Coronavirus

Beware the COVID-19 Debt Hangover

Biden's proposed stimulus spending might give a modest boost, but in the long run it'll slow the economy.

|

After the rush, brace yourself for the hangover. That's the warning from experts with the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School, who caution that plans for massive "stimulus" spending by the Biden administration will administer only a brief boost to the country followed by a nasty and prolonged comedown.

The White House objects to the forecast, but it squares with earlier predictions from the Congressional Budget Office that accumulated debt, worsened by heavy pandemic-related spending, will hobble the economy for years to come.

President Joe Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion relief package would increase economic growth by 0.6 percent in 2021, according to analyses by the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM). After that, though, it would start to slow the economy, decreasing GDP by 0.2 percent in 2022 and by 0.3 percent as late as 2040, showing lingering negative effects after the initial spending.

The big problem for the longer-term outlook is "the large amount of additional money that we're adding to our already very large debt," according to Efraim Berkovich, PWBM's director of computational analysis. "The existence of the debt saps the rest of the economy. When the government is running budget deficits, the money that could have gone to productive investment is redirected."

U.S. government debt is already sky-high, having increased by $7 trillion dollars in the last four years alone to reach 100 percent of GDP at the end of 2020. That burden threatens to act as a dead weight on economic growth.

Unsurprisingly, the Biden White House takes exception to Wharton's gloomy forecast. Press Secretary Jen Psaki insists the prediction is "way out of step with the majority of studies on this plan." In particular, she complains "the analysis concludes that our economy is near capacity, which would be news to the millions of Americans who are out of work or facing reduced hours and reduced paychecks."

In response, the Wharton analysts point to ongoing recovery in many sectors. They also point out that continuing lockdowns prevent some production and employment that would otherwise occur.

"[R]ecovery in the affected sectors is limited by pandemic-related shutdowns and individual behavior," they wrote. "There is no mechanism by which additional household spending will stimulate those sectors until pandemic-related restrictions ease."

Unemployment claims unexpectedly increased last week to 861,000. The official unemployment rate of 6.3 percent remains above its pre-pandemic/pre-lockdown rate of 3.5 percent (just one year ago!). But that's a steep drop from the April peak of 14.8 percent.

Industrial production, too, at 75.6 percent of capacity in January, remains about 4 percent lower than it was a year ago. But it's higher than it was just a few years ago and steadily rising. "At 107.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in January was 1.8 percent lower than its year-earlier level," according to a February 17 Federal Reserve update. So, while the economy isn't entirely back, it's moving in the right direction—a process that could be interrupted by massive government spending.

"[E]ffectively, what we're doing is taking money from [some] people and giving it to other people for consumption purposes," notes Berkovich of stimulus schemes. "That has value for social safety nets and redistributive benefits, but longer-term, you're taking away from the capital that we need to grow our economy in the future."

Stimulus spending also has the potential to delay the inevitable shakeout as businesses and workers scramble to adapt to a changing environment. Both the McKinsey Global Institute and the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published studies predicting that remote work is here to stay for many people.

"In the moderate impact scenario, increased telework is the primary force of economic change and has both direct and spillover effects," notes the BLS report. "With more employees teleworking, the need for office space will decline, and so will nonresidential construction."

That's going to necessitate a lot of adjustment in sectors including restaurants, travel, and commercial real estate; government checks just delay the day of reckoning. That is already a problem in Europe, where economists and business owners worry that subsidies prop up "zombie" companies that would otherwise disappear and clear the way for healthier enterprises.

"These zombie companies…run their business for a couple of months below costs," Alexander Alban, managing partner at German mechanical parts manufacturer Walter Schimmel GmbH told the Wall Street Journal. "They ruin the market. Afterwards, it's very hard to get this business back. Usually it's good if the market is cleaned."

The result is a poorer and less-productive economy than would have existed in the absence of government spending sprees. That's in addition to the depressing effects of deficits and debt.

In analyses predating the latest stimulus proposals, the Congressional Budget Office voiced concerns similar to those of the Wharton Business School about debt-fueled spending.

"CBO estimates that the legislation will boost the level of real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by 4.7 percent in 2020 and 3.1 percent in 2021," according to a September 2020 report forecasting the impact of pandemic-related federal spending. "From fiscal year 2020 through 2023, for every dollar that it adds to the deficit, the legislation is projected to increase GDP by about 58 cents. In the longer term, the legislation will reduce the level of real GDP, CBO estimates."

That is, the CBO predicted two years of benefit, followed by each dollar spent producing far less than its value in return. The ultimate result is a smaller economy than would have existed without the addition of trillions to the national debt.

"The legislation will increase federal debt as a percentage of GDP, and in the longer term, CBO expects that increase to raise borrowing costs, lower economic output, and reduce the income of U.S. households and businesses," adds the CBO.

With the House of Representatives poised to consider the stimulus package as early as next week, we may soon have an opportunity to find out just how bad the hangover will be.

NEXT: The Queen's Gambit

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Don’t worry about the debt, Biden can just issue an executive order and the debt is forgiven.

    1. The president reason wanted. Libertarian moment!

      1. Google pays for every Person every hour online working from home job. I have received $23K in this month easily and I earns every weeks $5K to 8$K on the internet. def Every Person join this and working easily by open just open this website and follow instructions
        COPY This Website OPEN HERE….. READ MORE

        1. [ PART TIME JOB FOR USA ] Making money online more than 15$ just by doing simple work from home. I have received $18376 last month. Its an easy and simple job to do and its earnings are much better than regular office job and even a little child can do this and earns money. Everybody must try this job by just use the info
          on this page…..READ MORE

    2. Nah. They’ll just print more. It’s the American way.

      And, why worry? Haven’t you heard of MMT?

      It’s all the rage on such sage sources such as Youtube, Twitter and Facebook. Everybody knows that the government printing money actually benefits the economy.

      Inflation? Neve going to happen. No. Just look at the last five years. We’ve been fine.

      1. Change Your Life Right Now! Work From Comfort Of Your Home And Receive Your First Paycheck Within A Week. No Experience-ESq Needed, No Boss Over Your Shoulder. Say Goodbye To Your Old Job!

        Limited Number Of Spots Open…..>>> GOOGLE CASH 1

  2. “Just one more hit, then I’ll stop, I swear!”

  3. Yeah but Biden is steadily moving American immigration policy toward the Koch / Reason open borders position. The resulting influx of highly-skilled labor (especially from Mexico) will more than offset any negative economic effects caused by debt.

    #OpenBordersWillFixEverything

    1. Actually Reagan’s economic guru George Gilder wanted high immigration to bolster growth to cover supply side deficits. I realize in the Age of the Dotard that those type Republicans either don’t exist or have been driven off to the Lincoln Project.

      1. Reagan also wanted border security in order to make immigration a legal process, not a free for all. Weird you skipped right over that.

        1. Yes, Mr Amnesty had a very liberal immigration policy. The Trump GOP would call Reagan a “commie” today if his name were something else.

          1. Reagan got buttfucked by congressional Democrats who never had any intention of funding or carrying out any of the border security provisions that were supposed to accompany the ’86 amnesty, and he spoke publicly about his regret over it for years afterward. “I won’t cum in your mouth” is only an effective subterfuge the first time.

            1. Google pays for every Person every hour online working from home job. I have received $23K in this month easily and I earns every weeks $5K to 8$K on the internet. def Every Person join this and working easily by open just open this website and follow instructions
              COPY This Website OPEN HERE….. READ MORE

          2. “The Trump GOP would call Reagan a “commie” today if his name were something else.”

            Like the rest of the TDS-addled lefty shits, turd does not argue with facts, but with the strawmen or hypotheticals he invents.

        2. Exactly. The solution to illegal immigration is legal immigration. A streamlined liberal sensible process would all but eliminate the problem at the border and the wasteful spending that goes with it.

          1. But wait. Will it eliminate my neighbor’s “Juan the painter”? Who’s only real claim to being a skilled painter is that he’s been dipping his wick into fresh cans of paint since he dropped out of third grade.

            Or, “Jose the gardener”? Who’s only real training in landscape horticulture was when his grandfather showed him how to pull the rope starter on a gas powered blower when he went to work with him after dropping out of middle school?

            1. Is there something wrong with honest manual labor?

              Maybe you should get up off the couch and paint moms house and cut her grass yourself.

              Promoting bigoted stereotypes is so libertarian.

            2. So Jose had to drop out of school to help feed his family and his grandfather taught him a trade so he could do that. You are going to put him down for that?
              Heh the Latino guy who did most of that work in my neighborhood started out with nothing. Him and his brother By the time I moved out within a few years he had 4 new trucks and 20 workers.

              He was no cheaper than anyone else he just did a better job than the other outfits.

        3. “Weird you skipped right over that.”

          Once, just once, turd WILL (by mistake) post here without lying. Hasn’t happened yet.

      2. Ah, the Lincoln Project. They’re pretty much the only decent Republicans left these days. People like John Weaver and Rick Wilson (and David Frum and Bill Kristol) need to regain control of the party.

        #LibertariansForABetterGOP
        #PutTheNeoconsBackInCharge

        PS — Did you see the latest amazing economic news? Warren Buffett is up almost $5 billion this year. And since he supports the same political party we do, that means his success reflects positively on us.

        #InDefenseOfBillionaires

        1. Just mix in Lincoln Project Weaver’s predilection for young men, the Falwell turbo-Christian cuckolds and Trump’s rapey raw-dogging of Stormy Daniels type porn-whores and you have the same old Family Values Republican Party everyone knows and loves.

          1. The people castigating Trump as a whoremongering moral degenerate are actually themselves faggot child predators, but HEY LOOK OVER THERE! A SQUIRREL!

        2. Has he made out his “donation” check to the IRS yet? You know, because he doesn’t pay enough in taxes and all?

          Let’s help him out: https://fiscal.treasury.gov/public/gifts-to-government.html

          1. “Has he made out his “donation” check to the IRS yet? You know, because he doesn’t pay enough in taxes and all?”

            Helps when you choose to pay yourself a low ‘income’.

    2. Who knew that even importing people already deported in order to give them amnesty was a sane immigration policy

      1. People are neither imports nor exports. They move from one place to another of their own free will for reasons of their own. Slaves would be the exception to this.

        Just one of my personal quibbles about the term as it is used.

        1. Shut the fuck up, scumbag

        2. https://twitter.com/Braveheart_USA/status/1362507448783949824?s=19

          What’s everyone wearing to the 1-year anniversary of the 14 days of flatten the curve?

        3. Unless they’re Uighur…

          1. It is indeed a horror what is happening to the Uighur in China.

            Here’s how you can help.

            https://www.saveuighur.org/donation/

        4. Hey remember how we have an entire federal program through executive fiat that supersedes the laws passed by congress because of people who were “imported” as children, through no fault of their own, and we therefore can’t deport them because they had no choice in the matter?

          1. I love how people on libertarian websites take the “the law is the law” defense.

            If there is a legal problem fix it.

  4. Gosh; They’re only proposing to threaten you with Gov-Guns to pay them $13,000 /per working person of which ‘some’ you might get back.

    What’s another $13,000 to an already $22,000 /per working Gov-Gun threatened robbery?

    How many will get a $13,000 stimulus check and how many will be robbed for MORE inequality by over $10,000??

  5. C’MON SLEEPY JOE SEND US A WELFARE CHECK. TRUMP SENT US TWO AND EVEN BUSH SENT ONE. OBAMA THAT UPPITY NEGRO DIDN’T SEND NOBODY ONE.

    1. You’re really flailing that your guy ended up being worse. LOL. 1.9 Trillion on deck, and now wants another 3 Trillion right behind it. All while keeping the country locked down. Your guys is special, just like you.

      1. I don’t have high hopes for Joe.

        I do look forward to the gridlock though.

        1. Gridlock from all three branches of the federal government being under control of one party?

          You’re dumber than usual this morning. Been dipping into sarcasmic’s Caliber-brand vodka?

      2. I don’t think he’s going to get it. Covid is in a full on collapse, down 73% since Jan 11, deaths down 42% since Jan 28. That’s based on the 7 day averages. The only explanation for such a rapid drop is we’ve hit herd immunity levels.

        1. no. its bc bidens president and they are cooking the data to make it look like hes a hero.

  6. It’s important to let people starve now because deficit. Thank you Koch foundation for putting out this wonderful, useful information

    1. ITS TIME FER ANOTHER CORPORATE TAX CUT!

      1. Bankrupt the “Crony Socialist” Government or bankrupt the People?
        Ya; It is time for another corporate tax cut!

        1. #NazismIsNotMyGovernment
          #NazismIsNotUSAGovernment
          🙂

    2. Heaven forbid people actually produce something other than a vote to put food on their own table.

      1. ^BINGO!!!! Hit the nail dead-center.

      2. Well, some of them are expected to produce the raw materials for the Soylent Green New Deal.

        1. I’m on board. As long as AOC is one of the first “vegetables” thrown into the food pellet hopper.

      3. Yes, the fatal flaw of free markets: nobody will exchange something you want for your pious intentions.

    3. Emoted strawman. Next!

    4. Well if that’s your concern let’s do a stimulus of 1400 for everyone in households making under 75k. Take care of the people who need it, and won’t just bank it.

      That’s less than 300 billion. That certainly should address your concerns about starvation.

  7. Obviously the stimulus checks were needed badly. Otherwise I wouldn’t have noticed the long lines outside the luxury stores (Gucci, Versace etc.) at the local upscale mall after each stimulus check arrived.

    1. Welfare Cadillac. It’s a rather old concept. Well before the time of most of the participants on this forum.

    2. Yeah, that $600 got you the left shoe of a pair of Gucci sneakers. What a freakin’ idiot you are. Quit making stuff up.

    3. I call bullshit, people aren’t buying luxury goods, they are buying GME and other oversold shorts.

  8. RESIST!
    NeverBiden
    #NotMyPresident

  9. “They also point out that continuing lockdowns prevent some production and employment that would otherwise occur.”

    And when are those lockdowns going to be lifted? We got people say schools shouldn’t open until next year, so its likely nothing else will either. Even when the lockdowns are lifted the uncertainty over when they will be reimposed will slow production and employment

    And to top it all off, since everyone thinks Cuomo, Newsom, Pritzker, et al. have done such a great job that lockdowns will now be the default government response to viruses. Imagine if we had lockdowns for West Nile, Avian Flu, H1N1, Zika, and all the others? We will now, every 2 to 3 years we can expect states like CA and NY to lock down their economy for weeks or even months from now on

    1. The lockdowns will be lifted when you obey, comrade.

      1. My will is already broken.

    2. Never, learn to do without.

    3. Lockdowns will be lifted when incumbents are threatened. See California/Newsom:

      https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-02-01/skelton-gavin-newsom-recall-covid-19%3f_amp=true

  10. Spend 9% of GDP as stimulus, grow the economy by 0.6%. What a great ROI! Can’t wait for the government to control my healthcare, they do such a great job with the economy.

    1. I see what you did there.

    2. You obviously learned mathematics before common core, you damn boomer.

    3. Confiscate 9% of GDP as stimulus

      FTFY

    4. Yeah, that ‘multiplier’ can easily be negative.

    5. But the more the government spends, the more GDP goes up, by definition!
      GDP = C + I + G + NX
      Where C = consumption, I = investment, G = government spending, and NX = net exports.

      Remember that when they talk about debt as a percentage of GDP. You can’t use the “G” term to help pay it back, because it adds to the debt.

    6. Trump grew the national debt by $2 trillion each of his 4 years in office. I don’t recall you complaining about that.

      1. Youre a liar. PELOSI DID THAT

  11. Hope you guys spent your free inflatobux on bitcoin!

    1. what could possibly go wrong?

  12. plans for massive “stimulus” spending by the Biden administration will administer only a brief boost to the country followed by a nasty and prolonged comedown.

    Or it could be followed by a very nasty and sudden comedown.

    1. Or it could by followed by no comedown at all. After all, Trump increased the national debt by $7.8 trillion in just 4 years and y’all insist it was the best economy evah!

      1. Liar
        Presidents dont increase debt, Congress does.
        .Remember PELOSI THE DEMOCRAT demanded SHE was in control of budgeting.

        You liberals are pathetic LIARS

    2. only thing Groper Joe wants stimulated is himself by groping little girls.

      His memory loss is typical for sexual predators

  13. If Uncle Joe can cancel student loan debt, then he can cancel US bond debt, right?

    1. And piss of his Chinese masters? I don’t think so.

    2. Leave Ol Groper Joe alone. Hes a mental vegetable.

  14. Biden’s proposed stimulus spending might give a modest boost, but in the long run it’ll slow the economy.

    Biden doesn’t have to worry about the long run.

    1. No fricken lie!

  15. How to win elections:
    1. Print $5 to give to your corporate buddies for free
    2. Print $1 to give to plebs for free
    3. Blame corporate buddies for getting richer, tax them $1
    Your corporate buddies vote for you to keep the $5 checks coming. The plebs vote for you for sticking it to those corporate fatcats and also to keep the $1 checks coming. You get to look fiscally responsible for increasing taxes and you can wield the taxes selectively as a weapon to punish your political enemies. It’s a perfect system that can never fail.

    1. @n00bdragon

      Where and when are you planning to run for public office?

      You’ve got it nailed…..Nero style.

  16. Interesting that the debt wasn’t nearly so important to conservatives when it was Trump increasing the national debt by $2.5 trillion during economic boom times (2017, 18 & 19) Aren’t you supposed to pay down debt when things are going well? Trump ran the deficit from $665B to $1,083B before CoVid ever became an issue. Sure blame the Democrats & RINO’s for everything but the GOP controlled the legislature & the executive for two of those years & you certainly couldn’t detect it if you were looking for signs of fiscal responsibility.

    Look at the last 32 years of governance & in spite of their propensity for liking spending programs, the trend on the deficit has done far better under 16 years of Democrat Presidents than 16 years of Republican Presidents.

    1. Yes it was. Real conservatives just didn’t have a voice. As you succinctly pointed out, RINOs.

    2. Plenty of conservatives were worried about Trump jacking up the debt. But the Dems’ alternative campaigned on jacking it up by a lot more, bailing out blue state pension plans, blowing trillions on climate change so we can freeze in our homes, and banning gas appliances and heat in new construction so everyone will be equally cold when the windmills freeze up.

      1. its called Democrats buying votes.

        Payola.

        President Trump pissed on the whole corrupt system as he didnt need anyones money.

        He paid his own way instead of STEALING FROM US LIKE BIDEN IS DOING

        1. He certainly stole a fuck load for himself and his buddies. Kiss my ass, clown.

    3. interesting how liars like you try to change the subject.

      Liar, Congress determines spending not President.

      You liberals were OK with your HANDS OUT all that time money was being given out, werent you welfare leeches?

  17. What is your path forward? I know no money means more growth. In fact that has never been correct. Your insipid clamoring get people no where.. It kind of like one hand clapping.

    1. First, do no harm.
      And then, leave us alone.
      Fuck off and die, slaver.

      1. As a wise man once said, “when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”.

  18. Now Reason starts really focusing on the debt! One reference to the “last four years.” The reign of the petty idiot failed dictator favorite of Reason’s army of alt-right shit-posters. And now Biden is the bad guy? Fuck you.

    1. “…The reign of the petty idiot failed dictator favorite of Reason’s army of alt-right shit-posters…”

      The comment of a TDS-addled lefty shit. Fuck off and die.

    2. 1.9 trillion bailout vs 0.6 trillion bailout = 1.3 trillion
      2 trillion Green Raw Deal vs. 0 trillion GRD = 2 trillion

      3.3 trillion used to be considered a lot of money

  19. This money being printed (created by electronic credits) is not debt in the real sense of the word. If is theft. No one is buying this debt but the US treasury. So the US government owes the US government. It will never be paid back. What all this fake money does is steal your purchasing power. It steals from your paycheck, it steals from your savings account, and it steals from your retirement account. It is a hidden tax, it is a regressive tax, hurting the unemployed, the working poor and those on a fixed income like the elderly the most.. Yet it helps some, those with loads of debt. Who has loads of debt? Most every major US corporation.
    Enjoy the penitence the government sends you as you pay for it over the next few decades.

    “Every trillion dollars that we go deeper in debt is $8,000 of additional debt per family,” he explained. “And that is not a theoretical number. – dailycaller

    1. The people it hurts the most are the people who managed to save what they thought was a comfortable chunk of money to retire on. Soon it’ll be enough to buy a donut and a cup of coffee to enjoy while they wait for their stimulus check.

    2. lies.no money is being printed and it does not cause inflation. Inflation has nothing to do with prices.

      You inflation liars were all over the net in2012 whining about fake money causing inflation and raising prices in 2012 WHEN INFLATION WAS AT AN ALL TIME LOW. by the BLS calculator.

      Get an economics book. Youre an idiot

    3. Taxpayers own, NEVER owe federal debt. On all debt payments (any payment for that matter) the federal govt simply credits accounts, no tax dollars nor actual borrowing even necessary.

  20. “Biden’s proposed stimulus spending might give a modest boost, but in the long run it’ll slow the economy. The White House objects to the forecast, but it squares with earlier predictions from the Congressional Budget Office that accumulated debt, worsened by heavy pandemic-related spending, will hobble the economy for years to come.”

    Well, it’s possible — but few of these corporate talking heads and ‘pundits’ were whining when George Bush I and George Bush II financed the illegal and unilateral Iraq Wars I & II to the tune of tens of trillions (in 1990 dollars) added to the national debt.

    At least, most of america will benefit from this additional debt, whereas the only beneficiaries of the Iraq wars were the oil conglomerates of america as well as the military industrial complex — and the 1% that run them.

    1. Liar
      The people being systematically murdered and abused were helped by the Iraq war.

      I guess you didnt want Bush and the Allies to stop Husseins mass murder and manufacture of chemical WMDs that the UN MOVIC found in 2003 in Iraq?

      .Youre a lying psychopath.

  21. “Biden’s proposed stimulus spending might give a modest boost, but in the long run it’ll slow the economy. The White House objects to the forecast, but it squares with earlier predictions from the Congressional Budget Office that accumulated debt, worsened by heavy pandemic-related spending, will hobble the economy for years to come.”

    Well, it’s possible — but few of these corporate talking heads and ‘pundits’ were whining when George Bush I and George Bush II financed the illegal and unilateral Iraq Wars I & II to the tune of tens of trillions (in 1990 dollars) added to the national debt.

    At least, most of poor and middle class america will benefit from this additional debt, whereas the only beneficiaries of the debt incurred as a result of the illegal and unilateral Iraq wars were the oil conglomerates of america as well as the military industrial complex — and the 1% that run them both.

  22. If Congress were sitting on some multi-trillion-dollar emergency fund, it might make sense to discuss how much to distribute, and to whom, to help recover from the self-inflicted COVID shutdowns. But there is no emergency fund. Congress has already saddled us with 28 trillion in debt. It’s hard to see how saddling us with 2 trillion more is going to help.

    1. Or hurt. How could a measly $2 trillion make a difference at this point?

  23. The partisanship on this board is amazing. Dear Leader Trump ran up the debt by a massive $2 trillion per year (total $7.8 trillion) during his 4 years of misrule. Now that there’s a Democrat in office, suddenly deficit spending is bad again. It would be cute if it weren’t so sickening.

    1. Liar. Congress controls budgeting not the President.

      You were OK with GETTING. money during Trump, werent you TDS victim?

  24. Democrats never saw a dollar they didnt want to spend.

    Since they produce nothing, they must spend OPM.

    The lie that fabricated money causes economic activity is the Broken Window Fallacy. It is not econ activity unless raw materials are also input and the effect is mulitplied. Bidens “Rob Peter, Rob Paul and buy votes” is not econ activity.

    And notice how the Tee Vee news dont let Slo. Joe speak…guess why!

    1. What kind of clown (J.D. TUCCILLE) believes that borrowing to spend (either public or private), will not grow an economy? Here’s some simplicity, dim wit: GDP = federal spending + private spending – net imports. The federal govt does NOT spend tax dollars. Tax collections disappear from the money supply upon payment. The federal govt creates new money every time it spends. The federal govt can spend without collecting a penny in taxes, nor actually borrowing a single dollar. Mind be, where do people think the US dollar originated from in the first place? It the federal govt, via he Fed, has complete, 100 per cent CONTROL over the VALUE of the US dollar, too. This article is 100% BULLSHIT.

  25. In the long run the US will sell Alaska back to the Chinese. All those delicious grizzly bear gall bladders make it inevitable.

    1. Funny

      There is evidence of an ancient trade route between Alaska and China.

      https://historythings.com/ancient-chinese-metalworking-discovered-alaska/

      1. That’s nothing surprising. Wasn’t that otherwise known as the passage of Asians coming across the frozen Bering Strait to settle in the Western Hemisphere and later become known as Native Americans?

        1. By this, I mean, of course, if Asians can cross an ice bridge to get to the Western Hemisphere, why couldn’t the route move backwards, with goods passing back and forth in between? And wouldn’t there be even more travel and trade after the Polar Ice Cap melted more?

          1. The theory has to do with much more recent history. It is possible that Chinese ships reached North America and South America and there was some trade with native Americans. A lot of historical theories have been advanced about that and while interesting have not amounted to much.

    2. Actually, Alaska was bought from Czarist Russia, though it may yet be sold to the Chinese.

      Goodness knows, Sleepy, Creepy, Crazy, Cranky, Tankie, Corn Pop, Lunch- Bucket, Shotgun Joe has already cut off The Keystone Pipeline and made us beholden to OPEC again, so who knows what’s coming next?

      1. We have more than enough domestic oil and gas.

        The pipeline is about refining. My basic understanding is that it will allow Canadian oil, which is low quality to be piped to American refineries in the south where it can be exported.

        This bypasses American refineries in the north. So there are winners and losers in the deal. Not all of Canada is on board with the pipeline. The US is a net exporter of refined petroleum products.

        There are readers here who may be able to explain the issues better.

  26. Normally I would be against fiscal or monetary stimulus in general. However these aren’t handouts when you look into it and I don’t believe the stimulus checks have anything to do with Covid. I think they have more to do with the fact that crony capitalism and credit inflation from thinks like QE for example have led to 50 trillion dollars being taken from the 99 percent to the 1 percent. https://www.businessinsider.in/careers/news/the-wealthiest-1-has-stolen-50-trillion-from-working-americans-a-new-study-finds-heres-what-that-means-/articleshow/78189912.cms Another factor has been the crazy tax manipulation of multinationals or for that matter most wealthy people and corporations especially. Perhaps this tax shouldn’t exist but others have had to pay it while they haven’t. This is basically theft. When people steal through fraud or for instance government coercion a civil case should be put into action so that people can get the money that was literally objectively stolen from them at this point. I think the stock market going up while the economy went down put the nail in the coffin on validating just how systemic this cronyism and financial manipulation is. In fact these little checks are nothing compared to what the 99% is owed at this point. Libertarians(I think of myself as one) never account for this even though many are aware of the cronyism. I believe the theft was actually greater than 50 trillion when you account for complex regulations placed on the working class. For instance there is the fact that most aspects of capitalism are actually illegal for anyone that is not literally a millionaire or who makes 200,000 a year over a course of several years. That what is required in order to be an accredited investor. When I say this I mean things like private equity, real estate, and basically anything else other than public markets with large corporations that on average 10 percent per year as opposed to private equity return of 30 percent a year. For instance accredited investors will make a guaranteed fortune when space x does its pre ipo series a funding and that choice of investment. Lastly people conflate free markets and top down capitalism. These I would argue are not in fact interchangeable. A free market allows for any type of market structure with no barriers to its facilitation by a coercive entity like a government. This would include entities which crowdfunded and created a voluntary socialist structure in which everyone owned and equal amount or a half top down half bottom up structure in which workers elected other workers to their companies board on a rotating basis. There are many other variations to this as well. Let’s not forget zoning laws when talking about real estate which inflates prices or the formation of voluntary communities/ quasi governments either. We live in a top down crony capitalist police state not a free market. However that being said I’m not trying to sound like one of those entitled way overly pessimistic individuals which are part of a fraction of the “left wing”. There is still lots to be grateful for and in fact with the vast surplus the U.S generates living a life in corporate feudalism can still be a very wonderful life and there are still many opportunities for “success” and living a life of passion and full of meaning provided you work hard in life in addition to working hard on yourself. I’m just saying the alternative societal structure may be more preferable overall. By the way one example of tax avoidance is Amazon. They literally never pay taxes and instead frequently receive millions and millions many years due to legalized tax manipulation rights given exclusively to plutocrats. Tax avoidance for years and years adds up rapidly and compounds providing an exponential advantage if competitors do not do the same. Amazon may not even exist if they hadn’t consistently taken advantage of this and they definitly would be much smaller. Finance is something no body in the world fully understand and so it provides many opportunities for exploitation.

Please to post comments