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March 10, 2020

The Morning Rant: Minimalist Edition


Speaking of pundits' predictions...

It's an intellectual struggle to look at pleasing predictions with the same jaundiced eye that we cast upon those predictions that are distasteful, but without that skepticism we will fall into the same morass of feel-good bullshit that plagues the Left.

But this guy is less breathless than most, so it is tempting to accept his predictions with a straight face.

Oil Prices

European countries have seen contractions in their economies, or declines in growth. China was under heavy economic pressure before the U.S. imposition of tariffs, and was facing instability in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Russian President Vladimir Putin had imposed a radical new model for Russian governance and was obviously sensitive to weakness in oil prices, which could not return to the high prices that had previously fueled the Russian economy. The United States is the strongest economy in the world, partly because among the major economies it is least dependent on exports, which account for about 13 percent of GDP, with nearly half going to Canada and Mexico. What is happening is in outline what we expected: China is staggering, triggering a decline in oil prices, and the U.S. is slowing but not going into crisis.
One of the shortcomings of much of the economic writing I have seen in the past few days has been the lack of analysis of how lower energy prices benefit economies. UPS and FedEx and United Airlines and trucking and rail companies and power companies all benefit. Is that a net positive for the economy?

And...the hysteria that seems to have engulfed the entire world will eventually burn itself out for lack of fuel. How long will people be willing to tolerate idiotic and illogical decisions by unelected bureaucrats simply to avoid some vanishingly unlikely outcome? Closing schools? Why? They didn't close schools when 10% of the campus population was down with the flu, so why now? And the idiot older brother of the profoundly retarded Chris Cuomo is considering cancelling the St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC.

It is a continuing source of amazement that these barely literate, barely educated, barely sentient people pontificate wildly about complex issues. How diseases are communicated, and at what rate, are immensely difficult questions. We can only look at the data at hand, and they show that corona virus is simply not the threat they want it to be.

Notice (as most of us have already) that any media or politicians' discussion of the virus devolves almost immediately into criticism of the Trump administration. They can't help themselves, and it is my most fervent wish that they will, as they have in the past, overplay this hand and push people toward president Trump.

&topic=world_news">digg this
posted by CBD at 11:00 AM

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