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Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago

What a silly article, the Hard Left just do not quite understand economics I guess.

“The success of the Tech giants — Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Facebook — is easily explained.”

“Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna — made combined profits of $34 billion in 2021.”

Not easily explained by you though, you say it is because people used them more, so that is how they doubled in value, by selling more. No – They made all their money by the stock doubling as so much QE, (In USA Alone $80 Billion Per Month was created in Quantitative Easing Alone – and $40 Billion Per Month buying Mortgage backed securities for 2 years – plus 12 $ Trillion misc ‘Stimulus and waste and corruption and economic manipulation.)

that $34 Billion extra profit is chicken feed, it is nothing, it explains Nothing. Just like the increased Amazon sales, and the others were pennies on the real economy.

The money was made not by increased sales – that is pennies – it was made by Fiscal and Monetary vu-du. First, Interest was kept at Zero (by the QE) so the wealthy could buy every kind of hard asset, as in appreciating asset, off debt at a couple percent – Then – the inflation intentionally caused is canceling that debt at 10% or so. So they bought assets at 2% loans, and the debt depreciates at 10% – so they make 8% profit by Owning the asset – meanwhile our savings and pensions are the opposite, are dissolving at 8%.

But that is just one mechanism why the wealthy increased their wealth 68% in 2 years.

The biggest was was by asset inflation. See, say $12 Trillion is dumped into the economy, M2 increased 25% in one year! Then interest kept at zero. That money has to go somewhere – and bonds pay 1.5% for a ten year Treasury, and almost hyper inflation is created by that, say 7%-10%, giving a negative real interest yield – so the money cannot park in Bonds, savings, Gilts, Treasuries…. It has to go into the stock market.

This causes the Equities prices (Google, Amazon, Pfizer, Tesla) to Double – even 10X for some. As they are absorbing all that money. Even your pensions must join in this as they will lose 8% p/a if they stay in safe bonds and Treasuries…..

Well – who owns all those stocks which just doubled? The Wealthy. See how easy it all is.

Then how about “and Vanguard are the two largest asset management firms in the world, respectively managing $10 and $8 trillion. That’s 3.7 and 3 times more than the UK’s annual GDP”.

Well – they make money no matter how the market goes, Hedge Funds, they are managers who get a tiny % every dollar which they touch – which is vast Billions of profit in this crazed economy – and they profit on the market moving, more profit…

Anyway – the wealthy made almost nothing by creating anything – goods or services – they just manipulated the Governments, Markets, Central Banks, and everything else – using covid as the emergency to become so powerful – they basically almost own us….

Normally good money is made by producing goods and services – none of these Trillions were – it is ‘Bad Money’. ‘Greshams Law’. it is fake really – but its power is real, and they doubled theirs, and yours halved. This was the real reason for the Covid Response.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

The increase in share value comes from retained earnings. This means the owners of capital are reluctant to pay themselves dividends because they would then have to pay tax on that.
In general high rates of inflation are bad for the wealthy, because they erode savings and rich people have more savings. Asset values are increasing post-pandemic, it’s true. But not as fast as wages, which is a net transfer to the poor.
And yet the central point of the article is entirely valid and eclipses these monetary effects by quite a bit, I would think. Shifting production and consumption onto digital platforms and forcing people to take vaccines they don’t really need puts billions into the pockets of those who own and manage these companies.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

I do not think agree.
The increase in share values has little to do with retained earnings and is much more the consequence of too much money floating round looking for a home and as a result inflating asset prices.
As to inflation, it does not hurt the rich just the middle classes. If my wealth increased by £1B during the pandemic I am not going to worry about 10% inflation particularly when my wealth is invested in income generating appreciating assets (property say) and inflation is eating away in real terms at any monies I may have borrowed to acquire that additional £1B.
If I am middle class my home may increasing in value but that is of no real benefit to me particularly when my relatively fixed income is being eroded by inflation as is my pension fund.
As to the working poor, they maybe getting pay increases but invariably they are after the even and below the rate of inflation so all you can say is that they wage rises mean that they are getting poorer less quickly. At least I suppose they have the benefit system to fall back on.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Without agreeing with the whole post, the point re Gresham’s law is excellent.

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
9 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Galeti I’m a macroeconomics thicko but wouldn’t ‘they’ have been richer without the pandemic? Monetary easing due to 2008 which seems to me the big mistake politicians should have been punished for?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
9 months ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

What they did – was harvest the working peoples savings and earnings. Redistributed it up.

Print Trillions of National Debt, then create inflation to eat away the debt (devalue it) as it could never be paid off.

Inflation is a stealth tax on savings and income (pay rises always lag inflation by some time) So in devaluing your savings the debt is devalued – as in it is canceled, although it means your money is canceled in the process.

The printed trillions soon end up in the hands of the wealthy through several mechanisms – and they buy Appreciating Assets with it, so the inflation does not hurt them. (it also devalues their debt – the money they borrowed to buy the appreciating assets)

GOV debt is paid off by the workers when they use inflation to pay it off…. The wealthy rose in value 68% in 2 years – they took it from the savings of the working people.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago

“Why, then, have Left-leaning commentators supported the policies that have led to these terrible outcomes?”
Because they are stupid? Because they only pretend ‘to care’?

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
9 months ago

Because they are not left at all. Wokeism is, after all, a mainly capitalist phenomenon.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago

Ok, so they are stupid, don’t care about human lives and are rabid capitalists.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
9 months ago

Kind of. But they’re also frightened and desperate to find the ‘winning’ tribe to belong to.

Josh Woods
Josh Woods
9 months ago

Not left in principle but in name only, that’s how I phrase it. And ironically even if you apply the woke logic to the COVID debate(which we shouldn’t anyway, but I wanted to highlight the hypocrisy), the so-called ‘woke left’ would’ve still broken its principles. 2 of the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration are Indian by descent, and other prominent dissenting experts against the mainstream COVID narrative are non-white, including Joseph Ladapo, Marty Makary, Monica Gandhi, Vinay Prasad and Suneel Dhand. And one of the Indian-born authors of the GBD, Prof. Sunetra Gupta, has identified herself as a leftist, but alas, the mainstream left has been spellbound by a bunch of truly incompetent upper-class whites- Fauci, Collins, Birx, Walensky, Ferguson, Vallance, Whitty, Michie, Hopson, Harries, Farrar and Dominic Cummings, the last 2 whose propaganda smear campaign against the GBD led to the UK’s 2nd & 3rd lockdowns. So no matter if it’s based on scientific, leftist, humanitarian or (supposedly)woke logic, the mainstream left went against all the them with COVID. It’s all reckless virtue-signalling and fearmongering without any self-awareness!

Last edited 3 months ago by Josh Woods
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago

Because they put a higher priority on keeping people alive than on keeping the economy humming, and were not willing to gamble that ‘it would surely be all right and anyway it will be someone else who dies’?

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Everybody types into their computer with the benefit of hindsight. It would have been interesting to take a contributor to UnHerd at the beginning of 2020, made them into Prime Minister with responsibility for tens of millions of people. Without hindsight, would they have said, “Let all the old, fat ones die because they are going to die anyway”?

This reaction is what I read every day, mostly from people who have never had to take responsibility for big things. Heads of government become ‘stupid’ because they don’t have the gift of hindsight.

I have read your lone battles on this site many times and I respect you for not losing your temper. What amazes me is that western governments have spent about 40 years building up ‘Big Pharma’ with the idea of extending life indefinitely. When Covid comes along this is forgotten and you get cries of “They were old; they were going to die anyway”. Now Big Pharma is the enemy for being successful.

Last edited 9 months ago by Chris Wheatley
Graham Stull
Graham Stull
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

You make a fair point Chris. Hindsight is 20/20, and when a crisis strikes, it’s hard not to lose your head. That is why we have fire drills.
It’s also why every developed country in the world possessed, pre-2020, a clear set of pandemic guidelines in order to avoid knee-jerk decision making that would result in catastrophic economic consequences such as those alluded to above.
It’s instructive to go back and look at those guidelines, which provide the benefit of, if you like, ‘foresight’. None of them advises school closures, lockdowns, facemasks or forced vaccination.
If we had followed those guidelines, those of us who have been screaming this stuff since April 2020 would not have taken to the streets. We would not have suffered anxiety and depression. We would not still be waging these arguments against entrenched fearmongers and zealots, two far king years later.

Last edited 9 months ago by Graham Stull
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

The pandemic guidelines were all set up thinking about a flu epidemic. Which, among other things, assumes no pre-symptomatic transmission, and anyway is pretty much a known quantity. Which COVID was not. That was my take on Sweden, even back in 2020, actually: They might well be proved right in the end, but since there was no way of knowing that in advance, they were gambling with peoples’ lives. Which is not what I want my government to do.

If you choose to assume that it will be all right so there is no need to take precautions you will have an easier life and can crow at the cowards who make things unnecessarily difficult. Until the day when you get hit by pregnancy or AIDS, or your uninsured house burns down. Which is, of course, your choice. For the pandemic, as always, the problem is that you choose to risk my life for your convenience.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Now, now, now, Rasmus. You’re splitting nonsensical hairs and you know it. Here is what the pandemic flu preparedness guidelines 2011 have as a description of the virus threat:
Many millions of people around the world will become infected, up to around 50% become ill with symptoms and a variable proportion die from the disease itself or from complications such as pneumonia.
In the UK, up to one half of the population may become infected and between 20,000 and 750,000 additional deaths (that is deaths that would not have happened over the same period of time had a pandemic not taken place) may have occurred by the end of a pandemic in the UK.
In the absence of early or effective interventions, society is also likely to face social and economic disruption, significant threats to the continuity of essential services, lower production levels, shortages and distribution difficulties. Individual organisations may also suffer from the pandemic’s impact on business and services.
Large numbers of staff are likely to be absent from work at any one time.
Whether SARS or H1N1, you can’t look at the additional death forecast and tell me, with a straight face, that these guidelines were not written with sufficient scope to cover threats as variable as that posed by SARS-2.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Maybe, but they were still written for diseases where the asymptomatic were not contagious, no? Which means that there would be no point in asking people to isolate or avoid contacts before they had symptoms. Unlike COVID.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The fact is we don’t really know whether asymptomatic transmission was a significant driver in previous pandemics or not, because we didn’t have the ‘benefit’ of PCR testing, or the ICT infrastructure to do mass tracing. Even with such ‘technology’, the extent to which AT drives case rates is a matter of hot debate.
But when you look at, for instance, the ’57-’58 flu Asian flu pandemic as it reached the US and the UK, the wide variability in symptoms is suggestive of a transmission profile similar to SARS-2.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

If you are hanging your entire argument on asymptomatic transmission then you are in very shaky territory indeed. There is no proof that there is asymptomatic transmission.
What we do know is that the PCR tests in most countries are run at cycles higher than that advisable – they therefore give many false positives.
And even if transmission is asymptomatic, it is madness to lock up populations for a disease that has an IFR of about .15% (skewed to the old and health compromised).
Deep sigh at the lunacy.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Ah. “Covid is not the flu”, repeat after me. But it is an upper respiratory tract infection, and ‘Influenza like Illness”, just the sort of thing we had a plan for. A plan, I might add that anticipated 375,000 deaths. Surely it would have been better to stick to this plan, at least until it was shown not to work, rather than invent an entirely new untested plan on the hoof?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Hmmm. Are you saying that we already knew with reasonable certainty what was going to happen, two years ago? It does not seem to be a common opinion. Or just that any plan is better than none? In the latter case I am not sure I agree.

Now I have always believed in evidence-based policies, and I am in science myself. But with great regret my conclusion from the COVID story is that scientists and health bureaucracies are *not* very good at taking this kind of decision. By training, culture and temperament – we are all in business to seek understanding – we put way too much trust in our own theories. We tend to take the best model we have and just go all the way with it. Witness the Swedish and Danish health bureaucracies who could not see any reason to reconsider their plans. And, no less, the various Nobel prize winners and Great Batrrington declarers who on the basis of a fairly limited analysis felt they could be certain what should be done and how it would work. Scientists may, at their best, be good at finding out what the probabilities are. But to actually decide you need someone with the experience and temperament to take important decisions under uncertainty. And, much as I hate to say it, politicians may have better training here. Of course you need politicians who are actually trying to solve the health problems rather than protect their ego or keep the headline writers and back benchers from making trouble (like some I could think of).

jim peden
jim peden
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Well said, Graham Stull. The ‘foresight’ embedded in the pandemic plans created in the cold light of dawn from decades of experience was ditched in the mass hysteria that struck in March 2020. As you point out in another reply, ‘the economy’ is just another name for the collective livelihoods of ordinary people. Perhaps some of the apologists for the strategies employed over the past two years should consider life years lost instead of the crude and emotive measures they seem to prefer.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

It is not easy to have a pandemic guideline if you have never had a pandemic. Fire drills are much easier because there have been thousands of fires. There is just no comparison.

When you put individual (human) people into leadership, they don’t just follow rules; they adapt the rules to what they think is right at the time.

If you or another contributor had an 80-year old mother suffering from cancer and the doctor said, “We have an expensive drug that might keep her alive for another two years. Should we try it?”

Most people would automatically agree to go ahead. The drug comes from Big Pharma but for cancer it doesn’t seem as bad. The reaction to BP with Covid is hysterical and stupid.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Oh but we have had pandemics, Chris. We’ve seen SARS-1, A/H3N1, A/H2N1, A/H1N1, typhus…
And the point is that these individual (human) people didn’t adapt the rules as they saw fit. They panicked and stampeded to the doorway(, perhaps because they are fools, perhaps because they were egged on by sinister backroom interests).
And we know this because when we look back at the measures put in place, in the sober light of day, we see that the NPIs did next to nothing to stop the spread.
And we see their true cost: skyrocketing childhood obesity, an explosion in teen suicide rates, and the decimation of the economies of developing nations dependent on trade with the hysterical germaphobes in the West.
I’m sorry but I will not stop hammering this point: You’re wrong now, you were wrong then, and you can’t simply obfuscate with ‘well, we didn’t know at the time…’. This is not because I want to score points, but because it is ESSENTIAL that we look critically at where we went wrong. Otherwise it will happen all over again.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

I was going to answer your post about flu plans – you clearly know more than I do, and I thought it could have been interesting. But as a hysterical germaphobe I see no point in discussing with someone who would rather let thousands die than close the pubs – to stay at the same level.

stephen archer
stephen archer
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Thousands have died, just not from Covid but from missing routine checks and treatment.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Rasmus, sorry if I hurt your feelings (no irony, I really am).
I feel very passionately about this subject and sometimes it gets the better of me.
Hysterical germaphobe is an unkind epithet.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Never mind my feelings – I am a big boy. But if this is how you see the people who disagre with you, there really is not much points in discussing things. We will never get anywhere.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I think that’s likely true.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Rasmus is pulling in his salary, so ef those others who lose their livelihoods?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Hahaha. This is getting more and more ludicrous. Never mind the more recent scares, there was the 1968 HK flu pandemic which was way more deadly than Covid. (Adjusted to population size). And children were badly affected, not just those in the waiting room.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
9 months ago

Indeed. In QALY terms, the ’68 pandemic was an order of magnitude worse.

Josh Woods
Josh Woods
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

If it weren’t for Ferguson(his models were the trigger for the lockdowns of multiple countries), Michie(she was unsurprisingly screaming for lockdowns even before Farrar, Vallance & Whitty did), Fauci & Birx(US’s counterpart of Ferguson), this hysteria would’ve stayed in Italy and mainland China only!

Last edited 7 months ago by Josh Woods
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Ummm there were plenty of us who could see logic and facts that were emerging (e.g. those at risk and IFR) from the beginning. Tired of this ‘hindsight’ argument from people who were consistently wrong.

Josh Woods
Josh Woods
9 months ago

And I’m one of these ‘plenty of us’. I’ve been warning very loudly about all this since late March 2020, anyone who understands and/or went through domestic abuse and economic hardships(or both combined) can see this very clearly(I’m both), the data just bolsters our stances even further!
There’s a quote by George Carlin which I won’t utter here, but it saliently warns about dangers of large groups of people who can’t think for themselves, and the last 2 years has demonstrated this in the flesh!

Last edited 4 months ago by Josh Woods
Graham Stull
Graham Stull
9 months ago
Reply to  Josh Woods

I’m sorry for your suffering Josh. I hope things get better for you.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

From day 1, the 21st March 2020, Lord Jonathan Sumption warned ‘us’ in no uncertain terms that this C-19 nonsense would become one of the greatest catastrophes in British history. (Or at least since we lost America in 1783.)

Predictably he was vilified and ignored, as one would fully expect.

However as one of the beneficiaries of this disaster, I am now in a quandary as to where to squander my ill gotten gains. Perhaps on this Green Crap?

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
9 months ago

So somebody said something and you chose that particular item to quote. That is childish.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I see you are in complete denial, as usual!

You are the child Sir! As you proved some many months ago when you first entered this Forum, or have you forgotten?

Iris C
Iris C
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Lord Sumption was a highly respected judge who had spent his life listening to different arguments, selecting and analysing the points made before making a decision..
And he was not one voice! He was supported by the 700 signatory letter from a range of medics, covering all disciplines, which was published in a prominent daily newspaper in mid-2020.. .
For some reason, contrary voices were stifled – one can only conjecture as to why that happened. .

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
9 months ago
Reply to  Iris C

‘Chris Wheatley’ is about seventy, is a qualified engineer, and lives in the bowels of Ceredigion or somewhere nearby.

It is symptomatic of the age that we live in that this well qualified chap seriously believes the whole, ludicrous, Covid narrative.
That ‘we have a serious problem’ is to put it mildly!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago

If you want to spend some of your ill gotten gains there are fabulous places. I am currently in a house on the beach up the east coast of South Africa with empty white sand beaches and warm water aplenty. I have already had one swim and am soon taking my new boogie board out. If you never hear from me again.. adieu.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
9 months ago

I used to go Baboon shooting in the Eastern Cape but was rather put off by my last visit to Grahamstown or whatever it is called these days.
Thank you all the same.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago

Gawd no. Makhanda is awful. As is baboon shooting.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
9 months ago

The baboons killed a friends magnificent Australian Shepard Dog, so punitive measures had to be taken.

That name sounds awfully like God No Macandrew!

I was disappointed to find that all the memorials in Grahamstown Cathedral had been defaced because they commemorated long forgotten wars

I also note that the hideous gremlin that hides within my I pad and answers to the name of predicted text, objects to the very word Grahamstown!

Last edited 9 months ago by SULPICIA LEPIDINA
Graham Stull
Graham Stull
9 months ago

Now, now Lesley. What good is it to make the rest of us steaming jealous? 😉

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Haha. The boogie board is fabulous, but a source of derision as my husband was a surfer until not too long ago. He would hate to be seen riding a wave on his stomach…. He can’t quite resist the fun of the boogie board though, demeaning as it is.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Most of the Unherd readers comments have been of a more sceptical nature, right from the start. I was against the first lockdown, not because I wanted fat people to die, but because I instinctively felt it was wrong, would not work, and a complete overreaction. This is not hindsight, and nor are most readers’ views from what I’ve witnessed the last 2 years.

Unherd, along with the Daily Sceptic has kept me sane.

Josh Woods
Josh Woods
9 months ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Ditto here Nick, I’ve been strongly against lockdowns since late March 2020 as I knew what it can do domestic violence victims(as a survivor myself), people living alone with/without health problems, and the list goes ever on. It’s an utter lie that being against lockdowns is putting money over lives, but the media tells us to believe it. So glad that we the skeptics prevailed!

Last edited 4 months ago by Josh Woods
Graham Stull
Graham Stull
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Keeping the economy humming is what keeps people alive. And if you don’t see how, rid yourself of all the economically produced goods you possess or have access to (food, manufactured goods, housing, clothes…) and spend just a night or two, naked, in a nice patch of primeval forest in February in Northern European.
When you get back, I look forward to reading your thoughts on the importance of the economy.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Thanks, that was my point too, but you illustrated it far better!

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

I’m still astonished at how people today do not understand that the economy (however many problems it may have) is the thing that allows us to have such a long, high quality life and makes such things health services (nationalised or otherwise) possible.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Indeed, Andrew. It boggles the mind how disconnected the professional laptop class is from the long, long, long supply chains that put the lithium in their batteries and the soya in their chai lattes.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Rasmus, even after the fact you read an article like this and refuse to face the obvious and get perspective.
Keeping the economy alive was always going to keep more people alive than locking down. There is no excuse – people having been telling you this for close to two years.

Last edited 9 months ago by Lesley van Reenen
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago

Did you say that, openly, two years ago: “Our policy will result in 5-10 million dead worldwide, and we should not try to reduce that number. Keeping small business afloat is much more important than keeping people alive.” Well, did you? Or did you choose to pretend that Ivermectin, or Great Barrington, or pure luck would somehow avoid any bad consequences?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I have consistently said from very early in the pandemic that lockdowns would cause more deaths and harms than deaths and illnesses from Covid. The evidence was all there – (Diamond Princess, Prof Hendrik Streeck et al, then add common or garden logic and some intelligence). There was no luck in this deduction. This was before Great Barrington and way before Ivermectin hoved into view.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago

Fair enough. We legitimately disagree about the facts. I remain quite unconvinced about your facts, though – particularly since then ‘deaths caused by lockdowns’ is such a nebulous and unprovable number that I suspect it is dominated by confirmation bias. By comparison the notorious COVID disease models seem rock-solid.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Yet the average age of a UK Covid death is a simply staggering 82.5! Whilst UK life expectancy is 81.1*.

So, this is just ‘the old mans’s friend’, just as we used to say the same about good old ‘Flu’, probably before you were conceived.

I also read that the ‘butcher’s bill’ for Covid as the primary cause of death in the UK is a mere 17K!
We lost more before lunch on the first day of the Somme.**

(*ONS figures.)
(** Ist July, 1916.)

Last edited 9 months ago by SULPICIA LEPIDINA
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago

Sigh!

As you presumably know (?) life expectancy at 82 is somewhere around ten years. Because the people who were unhealthy or unlucky enough to die young have left by then. And, as you may also know (?) there are no reliable numbers for COVID as ‘primary cause of death’. If you have any, please give a link. What there is is a number for death certificates where COVID is the only cause listed – which does not even consider how long the rest might have lived, just that there is a box you can tick to exclude as many deaths as possible. Both the numbers you cite are grossly misleading, selected for propaganda purposes by people who have a political point to make. You may or may not have a point, but unless you can present it with rather less biased arguments no one is going to pay attention.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“Quo vadis”?

Last edited 9 months ago by SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Both the numbers I cite are from the ONS, and not, as you imply from the KGB or equivalent.

As to primary Covid deaths, if the box is ticked that is enough, you are only splitting hairs.
I would counter charge that you and your ilk are the ones peddling hysterical propaganda! What is confusing is why? This not, repeat not, nor ever has been, or ever will be, the dreaded Black Death.
Now I realise you will find that very disappointing, but such is life .
Finally, I note that your epistle starts with word ‘Sigh’. Might I suggest that you have a hot bath, a mug of Ovaltine, and lie down. It will do wonders to restore your moral fibre, which is all too obviously wilting.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago

It does not matter where the numbers are from, but what they mean. It is a well known fact that the Bible says ‘Judas went and hanged himself.’ It is also a well known fact that the Bible says ‘Goest thou then and do likewise!’. But before you quote the Bible as favouring suicide I would point out that this is a misleading quote.

Do you have a link to that ‘primary cause of death’ figure, so I do not need to spend a couple of ours trying to figure out which data yo mean?

Comparing the average age of COVID death with average life expectancy gives the (false) impression that those dying of COVID had only months to live anyway. Refusing to count death certificates with more than one cause of death gives the (false) impression that COVID had nothing to do with causing those deaths. See why I call it propaganda?

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

No I don’t have that link for 17,500 deaths from Covid as the primary cause. You will have to find it yourself, which should not be too onerous as it has been quoted on UnHerd for weeks. Even this very day Iris C mentions it. In fact I’m very surprised you don’t already know it.
Thanks for the Biblical quote which I found rather obtuse.
May I recommend that you read, mark, and inwardly digest: Mathew 10:36?

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

In my first reply I used the name of Adolph’s propaganda Minister instead of the KGB.

Result? The Censor becomes enraged and it is ‘awaiting for approval’.

Pathetic!

Josh Woods
Josh Woods
9 months ago

And to add this: The Great Barrington Declaration has actually been vindicated! Ferguson’s models? Fictional at best. So much for rock-solid!

Last edited 9 months ago by Josh Woods
Iris C
Iris C
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

What proportion of the world population covers the wide statistic you offer? Very small.
Also we have recently been told that only 17,500 deaths in the UK had Covid as the primary cause of death. From this, one must assume that the patient had gone into hospital with a terminal illness and Covid was mentioned on the death certificate to help compile statistics. I don’t think flu was usually mentioned when this happened in the past, but I wouldn’t know.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago
Reply to  Iris C

I quoted the number from memory – and it is too small by a factor of two, sorry. My source is The Economist, a not very sensationalist publication – and they give 19.6 million excess deaths from the COVID pandemic across the world over two years. What is your source for the ‘primary cause of death’ statistic? The most similar claim I have seen was the FOI request that gave the number of deaths where COVID was the only cause mentioned on the death certificate. And from that one must assume nothing whatsoever, since that number is pure cherrypicking. Basically you exclude every death that can be excluded, for any reason at all, and then use the resulting (much smaller) number to ‘prove’ that COVID is not dangerous after all.
There is a reliable, but much more difficult way of doing the counting. You need to look at the actual cases, determine what the likely risk of death for each would have been in the absence of COVID, and also allow for cases where COVID was part of the cause but was not recorded. The final number would still be very uncertain, but at least it would not have been deliberately misleading.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Further if you believe the 5-10 million dead from Covid then you are really not following anything. I mean nada. Take the UK. The average age of a person who died ‘from’ Covid exceeds the normal average age of death. Then add to this the sheer volume of people who are obese or overweight in the UK and to that add the quantity of lifestyle diseases that contributed to death. Now we are seeing death ‘with’ Covid.
I am older and in a ‘vulnerable’ bracket, but I expect no-one to disengage their brains, suspend their logic and shut down the world for me. We all have to die of something.
I don’t believe the figures for an instant, and even if they were correct, I would say it is a pandemic of the sick and elderly.
And your 5-10 million pales into insignificance in the face of half a billion pushed into extreme poverty.
You have admitted that the pandemic has not touched you materially, perhaps stand outside of your comfort zone and try and imagine what extreme poverty means. I will help you – it means death.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago

As I say in another comment, The Economist estimates ca. 20 million excess deaths over two years, from the pandemic. Now that does not say how many died from the disease and how many died from the lockdown, but we are talking about people who would not otherwise have died in these two years, so you can forget about the ‘with COVID’. With those numbers it will take something much more heavyweight than a back-of-the-envelope calculation and an appeal to common sense to convince me. As you rightly say, I am not going to ‘disengage my brain and suspend my logic’ on your say-so.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Because people were dying of hunger and neglect and some were prevented from getting treatment for other diseases? Millions in the first world, so imagine the devastation in the 3rd world.
If you e.g. can’t travel to Africa (challenging), watch a video.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago

Right. So ‘millions of people in the first world’ were dying from hunger and neglect, and lack of treatment for other diseases? Would it be too much to ask for some kind of evidence for these remarkable claims, or am I expected to take your word for it?

Last edited 9 months ago by Rasmus Fogh
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Almost 6 million waiting for hospital treatment in the UK https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/nov/11/record-58m-people-in-england-waiting-for-hospital-treatment
Half a million are cancer patients and those are just the ones recorded.
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/feb/06/nhs-england-waiting-times-for-cancer-referral-and-treatment-at-record-high
This is one country and the reports are from The Guardian lockdown lovers. Not even trying just one Google.
Now start extrapolating that to North America, Europe etc.
Maybe next we can chat about the vile abuses that have happened to children in the UK during the lockdowns that afforded such lovely jubbly opportunities to psychos to torture and murder their children.

Last edited 9 months ago by Lesley van Reenen
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago

I withdraw my previous comment. What we disagree about it is a lot more profound than mere facts.

Last edited 9 months ago by Rasmus Fogh
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

We know from experience Lenin, Stalin Moa, Pol Pot just how much value the left put on human life.
Do you think our home grown variety are any different

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago

I could answer that we know from Hitler, Mussolini, and Djenghis Khan how much value the right puts on human life and ask why you are any different. Or I could suggest that we stop with the silly historical parallels and get back to the people we are actually dealing with.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Hitler is way closer to the ‘progressive’ left than he is to centrists, conservatives or classical liberals.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
9 months ago

If you define ‘left’ as people you disagree with, then it can mean anything at all.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

No, that is not the point. I am talking about despotic authoritarianism. Paint a little Hitler mou on Justin for example and what do you have? You have a man who will impose martial law on his country (without even meeting the protestors who are asking for a meeting) and watching the lefties just love it. Canadians would be aggrieved to think that the German population just went along with Hitler, but what do you think Canadians are doing?

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

How on earth did you get away with using the naughty H word? When his propaganda Minister is Verboten?

Congratulations by the way, you have won today’s ‘Thumbs Down Challenge’ with a score of about 80, easily beating your normal challenger James Chater Esq.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago

Am I supposed to weep?

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

On the contrary, celebrate with a mug of Ovaltine.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
9 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Yes but the big perspective reality is that the response to Covid is likely to kill far more people due to poverty, social unrest, other disease and medical issues – but the main point being is that they will be all the ‘poor’ and in other countries. You appear to only include ‘our’ people who might be stats of covid , what about all those who REALLY are at the mercy of rich white men making decisions that will seriously degrade or end their lives ?????

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
9 months ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

This is not impossible, but it seems to be pure speculation. And – no offense, it really does not sound like the average Unherd debater is driven by altruism and selfless devotion to the well-being of people in the third world.

Richard Barnes
Richard Barnes
9 months ago

Because the left essentially loves bossing people about and hates individual liberty?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard Barnes

The average new leftie also likes being told what to do by the authorities. That is one of the reasons I left the left!

Josh Woods
Josh Woods
9 months ago

Because folks like Fauci, Birx, Ferguson(remember that his mistress is heavily involved in Avaaz), Farrar and Michie knew how to charm the left-leaning mainstream media trusted by the mainstream and woke left into spreading their propaganda, thus succeeded in brainwashing the mainstream/woke left into supporting these crazy ideas, even though they aren’t even left or right in principle(the dichotomy simply doesn’t apply in COVID), but simply madness and authoritarianism. Plus remember that most people in the mainstream conform easier than those who are not(I fall in the latter), and thus can’t think for themselves that well, again believing in crazy stuff just because someone prominent says it’s what they should support!

Last edited 8 months ago by Josh Woods
R Wright
R Wright
9 months ago

“Why, then, have Left-leaning commentators supported the policies that have led to these terrible outcomes”
They’re not really leftists, that’s why. I doubt one of them has read Marx, who criticised the rich for using migrant workers to keep wages down.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
9 months ago

An interesting & well observed article. I disagree the trends mentioned are a reason to be terrified, though I grant there are good reasons for seeing things that way, especially perhaps if ones watched the excellent new Netflix drama, ‘the fear factor’. 

Back in 2014, talking about Blackrock’s Aladdin systems ability to influence world events, Adam Curtis wrote that he “can’t over-emphasise how powerful Blackrock’s system is in shaping the world” and that in some respects its more powerful than traditional politics.  And available evidence suggests Aladdin & similar systems have became vastly more powerful since then. But here’s 3 reasons why I see no reason for terror:

1)  The Techlash has been a thing since 2017, and recent events in China & related to Meta etc suggest its still going strong. Not sure if the thinking is this sort of article will add to the techlash? In my view that’s probably counter productive if ones concerned with whats best for ordinary people… 2) It doesn’t matter how many TeraBytes of data Alladin has access to – it cant gain true insight into the political unconscious. If it continues to exert overly tight control, it increases the risk of provoking a berserk reaction that will bring it down. Instability out of too much stability. 3) While I don’t have the insight to say for sure, its my belief that spiritual matters have much more influence over the future of human wellbeing than even the mighty TMP – and such things are even more beyond the control of the likes of Aladdin than the political unconscious. 
As to what a regular person can do – for me praying, and living out ones live in as fair minded and helpful way as possible is likely to do more good than raising awareness over the threat posed by TMP.

Elena Lange
Elena Lange
9 months ago

But why “capitalist nightmare”? It’s the capitalist wet dream: a return to profits without even formal freedoms, as the authors correctly point out: neo-feudalism.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
9 months ago

Like an immune system that goes into overdrive, and begins to destroy the organism it is meant to protect, the nanny state accelerated the deconstruction of our society with its hysterical reaction to a non-historic pandemic (relative to the bubonic, cholera, and numerous others in the past.) This should serve as a dire warning to all statists, though tragically they will see the pandemic as an indication of the need for even more planning and control going forward.

Those who wield the levers of state saw their power grow dramatically during this whole theatrical drama, and have learned what many others have throughout human existence – that FEAR is the must useful tool of all for wielding power. Tap into that immense undercurrent of people whose lives are guided by it primarily, and the ecstasy of its monopoly can be yours.

Iris C
Iris C
9 months ago

Perhaps the Labour Party should focus on collecting a windfall tax from the pharmaceutical companies and tech giants who have benefitted from the shutdowns rather than the oil companies, .

rodney foy
rodney foy
9 months ago
Reply to  Iris C

A lot of commentators on the left have been asking for wndfall taxes

Alex Stonor
Alex Stonor
9 months ago

We already have …a world dominated by a very few ultra-wealthy people, and their vision for retaining that wealth, and I very much doubt it’s possible to have…an unprecedented collective effort will be needed to fight for…anything.

Peter Beard
Peter Beard
9 months ago

A great article.
The TMP complex depends on globalisation, which in turn ensures national governments are consequently beholden to them, in terms of both secure supply chains and taxation.
National governments could of course fight back by ensuring all regulations favoured small and medium sized businesses, however that requires a savage Gotterdammerung of the Blob. The anguish and screams would be heard and smelt on Betelgeuse.

Alan T
Alan T
9 months ago

But what about the real live nazis I saw on Louis Theroux?

Elizabeth Dichter
Elizabeth Dichter
9 months ago

This article debases Unherd. Your readers deserve more sophistication and knowledge of economics and finance and history. The last lines in the article is the most telling, we must “struggle against the post-pandemic capitalist nightmare”. We must find a different future by a “collective effort”, implying that the State should break up, confiscate “wealth that is not benefitting all humanity”? Some humility and historical perspective on socialism/communism and its results would be most welcome here.

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
9 months ago

“Fascism is the organised attempt to introduce socialist planning with the consent of big business”
– Edward Conze (1934)
I get that the author thinks he is raging against a manifestation of “capitalism” but actually the truth is rather different. The statism he prefers is equally nightmarish to the nightmarish statism we have endured for the last two years.

James Chater
James Chater
9 months ago

‘Why, then, have Left-leaning commentators supported the policies that have led to these terrible outcomes’?
At the start of the pandemic the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) was alarmingly high. The UK govt. has a duty to protect citizens. With a relatively high proportion of citizens over the age of 65 – 19% in 2019 – 12.3 m. people; with a high population density, the country was likely to be hit hard by the disease.
Maybe some of these ‘Left-leaning commentators’, as normal rational people were focused on public health above all, which the disease in the early stages so clearly endangered.

Last edited 9 months ago by James Chater
Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
9 months ago
Reply to  James Chater

Like an immune system that goes into overdrive, and begins to destroy the organism it is meant to protect, the nanny state accelerated the deconstruction of our society with its hysterical reaction to a non-historic pandemic (relative to the bubonic, cholera, and numerous others in the past.) This should serve as a dire warning to all statists, though tragically they will see the pandemic as an indication of the need for even more planning and control going forward.

Those who wield the levers of state saw their power grow dramatically during this whole theatrical drama, and have learned what many others have throughout human existence – that FEAR is the must useful tool of all for wielding power. Tap into that immense undercurrent of people whose lives are guided by it primarily, and the ecstasy of its monopoly can be yours.

James Chater
James Chater
9 months ago

‘…deconstruction of our society…’ Really. Yes, relative to bubonic, cholera etc. it probably will not be seen to be as devastating, but at the start no one knew that. Hopefully, this pandemic will make govts. such as the UK’s be more vigilant and caring of citizens and yes, plan more.
‘Fear’ isn’t a ‘tool’. As human beings we are able to sublimate fear to act rationally and protect ourselves and those near to us, as we are social beings. Causing panic and hysteria is what authoritarian govts. do, not govts. like the UK.

Last edited 9 months ago by James Chater
James Chater
James Chater
9 months ago

While it is demoralising to read of concentrated accumulation, one is tempted to trot out the cliche: ‘Covid-19 has simply telescoped the inevitable by around 5 to 7 years’. The super-enrichment of the pharmaceutical companies because of Covid-19, i.e. development of vaccines, need not be instrincally bad if profits are utilised carefully.
I accept I sound naive but as someone who needs to take more care than I did 15, 20 years ago, I can only be thankful for vaccines.

Last edited 9 months ago by James Chater