Monday, October 11, 2021

Disintermediation Project

 Shorted Again,

Why Shortages Are Permanent: Global Supply Shortages Make Fantastic Financial Sense, Charles Hugh Smith
The era of abundance was only a short-lived artifact of the initial boost phase of globalization and financialization.
  Global corporations didn't go to all the effort to establish quasi-monopolies and cartels for our convenience--they did it to ensure reliably large profits from control and scarcity. Not all scarcities are artificial, i.e. the result of cartels limiting supply to keep prices high; many scarcities are real, and many of these scarcities can be traced back to the stripping out of redundancy / multiple suppliers of industrial essentials to streamline efficiency and eliminate competition. Recall that competition and abundance are anathema to profits.

John Michael Greer is very much in his element here. Here are some of his insights.
That Untraversed Land
  If you want people to put up patiently with long hours of drudgery at miserably low wages, subject to wretched conditions and humiliating policies, so that their self-proclaimed betters can enjoy lifestyles they will never be able to share, it’s a really bad idea to make them stop work and give them a good long period of solitude, in which they can think about what they want out of life and how little of it they’re getting from the role you want them to play.  It’s an especially bad idea to do it so that they have no way of knowing when, or if, they will ever be allowed to return to their former lives, thus forcing them to look for other options in order to stay fed, clothed, housed, and the like.​..

​  So there’s a labor shortage, and it’s concentrated in exactly those jobs that are most essential to keeping the economy running.  These are also the jobs most likely to have lousy pay and worse conditions.  This isn’t accidental. It unfolds from one of the most pervasive and least discussed features of contemporary economic life: the metastatic growth of intermediation.
​  ​Let’s unpack that phrase a bit. The simplest of all economic exchanges takes place between two people, each of whom has something the other wants. They make an exchange, and both go off happy. If what one of the people brings to the exchange is labor, and the other person brings something the first person wants or needs in exchange for labor, we call that “employment,” and the first person is an employee and the second an employer, but it’s still a simple exchange. So long as there’s no overt or covert coercion involved on either side, it’s a fair trade.
​  ​What happens as a society becomes more complex, however, is that people insert themselves into that transaction and demand a cut.  Governments—national, local, and everything in between—tax income, sales, and everything else they can think of. Banks charge interest and fees on every scrap of money that passes through their hands. Real estate owners drive up the cost of land so that they can take an ever larger share of the proceeds in rent and mortgage payments. Then you have a long line of other industries lobbying government for their share of the take.​..

​  Ultimately, of course, employment itself becomes a form of intermediation. By and large you aren’t hired by people who want what you produce, you’re hired by a corporation that inserts itself between you and the purchaser, takes most of the money, and gives you a pittance, while directing a big share to managerial staff. Since the corporation is also subject to intermediation, other shares go to governments, banks, and a whole ecosystem of other intermediaries who insert themselves into the same transaction. In the end, you get a small fraction of the value of your work, and that fraction has been shrinking steadily with each passing year.
​  ​There’s some history behind that. The spectacular growth of intermediation in modern times became possible for two reasons. The first was that fossil fuels made it possible for the labor of a single person to produce more wealth than ever before in human history.  The second was that fossil fuels also enabled the world’s industrial nations to take over and exploit more of the planet than any previous empire in recorded history, first through conquest and colonialism, and later on through manipulative economic arrangements that left other countries notionally independent while they were being drained of wealth to support the industrial nations.
​  ​The impact of these factors on economic life is almost impossible to overstate.  Before the coming of the industrial era, it took on average the productive labor of ten people to support one person in an economic role that didn’t produce necessary goods or services.​..

​  The difficulty is that the torrents of cheap abundant energy that made that sort of metastatic intermediation possible depended all along on the breakneck exploitation of nonrenewable resources.  Now fossil fuels are not so cheap as they once were, nor so abundant.  There’s very little slack left in the fossil fuel sector—as current shortages and price spikes are making very clear—nor are renewable energy sources able to pick up the slack effectively—as current shortages and price spikes are making equally clear.​..

​  All this imposes an existential challenge to the economy of intermediation, and to the millions upon millions of well-paid jobs that depend on intermediation. That challenge first began to bite in the 1980s, and it was met by driving the working classes into poverty and misery. It bears repeating and remembering that half a century ago in the United States, one adult with a high school education and a working class job could support a family of four in relative comfort.​..

​  The difficulty, of course, is that you can only take that so far before it’s no longer worth anyone’s while to do those poorly paid jobs on which the whole system depends.  Here in the United States, we’ve reached that point, and not just for employees. Go to any town in flyover country and walk down the streets, past the empty storefronts where businesses used to flourish. There are millions of people who would love to start their own business, but it’s a losing proposition in an economy in which governments, banks, and property owners demand so large a cut that most small startup businesses can’t break even. The same is equally true, of course, for employees, whose wages no longer even pay the basic costs of getting by in today’s America.​..

​  Thus the economy of intermediation is strangling the economic activity on which it survives.  To change that would require the people whose jobs depend on intermediation to accept a drastic and permanent loss of status, influence, and wealth, and the number of them who will accept that loss willingly can doubtless be counted on the fingers of one foot...

​  ​But it’s the quiet dissolution of working class employment, the recognition by the people who keep the economy running that they have better things to do than prop up a system that treats them as disposable components, that strikes me as most important here and ​​now.

​  ​Many of them are finding work in the underground economy.  That’s a huge economic sector these days. How many people make a living doing work outside ordinary employment and getting paid “under the table,” as the phrase is, is for obvious reasons a hard question to answer, but it’s quite possibly in the tens of millions.  Working in the underground economy is an effective way to get out from under the burden of intermediation, so that both parties in an economic transaction can keep most or all of the value they exchange.  That’s going to become even more significant a fraction of the economy in the years ahead.

​ In a declining economy, one person’s productive labor can no longer support the vast teetering structure of intermediation that’s been heaped on top of it. As decline proceeds—and as we have seen, it will proceed for many years to come—so will the contraction in what each person’s labor can support.  If we’re lucky, the decline will bottom out before it gets down to the medieval level—some of our scientific and technological achievements are potentially sustainable, and might keep economic life above the sheer subsistence level if they’re preserved and deployed in time—but in any possible future, the great majority of people will be producing goods and services for their own use and for that of their neighbors, rather than laboring for the benefit of the vast and unsustainable government, corporate, and institutional juggernauts of our day.

​  I opened with these two pieces because​ where we might go and how we might get there seem to be questions that I should personally work on, at street level, not a lofty perch. Right now, for the next 3 weeks, I am perched in a public health clinic, a Federally Qualified Health Center, which began in 1970 as "The People's Free Clinic" in a church basement across the street from the UT campus. I remember going by there as a student, and seeing people waiting outside the basement steps for their friends. A friend of mine at the co-op where I lived, Sam, was proud to go there. There is a black and white photo of the volunteer staff in that basement one day in the 1970s, with some of their kids and babies; one fellow not wearing a shirt that day. I knew some of those people, and I know one of the babies. She's a Nurse, now. 
  The clinic, now in a very expansive, open and expensive new building, is effectively an arm of the federal government, and compliance is far more important to the survival of the clinic as an entity, than is taking care of any particular patient. It has become incorporated into a nationwide compliance bureaucracy, even as it has professed it's earlier ideals, with earnest countenance..
  There is no way out of this kind of success, not that I can see. It is what has happened to medicine. I cannot go see people for free, or what they can pay, because I would make about what a teacher makes, or less, and I would be breaking so many laws and regulations, that I would be a criminal for my efforts. I did something like this with support from Luling, Texas from 1992-1994. It was the hardest I ever worked. They paid 2 office employees and gave me half a mobile building for a clinic. I did hospital and ER work and delivered babies and did c-sections, and made what Jenny had made as a first through third year teacher. Texas Medicaid reliably paid me $19 per clinic visit and about $560 per baby delivered. Individuals and most insurance (Medicare and commercial) typically just failed to pay me. 
Those were the good days. They are over. I'm older, too.
  I am about to work the last 3 weeks before the vaccine mandate takes effect November 1, 2021. I am not seeing any job postings for unvaccinated doctors, and any place that is hiring now is in the "intermediation" business, and needs doctors to crank patients through the line, one-problem-per-visit, as if that's how people's needs are met. I've never been able to do that, and I'm sort of an old-dog at this point; unlikely to learn that trick.
 Jenny is still working as a school librarian. I have vegetable gardening, the Yoakum homestead, meditation/prayer and am assessing and chronicling the patch of history we are navigating together. I'm a good doctor, but without a format in which to legally practice medicine.
 I'll see if a practice opportunity presents itself   I'll work on vegetable gardening systems for central Texas, and on "the economy" at a personal and local scale, with as little "intermediation" as possible. 
  Cash is going to work better than digital central bank currency, at least for the persons, not for the central banks. Vote with your cash transactions.

You'll own nothing, have no privacy and be happy...
“Programmable Digital Currency”: The next stage of the new normal?The war on cash’s endgame is here: money replaced by vouchers subject to complete state control.
Building on the bitcoin model, central banks are planning to produce their own “digital currencies”. Removing any and all remaining privacy, granting total control over every transaction, even limiting what ordinary people are allowed to spend their money on.

How is the Davos World Economic Forum involved in the coronavirus pandemic?​ ...
​  ​First, the WEF was, together with the Gates Foundation, a sponsor of the prescient “Event 201” coronavirus pandemic simulation exercise, held in New York City on October 18, 2019 – the same day as the opening of the Wuhan Military World Games, seen by some as “ground zero” of the global pandemic. China itself has argued that US military athletes may have brought the virus to Wuhan.
​  ​Second, the WEF has been a leading proponent of digital biometric identity systems, arguing that they will make societies and industries more efficient, more productive and more secure. In July 2019, the WEF started a project to “shape the future of travel with biometric-enabled digital traveler identity management”. In addition, the WEF collaborates with the ID2020 alliance, which is funded by the Gates and Rockefeller foundations and runs a program to “provide digital ID with vaccines”. In particular, ID2020 sees the vaccination of children as “an entry point for digital identity.”
​  ​Third, WEF founder Klaus Schwab is the author of the book COVID-19: The Great Reset, published in July 2020, which argues that the coronavirus pandemic can and should be used for an “economic, societal, geopolitical, environmental and technological reset”, including, in particular, advancing global governance, accelerating digital transformation, and tackling climate change.
​  ​Finally, the WEF has been running, since 1993, a program called “Global Leaders for Tomorrow”, rebranded, in 2004, as “Young Global Leaders”. This program aims at identifying, selecting and promoting future global leaders in both business and politics. Indeed, quite a few “Young Global Leaders” have later managed to become Presidents, Prime Ministers, or CEOs (​Hey, there are lots of neoliberal prime ministers on that list, names we know, and Bill Gates, too​).

SouthWest Airlines cancels over 1,800 flights in 2 days amid rumors of employee ‘sickout’ due to Covid-19 vaccine mandate

“The pilot emailed following the first Southwest post today (and provided his SWA ID to prove his identity). He asked that I paraphrase the email. Essentially, the union cannot organize or even acknowledge the sickout, because doing so would make it an illegal job action. Years ago, Southwest and its pilots had a rough negotiation, and the union would not even let the pilots internally discuss the possibility of working-to-rule (which would have slowed Southwest to a crawl). But at the moment the pilots don’t even have to talk to each other about what they’re doing. The anger internally – not just among pilots but other Southwest workers – is enormous. The tough prior negotiations notwithstanding, Southwest has a history of decent labor relations, and workers believe the company should stand up for them against the mandate. Telling pilots in particular to comply or face termination has backfired.”

​Thanks for this story, H.E. The Amish of Lancaster County met COVID head-on in the spring of 2020, caught it, got done with it, and kept living by their  principles.
They fared no worse than any other group, had an economic boomlet and avoided hospitals. They humanly supported each other in person.

​After about 6 months, the antibodies from vaccination seem to benefit the virus, increasing infections, rather than reducing them. What's the next step in this progression?​
Latest UK Health Security Agency Report shows the Covid-19 Vaccine DO NOT WORK and have a NEGATIVE effectiveness as low as MINUS 86%
​  ​Last week we told you how the Covid-19 vaccines were proving to have a collective negative efficacy in everyone over the age of 40 in the UK as low as minus-sixty-six-percent. Today we can reveal that the latest report available from the UK Health Security Agency, which has recently replaced Public Health England, shows that the Covid-19 vaccines are now proving to have a negative efficacy in everyone over the age of 30 in the UK as low as minus-eighty-six-percent.
​ ​The efficacy of all available vaccines combined is as low as – 85.71% within the 40-49 age group, and as high as – 3.4% in the 30-39 age group. This shows that the Covid-19 vaccines are making people more susceptible to catching Covid-19, rather than preventing cases of Covid-19 by the claimed 95%.

“The FDA has clearly stated there is currently no fully FDA-approved licensed COVID shot available to the population. The Pfizer injection that is currently available in the U.S. is not FDA approved and remains under emergency use authorization  only. That means that people have the option to accept or refuse the shots.”

​Any doctor in New Delhi would take ivermectin based treatment these days. They are completely familiar with it.​
NEW DELHI, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Merck & Co's (MRK.N) experimental antiviral drug molnupiravir has not shown "significant efficacy" against moderate COVID-19, a source with the Drug Controller General of India said.​..
​  ​Aurobindo Pharma Ltd wants to discontinue a late-stage trial of molnupiravir in moderate COVID-19 patients, the regulator's expert committee said on Friday.
"There is no significant efficacy against moderate COVID and the effective efficacy is towards mild cases," the source said on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the discussions.

Ivermectin is so much safer than Tylenol.
​  ​As it turns out, all the scientists and doctors who insisted that Merck's "revolutionary" COVID drug molnupiravir is extremely safe weren't faithfully adhering to "the science" after all. Because according to a report published Thursday by Barron's, some scientists are worried that the drug - which purportedly cut hospitalizations in half during a study that was cut short - could cause cancer or birth defects.​  ​
​  ​Dr. Shuntai Zhou, a scientist at the Swanstrom Lab at UNC, said "there is a concern that this will cause long-term mutation effects, even cancer."
​  ​Zhou says that he is certain that the drug will integrate itself into the DNA of mammalian hosts. "Biochemistry won’t lie," he says. "This drug will be incorporated in the DNA."
​  ​Merck hasn't yet released any data from its animal studies, but the scientists believe that it would take long-term studies to show that the drug is truly totally safe.

Merck Asks FDA For Emergency Approval Of New COVID Drug Despite Safety Concerns​ 
The $700 course of the pill is meant to be taken at home as four capsules twice a day for five days, constituting a total of 40 pills.​  (It costs 13 cents in India.)

​Aspirin is not safer than Tylenol, but one baby-aspirin per day is very safe.​ 
People already taking low-dose aspirin (81 mg) per day had a protective effect.
  The treatment reduced the risk of reaching mechanical ventilation by 44%. ICU admissions were lower by 43%, and an overall in-hospital mortality saw a 47% decrease...
​  ​Israeli researchers reached similar results in a preliminary trial at the Barzilai Medical Center in March. In addition to its effect on blood clots, they found that aspirin carried immunological benefits and that the group taking it was 29% less likely to become infected with the virus in the first place.

Bill Gates is a Wanker Song ("Protected political speech", as I understand it.)  Thanks P.D. 
I can't keep from smiling when this video plays.  :-)

Little Guy  pictured with growing banana plants


  1. As usual your article rocks, but ending with the "Bill Gates is a Wanker" had me LOL 😂🤣....oh John,freaking "ROCK ON"...Holly Eller

  2. I can't, once again in Facebook jail for a month for speaking truth...maybe I can share on messenger 😆

  3. Is practicing telemedicine an option?

    1. The clinic has announced a vaccine mandate for all staff, no matter where they work, so that's not a work-around.
      Texas Governor Abbott just attacked Biden's right flank, "outlawing" vaccine mandates in Texas.

  4. I hope this helps

    1. That's the same link I just posted , Amigo :-)

  5. Oops, just saw your response with the same link. Does this end the mandate threatening your job?

    1. The feds say they will cut off payments to the clinic if it does not have a mandate. Texas says it can't have a mandate, but no jail time for offenders.
      We'll see how this plays out. The legislature is still in session until 10/19/21, and can make it into a real law, with teeth.