Unemployment Numbers

The unemployment numbers came in, and 16,600,000 million people (not counting the gig workers who aren’t entitled to unemployment benefits) lost their jobs in the three weeks of the lockdown.

In the meantime, every mass media and every wokescold is trying to bully us into pretending that China had nothing to do with the virus. Yesterday the NYTimes pushed a really weird story about how COVID came to the US from Europe.

23 thoughts on “Unemployment Numbers”

  1. How did China stop the spread of Covid 19 in China? They claim no new cases… Is that true? How come Covid 19 is not in Peking and other large cities in China?


    1. China is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party which lies about everything. They’ve mostly just stopped testing (while searching for scapegoats).
      Meanwhile another Chinese city (close to the Russian border) has been put on lockdown.


    2. They are a totalitarian regime. They disappeared the people who were sick instead of treating them. If you physically destroy every sick person, you’ll stop the spread.

      Since their methods are not applicable to civilized regimes, we won’t be replicating their numbers.


  2. I am also very curious why there is no more condemnation of China’s so called wild life wet markets. The atrocities against animals committed in these wet markets is enough to have them shut down for good. The fact that China did not shut these down after SARS is really reprehensible.

    One solution would be to quarantine an entire country that still has these markets open. Otherwise we’re just asking for another pandemic.


    1. “curious why there is no more condemnation of China’s ”

      The leaders of western countries decided to make their economies completely dependent on the goodwill of a totalitarian regime – they’re in no position to condemn a government whose goodwill they need…
      If she-who-must-not-be-named decides to reenter politics people need to be very loud about the fact that her husband was one of the people that put us in this position….


      1. That’s right. But how long will this hold? Once the real consequences of this virus start to bite, people will want more accountability (or scapegoat).


    2. We’re not concerned about their use of political dissidents and ethnic/religious minorities as slave labor and involuntary organ donors in concentration camps. Why would be be concerned about their food markets?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. OK, the Chinese are liars. That’s one of the many reasons why we have intelligence services. (And conversely, we are also liars, that’s why everybody else has intelligence services spying on us.) As far as I understood, the US intelligence services were sufficiently well-informed about the severity of the Chinese problems. Some particular officials took this information seriously enough to sell their stocks…
    So let’s not go to another extreme and not blame the Chinese fuckups for our own fuckups. Which, if we exclude eating exotic animals (by the way, why this particular grievance is suddenly legitimate, and not “woke”?), are approximately similar in both nature and magnitude…


    1. “As far as I understood, the US intelligence services were sufficiently well-informed about the severity of the Chinese problems. Some particular officials took this information seriously enough to sell their stocks…”

      • I can’t begin to imagine what anybody could have done any better having the information in January and not two or 3 weeks later. Start the quarantine even earlier? That would be a bad decision. Build mask-manufacturing factories in the US within days?

      The only fuckup I’m seeing in the situation is moving production to China in the 1990s and trusting a totalitarian regime to be anything but a totalitarian regime. Other than that, the authorities in Canada and the US have been extremely responsible, are listening to the scientists (maybe a bit too much), are being as cautious as it’s humanly possible. The UK waffled a bit, fine. But I see nothing of blame and Canada and the US. There was never any chance that every single death would be avoided.


      1. Your argument applies equally well to the Chinese. (Minus the exotic animals. They are cute, so let’s pretend that their lives are worth more than the lives of the pigs or the chickens.) It is a combination of the system (mostly including parts of the system that are not specific to the authoritarian regimes) and human nature. When shit like that happens in any country, of course the first impulse of the authorities is to minimize the problem, to avoid panic, to avoid damage to the economy, etc and to hope that somehow it will not get too bad. Plus the officials responsible for any specific mistakes are trying to avoid personal responsibility, shift it onto somebody else, etc. What is the fundamental difference between firing Brett Crozier and firing Chinese whistleblowers?

        American exceptionalism does not permit Americans to admit that this can start anywhere. Previous time (ebola) it was in some African country. Nobody even remembers which one, because there is nothing to gain by blaming them. Next time some Russian hunters may eat some sick squirrel somewhere near Yaroslavl. And the next time some American hunters may eat some sick deer somewhere in Maryland (the choice of the state is not random)…


        1. \ Minus the exotic animals. They are cute, so let’s pretend that their lives are worth more than the lives of the pigs or the chickens.

          It is not about being cute. Domesticated animals are not endangered species that are sold for food, sick form of ‘prestige’ or for traditional ‘medicine.’ Pigs won’t die out, but some ‘exotic’ species might.

          Also, eating exotic animals is what caused the current pandemic in the first place and Israeli specialists predict more pandemics because of closer contact with wild animals. Yes, there was avian flu and some pig-borne disease, but that’s why domesticated animals raised for food get antibiotics and medical checks before meat is sent to the market.

          Those anti sanitary, cruel to animals and dangerous to humans markets are also a sign of China’s inability to bring modernity to its people. In some instances, Chinese government promotes the opposite, supporting dangerous ignorance and stupidity. Look:

          // China has approved the use of bear bile to treat coronavirus patients, angering activists and raising fears it could undermine efforts to stop the illegal animal trade which is blamed for the emergence of the new disease sweeping the globe.



          1. “Those anti sanitary, cruel to animals and dangerous to humans markets are also a sign of China’s inability to bring modernity to its people.”

            • Well, maybe people don’t need modernity. I’m against judging people for doing things differently. If they want to bathe in bear bile or make pies out of rodents, it’s their business. Everybody on the planet finds other cultures’ foods and medical practices bizarre. We live in a culture that genitally mutilates kids and medicates toddlers with antipsychotics. We should all calm down about other folks’ bear bile.


          2. El, I actually agree with your argument about the wild animals. This is exactly why I featured hunters in my examples of what could happen in some other countries next time around. Because hunters deal with wild animals.

            I am not trying to be pro-China here, I know they are lying (as most others would, and actually are, in such situation). But there are some reasonable expectations about the ways in which they are lying, and unreasonable ones, resembling “bears with balalaikas roaming the streets of the Russian cities”.

            And my argument was ultimately very simple. I know Chinese are lying, you know they are lying, every active participant on this blog seems to know that too. In this situation, the only scenario in which US can hold Chinese lying responsible for US mistakes is if the US government actually took Chinese statistics at face value. And after that we are supposed to trust their good judgement and ability to handle this crisis? US cannot have it both ways.


        2. I have no idea why so many of these viruses start in China and not, say, in the very unhygienic India that’s also very densely populated in parts. It’s an interesting subject. Because India is hot?

          I agree that the Chinese shouldn’t be blamed for eating stuff we see as weird. I hate their totalitarian regime because I hate all totalitarian regimes. I hate them as much as I hate the Maduro regime in Venezuela. That’s what they should be blamed for, the totalitarianism.

          I eat liver, goat and bunnies (not right now because it’s great lent but normally), and many people here think it’s icky. They think everything aside from chicken nuggets is icky. So I don’t blame the Chinese for eating bats and pangolins, whatever those are. It’s just cultural hangups that make people flip out over it. But they are a totalitarian regime! They can eat nectar and rose petals and they will still be horrid.


            1. “why it’s so often China that creates these viruses”

              CN: Unperson engaged in thoughtcrime is cited (nb citation does not equal endorsement)


              The comments are interesting, summarizing a few points:

              India has regular massive problems with traditional diseases but doesn’t generate many new ones.

              China has better medical records while tens or hundreds of millions of people in India are invisible to things like medical statistics.

              On the other hand if doctors make the government aware of an incipient epidemic they are thanked and experts are sent in to limit it – there’s less of a coverup culture.

              Diseases that are generated in India tend to be gastrointestinal (which don’t travel as easily or as far as the respiratory viruses that China kickstarts)

              Far less animal husbandry in India of far fewer species (with far less blood and guts out in the open air) means a lot fewer zoonotic diseases.

              China is, generally more homogeneous in any given place and so social networks tend to be broader while social contact across ethnic, religious and caste divisions is more limited in India. India is a very diverse place but most Indians don’t really engage much in diversity in their everyday lives.


  4. As a human interest story, some businesses in Israel (and supposedly in America too) are booming:

    // Tel Aviv drug dealers don delivery uniforms to skirt virus rules
    Couriers taking marijuana to buyers stuck at home under coronavirus restrictions say outfits worn by workers for companies such as Wolt and Gett give them freedom of movement untroubled by police – and these items are of high value

    “It’s a new business opportunity,” says Avi. “The impact of coronavirus really drove up the need for drugs. It’s a pretty new phenomenon. Most delivery men deliver marijuana, but some even bring cocaine. When they’re in uniform, you can get drive around with cocaine, the police don’t even look at you or care about you.”

    In other news, as the Russian saying goes “мелочь, но приятно” / ~ “it’s a trifle – but a nice one” , remember Naama Issachar affair ?

    “Naama Issachar, 27, was sentenced by Russia to 7.5 years in prison after nearly 10 grams of marijuana were found in her luggage”

    She was released after “in December 2019, Israeli Justice Ministry transferred historical Alexander courtyard in Jerusalem to Russian Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, which many commenters linked to negotiating Issachar’s release.”

    Turns out the Russian won’t get this historical courtyard, after all, since the Israeli court blocked this decision.

    A Russian blogger wrote about it (link below), while Israeli media couldn’t care less about courtyards the moment she returned home. 🙂



  5. The larger the media company, the more likely it is that they do business in China, where there are more than a billion customers for their product. In turn, that makes them economically dependant on attitude of the Chinese government towards them. Resultingly, they become willing propagandists and lickspittles.

    It doesn’t really change anything though, since a too-large mass of people already perceive the virus as being Chinese, and the Chinese government as being at fault. That mass of people is like a huge diffuse decentralised media company that talks 24/7 to the same audience that mainstream media is trying to propagandise.


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