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Local Lockdowns (Read 49384 times)

gme

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#150 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 11:37:58 am
I'd largely defer to the economists on whether accepting mass unemployment is a wise idea, or whether it's better to borrow to attempt to mitigate it and avoid all the cascading impacts. No doubt they all disagree anyway. Clearly some things would be worth supporting for strategic reasons, in order to maintain expertise in certain areas.

I always think of economists as ideologically driven mathematicians. They have a political view just like the rest of us, which explains why they band together in like minded think tanks, are funded by people who would benefit from their ideas, and are quoted by people who align with them politically because it lends a veneer of objectivity to their ideas, whatever their politics.
Is this not the same train of thought Trump and his ilk used to debunk everything he doesnít agree with. Fucking scientists and there environmental doom and gloom etc.

petejh

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#151 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 11:46:20 am
If I remember my studies correctly unemployment being too low is considered a negative in some models/to some economists. Essentially if the rate goes below 5% (in the US?) then it can have negative effects on wage inflation and labour force productivity (pretty sure this is referred to as slack). I imagine that in the UK the rate is above this so its probably a none factor really

Not knowledgeable on economics but isn't it the standard belief that employment and wages cycle in a similar way to other commodity markets, where human resource and jobs are seen as two commodities in a market? When there are jobs available for everybody wages rise due to demand (for labour) outstripping supply. When everyone's out of work due to job shortages wages drop due to supply of labour outstripping demand. Low wages allow some new business to be profitable and to grow creating more job supply, while high wages create barriers to new business growth and keep a cap on new job supply. Captured in the saying: 'the best thing for future high prices (wages), is current low prices (wages)'.

Johnny Brown

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#152 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 11:58:58 am
Quote
If the BMC were to end up in the position again of advising against people spending time recreating in the outdoors due to lockdown rules - either local or national - then IMO their advice should be resolutely defied, their whole management voted out at the earliest opportunity

I've got a lot of sympathy with your position Pete but the BMC will continue to put more value on advice from actual legal experts on what is legal. And likewise you'll find the idea that you could vote them out for doing so would find surprisingly little support (though that's not to say you couldn't waste a lot of their time with such a campaign). If you feel your position is under-represented I'm sure the invite to the Covid committee would still be open.

teestub

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#153 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 12:43:55 pm
Is this not the same train of thought Trump and his ilk used to debunk everything he doesnít agree with. Fucking scientists and there environmental doom and gloom etc.

You could argue this if economics was a hard science, where you could make a hypothesis, run an experiment, collect data, write up, have it peer reviewed etc. But it isnít.

You can see this easily with politically driven research in harder sciences such as tobacco company funded research into smoking, or oil company funded research into climate change, it always gets debunked when the data is open to scrutiny.

spidermonkey09

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#154 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 12:45:18 pm

You could argue this if economics was a hard science, where you could make a hypothesis, run an experiment, collect data, write up, have it peer reviewed etc. But it isnít.

You can see this easily with politically driven research in harder sciences such as tobacco company funded research into smoking, or oil company funded research into climate change, it always gets debunked when the data is open to scrutiny.

This, articulated much better than I would have done.

gme

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#155 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 01:07:53 pm
Are we now getting into the hierarchy of scientists and which is more important.

At what point does a science become a "hard" science and which has most value.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2013/nov/06/is-economics-a-science-robert-shiller

Nobel seems to disagree as well and treats it fairly equally.

https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/lists/all-prizes-in-economic-sciences/

Pretty sure i have heard this argument used by Trump, the same "Pseudoscience" argument re Covid and the environment. Which was my point about your dismissal of economists.

To me its just as much a science as any and all have a problem once politics get involved.

petejh

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#156 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 01:11:09 pm
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If the BMC were to end up in the position again of advising against people spending time recreating in the outdoors due to lockdown rules - either local or national - then IMO their advice should be resolutely defied, their whole management voted out at the earliest opportunity

I've got a lot of sympathy with your position Pete but the BMC will continue to put more value on advice from actual legal experts on what is legal. And likewise you'll find the idea that you could vote them out for doing so would find surprisingly little support (though that's not to say you couldn't waste a lot of their time with such a campaign). If you feel your position is under-represented I'm sure the invite to the Covid committee would still be open.

Lets hope it doesn't come to a situation where once again we're subjected to non-sensical restrictions on outdoor access (although in Wales we're unfortunately due to our government already seeing the beginning of them). Because I strongly doubt your thinking that if the BMC once again adopted a 'cover their arses' position over a 'fight for access to the outdoors' position that there'd be little support for voting out the current management and their strategy of focussing on protecting company law and government funding first before fighting for members' access interests.

I just don't see that the public will is there to comply with restrictions this time whether advisory or legal - we've only just started and already the law is being ignored in North Wales with people going inter-county to climb/walk. Will higher number of deaths focus minds, perhaps. But this time I doubt it.

As I said to Alex about the committee invite - I like getting things done not being on committees. The BMC don't need me on a committee to tell them what they should be doing.
 
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 01:26:41 pm by petejh »

teestub

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#157 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 01:15:03 pm
Are we now getting into the hierarchy of scientists and which is more important.

At what point does a science become a "hard" science and which has most value.


Not at all, just pointing out that conflating Trumpesque climate change and biology denial with taking issues with economics is inaccurate. Covid doesnít care who you vote for, nor does a rising sea level.

Economics, and particularly the economics of govt spending, fiscal policy, corporate bailouts etc. Iíd inherently political in a way that biology isnít. What the Ďrightí answer is to an economic argument will largely depend on your political starting point.

seankenny

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#158 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 01:54:44 pm
Quote from: teestub link=topic=30846.msg618596#pmsg618596 date=1602677703
Are we now getting into the hierarchy of scientists and which is more important.

At what point does a science become a "hard" science and which has most value.


Not at all, just pointing out that conflating Trumpesque climate change and biology denial with taking issues with economics is inaccurate. Covid doesnít care who you vote for, nor does a rising sea level.

Economics, and particularly the economics of govt spending, fiscal policy, corporate bailouts etc. Iíd inherently political in a way that biology isnít. What the Ďrightí answer is to an economic argument will largely depend on your political starting point.

Iím not sure this is entirely true. If day you want to look at the impact of a fiscal stimulus on output - which is an extremely hard thing to do - then the techniques and data are what they are. They present certain technical challenges and Iím not entirely sure there is a right wing or left wing way of approaching those problems.

The history of minimum wage research is interesting. Traditionally a minimum wage was thought to reduce overall employment, then it turns out it doesnít (going by memory here, or may be that the effect is very small). This was greeted with some incredulity but how much of that was politics and how much Kuhn-esque resistance to a paradigm shift?

If you take post 2010 austerity measures, a lot of economists thought they were a terrible idea and would lead to very low growth for years. Of course politicians, journalists and think tanks could find experts who said what they wanted to hear, but weíre seeing that now with public health as we have also seen it with climate change.

teestub

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#159 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 02:02:26 pm

I’m not sure this is entirely true. If day you want to look at the impact of a fiscal stimulus on output - which is an extremely hard thing to do - then the techniques and data are what they are. They present certain technical challenges and I’m not entirely sure there is a right wing or left wing way of approaching those problems.


Sorry yes I agree here I think, if you’re looking at events that have already happened in economics, then you are analysing data and everyone should come up with similar results.

I was aiming my discussion more following Barrows saying that we should ‘defer to economists’ about the best way to spend money (or not) to solve the issues around Covid. On this front it seems that any answers about how best to spend govt money would be very difficult to disentangle from a political leaning.

tomtom

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#160 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 02:05:10 pm
Asking an economist for an answer is like asking a physio for a diagnosis... :)

abarro81

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#161 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 02:10:44 pm
I was aiming my discussion more following Barrows saying that we should Ďdefer to economistsí about the best way to spend money (or not) to solve the issues around Covid. 
Sorry, I probably didn't make my thoughts very clear - I wasn't suggesting that "we" (society) should necessarily do that, just that it's what I'd personally do because I feel too uneducated on the subject to have an opinion worth listening to.

If you take post 2010 austerity measures, a lot of economists thought they were a terrible idea and would lead to very low growth for years. Of course politicians, journalists and think tanks could find experts who said what they wanted to hear
I guess this is the problem - I feel like it's easy to know what scientific consensus is on climate change, but I have much less awareness of what economic consensus is on job retention, state support, unemployment and their interplay in a crisis such as this. Nor do I know if there even is a consensus, and if there is then whether that's based on anything other then stick your finger in the air and guessing (unlike with most science, where if there's no consensus there'll at least probably be a consensus that the jury is still out).

Thinking about it, given how many news articles there are pumped out every day on COVID, it's amazing that the media has done such a poor job of educating me* on this topic.
*yes, it's someone else's fault for not spoon feeding me
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 02:16:00 pm by abarro81 »

seankenny

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#162 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 02:43:20 pm
Ask, and ye shall be given:

https://www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel/

As to this: ďif youíre looking at events that have already happened in economics, then you are analysing data and everyone should come up with similar results.Ē

Well, I wouldnít go that far! I mean sure, but models are sensitive to assumptions and econometric techniques. And you might want to use different data, US vs European for example. Part of the problem is that data itself is often incomplete, or has to be estimated from other sources, and so on. The further back you go, or the further out from the US and Western Europe, the more this holds true, and the harder it is to tease out meaningful connections. By their very nature social sciences are more provisional than physics, but remember that the Hubble Telescope and CERN exist, reliable data describing how much of humanity lives doesnít.

As for the original question, mass unemployment has well known long term scarring effects. (This is a different question as to whether there should be some unemployment - having a very tight labour market imposes costs on all of us.) Borrowing loads of money isnít great but itís not as if we are an outlier doing this. The difficult thing might be working out which firms are viable post-pandemic and which will fail then because we live differently, but personally Iím sceptical that those changes will be huge. Most firms have shut or are barely clinging on because we want them too right now, not because the products and services they provide are unwanted in general.


Letting the arts whither on the vine is just fucking vandalism, and pointless too because we are really good at it. Destroying theatres because they canít pay the rent is, to me, a vile and short sighted policy thatís also economically illiterate.

tomtom

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#163 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 02:50:03 pm
Diving in (quickly) I think that some industries/jobs/ways of making money will wither after the pandemic - ranging from Air travel, to Downtown Pret-a-manger etc... Quite simply - those parts of our lives will change and the demand will plummet.

Some (like music and many arts) will come back - when performing can be allowed again - people will want to see shows, bands, cinema etc... Maybe the format will change (large venues and mega tours out - smaller ones in etc...) but the demand will be there.

Whats needed now is either a crystal ball way of determining which will survive and backing them up or taking the way the Germans have (I think) of backing up the people rather than the business...

gme

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#164 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 03:36:41 pm
No travel to wales from any UK hotspot.
Just announced but which areas are classed as hotspots isnít mentioned.

galpinos

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#165 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 03:40:21 pm
No travel to wales from any UK hotspot.
Just announced but which areas are classed as hotspots isnít mentioned.

Half term plans up in smoke for many I imagine...... All those empty Abersoch holiday homes......

Bonjoy

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#166 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 03:51:54 pm
It's  all moot if everyone's in a two week circuit breaker starting at half term...

galpinos

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#167 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 03:54:12 pm
It's  all moot if everyone's in a two week circuit breaker starting at half term...

Not enough dead for Boris to make that decision imo.

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#168 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 03:56:09 pm

The government needs to have the confidence to just say that some businesses and indeed industries will not survive a pandemic world. Travel is knackered, at least one more airline will go before Christmas I'd guess; I can't see theatres surviving and many if not all cinemas look like going the same way.

That's the rhetoric of the fiscal Conservative, but it's tantamount to economic vandalism without funding in place to help these people. An extra 20 quid a week on universal credit is simply not going to cut it and is frankly insulting. What jobs are they supposed to go and get? Airily saying "they just won't survive" doesn't really suffice. 2/3 of minimum wage if you end up on the local furlough scheme is going to leave people going hungry.

The government not supporting the arts and the numerous other industries affected is a political decision. There is no reason debt built up can't be treated as wartime debt and paid off over many years. Even some conservatives are beginning to argue this, but Sunak is a slave to fiscal conservatism in the face of all the evidence (see his recent conference speech). This might belong in the old "how to pay for the crisis" thread.

National debt is never repaid, and likely never will. At present, the cost of borrowing is basically nil, that said...there's an argument for not even borrowing the required money, but just creating it. The usual downside of money creation is inflation, but in the current climate inflation is highly, highly unlikely.

It really is the time for UBI to be properly explored. If peoples basic needs were covered, then businesses could effectively lie dormant until demand picked up. (as long as rates, rents, and interest payment were all frozen).


tomtom

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#169 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 03:57:30 pm
Welsh govt clarifies English hotspots are a tier 2 And 3 areas.

Defcon 1 and 2 in UKB nomenclature 😀

petejh

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#170 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 04:21:01 pm
See you in the spring losers.  :wave:

(tongue in cheek btw.. I expect the Welsh gov to impose further cuntisly nonsense restrictions on us in Wales.)

tomtom

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#171 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 05:00:44 pm
Teestub saw the future by selling is NWB guidebook earlier in the week!

teestub

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#172 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 05:03:09 pm
Teestub saw the future by selling is NWB guidebook earlier in the week!

You say that, but I think it’s still theoretically possible for me to drive from N Yorks to Gwynedd to go climbing! (Provided I don’t stop in any of the Covid wastelands I pass through!)

gme

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#173 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 05:20:08 pm
Quote from: tomtom link=topic=30846.msg618609#

Defcon 1 and 2 in UKB nomenclature 😀
[/quote

Very much UKB nomenclature and other 80s sites. Wasnít something I had heated mentioned for years so I asked a group of 25 17/18 year olds last night and only two knew what it was. Ex boys brigade lads.

tomtom

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#174 Re: Local Lockdowns
October 14, 2020, 05:25:51 pm
Teestub saw the future by selling is NWB guidebook earlier in the week!

You say that, but I think itís still theoretically possible for me to drive from N Yorks to Gwynedd to go climbing! (Provided I donít stop in any of the Covid wastelands I pass through!)

Dang. I was going to ask you for your October stock market picks 😀

 

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