Although a capitalist in every sense of the word, I do see
merit in the position put forward by Novak Djokovic that a fund be set up for
lower ranked players struggling financially during this pandemic. Tennis has
always had a pay grade system which has richly rewarded the top achievers while
paying first round losers a pittance comparatively. The thing about tennis is
that those first round losers are phenomenal tennis players and the game would
not be what it is today without them. Some move up and some move down. Few of
them have had much to say about the pay disparity because they aspire to win
and hope to move up the ranks.
These are not ordinary times and they are forced to the
sideline. Dominic Thiem doesn’t like the idea and makes a justifiable point
that nothing was handed to him as he fought his way to a number three ranking.
He’s young, has come into wealth recently, and has ego pumping through his
veins. I can’t blame him for his position.
Sport is social but it’s not socialist. The sought after
victory comes with reward. However; context and backdrop can never be fully
ignored because the human condition must be rational in its zeal.
Is it okay to thrust logic into the covid pandemic equation? Let’s start with COVID-19 itself and its name. You see the folks in charge don’t seem to care that much about how they refer to it. First, it was Corona Virus but then someone said – no you can’t call it that because it’s only one type of Corona. Then it was assigned COVID-19 but then youtube was blocking this term because of its sterility and social media wasn’t generating the hits in lieu so folks went back to Corona Virus or “CV”. There seems to be much ambivalence now. Nobody really cares what you call it now because we all get the drift. However; the lack of succinctness in its name reference has eerily paralleled the lack on succinctness in executing policy around its existence.
Who is dying? It is the elderly and those who have “underlying conditions” mostly. Since there are few politically incorrect left who would dare opine online formally on a sensitive topic…i’ll just do it. I’ll say it. The elderly have been treated like second class citizens in the first world and this pandemic has elicited the fact. It’s a virus similar to others but more deadly and if you’re not in good health, it could take you out. Here is the thing – we are all going one day. However; had we treated the elderly better and provided them with the resources fitting of their esteemed contribution to society over their lives, they would have been better equipped to handle the pandemic. The allocation of health care dollars has been disproportionately been paid to doctors over aids to seniors. There is no escaping death but with so much treasure allocated toward health care, many deaths to seniors could have been prevented with better management of health care dollars.
You see. There are consequences to our conduct. If one votes
in a lame brain for a President, you should expect poor decision making. If you
vote in someone with poor character, expect decision making which reflects self
interest instead of the common interest. If a leader doesn’t heed the wisdom of
science and medical professionals then expect consequences of such irresponsibility
in policy. You get what you ask for. Death could come earlier for you as a
result of casting a vote carelessly. It seems like a stretch, right? But it’s
not if the dots keep lining up one after another. Just last night Mr. Trump
while standing at his podium pontificated injecting the body with
“disinfectant” as cure against COVID-19. He did so with a straight face so
Anderson Cooper brought in his medical panel for an interview on the subject.
If you hang carcasses of raw meat on the street for
sale…are you not asking for a problem? If you don’t do something about the
problem, do you really have reason to complain about coming down with a
disease? If some government authority believes you are being racist for
referencing the idiocy of hanging raw meat in the street, can you not take
exception on the premise of simply the meat and the practice as opposed to the
skin color of vendors of meat?
The frail needed acute protection at the outset but they
were merely administered the same regulatory policy as all others. It wasn’t
until long after numerous deaths did officials come to execute more precise
protocols around the target market of this virus. Now, a major block of the
populous is in lock down and financial quandary paying the price for officials’
complacency in permitting flights after the threat was discovered and
interpreted by medical professionals in tandem with a failure to protect the
frail with rigor at the outset.
Is Vancouver teetering on the edge of bankruptcy? Are you old enough to remember the federal immigration policy instituted by Brian Mulroney which encouraged capital investment from abroad via the immigration system? Come to Canada and invest a sum while guaranteeing to employee a few. This was the start of the of the real estate growth wave in Vancouver. The program was only loosely monitored and became the conduit for infusing money into the lower mainland thereby ousting those native born without ancestral ties access to the market.
The demographic of Vancouver changed dramatically in a short
time frame and there was a definite cultural shift amidst a policy of “multiculturalism”.
This was new vocabulary established partly to challenge the xenophobe while
complementing robust immigration policy. When we look around at the cultural
mosaic today in lieu of the government message, we see some success but greater
failure. The greater failures were middle aged and older Asians not really
making the strong effort to immerse along with a white contingent who was not overly
welcoming. So, there was a contrast between the government’s ideal and the
urban reality. When we look around today, we can give strong marks to the
immigrants of millennial and younger generations for gravitating toward their
own Canadian destiny.
The capital infusion into B.C.’s lower mainland didn’t stop
with the economic immigrant. Banking regulation in Canada has been lax.
Imported capital has not been scrutinized. Dirty money has been making its way
into Canada for decades and politicians have turned a blind eye. Bankers liked
it. Bank shareholders have liked it. It’s only been as recent as four years ago
that money laundering activity at casinos in Vancouver became targeted by
These two sources of capital have been substantial in the
real estate market in Vancouver. As of this writing during the COVID-19
pandemic, the City of Vancouver has suggested bankruptcy as an option in the
context of 65 per cent of Vancouverites missing their April 1, 2020 property
tax payment. Fifty-five per cent are projected to miss their May 1st
2020 payment. What’s the correlation between a hypothesized artificial rise in
real estate valuation and the failure of the city to collect taxes amidst the
COVID crisis? I suggest that the city’s budget and historic spending grew in
tandem within the context of a property tax system built on a weak structure of
property valuation and hence the house of cards is now teetering amidst a black
I’ve made a habit of calling out the bull way before
COVID-19. Satire is one way of illuminating the ridiculous. Facebook friend OB
has presented George Carlin as an eloquent broadcaster of satire from the
comedy stage. Another way of bringing attention to incidences of bull is by
doing a logic drill down to discover source motive. The trouble with this
method is you need to be well researched because one flaw in your theory
weakens your posture.
One thing for certain becomes evident. Your governments don’t
believe you can conduct yourself with common sense. Or, they perpetrate policy
with a surreptitious motive of executing one policy in concert with executing a
larger purpose. Here is where we start
running into conspiracy theories.
Saving lives and health care finance are obviously worthy
causes. However; I do question the imposition of regulation without the
resources to enforce such regulation. Our governments have never endorsed using
non deputized citizens as law enforcement agents. Issues around civil liberties
become acute during a time when one entity starts behaving with misplaced
The COVID-19 story line is one where we see dribs and drabs
of regulation coloured with statistics and surprisingly muddled facts from
folks who claim to be experts. Then we have the wannabe experts who follow on
with their perceived social media empires believing that their message can fill
in for the factual void.
Of course despite the well publicized health recommendations
from official health authorities, we have tenants and landlords who want to
suddenly play hygiene and six foot police apparently ignorant of the
patronizing tone it bestows in a landscape where commercial vacancies are at
all time highs. Long term relationships are potentially jeopardized with naive
Let’s not forget the establishments which remain open but
then don’t want to serve anyway given the hysteria generated about germs. Want to
get glasses fitted but then be denied service despite the place being empty with
the doors open? We’ll remember who not to visit when things get back to normal.
We certainly don’t want to alienate long term relationships
through paranoia over a situation where we should be able to apply common sense
in the context of a broad message well heeded and well publicized from the
Canada is facing a large increase to the money supply in the context of new social programs associated with COVID-19. Your government in conjunction with financial news outlets do not want to use language like “increase the money supply” because it may be deemed alarming or inflationary. Instead, it refers to the monetary system in bankers code.
In essence, government securities are floated for
distribution to commercial banks via the country’s “central bank”. The creation
of this “security” (example would be a treasury bill or bond) in effect
provides the directive for printing press operators to flip the switch. However;
in advance of the creation of the new security, the central bank will check its
“reserves” to ensure that the “vaults” are sufficiently equipped with an “asset”
to merit the production of a new “security”. This is where things get
It used to be the case that gold characterized the reserve
asset. However; gold lost its lustre as a reserve asset when President Nixon
took the U.S. off the “Gold Standard” in 1971. President Roosevelt Roosevelt in
fact ordered Americans to return gold for dollars as a mechanism to cope with
The Great Depression.
So now, we have the creation of new money without a tangible
assets being served as its foundation for existence. Furthermore, we are
presented with ever increasing national debts represented by the apparent financing
of governments by holders of such securities which will stretch way beyond ledgers
of domestic commercial banks. We also have the vast majority of economists
supporting such a system and special interest groups professionally organized
to acquire government funding.
What can happen when a Black Swan event such as COVID-19
compels governments to inject new money in the hands of consumers in the
context of a monetary system which has no tangible asset at its root? Inflation
or deflation of course. This is the great debate. Logic dictates that prices
should rise with a larger monetary base. However; when social conditions
deteriorate, a hoarding impulse may compel folks to store their cash thereby
producing deflation. Every economist will tell you that the worst economic
scenario is one of “deflation”.
any exposure to “Austrian Economic Theory” will naturally defer to “Keynesian”
(flooding market with currency during demand drop) doctrine of mainstream
economic thought. Will next generations be contented with paying interest on
seemingly unsustainable national debts or will there be a consolidation at some
point? Author Jim Rickard has referenced the “Special Depository Right” as a
new unit of currency established by the International Monetary Fund.