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Progressive Intentions With Feudal Results

A weekend topic starting with two reports from the Los Angeles Times. “Outreach workers on Friday wrapped up the first — and easiest — phase of the Venice Beach cleanup, persuading dozens of homeless people camped on the boardwalk to move into shelters. Several camp dwellers near the Santa Monica border said they knew about the warning but planned to stay put. ‘I’m waiting for July 4 to see,’ said Malik Aljubaydi, who lay on a mattress under the shade of his lean-to. ‘I don’t want to leave here. I’m an artist.'”

“Among the new booming counties is El Dorado, which has absorbed a flood of Bay Area transplants who, in search of affordable homes, well-rated schools and access to the outdoors, have packed up their U-Hauls and headed northeast. Brian Luke, who once thought it ‘crazy’ that his co-workers would live more than two hours from their jobs at the Santa Clara County Fire Department and wake up at 3:30 a.m. to commute, suddenly saw the draw. ‘We drove up and thought, ‘Holy cow, we wish we knew about this earlier,’ he recalled.”

“After losing bids on two homes, the pair moved last fall to their new El Dorado Hills house, about twice the size of their 1920s Livermore home at 3,600 square feet, with an open floor plan, ‘massive backyard,’ pool and outdoor kitchen. The competition wasn’t as steep as in the Bay, but they paid $110,000 over the home’s $825,000 asking price. ‘Our friends who moved here two years ago from San Jose, ‘Oh, you only have to offer $1,000 more [than asking] to show you really want the house,’ Rebecca Luke said.”

“The county, population 193,000, is nearly 89% white, census data show. Its median household income is roughly $83,000, lower than the $137,000 median income of El Dorado Hills, where fed-up Bay Area exiles and Sacramentans have flocked.The number of Californians like the Lukes leaving the Bay Area, particularly those from San Francisco, has soared since the pandemic began, a March study found.”

“Bill Roby, 67, and his husband James moved to El Dorado County from the Bay Area in 2005, where they settled on six acres in Shingle Springs, a rural part of the county with larger plots and open space. Though he hasn’t experienced animosity, Roby has heard some locals say that they want to maintain their region’s more conservative, underdeveloped aura, and fear that newcomers are changing that character. Some 41% of active voters in El Dorado County are Republicans, while 31% are Democrats. Another 21% are registered with no party preference. ‘Out of my three neighbors, two have moved because they felt the county was becoming too liberal,’ Roby said.”

From Oregon Public Broadcasting. “Downtown Portland residents have seen it all this year — a pandemic, racial justice protests, broken windows and graffitied storefronts. Resident Diane Sussman, 71, is a semi-retired journalist. Five years ago, she bought a small condo downtown near Portland State University. She chose the area because it was centrally located with plenty of public transit. She liked being surrounded by people.”

“But she’s since soured on the area. Over the past year, Sussman said she started to feel like ‘collateral’ damage to the unprecedented unrest occurring downtown. Last summer, tear gas wafted through her windows. It felt like new graffiti objecting to the Portland Police or the mayor appeared on her building daily. She’s considering selling her home and moving to Seattle or maybe Ohio. ‘The perception from out-of-towners, I think, is often exaggerated and overblown — yet it really isn’t,’ she said. ‘It has been hard to live downtown for the last year and a half.'”

“But for some other residents, the period of protests brought a sense of purpose to the area. A frequent attendee of racial justice demonstrations that took place last summer, Monique Jefferson, 47, said she loved being within earshot of the city’s Black Lives Matter revolution. For most of the pandemic, Jefferson rented an apartment just across the street from the Portland Art Museum. ‘I was so proud to live downtown,’ she said. ‘I loved hearing the drums. I loved hearing the music. I loved hearing the chanting.'”

From Boulder Weekly. “It’s the latest in a collection of seven housing justice bills the Colorado state Legislature has passed since the coronavirus pandemic began. Among a suite of changes, the new law, which doesn’t go into effect until October, establishes a cap on landlord-issued late fees, extends the grace period for rental payments and eliminates the bond tenants are currently required to pay to courts when disputing living standards.”

“‘I don’t know if [SB173] is going to fundamentally change eviction, which is a conflict in power between the tenant and the landlord,’ says Ruy Arango, a housing justice advocate in Boulder. ‘That being said, this is all good. Colorado tenant’s rights are dogshit, so this is all a step in the right direction. These are very small steps though.'”

“Arango says the fundamental issue of eviction and the housing crisis more generally won’t be solved ‘as long as we use a market to distribute housing and determine who gets access to housing and who does not, because the market needs winners and losers, and the need for housing is inelastic — as in your need for water is inelastic. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, the amount of thirst you have is the amount of thirst you have. Everyone needs water, everyone needs housing, and unless we address and change this fundamental contradiction in how we give people access to housing in our country, we are still going to experience eviction. You will still experience housing insecurity.'”

From CNBC on New York. “The price jumps and shrinking inventory suggest the Manhattan real estate rebound continues to gain momentum. ‘It’s a sign of the frenzy and intensity of the market,’ said Jonathan Miller, CEO of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel. Brokers say the top of the market is driving much of the growth, since the wealthy have grown even wealthier during the pandemic from rising stock markets and easy monetary policy.”

“Still, the inventory of luxury apartments remains high — at 13 months, according to Miller Samuel. And since many new development buildings aren’t officially listing all their empty units, for fear of oversaturating the market, the real number is far higher, Miller said. ‘You have to account for the ‘inventory management,’ he said.”

The Globe and Mail. “The effects of rising home prices in Canada are reducing the affordability of almost every housing segment, including a part of the market that has long been under-appreciated: trailer parks. ‘It’s a more recent trend than in multifamily housing, but it’s not so different than the firms that are consolidating ownership in single-family homes as rentals – it’s just a different type of single-family home,’ said Martine August, assistant professor at the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning and an expert in the financialization of housing.”

“‘In every sort of sub-asset class of real estate, the financial firms are just trickling in to try to access everything: self-storage, student housing, seniors housing, land-lease, whatever. They are going everywhere. They are moving across the spectrum from very low-cost options to luxury housing and extracting a value from everyone. Everybody needs a place to live, so it’s got strong fundamentals, to use their language.'”

“Joe Accardi, chief executive of a real estate development fund that has in the past focused on commercial properties in the Hamilton area – recently announced he had acquired three land-lease sites in Ontario with more to come. In his view, people priced out of the cottage market, which has seen price jumps of 70 per cent since 2019, will increasingly turn to cheaper options. ‘A lot of people see that for the next generation it’s unattainable. We are a very good option for a lot of people, at fifth or a tenth of the cost,’ Mr. Accardi said.”

“‘We’ve definitely seen a spike in interest through the pandemic,’ said Lachlan MacLean, the senior vice-president property operations with Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities Inc., the largest operator in CanadaT. ‘The bet is this asset class is not going to depreciate.'”

From China Daily. “New home prices in China grew at a steady pace in May, with pre-owned houses reporting marginal gains in sale prices, as measures to curb speculation and stabilize the market continued to take effect, experts said. Yan Yuejin, director of the Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institution, said the NBS data indicate that home price growth is losing steam. ‘This is good news. It shows that the various policies have been effective and will arrest the growth in property prices,’ said Yan.”

“The tightening measures have also had an effect on the pre-owned home market, with Shenzhen, a leader in the existing home price rises, reporting its first price drop since July 2019, said Zhang Dawei, chief analyst at Centaline Property Agency Ltd. According to Zhang, 17 cities reported price drops on a monthly basis in May, the biggest since the beginning of the year.”

“Ding Zuyu, CEO of E-House (China) Enterprise Holdings Ltd, expects the property market to continue playing its role as an economic stabilizer, and both real estate investment and property sales to grow at double digits. ‘Stabilizing home prices would continue to be a high priority on the work agenda, especially as the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China is approaching,’ said Yan.”

From New Geography. “What California is creating can be best described as oligarchic socialism, a form of collectivism that combines hierarchy with ‘equity,’ regulation with oligopoly, and progressive intentions with feudal results. Like so much else, the pandemic has accelerated this trend, vastly enriching the tech elite, while turning much of the working and middle classes dependent on what Marx called ‘the proletarian alms bag.'”

“In contemporary California, traditional notions of economic development and upward mobility have been replaced by subsidized housing, a state bailout for renters in default emergency aid to small businesses and enhanced unemployment payments. Once all the state’s new commitments are met California’s much ballyhooed $75 billion surplus, Chapman economist Jim Doti estimates, shrinks to a still considerable $25 billion.”

“But work and upward mobility for the middle and working classes are no longer a prime concern in the Golden State. ‘The culture for much of California, driven by state politics, is one of benefits (and now guaranteed income), not a jobs strategy or expectation,’ suggests Michael Bernick, a former director of the state’s Employment Development Department.”

“Bernick notes that this approach—as opposed to boosting employment—is also popular both with the tech oligarchs and bureaucrats who together dominate the state. The synergy between Silicon Valley wealth and the expansive welfare state is clear: with seemingly unlimited capital gains and income receipts, the state can fund ever more dysfunctional schools at a high level, pay enormous pensions, and generally expand the role of a state government.”

“This faith in government seems odd given its record of incompetence, from the high speed rail fiasco to forcing a bailout of the marijuana industry. The state has also mishandled unemployment claims, with more than a million Californians awaiting unemployment checks that were delayed or frozen. Worse yet, the state last year gave payments of $11 billion to various scammers, including people in jail and criminals from Nigeria and Russia.”

“Politics, not competence, notes Lucy Dunn, head of the Orange County Business Council, plays the leading role here, particularly with Governor Newsom’s recall. ‘His budget seems more focused on the welfare state with an eye toward surviving recall and preparing for elections in 2022,’ she observes. ‘Business organizations throughout the state have begged him to stop making it easier for folks to stay on the dole and get back to work.'”

“Some progressive ideologues hail the state as the ultimate avatar of a green capitalism that we can ‘believe in.’ Some, such as a writer at Bloomberg, claim the state has ‘the best economy’ in the world, pointing to the bloated stock prices of the major tech firms and the enormous growth of wealth of a relative handful.”

This Post Has 115 Comments
  1. ‘once thought it ‘crazy’ that his co-workers would live more than two hours from their jobs…and wake up at 3:30 a.m. to commute, suddenly saw the draw. ‘We drove up and thought, ‘Holy cow, we wish we knew about this earlier’

    ‘In every sort of sub-asset class of real estate, the financial firms are just trickling in to try to access everything: self-storage, student housing, seniors housing, land-lease, whatever. They are going everywhere. They are moving across the spectrum from very low-cost options to luxury housing and extracting a value from everyone’…expert in the financialization of housing’

    This post is self explanatory. I’ll add – again – this is globalism. Which has merged with communism. Probably all along the two were the same. We better wake up and nip this crap in the bud, cuz it’s only going to get worse.

    1. I’ll add – again – this is globalism. Which has merged with communism.

      The playbook is well established. The globalists bankroll and direct the communists, who then expropriate all private property and eliminate the kulak class. Once the property belongs to the state, the globalists wait patiently until the socialist state collapses under the weight of its own inherently flawed ideology which is against human nature. Then the globalists buy up “state owned enterprises” and other property for a song. Wash, rinse, repeat. This is how the “Russian” oligarchs amassed huge fortunes while most other Russians became destitute after the fall of the Soviet Union.

    2. The county, population 193,000, is nearly 89% white, census data show

      So people will commute 2 hours to avoid living with vibrants.

      1. (70’s) Having to go to work after being kept up all night by loud music and dancing in the street, my mother would comment dryly, “They’re a happy people.”

    3. “We better wake up and nip this crap in the bud”

      It well passed the bud at this stage. It is a field of weeds that has flowered and gone to seed.

    4. An appraiser in Sac debunked the rich Bay Area natives driving up prices in Sacramento and surrounding areas a couple of years ago. I’d bet the debunk still holds true. There’s just not enough of them moving there and they are NOT paying all cash like you hear.

      It’s funny how the journalists grab onto a narrative and then it gets repeated like it’s the gospel truth. Just this week on here Ben had an article where they said all the rich Californian’s are moving to Austin and driving up the prices to the moon. The thing is there’s not even enough people leaving California according to the official numbers to make up 1/3 of the population growth in Austin let alone Boise, Denver, Nashville and Miami. We tell ourselves these stories because humans have to make sense of everything with a story….even if the story isn’t true.

      1. It might have something to do with lying realtors and debtdonkeys flooding comment boards with complete lies.

      2. “…rich Bay Area natives driving up prices in Sacramento…”

        I doubt it too. Sac is loaded with po’ folks of every stripe, and the weather is there is miserable compared to the SF Bay Area.

    5. ‘In every sort of sub-asset class of real estate, the financial firms are just trickling in to try to access everything: self-storage, student housing, seniors housing, land-lease, whatever. They are going everywhere. They are moving across the spectrum from very low-cost options to luxury housing and extracting a value from everyone’…expert in the financialization of housing’

      We are in the end game where the billionaires essentially steal everything.

      1. *While they play rocket boy and shoot around the stars while posting on social media about how smart and wonderful they are, with dumbed down sycophants cheering them on.

    6. The competition wasn’t as steep as in the Bay, but they paid $110,000 over the home’s $825,000 asking price.”

      CA public unions own this state their workers the last of the middle class

  2. ‘the housing crisis more generally won’t be solved ‘as long as we use a market to distribute housing and determine who gets access to housing and who does not’

    Openly discussing communism like it’s normal.

    ‘Stabilizing home prices would continue to be a high priority on the work agenda, especially as the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China is approaching’

    1. A book:

      The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class:

      About the book:

      Following a remarkable epoch of greater dispersion of wealth and opportunity, we are inexorably returning towards a more feudal era marked by greater concentration of wealth and property, reduced upward mobility, demographic stagnation, and increased dogmatism. If the last seventy years saw a massive expansion of the middle class, not only in America but in much of the developed world, today that class is declining and a new, more hierarchical society is emerging.

      The new class structure resembles that of Medieval times. At the apex of the new order are two classes―a reborn clerical elite, the clerisy, which dominates the upper part of the professional ranks, universities, media and culture, and a new aristocracy led by tech oligarchs with unprecedented wealth and growing control of information. These two classes correspond to the old French First and Second Estates.

      Below these two classes lies what was once called the Third Estate. This includes the yeomanry, which is made up largely of small businesspeople, minor property owners, skilled workers and private-sector oriented professionals. Ascendant for much of modern history, this class is in decline while those below them, the new Serfs, grow in numbers―a vast, expanding property-less population.

      The trends are mounting, but we can still reverse them―if people understand what is actually occurring and have the capability to oppose them.

      The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class: Kotkin, Joel: 9781641770941: Amazon.com: Books
      https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Neo-Feudalism-Warning-Global-Middle/dp/1641770945/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2TP1Y6WOZ8CEQ&dchild=1&keywords=the+coming+of+neo-feudalism&qid=1586795467&sprefix=the+coming+of+neo+%2Caps%2C150&sr=8-1

      1. “The new class structure resembles that of Medieval times. At the apex of the new order are two classes―a reborn clerical elite, the clerisy, which dominates the upper part of the professional ranks, universities, media and culture, and a new aristocracy led by tech oligarchs with unprecedented wealth and growing control of information.”

        Clerisy?

        Noun. 1. clerisy – an educated and intellectual elite. intelligentsia. elite, elite group – a group or class of persons enjoying superior intellectual or social or economiClerks?

      2. For years now on city-data my status says “serf”, not that I bother with that site much. Some things you can instinctively feel coming.

    2. Which central plannerz are doing a better job of stabalizing home prices, the CCP or the Fed?

    3. as long as we use a market to distribute housing and determine who gets access to housing and who does not

      Here come the years (if not decades) long waiting lists for a rental. But hey, the rent will be cheap, even if all the apartment complexes turn into run down tenements.

    4. I had dinner with a relative who had recently been to China and was aglow with enthusiasm for how great the Chinese system is and how everyone there can afford housing anywhere they want to live. I was dumbfounded and speechless. I showed her the price to income ratio of housing in cities like Shanghai and Beijing but she didn’t believe it. It reminded me of the commies in Harvard Square handing out Mao books I argued with as a kid. No matter how much information you provided regarding the famines and mass death from starvation and political persecution they would insist all that was capitalist propaganda. This is the problem with Communism. Once you’ve been indoctrinated, you can’t be moved by reason or knowledge. The only exit route is fully experiencing it.

      1. Commies are impervious to reason, logic, or the lessons of history. There is only one way to deal with such vermin.

      2. who had recently been to China

        Was this relative allowed to wander around China alone? Or was she assigned a guide to help her “discover” the greatness of the Chinese system?

        1. I visited the USSR in ’87. We found out we had guys watching our Intourist guide when they came up to us on a Moscow street and dragged him away. He was back the next day. He said they didn’t like that we were talking and laughing so much. He just had to prove that it was his job.

          I also had a rifle used as a pointer at my neck by a guard at shriveled Lenin’s tomb to get me to button my shirt completely to the top to show more respect. I had two buttons unbuttoned.

          It was interesting, but not the best vacation I ever had. I don’t want to live in a place like that.

      3. aglow with enthusiasm for how great the Chinese system is I try to explain to my libtard brother and nephews and nieces how bad communism is. i had no luck until I told them that my Chinese masseuse, born in China during the great famine of 1959-1963 wanted to marry me so she and her daughter would not need to go back to China. When I told them that I got their attention, but I don’t think they believed me. Sad, but that is a true story, and her daughter is now back in China. She is in CA.

        1. wanted to marry me so she and her daughter would not need to go back to China.

          An intolerable percentage of men fall for this schtick. Do men really enjoy — or even know — that they being used this way?

          1. An intolerable percentage of men fall for this schtick. Do men really enjoy — or even know — that they being used this way?

            It’s probably because they’re getting sex on the regular. The way to a man’s heart is through his…ahem….

  3. ‘the wealthy have grown even wealthier during the pandemic from rising stock markets and easy monetary policy’

    Why do globalists resort to bubbles? Cuz that’s all they’ve got.

    “’Still, the inventory of luxury apartments remains high — at 13 months, according to Miller Samuel. And since many new development buildings aren’t officially listing all their empty units, for fear of oversaturating the market, the real number is far higher, Miller said. ‘You have to account for the ‘inventory management’

    Openly discussing market manipulation. Oh these “liberals” looove luxury airboxes and shacks though. Watch the LA Times fawn over the latest celebrity flip and oodles of PROFIT! Then go back to bewailing the plight of bums and crack heads.

    ‘I don’t want to leave here. I’m an artist’

    A BS artist.

    1. Why do globalists resort to bubbles? Cuz that’s all they’ve got.

      Someone commented in yesterday’s thread that the FED is now “riding the tiger.” These reckless focks have nothing left. They’re just printing money.

  4. LinkedIn Deletes Account of mRNA Vaccine Pioneer Who Questioned Risks of COVID-19 Shots

    ‘Dr. Robert Malone, who identifies himself as a pioneer of mRNA vaccines, said that LinkedIn recently deleted his account after he made comments about mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and questioned whether they’re appropriate to give to certain groups of people.’

    ‘It appears his personal account was removed earlier this week without warning or explanation from LinkedIn, a subsidiary of Microsoft, said his wife, Jill Malone.’

    ‘In a subsequent tweet, Malone produced an email from a LinkedIn representative, who said that his account violated the firm’s user agreement because he posted “misleading or inaccurate information” about vaccines and COVID-19.’

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morningbrief/linkedin-deletes-account-of-mrna-vaccine-pioneer-who-issued-warning-about-risks_3884669.html

    Microsoft, eh?

    1. ‘Chinese authorities are ramping up security measures around the country, especially in the capital city of Beijing, ahead of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) centennial celebration on July 1. One Chinese citizen said China has been turned into a “prison.”

      ‘On March 20, 18 departments, including the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Central Propaganda Department, and the Central Committee of Political and Legal Affairs, jointly launched a three-and-a-half-month special campaign to suppress “illegal social organizations.” State-run media Xinhua reported that over 500 “illegal social organizations” were identified and placed under investigation.’

      ‘On May 24, the Tiananmen District Management Committee announced that from May 25 to July 1, Tiananmen Square and the surrounding areas would be closed for “construction” for the grand celebration; from June 23 to July 1, Tiananmen Square would be closed.’

      ‘On May 31, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau announced that the automatic renewal extension of the Beijing Residence Permit and the Beijing Residence Registration Card would be discontinued from June 1.’

      ‘The security bureau said that residents from other cities must apply for the extension of their residence permit (card). Otherwise, the permit would be suspended if it was overdue for one month and cancelled if it was overdue for six months. This move would make it more difficult for non-permanent Beijing residents to stay and live in the city.’

      ‘Mr. Wang, a Shanghai resident, told The Epoch Times that China is like a “prison” with total surveillance of the public. “I saw several petitioners, and they were stopped before they reached Beijing.” Petitioners are citizens who have grievances that they wish to bring up to the central authorities.’

      ‘He said, “Notices have been posted on the internet. Now [the CCP needs to] maintain stability. Don’t go to Beijing. Trains, planes, highways, and cell phones are all controlled. Layers of layers of security. Cameras are everywhere. Where can you go? It is useless to go anywhere, they will stop you halfway. Now (in Beijing) even pigeons are banned from flying, all flying objects are banned. It feels like an invisible net is in the air and on land, and nobody can escape.”

      ‘An anonymous source in China provided a video to The Epoch Times showing six security guards inside a moving bus in Beijing. The guards were wearing red armbands that contained a device, which monitored the movement of every passenger.’

      https://www.theepochtimes.com/china-has-become-a-prison-beijing-beefs-up-security-ahead-of-centennial-celebration_3860333.html

      Sound familiar?

    2. ‘Racine’s director of communications, Abbie McDonough, told Politico that the investigation is part of an effort to ensure that Facebook cracks down on “vaccine misinformation.”

      “Facebook has said it’s taking action to address the proliferation of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on its site,” McDonough said. “But then when pressed to show its work, Facebook refused. AG Racine’s investigation aims to make sure Facebook is truly taking all steps possible to minimize vaccine misinformation on its site and support public health.”

      ‘The move follows previous reports of Democrats working with Big Tech to censor content that they deem to be misinformation. Most notably, a recent lawsuit showed evidence of Democrats flagging alleged misinformation to Twitter via a “partner portal” and Twitter responding by removing the flagged tweets.’

      ‘Another example of this is Democrats demanding that Facebook and Twitter “address” 12 prominent vaccine skeptics in April. Since they made their demands, four of these vaccine skeptics have had their social media accounts shut down.’

      ‘Lawmakers have also suggested that the federal government may have “induced Facebook to censor certain speech in violation of the First Amendment” and demanded that the tech giant explain why it censored lab leak theories.’

      ‘This attempt from the DC AG to identify Facebook users for posting COVID-19 misinformation comes as the tech giant is using increasingly aggressive measures to target people based on the content they share and interact with. Yesterday, it started asking users whether they’re concerned about their friends “becoming an extremist” and warned users that they “may have been exposed to harmful extremist content.”

      ‘And in May, a whistleblower revealed that Facebook is using a secret internal filter to flag “liberty-based” and “religious-based” vaccine skepticism and using a secret algorithm to suppress negative vaccine experiences.’

      https://reclaimthenet.org/dc-ag-facebook-covid-19-misinformation/

      1. LinkedIn account

        I looked at someone’s post there once and the company listed me as a “user”. Years of useless contacts resulted.

        1. ok, so, I am baffled why so many people are so
          up-in-arms outraged over how a private company, that you, wait for it . . wait . . for .. it .. VOLUNTARILY join, conducts business !?

          facebook, twitter, etc.

          seriously, you lazy no-life no-hopers: why do you allow them such control over your life?!?!?

      2. “I just pulled the plug on my LinkedIn account. Utterly useless.”

        Anticipating where this is all going I did the same about three years ago and my Facebook account a couple of years before that.

  5. ‘What California is creating can be best described as oligarchic socialism, a form of collectivism that combines hierarchy with ‘equity,’ regulation with oligopoly, and progressive intentions with feudal results. Like so much else, the pandemic has accelerated this trend, vastly enriching the tech elite, while turning much of the working and middle classes dependent on what Marx called ‘the proletarian alms bag’

    This is all done in the open. The “serious people” talk about neo-liberalism. This isn’t new and it’s not liberal. If you support this horse sh$t, at least acknowledge that. How many times has Bill Gates “given” his money away? Two times last I heard.

    1. The apotheosis of all this is in CA is a society consisting of only wealthy techno geeks and Hollywood elites and the noncitizen migrants that manicure their lawns and babysit their kids.

    2. They’re now openly discussing the ill effects of their own policies. This was the headline posted yesterday from their socialist rag see enn enn which I will not link to:

      Inflation will hurt low-income Americans for years to come

      After the FED recently announced an embarrassingly paltry rate hike nearly 2 years down the road, the Biden Coup – assassins of the poor and middle class – immediately criticized the move. They don’t even hide their allegiance to billionaire globalists while pretending to care about the poor.

  6. I wanted to tell you about something I’ve witnessed lately. A Mourning Dove built a nest right outside my window. This bird sat on the eggs for around two weeks in the summer heat. A few days ago I heard the peep of chicks. This morning as the light grows in the east, I could see them, reaching up to her and her giving her attention to them. Of course I hope that they’ll make it through until they can survive on their own. And I have hope we can all get through what’s happening. I’m not sure what the lesson is if there is one. We are given life.

    1. Ditto for a Robin on my side porch. I used the other door for a month because she would fly off if I set foot nearby. The two little fledglings are in full feather out in the woods now I assume. It makes you think about how ridiculous some aspects of our lives are.

      1. We’ve witnessed the mockingbird nesting cycle a few times. It’s fun to hear the parents in the trees communicate with their fledglings in the bushes. Beep . . . beep. Beep . . . beep.

        1. Our lone soloist mockingbird that kept us up nights last summer is back, or else perhaps a close relative. He can be heard loudly singing a wide variety of birdcalls, which sometimes resemble other animals or even car alarms, at all hours of the day or night, almost without a break.

          I’d much prefer to listen to this angry recital 24/7 than to the sounds of drumbeats and mob chants.

          1. We just got back from a walk along La Jolla Cove and saw two sets of two Seagull fledglings. We could have touched one but would have been bitten by squawking mama bird.

    2. Meanwhile, the DC are is experiencing an unexplained bird mortality event. The birds get some neurological problem, then go blind, then die. Orinthologists are euthanizing any sick birds. They asked us not to fill bird baths so that birds wouldn’t spread whatever disease to other birds. I got to shovel a dead robin off my back patio last Wednesday.

      Luckily the die-off appears to be waning. The prevailing theory is that 17 years’ worth of pesticides and toxins had built up in the cicadas underground. When the birds ate the cicadas they got a concentrated shot of toxins.

    3. I had this happen in one of my flower pots in the backyard this spring. I’d even come by and water the plants and if I was quiet enough the mother dove would still sit there on the eggs. Only one of the eggs hatched but it was fascinating to watch. They get pretty big before they finally fly away on their own.

  7. From an article on a condo evacuation in Florida:

    “In an abundance of caution, the City ordered the building closed immediately and the residents evacuated for their protection, while a full structural assessment is conducted and next steps are determined,” North Miami Beach City Manager Arthur H. Sorey III said in a news release. “Nothing is more important than the safety and lives of our residents, and we will not rest until we ensure this building is 100% safe.”

    “In an abundance of caution…” The govs can do anything they want as long as the prefix it with that phrase. Like a motorcycle helmet, why is it not the option of the condo resident (aka owner) whether they want to take the risk or not?

    1. Nose under the tent, slippery slope. Once we let them they just keep pushing don’t they? We are free people and better start acting like it.

  8. Hope you all have a Happy and safe Independence Day weekend.

    Saw this at the beginning of the “Why Public Schools and the Mainstream Media Dumb Us Down” video posted by Mr. Banker

    “Resist much, obey little; Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved; Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth, ever after-ward resumes its liberty.”

    ― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

  9. ‘The sudden shift in narrative over the possibility that COVID-19 could have emerged from a lab in Wuhan, China, is mysterious and contingent to “just how corrupt our system has become,” according to evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein.’

    ‘Weinstein, biologist and co-host of the DarkHorse Podcast, has since last year explored the possibility that COVID-19 could have emerged from a laboratory. He told Epoch TV’s “American Thought Leaders” program (episode premiering on Sat. July 3) that the fact that the hypothesis is now receiving widespread recognition from the international community is “completely mysterious.”

    ‘Weinstein, a visiting fellow at the James Madison Program at Princeton University, said that before the narrative surrounding the COVID-19 lab leak theory gained traction, those who did discuss it were stigmatized, demonized and “portrayed as everything from racist to reactionary.”

    “All we were doing was following the evidence,” Weinstein continued. “The change in that story was, I have to say, completely mysterious.”

    ‘Weinstein criticized the explanations provided in recent weeks by “all of those who had gotten the story wrong” after the lab leak theory gained wider recognition. Weinstein described the phenomenon as “a headlong rush, by all of those who had gotten the story wrong to explain themselves—and their explanations made less than no sense.”

    ‘He said that certain journalists or media outlets “seemed to center on the fact that because [former President] Donald Trump had been favorable to the idea that this might have emerged from a lab, that that made it not true.”

    “Which, of course, is such an illogical conclusion that it’s hard to imagine how anybody who considers himself a journalist could for a moment have been misled,” he continued. “I mean, at worst, if you thought everything that Donald Trump said was a lie—at worst, you would have to take it as no evidence either way. But that’s not how people treated it. They treated it almost as if the truth was always the opposite of what he said.”

    ‘Other outlets have also corrected or quietly updated stories, including Vox, while Facebook stopped banning posts suggesting the virus was man-made.’

    ‘Weinstein said that he believes it eventually became “impossible to maintain the public lie that a laboratory version was somehow in conflict with the evidence.”

    “And we now know from Dr. Fauci, his emails, that behind the scenes, the top people didn’t believe it either. They were just simply feeding the public a line that they had their own reasons for wanting the public to believe,” he said. “It is contingent on the several different stories that surround COVID-19, revealing to us just how corrupt our system has become.”

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_breakingnews/sudden-shift-in-covid-19-lab-leak-narrative-mysterious-evolutionary-biologist_3884058.html

    1. ‘a headlong rush, by all of those who had gotten the story wrong to explain themselves—and their explanations made less than no sense’

      It’s worse than that. What the media did was go back and edit earlier conspiracy theory allegations to make it look like they were open to it all along. Change history if no one was paying attention, which they were.

      1. ‘The latest twist in the origins of Covid saga has been supplied within the past few days. It was tweeted last week by award-winning journalist Adam Housley that the United States Defence Intelligence Agency had in custody a Chinese defector whose information has added to suspicions that the Covid-19 virus had a manipulated, and perhaps even a malign, genesis.’

        ‘As we previously reported, emails released under US Freedom of Information legislation indicated that the White House Chief Medical Advisor, Dr Anthony Fauci, was aware of attempts to manipulate viruses in Wuhan.’

        ‘The defector has, according to Housley’s sources, intimate knowledge of the Chinese military development of bioweaponry. This again ties in with a previous report in an official Chinese state paper about such experimentation, and its possible uses for aggressive military purposes.’

        ‘The defector is in the custody of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Housley and other American journalists says they’ve been told he or she has been kept away from the FBI and the CIA over concerns that those two and other federal agencies might not be secure.’

        ‘That, in itself, raises a whole other scenario which has not faced the American intelligence community since the exposure of Alger Hiss and other enemy assets in the 1940s.’

        ‘The information provided by the defector apparently also points to the Chinese attempting to subsequently manipulate other coronavirus variants in order to sustain the theory of the bat cave origin for Covid-19, and thus to deflect from the renewed focus on the Wuhan lab, and the possibility of an artificial manipulation of the virus or accidental leakage.’

        ‘The DIA informant is not the first Chinese scientist to provide what is now regarded as credible evidence regarding the theory of origin and leak from the Wuhan lab of Covid-19. It would seem remarkably similar to the claims made by virologist, Dr Li Meng Yan, in September 2020. She stated that her research did not support a “naturally occurring” thesis.’

        ‘Li was interviewed on June 3rd by Newsmax and stated that the Fauci emails backed up her findings that were published in three papers, the latest on March 31 2021.’

        ‘In the latter, she baldly concluded that Covid 19 is “not a naturally occurring pathogen but an Unrestricted Bioweapon.” She says that Covid 19 was created from template viruses discovered in bats by scientists working for the Peoples Liberation Army.’

        ‘More pertinently, perhaps, she claims that the programme is part of a “network which includes not only the CCP scientists but also certain overseas scientists and organisations.”

        ‘Li’s references to “certain overseas scientists and organisations” is thought by some to be a reference to the link between the US state-funded EcoHealth which was part of the Wuhan laboratory research to which it channelled funds, and also to the blanket derision and censorship of any reference to an artificial origin and/or lab leak that has been enforced ever since the virus made its appearance.’

        ‘Many of those who had the temerity to even raise the possibility of a lab-leak saw their careers and reputations targeted – including many reputable scientists and former intelligence operatives and then President Donald Trump.’

        ‘Li was also a victim. Not only was her research dismissed because of a lack of peer review but she was banned by Twitter for months. Like others, the very fact that she published independently and on open access on Zenodo was used against her.’

        ‘The actions against her seemed to be less to do with the substance of what she says, much of which is supported independently by other scientists including Professor Angus Dalgleish and Dr. Birger Sorensen who claim that Chinese military scientists “retro engineered” Covid-19 to make it appear as though it originated in bats. That seems to correspond with what the Chinese defector has been reported to have told the DIA.’

        ‘‘Gain of function’ by the way means manipulating viruses to make them more transmissible and virulent. Ponder that for a moment, because it would point to exactly the sort of thing being alleged by Meng Yan and apparently by the DIA informant, and also discussed openly by Chinese state agencies themselves years before the Covid outbreak, but in response to the earlier SARS 1 outbreak of 2003. Those earlier discussions were with a view to how all of that might be weaponised either by enemies of the Chinese Communist Party, or by the Party and its army.’

        ‘Peter Daszak of Ecp Health was the initiator of a letter signed by 26 other scientists that was published by the Lancet on February 19, 2020. The letter, apart from pre-emptively deciding that “coronavirus originated in wildlife,” reads more like a political statement.’

        ‘It declares its admiration for the effectiveness and openness of Chinese scientists and expresses their “solidarity with all scientists and health professionals in China who continue to save lives and protect global health.” Furthermore, and of course this was the entire point of Daszak’s initiative: it declared that “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin.”

        ‘As we have pointed out before, China is not a normal state. Its role in the “pandemic” – and the dissemination of hysteria based on what some now believe to be stage managed footage of people dying in the streets to induce its enemies to enforce an economically and socially crippling lockdown – bear the deepest scrutiny.’

        ‘We may be grateful to Meng Yan and James Metzl and others who have exercised the still extant rights we in the west have to question things.’

        ‘We should also be aware that there are powerful forces with much to lose if it turns out that China has concealed the true origin of the Covid panic. And also that those forces are already actively seeking ways to muddy any proper investigation and perhaps even to find excuses for prolonging the lockdown.’

        https://gript.ie/chinese-defector-wuhan-lab-leak/

        1. BTW, how many of you haven’t heard about this defector in the MSM? It’s all over the internet. He defected over a year ago. Seems he handed over a terabyte of documents. The Sound of Freedom show said he was the highest level CCP to defect ever.

          ‘they’ve been told he or she has been kept away from the FBI and the CIA over concerns that those two and other federal agencies might not be secure’

          We got some big problems.

          1. ‘they’ve been told he or she has been kept away from the FBI and the CIA over concerns that those two and other federal agencies might not be secure’

            The degree of globalist subversion and corruption of our institutions of governance, especially the DoJ and FBI, would make our Founding Fathers turn over in their graves.

        2. ‘Its role in the “pandemic” – and the dissemination of hysteria based on what some now believe to be stage managed footage of people dying in the streets to induce its enemies to enforce an economically and socially crippling lockdown – bear the deepest scrutiny’

          I had almost forgotten this. Remember the videos they were putting out? Dead people laying all over the streets. Emergency rooms full of people dying, even had people die on video: I posted one here. It never happened anywhere else and was obviously staged.

          ‘to induce its enemies to enforce an economically and socially crippling lockdown’

          And eagerly jumped upon by guberments all over the world to do just that. This is mass murder in a variety of ways. It’s also the biggest crime in modern history.

          1. ” Its also the biggest crime in modern history.”

            Boy do I agree with that statement. I have a heavy heart over how epic the harm they caused was, and it was mass murder and financial destruction .
            And all this fraud and censorship, death and destruction done for political objectives against so much global population is epic.

            I always thought the Constitution was some form of protection against something like this , but it hasn’t been effective in stopping this harm yet.

            If you want to Judge something by the fruits it bears, this is rotten fruit by rotten Entities exercising power, that was criminally stolen if you believe the National Election was rigged.

            And the media and the President talks about the Citizens of the US like they were a enemy that needs to be defeated. Government is suppose to be working for the majority interest, not some agenda by a small group of Innsurrectionist. Government can only be viewed as traitors to this Country , for this alliance with enemies to the State.
            So, only the people can take back the hijacking of US and other Countries, because at some point it will be necessary . its depends on what further moves the Innsurrection takes in coming months.

          2. Covid-19 is making a hasty retreat in California and has virtually disappeared in South Dakota.
            https://doh.sd.gov/COVID/Dashboard.aspx
            https://covid19.ca.gov/state-dashboard/

            It’s going to be pretty difficult to mandate lockdowns, closures and mask wearing when there aren’t any people sick with Covid-19. All other respiratory virus outbreaks end on their own and this typically happens in summer.

            Odds heavily favors that when the flu season starts again in late October, Covid-19 won’t exists. Even if the Chinese or someone else tries to start a new pandemic, it won’t happen because the population already has immunity from Covid.

            Of course the Chinese could release a NEW Corona Virus. Given all the evils we have seen in the Covid-19 pandemic, I wouldn’t rule out that we could see a repeat pandemic in 2022. This time Covid-22 could be much more deadly than Covid-19.

        3. It was tweeted last week by award-winning journalist Adam Housley

          I follow him on Twitter. He’s more a vintner than a journalist these days and doesn’t tweet often.

  10. ‘I loved hearing the drums. I loved hearing the music. I loved hearing the chanting.’

    I love quiet neighbors and birds singing outside our bedroom window. The sound of angry protesters disturbing the peace 24/7, not so much.

  11. rented an apartment just across the street from the Portland Art Museum. ‘I was so proud to live downtown,’ she said. ‘I loved hearing the drums. I loved hearing the music. I loved hearing the chanting.’”
    The key word here being rented. Portland could be viewed as a never ending”party(?)” as a renter. Then when you get tired of the party, leave and go rent in the suburbs away from the B.S. When you own a property in a newly vibrant area, and want to sell, well, bend over. It has got to be zero fun.

  12. housing crisis more generally won’t be solved ‘as long as we use a market to distribute housing and determine who gets access to housing and who does not,
    Free stuff for everybody for ever! Remember neither you nor I make the rules, we just have to use them for our maximum benefit.
    As I mentioned earlier, I got laid off over a year ago and I am not working and still enjoying UE, and Cobra pay and I just found out I can get free health insurance for the rest f the year. It is almost as if the Govt. doesn’t want me to work. People like me are why Socialism will never work. You want me to work, make it worth my while. Currently my increment tax rates are way too high vs UE to make me want to work.
    Hopes everyone has a nice 4th of July

    1. In a visit to France several years ago, my French host told me about the lack of jobs and industry in his region. That’s why there were so many people out of work. However, he said that the government unemployment benefits were more lucrative than working in low paying jobs so the other reason for such high unemployment rates was because people made more money by not working.

      Never thought I’d see that here in America.

  13. But…but…the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said we should be on the lookout for “white supremacist” boogey men during the July 4th weekend.

    Nine people are taken into custody after heavily-armed Moorish-Americans fled during traffic stop and then went on YouTube to insist they are peaceful – as Mass. police sweep their vehicles and the woods

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9752493/Massachusetts-cops-issue-urgent-shelter-place-warning-eight-heavily-armed-men-run.html

    Massachusetts police have taken nine ‘armed and dangerous’ men into custody after they fled from police during a traffic stop overnight.

    A state trooper spotted the group – who claimed to be members of ‘Rise of The Moors’ – at the side of the Interstate-95 between Wakefield and Reading around 1.30am Saturday.

  14. The MSM goes on pretending this mass exodus out of NYC is due to the pandemic, rather than Democrat-Bolshevik malgovernance and vibrants given free rein to caper with impunity.

    Nearly 19% of office buildings in New York City are STILL vacant – the highest on record – as experts say the city faces its biggest crisis since the 1970s when half of the city’s 125 Fortune 500 companies moved out

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9751257/19-office-building-New-York-City-vacant-experts-say-city-faces-biggest-crisis-1970s.html

    Almost 19 percent of office in New York City remain completely empty despite coronavirus restrictions being lifted more than two weeks ago and easing starting months earlier.

    Although many companies have either called or are preparing to request workers to return to their offices, the amount of space available to be leased to firms is at an all time high.

  15. But, in the final analysis why would they want a non working unproductive population of people. Why would they want to destroy small business? Why would they want to lock down people and make them wear useless masks over a so called medical emergency that affects a small percentage, yet the vaccine in every arm agenda? And why censorship of any dispute to their fraudulent narratives, which is effectively taking the First Amendment by force.
    Whatever plans these Entities have , they are doing their agendas by force and fraud ,not by the consent of the Governed.

    So, I don’t rule out extremely sinister objectives anymore, even depopulation murder, when 5 years ago I wouldn’t of entertained anything that extreme. But the extreme, bizarre, and irrational is happening .

    1. “Two weeks ago, San Jose officials also passed a law that requires gun retailers to record all firearm purchases on camera in order to make gun owners easier to trace.”

      Photo ID is more than enough. They’re just stacking an unnecessary and expensive burden on firearm retailers.

  16. I love it when White House lies and spin backfire on them.

    ‘What a weak flex’: White House sparks outrage with tweet claiming July 4 cookouts will be 16 CENTS cheaper this year despite inflation rising to 13-year high and the USDA projecting 3% spike in grocery costs

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9748517/White-House-sparks-outrage-tweet-claiming-July-4-cookouts-CHEAPER-year.html

    The White House sparked outrage by claiming that July 4 cookouts will be cheaper this year despite inflation rising to its highest level in 13 years.

    In a pun-heavy message on Thursday, the White House tweeted that the Independence Day celebrations would be a bargain.

    However social media users were quick to point out that the promoted savings amounted to a meager 16 cents, prompting accusations that the White House was out-of-touch.

    1. “July 4 cookouts will be 16 CENTS cheaper this year”

      That’ll take the edge off that extra $600 I spent on 10 sheets of 1/2 plywood this week and the extra $30 I put in my tank as opposed to last year.

  17. Remind me again about how we’re celebrating our “freedom” on the 4th of July, when the Comrades of Proven Worth (D) in our NEA indoctrination mills can retaliate against parents who raise objections to radical-left ideological curriculum being imposed on their children.

    Ohio private school EXPELS students because their moms launched campaign against woke curriculum and Critical Race Theory – but principal insists they breached contract promising a ‘positive relationship’

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9751209/Ohio-private-school-expels-students-MOMS-launched-campaign-against-woke-curriculum.html

    An Ohio private school has expelled three students whose moms led a coalition campaigning against Critical Race Theory being taught to their children.

    Columbus Academy sent a letter to parents Andrea Gross and Amy Gonzalez informing them that their children will not be reenrolled at the school, where tuition fees cost up to $30,000 a year.

  18. Latest from #ClownWorld. The globalists can always be counted on to dispatch their Antifa Red Guards to attack anyone protesting perversion in the name of “gender identity.

    HAPPENING NOW: Antifa Attacking Protesters at Spa That Allowed Customer to Flash Penis at Little Girls Because of His ‘Gender Identity’ (VIDEO)

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/07/happening-now-antifa-attacking-protesters-spa-allowed-customer-flash-penis-little-girls-gender-identity-video/

  19. “Arango says the fundamental issue of eviction and the housing crisis more generally won’t be solved ‘as long as we use a market to distribute housing and determine who gets access to housing and who does not, because the market needs winners and losers, and the need for housing is inelastic — as in your need for water is inelastic.”

    As long as someone waves a wand and gives Arango the house which magically appears to live in, who needs markets?

  20. ‘Our friends who moved here two years ago from San Jose, ‘Oh, you only have to offer $1,000 more [than asking] to show you really want the house,’ Rebecca Luke said.”

    The stupid, it burns.

  21. On the subject of “camping” I am camping on private property tonight and tomorrow. There is no mortgage on this property, and the owner says I can come and go as I ‘Murica Hell Yeah damn well please, as long as I clean up after myself and bring new firewood.

    That Denver Capitol Hill that Mr. Jones posted the other day was so funny and so sad at the same time.

  22. With Home Prices Soaring, Shoppers Fear Buying at the Top of a Bubble

    6 HOURS AGO
    Doug French

    Raoul Pal of Real Vision says one should compare home prices to the Fed’s balance sheet. He claims the median price index is flat by this metric. Actually, by my calculations home prices are falling in relation to the Fed’s assets. When the median hit $350,000 recently, the Fed’s balance sheet was nearly $8 trillion.

    Back in the first quarter of 2007, when the median hit $257,400, the Fed’s footings stood at a mere $862 billion.

    The central bank didn’t start its exponential growth spurt until the dark days of September 2008. And it’s never looked back. Will housing prices do the same?

    https://mises.org/wire/home-prices-soaring-shoppers-fear-buying-top-bubble

  23. I’ve been mulling over the Fed’s interest rate conundrum, 2021 edition:

    1) The debt is so high that allowing rates to go up by even a little would risk creating an unbearable burden of future interest payments.

    2) But with rates pinned to the mat, politicians can’t resist the moral hazard incentive to take on still more debt, based on the rationale that interest rates are at intergenerational low levels.
    Hence the debt mountain which prevents the Fed from raising rates is steadily growing.

    This unsustainable debt spiral brings to mind Herbert Stein’s Law: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

    How and why it will end is the multitrillion dollar question.

      1. I don’t personally put much faith in predictions for debt-to-GDP levels to go twice as high as ever before over the next few decades. Seems like something’s gotta give before trees grow to the sky.

    1. In the Fed We Trust
      Inflation Will Likely Subside, and the Age of Magic Money Will Go On
      By Sebastian Mallaby
      June 30, 2021
      The U.S. Federal Reserve building in August 2012, Washington, D.C.
      Larry Downing / Reuters

      Last July, I proposed in these pages that the world’s advanced economies were entering a new age: the age of magic money. Because inflation seemed dormant, central banks faced no penalty for conjuring money out of thin air. And because this money would drive interest rates lower, governments would likewise face no penalty for borrowing—indeed, payments on the national debt might actually fall even as the debt stock mounted. A period of expansive government beckoned, as magic money enabled a boom in public spending.

      A year later, this shift has advanced at such a speed that it risks self-incineration. Central banks have created money at a rate that makes the response to the global financial crisis look timid. Governments in rich countries have borrowed on a scale unprecedented in peacetime. Those with credible national central banks have pushed this experiment furthest. This year, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom are forecast to run budget deficits of 9.0 percent, 8.9 percent, and 11.5 percent of GDP, respectively. The United States, empowered by its position as the issuer of the world’s reserve currency, is projected to run a budget deficit worth a remarkable 13.5 percent of GDP.

      1. Magic money … the delusion is strong with Sebastian and his fellow travelers. It has always ended the same way. And of course, when it happens, it will be “no one could have seen it coming”

    2. Good ole Dr. Doom offers up a plausible scenario for how this all resolves. 🙂

      1. They should create a Dismal Science award and make this guy the first recipient. Nobody does doom and gloom more convincingly, imo.

    3. I have heard and read a lot about the Fed’s balance sheet over the last decade + but I haven’t seen anyone show this. Kinda puts the stock market in perspective.

      “When the median hit $350,000 recently, the Fed’s balance sheet was nearly $8 trillion.”

      “Back in the first quarter of 2007, when the median hit $257,400, the Fed’s footings stood at a mere $862 billion.”

  24. Project Syndicate economists
    Conditions are ripe for repeat of 1970s stagflation and 2008 debt crisis
    Nouriel Roubini
    Warning signs are there for global economy, and central banks will be left in impossible position
    A trader has his head in his hand on the floor of the New York stock exchange
    Fri 2 Jul 2021 05.34 EDT
    Last modified on
    Fri 2 Jul 2021 06.01 EDT

    In April, I warned that today’s extremely loose monetary and fiscal policies, when combined with a number of negative supply shocks, could result in 1970s-style stagflation (high inflation alongside a recession). In fact, the risk today is even bigger than it was then.

    After all, debt ratios in advanced economies and most emerging markets were much lower in the 1970s, which is why stagflation has not been associated with debt crises historically. If anything, unexpected inflation in the 1970s wiped out the real value of nominal debts at fixed rates, thus reducing many advanced economies’ public-debt burdens.

    Conversely, during the 2007-08 financial crisis, high debt ratios (private and public) caused a severe debt crisis – as housing bubbles burst – but the ensuing recession led to low inflation, if not outright deflation. Owing to the credit crunch, there was a macro shock to aggregate demand, whereas the risks today are on the supply side.

    We are thus left with the worst of both the stagflationary 1970s and the 2007-10 period. Debt ratios are much higher than in the 1970s, and a mix of loose economic policies and negative supply shocks threatens to fuel inflation rather than deflation, setting the stage for the mother of stagflationary debt crises over the next few years.

    For now, loose monetary and fiscal policies will continue to fuel asset and credit bubbles, propelling a slow-motion train wreck. The warning signs are already apparent in today’s high price-to-earnings ratios, low equity risk premia, inflated housing and tech assets, and the irrational exuberance surrounding special purpose acquisition companies, the crypto sector, high-yield corporate debt, collateralised loan obligations, private equity, meme stocks, and runaway retail day trading. At some point, this boom will culminate in a Minsky moment (a sudden loss of confidence), and tighter monetary policies will trigger a bust and crash.

    1. Has the die been cast? Is it already checkmate? If so, what was the basic error of the monetarists?

      Theoretically, one would think the Fed would like stagflation – what a great way to inflate away the value of the huge debt overhang. The theoretical usefulness leads to a real world problem – during periods of inflation, politicians (specifically senators, representatives in the House seem unscathed) lose their jobs: https://www.opensecrets.org/elections-overview/reelection-rates

      The Fed’s first job is to fund the US government. Sustained inflation could perhaps create a problem with that.

      The US government is under total regulatory capture due to the vast sums of money being donated. Dick Durbin put it eloquently at one point – at the end of the day, if you have a hundred voicemails, you’re going to take the ones from your biggest donors. And they’re the ones with a seat at the table, pleading their case. Probably not a hard sell as what benefits the donor probably benefits the politician.

      One of the good insurance policies that politicians and FIRE sector executives have done is to create this vast inequality, thanks to the Money Bazooka, the largesse of which Wall Street is tuned to capture. Even with stagflation, the differential in how much money each one has will still allow them to direct others to work for them. Those will less money will need to continue to hustle to get the dollars and thus continue being productive.

      Letting the markets go down – I don’t think policy makers will allow that. They’ll keep their money bazookas pointed there as it benefits them as well. Stagflation… senators won’t like that but representatives won’t care if history is any guide.

      Of course, the big issue is whether they actually break the currency. At that point, you go to a different rulebook.

      1. If so, what was the basic error of the monetarists?

        I think there are two:

        1) The economy grows around the source of dollars. Money printing doesn’t create broad based prosperity.

        2) Politicians use money to reward friends, punish enemies and entrench and increase their power. Going off the gold standard removed any restraint for money printing. I think the gold standard is flawed but so is pure fiat. Ultimately the blame/credit lays at the feet of Congress.

        1. Going off the gold standard removed any restraint

          Like a divorce, it was only a formal declaration of what happened in reality a long time prior.

    2. “When former Fed chair Paul Volcker increased rates to tackle inflation in 1980-82, the result was a severe double-dip recession in the US and a debt crisis and lost decade for Latin America. But now that global debt ratios are almost three times higher than in the early 1970s, any anti-inflationary policy would lead to a depression rather than a severe recession.”

      The 1970s were painful, e.g., the gold standard removed, the Clean Water Act, the Yom Kippur War and resulting OPEC oil embargo, etc., and then the early 1980s rise in interest rates slowed the economy to a near hibernation state. I totally understand why they’ve been printing dollars since those days.

  25. The Financial Times
    Opinion House & Home
    Birdsong is beautiful, but what does it mean?
    The concerts of blackbirds, thrushes and robins have helped lift pandemic gloom. Interpretation, however, is not straightforward
    Jonathan Guthrie yesterday

    An open-air recital is one of the great pleasures of summer. You don your Panama hat and slump into a deck chair with a good glass of wine. As the heat of the day fades, you settle down to enjoy the music.

    As for the singer, you cannot do better than a local performer. Opera stars such as Jonas Kaufmann and Anna Netrebko unaccountably refuse to perform for free in back gardens and parks. But blackbirds, thrushes and robins are all up for the gig.

    You do not even have to throw a bouquet afterwards. A handful of mealworms will suffice.

    “It fills the heart with joy,” says Mark Constantine, a birdsong expert and co-founder of cosmetics group Lush. “You could sit in your garden listening until the end of time and never understand birdsong entirely.”

    I had turned to Constantine to help answer a question that was bothering me. To humans, birdsong can be beautiful, engaging or beguilingly strange: but what does it mean to the birds?

    Artist Gary Larson once drew a cartoon of a scientist whose invention translated barking dogs into English. The only word in the speech bubbles was: “Hey!”

    Similarly, animal behaviourist Konrad Lorenz interpreted the contact calls of geese as simply: “Here am I, where are you?” But there is complexity too.

    My favourite backyard arias are performed in the late afternoon by a blackbird perched on the top of a tall tree. His melodious, trilling song stakes out his territory and advertises his vigour as a mate.

    Constantine reckons it can take several years for a male blackbird to reach concert standard. Younger birds often practise in lower-pressure venues — inside a bush, for example.

    Many songbird species have a canonic version of a mating song that varies from place to place. Until he can sing this competently, a young male is, as rappers Run DMC would have put it, “a high-school loser who never makes it with ladies”.

    The standard mating song of a garden bird is a bit like a public profile on a dating website. Constantine prizes more highly his recordings of “ecstatic” mating calls, directed by a male songbird at a single, receptive female. They are faster, quieter and, so far as the term can apply to wild animals, personal.

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