And another idiocy he prepared earlier

In the case of Covid the assumption implicit in the so-called road map from Boris Johnson is that it is possible to maintain an equilibrium position with regard to a pandemic. In other words, the belief is that vaccines will let us live with a virus that neither goes away, but does not grow exponentially. It is presumed that R will be 1 and that as a result we will, somehow, settle into an equilibrium that lets us jog along with deaths of 400 or so people a day, which it is believed that the NHS will manage and people will accept.

But this is not how viruses work. They don’t reach equilibrium positions. They either die out, because the opportunity for them to reproduce or mutate is denied to them, or they grow. They just don’t stagnate. You either eliminate them, or accept the rather ghastly consequences.

The government is not trying to eliminate Covid. Instead it is pretending that we can live with it, aided by a vaccine that will always lag mutations. The result is foredoomed to failure in terms of the management of the disease, because the policy can only likely deliver an R of greater than 1.

The number of viruses – virii – that humans have permanently eliminated is, I believe, one – smallpox. We are close with polio but not there yet.

Measles, pertussis, scarlet fever, HPV I and II, mumps, we try our best. We protect as many as we can – and some we just can’t – and then accept that some will always be ill, disfigured, killed, by the minor outbreaks that do occur. The cost of those minor being lower – although perhaps not to the affected individuals – than complete eradication.

This is just what we do about virii. The best we can up to a certain cost limit. Why should covid be any different? It is, after all, no more infectious nor dangerous than some of those others.

Economic equilibrium is itself an absurd concept

Well, bang goes Keynesianism then.

This is also particularly twattish:

That is the approach also taken in the third issue, which is climate change. Here the assumption is that the market will create an equilibrium. The presumption is that rational people who know that the world is in peril will change their behaviour in response to ensure that the catastrophe will be avoided. This, of course, is what standard right wing thinking suggests: the invisible hand will guide us to a solution. But we know this does not work, for two reasons. The first is that we would not be in this state if the market worked, but it does not because it does not price externalities. And second, if the market was going to react we would clearly be seeing signs of that when there is almost no evidence of that happening, at all. So the belief that a market based equilibrium will arise is false.

Yes, externalities, which is why the carbon tax to get them back into the price system. As Stern and Nordhaus insisted.

As to no market reaction, what’s all this windmills and solar being cheap now, as they didn’t used to be? Prices in the generation market aren’t prices in a market? Emissions aren’t lower in the UK than they were two and three decades back? Cars don’t have higher mpgs?

The net outcome? Poor theory, driving delusional thinking, is resulting in dire management. It’s not a good mix.

The blog provides amusement though.

And, snigger:

Richard Murphy says:
February 24 2021 at 11:37 am
This is pure lunacy

Sorry, it comes into the category called crass

Read independent sage

And realise that if we treated it like measles it would be great – because we seek to eliminate that

But we are treating it like flu, except its impact is vastly worse

And realise too that very few really die of flu; they die of poverty, which is why it is much worse in the U.K. than other countries

As for the second virus comment….

I am so angry at such stupidity that you are banned

Reply

22 thoughts on “And another idiocy he prepared earlier”

  1. It gets better. Someone mentions flu. Spud responds

    “And realise too that very few really die of flu; they die of poverty, which is why it is much worse in the U.K. than other countries:

  2. Strange no one commented on the graph Whitty/Vallance presented us with last September that pretended we would have a couple of months of “flat but high” COVID deaths would be inevitable without “moar lockdown!”. It was mathematical nonsense, but the usual suspects were terribly quiet about it…

  3. Time to take away Spud’s keyboard. He’s reached the point where he has become a touchstone for economic advice. If he supports it, it must be wrong and it is probably the exact opposite of the desired solution.

  4. I love the fact that he has banned Craig Mackay – a fellow traveller if ever there was one – and when you click on Mackay’s link it goes to his own site, which is called… Outside the Bubble.

  5. He is the worst and most narcissistic prick on the internet – an astonishing blend of impotent rage, hauteur, idiocy and self-unawareness. I am quite sure that he is of the type that put people on trains in another era.

  6. As mentioned, the only disease we have eliminated is smallpox. This man is staggeringly ignorant and stupid. He’s one of the zero covid nutters. So, yes, we have to live with it and yes, being mortal, people will die. Every time you think this man has reached peak stupid, he manages to go one better. Are there no depths to which his ignorance cannot plumb?

  7. UK death rate bogus. Without PCR test shite and the bollocks about flu having gone on holiday there are no 120 thou dead of c19. That many have died as 1650-1700 do each day in UK but just not of c19.

    Vax is neither use nor ornament save as a tool for state vax passport plans. Even within the states framework of bullshit they have said countless times that it wont stop you infecting others –which proves vax passports =stage 1 of UK social credit system. And no “Tory spokesmen” shite Theo–they have been running it up the ladder for months to see how many mugs think it means their old life back.

  8. He’s mad. You chaps are just poking sticks at the poor loonies in Bedlam.

    True, he’s ignorant, stupid, pretentious, pompous, and irascible – but above all he’s bonkers.

  9. Are there no depths to which his ignorance cannot plumb?

    Rather than peak stupid should that not be nadir stupid?

  10. On climate change:

    “The first is that we would not be in this state if the market worked,”

    What state? We aren’t in a state, the environment is fine. Sure the hard of thinking can be convinced by labeling every routine weather event as the result of catastrophic climate change but, to anyone with a brain, it is obvious that there isn’t a problem.

  11. you would have thought that a person claiming to be a professor would at least be familiar with the idea of cause and effect!

  12. Diogenes Porcius Cato

    It appears that the latest estimate of r is 0.9. Therefore his entire rant is mashed.

    My gas and electricity supplier has just notified me that my annual bill will increase by 10% next year because of increased wholesale prices and distribution costs. In other words, they are blaming it on incorporating unreliable sources of energy into the grid. I think the market is talking loud and clear. Deben must be destroyed

  13. “Yes, externalities, which is why the carbon tax to get them back into the price system. As Stern and Nordhaus insisted. ”

    This is as much nonsense as Spud spouts. Stern & Nordhaus should be sectioned. Or imprisoned for fraud
    For a start, no one knows what the externalities of climate change are. It’s not even provable the climate is changing or by how much. Let alone what the cost is against the amount of carbon di-oxide emitted. The International Committee for Astrology & Ouija Boards just make up figures for political consumption as a way of keeping the funding going.

    Secondly, there never will be such a thing as a “carbon tax”. For reason of the above. If the externalities are unknown then you can’t use tax as a proxy. In practise, it just gives governments an alibi to tax things they don’t like as a revenue source.

  14. It’s a real classic from Spud. He’s being totally schooled in the comments about his Covid ‘expertise’, and all he can do is bluster and insult. I feel soiled visiting his site, but occasionally one has to, for gloating purposes.

  15. ” his Covid ‘expertise’, ”

    The expertise of a semi retired small time bean counter formerly to be found in an unfashionable London postcode.

    It’s a hoot, isn’t it?

  16. “Yes, externalities, which is why the carbon tax to get them back into the price system.”

    What “system”? It would simply put a lot of money into the hands of politicians, who would immediately distribute it to their friends.

    “You can throw your feces in their pond if you give me a dollar. No, I’m not going to spend it on cleaning the pond – I have votes to buy!”

  17. Re climate change, any market there might have been has been royally fucked by government policy and subsidies. The recent Texas experience is an extreme example of this – the market that developed there so incentivised ‘renewables’ versus proper generation technology that the unusual but not unheard of weather kicked over the system. See SWP’s posts on this for a good analysis. Links in the comments there lead to further useful info.

    I have a horrible feeling that we’ll get into a 3rd world-style flaky electricity supply before those who can do something about it try to sort it out. The really scary nightmare is there is no longer, or soon won’t be, anyone who can.

  18. Heh. Years back I rented out the spare bedroom in my flat to a student. On the basis that she (not that it had to be a she) clean the place, do my washing. Otherwise for free.

    Nice girl turned up, thought it was a bargain. Was a bit surprising to find her mother sleeping on the floor that first morning after she moved in. She’d stayed to check no hanky nor panky insistences from me. Ho hum.

    The father/hubby was one of the Garter Kings of Arms as it happened…..

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