Prisoners of Dogma

The current inflation gives us insight into our inability to use common sense and logic to solve problems. We know inflation results from too much money chasing too few goods. You can end inflation by severely restricting the money supply. The Federal Reserve stopped the inflationary spiral of the 1970-80s by tightening to the point where interest rates were higher than the rate of inflation. Rates went above 18% while inflation was t 14%. The result was a deep recession with unemployment above 10%. 

Today it would take interest rates above the current 7 1/2% inflation rate. This move would mean mortgage rates about triple g from where they were at the beginning of the year. The resulting recession would probably end rapid inflation but at a horrible price. Anyone with variable rate loans or an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) would be in a dark place. 

If we only slowly raise interest rates, it adds to costs and feeds rather than stopping inflation. Interest rates are a blunt and cruel instrument.

The other path is to increase supply. The most visible commodity affecting almost all our endeavors is energy. Today most of our energy comes from fossil fuels. Every time we fill up at the pump or open our heating bill, we are made painfully aware of inflation.

Expectations drive inflation. If we feel prices will be higher in the future, we buy now and buy more in anticipation. This perception adds to demand. Inflation’s upward march is most visible in the price of gasoline. If the price is still rising at the pump, we know prices are still going up. For this reason, it is essential to stop the upward march of oil and natural gas prices.

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The Next Time

As lockdowns and mandates fade away, now is an excellent time to consider steps we should take the next time we face a pandemic. By all accounts, we got off to a terrible start and never got ahead of the disease. The media blames the Trump administration. But what exactly did Trump do wrong?

Where else to look for the answer than the New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist David Leonhardt. In a March 15, 2020 column, he listed all the things Trump should’ve done but didn’t. He should’ve listened to the “experts” because he did everything wrong.

He downplayed the pandemic and failed to provide for adequate testing. Even though he restricted travel between China and Europe, it was far too little and possibly racist. Were these Trump’s mistakes or failures of the Government medical establishment? 

The testing debacle resulted from the CDC and FDA developing their tests rather than being open to those created by others. Even if Trump knew what the CDC and FDA were up to, could he have ordered tests from private parties and other labs without cries of interference? The CDC test was flawed, setting us back, and we have never fully recovered. A terrible result, but not Trump’s.

The last thing a President should do is create panic. Trying to maintain calm while assembling the correct data is part of the job. The idea he was underplaying is contradicted by Dr. Anthony Fauci going on natioal TV on Fe. 29, 2020, and telling us there was no need to make any changes in our lifestyles. 

If there was confusion and a testing disaster, it came from our “medical experts.” Presidents rely on our top brass for military advice and readiness. Like any other president, Trump had to trust his medical team. That team even failed to provide enough PPE for a pandemic. Did the NYT expect Trump to count our N95 masks? 

Let’s not forget Trump used a different team for Operation Warp Speed to bring us vaccines and therapeutics in record time.

Who did our government medical establishment tout as one doing all the right things? Dr. Fauci lauded N.Y.Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in contrast to Trump as the one doing everything right. The media echoed his praise.

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We Need Change-Not Vindication

My series on Covid 19 started on March 20, 2020. It seems almost a lifetime ago when the US shut down “to slow the spread.” At the time, I looked at what was known and the data available and concluded a general lockdown was a terrible idea—a targeted approach protecting those at most risk and ending lockdowns before they did significant damage was the right way. Chapter and verse of my proposals to keep the nation, especially the schools, open while doing everything possible to limit the loss of the vulnerable are there for anyone to see.

The government bureaucratic establishment, relying on Neil Ferguson’s Imperial College model, came down solidly in favor of lockdowns and not for just a few weeks. They told us if we didn’t close down, millions more would be sure to die—anyone coming to a different conclusion labeled as favoring mass death. Even though many people quickly concluded the Imperial College model was defective, much of the world remained shut down.

This week a John’s Hopkins economic Metastudy concluded the lockdowns were a disaster. Researchers looked at 22 studies and found no gain while enumerating the massive costs. A .02% reduction in deaths didn’t come close to offsetting the enormous harm they caused. This study vindicates all those suffering establishment abuses for predicting this outcome and proposing a different path from the beginning.

Neil Ferguson of defective Imperial model fame and University of Oxford’s Seth Flaxman challenged the study. The latter is the lead author on a 2020 study that estimated that lockdowns had likely saved up to three million lives across Europe. So far, I haven’t found r any others.  Flaxman’s figures appear based on the Imperial Model.

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Getting Things Straight

So much is happening, my commentary will cover several widely different subjects. Hopefully, I can give a different slant from what you’re hearing.

 Ukraine is on the verge of being another disaster overseen by the Biden regime. The media is already setting out a covering narrative to protect the administration. Wednesday’s (1/26) New York times “The Morning” was mainly devoted to this theme. Other media followed. It’s Trump’s fault. Who would’ve guessed?

The case against Trump is straightforward. Everyone knows of his affection for Putin and Russia. He attacked our NATO allies. Chancellor Merkel of Germany was his particular target driving a wedge between our countries. No wonder the Germans are showing reluctance to help. This discord has prevented a united front. 

Even a cursory look at the facts reveals a narrative riddled with holes. You can’t revive the thoroughly debunked Russian collusion story. In any case, Trump’s actions hardly show warmth toward the Russians. Unlike President Obama, he sent Ukraine lethal weapons, resulting in dead Russians. The front stabilized. More Russians died when they got too aggressive in Syria. Contrasting Trump’s Russian actions against Obama leaves no illusions about who was more formidable.

When Trump took office, he found Chancellor Angela Merkel already allowed one million Muslim immigrants. Germany was closing its nuclear plants. It also signed on to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to replace the lost energy, making Germany heavily dependent on Russia. Though Germany as a NATO member pledged to spend two percent of GDP on its military, it was closer to one percent. These are strange actions for ta NATO lynchpin. 

Looking at 35,000+ US military in Europe to protect against aggressors, mainly Russia, Trump rightly questioned Merkel about what Germany was doing. The result was friction between the two, but Germany’s actions or lack caused the strain. Rick Grennell Trumps, ambassador to Germany, continued to press that nation on where it stood. Merkel let her dislike of Grennell be well known. Not surprisingly, our media supported Merkel. 

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