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General => General Chat => Topic started by: olkipukki on March 29, 2020, 11:59:07 am

Title: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: olkipukki on March 29, 2020, 11:59:07 am
There is always another side of a coin, and wondering what might be a good about Covid 19 outcome.

These can be from a trivial changes such as a fish came back to Venice canals and perhaps people start wash hands properly to a crime rate and road traffic incidents (probably) reduced.

What do you think?
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: babysitter on March 29, 2020, 12:05:03 pm
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Circlotron on March 29, 2020, 12:34:03 pm
The intense effort to find a cure or a vaccine could lead to spinoffs and other useful discoveries along the way.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: blueskull on March 29, 2020, 12:49:16 pm
Many social infrastructures like work from home, delivery services and more? Could have sparkled another industrial revolution!
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: BravoV on March 29, 2020, 12:51:44 pm
Tissue paper producers , distributors and etc. ::)
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Nusa on March 29, 2020, 01:05:55 pm
We find out who is competent and who isn't when it comes to dealing with the crisis.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Siwastaja on March 29, 2020, 02:22:35 pm
Some may actually understand that being on the move all the time is not needed, and is stressful.

Some may understand that distributed systems are more robust than full-scale globalized optimization.

Some may understand money isn't everything.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Neilm on March 29, 2020, 02:25:45 pm
The pollution levels have dropped considerably
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: MK14 on March 29, 2020, 02:26:14 pm
It may actually save a large number of peoples lives and allow a huge number of people to NOT be ill and/or have disabilities. In the future.

Because, a long time ago there were epidemics and things. Which killed lots of people at the time.
But as a result, things were discovered/invented/improved. Which in the longer term, saved many, many more lives (usually).

Hypothetical Example:
Let's say, sadly, 1,000,000 people die from this pandemic.
But, a new type of improved ventilator, gets invented. Saving 50,000 lives each year, in the future.
Better prevention/cures against virus infections are made. Saving a further 100,000 lives each year, in the future.
Quicker methods of developing vaccines and cures are made. Meaning that future epidemics/pandemics, are handled considerably faster. Saving huge numbers of future lives.

Medical science gets advanced, bringing benefits for future generations.

We learn, as Earthlings, that who we vote in, is rather more important, than perhaps we realised. That not being able to vote can have consequences.

The harsh reality of life. Is that many of the safety improvement we take for granted, in this day and age. Came about, because in the past, large numbers of people were injured or died, as a result of a lack of such things.

E.g. Lifeboats (Titanic), car seat belts, Air crashes (air safety improvements), Police forces, Fire brigades, and toilet paper antibiotics.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: SiliconWizard on March 29, 2020, 03:02:09 pm
Some may actually understand that being on the move all the time is not needed, and is stressful.

Some may understand that distributed systems are more robust than full-scale globalized optimization.

Some may understand money isn't everything.

Except for the last sentence (which almost nobody, including politicians, will admit to, whatever political current they are from), the two others have been the motto of current democratic-liberal thought for like 3 decades now. I unfortunately don't see that changing any time soon. If anything, I fear this crisis may have the opposite effect: push governments to just increase "globalization" as a means of better cooperation for next time it happens, and fighting "distributed systems" even more.

I may be pessimistic, but this sounds like a lost cause at this point. We are likely to just yet increase globalization further and somehow deprive people of some freedoms yet more.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: fourfathom on March 29, 2020, 03:06:21 pm
A lower overall death rate this year, since the distancing and hand-washing will reduce the overall number of "non-novel" viral infections.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: SiliconWizard on March 29, 2020, 03:06:57 pm
The pollution levels have dropped considerably

Indeed. Obvious though, but it has the benefit of showing everyone that pollution levels CAN be lowered a lot in a matter of just a few days by limiting human activities. It's not a matter of months or years.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: SiliconWizard on March 29, 2020, 03:09:56 pm
A lower overall death rate this year, since the distancing and hand-washing will reduce the overall number of "non-novel" viral infections.

Interesting point, that should indeed have an effect on many other viral infections. Probably even including AIDS, as people currently stopped going out at night in many areas, so probability of meeting someone new and having risky behaviors should also be a lot lower.

Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: MK14 on March 29, 2020, 03:10:00 pm
We are likely to just yet increase globalization further

Surely the stopping of so many international flights, in/out of many countries round the world. Is illustrating the advantages of reducing globalisation.
Some supplies are urgently needed to fight the virus (Ventilators/PPE (e.g. masks), medicines), then there are things like food and other supplies.
Too much reliance on other countries (and importing from them via aircraft flights), has put pressure on some things.

tl;dr
Maybe it will be the start, of LESS globalisation. With more homegrown manufacturing.

EDIT:
Let's put it another way.
With many highly globalised companies, struggling to continue manufacturing things (workers ill or isolating at home, or forced shutdowns due to virus), and potentially massive lack of market at the moment. E.g. New Car production/sales.
We may see a number of global companies failing. E.g. Airlines and Airline industries, Holiday-locations/Hotels, Many other sectors. Things may be very different, in years to come, as a result.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Zero999 on March 29, 2020, 03:51:04 pm
A lower overall death rate this year, since the distancing and hand-washing will reduce the overall number of "non-novel" viral infections.

Interesting point, that should indeed have an effect on many other viral infections. Probably even including AIDS, as people currently stopped going out at night in many areas, so probability of meeting someone new and having risky behaviors should also be a lot lower.
There will also be fewer road deaths too.

I hope China continues their ban (the current ban is temporary) on the disgusting inhumane and unhygienic wet markets.

This isn't the first time a pandemic has been caused by poor treatment of animals. SARS, swine and bird flu pandemics have been linked to intensive animal farming. As long as this practise continues, we risk this happening again and again. Improved animal welfare, hygene and eating less meat are the solutions to this problem. Full disclosure: I'm not vegetarian myself.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: SiliconWizard on March 29, 2020, 04:03:54 pm
This isn't the first time a pandemic has been caused by poor treatment of animals. SARS, swine and bird flu pandemics have been linked to intensive animal farming. As long as this practise continues, we risk this happening again and again. Improved animal welfare, hygene and eating less meat are the solutions to this problem. Full disclosure: I'm not vegetarian myself.

That's quite right. Those pandemics all have something in common: they are of animal origin, and mutation/transmission to humans was triggered by intensive farming, often with very dubious hygiene and unreasonable density.

You're right pointing out that we should not just focus on our global behaviors here, but specifically on how we farm animals worldwide, as this has become a major source of infectious diseases.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: coppice on March 29, 2020, 04:20:11 pm
A lower overall death rate this year, since the distancing and hand-washing will reduce the overall number of "non-novel" viral infections.

Interesting point, that should indeed have an effect on many other viral infections. Probably even including AIDS, as people currently stopped going out at night in many areas, so probability of meeting someone new and having risky behaviors should also be a lot lower.
There will also be fewer road deaths too.

I hope China continues their ban (the current ban is temporary) on the disgusting inhumane and unhygienic wet markets.
I do hope you are speaking from a position of actual knowledge, and have been to a few Chinese wet markets to see for yourself.

If you think those are bad, what about some of the western operations, like the CAFOs in the US? At least the Chinese don't have to threaten film crews with severe legal repercussions for filming in a wet market, as the US does with CAFOs. The public actually goes there and buys stuff in person.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Bud on March 29, 2020, 04:30:25 pm
I hope China continues their ban (the current ban is temporary) on the disgusting inhumane and unhygienic wet markets.

You cant fix stupid

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8163761/Chinese-markets-selling-bats.html (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8163761/Chinese-markets-selling-bats.html)
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: bd139 on March 29, 2020, 04:38:39 pm
Good things so far:

1. Housing market crashed so new buyers might get a chance.
2. No dog shit and litter everywhere
3. All the people who are bonafide arseholes are coming out so I can shit list them easily.
4. Pollution declined. Air in London is like the countryside now.
5. Bar the first night where one fell through my fence and destroyed it, no drunks fighting in the alley behind my house.
6. The company I work for makes more money out of this due to our automation and self service products and the current financial crash
7. Being an engineer type person I relish days when I'm not disturbed every 3 seconds by shoulder tapping dickheads. That is now not a problem.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: nctnico on March 29, 2020, 04:39:03 pm
The pollution levels have dropped considerably
Indeed. Obvious though, but it has the benefit of showing everyone that pollution levels CAN be lowered a lot in a matter of just a few days by limiting human activities. It's not a matter of months or years.
That is crossing my mind too. Lot's of people are forced to work from home; it would be reasonable to assume a portion of them will continue to do so after the Corona crisis. If that is a large enough number it could have an effect on traffic jams. However I don't think pollution levels will be significantly lower because most of the pollution comes from industry. Once those get started again the pollution will increase.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: OwO on March 29, 2020, 04:42:47 pm
🍲🦇🍴😊  🤢🥵🤧
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Exosia on March 29, 2020, 05:18:01 pm
The realization that for most of us life in metropolitan cities is so inhumane. Commute-work-commute-sleep-commute-work-commute-sleep... Always in a rush, no time to think about ourselves.

For two weeks now, everything is so quiet and peaceful.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: MK14 on March 29, 2020, 05:20:34 pm
Hopefully as a result of this pandemic, some good will come out of it.
Please, PLEASE, P L E A S E.
Develop a cure for the common cold and seasonal flu.

I.e. a Tablet, which you take, which removes such illnesses and/or long term (10+ year) vaccines, against them.
There is at least the seasonal flu jab, for some people, which helps.

I very vaguely remember hearing (a very long time ago), when I was considerably younger. In 10 years time (not sure of exact period), the common cold would be eradicated.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: mathsquid on March 29, 2020, 06:08:24 pm
When the London Tube Strike happened in 2014 (https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/cepcnp/455.html (https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/cepcnp/455.html)), people had to find a different way to get to work for the duration of the strike. A significant number of them didn't go back to the Tube after the strike was over. The disruption shook them out of their routine, and some of them found better alternatives. It's comparable to annealing a metal, where temporarily adding some heat allows things to find a lower, more stable, energy state.

I've always heard that the Chinese word for crisis is a combination of the words for danger and opportunity, but I've only recently understood what that really means. I believe that the disruptions we are facing now will provide many opportunities for us, collectively and individually, to break out of some of the ruts we have fallen into.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Kasper on March 29, 2020, 06:16:11 pm
More people will realize the benefits of working from home, making our world less polluted, more efficient and more happy.  And making it easier for me to work from home :) one of the main reasons I got into electronics in the first place.

More attention will be paid to the essentials: food, shelter and health.

I see this as a practice run for the next pandemic or pollution or whatever an overwhelming consensus of scientists say we should prepare for.  I hope this will drive voters and politicians to put more effort into listening to scientists instead of lobbyists.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: bd139 on March 29, 2020, 06:18:52 pm
So much that. I’ve been working from home for about three years and have a massively unfair advantage now  :-DD. People are seeing that it does work and people who don’t actually do anything but talk a lot are up shit creek.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 29, 2020, 06:25:19 pm
These sorts of threads often devolve into character assassinations, so let me apologize right up front if anyone gets offended.

I'm 58YO, and my parents got married at the start of the Great Depression, so I'm coming at this with quite a bit of history. The Great Depression altered the people who lived through it, and they imbued a sense of what they lived through into their children. I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn't emphasize being self-sufficient and avoided debt like a disease. This while growing up and living in a small house in a large city in California, so it's not like we were farming hundreds of acres somewhere.

The subject of this thread is "What is good about COVID-19?"

1) What I'd LIKE to be good about this incident (but have no illusions it will last for any length of time) is that it snaps humanity back to the understanding that each of us, with our families, cannot rely on "someone else" (read: government) to be our safety net. First of all, that attitude engenders recklessness - if you know you can rely on someone else's deep pockets, you're far more likely to do stupid things that MAKE you reliant on those deep pockets.

One thing that will soon become evident is that, while government "safety nets" might work to help the occasional person/family, no government can save everyone at the same time. The $2T(!) "stimulus" package just passed by the US government is about 10% of the national GDP. Think about that for a moment... the government cavalierly trying to replace 10% of the entire country's GDP. Not to make light of the situation, but from the money's point of view this isn't much different from everyone in the country taking a multi-week vacation and expecting the government to pay for it. Guess what... that money isn't "free". We are literally stealing it from the future. And many inside and outside of the government are screaming that $2T wasn't enough!!! More will be required!

Insurance companies stay solvent only when a small portion of their policies make claims. The fact that the insurance company, in this case, is a government doesn't change that fiscal reality. We can afford to bail out the occasional individual or family, but no government can afford to bail out significant portions of their entire population. We can't tax our way to success, the numbers just aren't there. And governments don't have bottomless "rainy day funds" either. Many have been saying "I've been paying taxes/Social Security/whatever for all these years, now it's time for the government to take care of ME." Sorry, but the taxes you paid got spent (and then some!) in real time. There's no retirement account with your name on it or your money in it.

In times of plenty it is far too easy for the population to demand too much, and even easier for politicians to buy their votes by promising even more. Politicians are smart - they know they will be long out of office and comfortably retired before any of their empty promises are revealed for the scams that they are. The next sucker in office will be left holding the bag.

Hence why I say that I'm hopeful COVID-19 will teach people to be less dependent upon external safety nets, and more self-reliant. They will do not only themselves a favor, but also their fellow humans who are foolish enough to NOT follow that advice - because if there are fewer who truly NEED a government bailout, it's more likely the government will actually have the resources to help them.

2) The other important thing we (as a species) can learn from this is to take steps to reduce the rate of future repeats. By that I specifically mean that if a country (China, we're looking at you) wishes to act like a first-world nation with all of the associated trade and travel and tourism benefits, they must reject certain third-world aspects of their former culture because continuing them risks literally everyone on the planet. This is not a one-time fluke: COVID-19 is the *second* such virus to emerge from China in less than 20 years. Having open food markets where live animals are kept next to freshly slaughtered carcasses might be OK if there's little trade beyond your immediate village, but that's third-world thinking which is incompatible with the first-world.

Some of those cultural traditions go back centuries, and I'm respectful of history, but they have to choose between culture and being a first-world player. I've personally been to China twice in the past 18 months and spent multiple weeks in multiple cities there. I've met wonderful people who are incredibly gracious hosts, who love their families and work hard and seek to improve themselves. I have incredible love and respect for the Chinese people. And they can choose to live as they wish - but one of those options comes with the price of rejecting certain cultural norms because to continue practicing them literally kills people worldwide.

Nobody is saying this out loud because it's "politically incorrect". But it's true no matter how embarrassed some people are to admit it. And if China doesn't accept and act on it, what REALLY scares me is that the world may have to impose it upon them, effectively quarantining China by force. The word for such an action is "war" and if we think COVID-19 is bad, it will pale in comparison to a war involving a nuclear state with 1.3 billion people.

Somehow, some way, the world at large must (probably privately) convince China that certain cultural behaviors must be eradicated permanently. I hope those conversations are already occurring because the downside of them not occurring is worldwide death whether slow (disease) or fast (war).
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: ebastler on March 29, 2020, 06:48:34 pm
I'm 58YO, and my parents got married at the start of the Great Depression

Allow me the observation that it took your parents a loong time to figure out that procreation thing, from 1929 to 1962.  ;)
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Gregg on March 29, 2020, 06:59:35 pm
Covid 19 may give a few anti-vaxers a dose of reality (but as mentioned earlier, you can’t fix stupid).  Maybe some big governments will spend more on medical research and hopefully less on weapons research.
Hopefully many people will figure out that over populated areas are not really desirable.   
It is nice that we haven’t heard a lot from the flat earthers; they just don’t have an audience.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Zero999 on March 29, 2020, 07:18:01 pm
A lower overall death rate this year, since the distancing and hand-washing will reduce the overall number of "non-novel" viral infections.

Interesting point, that should indeed have an effect on many other viral infections. Probably even including AIDS, as people currently stopped going out at night in many areas, so probability of meeting someone new and having risky behaviors should also be a lot lower.
There will also be fewer road deaths too.

I hope China continues their ban (the current ban is temporary) on the disgusting inhumane and unhygienic wet markets.
I do hope you are speaking from a position of actual knowledge, and have been to a few Chinese wet markets to see for yourself.

If you think those are bad, what about some of the western operations, like the CAFOs in the US? At least the Chinese don't have to threaten film crews with severe legal repercussions for filming in a wet market, as the US does with CAFOs. The public actually goes there and buys stuff in person.
No, I've not been to a Chinese wet market but know enough about them and if you read the rest of my post you'll find I mentioned swine and bird flu, which are also linked to intensive farming (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swine_influenza#Transmission). Many of the animals sold at Chinese wet markets aren't hunted from the wild, but intensively farmed in a similar manner to pigs and chickens are in the US and to some degree other countries.
Quote
This isn't the first time a pandemic has been caused by poor treatment of animals. SARS, swine and bird flu pandemics have been linked to intensive animal farming. As long as this practise continues, we risk this happening again and again. Improved animal welfare, hygene and eating less meat are the solutions to this problem. Full disclosure: I'm not vegetarian myself.

My criticism isn't purely aimed at the Chinese, even though they are to blame for this pandemic. The whole world needs to improve animal welfare and hygiene. It won't stop until there's a global ban on these intensive farming practices. So what if the price of meat goes up? People will just have to eat less of it and it won't damage the economy as much as Covid-19.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 29, 2020, 07:23:49 pm
Allow me the observation that it took your parents a loong time to figure out that procreation thing, from 1929 to 1962.
Indeed! And to top it off, they adopted me at 3DO. Think about that: They were 50YO and took on a newborn first and only child. One thing I've never wondered is if they wanted me or not!  :)
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 29, 2020, 07:26:24 pm
My criticism isn't purely aimed at the Chinese, even though they are to blame for this pandemic. The whole world needs to improve animal welfare and hygiene. It won't stop until there's a global ban on these intensive farming practices.
Precisely why I said that's what really scares me. The world will have to isolate - by force - those nations that refuse to eradicate this behavior. Imposing your will on another nation doesn't generally end well for either side.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: SiliconWizard on March 29, 2020, 07:31:19 pm
1) What I'd LIKE to be good about this incident (but have no illusions it will last for any length of time) is that it snaps humanity back to the understanding that each of us, with our families, cannot rely on "someone else" (read: government) to be our safety net.

I would like that too, but I'm unfortunately thinking that it will have the exact opposite effect, as people will tend to focus on the "cure" (the way we are currently handling the catastrophe - and for this, most people are currently relying on their government to provide both directions and care, and admittedly it's too late for anything else right now) rather than on the "preventive" part of things.

All that people will remember in the end (well, most of them) IMO is how bad things suddenly went and how we dealt with this, rather than ponder on how we could have avoided it altogether. And I'm afraid all we will keep from this is how to prepare for the next one, rather than how to avoid the next one.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: BravoV on March 29, 2020, 07:53:34 pm
One thing that will soon become evident is that, while government "safety nets" might work to help the occasional person/family, no government can save everyone at the same time. The $2T(!) "stimulus" package just passed by the US government is about 10% of the national GDP. Think about that for a moment... the government cavalierly trying to replace 10% of the entire country's GDP. Not to make light of the situation, but from the money's point of view this isn't much different from everyone in the country taking a multi-week vacation and expecting the government to pay for it. Guess what... that money isn't "free". We are literally stealing it from the future. And many inside and outside of the government are screaming that $2T wasn't enough!!! More will be required!

For US adversaries, this is actually a good beginning.

Its like a human body that has serious opened wound that keep bleeding out fast, instead of willingly to experience or endure the temporary pain at fixing the wound, like stitching it to stop the bleeding and etc, now the gov. just keep pumping in water to dilute the blood, while confident that its the blood pressure that need to be maintained, a.k.a.  ... just print a lot-lot more money and spread it for free.

Indeed this is an interesting era to watch, to be honest I didn't even expect of watching this in my life time.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Zero999 on March 29, 2020, 08:08:14 pm
My criticism isn't purely aimed at the Chinese, even though they are to blame for this pandemic. The whole world needs to improve animal welfare and hygiene. It won't stop until there's a global ban on these intensive farming practices.
Precisely why I said that's what really scares me. The world will have to isolate - by force - those nations that refuse to eradicate this behavior. Imposing your will on another nation doesn't generally end well for either side.
What concerns me is countries such as the US will criticise China's wildlife markets, without reassessing their own intensive farming practises.

Regarding the other point you made in your other post about self-sufficiency: no one in a modern society can be truly self-sufficient. We all depend on other people for something. Even if you save enough cash for a rainy day, it doesn't guarantee it will be of any use if it's wiped out by hyperinflation. Some sort of insurance is necessary although I do agree that it can only go so far. If I get sick and lose my job, I can get housing benefit to cover the mortgage, the National Health Service will treat my illness until I'm well enough to work, then I can claim jobseeker's allowance until I find a new job. This is obviously no good if everyone is sick and loses their job at the same time.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 29, 2020, 08:12:55 pm
...the gov. just keep pumping in water to dilute the blood, while confident that its the blood pressure that need to be maintained, a.k.a.  ... just print a lot-lot more money and spread it for free...
It has to end at some point. The numbers don't lie and cannot be fooled forever. But I think today's politicians are in too deep to stop it with any sort of normal response. The debt is simply too great to repay, no generation will be willing to sacrifice that much for the excesses and bad judgement of earlier politicians.

As an ever-increasing percentage of the budget goes to debt service (read: interest) there will come a time where someone's ox will get gored. There won't be any "good" options. My guess is that the US government will simply declare selective bankruptcy: Debts owed to foreign entities are suddenly null and void, with the US military to make it stick. Impossible? The only alternative would be to turn their backs on US voters upon whom politicians are dependent for their careers. Given those options I fully expect politicians to favor their constituents - and their elected positions - while hiding behind the US military. One would hope that we'd pass a balanced budget amendment as part of this action so that international trust in the USA would have some hope of rebuilding.

Things were bad enough back in 2008-2009 that I thought this might happen then. We can't pull too many more rabbits out of this particular hat.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 29, 2020, 08:16:57 pm
This is obviously no good if everyone is sick and loses their job at the same time.
THIS is the root issue with relying on government as a safety net. A few "insurance" claims can be tolerated. Massive, double-digit percentages cannot. We are very near the latter.

Your point about savings being worthless if the currency is devalued is 100% accurate. By itself, having hordes of cash isn't self-sufficiency. Remember the irish potato famine stories.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: james_s on March 29, 2020, 10:12:52 pm
Depending on how bad it gets and how widespread, it might put one or more private health insurance companies out of business which I can only see as a good thing in the long term. Witnessing millions of people being dumped into the street without healthcare during a pandemic might finally catalyze the formation of universal healthcare in the USA, similar to that which every other developed nation in the world has. We already spend twice as much money as the runner up, universal healthcare would be cheaper than what we're doing now and wouldn't result in people losing their healthcare when they need it most or being tied to a job they hate because they need the health insurance. Employer provided health insurance is an enormous job killing tax on corporations that not only encourages them to avoid hiring people but encourages disposing of older employees and replacing them with younger people that are cheaper to insure. It's hard for me to understand why our political right is so dead set against universal care when it would remove what is effectively an enormous tax on corporations removing that dis-incentive on hiring full time employees.

Every system has flaws but if I set out to design one as complicated and inefficient as possible I'd be hard pressed to beat what we have. There are layers and layers of middlemen that add no value whatsoever. I hear people argue that they don't want to pay for someone elses medical care, not realizing that they're already paying for it on top of everything else. Emergency rooms cannot deny treatment, when someone can't pay the cost is padded onto what everyone else pays. The fact that we spend twice as much per capita as any other nation on healthcare yet still have millions without coverage suggests an enormous level of waste and overhead.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: james_s on March 29, 2020, 10:20:55 pm
It has to end at some point. The numbers don't lie and cannot be fooled forever. But I think today's politicians are in too deep to stop it with any sort of normal response. The debt is simply too great to repay, no generation will be willing to sacrifice that much for the excesses and bad judgement of earlier politicians.

I've wondered at times what will eventually happen with that. The debt is so massive that I don't think most can even comprehend the number, it will never be repaid, doing so is impossible even if it stopped increasing today, I've wondered if it might almost make sense to just throw part of it out and start over. To be honest I don't even fully understand who the debt is owed to.

Then there is the stock market, it is supposed to provide capital for companies to expand but in reality most of what it functions as is just a huge casino. I was looking at some stock prices yesterday just for fun and even after the huge slides we have seen quite a few of them are STILL greatly overpriced relative to what they rationally should be. I observed the same thing during the housing bubble crash in 2008 or whenever that was, the value of my house dropped quite a bit but it never dropped anywhere near to what I paid for the place in 2004, at the lowest point it was still overpriced relative to average wages. The whole thing is a house of cards and what we have come to see as "normal" is actually highly inflated. People make vast sums of money pushing stocks around without generating any actual value. It's just a big game where you try to leave someone else holding the bag.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: tooki on March 29, 2020, 10:56:43 pm
  • German folk music concerts got cancelled. (Hint: German folk music is the worst.)
Generally speaking, I agree with you completely. I hate Schlager. But this is glorious:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyrdKg-tyKo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyrdKg-tyKo)
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Wilksey on March 29, 2020, 11:04:31 pm
Good things so far:

1. Housing market crashed so new buyers might get a chance.
2. No dog shit and litter everywhere
3. All the people who are bonafide arseholes are coming out so I can shit list them easily.
4. Pollution declined. Air in London is like the countryside now.
5. Bar the first night where one fell through my fence and destroyed it, no drunks fighting in the alley behind my house.
6. The company I work for makes more money out of this due to our automation and self service products and the current financial crash
7. Being an engineer type person I relish days when I'm not disturbed every 3 seconds by shoulder tapping dickheads. That is now not a problem.

Haha, fully with you on point #7!!

I will say that - perhaps not a "good" thing, but you also find out what the company you work for is like, and how far they are willing to go for their employees.
Let's just say not a lot of happy campers.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Marco on March 30, 2020, 02:45:24 am
As an ever-increasing percentage of the budget goes to debt service

It doesn't work that way for countries. There is a truth purposely hidden by mainstream economists, because like good little globalists they are predisposed to hating sovereignty. There is an infinite capacity to debt, the central bank balance sheet. Printing money as a sovereign country does not lead to hyperinflation, hyperinflation is a symptom of an unsustainable economy caused by far more fundamental forces ... trade and current account balances.

Printing money just causes inflation, which is just a form of taxation which additionally allows redistribution from creditors to debtors. A form of taxation which really works well in times of deflationary crises. But the greatest truth of all, the one which scares economists the most is that there is no reason to pay that debt down, in fact a country really shouldn't because that causes deflationary pressure. Once a country has expanded the money supply, it should just leave it expanded as the new normal.

So after crises number one the debt to GDP goes to 100%? Not a problem. After crises number 2 it goes to 200%? Still not a problem. 100000000%? Still not a problem. It's all just paper and the new normal.

Of course it does require a lot of discipline of the government to not abuse this power. Japan has that discipline, other countries might not. Economists would have rather seen Japan's economy burn to the ground in "creative destruction" and then slowly rebuild. Instead they remained a first world country and had some slow decades ... I think they did well not to listen too much to mainstream economists.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: julianhigginson on March 30, 2020, 03:00:54 am
it's pointing out some very glaring holes in free market capitalism, that's for sure.
Hopefully enough people are paying attention and will be as rightfully angry with it as they should be, when they come out the other side.

Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Psi on March 30, 2020, 03:09:49 am
If the economy collapses, or even if it just gets damaged to a severe degree, it may allow for a shift to a simpler economic system (with less loopholes) where less wealth is monopolized by the rich, or by people not contributing to society.

If a large percentage of the lower class don't have enough money to buy food or housing the government may have no choice but to actually fix things.

Note: I'm talking in general, not about a specific country.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: james_s on March 30, 2020, 03:30:06 am
Capitalism in general works very well I think, but it needs some controls to keep things in check. A completely free market works ok for non-essentials but goods and services essential to basic living there has to be a greater degree of control against dramatic price fluctuations. Taxation ought to also be progressive, it should be possible for anyone who makes the right choices to become quite well off, but it should be progressively more difficult to become so wealthy that it snowballs and allows someone to use money to keep acquiring more money without generating any actual value. It could be all but impossible to be a billionaire and it would not stop anyone from becoming extremely wealthy. There is this false idea that the wealthy create jobs but it actually works the other way around. People who build successful businesses create jobs and that makes them wealthy along the way.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Psi on March 30, 2020, 04:02:02 am
Universal basic income is a difficult thing to get right because it has to take into account a lot of factors. The cost of living is not the same everywhere.
But that sort of system would be able to deal with lockdowns much better.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Psi on March 30, 2020, 04:03:27 am
it should be possible for anyone who makes the right choices to become quite well off, but it should be progressively more difficult to become so wealthy that it snowballs and allows someone to use money to keep acquiring more money without generating any actual value.

Agreed.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: blueskull on March 30, 2020, 04:09:42 am
You cant fix stupid
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8163761/Chinese-markets-selling-bats.html (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8163761/Chinese-markets-selling-bats.html)

No can fix bullshit journalism.

Live slaughtering is perfectly legal in China for smaller food animals like rabbits, dogs, chickens and fishes. Chinese cuisine frequently calls for internal organs of animals, and due to their fast deterioration, they have to be cooked right after slaughtering.

China has revised an edible animal list after the outbreak, and animals being slaughtered there are all on the list.

As for the guard not allowing people to take pictures, this is also perfectly fine. They own the place, and if you don't come with a warrant, you are not welcomed to investigate the place.

Freedom of journalism is not a thing in China. We'd rather take censored news than made up news.

And even the article said bats are sold as medicine, which is again, exempted from food related laws. The product indeed looks fishy, and might even be illegal, but that has nothing to do with food safety.

And the article is not short of any China-bashing verbiage, like repetitively discrediting China's effort on containing the virus and showing the sympathy to Dr. Li which is nothing but hypocrisy.

Although there are numerous articles stating the virus MAY not be originating from China, from urban legends to Nature and Science, this article magically avoided all of them.

This is just a perfect example of why Western media sucks. Also from the comments, I'm fully convinced that the West will collapse soon if everyone is idiotic enough to read this kind of third class medias.

Nobody is saying this out loud because it's "politically incorrect".

Nobody is saying this loud because it's bullshit.

By that I specifically mean that if a country (China, we're looking at you) wishes to act like a first-world nation with all of the associated trade and travel and tourism benefits, they must reject certain third-world aspects of their former culture because continuing them risks literally everyone on the planet.

I take that you know the definition of x world countries. China by definition is not a first world country. No one forces you to do business with China. If you don't want to trade with China, you are free not to trade. That is, if you can afford it, which is completely your OWN problem.

Despite China exports more than imports from a revenue perspective, but if you look at the profit, China imports more than exports. At the current rate of China's R&D, it won't take many years for China to completely catch up the Western technology. By then, the cost for China not buying from the West will greatly overwhelm the cost China takes jobs from the West. Therefore China does not have to join the first world.

Precisely why I said that's what really scares me. The world will have to isolate - by force - those nations that refuse to eradicate this behavior.

Presumably that's why China has finally closed its boarders. The West shows not capable enough to contain the virus, and is not capable of tracking cases, which poses a severe risk to China. Time has changed.

Imposing your will on another nation doesn't generally end well for either side.

Glad you know that.

My criticism isn't purely aimed at the Chinese, even though they are to blame for this pandemic.

You should blame Western democracy for not allowing your government to save you.

The whole world needs to improve animal welfare and hygiene. It won't stop until there's a global ban on these intensive farming practices.

You sound like the Greta girl. The venerable Lord Putin once commented her with something like everyone in Africa wants living quality in Sweden, but first they have to develop economy.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 30, 2020, 04:21:08 am
There is an infinite capacity to debt, the central bank balance sheet... there is no reason to pay that debt down
This is a convenient fiction that many people repeat despite its being incorrect. My wife, who has a BA Finance Magna cum Laude, often has to correct people on this fallacy, along with its usual companion "Debt is just interest that we owe ourselves, so it's not real/doesn't matter/other excuse".

The easiest retort to this error is to ask the following question: "If the debt doesn't matter, why do we bother paying interest on it?" The first followup question is: "If paying interest doesn't matter, why is interest an increasing percentage of the federal budget?" And the next: "So there are zero downsides to simply ceasing payment of interest on the debt?" And the next: "What happens when the interest continues to increase, until it starts squeezing out mandatory and discretionary spending?"

The usual knee-jerk response to that last question is "Easy, we just issue fresh debt to pay the interest on the old debt." That's also known as being on the wrong side of compound interest, and that curve is anything but linear... once you cross that threshold it's just a matter of time until the whole things collapses.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: BravoV on March 30, 2020, 04:25:06 am
No can fix bullshit journalism.

+1

From CNN -> Desperate to go home, Indian migrant workers face tough choice amid world's largest lockdown (https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/27/india/coronavirus-covid-19-india-2703-intl-hnk/index.html)

Just ignore the video, read the article and take note on the CNN's reporter speech commenting the video, it is totally very neutral tone.  ::)

Now, imagine this video is a leaked Chinese police doing that to civilian exactly like that during the lock down in Wuhan.

Can you guess what will be the reporter's tone and the writing by CNN ?

You don't need to be genius to guess that.  :-DD
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 30, 2020, 04:26:40 am
it's pointing out some very glaring holes in free market capitalism, that's for sure.
Which are (or should be) balanced by proper regulation and oversight. Antitrust, for one. Separation of church and state in the banking industry for another, as we USED to have in the USA thanks to Glass-Stegal until President Clinton signed it away, which is a direct proximate cause of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

Capitalism is not safe without some regulation and oversight, but it's much better than all of the other financial systems that have ever been tried. The fact that it needs (constant) minor tweaking doesn't mean we should wholesale throw it out.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 30, 2020, 04:33:50 am
Universal basic income is a difficult thing to get right because it has to take into account a lot of factors.
UBI is a completely stupid idea that cannot and will not work. Why not? The reasons are endless, and some require a little background in finance to dig into, but the easy answers include the following:

1) Every landlord knows their tenants are suddenly receiving an extra $1K per month. What do you suppose will happen to rents?

2) Every employer knows their employees are suddenly receiving an extra $1K per month. "You don't need a raise, you just got a $12K/year raise."

In other words, the market will swiftly price that $1K per person into every transaction. There might be a short time where the increase appears to be a net positive, but very quickly the net result on the other side will be no different than before. Then what? Increase UBI to $2K? Same result, until you run out of commas and zeroes to describe dollar amounts and they devalue the dollar to keep numbers managable. Or maybe you want rent, price, and wage controls throughout the economy? Better consult history for how well that has worked in other economies... and say goodbye to any last vestige of "free markets" when the government controls how much you can earn and how much you can spend.

EDIT: There's another reason UBI is a fatally flawed concept, one that Engineers especially should appreciate. It's totally open loop. UBI creates a situation where decades of cash obligation can be placed upon the government by any couple who doesn't practice birth control, with absolutely no negative feedback or backpressure of any kind. A wild night by any random couple can burden the taxpayers with $1K per month for 70-90 years. Multiply by the number of people actively seeking casual sex, who aren't careful, who don't care, etc. And the more dependents we get that way, the more dependents THEY create in the same fashion, lather rinse repeat. It's a perfect example of a runaway system.

UBI is literally one of the least intelligent concepts to be proposed in a very long time. But it sure sounds good to anyone who loves (what appears to be) a free handout and doesn't think beyond that.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: james_s on March 30, 2020, 04:42:50 am
Universal basic income is a difficult thing to get right because it has to take into account a lot of factors. The cost of living is not the same everywhere.
But that sort of system would be able to deal with lockdowns much better.

I don't like the idea of universal basic income. I think all who are able need to pull our own weight, it gives us some purpose in life, otherwise there are significant numbers of people content to coast by on the absolute minimum or worse, cause trouble for others. I like having a safety net but I don't want to be able to just sit around and mooch off society while I'm able to work.

Universal healthcare? Absolutely, at least for medical necessities. I don't believe anyone should have to choose between death and bankruptcy. Nobody should ever have to wonder whether they should call for an ambulance or visit the emergency room for some chest pain or just take a chance and hope that it's indigestion because it's going to cost several thousand dollars to find out. Nobody should ever be denied treatment that is medically necessary.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: blueskull on March 30, 2020, 04:47:58 am
UBI is a completely stupid idea that cannot and will not work.

Since this thread has completely derailed to politics, I'll just add more fuel.

UBI is exactly why Hong Kong can't control the riots.

If you live in HK as a young person, you receive 8000 HKD per month of UBI doing nothing, and if you go to work as a white collar, you make 13000 HKD while you will not be allowed to take UBI.

Which means, you don't gain much from working. OTOH, if you can get some illegal income such as participating a riot, those are not taxed and not mutually exclusive with the UBI, so why not?

UBI in this case promotes perfectly workable young people not to work and to parasite on taxpayer's money. Making tings worse, if you don't go to work, you will want to find something to do, which includes getting yourself into trouble.

And since HK runs a non-weighted democratic system, there's no way to take UBI away as wealth in HK is greatly monopolized by a few families, so 99.9% of the people want those rich people to pay for their own living.

If you want to incorporate UBI in your country, think twice. In case you wonder, China had tried strict socialism before, and it didn't end up well. People just stopped working productively. This still plagues China in sectors where a permanent job is still granted, such as in government agencies and schools.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: BravoV on March 30, 2020, 04:55:08 am
Capitalism in general works very well I think, but it needs some controls to keep things in check. A completely free market works ok for non-essentials but goods and services essential to basic living there has to be a greater degree of control against dramatic price fluctuations. Taxation ought to also be progressive, it should be possible for anyone who makes the right choices to become quite well off, but it should be progressively more difficult to become so wealthy that it snowballs and allows someone to use money to keep acquiring more money without generating any actual value. It could be all but impossible to be a billionaire and it would not stop anyone from becoming extremely wealthy. There is this false idea that the wealthy create jobs but it actually works the other way around. People who build successful businesses create jobs and that makes them wealthy along the way.

The problem is, the "check" is never existed and deliberately shot down since the beginning and every times whenever someone tried to bring it out.

An "opinionated" article, imo, but worth reading as this kind of view rarely seen in 1st tiers news in Western world.

Few quotes ...

"This is not capitalism. Capitalism is simple. You let winners win. You let losers lose. Regulate the whole show to the minimum degree realistically necessary to protect workers, consumers and citizens. These simple rules have been forgotten. Instead, we have an adulterated form of capitalism that, as far as finance is concerned, has no losers."

"Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Catholicism without God."


Read here -> $6 Trillion ‘rescue package,’ unaffordable bailouts and buybacks: Bend over, here it comes again! (https://www.rt.com/op-ed/484307-capitalism-bankruptcy-buybacks-fail/) ... its from "Russia Todays" ...  >:D
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: james_s on March 30, 2020, 04:56:16 am
I hadn't realized there was anywhere that actually had UBI. I've known enough people who can barely be motivated to get a job even when they can't pay the bills and will always do the bare minimum they can get away with to survive. My friend's stepson is in his late 20s now and can't seem to hold a job for any length of time, he mooches off his mom who keeps giving him money for some stupid reason. He's perfectly content to sit around smoking pot and playing video games, activities I have no particular issue with *provided* they are done in moderation but with him that's pretty much all he ever does.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 30, 2020, 05:01:14 am
Universal healthcare? Absolutely, at least for medical necessities. I don't believe anyone should have to choose between death and bankruptcy. Nobody should ever have to wonder whether they should call for an ambulance or visit the emergency room for some chest pain or just take a chance and hope that it's indigestion because it's going to cost several thousand dollars to find out. Nobody should ever be denied treatment that is medically necessary.
Emotionally I want to agree, and I'm not going to argue, but do consider this. Such medical expenses are paid for with tax dollars, which politicians and the media constantly scrutinize to find fault with how they're spent (though they often couch such actions as "oversight" or "being responsible", they really do it to find ammunition against their political opponents). If the government is financially responsible for your medical expenses, then legally they can prove standing to control those behaviors which cause or increase those expenses.

Let's take an easy one: Smoking. The medical expenses associated with smoking are 100% preventable. Therefore, it seems reasonable to compel taxpayer-funded patients to not smoke, correct?

OK, then what about fast food? How about liver disease caused by liquor consumption? Drug abuse? Every one of those is 100% preventable - wouldn't it be appropriate to ban them to save tax dollars? (Ask yourself how those would be enforced, and what penalties we would impose for violation?)

Now let's get to the tougher ones. What about activities deemed "risky" to one's health? I'm a scuba diver, an activity deemed risky enough that it disqualifies you from many life insurance policies. Same for private pilots. But what about rock climbing? Kayaking? Children's sports like soccer, baseball, and (especially) gymnastics? There are well known stats for the dangers of these activities, and your CHOICE to participate risks government spending obligations.

Finally, the heavy lifting. Should women deemed "high risk" be allowed to get pregnant? The costs for a baby requiring NICU can hit six figures at light speed, and the actuarial tables that statistically predict such outcomes are well known to both the medical and insurance industries. And that's not even considering the risks to the mother. How about adults with inheritable mental or physical ailments - should they be allowed to create children who will be virtually certain to create enormous expense for the government?

There is substantial legal precedent for a benefactor having standing over the decisions of a beneficiary. Politicians and the media already weaponize the spending decisions of their adversaries. Do you really want your medical decisions to be wrapped around that axle?
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 30, 2020, 05:08:33 am
The problem is, the "check" is never existed and deliberately shot down since the beginning and every times whenever someone tried to bring it out.
Not true.

Early in the industrial revolution we didn't have antitrust, and the problems with that quickly became evident enough that we passed antitrust legislation. It's been used on quite a few industries, and strongly considered on many more.

Also, please look up Glass-Stegal. Passed as a result of the Great Depression, it successfully kept banking and investment separated for ~70 years until Clinton signed it away. To no one's great surprise, the Great Recession followed within about a decade. That's about as perfect an example of your "check" as you'll ever get... it didn't exist and the problem occurred, the problem didn't recur while the "check" was in place, and then the "check" was removed and the problem resurfaced in just a few years.

"Checks" do exist, can and do work. We just need less wild swings in our (at least USA) politics to stop the wild overshoots and overcorrections.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: james_s on March 30, 2020, 05:22:47 am
"Checks" do exist, can and do work. We just need less wild swings in our (at least USA) politics to stop the wild overshoots and overcorrections.

That's a problem that seems to be getting larger and I suspect it has many causes. Not the least of which is the internet in general and more recently social media. These make it possible for people to exist largely within these carefully crafted echo chambers where anyone holding a different view is easily expelled, people have largely lost the ability to agree to disagree and politics has become a religion for many people. They cannot objectively discuss their views or the pros and cons of their chosen side, it's always that their guy can do no wrong and the other guy can do no right. Any criticism of their side is taken like a personal attack on themselves.

Everybody wants quick and simple solutions to complex problems. Politicians make lofty promises as they campaign, far more and bigger than a person could ever hope to actually accomplish in office. The system responds slowly by design, this keeps the entire course of the nation from oscillating wildly between extremes, but it also means that necessary changes occur much to slowly to keep people happy, and no matter who is in charge or what they are doing roughly half the country is upset about it.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Marco on March 30, 2020, 05:34:53 am
The easiest retort to this error is to ask the following question: "If the debt doesn't matter, why do we bother paying interest on it?"
For debt on the Fed balance sheet, mostly because accountants like accounting. Treasury pays interest to the Fed, Fed returns interest to the Treasury. Weeee ....
Quote
"If paying interest doesn't matter, why is interest an increasing percentage of the federal budget?"
Because a significant amount of the federal debt isn't on the Fed balance sheet.
Quote
"What happens when the interest continues to increase, until it starts squeezing out mandatory and discretionary spending?"
Interest on US treasury bonds increases at the mercy of the Fed, if the private market refuses to buy it at say 0% interest rate at auction ... then next auction the Fed just does nudge nudge wink wink and the private parties know that they can sell it the next day to the Fed in private market operations at a tiny profit. So they buy, because a tiny profit is enough to tie up liquidity for a day. The detour through the private market is just because it makes economists feel a little less upset ...

The capacity on the private market for debt at low interest rate is finite, the capacity on the Fed balance sheet is infinite. Just look at Japan central bank's accumulation of Japanese sovereign debt and look at how all the chicken littles (like say ZeroHedge) predicting catastrophic results have been wrong.

Which isn't to say you should always print money to pay the government budget, but occasionally doing so and just ignoring the expansion of the money supply it creates without subsequently shrinking it again does no real harm in an otherwise stable economy. As I said, it takes a bit of discipline.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: olkipukki on March 30, 2020, 06:09:25 am
How come last few postings related to subj?  :-DD :-//  :wtf:  :palm:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohDB5gbtaEQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohDB5gbtaEQ)
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Zero999 on March 30, 2020, 02:06:40 pm
No can fix bullshit journalism.

Live slaughtering is perfectly legal in China for smaller food animals like rabbits, dogs, chickens and fishes. Chinese cuisine frequently calls for internal organs of animals, and due to their fast deterioration, they have to be cooked right after slaughtering.

China has revised an edible animal list after the outbreak, and animals being slaughtered there are all on the list.
Okay, I admit, I have said some things in my other posts about wet markets which were wrong/misleating.

Looking into the issue more, the wet markets themselves are really the problem, but the way they are run is. I admit, I was too quick to suggest banning them outright. Selling live animals is fine. The problem is density and slaughtering them in an unhygienic manner, allowing all the guts and shit to spread infection to live animals and people nearby.

I certainly don't care what people in China eat. The only animals which should be banned are those which are endangered. It's not so much what's eaten, but how it's reared and slaughtered which is the problem.

Completely banning wet markets would be bad for China, because they provide people with nutritious food, at a reasonable price. There need to be laws on minimum levels of hygiene, maximum density, keeping different species apart and a ban of on-site animal slaughter.

Quote
My criticism isn't purely aimed at the Chinese, even though they are to blame for this pandemic.

You should blame Western democracy for not allowing your government to save you.
To be fair to the Chinese government, once the cover up stopped, they have dealt with the situation very well and western governments were far too slow to react.

Quote
The whole world needs to improve animal welfare and hygiene. It won't stop until there's a global ban on these intensive farming practices.

You sound like the Greta girl. The venerable Lord Putin once commented her with something like everyone in Africa wants living quality in Sweden, but first they have to develop economy.
It doesn't change the fact that it's true. You  can call me what you want but it won't change the fact that cramming huge numbers of animals into a small space is going to encourage the spread of disease and pumping them full of antibiotics will result in superbugs. The world's intensive animal farms are ticking bombs of infection and should be banned. This is arguably more important than the environmental and ethical side of the debate.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: blueskull on March 30, 2020, 02:16:11 pm
The problem is density and slaughtering them in an unhygienic manner, allowing all the guts and shit to spread infection to live animals and people nearby.

The laws indeed require them to clean after their mess, only in China laws are not executed strictly. In China we say the laws don't punish the mass.
China has its own implementation of democracy, through chaos.

Cramming huge numbers of animals into a small space is going to encourage the spread of disease.

That's why animals are inspected before being released on the market.
Those illegal wild animals don't go through this safety net, thus all the hell broke loose.

Pumping them full of antibiotics will result in superbugs.

A functioning FDA in any country should ban this and China is no exception.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Zero999 on March 30, 2020, 03:47:24 pm
Anyway, I could go on about China, the lack or rule of law, the US battery farming etc. but those are negative and not on topic. I apologise for shitting on a relatively happy thread.

One of the good things about the lockdown is it will reduce levels of environmental pollution. Hopefully more people will continue to avoid unnecessary travel and work from home more, even when it's over.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: blueskull on March 30, 2020, 03:58:01 pm
WFH is certainly a positive outcome, and I just proved it is still possible to do meaningful works on a 34" by 21" desk.

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: SparkyFX on March 30, 2020, 04:42:01 pm
Why do people think that people actually need to eat bats to get this? There was a study conducted in 2008 (https://www.express.de/news/panorama/haetten-wir-besser-vorbereitet-sein-muessen--forscher-warnten-schon-2007-vor-coronavirus-36481652) (german), with the aim of identifying wildlife animal viruses that have a pandemic potential just like SARS. They found some form of corona viruses in bats over here in Europe too. So when no one ever looks, it is easy to assume everything is fine or somehow a regional thing. It is not.

These viruses might be able to bridge the gap to domesticated animals any time too here, but maybe never had an effect because of cooking properly and good kitchen hygiene (separating raw meat from ready dishes, washing hands). Bad news for Ozzy Osborne type personalities that like their bats raw, but everyone else would be safe. I do rather assume that a lack of kitchen hygiene is more likely to cause such outbreaks than eating (raw) exotic animals. Maybe animal farmers were unkowingly selling infected animals, reluctant to close their facilities early, too, so a larger group of people got infected concurrently which gave this a higher chance to break out.

Outbreaks are not new in western societies as well. Basically the same reasons for how it spreads are here too, the cash cow companies do not want to risk their business even in the light of facts that indicate it would be best to close. Not really anyone's fault, none of them are epidemiologists and usually verdicts require evidence. And no one has the psychic powers to predict 2 weeks into the future. Meningitis cases (60 deaths per year) for example provoke temporary closing of schools or at least make it to the public every few years, it just never becomes a pandemic.

In other words, the market will swiftly price that $1K per person into every transaction.[...]
UBI is literally one of the least intelligent concepts to be proposed in a very long time. But it sure sounds good to anyone who loves (what appears to be) a free handout and doesn't think beyond that.
To make UBI work you would need to fix rents/prices/salaries (which is short of taking away property in some form; harsh limit to an open market), and more or less punish people by taking UBI away.
It would take away the distinction between government, employment and living your life in a way only totalitarian governments used to.
So... such developments end up in pure socialism, where practically every opinion expressed sooner or later becomes a political statement that would be judged for it's consequences regarding the government (that pays the UBI), otoh no one really owns property (one way or the other) and therefore you have a totalitarian socialism, controlling not only citizenship, but also work, how you spend your income and which spare time activities you do. Such systems existed in several countries and were dumped because of exactly these reasons, i can't believe how many people do not see this kind of trajectory.

If unregulated, no one has a benefit, because there will be price gouging and the money ends up in the wrong hands.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Zero999 on March 30, 2020, 05:44:59 pm
Why do people think that people actually need to eat bats to get this? There was a study conducted in 2008 (https://www.express.de/news/panorama/haetten-wir-besser-vorbereitet-sein-muessen--forscher-warnten-schon-2007-vor-coronavirus-36481652) (german), with the aim of identifying wildlife animal viruses that have a pandemic potential just like SARS. They found some form of corona viruses in bats over here in Europe too. So when no one ever looks, it is easy to assume everything is fine or somehow a regional thing. It is not.

These viruses might be able to bridge the gap to domesticated animals any time too here, but maybe never had an effect because of cooking properly and good kitchen hygiene (separating raw meat from ready dishes, washing hands). Bad news for Ozzy Osborne type personalities that like their bats raw, but everyone else would be safe. I do rather assume that a lack of kitchen hygiene is more likely to cause such outbreaks than eating (raw) exotic animals. Maybe animal farmers were unkowingly selling infected animals, reluctant to close their facilities early, too, so a larger group of people got infected concurrently which gave this a higher chance to break out.

Outbreaks are not new in western societies as well. Basically the same reasons for how it spreads are here too, the cash cow companies do not want to risk their business even in the light of facts that indicate it would be best to close. Not really anyone's fault, none of them are epidemiologists and usually verdicts require evidence. And no one has the psychic powers to predict 2 weeks into the future. Meningitis cases (60 deaths per year) for example provoke temporary closing of schools or at least make it to the public every few years, it just never becomes a pandemic.
I doubt kitchen hygiene has that much to do with it. Respiratory viruses such as Covid-19 are typically contracted by inhalation, rather than ingestion. No doubt it's theoretically possible to contract Covid-19 from eating raw bat meat, but the stomach acid destroys the virus so any infection will be from the mouth, which will be minimal compared to someone inhaling dry bad faeces in a farm or market. I'm not a doctor or virologist so can't be sure. It's just my basic understanding of the situation.

We don't get Corona viruses here in Europe and North America because we don't have a culture of eating bat meat, but we do get influenza which is hosted by pigs and birds.

As I said before, it's more likely intensive farming practises are to blame, than bad kitchen hygiene. Putting more animals into a small space increases the risk of a virus spreading, especially when the animals are stressed, which weakens their immune systems. Moving live animals around and mixing species also increases the risk of the disease spreading and mutating so it can infect humans. The Chinese intensively farm a greater range animals such as bats, reptiles, cats etc. than the usual pigs, cattle and poultry, hence an even greater possibility of viruses mutating and infecting humans.

Here's an interesting report on factory farming and swine influenza. It's a shame nothing was learned about the 2009 swine flu pandemic. :palm: Covid-19 will be seen as a Chinese problem, rather than due to intensive farming and poor animal welfare/hygiene which are global.
https://www.ciwf.org.uk/media/22780/swine_flu_report_05_05_2009.pdf (https://www.ciwf.org.uk/media/22780/swine_flu_report_05_05_2009.pdf)
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Kasper on March 30, 2020, 06:19:45 pm
In Canada, we financially incentivize people to have kids and not work.  They get more welfare money from taxpayers if they have kids and they get less if they get a job.  Some people have lots of kids and teach them all working is for suckers.

UBI should remove both those incentives and a lot of bureaucratic waste.

Right now, governments are creating more and more programs to give money here and there.  It will never be fairly distributed and it will be an enormous amount of work right at a time when governments have other extra work to do.

What is good about covid is it may encourage people to consider simplifying the welfare systems and hopefully at the same time, removing the incentive to have kids and not work.

Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 30, 2020, 07:12:33 pm
UBI should remove both those incentives and a lot of bureaucratic waste.
UBI is effectively a devaluing of the currency. Just like a rising tide lifts all boats, and deflation/inflation changes the value of all currency in circulation, raising the economic baseline for literally everyone just resets the value of all transactions (as described above). UBI would be rapidly priced into all transactions and the net effect would be basically zero. The only way to help specific people is to help *those specific people*.

I believe that most of the social programs probably started with great intentions, but like all other government handouts it's just too easy for politicians to leverage them for vote buying. It's just too easy to argue that "this special interest should be covered" and "that special interest cannot be left out in the cold". No politician wants to be on the evening news saying that they oppose helping children, the handicapped, veterans, or whatever other group shouts the loudest today. I mean no disrespect to any group - there are legitimate needs in every society - but this has become a one-way ratchet that politics prevents any sort of correction. Again, there's no closed loop providing feedback. And as long as a nation is willing to rack up deficits, with their resulting debt and its interest, that false sense of security allows this Jenga tower to keep getting taller and more rickety until at some point it crashes, as all such Ponzi Schemes do.

Searching for the root cause, the only thing I've been able to think of is the ability to run government deficits which is why I suspect a balanced budget requirement would go a long way toward preventing this problem. Basically it would provide the necessary feedback. It would force painful, but necessary, discussions rather than allowing politicians to just "settle for everything". You want to help that special interest group? Then maybe you need to cancel that defense program. You want to send financial aid to some obscure nation in a part of the world nobody wants to visit? Then you'll have to convince the mothers of the nation that their children don't need subsidized lunches.

Somehow we need to stop spending like trust fund kiddos and restore fiscal responsibility, so we CAN help the actual people who need it - and not just throw money at everyone (as with a UBI), which would just make the problem worse. But doing so requires policitians (and the voters who elect them) to act like adults rather than kids at the candy store with their hands out, and sadly I see a lot more of the latter than the former.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Zero999 on March 30, 2020, 07:22:06 pm
As far as UBI devaluing the currency is concerned. People said a similar thing about he minimum wage, which was supposed to push up prices, negating any pay rises, yet that doesn't seem to have been the case.

There's a strong culture of blaming the poor for their own poverty, perhaps more so in the US, than other countries. In reality most of the poor are ordinary people who have fallen on hard times and are struggling to get out of poverty. Historically people relied on family and those who couldn't turned to begging and crime. A decent welfare programme should aim to get people back into work and avoid crime. It should be seen as an investment, rather than encourage laziness. I appreciate there are some lazy people around who milk the system, but I believe they are in the minority.

I sit on the fence as far as UBI. No government has ever tried it, so it's not proven to work one way or another. Lots of money is wasted in deciding who receives what benefit and UBI could get rid of all of that, but there will still be those who will need more money and are unable to work, such as someone with a disability, who needs an expensive powered wheelchair
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 30, 2020, 07:40:31 pm
As far as UBI devaluing the currency is concerned. People said a similar thing about he minimum wage, which was supposed to push up prices, negating any pay rises, yet that doesn't seem to have been the case.
UBI is a minimum wage taken to the ultimate extreme. The difference is that while a minimum wage is a form of targeted assistance, a UBI (by definition) applies to everyone. Well, anything that applies to everyone just changes the baseline for everyone. It's like raising all of the voltages in a system by some shared amount, say by raising the common from 0V to 10V... nothing actually changes because all of the potential differences, which cause current to flow, are still the same. A potential that used to measure 5V to ground now measures 15V to 10V - same differential, same current flow. For that reason, a UBI is nothing but a devaluation of the currency as explained above.

Quote
A decent welfare programme should aim to get people back into work and avoid crime. It should be seen as an investment, rather than encourage laziness.
I totally agree with you there, and I suspect the "aid" program rules themselves are often to blame. For example, what happens if an aid recipient decides to use their aid funds to buy a bunch of meats and start a BBQ operation? To me, that's someone using aid in a constructive way to leverage themselves out of poverty. But something tells me the "rules" would find fault with that, not to mention the regulatory hurdles to them just trying to start a small enterprise to support themselves. There's a lot of fancy talk and handwaving about "helping the poor" but are the programs really structured to do that, or just to barely keep them afloat and thus perpetuate the dependency?

Quote
I sit on the fence as far as UBI. No government has ever tried it, so it's not proven to work one way or another.
Agreed, but because its scope is universal it's very different from other aid programs and actually easier to project what would happen. Inflation and devaluing of currencies is very well understood. So is the market reaction to widespread effects, they get priced into everything automatically. The (over)reaction to that - price and wage controls - well, the effects of those on an economy are very well understood too. And they are not positive.

EDIT: Correct punctuation, add example.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Circlotron on March 30, 2020, 07:44:42 pm
 Maybe enough military personnel will get sick so that a few wars will stop.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Gyro on March 30, 2020, 07:48:39 pm
Getting back to "What is a good about Covid 19 related?"... News stories like this one!  ;D

Quote
Coronavirus: Driver stopped on M6 lockdown trip with wife in boot

A driver flouted the coronavirus lockdown to pick up £15 windows with his wife in the boot of his car.

The man, who had bought the windows on eBay, was stopped by police on the M6 in Cheshire on Sunday after collecting his purchase in Salford.

Police said his wife had to sit in the boot as she "could not fit in the vehicle" for the return journey to Coventry.

North West Motorway Police issued the man with a traffic offence report.

After the force tweeted news of the 220-mile round trip people reacted with a mixture of shock and disbelief.

    A driver has travelled from Coventry to Salford to collect a £15 EBay purchase of windows. His wife could not fit in the vehicle so she was travelling in the boot for the return journey when stopped on the M6 Cheshire. The driver was given a TOR for the offence.
    — North West Motorway Police (@NWmwaypolice) March 29, 2020

Anthony Collier said: "I am amazed at how many people are still making unnecessary journeys."

Jonny Evans quipped: "Maybe he saw a window of opportunity."

The government has banned all non-essential travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-52088987 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-52088987)


Be careful of those ebay bargains folks!
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Zero999 on March 30, 2020, 08:26:09 pm
As far as UBI devaluing the currency is concerned. People said a similar thing about he minimum wage, which was supposed to push up prices, negating any pay rises, yet that doesn't seem to have been the case.
UBI is a minimum wage taken to the ultimate extreme. The difference is that while a minimum wage is a form of targeted assistance, a UBI (by definition) applies to everyone. Well, anything that applies to everyone just changes the baseline for everyone. It's like raising all of the voltages in a system by some shared amount, say by raising the common from 0V to 10V... nothing actually changes because all of the potential differences, which cause current to flow, are still the same. A potential that used to measure 5V to ground now measures 15V to 10V - same differential, same current flow. For that reason, a UBI is nothing but a devaluation of the currency as explained above.
It depends on how it's done. If the government simply printed money and gave to to everyone, then yes, I can see how that would cause hyperinflation. If the money was simply raised from taxation, then no, it wouldn't because there wouldn't be an increase in money supply. It would just be a different method of wealth redistribution, replacing what already occurs in most countries.

Anyway, I'm not going to debate this any further because it's off-topic and is all hypothetical: it's never been put into practise.

Another good thing which will come out of Corvid-19 is a reduction in other diseases, ranging from the common cold, to sexually transmitted infections.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: nctnico on March 30, 2020, 09:43:28 pm
Maybe enough military personnel will get sick so that a few wars will stop.
That would definitely by a plus.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Kasper on March 30, 2020, 10:25:55 pm
[...]
UBI is a minimum wage taken to the ultimate extreme. The difference is that while a minimum wage is a form of targeted assistance, a UBI (by definition) applies to everyone. Well, anything that applies to everyone just changes the baseline for everyone. It's like raising all of the voltages in a system by some shared amount, say by raising the common from 0V to 10V... nothing actually changes because all of the potential differences, which cause current to flow, are still the same. A potential that used to measure 5V to ground now measures 15V to 10V - same differential, same current flow. For that reason, a UBI is nothing but a devaluation of the currency as explained above.
[...]

UBI is universal but the systems it replaces are not. That means when it is first applied, it is not a universal change to everyone. People who previously got welfare stop getting welfare. People who make tons of money get extra taxes.  That is not universal.

If you want an electronics example think about an op amp with input range of 5V to 15V being fed by a signal with a range of 0V to 12V.  Currently, anything below 5V is clipped up to exhibiting same response as 5V (min wage workers get same money as welfare users).  If you incr DC bias on the signal (apply UBI) then you remove clipping on bottom end (aka incentivize welfare users to get jobs) and add clipping on top end (aka higher taxes for higher income).

People on welfare should see no big change. 
People on min wage should see biggest change, as they should. Currently they do way more work than people on welfare but have similar income.
People of moderate wage will see relatively low change because the extra money is relatively less meaningful to them.
People of extra high wage will see less income (after taxes).

Ideally removing the welfare system that gives incentive to have kids and not work means society becomes more productive and that reduces the extra taxes required to pay for UBI.

There should be a correlation between effort and income but our system clips on the bottom end because effort and income have different bottoms.  Min effort is 0 hours/lifetime and min income is ~$1000/month or whatever welfare pays.  It seems reasonable to think there could be a way to make sure people who do 40hrs of easy work / week get more money than people who do 0 hrs work / lifetime.  UBI seems like a way to do that.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Marco on March 30, 2020, 10:41:33 pm
Just like a rising tide lifts all boats, and deflation/inflation changes the value of all currency in circulation, raising the economic baseline for literally everyone just resets the value of all transactions (as described above).

Not saying it's a good idea, but a shock increase to inflation rapidly decreases existing private debt (and savings). Given that private debt overhang is becoming a break on the economy that particular aspect wouldn't be so bad. Unlike sovereign debt, private debt does matter.

Of course such a debt jubilee should really be combined with a restructuring of the economy to avoid debt building as much the second time. Fix real-estate, better regulate leveraged buyout, stock buy backs and dividend issues etc.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: nctnico on March 30, 2020, 10:47:23 pm
[...]
UBI is a minimum wage taken to the ultimate extreme. The difference is that while a minimum wage is a form of targeted assistance, a UBI (by definition) applies to everyone. Well, anything that applies to everyone just changes the baseline for everyone. It's like raising all of the voltages in a system by some

UBI is universal but the systems it replaces are not. That means when it is first applied, it is not a universal change to everyone. People who previously got welfare stop getting welfare. People who make tons of money get extra taxes.  That is not universal.
What stops UBI dead in it's tracks is that it needs a tax of at least 75% on income which makes it totally uninteresting to have a job. A long standing rule of economy is that tax on income has an optimum around 49% and should not exceed that number.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Kasper on March 30, 2020, 10:47:37 pm
Drew a picture to show what I am thinking about UBI vs welfare only for people who don't work. With the current system, anyone who doesn't feel like doing lots of work is better off doing no work.  Getting off welfare means more expenses (child care, transportation, tuition, etc) and less free money.  With UBI, every bit of work is rewarded and people who are in the hole can see incentive to try even if they can only manage to do a bit of work. Hopefully that gets them on the right path to becomming productive instead of being stuck on welfare for generations.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Kasper on March 30, 2020, 10:50:40 pm
[...]
UBI is a minimum wage taken to the ultimate extreme. The difference is that while a minimum wage is a form of targeted assistance, a UBI (by definition) applies to everyone. Well, anything that applies to everyone just changes the baseline for everyone. It's like raising all of the voltages in a system by some

UBI is universal but the systems it replaces are not. That means when it is first applied, it is not a universal change to everyone. People who previously got welfare stop getting welfare. People who make tons of money get extra taxes.  That is not universal.
What stops UBI dead in it's tracks is that it needs a tax of at least 75% on income which makes it totally uninteresting to have a job. A long standing rule of economy is that tax on income has an optimum around 49% and should not exceed that number.

Ouch. 75% would be painful. Is that 75% evenly distributed?
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Kasper on March 30, 2020, 10:55:50 pm
[...]
UBI is a minimum wage taken to the ultimate extreme. The difference is that while a minimum wage is a form of targeted assistance, a UBI (by definition) applies to everyone. Well, anything that applies to everyone just changes the baseline for everyone. It's like raising all of the voltages in a system by some

UBI is universal but the systems it replaces are not. That means when it is first applied, it is not a universal change to everyone. People who previously got welfare stop getting welfare. People who make tons of money get extra taxes.  That is not universal.
What stops UBI dead in it's tracks is that it needs a tax of at least 75% on income which makes it totally uninteresting to have a job. A long standing rule of economy is that tax on income has an optimum around 49% and should not exceed that number.

Ouch. 75% would be painful. Is that 75% evenly distributed?

Does it factor in reduced costs of welfare distribution complexity, medicare and judicial system?  People with no incentive to work get bored and do things that increase those costs.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: nctnico on March 30, 2020, 11:04:20 pm
[...]
UBI is a minimum wage taken to the ultimate extreme. The difference is that while a minimum wage is a form of targeted assistance, a UBI (by definition) applies to everyone. Well, anything that applies to everyone just changes the baseline for everyone. It's like raising all of the voltages in a system by some

UBI is universal but the systems it replaces are not. That means when it is first applied, it is not a universal change to everyone. People who previously got welfare stop getting welfare. People who make tons of money get extra taxes.  That is not universal.
What stops UBI dead in it's tracks is that it needs a tax of at least 75% on income which makes it totally uninteresting to have a job. A long standing rule of economy is that tax on income has an optimum around 49% and should not exceed that number.

Ouch. 75% would be painful. Is that 75% evenly distributed?
Likely. Unlike what communists think you can't feed the entire country from what 10 rich people make (I call myself a pragmatic socialist; but UBI goes under communism in my book). The middle class makes far more money combined so that is where the majority of the UBI money has to come from.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: NiHaoMike on March 30, 2020, 11:06:52 pm
To prevent freeloading, what about only give the basic income to working age people working for 20 hours per week or more? (Less than that can also be accepted in special cases.)
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 30, 2020, 11:08:57 pm
Of course such a debt jubilee should really be combined with a restructuring of the economy to avoid debt building as much the second time.
The "debt jubilee" I was talking about was only the US fedgov debt, and as I mentioned it should be combined with a balanced budget requirement going forward for 1) exactly the reason you mentioned, and 2) so that the rest of the world would slowly start to have faith in the USA again.

You cannot have a "debt jubilee" for private debt, because just like "student loan forgiveness" it penalizes those who have properly managed their finances. Despite what they say during campaign season, every politician knows that is political suicide. Every career professional who hunkered down, behaved themselves, and worked hard to pay off their student loans will hate such politicians AND the freeloaders who got their debts wiped clean. The same would happen for people who paid off their houses vs. those who got a free mortgage payoff, people who paid cash for a used car vs. those who have $1K payments on a dream sports car, etc. There's no way to unravel that in an equitable way.

And so far we're only talking about people who are debtors... what about those who saved and invested, whose money is backing up those loans? How do you make those people whole in a fair and equitable manner? I have some friends who sold their large acreage, are carrying the note, and have structured their retirement to live on the principal + interest payments (which at 30 years will outlive them). Even if you simply repaid them their principal, they'd be out all of the interest on which they've based their retirement. Then what? How is that fair to them? The entire deal was set up by a willing seller and a willing buyer at terms both found acceptable, no one feels slighted. Yet the buyers would be fools to not take advantage of a jubilee, and it's highly unlikely the contract anticipates such an event to protect the sellers.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 30, 2020, 11:14:29 pm
If you want an electronics example think about an op amp with input range of 5V to 15V being fed by a signal with a range of 0V to 12V.
Having "inputs" out of range makes the example meaningless.

Quote
It seems reasonable to think there could be a way to make sure people who do 40hrs of easy work / week get more money than people who do 0 hrs work / lifetime.
That happens naturally: Work zero hours and I doubt you'll have a line of people waiting to give you cash. You don't need a UBI to do that, Nature does it automatically.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Circlotron on March 30, 2020, 11:38:39 pm
Work zero hours and I doubt you'll have a line of people waiting to give you cash.
Unless you're Imelda Marcos. I saw her being interviewed on tv once and while she was talking with her nose in the air she was thanklessly opening one envelope after another with money in them that desperately poor people had sent her.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: nctnico on March 30, 2020, 11:43:49 pm
That happens naturally: Work zero hours and I doubt you'll have a line of people waiting to give you cash. You don't need a UBI to do that, Nature does it automatically.
If you go back in history a bit then you'll see wellfare has been 'invented' to keep the poor people from criminal behaviour and providing them with a basic sanitary living standard so they don't endanger the rest of the people with diseases. The alternative is to live in reversed prisons (a fence and guards to keep the poor people out). The economics decide what is most cost effective.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 31, 2020, 12:04:23 am
If you go back in history a bit then you'll see wellfare has been 'invented' to keep the poor people from criminal behaviour and providing them with a basic sanitary living standard so they don't endanger the rest of the people with diseases.
You'd think people would NOT want to accept "welfare", UBI, etc. and thus be lumped in with the "poor people" who are associated with "criminal behavior".
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Marco on March 31, 2020, 12:11:33 am
You cannot have a "debt jubilee" for private debt, because just like "student loan forgiveness" it penalizes those who have properly managed their finances.
So does a deflationary spiral, just in a far more painful way which led to world wars in the past.

Unless properly managing is having enough money for a private island to get out of dodge for a while while society collapses, but I don't want to reward that level of properly managing.

The private debt overhang is unsustainable and both the debtor and creditor side of the equation are guilty of creating the situation. Non financial private debt was worse than 2007 before Corona, it's going to be off the charts soon after GDP shrinks. You can inflate it away or default it away, but it's not going to get repaid in full value ... that's for damn sure.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Sredni on March 31, 2020, 12:30:22 am
There is indeed some good that will come from all this, but it is for selected people only.


Too dark?

Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: nctnico on March 31, 2020, 12:39:06 am
If you go back in history a bit then you'll see wellfare has been 'invented' to keep the poor people from criminal behaviour and providing them with a basic sanitary living standard so they don't endanger the rest of the people with diseases.
You'd think people would NOT want to accept "welfare", UBI, etc. and thus be lumped in with the "poor people" who are associated with "criminal behavior".
No. I'm saying that every society has a certain amount of people who get money (welfare) for literally doing nothing. Contrary to the UBI idea this group on welfare should be kept as small as possible and the amount of money as low as possible so it pays quickly to get a job.

@Sredni: Who is going to make the Lamborghini? In a short while there won't be any Italians left!
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: maginnovision on March 31, 2020, 12:52:33 am
Volkswagen already owns lamborghini.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: coppice on March 31, 2020, 12:56:32 am
Quote
@Sredni: Who is going to make the Lamborghini? In a short while there won't be any Italians left!

The [add the Country you like] investors who bought the company for peanuts?
Lamborghini have been part of the VW Audi group fro quite a while, and many of the key parts in a Lamborghini are common to Audi cars.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: petert on March 31, 2020, 05:58:22 am
I hadn't realized there was anywhere that actually had UBI. I've known enough people who can barely be motivated to get a job even when they can't pay the bills and will always do the bare minimum they can get away with to survive.
Every system will always have negative counter examples, but also people who take them and exaggerate the amount of people who really are lazy vs. those who are in troubling situations. If people who get by having several jobs, and only sleep, work, eat are a better alternative is questionable as well, which a system of "self-reliance" creates. Too many have to get by with minimum wage and an unclear future.

People who achieve truly great things do so out of their own motivation, not by an external one. Quite a few have become very poor or bankrupt as well and risked their health and life. But many early scientists and intellectuals were actually well off.
I don't believe in the carrot and stick method.

But the main point is that UBI is not necessarily a good or the only solution, but the problems it tries to address matter.

Automation will keep increasing the efficiency of production, and will result in few people accumulating more wealth with increasingly less need to distribute it again, by having employees. The goal of any company (in our current economy) is to reduce costs, including labor cost as much as possible. That in itself is a major problem, that the UBI tries to address. Certainly not in the best way, but a safety net of some sort is necessary if you want to advance society and keep innovating. It's simply unrealistic to compete with others who are a lot more resourceful.

To find good solutions, we need to move away from that "lazy people" idea, and instead move to thinking what can be done to remove barriers for motivated people to succeed. Currently, this is usually understood as allowing big companies to grow even bigger, or people accumulating more wealth. But what we need is people being able to innovate and improve the world. The tools required for the latter are quite different. A basic safety net so that you can focus on the task is one ingredient, easier access and collaborations with universities and advanced gear would be another. Citizen science labs for example, where you pay a regular fee, or can rent space or tools for limited periods, maybe even some hours, without being enrolled in a university, would be another. Access to knowledgeable people, chairs that get payed and valued for making science more accessible, i.e., clear but not dumbed down, is still rare. Currently, as a scientist, being understandable is not a "currency" that advances your career, while more clarity is important to accelerate innovation and knowledge transfer.
People who focus on clarity, summarizing, writing overview papers, and actually do research on how to present knowledge in an unambigious way, not just for highschool, but academia and higher level research as well, are very necessary.

But back to topic, UBI or not, the problems that UBI tries to solve are real.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: petert on March 31, 2020, 06:16:12 am
No. I'm saying that every society has a certain amount of people who get money (welfare) for literally doing nothing. Contrary to the UBI idea this group on welfare should be kept as small as possible and the amount of money as low as possible so it pays quickly to get a job.
It's a common thing for people to say, but I wonder how many people really fall into this group. I do believe it is one of the ways to make people accept that "it's all their fault". I doubt that many people are truly happy with a "useless" life. Increased automation will further reduce the amount of people needed as employees, and I predict the "lazy people" argument will get stronger as this progresses, to hide this issue.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: james_s on March 31, 2020, 06:20:25 am
Emotionally I want to agree, and I'm not going to argue, but do consider this. Such medical expenses are paid for with tax dollars, which politicians and the media constantly scrutinize to find fault with how they're spent (though they often couch such actions as "oversight" or "being responsible", they really do it to find ammunition against their political opponents). If the government is financially responsible for your medical expenses, then legally they can prove standing to control those behaviors which cause or increase those expenses.

Let's take an easy one: Smoking. The medical expenses associated with smoking are 100% preventable. Therefore, it seems reasonable to compel taxpayer-funded patients to not smoke, correct?

OK, then what about fast food? How about liver disease caused by liquor consumption? Drug abuse? Every one of those is 100% preventable - wouldn't it be appropriate to ban them to save tax dollars? (Ask yourself how those would be enforced, and what penalties we would impose for violation?)

Now let's get to the tougher ones. What about activities deemed "risky" to one's health? I'm a scuba diver, an activity deemed risky enough that it disqualifies you from many life insurance policies. Same for private pilots. But what about rock climbing? Kayaking? Children's sports like soccer, baseball, and (especially) gymnastics? There are well known stats for the dangers of these activities, and your CHOICE to participate risks government spending obligations.

Finally, the heavy lifting. Should women deemed "high risk" be allowed to get pregnant? The costs for a baby requiring NICU can hit six figures at light speed, and the actuarial tables that statistically predict such outcomes are well known to both the medical and insurance industries. And that's not even considering the risks to the mother. How about adults with inheritable mental or physical ailments - should they be allowed to create children who will be virtually certain to create enormous expense for the government?

There is substantial legal precedent for a benefactor having standing over the decisions of a beneficiary. Politicians and the media already weaponize the spending decisions of their adversaries. Do you really want your medical decisions to be wrapped around that axle?


This is borderline to what I would call a strawman, at least I think that's the right term.

I mean those are valid points but the glaring reality is that we already spend the money, and those factors already cost us the USA spends something like twice as much per capita on medical care and yet we have tens of millions of people without any coverage or without adequate coverage. The money we pay for healthcare isn't called "tax" but fundamentally it is no different. In my case my health insurance is part of the compensation I get from my employer, officially it's not a tax on my earnings but it's money my employer spends on me which is taken out before it is ever called wages so it differs from tax in name only. If the company spent exactly the same amount acquiring my services but either gave it all to me and let the federal government extract a cut in taxes, or paid some kind of corporate tax on my behalf would not have to impact the amount of money I take home. Uninsured people can go to the emergency room and not be denied treatment, if they're unable to pay then those costs are spread across everyone else, we pay either way, currently we just have a pile of middlemen siphoning off billions of dollars to sustain themselves while contributing absolutely nothing to the actual healthcare. I saw an article where someone put it well, saying if we were concerned about the jobs lost by shutting down the private medical insurance industry we could pay those people to play video games all day, occasionally strolling through hospital waiting rooms killing random people and accomplish the same goal.

Smoking, poor diet, poor habits, those are all very real issues but again we already pay for the poor habits of our fellow citizens, it is already in our best interest to keep people healthier. The way to do this is not through compulsion but a steady campaign to encourage people to improve their habits and incentivize being healthier, we've done it before and it works. I remember the big campaigns to increase seatbelt usage in cars, that was highly effective. Smoking too has been dramatically reduced, I would love to see it go away entirely, smoking tobacco has enormous costs, it puts Covid to shame though it is at least a conscious choice people make. Poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, these are things we can encourage people to change because it is in our own best interest, both for the individual and for society as a whole. Yes some people will do their own thing no matter what, some people smoke, some people eat poorly, some people are lazy, some people don't wear their seatbelt when the drive a car or a helmet when they ride a motorcycle or bicycle and these cost society money, whether through universal healthcare or through the additional costs they incur which are spread to the rest of us anyway.

The money already gets spent, providing universal care doesn't have to cost more, it consolidates and eliminates layers of overhead and waste. The fact that every other developed nation on earth has it and not one of them is trying to get rid of it suggests that it works pretty well. I have quite a few Canadian friends and whenever this comes up they just cannot comprehend why we still have a system as backwards as what we have, they are absolutely appalled that we seem to find it acceptable to have ~35 million uninsured, that we force people to choose between death and bankruptcy, that we allow health insurance to be tied to employment such that losing one's job means losing access to health care often when one needs it most. It's a bad deal for employees and employers, with people sticking around in jobs they hate and half-assing it for years to get by rather than lose their medical coverage switching jobs. The Canadian system I mention is not without problems of course, they complain of excessive wait times for some procedures but they spend less than half as much per person as we do, if Canada doubled the money they spend on healthcare to catch up with the USA or even increased it by 50% I'd bet those wait times would drop dramatically.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: petert on March 31, 2020, 06:31:24 am
To prevent freeloading, what about only give the basic income to working age people working for 20 hours per week or more? (Less than that can also be accepted in special cases.)
The main point of UBI is the "freeloading", i.e., unconditionally providing it, like you don't tax air either, or require people to work or pay for it.
A major reason for the UBI -- though different proponents have different goals (amongst which are rich people and big companies, but probably not for good reasons) -- is that we will reach/have reached a state were part of the wealth creation is not tied to human labor.

The only "merit" then becomes to own certain machines or infrastructure, which is "freeloading" by being born earlier, or having had the wealth to buy said machines.

One goal of UBI is to balance this out. Another would be taxation.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: james_s on March 31, 2020, 06:31:46 am
It's a common thing for people to say, but I wonder how many people really fall into this group. I do believe it is one of the ways to make people accept that "it's all their fault". I doubt that many people are truly happy with a "useless" life. Increased automation will further reduce the amount of people needed as employees, and I predict the "lazy people" argument will get stronger as this progresses, to hide this issue.

You'd be surprised. I mean even I would be tempted to semi-retire a few years from now when my house is paid off if I had a UBI. I mean why go to work for somebody if I can dink around with my hobbies and personal projects? Knowing that I'd be tempted to do this despite the fact that I'm not particularly lazy, and knowing that there are loads of people out there who *are* lazy, I do not doubt in the least that we'd end up with millions of people content to get by doing the bare minimum. There *has* to be a great incentive to work if one is able to do so. We're a long, long way off from sufficient automation that most people do not need to work, and I think we need to be very careful not to become too dependent on automation. You end up in the situation we have now with this Covid fiasco where the factories are all these finely tuned highly automated 24 hour operations and we cannot simply throw more manpower at it to boost production, everything is running wide open just to meet normal steady state demand.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: petert on March 31, 2020, 06:38:26 am
I mean even I would be tempted to semi-retire a few years from now when my house is paid off if I had a UBI. I mean why go to work for somebody if I can dink around with my hobbies and personal projects?
I think we have different ideas of being lazy. Working for somebody else is only one possibility, but not a necessity. An entrepreneur is not an employee, yet he creates value.
There is also something rewarding about creating products that people will find useful. I don't think you would enjoy to just have personal projects as goal in itself, without sharing in some way.
And it doesn't mean that having a job you get payed for is advancing the world or creating values, either.

It is not as clear cut anymore, as when people were farmers and grew food. In other words, just because you are forced to work, does not necessarily mean you really contribute to society, even if you pay taxes. The net result for society may be negative, depending on your employer and motivations.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: james_s on March 31, 2020, 06:43:40 am
I mean even I would be tempted to semi-retire a few years from now when my house is paid off if I had a UBI. I mean why go to work for somebody if I can dink around with my hobbies and personal projects?
I think we have different ideas of being lazy. Working for somebody else is only one possibility, but not a necessity. An entrepreneur is not an employee, yet he creates value.
There is also something rewarding about creating products that people will find useful.
And it doesn't mean that having a job you get payed for is advancing the world or creating values, either.

It is not as clear cut anymore, as when people were farmers and grew food. In other words, just because you are forced to work, does not necessarily mean you really contribute to society, even if you pay taxes. The net result for society may be negative.

Why would I create products for other people if I can get paid to do whatever I want? I could build more RC airplanes and spend my summer days at the field flying them. I could work on my house, work on my yard, devote a lot more time to the hobby projects I build for my own enjoyment. I release many of my hobby projects as open source but they are mostly amusements and not anything that fills any need of society and hardly justify earning a living. I may be selfish but I don't think I'm atypical.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Kasper on March 31, 2020, 07:55:50 am
I mean even I would be tempted to semi-retire a few years from now when my house is paid off if I had a UBI. I mean why go to work for somebody if I can dink around with my hobbies and personal projects?
I think we have different ideas of being lazy. Working for somebody else is only one possibility, but not a necessity. An entrepreneur is not an employee, yet he creates value.
There is also something rewarding about creating products that people will find useful.
And it doesn't mean that having a job you get payed for is advancing the world or creating values, either.

It is not as clear cut anymore, as when people were farmers and grew food. In other words, just because you are forced to work, does not necessarily mean you really contribute to society, even if you pay taxes. The net result for society may be negative.

Why would I create products for other people if I can get paid to do whatever I want? I could build more RC airplanes and spend my summer days at the field flying them. I could work on my house, work on my yard, devote a lot more time to the hobby projects I build for my own enjoyment. I release many of my hobby projects as open source but they are mostly amusements and not anything that fills any need of society and hardly justify earning a living. I may be selfish but I don't think I'm atypical.

Does anyone think UBI should pay well enough to build hobby projects and do home renos?

Not sure what kind of home renos you are planning but mine cost way more than welfare pays and I do low cost renos, DIY almost everything and use low cost materials. And I screw things up and need redos much less often than I expected ;)

Maybe you are one of the enlightened few that knows how to be happy with less.  A lot of people I know buy the biggest house and the most expensive vehicle the bank will allow.  I think they are the majority, based on the large portion of people who are claiming to be in big trouble right now.  They are not going to just quit and sit on UBI, if they would, they'd already be stuck on welfare.

Even retirement aged people aren't quiting when they could.  The small number I know, most of them are working passed retirement age. They could afford to retire comfortably but I think either they like working or they are still pushing for more.  They say 'couple more years and I can retire a little more comfortably.'

There will always be some people who hate working. With UBI, they have more incentive to try working and hopefully stick with it.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: SerieZ on March 31, 2020, 08:33:24 am
Quote
There will always be some people who hate working. With UBI, they have more incentive to try working and hopefully stick with it.

That is some Mental Gymnastics right there.  :-DD And any country with extensive Social Security is proof to this.
There is an Argument to be made to have a safe net for those who want, but cannot work - UBI is not the answer to this. In fact It will not fix for those nor anyone or anything for the many reasons that have been stated before.
Here in Switzerland I am glad people have not had their brain melted yet by the sharlatans who promise magic handouts and infinite wealth coming from it and voted against it.

A great example what free handouts do to a Society is the Pacific Island of Nauru. Read it up - it is not like we had actual case studies of this Idea before.

When (IF) we get to a Post-Scarcity World Money will not make any sense anyway.  :blah: Free this Free that...  :palm:
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: AndreZheng on March 31, 2020, 09:47:43 am
 ;D Good to the birth rate. Boring when stay at home, we may make babies.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: bd139 on March 31, 2020, 09:55:28 am
A point with UBI to consider is the old idiom that “idle hands do the devils work”. Humans are territorial scavengers and hoarders by instinct. If you pull the rug under any artificial value someone has been assigned and make them comfortable For nothing in return then it can lead to an elite of people going awry. Not everyone can self motivate or be productive on their own and sometimes this can lead to self destruction. That has potential bad outcomes for the person or others and a second generation of folk who end up a large problem. We’re better as a species if we have to fight a bit. It gives us value and fulfils our instincts.

UBI is no Star Trek future.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: nctnico on March 31, 2020, 10:53:42 am
No. I'm saying that every society has a certain amount of people who get money (welfare) for literally doing nothing. Contrary to the UBI idea this group on welfare should be kept as small as possible and the amount of money as low as possible so it pays quickly to get a job.
It's a common thing for people to say, but I wonder how many people really fall into this group. I do believe it is one of the ways to make people accept that "it's all their fault". I doubt that many people are truly happy with a "useless" life.
You have to define useless. Some people are perfectly happy watching Youtube and messaging on Whatsapp the whole day.

UBI is no Star Trek future.
Has anyone ever spotted someone on Star Trek cleaning the toilets? Empty the trash? Or working the garden on a cold, rainy day?
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: bd139 on March 31, 2020, 10:56:31 am
It’s amazing how much damage you can do to society via WhatsApp.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: SiliconWizard on March 31, 2020, 05:09:22 pm
It is not as clear cut anymore, as when people were farmers and grew food. In other words, just because you are forced to work, does not necessarily mean you really contribute to society, even if you pay taxes. The net result for society may be negative, depending on your employer and motivations.

That's quite right, and I don't think it just depends on the employer. It depends on the kind of job it is, the activity of the company, the field itself, and many complex factors.

I do agree these days that more activities than we think have a net negative result. Many jobs are actually useless or even damaging in the big picture, whereas almost everyone is convinced that by merely having a job, we contribute positively.

Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Kasper on March 31, 2020, 05:34:07 pm
:-DD [...] brain melted yet by the sharlatans who promise magic handouts and infinite wealth [...] :blah: [...]  :palm:

Cool story bro. Useful contribution to this thread.  When you rely on exaggerations, you prove that even you don't believe you have a good argument.

If you had even a decent argument, you would have at least mentioned the current welfare system instead of some obscure island since UBI is meant as a repair to the current welfare system.  You are clearly stuck on stage 1 of the debate: free money = bad.  Pretty sure everyone agrees that free money is bad.  If your brain weren't so melted, you'd see that and move on to stage 2.

Stage 2 of this debate discusses the current free money system, welfare.  UBI creates a gap between entry level workers and non-workers and it should be fairly ineffectual to everyone else. That gap doesn't exist with current welfare system so people currently on welfare have no incentive to get off welfare.  With UBI they do have incentive, they get more money if they work.  In stage 2, we debate whether welfare or UBI causes more people to refuse to work.

Stage 3 of the debate looks at the cost savings in other areas but you can't even comprehend stage 2 so I won't risk melting your brain with something as complex as healthcare and crime.

I look forward to continuing this conversation.  Always wanted to learn more about emojis.  Is there an emoji for sarcasm?
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: SparkyFX on March 31, 2020, 05:54:49 pm
As far as UBI devaluing the currency is concerned. People said a similar thing about he minimum wage, which was supposed to push up prices, negating any pay rises, yet that doesn't seem to have been the case.
Minimum wage affects people that do work, that add value to some product or process, their wage is just higher and can not be circumvented by subcontracting. (Operations that lead to a net negative effect of the economy sooner or later crash, depending on lobby and public image).

Automation will keep increasing the efficiency of production, and will result in few people accumulating more wealth with increasingly less need to distribute it again, by having employees. The goal of any company (in our current economy) is to reduce costs, including labor cost as much as possible. That in itself is a major problem, that the UBI tries to address.
Another way of looking at this is that products that are produced automatically are valued lower, and even a fully automatic plant needs customers to sell their stuff to. And this is how these questions are handled already, e.g. injection molded parts are usually not valued much higher than the material is worth (unless a company has an exceptional image... or does things no one else can), so basically the commodity prices are what drives this. I don't see why this would not transfer to other automated branches of any economy - there is competition after all.

Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: daqq on March 31, 2020, 07:14:20 pm
Quote
What is a good about Covid 19 related?
The antivaxers are keeping awfully quiet.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: james_s on March 31, 2020, 07:48:54 pm
Does anyone think UBI should pay well enough to build hobby projects and do home renos?

Not sure what kind of home renos you are planning but mine cost way more than welfare pays and I do low cost renos, DIY almost everything and use low cost materials. And I screw things up and need redos much less often than I expected ;)

Maybe you are one of the enlightened few that knows how to be happy with less.  A lot of people I know buy the biggest house and the most expensive vehicle the bank will allow.  I think they are the majority, based on the large portion of people who are claiming to be in big trouble right now.  They are not going to just quit and sit on UBI, if they would, they'd already be stuck on welfare.

Well how much are we talking here? My mortgage payment currently consumes about 60% of my after-tax income and I live quite comfortably. I'm less than 5 years from having my house paid off and I have zero debt beyond my mortgage. With the house paid off I'll suddenly have vastly more disposable income if I can keep earning the same wages, I'm not even sure what I'd spend it on. I prefer old cars and have always paid cash and fixed them up myself and I have no plans or desire to ever change that habit. I'm my own mechanic, carpenter, plumber, electrician, landscaper and handyman. My hobbies are not terribly expensive, maybe a couple hundred bucks a month, more if I decide to buy a new toy/tool. The two renovations I've done so far were bathrooms that I stripped down to studs and completely redid did and I spent about $1500 on each of those. I've always been content to live within my means and a bit of discipline has allowed me to live well on a modest salary, compared to friends who have consistently earned closed to double yet seem perpetually broke. Even now I'm far more limited by available time than by funds and if I didn't have to work I'd have a great deal more time. While I'd obviously like to earn more, once the house is paid off I could live more comfortably on minimum wage than most will manage while earning much more simply because most people have the ongoing expense of rent and mortgage/car payment/credit card bills which I don't have.

If I had a choice between keep working or retire and earn the current minimum wage doing nothing I would choose the latter, assuming we had national healthcare because health insurance is my next biggest expense beyond my mortgage if I had to pay out of pocket. The bigger issue though is young people who never got into a career in the first place. Given my direct experience with my friend's lazy stepson and his almost equally lazy friends along with a few family members and other people I know I feel confident in saying there are many thousands of people who have few aspirations in life that involve leaving the sofa. I don't really "get it" but quite a few people seem fully content to coast along through life doing the minimum possible to get by.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: james_s on March 31, 2020, 07:52:48 pm
Has anyone ever spotted someone on Star Trek cleaning the toilets? Empty the trash? Or working the garden on a cold, rainy day?

Now that you mention it, I don't recall ever seeing a toilet on Star Trek. Maybe people in the future don't have to pee anymore.

I've also noticed that CRT displays apparently make a huge comeback in a few hundred years.  :D
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 31, 2020, 07:57:46 pm
We’re better as a species if we have to fight a bit. It gives us value and fulfils our instincts.
People tend to value what they have to work for, and don't value what was gifted to them. There are edge cases of course, but anyone who has raised children has seen this behavior first-hand. It seems to be an inate characteristic of humans. Not sure how that would play out if suddenly everyone got $1K/month just for existing.

And I'm still concerned about the fiscal impact of any two people being able to create a $12K/year obligation for taxpayers on a whim, by accident, etc. If you *stole* $12K from the government you'd be arrested, tried, and likely be forced to pay restitution AND a fine AND possibly some jail/prison time. Yet UBI enables people to create an ongoing government expense. That's a systemic imbalance, and imbalances tend to resolve poorly.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: MT on March 31, 2020, 07:58:34 pm
There is always another side of a coin, and wondering what might be a good about Covid 19 outcome.
What do you think?

Ah well!
1: Liberal globalism crashing down.
2: EU most likely to crash as well and dissolve thats very good.
3: Housing bubble crashing.
4: Paper gold silver market crashing
5: Stock market crashing, thats not to good but lots of oligarcs is about to going down.
6: China globalism is crashing, no one want s to trade with China.
7: DEM in USA crashing pulling socialist commies with them.
8: 2 trillion USD bank bail out again, good if your a bankster.
9: Toilet paper up!
10: Tin can manufacturers up.
11: Food stores making a fortune on peoples fear mongering other people into panic buying stuff they dont need in mass amounts.
12: Centimeter manufacturers up due to social distancing laws!
13: Anti vaccine movement growing rapidly due to NWO Bill Gates trying to make vaccing compulsory
      for entire planet (recent interview) while him proposing his medic companies to deliver the vaccine!
14: Nothing good will come out of Corona/Covid19 since the real agenda hiding behind is a financial heist!
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: james_s on March 31, 2020, 08:04:25 pm
A great example what free handouts do to a Society is the Pacific Island of Nauru. Read it up - it is not like we had actual case studies of this Idea before.

The American Indians are an example of this that is much closer to home for me. There's a lot of sad history behind it but the ultimate effect is they have been receiving handouts for a very long time now and the result is readily observable. I don't have to drive far to get to one of several reservations and you can immediately see the difference, a stark transition between middle class suburbia and ghetto. Dumpy houses, shacks, trailers, in various states of decay. Beat up cars, yards overgrown in weeds and piles of junk. When a person doesn't work for the things they have, those things lack value and get neglected. They have huge problems with drug and alcohol abuse, when one doesn't have to get up for work the next morning every day becomes a Friday night and bored aimless people have little better to do than get drunk or high when when done to excess lead a person to be more aimless, unmotivated and unemployable. No need to take my word for it though, you can see plenty online, explore on Google Earth or even visit yourself.

If you want another example, find the wealthiest people you know and then look at their kids. I had a friend in gradeschool whose parents were rich, they lived in an enormous house, his dad was a lawyer and drove a fancy Jaguar with a phone in it, they were the only people I knew who had a bigscreen TV back in the 80s, my friend had all the cool toys and it was always great fun to hang out over there but eventually it became obvious that he was one of the laziest, stupidest people I had ever known. By highschool he was devolving into the stereotypical partying frat boy type who did little other than drink beer and party with his friends. I lost track of what happened to him after that.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 31, 2020, 08:10:40 pm
bored aimless people have little better to do than get drunk or high when when done to excess lead a person to be more aimless, unmotivated and unemployable. No need to take my word for it though, you can see plenty online, explore on Google Earth or even visit yourself.
I'm sure you'll be descended upon by those who will claim yours is a "class-ist" attitude that lumps all poor people together. But as you say, the evidence is all around. Every parent has experienced it too. And I fear things like UBI, in addition to all of its other ill-advised effects, would simply exacerbate this unfortunate human trait for another generation. Or more.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 31, 2020, 08:13:03 pm
I also love how some people claim that we cannot know or predict whether UBI would "work" because it's never been tried on a large enough scale, or implemented the "correct way", or whatever.

Those are EXACTLY the same excuses used to "explain" why communism and socialism have never worked throughout history. They've just never been done "right", but please please please give this new crowd a chance and they'll show the naysayers how great everything can be!
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: bd139 on March 31, 2020, 08:18:59 pm
Has anyone ever spotted someone on Star Trek cleaning the toilets? Empty the trash? Or working the garden on a cold, rainy day?

Now that you mention it, I don't recall ever seeing a toilet on Star Trek. Maybe people in the future don't have to pee anymore.

I've also noticed that CRT displays apparently make a huge comeback in a few hundred years.  :D

You need to watch more Star Trek if you didn’t notice any toilet references  :-DD

Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: coppice on March 31, 2020, 08:26:58 pm
I also love how some people claim that we cannot know or predict whether UBI would "work" because it's never been tried on a large enough scale, or implemented the "correct way", or whatever.

Those are EXACTLY the same excuses used to "explain" why communism and socialism have never worked throughout history. They've just never been done "right", but please please please give this new crowd a chance and they'll show the naysayers how great everything can be!
They are EXACTLY the opposite people, not the same. The first group want evidence. The second group discounts evidence.

Its really true that nothing like UBI has ever been tried at scale. The rich who don't bother working are an example of UBI failing, because they tend to lead to destitution over a couple of generations. However, they are too small a niche to draw any conclusions from, and their easy idle lifestyle has generally been a lot more opulent than anything UBI would provide. Everything else I've seen that has similarities to UBI has been time limited in some way, so the people involved always had to plan for how to survive when the cash stopped. That is nothing like a UBI you can rely on till the grave.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: bd139 on March 31, 2020, 08:30:18 pm
That’s another good point. UBI would likely obsolete pensions. What do you do with accrued entitlement which is currently being used to prop up other investments?
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: ebastler on March 31, 2020, 08:32:48 pm
Hmm... To get back to the original topic, one of the not-so-good things about Covid 19 is that people apparently have too much time on their hands for idle discussions on EEVblog...  :P
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: SparkyFX on March 31, 2020, 08:35:16 pm
A good thing that comes out of this: people might wash their hands more often, or take care of hygiene and that helps limit the spread of other viruses using the same path as well.

Respiratory viruses such as Covid-19 are typically contracted by inhalation, rather than ingestion. No doubt it's theoretically possible to contract Covid-19 from eating raw bat meat, but the stomach acid destroys the virus so any infection will be from the mouth, which will be minimal compared to someone inhaling dry bad faeces in a farm or market. I'm not a doctor or virologist so can't be sure. It's just my basic understanding of the situation.
Inhaling is how it starts in the worst case, but it can also just come from touching the face (which is why washing hands is important), getting from there to the mucous membranes, there instantly breeding more of the virus and inhaling it deeper. Some virologists assume that people with mild symptoms develop most of it in the throat first, so the body has time to build antiviruses before it even reaches the lung, whereas more intense symptoms might stem from inhaling it directly into the lung. As it is in the respiratory tract you also emit the virus during the whole time the body has not defeated it.

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We don't get Corona viruses here in Europe and North America because we don't have a culture of eating bat meat, but we do get influenza which is hosted by pigs and birds.
A perfectly cooked bat/pig/chicken would not have the problem, it usually is that the same cutlery/dishes/counter is used for raw meat and the final meal, which counters one reason to cook it in the first place.

Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: IDEngineer on March 31, 2020, 09:43:12 pm
They are EXACTLY the opposite people, not the same. The first group want evidence. The second group discounts evidence.
Nope, it's the same situation, just different scales. UBI has been tried in small scales, everything from Candidate Yang's personally funded experiment to local jurisdictions in the USA and abroad. Communism and socialism have also been tried, repeatedly, all the way up to the nation-state level. Both provide "evidence" (I would have said "data").

When you say "nothing like UBI has ever been tried at scale", that is a perfect example of what I described: "We've never done it properly [as defined by the speaker] so we don't/can't know if it works." The fact that communism and socialism have been tried (and failed) at the scale of entire nations, while UBI hasn't exceeded the scale of local jurisdictions, is just that - a difference in scale, period. All such experiments have yielded data/"evidence".
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: MT on March 31, 2020, 09:51:33 pm
A badly executed UBI was tried in Finland under 2017-2018 it was cornered by numerous bad flawed decisions and ended as such!

https://www.businessinsider.com/finland-basic-income-experiment-reasons-for-failure-2019-12?r=US&IR=T (https://www.businessinsider.com/finland-basic-income-experiment-reasons-for-failure-2019-12?r=US&IR=T)
https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/nordic-welfare-news/heikki-hiilamo-disappointing-results-from-the-finnish-basic-income-experiment (https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/nordic-welfare-news/heikki-hiilamo-disappointing-results-from-the-finnish-basic-income-experiment)
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Zero999 on March 31, 2020, 10:00:03 pm
A good thing that comes out of this: people might wash their hands more often, or take care of hygiene and that helps limit the spread of other viruses using the same path as well.

Respiratory viruses such as Covid-19 are typically contracted by inhalation, rather than ingestion. No doubt it's theoretically possible to contract Covid-19 from eating raw bat meat, but the stomach acid destroys the virus so any infection will be from the mouth, which will be minimal compared to someone inhaling dry bad faeces in a farm or market. I'm not a doctor or virologist so can't be sure. It's just my basic understanding of the situation.
Inhaling is how it starts in the worst case, but it can also just come from touching the face (which is why washing hands is important), getting from there to the mucous membranes, there instantly breeding more of the virus and inhaling it deeper. Some virologists assume that people with mild symptoms develop most of it in the throat first, so the body has time to build antiviruses before it even reaches the lung, whereas more intense symptoms might stem from inhaling it directly into the lung. As it is in the respiratory tract you also emit the virus during the whole time the body has not defeated it.
Yes, that's true. It's also possible to pick up the virus from surfaces too.

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We don't get Corona viruses here in Europe and North America because we don't have a culture of eating bat meat, but we do get influenza which is hosted by pigs and birds.
A perfectly cooked bat/pig/chicken would not have the problem, it usually is that the same cutlery/dishes/counter is used for raw meat and the final meal, which counters one reason to cook it in the first place.
I suppose there are plenty of ways Covid-19 could have been contracted: where the animal was farmed, slaughtered, butchered, prepared for cooking or eaten raw. There would have been plenty of opportunities for it to get into the eyes, mouth, nose of lungs. No one will know. It's too early to say which vector is most likely in Covid-19, because it's a new virus.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: Kasper on April 01, 2020, 12:18:51 am
Does anyone think UBI should pay well enough to build hobby projects and do home renos?

Not sure what kind of home renos you are planning but mine cost way more than welfare pays and I do low cost renos, DIY almost everything and use low cost materials. And I screw things up and need redos much less often than I expected ;)

Maybe you are one of the enlightened few that knows how to be happy with less.  A lot of people I know buy the biggest house and the most expensive vehicle the bank will allow.  I think they are the majority, based on the large portion of people who are claiming to be in big trouble right now.  They are not going to just quit and sit on UBI, if they would, they'd already be stuck on welfare.

Well how much are we talking here? My mortgage payment currently consumes about 60% of my after-tax income and I live quite comfortably. I'm less than 5 years from having my house paid off and I have zero debt beyond my mortgage. With the house paid off I'll suddenly have vastly more disposable income if I can keep earning the same wages, I'm not even sure what I'd spend it on. I prefer old cars and have always paid cash and fixed them up myself and I have no plans or desire to ever change that habit. I'm my own mechanic, carpenter, plumber, electrician, landscaper and handyman. My hobbies are not terribly expensive, maybe a couple hundred bucks a month, more if I decide to buy a new toy/tool. The two renovations I've done so far were bathrooms that I stripped down to studs and completely redid did and I spent about $1500 on each of those. I've always been content to live within my means and a bit of discipline has allowed me to live well on a modest salary, compared to friends who have consistently earned closed to double yet seem perpetually broke. Even now I'm far more limited by available time than by funds and if I didn't have to work I'd have a great deal more time. While I'd obviously like to earn more, once the house is paid off I could live more comfortably on minimum wage than most will manage while earning much more simply because most people have the ongoing expense of rent and mortgage/car payment/credit card bills which I don't have.

If I had a choice between keep working or retire and earn the current minimum wage doing nothing I would choose the latter, assuming we had national healthcare because health insurance is my next biggest expense beyond my mortgage if I had to pay out of pocket. The bigger issue though is young people who never got into a career in the first place. Given my direct experience with my friend's lazy stepson and his almost equally lazy friends along with a few family members and other people I know I feel confident in saying there are many thousands of people who have few aspirations in life that involve leaving the sofa. I don't really "get it" but quite a few people seem fully content to coast along through life doing the minimum possible to get by.

Good for you. If only more people were smart like that and would resist the urge to extend their debt as far as possible, we'd be in better shape now.

I haven't tried bathroom reno yet.  Did the kitchen, floors, yard, etc. Ton of work but I enjoyed it more than my paying job. My wife and I have been wanting to get another house so I have more renos to do for a couple years but have been waiting for housing bubble to 'correct'.  I'm glad we waited, I think we will get a much better deal soon.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: coppice on April 01, 2020, 01:39:45 am
Anything that is not evidence based is BS.
Not BS: The UBI experiments to date actually happened (unless you're trying to deny they occurred, in which case we're having the wrong sort of discussion).

Not BS: Those UBI experiments HAVE yielded "evidence".

Not BS: They are documented to greater or lesser degrees, so their data ("evidence") is accessible.

There's no BS here. Just your opinion on whether the available evidence is sufficient to reach a conclusion. Your interpretation is it is insufficient to prove the (non)viability of UBI. I'm not disagreeing, simply pointing out the parallel with how the advocates of communism and socialism interpret previous attempts with those systems too.

A valid question is whether such advocates would ever be satisfied that their chosen systems have been proven nonviable. I suspect not.
You must have a very very very low bar for the term experiment. They don't pass the most superficial assessment of methods. At a minimum they would need to be a guaranteed payment for life to have any value. What has been done might throw up some interesting unexpected patterns of behaviour for further analysis, but they don't allow any conclusions, even of the most tenuous kind, to be formed. The only fairly solid thing we have is to look at the idle rich. People read into that what they like. Some people saying there have always been idle rich, and they've been fine. Others point out that wealth seldom lasts more than 3 or 4 generations, because an idler gets control of the wealth and blows the whole estate. The latter looks like a fuller analysis. When its happening in the odd rich family here and there its no big deal. If it happened on a mass scale it would lead to societal collapse. As I said earlier, the problem with the idle rich model is these people have lots of resources, while UBI would only provide minimal resources. This might make a profound difference to the outcome.
Title: Re: What is a good about Covid 19 related?
Post by: EEVblog on April 01, 2020, 01:58:26 am
We have too much COVID on this forum, and people couldn't control themselves. Tread locked.