#freemarket

Free market a far better manager of coronavirus than the political class

From The Straits Times Archives: Past 'mass hysteria' cases in ...

As states across America were coming to grips with ‘flattening the curve‘ of COVID-19 through punitive mandated lockdowns, who knew that coronavirus cases would surge after protestors assembled after the murder of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020?

New Cases

The same goes for the state of Victoria in Australia. While Premier Dan Andrews openly punished and heavily fined those who dared to play golf, sail or walk in a park, he turned a blind eye to public protests where little social distancing could be practised. Now he is reaping what he sowed. As much as we dislike the deeply socialist policies pushed by Andrews, the reaction is none-the-less absurd.

20.5% of all Victorians have been tested. 0.44% of those tested have returned positive to COVID19! That means 99.56% of those tested are fine. How does the media rationally look at the data? The headlines read “New Record Hit.” So what? Could it be that telling the public 99.56% of those tested are returning negative results won’t drive ad revenue? Best focus on the minuscule and blow it out of proportion.

Should we cynically view editors as expediently casting aside all the lessons on journalistic ethics and integrity in order to push clickbait that fits a narrative, regardless of who is affected?

Worse, politicians – who live in fear of the 24-7 news cycle – cower behind medical experts who have given nothing but wildly inaccurate forecasts to the detriment of the economy. Now that a ‘second wave’ is imminent, lawmakers are only too eager to double down on all of the mistakes made at the beginning.

When are we going to grow a collective pair and stand up to this nonsense? It is not hard to work out that the more we test, the more we detect.

Why aren’t politicians just making it clear that the pandemic will outlast the economy if we choose to let it? Why doesn’t the government conduct daily press briefings on suicide, motor vehicle accidents or the flu? In the US, twice as many people die each year from medical errors than have died so far from COVID. Where are the daily updates? Where are the media reporting these updates?

There is absolutely no attempt to be balanced. Of the 3.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, this is still around 6% of the 60 million who contracted H1N1 swine flu under the previous administration. Orange man bad. Let’s jettison context and perspective.

19 Jul COVID deaths

In the chart above we tally a list of COVID-19 deaths in Australia and the US by state.

NY has the highest number by a factor of two. Even though NY Gov Cuomo thinks he has been the most effective at handling the crisis. Never mind the number of deaths that resulted from his direct policy to put infected patients into nursing homes.

Pop Tested Corona

Let’s look at some more data – 13% of Americans have been tested as of July 20th. Of that, only 9% have tested positive to coronavirus. New York has tested a quarter of its residents and returned 8.5%.

Infection as % test

Yet death rates are far from scary in the US. New Jersey has the worst rate of 0.17683% deaths vs the state population. New York is marginally lower at 0.16549%. That means 99.8% of those living in these states haven’t died from it. In Hawaii, 99.998% haven’t succumbed.

Come to think of it, why haven’t the Australian mainstream media bashed Tasmania for having more deaths per head of population than Victoria? Where is the narrative shaming Taswegians?

deathsbtstate

The infections data in NY are at 2%. So 98% of people aren’t knowingly infected. 99% of South Dakotans aren’t infected either.

infect

We know we are well off finding a vaccine. So the more panic porn the media indulges in, the worse it will ultimately be for them too. They will be killing the golden goose. The economy can’t survive with well over half the workforce being subsidized by the government. Prudent risk management is the order of the day.

Politicians need to step up and push back. Reintroducing lockdown laws and pulling up the draw bridge at the border are kneejerk, one-size-fits-all approaches which only expose how hopelessly equipped the political class are at handling crises.

Premier Andrews has demanded that people must wear masks. He openly encouraged people to make their own if need be. Wear a tea cosy? Essentially what he is saying is that mask efficacy is utterly irrelevant. Only the gesture is required. So what is the point?

Perhaps we just need to reflect on our own behaviours. Sure most of us squirt some sanitizer if we see it and politely keep our distance by standing on dots stuck to the floor but it is dawning on many of us that the risk/reward ratio is getting ridiculous. Anyone with half a brain could see that BLM protests would cause a spike in cases.

Remember when people became panicked about flying after 9-11? It was only when cheap airfares were offered that the free market was able to coax travellers to risk their lives for $25 return to WhoopWhoop.

Therein lies the answer. The free market will be a far better manager of coronavirus than the political class. Let stores decide on mask policies or seating arrangements. If customers don’t show up they must innovate in ways to attract them. Necessity is the mother of invention, not incompetent elected officials telling us they know better. They simply don’t.

Lowering the standards for gender balance

The Left has lost its mind. Literally. Surely the whole point of an equal society is to provide a fair playing field. What an insult to women who legitimately a) want to do engineering & b) worked hard to meet the requirement at UTS to have standards lowered for women so thru can artificially boost numbers in a field where studies have shown women have less interest.

While we’re at it, let’s reduce the entrance mark for cardiology or brain surgery. If patients die on the operating table perhaps the sub-par doctor can say at least your husband died on the altar of diversity and inclusion.

Australia has lost the plot. Where are the politicians slamming this stupidity given taxpayers fund it!

Bernie’s lesson in free market economics

Well done Bernie Sanders. Where he couldn’t pay his staffers the $15 minimum wage he bangs on about so much, he just cuts hours so the total costs won’t change. His comments from the DesMoines Register reveal the holes in his socialist thinking. Higher minimum wages don’t create prosperity if people’s hours get cut as a result.

Fail

Interesting article on Bloomberg discussing the obvious outcome of Sweden’s plan to get more EVs on the grid. As most hair-brained climate alarmist governments have a desire to outdo each other on the virtue signaling scale it often leads to poorly thought out decisions which end up costing tax payers a fortune.

Bloomberg’s Jesper Starn wrote,

Demand for electricity in Stockholm and other cities is outgrowing capacity in local grids, forcing new charging networks to compete with other projects from housing to subway lines to get hooked up.”

We’ve been here so many times before. Take Germany in bio-fuels.

The German authorities went big for bio-fuels in 2008 forcing gas stands to install E-10 pumps to cut CO2. However as many as 3 million cars at the time weren’t equipped to run on it and as a result consumers abandoned it leaving many gas stands with shortages of the petrol and gluts of E-10 which left the petrol companies liable to huge fines (around $630mn) for not hitting government targets.

Claude Termes, a member of European Parliament from the Green Party in Luxembourg said in 2008 that “legally mandated biofuels were a dead end…the sooner It disappears, the better…my preference is zero…policymakers cannot close their eyes in front of the facts. The European Parliament is increasingly skeptical of biofuels.” Even ADAC told German drivers to avoid using E10 when traveling in other parts of continental Europe.

Spain perhaps provides the strongest evidence of poorly planned subsidy execution. In 2004 the Spanish government wanted to get 1GW of solar under its feed in tariff over 4 years. Instead it got 4GW in 1 year meaning its budget exploded 16x and it had €120bn in tax liabilities over the course of the promise. In the end, the government reneged on the promises it made because it couldn’t afford it. So much for the assurance of government run programs.

Not to mention the overproduction that has often been created by subsidies. When the subsidies are withdrawn, we see fierce cost cutting which buries prices and sends many producers to the wall which was the experience of the last cycle. Take a look at India’s once largest wind power producer Suzlon. At the peak $425 a share. Now $4.35. 90% up in smoke.

To think Bill Shorten wanted 50% EVs by 2030. Clearly Australian voters disagreed.

If governments can’t sustainably raise living wages without regulation, cheaper energy prices act like a tax cut so sticking with coal, gas and nuclear make far more sense than the life experience of sharp price increases thanks to green madness.

Here is betting Sweden doubles down on green madness to remain “woke”

Mercedes – “grant us tech neutrality“

As CM has argued for over two years – let the industry have full technological freedom (point 13, page 15) to hit government vehicle emissions targets. Mercedes Benz is requesting the same as they have no plans to phase out diesel or petrol by 2039 because “no one knows which drivetrain mix will best serve our customers in 20 years”. The free market is a funny thing – it works well.

How many renewables companies were sent to the wall thanks to generous subsidies that brought overproduction to a market the government couldn’t afford to sustain?

NYT hires fab new editor who hates “dumbass f*cking white people”

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Zerohedge reports that The NY Times has hired a fab new addition in Sarah Jeong to the ranks of the board of editors. It has been unearthed that 48 months ago Jeong said some pretty incendiary things about white people. From a personal standpoint as a white person, CM is not in the least bit impacted or offended by her statements. Alas it is just words and free speech. On the contrary the tweets say more about Jeong than any dumbass f*cking white people.

Was Jeong not aware that 8 of the 12 board of editors are currently white? Not that the board’s racial identity should have any bearing on disgraceful bigotry displayed by her.

The only point at stake here is whether The NY Times will defend and maintain consistent standards it would certainly hold if a white editor raged on about people of other colour. This isn’t a rally or #boycott (please no more boycotts) to get Jeong sacked. On the contrary. In free market thinking the question is whether The NY Times exercises rational judgement and sees that from a commercial perspective defending the indefensible might not be good for growing the business or encouraging a shrinking pool of paying advertisers to rent more space?

After the election of Trump, the newspaper changed its slogan to “The truth is more important now than ever.” For someone to espouse such bitter hatred so candidly in social media forums which have a half life of infinity, her truths are for all to see. The truth in The NY Times’ slogan is also on display.

How could The NY Times possibly hope to uphold the highest levels of ethics and moral high ground by defending her? In her press blurb the paper is effusive with praise citing, “Sarah has guided readers through the digital world with verve and erudition, staying ahead of every turn on the vast beat that is the internet.“ It is also quite telling that Twitter didn’t think she broke the very standards that would see conservative voices banned for far less offensive tweets.

CM wonders what the Harvard Law School has to say about its deeply talented alumni who served as Editor of the Journal of Law and Gender? Perhaps she just missed the ethics classes because she was too busy battling to make sure the correct pronouns were used in the articles on identity politics.

Lucky for The NY Times, Jeong will remain in Portland meaning should they choose to uphold the highest levels of integrity the paper won’t be required to fork out her relocation costs. CM had higher hopes for the paper. When it hired a conservative columnist in Bret Stevens there was hope that there was an attempt to seek some balance. He spoke of the vile hatred of the left in his first column. Read it here. The outcome of Jeong will speak more about The NY Times defending the side rather than the principle.