No to the ECB madness

The latest ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court is a drop of bitterness in the idyll of the ECB’s excessive money printing. What Super Mario (Draghi) did and what the IMF-imported Christine Lagarde mercilessly continues – 2.6 trillion euros (since 2015), invested in government, corporate and other securities to boost the economy and inflation – are a blessing for financiers and their customers (plutocracy) and a curse for savers and future pensioners. Roughly speaking, the ECB is buying up the debts of banks and large corporations, but is not worried about citizens’ savings melting away as a result of the negative interest rate, while the bubble is growing in markets overheated by cheap money (including the property market). The owners of real assets are benefiting, while owners of financial assets are losing. Companies that would not have been able to survive under any other circumstances remain in the market as zombies, reducing productivity, the rate of return on capital in the eurozone and their competitiveness in the world.

These trillions of euros are therefore ineffective. After all, the eurozone economy weakened significantly much earlier, before the outbreak of the so-called pandemic. Now the bubble has burst on the stock markets and Lagarde immediately started to take new “measures” from her ivory tower in Frankfurt: money presses are running at full speed, markets are recovering, the economy is still at its worst since the end of the Second World War, unemployment rates very high everywhere, but never mind all that, “The show must go on”, until one day, oh, how unpleasant these German judges!
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Widerstand 2020

It is always a breaking point that is required. Not long ago in France it was enough that the government raised a petrol tax by a small amount to spark social unrest: the famous Yellow Vests movement. In Germany the bizarre decision taken by the Merkel regime to let in a million or so aliens induced citizens who were concerned about their country to found the Alternative fur Deutschland party. Recently, we have been witnessing the creation of Widerstand 2020 (Resistance 2020). What was the new civil movement occasioned by? By the restrictions imposed upon Germans because of the Corona pandemic, courtesy of the WHO. The party was established by Bodo Schiffmann, a physician, together with Ralf Ludwig, a Leipzig lawyer and Victoria Hamm, who introduces herself as just a human being. The trio became enraged by the panic that was caused by the authorities and by the fact that the government used the alleged epidemiological danger to suspend some of the constitutional rights, which in turn enabled the officials to abuse their power.

Widerstand 2020 has its website, where anybody interested can learn about who they are and what they strive after. They say to have tens of thousands of supporters, a claim that for obvious reasons cannot be easily verified. Judging by the reaction of the powers that be, they may be gaining in popularity and surely they must have hit the German establishment where it hurts because the people who are habitually at the establishment’s beck and call – all manner of journalists, scientists and experts – began mounting a counteroffensive, using the usual dirty tricks: dragging the opponent through the mud by a string of strongly negatively-charged associations. Widerstand 2020 can regard it as considerable success: The flak only gets heavy when you’re over the target.

Among the many mass media outlets, the Deustchlandfunk offers on its website an anonymous and lengthy text whose task it is to inform the readers about the evil and/or folly that radiates from Widerstand 2020, so beware. The tactics that the anonymous writers of the article who tout themselves as enlightened, reasonable researchers are the one used by former communist regimes. You do not attempt to kill your opponent directly: you rely on the ricochet effect. The founders of Widerstand 2020 cannot sue their accusers for calling them racist or anti-Semites because the movement’s accusers have never said that Widerstand 2020 members are racists or anti-Semites. The deutschlandfunk.de apparatchiki merely asked experts who deal with the problem of racism and Antisemitism what they thought about Widerstand 2020 and they merely mentioned that their interlocutors – authorities on social ills – professionally deal with the phenomenon of racism and Antisemitism.
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An Open Letter to Daniel Stelter

By a guest author

A few days ago I read an article signed by renowned German economist Daniel Stelter. There I learned – among other things – that Italians have an astonishing private wealth of 9.900 billion euro, making Italian families far wealthier than their average German or European counterparts. That’s practically 10 trillion euro in the coffers of Italians. I guess Stelter based his assumption on official data, which do not include the untold amounts of cash stashed away by thrifty Italians – especially older ones – who don’t trust banks and therefore keep their money in nooks and crannies. We know this by the amounts of worthless lire that still keep surfacing in homes where old folks pass away. Stelter’s inference is plain to see: why should the rest of the EU help Italy when Italy can clearly help herself with the money held by her citizens?

I kept on meditating about Stelter’s article as I was waiting for my turn, sitting – well distanced from others and wearing my mask – in a hall of a charity. I ended up in this place following instructions from the operator who answered the phone from the city office in charge of handling requests for aid. I thought I had to fill out some sort of forms stating that I had lost my job due to the current situation and had no other financial resources. None of that was needed as it turns out that the only thing city offices are actually doing – at least in a case like mine – is to send people to different charity organizations and, once there, “explain” why they were asking for food, practically reducing all of us – until now “normal” citizens with an income – to the humiliating status of beggars.

According to Stelter’s data – and simple math – I would be entitled, based on Italy’s current population of 60 million people, to the amount of approximately 166.000 euro, give or take a few cents. That would be like winning at the lottery to me. Since I have never seen such an amount of money, I wondered what went wrong. Actually, the first thing that came to mind while I was reading the article, by association of ideas, was a crude Neapolitan saying which, roughly translated, calls a wise guy someone who – while pretending to cry – engages in a sexual act. The Neapolitan language is unrivalled in its power of expression, which by the way reflects the local philosophy of life.
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Who is behind the WHO?

Perhaps for want of a more suitable object President Donald Trump has vented his anger on the World Health Organization, announcing that the United States is withdrawing its financial support because of the latter’s mishandling of the so called pandemic. The progressive world is enraged. All hell broke loose and the American head of state received his portion of flak. How inhuman, how selfish, how abominable!

The United States contributed in total the whereabouts of 400 million dollars in 2018 or 16% in round numbers for the biennium of 2018-2019.In order to have an idea of how much that is, we need to bear in mind that the WHO is also financed by entities other than states: non-governmental organizations, of which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation according to the same sources contributed within the corresponding periods in round numbers 380 million dollars or almost 10%. GAVI Alliance contributes a little less than the United Kingdom but more than Germany. There are other private benefactors, like Rotary International or the Rockefeller Foundation.

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Social distancing

What is social distancing? A handy political construct. What do you do when you rule over a country, nay, over a number of countries, grouped in political blocs, and you are notified by your services that resistance is growing? that opposition is gaining in popularity? that social order is threatened? that the racial minorities that you and the likes of you have imported rather than assimilating are going to be at the throats of their hosts? What do you do when you are informed that people are boldly taking to the streets and demanding change? that there are players who are ready to topple you and your comrades, to wrench power from your hands and – what’s worst – are going to bring you to book?

You are not going to impose martial law because it somehow does not look civil in a world that has been inebriated on the infinite, never-ending, always expanding range of human rights; in a world where people have been taught to associate such measures with regimes – i.e. those governments run by tyrants in far-off lands – but not with developed democracies that are paragons of civil virtue? Besides, imposing such drastic measures draws a clear line of us against them and as a rule adds fuel to the fire of resistance. Under such circumstances, if obedience can be counted on, then merely negative obedience.

To save the day you need to come up with a solution that is going to be innocuous and that will compel people to identify with it. What do people in affluent societies care most about? About their well-being. What is their well-being conditioned by? By good health, of course, because without it you cannot enjoy the pleasures of the flesh. Hence, if an individual’s good health can be put at risk, his whole world is threatened.

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Nature has been given respite

A police investigator can see the results and traces that the perpetrator has left, but knows nothing about who the perpetrator is and what his motivations may have been. In order to begin the investigation, he must make assumptions that come to mind on the basis of what has already been asserted. What has been asserted?

The whole Northern Hemisphere has been brought to a standstill because of a flu. Industries have been stymied, millions of people are out of work, if temporarily, money is being made out of thin air and doled out to predetermined recipients. The restrictions are abided by by so different political players as China, Russia, the European Union and the United States. What are the vested interests? Which are the ways to implement them?

For decades now we have been witnessing the environmentalist movements budding here and there and growing more and more active, not to say aggressive. Their alarmist messages included catastrophic prophecies about the planet either turning to a wasteland or experiencing a second deluge; about people starving to death or having no place to live; about nature suffering excruciating pains at the hand of the merciless and thoughtless humans. The appeals that have been addressed to people and governments have not been properly responded to, at least not to a degree that might satisfy the environment-protection alarmists. What do they do next? Continue reading

What is a life’s worth?

Guest author: C. van Rijn

The Corona crisis is one of the biggest problems humanity has had to deal with in a long time. People are dying in great numbers and radical measures are being taken amid this panic and maybe even mass hysteria. It is often said that human life has no price. And yet, human life has a price. This price is determined on a daily basis by health care systems using the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER). Usually, countries in Europe are willing to pay in between €20.000-€100.000 to extend a person’s life for a year. On the basis of the concept of quality adjusted life years (QALY) it is calculated whether a person with cancer is still entitled to immunotherapy or whether an older person is still entitled to a heart transplant.
To calculate whether the current measures are worth their money, we are going to estimate the gain in life expectancy resulting from the lockdown and compare it with the costs.

To this end we need to know a few things:
a) total costs of the lockdown;
b) how many years of life are likely to be lost without the lockdown;
c) how many years of life are lost even with a well-executed lockdown;
d) how many years of life are likely to be lost as a negative side effect of the lockdown;
The costs per year of life gained by the lockdown are then: a/ (b- c -d).

These calculations seem easy, but they are quite complicated. As an example we take the Netherlands and operate partly on precise numbers, partly on rough estimates. The findings can be extrapolated and applied to any other country.

First the cost. The economic loss according to CPB estimates stands at 1.2-7.7% and that calculated by the IMF at 7.5%. This means in total about €8 billion to €50 billion.
To calculate how many years of life are lost without the lockdown, we need to know the crude mortality rate (CMR) and the infection fatality rate (IFR). Until now, attention has only been focused on the Case Fatality Rate.
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