Discussions

I thought this post about the debt ceiling fiasco is good and explains why you (probably) don’t need to worry (at least in terms of things getting very very very bad in an SHTF sense, not in terms of whether it might hurt you if you invest in the stock market or government bonds or you depend on a 401(k)). My thinking (I’d say I generally agree with a “moderate MMT” viewpoint) is: There’s nothing you can do about it other than general preparedness. Anyway, if you voted then it really shouldn’t be your job. The “both sides-ism” take is wrong, but the arguments used by each side are ridiculous because there’s absolutely no good reason not to raise the debt limit. Any argument trying to explain why you won’t pay a bill you’re legally responsible for and you can afford is ridiculous. A credit downgrade probably isn’t that big of a deal and won’t significantly increase borrowing costs, so every political consultant is going to tell politicians to keep playing “chicken” until the last minute. Unless it’s dealt with beforehand, there will be a “Lehman moment” when Congress must act. We won’t really know how bad political polarization is until that “Lehman moment,” but my guess is it isn’t so bad yet that Congress won’t do something. We won’t 100% know whether polarization is very very bad until then, though, and anyone who wants to find out rather than dealing with this ASAP is dumb. The extent of damage might depend on human elements like how much people panic (panic and sell bonds, panic and lay off employees, etc.). In terms of investing (not professional advice here): keep an eye on Bitcoin and the Yen. My guess is their values will spike at some point and then come back down.

There’s some evidence that non-COVID coronaviruses cause minor symptoms because they aren’t a major threat to kids and repeated exposure means you have strong immunity to multiple variants once you’re older. It’s possible vaccines could accelerate that childhood process of developing immunity, but we just don’t know yet. Maybe it’s better if vaccinated people are exposed to variants, but the running theme is that we don’t really know. Doing everything we can to slow cases gives hospitals more time to prepare by increasing their staffing. Vaccine-hesitant people have a very negative response to the word “jab,” so they’d probably feel more comfortable taking an oral vaccine or a drug like Tamiflu that prevents you from getting a severe case. There’s a spectrum of vaccine hesitancy, like: Group A: People who think 5G towers cause COVID-19 and Bill Gates wants to use vaccines to reduce the population by killing people. Group B: People who are skeptical of public health experts and concerned about whether a cost-benefit analysis would show that getting the vaccine would personally benefit them. I feel like there’s a certain level of panic about vaccine-hesitant people that makes it harder to reach them. For instance, there were only about 500 cases of Ivermectin “overdoses” (= severe enough to require hospitalization?) in August compared to far more COVID hospitalizations, despite media framing that Ivermectin overdoses are a huge problem. Taking Ivermectin likely won’t help you against COVID, but the risk of getting COVID is far worse than your risk of an Ivermectin overdose.


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I thought this post about the debt ceiling fiasco is good and explains why you (probably) don’t need to worry (at least in terms of things getting very very very bad in an SHTF sense, not in terms of whether it might hurt you if you invest in the stock market or government bonds or you depend on a 401(k)). My thinking (I’d say I generally agree with a “moderate MMT” viewpoint) is: There’s nothing you can do about it other than general preparedness. Anyway, if you voted then it really shouldn’t be your job. The “both sides-ism” take is wrong, but the arguments used by each side are ridiculous because there’s absolutely no good reason not to raise the debt limit. Any argument trying to explain why you won’t pay a bill you’re legally responsible for and you can afford is ridiculous. A credit downgrade probably isn’t that big of a deal and won’t significantly increase borrowing costs, so every political consultant is going to tell politicians to keep playing “chicken” until the last minute. Unless it’s dealt with beforehand, there will be a “Lehman moment” when Congress must act. We won’t really know how bad political polarization is until that “Lehman moment,” but my guess is it isn’t so bad yet that Congress won’t do something. We won’t 100% know whether polarization is very very bad until then, though, and anyone who wants to find out rather than dealing with this ASAP is dumb. The extent of damage might depend on human elements like how much people panic (panic and sell bonds, panic and lay off employees, etc.). In terms of investing (not professional advice here): keep an eye on Bitcoin and the Yen. My guess is their values will spike at some point and then come back down.

There’s some evidence that non-COVID coronaviruses cause minor symptoms because they aren’t a major threat to kids and repeated exposure means you have strong immunity to multiple variants once you’re older. It’s possible vaccines could accelerate that childhood process of developing immunity, but we just don’t know yet. Maybe it’s better if vaccinated people are exposed to variants, but the running theme is that we don’t really know. Doing everything we can to slow cases gives hospitals more time to prepare by increasing their staffing. Vaccine-hesitant people have a very negative response to the word “jab,” so they’d probably feel more comfortable taking an oral vaccine or a drug like Tamiflu that prevents you from getting a severe case. There’s a spectrum of vaccine hesitancy, like: Group A: People who think 5G towers cause COVID-19 and Bill Gates wants to use vaccines to reduce the population by killing people. Group B: People who are skeptical of public health experts and concerned about whether a cost-benefit analysis would show that getting the vaccine would personally benefit them. I feel like there’s a certain level of panic about vaccine-hesitant people that makes it harder to reach them. For instance, there were only about 500 cases of Ivermectin “overdoses” (= severe enough to require hospitalization?) in August compared to far more COVID hospitalizations, despite media framing that Ivermectin overdoses are a huge problem. Taking Ivermectin likely won’t help you against COVID, but the risk of getting COVID is far worse than your risk of an Ivermectin overdose.


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