Open thread Jan. 7, 2022 Dan Crawford | January 7, 2022 9:04 am Comments (48) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
I think we are at max employment, Mr. Fed Chair.
The narrative is always interesting to me. “Better” is relative. Better than what?
Labor participation is the key indicator that we should look at. The pandemic allowed people to assess what was important. Over 3 million workers decided they actually didn’t need the job and that tending to their families, homes, selves, and gardens were a more important use if their time. Another 3.5 million 55 and older decided it was time to retire early. Most had been staying on to either pad their 401ks from the loss of the 2008 crash, or for health insurance since they were not yet at the age to receive a public option. Nearly 7 million workers during the past two years decided that they have better things to do.
There is a bigger piece here than what I was wanting to get into but boils down to this: wage slack.
In 2008 we had a confluence of a ton of millennials graduating or about to graduate colleges and universities juxtaposed to increasing computer automation coupled with the worst economic crises since the great Depression. This created enormous slack in employee supply that employers exploited. Arguably this brought about Drumpf, but that’s a longer conversation. Finally we have the slack being pulled and supply tightened to finally meet or exceed demand.
Now go ask for a raise and remote work, you’ve been underpaid for more than a decade, you’ve earned it.
Particularly on this topic, then we are water brothers, you and I.
What is the hold up on raising the federal minimum wage? The last increase was in 2009, so we are now in the longest period ever without a raise.
Surely there is a sweet spot perhaps in the $10 to $12 range. For a worker now making $7.25, going to $10 per hour means $5,720 more per year.
We should not let the rhetoric of $15 per hour supersede the benefits of a smaller increase. Paging Sinema and Romney: make a deal.
The hold up would be Manchin if no Repubs go along.
This February article from Vox lays out the Romney plan.
Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and Mitt Romney are proposing a $10 minimum wage – Vox
Per the article, going to $10 per hour nationally would affect about 3.5 million workers.
As for Manchin, remember that 8 Democratic Senators voted against the $15 per hour plan. So there will be no increase through reconciliation, thus it will require 10 Republicans to sign on.
with 4% of the world’s population, we’ve been accounting for more than 30% of the world’s new Covid cases over the past two weeks, touching 32% of the global count a few days earlier this week…
so, what are we doing wrong?
Angry Bear is going to need to get a bigger server to answer that one.
January 6, 2022
Cases ( 59,564,116)
Deaths ( 855,843)
Deaths per million ( 2,563)
Cases ( 103,121)
Deaths ( 4,636)
Deaths per million ( 3)
January 7, 2022
About 2.88 bln COVID-19 vaccine doses administered on Chinese mainland
BEIJING — About 2.88 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered on the Chinese mainland as of Thursday, data from the National Health Commission showed Friday.
[ Chinese coronavirus vaccine yearly production capacity is more than 7 billion doses. Along with about 2.88 billion doses of Chinese vaccines administered domestically, more than 2 billion doses have already been distributed to more than 120 countries internationally. Nineteen countries are now producing Chinese vaccines from delivered raw materials. ]
January 7, 2022
Chinese mainland reports 174 new COVID-19 cases
The Chinese mainland recorded 174 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with 116 linked to local transmissions and 58 from overseas, data from the National Health Commission showed on Friday.
A total of 45 new asymptomatic cases were also recorded, and 632 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.
Confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland now total 103,295, with the death toll remaining unchanged at 4,636 since January last year.
Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases
Chinese mainland new imported cases
Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases
Since June 2020, when China introduced vaccines on an experimental basis, there have been only 2 coronavirus deaths on the Chinese mainland. Now, more than 85% of the population has been fully vaccinated and WHO has found the prime Chinese vaccines effective in protecting against Delta and Omicron infections.
Nonetheless, Chinese approaches to detecting, preventing and treating coronavirus infections are routinely dismissed in the US and UK.
Have you ever ridden on trains which had seamless tracks? I did the last time I was in Shanghai going out to the other cities. 200 mph. It would not surprise me if they did have control of Covid to a degree. The people follow the government’s direction as I did also.
Do you believe their reporting is accurate?
interesting you should say that
the R’s would like to be a government like China’s.
but first they have to get there. that requires a different approach.
do you have any information on Chinese use of masks and distancing mandates?
i am not doubting the value here of vaccine or even vaccine mandates, but rjs asked what are we doing wrong?
i have it in my mind that first, Trump told people Covid was not serious, and second he told them to not wear masks and to congregate in crowded venues. Then when the vaccines came along, WE (CDC?) told people it was okay to not wear masks and congregate in crowded venues.
After giving the virus a bug head start it shouldn’t seem surprising that it is running ahead of herd impunity.
ok, coberly, while i agree that “herd impunity”, as you put it, is a big part of our problem, the degree that we’ve lost control of this thing suggests there are a lot of other issues in play (many of which have already been well addressed by ltr in her comparisons with China elsewhere in this thread)….after i asked the above question here, i emailed the same question to a half dozen of my correspondents…i only received one response (not surprising as i’m known for rhetorical questions), in this case from a Phoenix friend with a Korean wife (who thus visits Korea frequently), who responded with the following:
after i responded “i’ve had a tendency to blame Walensky but i know it’s more than that…one problem has certainly been in the schools, where very few of the kids were vaccinated and most states outlaw masks….early in Delta, schools accounted for 30% of the cases in some states, & then the infected kids take it home and infect the whole family...” he added:
so there’s a bit for you all to chew on….sorry for not getting back to this thread sooner, but i have blog posts and newsletters i do on weekends, and found myself too far behind on my work on that to follow up here…
you begin by sounding like you are disagreeing with me..but it turns out i don’t disagree with you..except about a couple of things not unimportant but not solvable between us.
so, I agree about masks, and distancing, and i suppose testing and contact tracing. and about putting m0ney first.
what i am not so sure about is how you manage this without introducing either a degree of regimentation this country isn’t used to, and i think should not get used to. or, on the contrary, attempting such a degree of regimentation you provoke a real civil war, or at least give the next ten elections over to the fascists in our midst who are all for regimentation by another name: they call it “freedom.”
or, as i get hate mail for suggesting.. without leading ourselves down the garden path of teling ourselves it is our moral right to force other people to do something if we can just convince ourselves that they are a danger to “us.”
as to that last point..surely, we do a lot of that anyway, but so far we have managed to observe arguably reasonable limits.
even our resident scientist has belaedly admitted..claimed..that “science”.. has a right to change it’s mind. [but in the short run, we must all behave as the guy who calls himself a scientist tells us to.]
this country is not a joke. it is the last best hope that goverment of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. not an especially good hope right now, but a little humility would help.
i wasn’t disagreeing with you, coberly, my opening in that comment was just a device to get back into this conversation after two days of absence….i thought your “herd impunity” malaprop was brilliant, and wanted to call attention to it..
thanks. been having little trouble with intended meanings lately.
big head start, not “bug”, though, under the circumstances…
Do you have any information on Chinese use of masks and distancing mandates?
[ Importantly, when indoors masks are invariably worn and distancing is maintained. Outdoors, masks may or may not be worn and small groups are found together.
There are almost no vaccine requirements, but the inactivated virus vaccines are considered very safe and use will soon be about 90%. The Chinese have mRNA and recombinant protein vaccines, but they are much less used. ]
Do you believe their reporting is accurate?
[ Absolutely, the entire approach to controlling the coronavirus centers on testing and tracking and isolation. If testing is not thorough, the virus will spread endlessly. Testing however is thorough and recorded for both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases, cases imported and domestic. Positive cases are all genetically identified, so that origin is made clear. The Chinese had identified the genetic code for COVID-19 by January 7-8, 2020 and immediately began developing tests which were given in turn to WHO.
Testing was publicly reported on a daily basis from January on… Similarly vaccine administration has been reported on a daily basis.
Without meticulous testing and reporting, there would have been no control. ]
Have you ever ridden on trains which had seamless tracks?
[ What I remember is riding as smoothly as flying, no discernible vibration. Now, you can ride a high-speed train even into the mountains of Tibet or through the desert in Xinjiang or into Laos… Also, high-speed freight lines have come. ]
There is no clickaty-clack made from hitting those seams in the tracks. They were not laying individual track rails. They were most likely using rolls of steel track. Hence the smoothness of the trip and the ability to go faster.
We were visiting machining suppliers in various cities. We had a Chinese engineer with us to break the language barrier “when” needed.
I was in Shanghai one time on its worse air quality day ever too.
Do you believe their reporting is accurate?
[ What was needed from the beginning was to have worked on the coronavirus as an international project. We needed to learn from the Chinese and Germans and Koreans… Notice how remarkably well the Cubans have fared. ]
Do you have any information on Chinese use of masks and distancing mandates?
[ Masks and distancing are necessary indoors for us, since infections are all about. I am fully vaccinated with booster and fortunately healthy, but going to a supermarket I must be careful. China in general is far safer, but care is routinely taken.
I run with no mask, but shopping leads me to be cautious. ]
Please let us be careful and judicious. ]
“necessary for us” are you chinese, or in china?
we (America) have runaway infections because we missed the opportunity to be sensible (careful and judicious) when the number of infected was small. and after we got the vaccinations we told ourselves it was no longer necessary to be sensible.
America is an empire in decline. still to arrogant to care what the rest of the world thinks. and el Trumpo was the apotheosis of this.
Cuba, on the other hand began with some ideas about a just society. Seems to have held on to that (I have no idea about alleged human rights abuses there. Some times people who have ideas about justice can get pretty arrogant and abusive themselves).
if the poor cubans and recently poor chinese can do a better job that we do, it should
be telling us something. I am not fond of social regimentation myself, but an essentially
criminal “free” market democracy is nothing to be proud of either.
Now I need to modify that… some of our leaders do not seem to be criminal, but neither to they seem to be effective.
There were about 850,000 infections in the US today. There were 159 well isolated infections in China.
here is an article on how the Chinese are confronting their first 2 cases of Omicron:
Tianjin fights China’s first real battle against Omicron, puts Beijing on high alert – Global Times
North China’s Tianjin Municipality, home to 15 million people and also a major gateway to Beijing, started massive nucleic acid testing early Sunday morning, ramping up a swift response to the new Omicron variant after the city detected 20 COVID-19 infections in a single day, with two identified as carrying the new variant.
Epidemiologists said it’s the first real battle against Omicron on the Chinese mainland as domestically-transmitted cases linked to the strain were discovered in local communities for the first time. The sudden outbreak also put adjacent Beijing on alert, creating huge uncertainty and high possibility of a spillover as the source of the outbreak remains unknown. But epidemiologists assured that as long as rapid tracing of the origin of the new viral chain is conducted and effective measures are put in place, the outbreak is expected to be extinguished before China’s Spring Festival and 2022 Winter Olympic Games, which are only few weeks away.
Tianjin discovered two locally transmitted cases involving the Omicron variant, which were identified among individuals who volunteered to be tested Saturday. A further 18 cases were found in a follow-up tests of high-risk groups. The Tianjin municipal government said the two cases were part of the same transmission chain, but are not linked with the imported Omicron case detected in December, 2021 in the city.
Among the 20 infected people, 15 are children aged between 8 and 13. The cases are concentrated in Tianjin’s Jinnan and Nankai districts. A residential building in a compound in Jinnan was designated as high-risk of transmissions while three other residential buildings in this compound and two buildings in another compound are medium-risk.
Tianjin on Sunday night required residents not leave the city unless necessary. Those who have to leave should have a negative nucleic acid test results valid in 48 hours and green health codes and seek approvals by their employers or communities.
The city also strengthened checks on resident traveling to Beijing by setting check points and special channels at highways and transportation stations.
To ensure public safety and containing Omicron from spreading further, residents in the city are required to remain in place and undergo nucleic acid testing. The city-wide testing began at 7 am on Sunday morning and is expected to complete within 24 hours, according to a notice from the city’s anti-epidemic command center.
As of Saturday night, Tianjin had quarantined 75,680 people. Among 70 environment tests, 14 were positive and two were detected in elevators within residential buildings.
Tianjin municipal government said on Sunday that it will update nucleic acid test information of fever clinics every two hours, which impressed netizens for the city’s efficient and organized way in dealing with the outbreak.
The health code of residents who don’t receive a nucleic acid test within 24 hours will be changed to orange, which means the person is restricted from entering public places, including subway and buses. Residents who have been vaccinated within the last 48 hours will not participate in the test, the command center confirmed.
continued from “Tianjin fights China’s first real battle against Omicron, above…
The anti-epidemic command center said at an urgent meeting at wee hours Sunday, which also included city Party chief Li Hongzhong and mayor Liao Guoxun, that mass testing must be carried out rapidly to fulfill the responsibility of Tianjin as a “moat” for Beijing and contain the epidemic at the fastest speed and the lowest cost. Mass testing will allow officials to gain a better understanding of the current landscape and ensure the safety and health of residents, the command center said.
Based on the patients and viral transmission chain, the virus has spread across three generations among the newly confirmed 18 infections, suggesting the virus probably has circulated among the community for a certain period of time, Zhang Ying, a deputy director of the municipal health commission, said at a late press conference on Saturday night. More positive infections are expected to be uncovered, Zhang said.
Affected by the flare-up, subway lines one and six will be partially closed starting from Sunday. Tianjin Binhai International Airport has cancelled 144 flights.
Preparing for a potential lockdown, several Tianjin residents told the Global Times that people rushed to markets to snap up food. A resident surnamed Liu said that a supermarket near her home was full of people at 7 am on Sunday morning, with the queue stretching 200 meters.
Another resident surnamed Wang said most vegetables were sold out early on Sunday morning, and the delivery service for nearby market was suspended.
Liu said that although the outbreak came so suddenly, she appreciated the local government’s swift response. She added that the overnight nucleic acid testing “assures people.”
Tianjin’s bureau of commerce issued a notice on Sunday saying that two districts of the city launched emergency plan to ensure market supply. Current vegetable stocks are enough to feed the city for three to four days; stock of rice, flour and edible oil in Tianjin are able to meet 30 days of demand.
The Global Times learned that two biggest universities in Tianjin, Tianjin University and Nankai University, both with branches in Jinnan district, where the latest cases were mostly found, have imposed restrictions on leaving and entering of their campuses. Tianjin University notified students on Sunday that it has postponed final examinations until next semester.
A Beijing-based immunologist told the Global Times that it’s the first real battle against Omicron on the Chinese mainland as Omicron-infected domestically-transmitted cases were discovered in local communities for the first time, and that huge uncertainties exist as the source of the current outbreak remains unknown. He believes imported goods to be the likely source of infection. If the Omicron virus has spread three generations in the community, Tianjin’s COVID-19 cases will increase rapidly and reach 100 soon, he said.
Speaking at a Saturday conference, Zhang Wenhong, a leading infectious disease expert in Shanghai said that it is groundless that some Chinese self-media are saying that the new variant is causing relatively minor symptomscompared to previous strains, and he also didn’t agree that Omicron is just “enhanced influenza.”
He said that after researching the medical imaging of the new variant, he felt safe to say that Omicron has fought human’s immunological system and won.
The immunologist warned of the risks that the Tianjin outbreak would pose to Beijing, because of a large number of people who commute between the two cities.
The Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday suggested people in Beijing do not visit Tianjin and those in Tianjin refrain from travelling to the capital. Commuters between Tianjin and Beijing, estimated around 100,000 as of 2020, are encouraged to work from home.
Anyone in Beijing who had visited Jinnan and Nankai districts of Tianjin since December 23, 2021 will be subject to home quarantine and be tested. Others who had travel history to Tianjin since the date mentioned above were asked to report to local community officials, employers and hotels immediately, the center said.
Coberly: Really interesting comment or lament.
Why GOP Voters Think Americans Have to Get Over Jan. 6
NY Times – Jan 7
(Roughly 25% of the US electorate thinks the other 75% should just ‘fuhgeddaboudit’, since ‘forgive and forget’ is probably asking too much.)
(Just as Ted Cruz seeks forgiveness …)
Ted Cruz apologizes for describing Jan. 6 attack as terrorism
Never Apologize. Never Explain.
New Yorker – June 2014
Coberly: We really have to try to understand what we have lost as a community, which is what your comment tells me. China has approached the coronavirus as a community, we have seeminglymisplaced the sense of community we needed.
yes. i think it will require trying hard. If nothing else, the Trumpists seem to have a better sense of community than the Left. Being a great believer in community myself, I would have trouble feeling a sense of community with people who… [rest of comment does not meet prevailing community standards.]
January 8, 2021
How Biden and Boris Johnson Reached the Same Place on Virus Policy
Two different leaders with differing approaches landed on a policy of coexisting with the virus. Analysts say they had little choice.
By Mark Landler
LONDON — On the evening of Dec. 21, Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared from 10 Downing Street to tell anxious Britons they could “go ahead with their Christmas plans,” despite a surge in new coronavirus cases. At nearly the same moment, President Biden took to a White House podium to give Americans a similar greenlight.
It was a striking, if unintended, display of synchronicity from two leaders who began with very different approaches to the pandemic, to say nothing of politics. Their convergence in how to handle the Omicron variant says a lot about how countries are confronting the virus, more than two years after it first threatened the world….
[ How could it be that a policy tragedy is copied country to country? ]
you mean like maggie thatcher and ronald reagan?
we have a language difficulty. we both speak English.
and while Americans with a little help from the French beat the British army
the British owners never went away.
for that matter, while Union soldiers beat Confederate soldiers, the Planter class (sons of English nobility) never went away… just learned that white was as good as black and it was cheaper to rent than to buy.
Capitalism was invented in Britain. Nothing wrong with capitalism as such, but British capitalists have always known the value of a dollar.
The rest of the world has its own problems of course, but We have a Tradition. a family trade as it were.
I was in Shanghai one time on its worst air quality day ever too.
[ Fortunately, importantly there are no such days in Shanghai or Beijing any longer. The emphasis these last several years has been on the environment in the midst of development:
“Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets,” is a refrain from Xi Xinping on down:
I would have to go again or Genchi Genbutsu.
December 21, 2021
Chinese women’s average life expectancy exceeds 80 years in 2020
BEIJING — The average life expectancy of Chinese women reached 80.88 years in 2020, up from 77.37 years in 2010, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday….
American men have lost 2.2 years of life expectancy during the first year of the pandemic, and are now living lives more than 4 years shorter than Chinese women…
based on 2019 levels, that would leave American men with a life expectancy of 76.6 years….so i’ve already lost a third of the lifetime i had remaining…
that report is consistent with others…
i know there are some who feel we’re not losing much to Covid, since most of those who are dying are past their productive years, and are only depleting the social security trust fund anyhow….so why don’t we just let cancer and heart disease run rampant too, close the nursing homes, and let disease eliminate all of us past our prime?
If we “are not losing much…becase most people dying are past their productive age” we don’t deserve to survive as a civilization. As far as I know the only person who actually believes that is the lieutenant governor of Texas.
OTOH, most covid fatalities have been among those with less disease-resistance, and that has mostly been the aged & infirm. So be it. Eventually the disease moves on to attack all, to one degree or another, to incapacitate & disrupt society.
Get vaccinated, people! It matters not what the LT guv’nah thinks on such matters.
apparently it does matter. a lot of people believe what they hear, especially if they sort of want to believe it. the Lt Governor is apparently a part of a death cult, wheather he knows it or not. there seem to be a lot like him out there. give them permission to act out and they will.
the way this blog and i have beebn going lately it is not hard for me to believe that you think i was agreeing with him.
it sounds like Walensky is buying into the Lt Governor’ theory, coberly:
they seem quite willing to put up with a 1.8 year reduction in life expectancy as long at they can still keep the toy stores open on Christmas eve…
and anyone interested in pandemics
a book, The Premonition,” by Michael Lewis, has some things to sy about the CDC you might find interesting. actually, you might find the whole book interesting..
As you might suspect, I like it because it says some things I agree with, but as I am only at page 150 or so, I can’t rule out a surprise ending.
In any event, it’s a lot more interesting than what we usually hear from the mediea and the blogs. No real villains so far, no conspiracy theories, but a lot of “how things are” and a few geniuses hidden away in the less explored corners of the Bureaucracy.
[michael lewis also wrote “the Big Short.” if you like that sort of thing.
say, not sy
and the media not Medea, though…