March 11th, 2020

#7062: Meet the new mouse; same as the old mouse

Microsoft Comfort Mouse 4500, plain OEM box, and the scroll wheel is silky smooth. I couldn't not install it when I realized how much smoother the new one was, even after I cleaned the old one.

Now it's a little too smooth, almost. Heh. The surface of the thing is more slippery than I'm expecting.

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Heard something extremely interesting today, that I have not heard reported elsewhere: of the 22 reported COVID-19 deaths, most of them were people over the age of 80. None of them were younger than 70-ish.

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The CDC&P's budget was not "slashed" by President Trump.
Congress ignored the administration's budget request and increased the CDC's budget from 2017 to 2018, and again from 2019 to 2020. Trump didn't object.
Here's the thing: the President can submit a suggested budget to Congress, but the Constitution is explicit in stating that all bills mandating taxation or spending must originate in the House of Representatives. That's not an opinion; there is no "emanation" or "penumbra" which alters that black-and-white requirement. The entire reason that the penalty in Obamacare for not having health insurance was not considered a tax stemmed from the fact that the version of Obamacare which was passed by Congress originated in the Senate. (This is the same penalty which was considered a tax by the Supreme Court the last time Obamacare was challenged there.)

Anyway, the CDC&P has a bigger budget now than it did when Obama was President; and their budget has never been decreased. So, "Trump slashed the CDC&P's budget" is fake news.

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I don't think hexadecimal was invented in the 1940s but the point is taken. If you have yourself tattooed with something that looks like a serial number, you really are asking for people to make comparisons to Nazi Germany and the concentration camps.

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I was just thinking the other day that we are very long overdue for a deflationary cycle. The financial crash in 2008-2009-ish would have been deflationary had governments not safety-wired the printing presses to "emergency maximum" and run them flat-out for a couple of years. Inflation, goes the theory, is less "disruptive" than deflation is.

...but what happens when deflation takes place is that money gains value, and that benefits the consumers almost exclusively. Static wages in a deflationary economy means that the average person ends up with more wealth in his pocket, and the overall size of the economy, as valued in units of currency, contracts.

Mind you: there isn't any less stuff around. You still have your house and your car and your boat--it's just that they're not worth as many dollars because the dollars themselves buy more than they did.

That's not a problem for the poor and middle class. Okay, the guy earning minimum wage who lives in an apartment and doesn't have many assets, suddenly he has more money--not in terms of dollars, but in terms of what those dollars will buy. For example, let's say that a 6-pack of beer cost him an hour's labor before, but now it only costs him half an hour's labor. He's working less to buy the same good. That's great for him!

But for the guy who owns the brewery? It is a problem for him. He's used to getting $7.25 per six pack, and now he's only getting $3.65-ish. His raw materials are correspondingly cheaper but his labor costs are not. He still makes a profit, but he makes less of a profit, and even though the profit he does earn is worth more it's still less overall wealth than he was getting before.

Across all businesses, it's a problem, and it's especially a problem for the financial sector. The hyper-rich need there to be a very large money supply, because they make their money by handling the transactions every time a particular dollar passes through their hands, and the more dollars that move around, the more money they make. For the credit card company, if you're spending $100 per week on groceries they get a dollar for handling that transaction, but if you're only spending $50, they only get $0.50. If your $50 buys as much food as the $100 did before, they're taking a pay cut.

This is the "disruption" that economists are so worried about. Yes, there's always a certain level of unemployment which occurs during a deflationary cycle, but as we saw from the Obama years, you get that unemployment even if you print money like Black Friday ads. What the elites want less than anything is for the dollar to increase in value, because if the dollar doesn't inflate, they lose power.

By now, we should have had a 20-hour work week with the same lifestyle our parents enjoyed. We don't because the elites have spent all of our future labor.

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So Hollywood is still thinking about releasing The Hunt. You know the one: leftists have some right-wingers rounded up, and then they hunt them for sport.
Second Amendment supporters are killers, but murderous Leftist elites are just purging the nation of backward thinkers.

That was the exact argument that every Socialist leader of the 20th century used to justify their gulags, concentration camps, death camps, killing fields, labor camps, and mass executions.

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In this context, "iron rain" does not mean bombs. It means literal molten iron raining down from clouds made of, presumably, iron vapor.

Yeah, that's hot, all right. No thanks.

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Today is already Wednesday, too. Can't beat that.