump... There will be no packed churches in the state of New York on Easter Sunday ."  Lawrence O'Donnell, 'Last Word', MSNBC, last night

"Trump has been using the daily coronavirus briefings as a stand-in for his raucous, fiction-addled rallies to spray dangerous, history-obscuring gibberish into the wind. He does not like it when Fauci, his own hand-picked face of SCIENCE, clowns him from the same podium. Because of this, Fauci may soon be gone. - William Rivers Pitt, 'Trump Will Feed You To COVID-19 To Keep The Money Happy', smirkinghcimp.com

"Let's just own it, a shelter in place is economically disruptive, it's very disruptive and hard on people. That has a lot of consequences. The problem with this virus is that it's insidious. It just grows and grows and grows in your community. And then when it becomes apparent, when your ICUs start getting full, it's too late in the game.  And calling for a shelter in place then is really a problem.  So he's wasting enormous amounts of time and the people who will pay for it are the people of Florida." - Dr. Ashish Jha,  Harvard University, Director of Global Health Institute, 'All In' last night, responding to FLA governor Ron Desantis reluctance to lock down the state now.

"Faced with the most dangerous threat to American life since at least the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the 45th president made matters worse." - Hayley Sweeland Edwards, TIME, March 30, p. 26

"If you ask the American people to choose between public health and the economy, then it's no contest. No American is going to say accelerate the economy at the cost of human life." - NY Governor Andrew  Cuomo, Tuesday, in response to Trump wanting to "open" by Easter

Well, it was only a matter of time before the vile memes launched by the pestilence fouling the White House would go viral and even infect the brains of assorted wingnuts - now salivating like rabid rats.  Not the least is the Swine-in chief himself showing himself again the be the traitor and coward he's always been. A traitor because his impeachment for trying to overthrow out general election still stands, and a coward because he hasn't the courage to stand and fight the COVID-19 virus like a man, or real president. (Say of FDR's or JFK's caliber - or even of Jimmy Carter's)

Trump's a traitor for twofold betraying our nation to the Russians, indefensibly and incontrovertibly. For that he deserves to be hung by his orange neck.  But he escaped even being driven from office - thanks to his asslicking cult followers in the Repuke party.  Trump is also a traitor for refusing to reveal the recent Intelligence report (published January 29 last year) showing the warp and woof of a global pandemic and its terrible costs, e.g.


On page 21 the  report states
We assess that the United States and the world will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or large- scale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death and disability, severely affect the world economy, strain international resources, and increase calls on the United States for support. Although the international community has made tenuous improvements to global health security, these gains may be inadequate to address the challenge of what we anticipate will be more frequent outbreaks of infectious diseases because of rapid unplanned urbanization, prolonged humanitarian crises, human incursion into previously unsettled land, expansion of international travel and trade, and regional climate change.”
And yet this POS has sat on it for over a year even as the COVID-19 epidemic and then pandemic erupted. TREASON!  A betrayal of the national security because in the face of knowing what was in the report he did nothing, NADA  to avert the oncoming plague, only wasting precious time insisting it was all a 'hoax".  All to protect his economic claims for re-election.   Which, if the latter were to happen,  would be the sorriest event in recent U.S.  history - rivaling the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Because by being willing to open the flood gates to counter the social separation guidelines and risk millions of deaths, he is a de facto terrorist.

Let's get clear what I'm talking about, okay? Trump, confirming once again he's our greatest (domestic)  national security threat has insisted "the cure cannot be worse than the disease" and that he is considering removing current restrictions "at the end of the 15 days" and even opening everything up by Easter Sunday "which will be beautiful".  Yeah, right, with 1 million dead in California alone given how the COVID-19 is already spreading like wildfire in states with little oversight on keeping people at home,  as seen in the Kinsa Health website, e.g.
https://www.inputmag.com/tech/kinsa-coronavirus-live-tracking-is-ahead-of-its-time-but-we-need-more-data

Pay attention especially to the map showing where the highest frequency of fevers (atypical) are occurring.  This is exactly why Harvard's Prof. Ashish Jha - when asked about Dotard's cockamamey "Easter" opening plans-   told Chris Hayes on 'All In' last night, 

"Here's the problem: We open up too soon, the virus doesn't care if you're a Democrat or a Republican, the virus is going to run rampant. And what's going to happen is that in four to six weeks all the places that open up again will see this influx of infections and their hospitals will get shut down. And then we are going to have to have a national lockdown, and it's going to last much longer and many more people are going to die."

 

Clearly, Dotard - the  blowhard, bombastic maggot that he is -  does not grasp any of this, or that the "15 days" marker was an optimum case projection. That was  assuming Trump and his cronies didn't fuck up any critical aspect, like getting sufficient tests out and from multiple sources - like South Korea did. But as we know Trump's clown cabal fucked up multiple aspects, from failing to get out enough test kits, to waiting too long to declare a pandemic (calling it a "hoax" for the first 2 weeks),  to not delivering enough medical supplies where needed. In the latter case, forcing medical workers to compete for N95 masks and ventilators etc.  (Not even mentioned yet is how this Turd has caused a global buying panic by blowing more smoke out of his ass about the malarial drug. The run on the drug has left a number of African nations - where malaria is rampant- with short supplies.)

Meanwhile, Captain Bonespurs and his asswipe administration have led us to a precipice of national disaster: a medical care system at the tipping point of having to triage virus patients,  millions of workers still with no pay, and health workers now crying and begging for protective personal equipment, and imploring we the citizens to  "stay in while we fight for you."  In the midst of these travails, instead of vowing to hold strain, be patient and adhere to the current medical guidelines to social distance - this yellow-bellied coward wants to throw it all to hell. He wants every manjack going back to work because the "American economy wasn't meant to be shut down for years."  But no one said "years"!  (Well, ok, at most it could be 18 months if a vaccine isn't ready, according to a study by an epidemic modeling group at Imperial College London .
But most medical specialists,  like Dr. Anthony Fauci, said it could be a matter of months.  Emphasis here on "could be", based on the data. Meanwhile, this social sequestering - while mildly discomfiting- is advised to protect our hospitals from being overwhelmed.  Also, protecting our own nurses, doctors from themselves falling ill, and infecting more of the patients they treat.  I would have thought any leader worth his salt, and especially who proclaimed being a "wartime president", would grasp that.  But clearly Donnie Doturd doesn't.

Moreover, the Kinsa Health site (link above) featuring a map tracking atypical disease with high fevers (COVID-19 proxy) shows clearly that social separation has worked, namely for those states who've demanded citizens shelter in place.  Does Trump grasp any of this? No, because he has his head halfway up his own ass. (To use Janice's apt parlance)

Now the orange fungus, fretting over his precious economy,  would simply torpedo that and allow our millions of medical heroes to die as well as millions more Americans to become infected by leaving their shuttered homes to prematurely return to jobs that may afford no protection - and zero sick days off. 
So once more this swine has proven he isn't fit to collect dog poop in parks, far less run a nation. As Maureen Dowd put it in her recent NY Times piece:
Image may contain: possible text that says 'rump 1S just a petrified sales- man who believes in perception over reality. He thinks if he can create the perception that this is going to be a quick fix and there's a little pill coming, then the stock market will roar back, along with his 2020 momentum.' 
Now, not to be outdone in his vermin DNA by Dotard, we see a Texas cornpone, inbred, cracker by the name of Dan Patrick, e.g.
Spouting that seniors (like wifey and me)  ought to be "willing to sacrifice for the economy".  Uh no, Sparky, in no way will I or wifey sacrifice for Donnie Traitor Bonespurs' fevered fantasies to put his economy back on track. So he and his team of refuse can re-elected to an even more disastrous term. No way in hell. To quote Janice: "So this fucking moron wants us to die in one of the most horrific ways known, namely drowning in our own fluids, to prop up Trump?"  Yep, you got it! "Fuck them!"
Patrick, the lieutenant governor of Tex-ass, touched off an outpouring of anger when he declared to Tucker Carlson that people like him — grandparents in their twilight years — should risk death so people can stop social distancing to avert economic calamity.  NO, folks, you cannot make this shit up. It's for real.  Fortunately, the scum is taking some blowback given we see not all Americans have become Trump worshipping zombies.
But let's examine this "case" a bit more, so any skeptics are clear why this is a god awful idea. This is mainly for the lot who may also be part of the 53 percent who approve of the job Trump is doing with the pandemic.  I itemize below each argument for why Trump's "opening up" the nation is horse manure:

1) The rescinding of any shutdown will merely explode the COVID-19  infections, contaminate work places and wreck both the economy and the health system. Anyone with an IQ over 100 can see it can't be otherwise, even Dan Patrick.  You would basically be unleashing millions of people to return to their regular work places- including at restaurants- with a 100 percent potential to infect millions of citizens.  (NO way to keep that 6 ft. distance of separation) And oh, btw, not only the elderly but the young will be infected as the most recent CDC data show.  The data .  The report, issued last Wednesday,  revealed that nearly 40 percent of patients  aged 20 to 54 are sick enough to be hospitalized.  And oh, btw, that often means with respirators or ventilators given the virus has turned one or both lungs to pulp.

So, to make a longer story short, making a bet that only the older citizens will die in some kind of "sacrifice" to preserve the big spenders and 1 percent - is a bloody fool's bet. 

2) The weak point of the economy's future is not how fast we just open things up, but how fast we get the virus community spread to get to zero.  In other words, the economic health of the nation is contingent on the subduing of the COVID-19 spread in the many states afflicted, not on opening millions more people to feed the infection.

3) The basic weakness now is one of removed demand, given people must remain sequestered or sheltered to slow the virus' spread.  The sheltering means no access to theaters, sports arenas of stadiums, restaurants or bars.  No money spent at any of these places to fuel consumption and we know consumption is 70 % of GDP.  The best initial antidote to this is to do exactly what the Reeptardos object to: "Dropping helicopter money" to all those - especially lower tier workers - who desperately need it.  This means vast deficit spending in any decent bill, and with a total that will likely end up being in the vicinity of $6-7 trillion.  Why so large? Because multiple checks of $1200 - $2000 will be needed until the self isolation period ends, i.e. is officially accepted by medical experts (e.g. virologists) not by the brain dead traitor Trump. 

The checks sent out to over 60 million at home citizens will enhance aggregate demand - allow them to pay for their groceries, pay utilities, and perhaps even rent. In other words, inject money nearly of the same amount given back into the fractured economy so it can get off the "respirator". (No pun intended)

What we cannot do, is use the Republican  (conservative) solution of a one time only payment of $1200 then expect sequestered workers to get the rest of what they need (I list them in the order they've appeared in WSJ op-eds, editorials):

- By taking out loans at (hopefully) low interest 

- By asking  landlords, for instance,  for "forbearance" in paying the rent

- By going to the unemployment office and seeking further extension, i.e. if any passed bill doesn't cover adequate time (already in the past week 3.4 million have flooded unemployment offices with filings)

- By raiding their 401(k) plans to get the extra money needed (WSJ, 'The Emergency 401(k) Button').  Th Journal's illustrious editors suggest that the "10 % penalty be waived as well as the usual income tax."  Hence, "this provides an option for people who need the cash without blanketing everyone."

Yeah, ok, but it trashes their retirement plans and we know most Americans are already having great difficulty saving up money. Let's also cite another genius idea from the feckless austerity capitalists:  Allow citizens  to raid their Social Security money as well.   (This is akin to the idea trotted out sometime last year as a "solution" to the paid leave issue. I.e. instead of placing the onus on the employer for such leave the employee is able to raid his Social Security. So if 12 weeks are needed for time to care for a sick kid or spouse, and that adds up to $4800 - then just deduct it from the total projected S.S. earned.)

But none of these ideas are worthy of serious consideration because they all seek the most painless shortcuts - for the capitalist oligarchy - but the most painful for workers.  This is why Dems need to hold out for a better package.

4) Any proper emergency package for business must also include doing something for the $500 billion - or whatever amount is planned for support. In the UK, for example, businesses large and small will get their needed windfalls but they must retain their work staffs and keep paying them over the lockdown duration. In other words, it isn't a "freebie" like the Repukes and McConnell demand in this emergency bill.  Thus, the Democrats are not "blocking" the bill as too many block head media reporters frame it, they are refusing to allow a slush fund laden corporate social welfare package to screw workers.

5) The greatest risk to the economy right now, is not millions being shut in, but rather massive and overleveraged corporate debt. ('Corporate Debt Poses Financial Risk', WSJ March 20,  p. B1).   As we learn (ibid.):

"Serious strains are starting to appear in the $1.2 trillion market for loans to high risk companies, which have borrowed record sums in recent years as investors chased bigger yields"

Assisting this borrowing madness has been the Fed with its rock bottom interest rates. Again, as we note:

"Years of low interest rates and easy credit have allowed companies across the board to borrow big, building a record $10  trillion mountain of debt"  

Which lenders expect to be repaid on time, but which may not be.  Therein lies the real danger to the economy no matter how soon the country returns to business.  Thus, former Fed chair Janet Yellen worries about the overleveraged corporate debt exacerbating any downturn.  Does Dotard even know about this aspect? Does the genius TX Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, before sputtering out his seniors should sacrifice for America bollocks?  Do any of these muscle brains, including the irrepressible Doturd know about the peril the banks are in because of this lending spree?   Since the scale of the coming default wave is "impossible to assess" (WSJ, 'Banks Have Nowhere To Hide',  March 20, p. B12)

 Greg Ip et al, e.g. 'Lessons for the Coronavirus Crisis from Six Other Disasters',
https://www.wsj.com/articles/lessons-for-the-coronavirus-crisis-from-six-other-disasters-11584719497

Laid out the central idea, i.e. governments and the public always face a trade off between public health, safety and economic stability. The "more one prioritizes health and safety the bigger the near term cost to the economy.


This is why, for example, dangerous oil refineries and petroleum  processing plants - say in the Houston TX area - are allowed to exist there, literally within earshot of homeowners. The home owners know what they are getting, i.e.g possible explosions, chemical releases into the air with toxic fumes, so they can't complain too much. The way the powers -that- be work it out, is that the lower numbers potentially killed will be worth the benefit of  having the plants, refineries there.  Costs- benefits computed by special Pareto-based capitalist algorithms.


But  such shortcuts in safety cannot apply to the COVID-19 pandemic for the reasons given earlier by Harvard's Dr. Ashish Jha.  How bad can the damage to the GDP be?  Contingent Macro Research estimates if the current quarantine measures last through March, the U.S. economy will shrink 5% in the second quarter. If, however, restrictions last through May and there are 50,000 deaths globally (very likely given the exponential rise) the U.S. economy could shrink 10 % in the 2nd quarter and 3 % in the 3rd.  If the measures last through the end of June the hit on the economy would be 12%  And in a worst case scenario, as forecast by the Imperial College group - with social isolation lasting 12-18 months, we'd be looking at a 35- 45% shrinkage.  But the alternative is to open up and see 2.2. million Americans die.  Perhaps ruminating on this, these horrific stats, John Cochrane of the Hoover Institution (Hoover was the president who led us into the Great Depression) saw fit to spout this codswallop in a WSJ op-ed today ('Flatten the Coronavirus Curve At A Lower Cost', p. A19):

"A blanket lockdown can't go on. Keeping every business closed and every worker at home until a vaccine is available won't work..Government officials need to work with a scalpel, not a sledgehammer."

Missing the key point that we wouldn't have had to use the "sledge-hammer" had the Trump  bunch managed not to screw up every step in the process - from expeditiously getting out the testing kits, to diminishing the pandemic using the term "hoax", to failing with the medical supply chain.   As for unwisely pushing to reopen all businesses, I'd advise Cochrane to reread Prof. Jha's solid rebuttal to this twaddle.   

If he's not impressed, then he ought to process Thomas Friedman's description of exponential growth in relation to the virus, e.g.

"The virus is like a loan shark who charges 25 % interest a day. We borrowed $1 (the first coronavirus patient to appear). We then fiddled for 40 days. Now we owe $7,500. If we wait three more weeks to pay we'll owe almost $1 million."

Now, just imagine if - in 17 days- Dotard actually issues an Executive order to open all states for business by Easter. Think of borrowing another 1 million or so (cases).  Anyone want to bet this ends nicely?  Then I have a plot of ocean side land in Barbados to sell you for a Bajan buck! (U.S. 0.50)

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