Thoughts on Events the Weeks of April 26 and May 3

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on May 10, 2021

A little bored and loving it. So many days have been “slow news days” recently that I mashed the last two weeks’ news into one blog.

Oh, the problems are the same. The pandemic is still the lead story. Voter suppression is running rampant in the south. Russia is still being a pig. The two factions of the Republican Party are still picking over the carcass of the party.

What’s his name, the disgraced former president is still spewing invective and lies, which seem to be mother’s milk to his base of white supremacists and various and sundry crazies.

No, the difference isn’t the problems. It’s that we have an administration competent enough to deal with them. This has helped my blood pressure and allowed me to spend time on my own issues and not worry so much about the country.

The Census: The federal government announced the top line results of the latest census, which the administration of what’s his name, the disgraced former president, botched almost as completely as the Covid-19 response.

Directionally, the census seems ok – broadly, sunbelt states gained some population and rust belt states lost some. California lost because a lot of people have been leaving there recently.

But the census has doubtless undercounted, due to deliberate obstruction and garden variety malfeasance and incompetence. I expect some lawsuits over this.

It’s not just what’s his name: The former president’s mishandling of the pandemic is well documented, but it turns out that most of the other authoritarian wannabes botched theirs, also. Topping the list is India, whose leader Modi is another denier whose people are suffering for it. I hope to see the pendulum shift away from these despots soon.

Jobs Report: We gained 266,000 jobs in April, only about a quarter of what economist were expecting, and they are perplexed to explain it. (As George Bernard Shaw said, you can line all of the economists in the world end to end and they would not reach to a conclusion.)

Actually, the reason is rather simple. This is not a normal economic downturn because it isn’t driven by economics. It’s driven by the virus. Paul Krugman has characterized it not as a recession, but as a “self-induced coma,” which I think is a good description.

As I have said from the beginning, people are not going to return to work until they think it is safe to do so, and many workers and businesses still do not.  They won’t all return until we have wrestled the virus to the ground, which is why President Biden is so focused on defeating the virus. He gets it, even if economists do not.

(There is the complicating factor that people can’t get childcare because most of the people in that business are in the same boat.)

Worst State: Arizona, my own personal residence, is continuing with its unofficial, compromised recount following three official ones, so it gets the cup again this week. Those ballots had better all come back and undamaged or there will be a hell of a lawsuit. I am ashamed of being an Arizona resident these days.

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