The mysterious expectation that elites give a damn

It’s not like it hasn’t been quite well known we have been approaching a cliff at full speed. We went over it yesterday [July 31] because the elites can’t agree on further economic relief for the pandemic. Which means a whole lot more people are going to have trouble paying their bills, paying their rent, buying groceries.[1] Which in turn means that a lot of people won’t be spending money and a lot of people will lose their jobs permanently.[2] Which means we are no longer talking about a recession. We are talking about a depression. Read more

  1. [1]Eli Rosenberg, Erica Werner, and Jeff Stein, “30 million unemployed lose extra jobless benefits, as talks between Congress and the White House are at an impasse,” Washington Post, July 31, 2020,
  2. [2]Heather Long, “This recession is already deep. If Congress fails to act, a lot of damage could be permanent,” Washington Post, July 30, 2020,

We need to do everything different

Thanks in large part to elites’ egregious mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent recession,[1] gross domestic product (GDP) is way, way, way down for the second quarter of 2020.[2] As we look at all the crises that beset us, it should be more than apparent that a revolution is in order.[3]
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  1. [1]David Benfell, “Time for somebody and something new,” Not Housebroken, July 27, 2020,
  2. [2]Rachel Siegel and Andrew Van Dam, “U.S. economy contracted at fastest quarterly rate on record from April to June as coronavirus walloped workers, businesses,” Washington Post, July 30, 2020,
  3. [3]David Benfell, “Time for somebody and something new,” Not Housebroken, July 27, 2020,

Time for somebody and something new

The lede in a New York Times story is,

A series of strident new protests over police misconduct rattled cities across the country over the weekend, creating a new dilemma for state and local leaders who had succeeded in easing some of the turbulence in their streets until a showdown over the use of federal agents in Oregon stirred fresh outrage.”[1]

Which is to say that Donald Trump has ruined politicians’ plans to allow Black Lives Matter protests to fizzle out with merely token changes: Read more

  1. [1]Mike Baker, Thomas Fuller, and Shane Goldmacher, “Cities in Bind as Turmoil Spreads Far Beyond Portland,” New York Times, July 27, 2020,

Could alternative schools offer an answer?

See update for July 31, 2020, at end of post

The Wall Street Journal worries that the failure of schools to reopen due to the COVID-19 pandemic might affect people’s abilities to return to work and the following economic effects are,[1] of course, a large part of the reason that the Trump administration desperately wants schools to reopen.[2] There is a sense as well that kids don’t learn as well through online instruction.[3] Read more

  1. [1]Justin Lahart, “Kids at Home Could Put the Economy in Detention,” Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2020,
  2. [2]Laura Meckler, “With pressure and threats, Trump pushes to fully reopen schools. Schools say: Not so fast,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020,
  3. [3]Justin Lahart, “Kids at Home Could Put the Economy in Detention,” Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2020,

A new ‘cold war’ with China as an election stunt?

For those alive at the time, one of the very curious aspects of the Cold War was an ideological fixation on “Moscow” as the source of all evil—so-called “communism,”[1] but really authoritarian socialism—in the world. This rhetoric ignored differences between, for examples, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union, and, at least in later years, China and Vietnam.
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  1. [1]Emma Goldman, “There Is No Communism in Russia,” in Red Emma Speaks: An Emma Goldman Reader, ed. Alix Kates Shulman, 3rd ed. (Amherst, NY: Humanity, 1998), 405-420.

Tax time

You can have no idea just how traumatized I am about money until you have seen me at tax time.

H&R Block managed to reduce my alleged gross income of over $68,000 to a taxable income of less than $14,000 (these amounts come from the profit and loss statement the tax preparer created). Most of the difference is in mileage and commissions, the latter being a part I never even see: Uber and Lyft deduct those before paying me. This brought my amount due to just barely within the amount I managed to accumulate, even with a late tax due date. Read more