How inflation taxes cash

“If you take cash, on the other hand, and you think about it from a purchasing power standpoint, if you own cash in the world today, you know your central bank has an avowed goal of depreciating its value 2% per year,” Jones said in May. “So you have, in essence, a wasting asset in your hands.”

Source: The ballooning money supply may be the key to unlocking inflation in the U.S.

Conversely, inflation rewards those who hold debt – because debts will be paid off in future devalued dollars.

Of course, there is a lot of hand waving going on that “this time its different”. Seems like we’ve heard that phrase before … the current theory is that if no one spends much money, then there is little demand to drive inflation.

That may be true in the short term – there are some items I am interested in buying but they remain in short supply due to supply chain disruptions, so I’m am not buying. Also, this was the year I had planned on  – at long last – learning to travel. But all trips were canceled for the year and travel does not look to be fun or convenient for at least another 6-9 months. When supply chains restart and refill and activities like travel and going to restaurants become possible again, will that demand suddenly ramp up?

May I see your papers please?

Checkpoints will be set up at New York City’s tunnels and bridges to trace travelers from 35 COVID hotspot states and enforce 14-day quarantine and anyone who flouts it risks a $10,000 fine..

Source: New York City will have CHECKPOINTS into the city | Daily Mail Online

  • Those ordered in to quarantine will need to check in with the state daily, via telephone and will receive daily messages from the state. (Unclear what they do for those without cell phones or without any phone.)
  • If the state does not hear back from those in quarantine, inspectors will be sent to their home or wherever they are staying.

Oregon is set to announce draconian travel restrictions on entering Oregon as soon as next week. Our Governor’s policy making is simple: if another state does something, then immediately copy it and make it one step stricter. The Governor’s seem to be in competition with one another.

We  live in a dystopian world run by authoritarians and unelected public health “experts” who were given supreme leader power to make any orders they want, even those unsubstantiated by data or science and lacking evidence the benefits of their orders exceed the harms. This has degenerated into authoritarian totalitarianism. And public health wonders why they are despised?

Let’s just mandate it: “NSA Warns Cellphone Location Data Could Pose National-Security Threat”

The National Security Agency issued new guidance on Tuesday for military and intelligence-community personnel, warning about the risks of cellphone location tracking through apps, wireless networks and Bluetooth technology.

The detailed warning from one of the nation’s top intelligence agencies is an acknowledgment that Silicon Valley’s practice of collecting and selling cellphone location information for advertising and marketing purposes poses a serious national-security risk to many inside the government….

Source: NSA Warns Cellphone Location Data Could Pose National-Security Threat – WSJ

In December 2019, the FAA released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requiring mandatory radio-based Remote Identification and tracking of all hobby radio controlled aircraft weighing more than 250 grams (about 1/2 pound). The Final Rule is expected in December of 2021. The NPRM itself eventually ends the radio control model aircraft hobby that currently exists, makes it legal to fly only certified, manufactured drones that are tracked in real time. The primary purpose is to clear the air space above your home and turn it over to AmazonGoogleUPS. The FAA asserts all rights to the airspace in your back yard, for example.

Every remote controlled aircraft would be required by Federal regulation to connect to the Internet and log its activities in an Internet cloud database, in real time. Those providing the cloud databases may offer them for free in exchange for who knows what – but the FAA itself proposed they might collect photo images and telemetry – such as WiFi and Bluetooth communications collected by the craft.

In effect, the FAA mandates a nationwide low level altitude surveillance network of potentially millions of drones collecting data in real time and logging it in data bases – that may as well be located in China.

Meanwhile, the US DoD and the US Department of the Interior banned the use of Chinese made drones over fears of their use for espionage.

While the left hand bans drones from collecting data, the right hand mandates that all drones must collect potentially invasive data on behalf of foreign organizations.

We know that U.S. firms and others are collecting massive amounts of private data through the use of apps on our smart phones. Google itself collects your location data, even when you turn location services off.

The primary business function of the Internet is surveillance to be used for many purposes.

Wow: “Exposure to common cold coronaviruses can teach the immune system to recognize SARS-CoV-2”

Sounds like we should immediately begin distributing common cold corona viruses as a protective measure, right?

“We have now proven that, in some people, pre-existing T cell memory against common cold coronaviruses can cross-recognize SARS-CoV-2, down to the exact molecular structures,” says LJI Research Assistant Professor Daniela Weiskopf, Ph.D., who co-led the new study with LJI Professor Alessandro Sette, Dr. Biol. Sci. “This could help explain why some people show milder symptoms of disease while others get severely sick.”

Source: Exposure to common cold coronaviruses can teach the immune system to recognize SARS-CoV-2

More good news: “Coronavirus Antibody Testing Shows Lower Fatality Rate For Infection”

An IFR of 0.5 to 1% is  much greater than seasonal influenza and should be compared to the IFR of influenza (not the CFR – CFR and IFR are not the same thing).

Mounting evidence suggests the coronavirus is more common and less deadly than it first appeared.

The evidence comes from tests that detect antibodies to the coronavirus in a person’s blood rather than the virus itself.

The tests are finding large numbers of people in the U.S. who were infected but never became seriously ill. And when these mild infections are included in coronavirus statistics, the virus appears less dangerous.

“The current best estimates for the infection fatality risk are between 0.5% and 1%,” says Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

That’s in contrast with death rates of 5% or more based on calculations that included only people who got sick enough to be diagnosed with tests that detect the presence of virus in a person’s body.

Source: Coronavirus Antibody Testing Shows Lower Fatality Rate For Infection : Shots – Health News : NPR

The IFR varies by age – ranging from .1% for the young to 10% for older adults. This means the number of deaths may vary quite a bit between states based on age demographics, economics and other factors.

An interesting secret: up to 75% of seasonal influenza may also be asymptomatic. The CDC acknowledges asymptomatic influenza on one of their web pages too. The asymptomatic features of Covid-19 may not be unusual, contrary to the implications of media coverage.

I am an idiot, have no expertise in any of this, and this post is for entertainment purposes only

What if you could be convicted with secret evidence you cannot see nor contest?

All defendants have a right to review the evidence before them. When software applications produce a conclusion, then the software source code must be re-viewable by the defense.

The government argues it can use secret software against a defendant – software that may very well be defective (think Neil Ferguson’s Imperial College London’s secret disease modeling code that ignores all modern software engineering practices).

Can secret software be used to generate key evidence against a criminal defendant?

Source: EFF and ACLU Tell Federal Court that Forensic Software Source Code Must Be Disclosed | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Good news: “WHO Says Studies Put Coronavirus Mortality Rate at 0.6%”

While 3x to 6x greater than a bad flu year, that is much better than the 2.6%-3.4% range estimated last spring:

Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s top epidemiologist on Covid-19, said several studies estimate the mortality rate of the novel coronavirus at 0.6%. “That may not sound like a lot, but it is quite high,” she said. Van Kerkhove and Mike Ryan, the head of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, spoke Monday at a press briefing in Geneva. (Excerpts) (Source: Bloomberg)

Source: WHO Says Studies Put Coronavirus Mortality Rate at 0.6% – Bloomberg

Hyperventilating: “The Dirty Secrets Of ‘Clean’ Electric Vehicles”

Sort of correct but said with an axe to grind approach:

The widespread view that fossil fuels are “dirty” and renewables such as wind and solar energy and electric vehicles are “clean” has become a fixture of mainstream media and policy makers of all persuasions. But, in the case of EVs, the dirty secrets of “clean energy” should seem apparent to all.

Source: The Dirty Secrets Of ‘Clean’ Electric Vehicles

  1. EV batteries require mining of raw materials, many of which come from economically poor countries with abusive labor practices. Rather than criticize what is, this seems to be an opportunity to create economic opportunities and as their economy grows, to address local corruption and labor practices.
  2. The author correctly notes that much of the life time energy consumption in a vehicle occurs during the manufacturing stage. Switching from gas-powered to electric-powered does not have as large an impact as many think. I have previously written about that. You are generally better off continuing to put more miles on your existing car, especially if you already drive a small or fuel efficient vehicle.
  3. For many EVs, the underlying power source is a fossil-fueled power plant. That is the case where I live – where 70% of our utility’s power generation is from (mostly) coal and some natural gas. That’s why we chose to put in solar PV at our house rather than purchase an EV. Our solar PV directly offsets that 70% of our local power company’s fossil fuel. And because we have become so economical with our electricity usage, we have a sufficient surplus of solar PV to recharge a future EV on site.
  4. EV subsidies are regressive. This is absolutely true. It is surprising the number of regressive tax policies that exist. For example, health insurance is deductible by employers – and the higher the pay of the employees, the greater the value of the tax subsidy. However, for many current EVs, the tax subsidy has already gone away once the manufacturer produced a certain number of vehicles.

The author of the above is not really wrong, but is hyperventilating with an axe to grind. They are real issues but most are fixable.

Economically good news: “Coronavirus cases ease in Sun Belt states as nationwide deaths climb”

Called this about 2 weeks ago on my private blog. Officially the drop is said to be due to policy choices but the association between policy choices and outcomes are frequently random.

Across the nation, daily new Covid-19 cases have declined in recent days, driving the seven-day average of new cases down more than 5% compared with a week ago, according to Johns Hopkins data. Health officials have struggled for weeks to halt outbreaks in the American South and West, shuttering businesses and pleading with residents to follow social distancing guidelines and to wear face coverings.

Source: Coronavirus cases ease in Sun Belt states as nationwide deaths climb

I have ideas – supported by published research – why these trends are playing out this way. I suspect the hot spots will migrate to a few other locations too – and each will play out in a similar time line. But I keep these to myself as I am not in health care or biological sciences- therefore it is de facto required that I note that I am an idiot, have no expertise in any of this, and this post is for entertainment purposes only. (Public health people, on the other hand, are allowed to comment on economics, business, policy without any expertise and without disclaimers. Go figure?)