Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘stimulus

Wednesday News Brief, This Is All the News Today

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* The US is now on track to have the worst outbreak anywhere. In the end we will have handled this worse than any nation on earth, because our leaders lied to us, said it was under control, said it wasn’t a big deal, said we were doing great, privately sold their stocks, told us to *buy* stock, ignored science, ignored experts, lied.

* Vox has some details on the coronavirus bailout, including how UI will be extended to freelancers and the self-employed and when you’ll get your check. Here’s another read from Forbes. This thread on Twitter seems to have more information on how the UI expansion will work for the self-employed.

Anti-Capitalist Politics in the Time of COVID-19. Reclaim our homes. Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here’s How. How the Covid-19 recession could become a depression. European countries are writing blank checks to save their economies from coronavirus.

Astonishingly, America’s ramshackle private healthcare system is about to suffer a financial crisis in the midst of the corona epidemic! Both family practices and hospitals are in shock as all their lucrative business is cancelled and they are hit by corona cases.

*  “Herd Immunity” Is Epidemiological Neoliberalism.

* On Monday afternoon, the Food and Drug Administration granted Gilead Sciences “orphan” drug status for its antiviral drug, remdesivir. The designation allows the pharmaceutical company to profit exclusively for seven years from the product, which is one of dozens being tested as a possible treatment for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

* Reading in a time of coronavirus: download your free ebooks until April 2. From the list let me recommend Four Futures by Peter Frase, which I thought was great.

* We are in a time of wild magical thinking: miracle cures, coronavirus parties, Disney reopening next week, return to work by Easter, life without fear. Meanwhile, as a direct result of Trump administration policy: Scramble for medical equipment descends into chaos as U.S. states and hospitals compete for rare supplies.

* An Actual Trolley Problem.

* New York has 5% of Covid-19 cases worldwide as city becomes battlefront. “Our single greatest challenge is ventilators,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo says. “We have 11,000. We need 30,000.”

Trump Shrugged Off Repeated Intelligence Warnings About Coronavirus Pandemic. DHS wound down pandemic models before coronavirus struck. U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak. Coronavirus and Fox News.

* How the virus got out. How the Coronavirus Could Take Over Your Body (Before You Ever Feel It). What I Learned When My Husband Got Sick with Coronavirus.

* A Day in the Life of an ER Doc. A Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 — Even in His Young Patients. Nursing Home Worker: “Everything About This Is Designed for Disaster.”

* Higher Education in the Age of COVID-19. How Is Covid-19 Changing Prospective Students’ Plans? Here’s an Early Look. Central Washington University Board of Trustees declares exigency. “To be an adjunct right now is to be exhorted to expend ever greater efforts while one’s efforts are treated as ever more expendable.” Embrace the Canavan plan for pass/fail.

Amidst a global health crisis, porn finds a way.

The Very Specific Reason We Shouldn’t Bail Out the Cruise Industry.

We Need a Hard Pause, Followed by a Soft Start.

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief. I Study Prisons and AIDS History. Here’s Why Self-Isolation Really Scares Me.

* It will only get worse: ICE Detainees Are Being Quarantined. DOJ Wants to Suspend Certain Constitutional Rights During Coronavirus Emergency. ‘Terrified’ Package Delivery Employees Are Going to Work Sick. Coronavirus hits rural Kansas, Missouri towns. Many don’t have a single hospital bed. U.S. Hospitals Prepare Guidelines For Who Gets Care Amid Coronavirus Surge. White House Pushes U.S. Officials to Criticize China For Coronavirus ‘Cover-Up.’ Funeral Homes Change Their Practices In Response To Coronavirus. Coronavirus Is Spurring a New Era of Digital Funerals. “This week, it’s going to get bad.”

* Science you can use: the Great Depression and death rates.

* DoE won’t let this crisis go to waste.

* Africa’s mountain gorillas also at risk for coronavirus.

* The 2021 Olympics.

* The podcasts are ready.

* In some happier dimension, this would be an Onion headline.

* The Dark Forest Theory of the Internet.

* Comrade Britney Spears shares post calling for general strike and redistribution of wealth.

* Chess in the time of coronavirus.

Joe Biden Pivots to Video. ‘There’s no playbook for this’: Biden trapped in campaign limbo. You know it’s bad when the political cartoons start agreeing with you.

* A really exciting new book series: Palgrave SFF: A New Canon.

* Remember comics?

* Best joke of the week if you ask me.

* And ICFA lives!

Monday Morning Links

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* The line on Obama’s jobs plan from establishment bloggers is that Obama’s new mode is “no compromise.” We’ll see. At the very least we could get another wonderful debt ceiling clash out of all this, allowing my beloved debt ceiling alignment chart another chance to go truly viral.

* Two David Graeber interviews at Louisville’s Radical Lending Library and Democracy Now! (at ~23 minutes).

* The questions we don’t ask: Science Lags as Health Problems Emerge Near Gas Fields. Thanks for the link, Fiona…

* And the questions we do: A class-action lawsuit was filed Thursday against a prominent Baltimore medical institute, accusing it of knowingly exposing black children as young as a year old to lead poisoning in the 1990s as part of a study exploring the hazards of lead paint. (via)

* And Netflix utterly determined to destroy itself. Unbelievable.

Friday Afternoon Apocalypse

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* Obama self-parody watch: hashtag #compromise.

* Also from Chait: Obama’s Incentive To Punt On the 14th Amendment.

The problem is that, even if we get through this crisis with little damage, the debt ceiling is still sitting there, a weapon that will one day explode. Indeed, if there’s one good reason to downgrade U.S. debt, it’s that House Republicans have discovered a kind of doomsday device that, if not used this time, will probably be used eventually. Any use of the debt ceiling to extort policy concessions will encourage subsequent uses.

The only way to actually defuse the long-term threat is to eliminate the debt ceiling vote, which is a completely unnecessary relic. Doing so would provide long-term benefits, while the political costs would be born entirely by Obama. That may explain his reticence. Or possibly his advisors’ legal judgment simply differs from Jeff’s. There is legitimate disagreement here. In any case, it’s worth keeping in mind that fact that Obama’s political incentive structure on this issue doesn’t fully line up with the national good.

* Mystery of the jobless recovery solved: there wasn’t a recovery. More here. Nearly everything that has gone wrong during the Obama administration stems from this single original sin:

The second perhaps more important point is that by the fall of 2009, the Obama Administration had already decided the recession was so yesterday that it was time to shift into deficit-reduction mode. Stimulus was out, austerity was in.

…Why is that important now? You can draw a straight line from the President’s decision in the fall of 2009 to the current default crisis. I don’t want to downplay the impact of the Republican Party taking over control of the House in the 2010 elections — obviously that was a pivotal moment — but the 2010 elections were contested on a battlefield of the GOP’s choosing: that spending was wildly out of control, deficits were threatening the stability of the economy, and long-term debt would strangle the country. The President basically agreed, ceding vast acreage of political, rhetorical and policy ground to the Republicans.

* Boehner’s next plan is even less viable. America!

* And today’s blogpost of the day: Reality as Failed State.

The point, for the climate denier, is not that the truth should be sought with open-minded sincerity – it is that he has declared the independence of his corner of reality from control by the overarching, techno-scientific consensus reality. He has withdrawn from the reality forced upon him and has retreated to a more comfortable, human-sized bubble.

In these terms, the denier’s retreat from consensus reality approximates the role of the cellular insurgents in Afghanistan vis-a-vis the American occupying force: this overarching behemoth I rebel against may well represent something larger, more free, more wealthy, more democratic, or more in touch with objective reality, but it has been imposed upon me (or I feel it has), so I am going to withdraw from it into illogic, emotion and superstition and from there I am going to declare war upon it…

Via that state of states, MeFi.

Tax Policy Friday

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My crack of dawn flight has just been canceled, so I can briefly note this piece and its persuasive case that the Obama tax cut compromise (like much U.S. tax policy since the 1920s, and especially since Reagan) is fundamentally misguided on the economic merits. The author argues that tax cuts are actually counter-stimulative insofar they encourage short-term profit-taking over long-term planning and reinvestment of profits within the business itself.

Thanks to Vu for the pointer.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 10, 2010 at 8:10 am

Obama vs. The Left

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Everyone’s talking about it. For any possible upside you basically have to stick to the win-by-losing stimulus hypothesis—so don’t read Krugman telling you it won’t work.

I guess today about wraps up the progressive portion of the Obama administration. Back in November 2008 I’d hoped Democrats had elected our Reagan—but it turns out Obama was just our Joe Lieberman.

UPDATE: And all for nothing?

Written by gerrycanavan

December 7, 2010 at 6:07 pm

High-Speed Whatnot

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That we are allowing this to happen is beyond stupid. China is a poor country with nothing comparable to the tremendous research, industrial and economic resources that the U.S. has been blessed with. Yet they’re blowing us away — at least for the moment — in the race to the future.

Our esteemed leaders in Washington can’t figure out how to do anything more difficult than line up for a group photo. Put Americans back to work? You must be kidding. Health care? We’ve been working on it for three-quarters of a century. Infrastructure? Don’t ask.

This article from the New York Times on China’s stimulative high-speed rail projects, and this column on the green economy from Bob Herbert, has spurred quite a bit of commentary in the blogotubes, including this hyperbolic declaration from Open Left that China is now the most advanced country on the planet. Like Kevin Drum I’m skeptical that nation-state competition is the right frame for this discussion—and like Kevin Drum I’m perfectly happy to pretend it is if that would get results from our incredibly short-sighted political institutions.

When the history of the decadent stage of the American empire is written, there will be multiple chapters devoted to our steadfast refusal to invest in either technological infrastructure or the basic well-being of our citizenry, in both good economic times and bad.