Godstud wrote:Long, but a very good read.
It probably deserves its own thread, because late--who has abandoned his thread--basically made it a simple partisan issue in an election season that may well not see Trump's demise. Yet, there will certainly be long term impacts from the Wuhan coronavirus.
First, Wade Davis has the same sort of obsession with the US that you do--not seeing virtually the same thing happening in Europe, where the breakdown of the EU is far more likely than any political disruption in the United States. Assemble the constituent EU countries together and look at the statistics, and the death rate is basically the same and it's impact basically on the same populations--people in assisted living facilities and people with chronic health conditions--usually of an inflammatory nature.
Wade Davis wrote:In the 14th Century, the Black Death killed close to half of Europe’s population.
The Wuhan coronavirus doesn't even threaten 5% of the population. So I think when people look back on it, the lockdowns and so forth will be seen as a dramatic overreaction, and the Democrat mantra "never let a crisis go to waste" will be the lasting marker of political opportunism that led to a completely unnecessary financial disaster that affected their own constituents worst of all.
Wade Davis wrote:As companies eliminate or downsize central offices, employees work from home, restaurants close, shopping malls shutter, streaming brings entertainment and sporting events into the home, and airline travel becomes ever more problematic and miserable, people will adapt, as we’ve always done.
The forces of this sort of thing were already in play. I've worked mostly from home since about 2004. I've had a few on-site jobs, but since 2012, I've worked exclusively from home other than a few visits to the corporate office. Shopping malls have been failing for awhile now. That's the Amazon effect, and the Wuhan coronavirus only accelerates the effect. Streaming has been underpinning cable cutters for awhile now. I think that is going to accelerate. I switched to Fubo.tv only because I can still get cable news and sports. Yet, sports are basically dead right now and news is mostly propaganda. So it will not surprise me at all if cable companies start going under.
Wade Davis wrote:To be sure, financial uncertainty will cast a long shadow. Hovering over the global economy for some time will be the sober realization that all the money in the hands of all the nations on Earth will never be enough to offset the losses sustained when an entire world ceases to function, with workers and businesses everywhere facing a choice between economic and biological survival.
This is where I think the rubber meets the road politically speaking. What's exceedingly clear is that many of our political leaders--ironically Trump isn't one of them--are financially illiterate. They are political ideologues. They seem to have no sense of the financial implications of their political decisions. To put a finer partisan point on it, the urban Democrat political machine--especially in California--was already facing a financial crisis in public employee pension systems as retired public employees were taking out six figure retirement checks for the rest of their lives. Yet now, politicians have mandated that mass transit runs full tilt with almost no ridership--producing staggering financial losses. Federal funds offset some of these losses, and in private transit like the airlines too. Airline travel hasn't become more miserable, but a bit less convenient. I flew recently, and the airports are dead economically speaking. Planes fly at 1/3 of capacity, and with few people flying, they limit departure locales. Whereas, Oakland airport would be closer to me, I had to fly out of San Francisco. With so few people flying, even a 737 from SFO to SLC wasn't in order. Instead, they flew Embraers, A220s, and Bombardiers. Big planes are sitting idle. Again, a capacity utilization issue with huge financial consequences imposed by government edict.
Wade Davis wrote:At the height of the crisis, with more than 2,000 dying each day, Americans found themselves members of a failed state, ruled by a dysfunctional and incompetent government largely responsible for death rates that added a tragic coda to America’s claim to supremacy in the world.
Both in the US and in Europe, some pols forced the return of stabilized patients back into nursing homes and assisted living facilities, infecting the most vulnerable of the population and spiking the death rate. Most of these people would be dead within a few years anyway.
Wade Davis wrote:For the first time, the international community felt compelled to send disaster relief to Washington.
This is a bit polemical. The US didn't receive tons of aid from the international community. China and Russia did provide ventilators to Italy. Canada even offered masks to China, and then ended up short-handed because like the US and EU, they outsourced all their production to China. American and European corporations making medical supplies in China doesn't make China supreme. It makes American and European medical firms reckless in their disregard for local populations they are supposed to serve, and exposed the almost ridiculous lack of regulation on global capitalism--like most of the ingredients for antibiotics being made exclusively in China--exposing China as the single point of failure in the global system of outsourcing.
Wade Davis wrote:As American doctors and nurses eagerly awaited emergency airlifts of basic supplies from China, the hinge of history opened to the Asian century.
The Irish Times is wrong here, and to put a finer point on it, the same problem happened in Europe as well. Outsourcing is fraught with more peril than lost jobs on the home front. It means during a crisis, you may lose access to essential resources. That does not spell more outsourcing to China, but a return of insourcing.
Wade Davis wrote:No empire long endures, even if few anticipate their demise. Every kingdom is born to die. The 15th century belonged to the Portuguese, the 16th to Spain, 17th to the Dutch. France dominated the 18th and Britain the 19th. Bled white and left bankrupt by the Great War, the British maintained a pretense of domination as late as 1935, when the empire reached its greatest geographical extent. By then, of course, the torch had long passed into the hands of America.
The 16th to the 19th Century involved awareness of the scope of the Americas, but not their full development. The US comprises the largest slab of arable land with navigable waterways on the planet. That does not change. The change of hands from the 15th to the 20th Century was only who was pre-eminent at empire. The Portuguese and Spanish could be said to have seen a come down, but the British, French and Dutch are still very prosperous countries.
Wade Davis wrote:A single American factory, Chrysler’s Detroit Arsenal, built more tanks than the whole of the Third Reich.
Now, from emergency powers, they crank out an unneeded number of ventilators that are being exported around the world--something Davis fails to mention.
Wade Davis wrote:In the wake of the war, with Europe and Japan in ashes, the United States with but 6 percent of the world’s population accounted for half of the global economy, including the production of 93 percent of all automobiles. Such economic dominance birthed a vibrant middle class, a trade union movement that allowed a single breadwinner with limited education to own a home and a car, support a family, and send his kids to good schools. It was not by any means a perfect world but affluence allowed for a truce between capital and labor, a reciprocity of opportunity in a time of rapid growth and declining income inequality, marked by high tax rates for the wealthy, who were by no means the only beneficiaries of a golden age of American capitalism.
This is another important point about the post-War world that spawned the rise of Trump. De-industrialization happened in the US and UK, but not in Germany or Japan. The US has GM, Ford and Chrysler, with the late AMC folded into Chrysler as Nash, Studebaker, Packard, etc. were failing. Consider Japan by contrast. They have:
Like the US has Cummins, Peterbilt, etc. Japan also has Hino. Yet, with half the population of the US, does Japan really need that many automobile manufacturers?
So the Soviet Union collapses, and the geniuses in the US, UK and EU decide free trade with China is a good idea.
Wade Davis, ibid wrote:Such economic dominance birthed a vibrant middle class, a trade union movement that allowed a single breadwinner with limited education to own a home and a car, support a family, and send his kids to good schools.
This was also true in the UK and France and other EU countries. These people have been hammered by free trade, and now they see that even their government-run health systems have become dependent upon supplies from China during a crisis and China hoarded much of the needed supplies. Those voters were already angry at establishment politicians, and they are not going to forget this soon.
Wade Davis wrote:In wide swaths of America, the family as an institution lost its grounding. By the 1960s, 40 percent of marriages were ending in divorce. Only six percent of American homes had grandparents living beneath the same roof as grandchildren; elders were abandoned to retirement homes.
Again, this is a bit polemical. There is a similar problem in Europe, and it is mostly based on "women's liberation," which ironically means women are forced out of the home and into the workforce where the government can tax their labor.
Wade Davis wrote:Only half of Americans report having meaningful, face-to-face social interactions on a daily basis. The nation consumes two-thirds of the world’s production of antidepressant drugs. The collapse of the working-class family has been responsible in part for an opioid crisis that has displaced car accidents as the leading cause of death for Americans under 50.
That has a lot to do with globalization, and nothing to do with the Wuhan coronavirus.
Wade Davis wrote:In any number of settings, however, the negative forces tearing apart a society are mitigated or even muted if there are other elements that reinforce social solidarity — religious faith, the strength and comfort of family, the pride of tradition, fidelity to the land, a spirit of place.
This is why I think the enthusiasm with which blue state governors have taken up dictatorial powers is going to cost them politically in the long run. They won't even let people go to church. SCOTUS upheld the governor of Nevada's edict allowing casinos to open, but forcing churches to remain shut. The anti-religious sentiment of the elite has been laid bare.
Wade Davis wrote:The three richest Americans have more money than the poorest 160 million of their countrymen.
In stock, not cash.
Wade Davis wrote:The vast majority of Americans — white, black, and brown — are two paychecks removed from bankruptcy.
So do you think they will be thankful with the government calling them "non-essential"? I'm guessing they are quietly hoping that Trump gets the economy re-opened.
Wade Davis wrote:With the COVID crisis, 40 million Americans lost their jobs, and 3.3 million businesses shut down, including 41 percent of all black-owned enterprises.
Right. Black lives don't matter to the establishment, even though they create a phony movement suggesting the opposite.
Wade Davis wrote:Black Americans, who significantly outnumber whites in federal prisons despite being but 13 percent of the population, are suffering shockingly high rates of morbidity and mortality, dying at nearly three times the rate of white Americans.
And that's why it is shocking that Barack Obama did nothing to remedy that, but Donald Trump did. The more you underscore these issues, the more it becomes clear that the establishment is not friendly to the American people of any color.
Wade Davis wrote:As a number of countries moved expeditiously to contain the virus, the United States stumbled along in denial, as if willfully blind.
The US cut off travel before any other major country did. We have enough tracing to know that the bulk of infection in the United States came from New York to the rest of the country. As it stands, the general police power in the United States belongs to the states, not the federal government, and it is mostly devolved to localities. Italy, Spain, France, and the UK have all had higher death rates per 1M people than the US. All of them had national health systems too, and that proved cold comfort.
Wade Davis wrote:The percentage of American victims of the disease who died was six times the global average. Achieving the world’s highest rate of morbidity and mortality provoked not shame, but only further lies, scapegoating, and boasts of miracle cures as dubious as the claims of a carnival barker, a grifter on the make.
This is basically not true. The death rate in the US is the same as it is in Europe. It mostly impacts the very elderly, and that impacts the US and Europe because of a very high life expectancy. Third worlders don't live to be 85 years old.
Wade Davis wrote:As the United States responded to the crisis like a corrupt tin pot dictatorship, the actual tin pot dictators of the world took the opportunity to seize the high ground, relishing a rare sense of moral superiority, especially in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The autocratic leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, chastised America for “maliciously violating ordinary citizens’ rights.” North Korean newspapers objected to “police brutality” in America. Quoted in the Iranian press, Ayatollah Khomeini gloated, “America has begun the process of its own destruction.”
All of this is being done by Democrats.
Wade Davis wrote:Trump’s performance and America’s crisis deflected attention from China’s own mishandling of the initial outbreak in Wuhan, not to mention its move to crush democracy in Hong Kong. When an American official raised the issue of human rights on Twitter, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, invoking the killing of George Floyd, responded with one short phrase, “I can’t breathe.”
We reap what the Democrats sow.
Wade Davis wrote:These politically motivated remarks may be easy to dismiss. But Americans have not done themselves any favors. Their political process made possible the ascendancy to the highest office in the land a national disgrace, a demagogue as morally and ethically compromised as a person can be. As a British writer quipped, “there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid”.
This is polemics on steroids. Donald Trump didn't create the conditions that destroyed entire classes and races of people. Not one of the people implementing these policies is named in this article, nor the destruction of their policies laid at their feet; yet, the temerity to compare Donald Trump to them as though Donald Trump had some moral or ethical failings is beyond ludicrous. Barack Obama created the largest refugee crisis since World War II--displacing millions of people. George W. Bush launched a war against Iraq. Bill Clinton, with help from Joe Biden, put in place the crime bill that saw so many black people incarcerated, while also granting Most Favored Nation trading status to China and admitting them to the WTO--creating all of these calamites spoken of in the article. And Trump is the national disgrace? Trump is the demagogue? Trump is morally and ethically compromised?
Wade Davis wrote:If America’s first president, George Washington, famously could not tell a lie, the current one can’t recognize the truth. Inverting the words and sentiments of Abraham Lincoln, this dark troll of a man celebrates malice for all, and charity for none.
Utterly wrong. He's the first president in 30 years to actually work to reverse the policies that hurt so many millions of people both in the US and abroad from the imperial war makers. How can you seriously cite Jimmy Carter stating that the US is the most warlike country on Earth and not so much as mention the leaders of those wars? Donald Trump is vilified by the establishment, because he wants to bring US troops back home. How is that morally and ethically compromised given the litany of sins he didn't commit over the last century? Wade Davis is utterly beyond help if he can't understand, given his own exegesis, why Trump became president. The very same establishment paid off all of Biden's competitors and are running him for the White House when he is very clearly suffering from dementia.
Wade Davis wrote:Those who flock to beaches, bars, and political rallies, putting their fellow citizens at risk, are not exercising freedom; they are displaying, as one commentator has noted, the weakness of a people who lack both the stoicism to endure the pandemic and the fortitude to defeat it.
You forgot riots...
Wade Davis wrote:For every person who has died in British Columbia, 44 have perished in Massachusetts, a state with a comparable population that has reported more COVID cases than all of Canada.
Yeah, the state of the United States that embraces all the love and socialism you extol more than any other. What good did it do? What good did it do for Italy, France, or Spain?
Wade Davis wrote:When American friends ask for an explanation, I encourage them to reflect on the last time they bought groceries at their neighborhood Safeway. In the U.S. there is almost always a racial, economic, cultural, and educational chasm between the consumer and the check-out staff that is difficult if not impossible to bridge. In Canada, the experience is quite different. One interacts if not as peers, certainly as members of a wider community. The reason for this is very simple. The checkout person may not share your level of affluence, but they know that you know that they are getting a living wage because of the unions.
You ignorant fuck, Davis! Safeway is a union shop! Get a fucking education before lecturing us with your Canada-is-such-a-wonderful-place bullshit. Fucking hell. Even Costco is unionized. If you want to blast someone, blast Jeff Bezos for his treatment of drivers and warehouse workers. What a fucking moron.
Wade Davis wrote:Asked what he thought of Western civilization, Mahatma Gandhi famously replied, “I think that would be a good idea.” Such a remark may seem cruel, but it accurately reflects the view of America today as seen from the perspective of any modern social democracy. Canada performed well during the COVID crisis because of our social contract, the bonds of community, the trust for each other and our institutions, our health care system in particular, with hospitals that cater to the medical needs of the collective, not the individual, and certainly not the private investor who views every hospital bed as if a rental property.
Canada fared well, because it's larger than the United States, has roughly the population of California, isn't an international travel hub, and followed Trump's lead in suspending travel from foreign countries. Even Canada-the-greatest-place-on-Earth® ran low on masks, because they got all their masks from China.
Wade Davis wrote:Finns live longer and are less likely to die in childhood or in giving birth than Americans.
Control for European-Americans, and the numbers are the same. Black children are far more likely to die from random gunfire in places controlled by the urban Democratic party political machine that won't deploy cops to black neighborhoods to protect black people from other black people.
Wade Davis wrote:Danes earn roughly the same after-tax income as Americans, while working 20 percent less.
Danes don't keep the shipping lanes of the world open. Try fielding fleets of aircraft carriers and then let us know if you need to work more and pay more taxes.
Wade Davis wrote:They pay in taxes an extra 19 cents for every dollar earned. But in return they get free health care, free education from pre-school through university, and the opportunity to prosper in a thriving free-market economy with dramatically lower levels of poverty, homelessness, crime, and inequality.
If you pay taxes for it, it's not free dumbass.
Wade Davis wrote:All of these benefits only inspire Danes to work harder, with fully 80 percent of men and women aged 16 to 64 engaged in the labor force, a figure far higher than that of the United States.
Wait... A few paragraphs ago, you were lamenting 24/7 America where fathers only spend 20 minutes a day with their children. Yet, the Danes are inspired to work so hard that they only spend 20 minutes a day with their kids? Which is it?
Wade Davis wrote:American politicians dismiss the Scandinavian model as creeping socialism, communism lite, something that would never work in the United States.
How about the Scandinavian model for handling coronavirus? Wear a mask. Social distance. Keep businesses open, and keep only the vulnerable locked up. How does that sound, instead of shutting off trillion dollar economies willy nilly and bankrupting poor black people?
Wade Davis wrote:Evidence of such terminal decadence is the choice that so many Americans made in 2016 to prioritize their personal indignations, placing their own resentments above any concerns for the fate of the country and the world, as they rushed to elect a man whose only credential for the job was his willingness to give voice to their hatreds, validate their anger, and target their enemies, real or imagined.
You just listed most of their grievances, and then omitted the people who actually implemented the policies that caused them to suffer.
Wade Davis wrote:One shudders to think of what it will mean to the world if Americans in November, knowing all that they do, elect to keep such a man in political power.
The alternative is a racist, demented geezer who imprisons black people and does the bidding of the imperial war machine.
Wade Davis wrote:But even should Trump be resoundingly defeated, it’s not at all clear that such a profoundly polarized nation will be able to find a way forward.
With a president with dementia? Of course not.
Wade Davis wrote:For better or for worse, America has had its time.
Yeah. Just try global trade without the US Navy to protect you.
Wade Davis wrote:For the moment, we have only the kleptocracy of Donald Trump.
Seriously? You just lamented 30 years of neoliberal policy Donald Trump had absolutely nothing to do with implementing. In fact, Trump cancelled the Trans Pacific Partnership--yet another policy of outsourcing American jobs to Asia--as one of his first moves as president. Trump does not represent the kleptocracy at all. For all the free education you got in Canada, apparently you got what you paid for. Frigging moron.