Episode 244 – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In this episode, we touch elbows on COVID-19.

Facts from the ABC

Morrison  his poll numbers are up

Politicians love a disaster that they can’t be blamed for. Newspoll shows Morrison is up 3% and Albanese is down 3%. This after a disastrous sports rorts affair. After a 3 day delay so Morrison could watch the Sharkies could play and Hillsong could sing. Fuck me !!!

Suddenly, Stimulus is OK

But from The Australia Institute

Meanwhile, in his speech, the Prime Minister asserted $3 in every $4 dollars of stimulus would go to business — it should be other way round.

Common-sense and recent history tells us that businesses don’t spend when their sales are falling. Instant asset write-offs are only effective if businesses feel secure enough to purchase new investment goods.

The best way to help Australian businesses right now is to get cash through the cash registers. Businesses with plenty of customers don’t lay-off staff.

Stimulus Details

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government has announced a $17.6bn economic stimulus package, equivalent to 0.9% of GDP.

Who gets household stimulus payments?

Around 6.5 million lower income Australians will receive a one-off $750 payment aimed at boosting domestic demand in the economy, costing the budget $4.76bn.

The payment will be made to all social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. This includes those on Newstart, those who have commonwealth seniors health cards, and families receiving family tax benefits.

Around half of those that will benefit are pensioners.

Full details of which payment recipients are eligible are available here.

When will I get it?

The payment will be made from 31 March this year.

What if I am an employee and not receiving any social security benefits? Will I get anything?

No. The government has focused most of the package on supporting business, with wage subsidies for small and medium-sized business and support for apprentices.

It has targeted the household stimulus at low-income earners, as they are most likely to spend it.

What does business get?

Small and medium-sized businesses will receive up to $25,000 to cover the costs of employee wages and salaries, paid by the Australian Taxation Office based on tax withheld.

This measure will cost $6.7bn and will happen automatically based on the business activity statements lodged by business.

About 690,000 businesses employing around 7.8 million people are expected to be eligible for this payment.

From the Treasury Website

Helping small and medium businesses with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million to cover the costs of employee wages and salaries equal to 50 per cent of PAYG withheld for businesses that withhold tax, with a minimum of $2,000 and a maximum of $25,000 over six months. Businesses that pay salary and wages but are not required to withhold tax will also receive the minimum payment of $2,000. This will be a tax free payment, benefiting around 690,000 businesses employing 7.8 million people.

Michael West

From his blog

It would appear we are destined for the double whammy of a bear market and a recession, the first recession in 30 years.

During the GFC, exports were stimulated by the exhilarating demand from China. Further, the revolution in technology underpinned new investment. The tech giants are now a mature sector – and one which doesn’t pay much tax. Poor government policies have left a world of tax havens brimming with cash and major economies brimming with debts.

These are the reasons things are different, perhaps worse this time than in 2009:

  • Chinese demand is muted by the virus. Ergo lower demand for coal and iron ore, our top two exports,
  • Central banks have little room to lower their cash rates,
  • Tourism, a huge earner for Australia, has been hammered by the virus,
  • Australia’s debt has doubled,
  • This crisis is supply driven, rather than demand driven,
  • Household debt hovers at record levels.

The good things:

  • The radical drop in the oil price means lower costs for business and consumers
  • Debt has never been so cheap, lending scope for enormous government borrowing to fund stimulus and low rates for business investment should business be so brave.

The big risk:

  • Unemployment. If jobless numbers rise and people can’t afford to pay their mortgages, the hallowed property market is in danger.
  • Corporate. Around half of the $5 trillion global market in corporate bonds and classed as junk bonds. The knock-on effects of defaults would take a heavy toll on tax receipts for government and on financial markets.
  • Logistical: the virus shuts down workplaces, supply chains.


I can assure you, you will love it.


Thank you

One of Coronavirus’s great lessons is that capitalism is obsolete. It has outlived its usefulness. The future is social democracy. Anglo societies probably aren’t capable of learning that lesson. But the rest of us, who are interested in not just the survival, but the expansion of human civilization and progress? We should be imbibing this lesson, with eyes wide open.

Shock Doctrine a Wealth Tax

If the Left was organised our think tanks would be calling for a Wealth Tax to fund pandemic responses.

Blue People

I met with Craig and Joe last weekend and one of them mentioned ‘blue people’, a reference to people who consume colloidal silver as a health measure. Craig mentioned witnessing the phenomenon when he was a practicing GP. The skin actually takes on a blueish hue.

There could well be something in it. Anyone going to begin a course of colloidal silver?

Born with a silver spoon in his mouth

From a Blog

Most people have heard the expression,
“ Born with a silver spoon in the mouth ”.
All the world assumes this refers to inheritance and family wealth. It does but there is more. Why silver?

In the 14th century a plague swept through Europe killing millions of unprepared and very superstitious people. Many considered the plague a punishment from God and turned to the Roman Church for protection. Others turned to traditional knowledge.

The great patrons of the arts, the Medici moved their families out of the city away from people who might carry the plague. They self isolated. They also insisted that the family consume their food from silver vessels. Plates, forks, knives, spoons and drinking cups. Particularly the children were fed with silver spoons.

Trump and the Stock Market

A lot of people cut him a lot of slack as he was given credit for the stock market boom. Oops, that has gone.


  • I predict riots as poor people resort to stealing food (unless the government introduces a universal basic income)
  • Hey America, there is good news if you are tired of winning.
  • As Coronvirus Grips the US, Americans Get a Taste of Life Under Sanctions
  • It’s amazing how quickly Margaret Thatcher’s line that “there is no such thing as society, only individuals” is shown up for the lie it is during a pandemic like #covidー19
  • Half the people seem to be saying “this is a monstrous, inhumane act” and the other half are saying “this is just capitalism”. And that’s the thing; they’re both right. This is the logical conclusion what you’re supposed to do under capitalism- exploit people for profit. com/JordanUhl/stat… Quoted tweet from @JordanUhl:The guy who bought 17,000+ sanitation items to price gouge other people during a global pandemic says he won’t apologize: https://t.co/6z7lQtTVVx
  • As the number of cases of COVID-19 in the tri-state area rises toover 150, Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency across New York State. Local universities like Hofstra, Columbia and Yeshiva have shut their doors on students today. But the city has no plans to close public k-12 schools – because tens of thousands of homeless children have nowhere else to go. 34,000 children in New York City’s public school system currently live in emergency shelters, and a further 74,000 have only been spared the same fate by relatives, friends or neighbors who have taken them in.

From The Australian

The combination of the government’s slow response to the crisis, minimal testing, a dysfunctional health system and a large, mobile population is a recipe for disaster that could soon exceed what has been seen in either China or Italy, experts say.

As of Monday (AEDT), the US had recorded 3155 coronavirus cases in 49 of its 50 states, and 62 deaths. But during the first eight weeks of the outbreak, fewer than 20,000 tests have been conducted

— a staggeringly low figure for a country of 327 million people.

By comparison, Italy, with 60 million people has conducted more than 60,000 tests, while South Korea, a nation of 51 million, has conducted 235,000 tests and is currently testing at a rate of 10,000 people per day.

Like in Australia, supermarket shelves have been stripped of food, medicine and toilet paper as people prepare for possibly weeks of self-isolation .

More disturbingly, gun sales have spiked, with queues around the block at some gun stories as Americans prepare for a possible breakdown of law and order.

USA Borders

Americans will cross over into Canada

The UK and Herd Immunity

From Eudaimonia

Good, sweet Lord. Let me summarize. Britain’s leaders appear to want the whole nation to get Coronavirus because they don’t understand basic science, logic, or history — they think that everyone getting sick magically confers resistance on a nation. That is not how disease works. Herd immunity is what happens after large-scale vaccination, as a viral infection subsides. It’s not…just letting a virus run rampant, with the bizarre, vague hope that naturally acquired immunity will somehow emerge and spread amongst the population. That is just a recipe for absolute catastrophe.

The human species never developed “herd immunity” to polio or smallpox or any virus, really — ever, despite millennia of death and illness and misery. Why not? Because herd immunity depends on vaccines. We vaccinate a large number of people, and then all of us are protected, because transmission rates are reduced (among other things.) Let me make the point again. The human race never developed herd immunity to a lethal virus, precisely because herd immunity is not something that emerges naturally. What happens, instead, when we let a virus simply take its course? What happened with smallpox and polio: they just rampage through populations, forever.

From Vox

The United Kingdom is previewing a new self-isolation plan for all people over 70 to address the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, following backlash over a proposal to promote immunity by allowing up to 60 percent of its population to become infected.

On Friday, the UK government’s chief science adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said on BBC Radio 4 that one of “the key things we need to do” is to “build up some kind of herd immunity so more people are immune to this disease and we reduce the transmission.”

Margaret Court has Immunity

From News.com

Margaret Court’s Victory Life Church in Perth believes their congregants will not contract the coronavirus because they are protected by “the blood of Jesus”.

The church, which was founded by Court in 1995, released a statement on Friday, saying all their members are “protected” from the deadly virus and therefore nothing will be done to combat the outbreak, other than daily praying and additional hand sanitiser.

“Your health and safety is a top priority for us and we have taken a proactive approach to keep our church family health and safe,” the statement read.

“We are in agreement that this Convid-19 will not come near our dwelling or our church family. We are praying daily for you, knowing that we are all protected by the Blood of Jesus.

“For your convenience, hand sanitiser readily available at all our sites.

“Our desire is for you to be informed and know that out heart is to protect and ensure the safety of all so we can continue to worship together, all out service will operate as per normal.”

The statement also includes a bible verse from Psalm 91:9-10, which states, “No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling.”

The 77-year-old Court is currently the Senior Pastor of the Victory Life Church.


Greek Orthodox churches across the country will allow congregations of hundreds of people to sip wine from the same spoon during mass because “the holy cup cannot carry disease,” the Archdiocese said.

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