torsdag 16 december 2021

The real epidemic

There is some bad science driving the current policies of fresh lockdowns and vaccine passports. The initial virus was indeed dangerous because it had crossed from wild animals to humans. This happened probably due to research which nobody should be doing (as in The Plague Dogs published in 1977 and written by Richard Adams, author of the better known Watership Down).

My guess is that the vaccine was a wild one which had been brought in for study to the research laboratory. My further guess is that it escaped not because anyone caught it, but because the laboratory animals are routinely sold off to the local market traders instead of being incinerated, as a perk of the job for under-paid technicians. Although this seems to have been a laboratory-induced pandemic, poor agricultural and food handling practices are another important contributor to pandemics generally, including living too close to animals and crowding animals together unnaturally.

Once pathogens get into human populations, Darwinian natural selection applies. The most contagious ie the mildest version survives. It does not help the virus to spread if it kills, or sends to bed, whoever it infects. Although we will not know for another couple of weeks, the omicron mutation seems to be the end of the road for this virus. If the virus is no more dangerous than a common cold, as seems likely on the evidence so far, lockdowns, passports and booster vaccines are exactly what should not be applied; it seems as if we have a natural vaccine and it should be encouraged to spread as fast as possible.

The poor outcomes from the original version of Covid seem to have been due largely to the pre-existing epidemic of malnutrition, including overweight and vitamin deficiency. Nobody in authority seems to want to talk about these issues.

Throughout the course of the epidemic, Dr John Campbell has made video reports almost every day. He is worth following. Unfortunately, politicians and commentators seem mostly not to have taken on what he has been saying.

Covid is probably over but there will be other pandemics. Action needs to be taken to reduce the risk, and everyone needs to be better prepared. The root causes need to be tackled.

onsdag 14 oktober 2020

Mutually self-punishing trade policy

The government of country X subsidises widget production by giving its taxpayers' money to Widgeprod Inc. Its taxpayers are the losers.

Widgeprod then sells its subsidised widgets in country Y, which makes them good value to those who can buy them. Widgeproduits SA is threatened with the loss of most of its business and persuades the its own government to put a tariff on everything from country X.

This keeps Widgeproduits AS in business but everyone else in country Y paying through the nose for all imports from country Y.

The alternatives would have been for Widgproduits AS to side-step the competition by making something else (these situations rarely develop overnight) or cease production. The money customers save on the cheaper Widgeprod goods is spent elsewhere into the economy of country Y, and the foreign exchange that flows into country X is ultimately spent in country Y.

The subsidy is a net economic loss to country X. The punitive tariffs are a loss to country Y. Why does this idea of mutual self-harm persist?

fredag 9 oktober 2020

What is Land Value Tax? Part 3

Part 1s and 2 seem to have disappeared from the website of the Land Value Taxation Campaign but you can see them on YouTube. The website has been re-designed and much improved, but there are still a few issues to be resolved.

onsdag 12 augusti 2020

Japanese cheese blues

 The idiocy of politicians’ interference with international trade knows no bounds. The Japanese negotiators want to maintain a tariff on cheese imports from the UK. There is no tradition of eating dairy produce in Japan and no significant cheese industry, so what are the negotiators trying to protect? The main victims will be expat Brits who fancy a taste of the home country, and a few local people with odd tastes. But the British negotiators should make it clear they they are acting like idiots but if they insist, they can get on with their stupidity. This spat also demonstrates the pointlessness of so-called free trade agreements. Countries should just remove their own barriers to imports. If the removal is not reciprocated, it’s the other countries’ funeral.

The real epidemic

There is some bad science driving the current policies of fresh lockdowns and vaccine passports. The initial virus was indeed dangerous beca...