The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Open Thread

Use the comments to discuss topic unrelated to recent posts.


Commentary on Biden’s Speech


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – May 2, 2021


  1. Plague Species

    The vaccination effort in America is a huge success just as surely as roses are low maintenance and wild flowers are high maintenance.

  2. Jason

    From PS’ furry substack vaccine wall post:

    The vaccination effort cannot be considered a success until the Fat Lady sings and the Fat Lady sings ONLY when the majority of the population has been vaccinated and even then it’s not a sure bet unless the entirety of the planet’s human inhabitants are vaccinated.

    An individual may achieve a level of protection from the virus either through previous infection or vaccination. “Herd immunity” – group level of protection – is achieved the same way.

    The vaccination is only effective at reducing transmission of the virus and thus slowing mutations to a crawl if the majority of humans are vaccinated

    The vaccination is most effective at preventing symptoms of the virus. How well it reduces transmission and how much viral load a vaccinated person may carry are still very much open questions. And, given that the already suspect PCR test (based on cycling shenanigans) cannot distinguish between infectious and non-infectious virus particles, this statement is unequivocally false.

  3. Jason

    This should have been in italics as it was PS’ words that I’m then responding to:

    The vaccination is only effective at reducing transmission of the virus and thus slowing mutations to a crawl if the majority of humans are vaccinated

    Sorry for the confusion.

  4. Jeremy

    Follow Karl’s directions to access VAERS to see just how deadly the Covid shot is compared to others.

  5. bruce wilder

    I am reading on Naked Capitalism the Paul Jay interview with Mark Blyth on the thesis that the Biden infrastructure plan risks inflation. Blyth votes no, but says he is checking that idea, because he knows “no risk of inflation” fits his political preferences and priors.

    But, it seems to me he doesn’t actually check his priors — he reiterates them. He says, in effect, it is not 1968, when labor unions were strong and international trade was just picking up.

    That was then and this is now is true, but not an answer.

    No, wage-driven wage-price inflation is not a live possibility in a world dominated by Amazon and Google and Goldman-Sachs. Duh.

    How about an inflation of a different sort driven by, oh say, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Goldman-Sachs, JPMorganChase — that is an inflation driven by financiers, rentiers, and monopolists?

    I am a Blyth fan. But, I think he is not grokking the ugly side of the death of neoliberalism. The Great Moderation allowed for a great upward redistribution of wealth based in large part on disinvestment and the scope for disinvesting from the American economy public and private is hitting a wall cliff. Biden’s plans are getting nods because the shabby state of the U.S. is undeniable. But, actually doing anything real, that is not siphoned off into private equity driven public-private partnerships, is going to be a struggle and the struggle, won by the public interest or more likely lost, will have consequences.

    The largest businesses in the U.S. are doing very well, but most U.S. business is not in a happy place. The pandemic has been a shock. The need to move away from the U.S. as the world’s consumer of first resort is becoming clear and there will be some big fights ahead.

    And big fights over income distribution tend to become inflationary as deals that assume a bigger pie to slice than there is actual pie can only be resolved by inflation.

  6. Met a guy yesterday, recently released from prison, who was “forced” to take the J&J vaccine. He got so sick from it, he said he wouldn’t take it, again. He was mostly recovered, except for persistent headaches. He said other inmates ended up on the floor.

    I asked exactly what he meant by “forced”, and he said something about being kept apart from other inmates. Not sure if he mean solitary confinement, or not.

    My brother took the J&J vaccine on the last day of his hospital stay, at which time he was feeling uncharacterically good. 2 days later he was getting quite ill, and 3 days later, he was back in the hospital.

    On the anecdotal front, there’s also this:

    ‘Clinicians have been telling me that more than half of the new COVID cases that they’re treating are people who have been vaccinated,’ said Dr. Harvey Risch.

  7. bruce wilder

    Blyth references the marginal product theory of income distribution, but he gets what is right about that theory, wrong. As a theory that wages are presumptively just in this best of all possible worlds, that theory is, of course, a total crock. In the real world, a worker’s marginal product is a consequence not of personal skill or virtue, not a property of the person, but rather a property of organization in which their labor services, so to speak, are embedded, applied and managed. The worker’s marginal product will equal their (marginal) wage because a profit-maximizing firm will manage the worker to make it so. And, the wage will be set in an unrelated process, aka an exercise of political power by the firm. If the wage is low enough the firm or its managers will add workers just-in-case or to relieve managers of stress until marginal product is reduced to the level of the wage.

    What is often overlooked in the marginal product theory of income distribution is the implied relation of the marginal product of capital to the marginal product of labor. Labor in the production equation is in a seesaw relation with invested capital (tools, plant, et cetera). The more invested capital, the lower the marginal product of invested capital, just as the more labor added to the process, the lower the marginal product of labor, due to ye ol’ law of diminishing returns. It is a simple concept really and not implausible: better tools make the worker more productive, enabling higher wages out of the increase in output. The few workers left to run a highly automated, technically efficient production process can become critical elements in the process and therefore their marginal product soars: without them nothing, with them everything. And conversely, having a huge pile of sunk-cost, invested capital tends to drive down the returns on investing.

    Real life is, of course, more complicated with many strategic gambits available to manipulate situations to the benefit the clever cheats. Dr Pangloss’s interpretation is not an insightful one. But, there is a relation of invested capital to wages here, worth paying attention to, and it contains an important paradox: more invested capital can tend, in some common circumstances, to drive down not up returns on capital and to drive up wages of at least some workers.

    In the late 1960’s economy, American companies were investing heavily to substitute capital for labor in production processes to compensate for rising wages and realizing stagnant or declining returns to capital. The Reagan Revolution a dozen years later and the neoliberal turn was Capital escaping from this “punishing” paradox. They discovered the joys of disinvesting, which reduces the stock of invested capital and not incidentally can throw off a lot of cash for businesses and rentiers. If a capitalist can keep her business going but does not have to spend as much reproducing capital as it depletes or depreciates as was spent originally, the capital stock diminishes, but the net returns soar. And, wages, incidentally stagnate as labor becomes allocatively more abundant and less critical to the production process.

    Net disinvestment has been a key driver of increasing Capital’s share of income. And a key to the dynamic has been the role of professional managers and executives, because all of this happens in bureacratic organizations and not the putative marketplace of the neoclassical economist’s imagination. CEO “compensation” soared as they found ways to loot the invested capital of the companies they ran for the satisfaction of Wall Street. The PMC became their handmaidens in these processes.

    The digital revolution played a part as new generations of tech often greatly reduced the quantity of invested capital needed: fiber optic and cell phone technology is a fraction of the invested capital in the mountains of copper wire that was once Bell Telephone. And, enabled schemes of automation or deskilling that compounded the poor negotiating position of wage workers.

    Sometimes overlooked in broad brush treatment: digital tech sometimes enables the larger scale needed for oligopolists to reach for dominating power. Banking at the scale of the universal banks or Media conglomerates that dominate the U.S. economy is not efficient. The key processes of judgement in banking or creative Media simply do not scale, but algorithms may be good enough to keep operations going, while the power of scale and concentration of strategic control is grabbed.

    The growth of monopoly power is corrosive. In the textbooks, monopoly constrains output to raise price, but in real life, it is more likely that monopoly constrains investment in productive systems. It is a form of disinvestment and rentierism. (Is that a word? Ugh) Real life monopolies flood the market with shlock to suppress the possibility of competition from substantively more efficient enterprise model. Financial measures of comparison are distorted by faux enterprise. An Uber destroys without actually building much of any sustainable, while private equity loots many businesses that could be sustaining communities.

    Running out of business to loot and hollow out is a real problem driving the end of neoliberalism. And, inflation may well be a policy resort when the political power to resolve the problem more decisively cannot be mustered.

  8. Ian Welsh

    Some interesting stuff Bruce, thanks. And yeah, the running out of things to loot is hilariously true, especially since China won’t let them loot in China, which was the plan.

  9. marku52

    Blyth argues that inflation isn’t as likely today because labor has no power. I’d argue that it is already here today, and is due to rentierism. As far as I can tell, my inflation has been running at least 5%, year after year, recession or not, pandemic or not. Etc.

    CPI not withstanding, the critical things are housing food, energy, and healthcare. Thanks to rentierism, rental/housing costs go up at least 10% PA. Thankfully I own my house so I’m insulated from that, but the insurance and taxes go up. Food is definitely going up, and my favorite craft beer is certainly going along for the ride (wholesale commodity prices are rocketing up as we speak, so there is more on the way as well)

    If my ACA policy ever went up less that 8% in a year, I’d throw a party. . The ACA is my single largest monthly expenditure. Thanks Obama, you sure bent that cost curve!

    Energy has been mostly flat since the GFC, but now is rising handily.

    If you really want a shock, go buy a 2X4. What used to be $2.85 is now $8.50. Now that’s what I call inflation.

    If Blyth’s inflation ever showed up on top of all this, I’d be killed dead.

  10. bruce wilder

    I have my eye on finance and the effects of excessive leverage long sustained by central bank policy. But, Blyth conveniently overlooks what I think Larry Summers is specifically looking for, which is something else. In 2007, when Ben Bernanke was foaming the runway for the end of the housing bubble, his flood of cheap liquidity triggered a global runup in commodity prices, all commodity prices. Let me repeat that: all commodity prices. Bernanke was forced to step back, and the few months of deflation triggered the crisis he had been trying to finesse. That episode made a deep impression on Larry Summers even if it went down the memory hole for most people; his secular stagnation hypothesis speaks to the fear of hitting a global commodities ceiling in an indirect way. That is a very different scenario from either the strawman of wage-push or my fear of rentier finance squeezing blood from turnips.

  11. NR

    Follow Karl’s directions to access VAERS to see just how deadly the Covid shot is compared to others.


    Yes, it is extraordinary that this guy would assume that people would just take his word for what he was saying instead of doing their own research. Of course, that’s what you seem to have done, Jeremy.

    If you follow his advice and check what the CDC has to say about people dying from COVID-19 vaccines, you’ll find that it doesn’t match what this guy is saying on his shitty blog. Take a look for yourself.

    Over 230 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through April 26, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 3,848 reports of death (0.0017%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.

    Uh oh, that’s pretty damning. 3,848 people died from COVID-19 vaccines! Oh no, Mr. Shitty Blogger was right!

    Except, no, that’s not what that means at all. Read the rest of the paragraph.

    CDC and FDA physicians review each case report of death as soon as notified and CDC requests medical records to further assess reports. A review of available clinical information including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records revealed no evidence that vaccination contributed to patient deaths.

    So there you have it. Do some research before you parrot scaremongers, folks.

  12. Jeremy

    Indeed ‘NR’ – absolutely normal and nothing to see.
    These jabs are completely safe. Sure they are.

    Go look at the VAERS data – it’s all there, courtesy of the CDC itself.

    “Pretty Polly”

  13. Mark Pontin

    Bruce W. wrote: ‘rentierism. Is that a word? Ugh.’

    Sure, Bruce, rentierism is a word. We are living in the era of ‘Late Rentierism,’ in fact. See forex —

    ‘Business Research Methodology: Development of Rentierism’

    ‘The Rentier State: Does Rentierism Hinder Democracy?’

    ‘Rentierism and Political Violence’

    Also, ugly as the word may be, given that rentierism = financialized capitalism, the former is less of a mouthful. And easier to put across to the masses, since almost everybody has experience of paying rent or some kind of house note.

  14. Jeremy

    Absolutely nothing to see.

    “In a candid and emotional interview, the three healthcare workers who were on the frontline of Covid vaccine rollouts in America go back to the day they received their vaccine, the severe reactions they endured starting just days after, and the complete denial the medical community has towards the groundswell of injured people looking for help.”

    “Pretty Polly”

  15. Joan

    @different clue, I saw your reply on the other thread regarding suburban gardens as the last stand of real food against huge agri-business in the US. Absolutely, I agree with that.

    I still view suburbs as a huge tragedy of the commons, though I’m not sure that’s actually going against what you were saying. If a family is in a small house or cottage on a decent plot of land, even just an eighth of an acre, with a skilled gardener, they could produce a lot of their own food and potentially excess to use for bartering. Postage-stamp gardens, victory gardens, square foot organic gardening, etc. I would argue these families should be viewed as small-scale farmers, and therefore it makes sense for them to own land because they really use it.

    The fact remains that most burbers live in a huge house, one person per thousand square feet, or other such absurd measures, and they don’t fully utilize their yards. Thus the tragedy of the commons.

    One last point, but I think burb houses are sitting ducks for future looting. As things continue to destabilize, if you’re sitting in a burb house, others will view that as flexing, even if your house is all on debt and you’re barely scraping by.

  16. Jeremy

    Nah – this isn’t really happening.
    All’s well.

    “SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) — The Orange County Coroner’s office is investigating the death of a woman who died just days after she received her second dose of the Moderna vaccine.

    The family says the grandmother was healthy before she got her shot, and that her sudden death came as a shock.”

    “Pretty Polly”

  17. Jeremy

    I’m assuming you’re male NR.
    Nothing to worry about here then:

    “I had my 1st COVID-19 vaccine in January followed by the 2nd in February, and since then I have had hemorrhagic bleeding with clots. This month of April was the heaviest.”

    “I thought I was going crazy, and even went as far as making a doctor’s appt and switching out my BC because mine is so heavy now and its been a month straight”

    “I received the Moderna vaccine in January and February I didn’t get my period for 3 months they did multiple blood test, pregnancy test and ultrasounds but everything came back normal. Then finally on April 4 I got my period and it’s been super heavy for the past 22 days non-stop.”

    “Pretty Polly”

  18. Jeremy


    “UCSF reports a Bay Area man got blood clot after receiving Johnson & Johnson vaccination”

    “Pretty Polly”

  19. Jeremy

    Anybody who believes that this litany of medical disasters following a vaccination is normal must be ‘outta their freaking mind.

    Except, of course, NR.

    “An 18-year-old Clark County woman who became critically ill after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has undergone three brain surgeries related to dangerous blood clots, a spokesman for the patient’s family said on Monday.”

    “Pretty Polly”

  20. Plague Species

    Yes, China will do it sown looting, thank you very much, just as Russia decided to do its own looting. But hey, that’s none of my business, right? It’s only my business or your business or anyone’s business when so-called “America” does the looting. Double standards much?

  21. Stirling S Newberry

    This really roils me: a generation that takes money for a B.A., raises the price of housing by letting big banks into the picture, lowers wages, now wants service as well. An example: .

    The future is going to look back and say this was the greediest generation in history.

  22. Jeremy

    Oh dear:

    “We show here that S protein alone can damage vascular endothelial cells (ECs) in vitro and in vivo, manifested by impaired mitochondrial function, decreased ACE2 expression and eNOS activity, and increased glycolysis.”

    And what do these “vaccines” do?
    They turn your very own cells into S protein factories.

    “Pretty Polly”

  23. Jeremy

    “The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein alone may cause lung damage”

    Yeah – sure, injecting the mRNA code for the S spike protein into healthy people and turning their cellular machinery into spike protein factories is perfectly safe.

    Wake up NR!

    “Pretty Polly”

  24. Jeremy

    The Pfizer vaccine is called Comirnaty

    Type Comirnaty into the WHO VigiAccess adverse drug reaction database.
    Select ADRs

    Whadya say NR?

    “Pretty Polly”

  25. Jeremy

    “I will be masked up for many, many years,” she said. “There are too many unknowns.”

    The damage done!

  26. Hugh

    Yes, as of today John Hopkins is reporting 576,000 Americans dead from covid. Currently more than 100 million Americans have been fully immunized against it. To date, there have been only a handful of cases of cerebral venous thrombosis with low platelets (TTS) thought related to covid vaccination. As per the CDC:

    “As of April 21, 2021, approximately 7.98 million doses of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the United States. During March 2–April 21, 2021, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) (7), the national vaccine safety monitoring system, had received 15 reports of TTS after Janssen COVID-19 vaccination, with clots located in the cerebral venous sinuses and other unusual locations, including in the portal vein and splenic vein, and a combination of venous and arterial thromboses. These 15 reports were confirmed by physician reviewers at CDC and FDA and reviewed with Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project investigators,§ including hematologists. Thirteen TTS cases occurred among women aged 18−49 years, and two occurred among women aged ≥50 years; no cases postauthorization were reported among men.¶ TTS reporting rates to VAERS were 7.0 cases per million Janssen COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to women aged 18−49 years and 0.9 per million to women aged ≥50 years. Among subgroups by age (18–29, 30−39, 40–49, 50–64, and ≥65 years), the reported rate was highest among women aged 30−39 years, with 11.8 TTS cases per 1 million Janssen COVID-19 doses administered. The median age was 37 years (range = 18−59 years), and the median interval from vaccination to symptom onset was 8 days (range = 6−15 days). Certain patients had underlying medical conditions or risk factors for hypercoagulability (e.g., obesity [seven patients], combined oral contraceptive use [two patients], hypothyroidism [two patients], and hypertension [two patients]); no cases occurred among women who were pregnant or had given birth in the previous 12 weeks, and none had a documented history of previous thrombotic events, a known diagnosis of an underlying clotting disorder, or a family or personal history of clotting disorders. None of the patients had any known previous exposure to heparin. All 15 patients were hospitalized, and 12 were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). As of the most recent follow-up,** three patients had died, four remained in an ICU, three remained hospitalized (not in an ICU), and five had been discharged home.”

    One male was reported with TTS in a pre-authorization clinical trial.

    I do not get the magical thinking around vaccines. For any medicine people take, some fraction will experience side effects. Some may even die from these. I mean about 15 people per 100,000 die each year from taking aspirin or an NSAID. It is and has always been about risk versus benefit. Get used to it. Covid vaccines are very safe. Even the J&J/Janssen vaccine is safe. If you still have concerns and are female, try finding a different vaccine. But as it is now, you have the same chance of being hit by lightning as getting a thrombosis from the J&J vaccine.

  27. Jeremy

    This would be your kid, right NR?

    Vaccination of healthy children:

    But no way would it be mine!
    “Oxford-AstraZeneca paediatric vaccine trial halted amid blood clot concerns”

    “Pretty Polly”

  28. Jeremy

    16 year old dies of pulmonary embolism a week after Pfizer jab.

    “…imaging revealed bilateral large pulmonary embolism as likely etiology of arrest.”

    And you think this is normal NR?

    “Pretty Polly”

  29. Joan

    @Stirling, thanks for the link to the article. I definitely don’t think anything should be required or forced. However, if the government were to revive the Civilian Conservation Corps or another such program, I think there would be a lot of young people to sign up for the job. My grandfather joined as a young teen and worked for CCC through his adolescence until he became old enough to join the military, then the rest of his teenage years were spent in WW2.

  30. Jeremy

    Hey NR – none of this is happening right.
    These shots are completely safe, right?


    ” 19,916 ‘eye disorders’ including blindness following COVID vaccine reported in Europe ”

  31. Pretty Polly

    Please stop invoking my name. Thank you.

  32. NR

    If you died within 28 days of a positive Covid test then you died “of” Covid

    Oh look, another tired old right-wing lie. It’s gotten to the point where if a right-winger tells me the sky is blue, I’ll fully expect it to be green the next time I see it.

    But thank you for the avalanche of right-wing insanity on a Sunday. It’s useful as a cautionary tale, but not for the reasons you think.

  33. NR

    Right-wingers: “Look at what the CDC says about COVID vaccines!”

    Reasonable people: “Okay, the CDC says there’s no indication that anyone has died from a COVID vaccine.”

    Right-wingers: “Hurrrrrrrr durrrrrrrr, vaccines bad!”

    Reasonable people: “…”

  34. bruce wilder

    Thanks for the links on rentierism, Mark

    The examples in the links are petro-states. The basic ideas are that the state is dependent for revenue on external actors paying for access to natural resources, the production or extraction of which do not require economic development of the political economy of the society which the state governs. (Quite the opposite proposition is possible: destroying the local political economy may be a means of freeing more extracted resource for export; example – Iraq). The local political economy does not develop the complex social organization necessary to industrial production and most people have little experience of benefitting economically from cooperative effort in producing goods. Wealth is associated with kleptocratic practices.

    The financialized capitalism that builds a predator state (James Galbraith’s label for the post-Reagan Republican policy agenda of crony capitalism) relies not on an external payer for state finance, but on the hot air of “confidence”. American political thinking right and left has convinced its various factions that taxes, per se, are unnecessary to finance government. Republicans have trialled ever larger deficits in successive sojurns in power to the point they do not believe their own deficit hysteria (but still want taxes to punish the undeserving poor, which is pretty much all of the poor); the left has Yang and MMT.

    Off-shoring so much hands-on industry and hollowing out expertise has created an odd division into a very poor society enveloping as much as 40% of the population — people who can barely manage a place to live — and a still prosperous professional and managerial class which curiously lacks technical skills. A lot of the PMC operating large business are playing a predatorial role without knowing it.

    I see this play out in LA, where I live. Job growth here is concentrated in positions paying more than $140,000 / yr. Really. Apartment building are being built every where serving up $4000/mth 2-brm apartments. The average rent is close to 50% of median household income.

    Local industry is dominated by giant media conglomerates that have concentrated strategic control over all Media. The guy who reviews a movie or book, the guy who schedules release of a movie or teevee show, the guy directs the show or edits and publishes the book — all these guys work for the same small coterie of executives, directly or indirectly. The creative risk-takers are fading away, replaced by administrators and algoritms. A screenwriter-producer friend tells horror stories about working on an Amazon project on location in Europe, and getting casting suggestions via automated emails about how actors are trending on IMDB, an Amazon property. Options for renewal of series for Netflix and the rest trap writers and directors. The experience of taking risk or dealing at an honest arm’s length with other powerful actors is gone. It is synthesizing the centrality of authoritarian power of a petro-state in what was a happily chaotic creative industry.

    The result is pathetic. Disney does sequels of sequels.

    I feel like I can see the vague outline emerging from the fog ahead of how this all will play out in politics and economics, especially the economics. The situation inspires fear, understandably, in many observors more astute than I, which is why I look to people like Blyth and was disappointed.

    The economic foundation on which the U.S. has relied, like an inheritance spent, is gone. The U.S. still has many resources and therefore options, just not in the current configuration of finance and global corporate business.

  35. Plague Species

    Jason, the purpose of the vaccine is, or the vaccines are, to slow the velocity of the virus and by slowing the velocity of the virus, you slow the mutations and the variants. The vaccine doesn’t provide absolute immunity, but instead lessens the severity of the virus if a vaccinated person is affected and thus lowers the ability of the vaccinated infected person from spreading it because they are not producing a substantial viral load to be transferred. That’s the scientific theory behind it. Perhaps we’ll never know if this theory is valid because at this rate, the majority of the population will not be vaccinated and certainly the majority of the world’s population will not be vaccinated, so the mutations and variants will continue I surmise and COVFEFE-45 will always be with us and the wealthy elite will be able to afford their ongoing vaccines and receive them and prevent themselves from dying from COVFEFE-45 as they convince moronic right wingers and other dunces to not receive the vaccine and suffer and die as a way to cull the herd so to speak. How’s that for a run-on sentence?

    Also, what exactly is being reopened? What was closed? In my neck of the woods, there never really was any true lockdown — just a feigning of one.

  36. Jason

    The vaccine doesn’t provide absolute immunity, but instead lessens the severity of the virus if a vaccinated person is affected and thus lowers the ability of the vaccinated infected person from spreading it because they are not producing a substantial viral load to be transferred.

    The vaccines don’t prevent infection. They prevent symptoms. This is true of most vaccines. Vaccinated people may in fact carry higher viral loads because they’re not showing symptoms. And they shed virus just as easily as non-vaccinated.

    That’s the scientific theory behind it.

    I’ll invoke Max Planck here.

  37. bruce wilder

    Reasonable people: “Okay, the CDC says there’s no indication that anyone has died from a COVID vaccine.”

    And, they would say that, wouldn’t they? Regardless of whether it was true.

  38. Jeremy

    NR – “Oh look, another tired old right-wing lie.”

    Hey NR – here in the UK, the death of a person (of whatever cause) who tested +ve for Coronavirus in the previous 28 days is counted as a Covid death.

    That’s a fact. Period.

    ” … definitions of a death in a person with COVID-19 in England:

    A death in a person with a laboratory-confirmed positive COVID-19 test and
    died within (equal to or less than) 28 days of the first positive specimen date”

    “Pretty Polly”

  39. Jeremy

    “Rules were amended last summer to include deaths in the coronavirus total only if they occurred within 28 days of a positive test.”

    “Pretty Polly”

  40. Jeremy

    @Plague – “the purpose of the vaccine is, or the vaccines are, to slow the velocity of the virus and by slowing the velocity of the virus, you slow the mutations and the variants. ”

    Wrong – rolling out a vaccine during a pandemic is what is driving the mutations.

    “One thing you learn in the first year of specialization is that you never vaccinate during an epidemic because the virus will react by mutating” —Dr. Pietro Luigi Garavelli

    All clearly explained.

    Podcast with Geert Vanden Bossche & Bret Weinstein:

  41. someofparts

    “I have my eye on finance and the effects of excessive leverage long sustained by central bank policy.”

    Would you say more about this?

  42. Hugh

    I have a comment in endless mod. Here is the short form of what the CDC has to say about the J&J (Janssen) covid vaccine:

    “On April 23, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices concluded that the benefits of resuming Janssen COVID-19 vaccination among persons aged ≥18 years outweighed the risks and reaffirmed its interim recommendation under FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization, which includes a new warning for rare clotting events among women aged 18–49 years.”

  43. bruce wilder

    Lovely that the Advisory Committee did a cost-benefit analysis; did they also mandate that J&J take out insurance to cover at least the financial costs of the unfortunate few who will with certainty suffer the “rare clotting events”?


    Mandating a new warning is ever so helpful, though, thanks for that useless bit of hand-washing.

  44. Hugh

    The housing bubble blew up in August 2007. What gets forgotten is that there were a string of commodity bubbles also occurring at that time. It’s not called the Wall Street casino for nothing.

    Bernanke was Fed chair from 2006-2014. He continued the anti-regulatory, laissez-faire policies of his predecessor Alan Greenspan who was Fed chair from 1987-2006. On becoming Fed chair in 1987, Greenspan began what is known as the Greenspan put. It used repos to convert illiquid declining in value assets to cash. Or more simply the Fed was buying stuff for more than it was worth, but this released cash which could be used to pump up prices and keep the bubble going. After the 2008 financial crisis, Bernanke created his own version of the put both with his emergency programs and rounds of quantitative easing, essentially free money for banks and Wall Street.

  45. Jason

    The term “herd immunity” is grossly misused. The majority of any reasonably healthy population (80-85%) will have innate/acquired immunity to covid. This could be said to be “herd immunity” in and of itself.

    Language, meaning, and connotation.

  46. bruce wilder

    From Mark Pontin’s link to

    The Rentier State: Does Rentierism Hinder Democracy?

    A statement of the rentier state mentality thesis:

    Rentier economy has farreaching political, social, and cultural consequences. First, only a small fraction of the population is directly involved in the creation of wealth. As a result, modern social organizations associated with productive activities have been developed only to a limited extent. Second, the work-reward nexus is no longer the central feature of economic transaction, where wealth is the end result of the individual’s involvement in a long, risky, and organized production process. Wealth is rather accidental, a windfall gain, or situational, where citizenship becomes a source of economic benefit.

    Some of my comment above was about seeing these symptoms in the U.S. polity.

  47. Hugh

    The current odds of an American dying from covid are about 1 in 575. The odds of getting a venous cerebral sinus thrombosis, the blood clot associated with the J & J vaccine, is around 1 in 400,000 and dying from it 1 in 7 million. Do the math.

  48. Jason

    The current odds of an American dying from covid are about 1 in 575. The odds of getting a venous cerebral sinus thrombosis, the blood clot associated with the J & J vaccine, is around 1 in 400,000 and dying from it 1 in 7 million. Do the math.

    Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Yes, statistics. Cited as necessary, devoid of all larger context.

    You’re smarter than this Hugh.

  49. NR

    Hey NR – here in the UK, the death of a person (of whatever cause) who tested +ve for Coronavirus in the previous 28 days is counted as a Covid death.

    That’s a fact. Period.

    Oh really? Let’s check the government’s official website then.

    It looks like they list two statistics: deaths within 28 days of a positive test, and deaths where COVID was listed as a cause of death on the death certificate. Curiously, the first number is actually smaller than the second number, which pretty much disproves the right-wing talking point that people dying of gunshots and car crashes are being counted as COVID deaths.

    Remember folks: if a right-winger tells you that water is wet, you should immediately turn on your faucet to check for yourself.

  50. Trinity

    Interesting discussion today. I won’t say “discussions” because they are all related to one thing only.

    As far as I know, the J&J was yanked, no longer available and the problems of clotting for young women are true. As Hugh notes, it’s only a few women but that’s reason enough to end its distribution. I know this because it was not available when I got my first shot. Jeremy, you need to think hard about your choice, but it is your choice.

    My agency held several COVID seminars led by an epidemiologist from NOAA. He shared the info on the J&J vaccine, noted that vaccination only provides nearly 100% protection from death from COVID, but not guaranteed, just extremely likely you won’t die if you get it. You can still get COVID and spread it. He also shared that the Pfizer people were on record saying we will all probably need a booster by December, and he thinks we will need annual shots for at least the next ten years. Someone noted this previously, just wanted to share, and all this falls BAU under a predator economy. Yet my agency just sent out info that “fully vaccinated” people two weeks past second shot) can congregate without masks when around other fully vac’d which is BS. It really is a mix of messaging that requires careful evaluation of what’s being said. We are on our own.

    Under the same topic of the predator economy but in terms of housing, another blog I follow stated that many (or some) counties (or cities) in the US are now stipulating that all new housing projects must be built under homeowner associations. He didn’t give numbers. If true, these require those sometimes exorbitant monthly maintenance fees for the pool and the gym, but the author added that this ensures that only the “right” people can live there and ensures you cannot do as you wish with your property (subdivide, add a small business, plant vegetables, etc.). And renters pay those fees if the property is rented, driving rents up. May help ensure the younger generation will never fully own any property.

  51. The Medical Mafia has gone after Dr. Joseph Mercola, who has one of the most trafficked health related websites in the world (if not #1). And they’ve managed to intimidate him with personal threats.

    See “Why I’m Removing All Articles Related to Vitamin D, C and Zinc and COVID-19” @

    I’m going to guess that the easiest and cheapest way to recover from covid-19 ILLNESS is hydrogen peroxide. (So, e.g., ivermectin might be a better prophylactic, and perhaps equally good for early stage. But a severe symptomatic case is probably better dealt with via hydrogen peroxide.) Some reader was kind enough to comment and leave a link to a mercola video re nebulized hydrogen peroxide, which, I assume, can no longer be viewed on mercola’s website, much less youtube. See and for a transcript.

    The lack of interest in the LONG-STANDING suppression of extremely cost effective ways to treat illness, in the US, is part of the reason I have zero faith in supposedly compassionate Democrats who want to give everybody “health care”, or Republican BIG LIE parrots who tell us we have the greatest health care system in the world. Neither of these sub-species of political animal care about what’s best for Americans, though they may actually care a lot about their political tribe (as opposed to just being a ‘money player’ – a completely sold out whore to financially driven ‘health care’ industry lackeys, who happens to chose a D or R affiliation for reasons of demographic convenience.)

  52. Willy

    I think it was Stewart M who suggested a public option as an option, because ideally it’d force actual competition, instead of our current “competition”. With one there’s a chance that medical practitioners would have to do their jobs first, to actually earn their money, instead of our current big medical/pharma culture where extracting cash from patients comes first.

  53. different clue


    If that Mercola site was scraped over time for archiving by the Internet Archive Project, then legacy copies of that Mercola site, including articles about ” the banned supplements”, may be findable on the Wayback Machine.

  54. @different clue

    I’m aware of the wayback machine, and have referenced it more than once, as archived versions of protocols, with suggested dosages, for conditions including cold and flu, are still there – while absent from the current site. Looking at those provided a fair first guess for how to deal with the (at the time) approaching covid crisis. Also, old, relevant versions of are there.

    The bigger problem is not just me, a sole individual, but what the commie-fascist monsters are doing not just to the health of the public, in general – but moreso what they’re doing to people who take more initiative and responsibility for their own health. Zillions of people who would use the wayback machine, and have some knowledge of the existence of invaluable knowledge of covid that used to be readily found on, don’t know about it; and zillions more will not ever become aware what treasures used to have (hence, won’t go looking for it).

    Meanwhile, I was listening to Steve Bannon talking about internal discussions that indicated that hydroxychloroquine was going to be used, but “bureaucrats” got involved and derailed that effort. Since Redfield is a top bureaucrat, himself, I can’t help wondering if he’s making excuses for his own, hidden, participation. I haven’t read the detailed account, by Redfield, so I’m not accusing him of merely deflecting, even if I’m wondering, aloud.

  55. nihil obstet

    Thanks, bruce wilder, for some very interesting observations.

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