Coronavirus Carnage

Daniel Tencer:

Canada’s economy will clock its steepest decline on record in the coming months, and unemployment is set to rise to its highest level in nearly a quarter century, a new CIBC forecast says. [...]

The forecast predicts Canada’s economic output will shrink at a 15-to-20-per-cent annual pace in the second quarter, the fastest contraction in records going back to 1962.

Millions will feel serious pain because of the culture of debt. 180%. That's the average Canadian household debt relative to disposable income. Now, in just one week, half a million Canadians have lost their jobs. Worse, this will have a compounding effect: most will severely curtail their spending for months, if not years. Many industries -- airlines, hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, theaters, etc. -- won't be hiring new workers for a long time. Those who are graduating from universities with mountains of debt will have to suffer through rotten times.

Other countries will also take a serious hit.

Economists at investment bank Goldman Sachs see the U.S. economy shrinking at an incredible 24-per-cent pace in the second quarter.

The last time the global economies crashed in such a sharp manner was 90 years ago. This terrible virus is a painful reminder to avoid debt and always have emergency savings. People wrongly think that their incomes will be stable. Business failure, recession, war, natural disaster or a pandemic can completely devastate multiple professions.

"Ah, those things are rare!"

Yeah, something rare always happens!


The pain isn't over

What I wrote on March 18, 2020:

  • Assuming that the data is correct, the mortality rate of H1N1 was 0.021%. This means that 1 person out of every 4,876 infected would die from the virus.
  • Today, the mortality rate of the Coronavirus is at a staggering 4%. This means that 1 person out of every 25 infected is dying from this virus. COVID-19 is, at the moment, 195 times more lethal than H1N1.

Or in other words: If COVID-19 infects 60 million people in America, then more will die from it than the total number of Americans who were killed in all the US wars combined. This virus has the potential to be more lethal for America than all her wars over 250 years.

Vox Day writes today:

The USA has 32,000 ICU beds, which puts it right in between at one ICU bed for every 10,000 people. This means that if the mitigation calculations are correct, the medical resources would be overwhelmed by a factor of 8x, thereby leading to fatalities in excess of 2 million.

Yup. My basic arithmetic put the total US fatalities at 2.4 million; assuming that a) COVID-19 infects roughly 60 million people in America, and b) the mortality rate holds at 4%. The fact that people smarter than me are getting similar fatality numbers is extremely alarming.


The Value of Vigilance

It takes 2-4 weeks to get this virus under control after a total lockdown. If the entire world did that today, then we would start to see hopeful results on April 7! Of course, countries that were careful are already seeing the value of vigilance.

Canada got serious about one week ago. There were 342 confirmed cases then. Today, there are over 1,300. A few more weeks of pain to follow. We should see a flattening of the curve here in early April.


Sadiq Khan's London

March 3, 2020:

Sadiq Khan has said there is ‘no risk’ of people catching coronavirus while travelling on buses or trains in the capital.

The Mayor of London has urged people to continue to use the Tube and go to concerts despite the outbreak of the disease. So far in the UK, 39 people have tested positive to the virus. 

March 20, 2020: The politicians are definitely assholes but these idiots only have themselves to blame. After the chaos, and high economic and financial costs around the globe, they're still close enough to cough on each other!? Yeah, keep tempting fate.


Not getting risk

The virus started in China. There is no question that the political elite there are not telling the truth. The data is simply incomplete. However, once fragmented global statistics are compiled, the mortality rate turns out to be roughly 4%. Of course, the rate for young people is super-low while incredibly high for the elderly. Also, it's likely that hundreds of thousands of the infected have not been test and are not counted. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the true mortality rate is 1% or lower.

Given all this uncertainty, the main point of N. N. Taleb is utterly sensible: we need to be extra-vigilant against this global threat. Short-term pain is preferable over the possibility of long-term disaster.

Trump closed America's borders to China in early February. Canada waited till mid-March to do the same. Now, entire provinces are locked down. Schools, colleges, universities, bars, restaurants, theaters, cinemas, botanical gardens, and museums are all closed. Those 45 days of smug virtue-signalling by Canada will now cost hundreds of billions of dollars in lost jobs and productivity. The Canadian stock market wiped out eight years of gains in under a month. The Canadian dollar crashed 10% against the US dollar in the same time. The Great Housing Bubble of the last decade is now ready to burst. The only rising stats will be for prices, bankruptcies and suicides.


The Year of Corona

The largest province of Canada has declared a state of emergency:

Premier Doug Ford has declared a provincial state of emergency in response to a worsening COVID-19 outbreak and will now order the closure of restaurants and bars not providing takeout service along with a host of other venues where crowds are known to gather. [...]

He says that under the order the government will prohibit all organized public events of more than 50 people until March 31, including services in places of worship. He said that the order will also force the closure of all facilities providing indoor recreational programs, all public libraries and private schools, all licenced childcare centres, all bars and restaurants that don’t provide takeout services and all theatres, cinemas and concert venues.


Taxman shows mercy

Canadians will have an extra month to file their taxes this year:

Canadians will have one extra month to file their taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency, the National Post has learned.

The announcement will be made tomorrow by federal ministers as part of a larger series of financial measures to assist Canadian individuals and governments through the COVID-19 pandemic.

So instead of an April 30 filing deadline for the 2020 tax season, Canadians will have until June 1 to submit their income tax return to CRA.

Many people will have to borrow money to pay their taxes. If this corona shutdown drags on for weeks, then people will have trouble making their mortgage payments. Eventually, quite a few will have to sell their houses to get cash. The magnitude of the housing market crash in the next year will illuminate the carnage.


Canada deteriorates

The wife of the Canadian prime minister tested positive for the Wuhan virus last night.

The prime minister will have to quarantine himself for two weeks. He's also considering steps to close the borders to limit the virus.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will warn Canadians against international travel and is considering tightening the border to some international travellers.

Public schools will be closed for the next three weeks in Ontario. Canadian universities are starting to cancel their classes.

A famous Chinese city is getting the maximum benefits of socialist health care:

Vancouver has learned that a shortage of personal protective equipment for physicians and support staff has Vancouver doctors turning patients away from their offices as the provincial health-care system begins to show the strain of potential COVID-19 infections.

Doctors of BC, an association of doctors and medical residents, says physicians across the province are concerned about the shortage of supplies like face masks, with no timeline for new supplies despite a government injection of hundreds of millions of dollars.

No matter how this plays out, it certainly won't be boring.


SPYfall 3

By Thursday’s close, the S&P 500 dropped 9.5%, or 260.62 points, in its largest percentage decline since the Black Monday crash of October 19, 1987. The blue-chip index slid more than 20% in total from its recent closing high from mid-February, sending it into a bear market.

The Dow’s 9.99% decline Thursday was also the biggest since 1987, and constituted a drop of 2,352.6 points.

So, today was the worst day for the US financial markets in 33 years.

And, if you thought that was bad, take a look at Canada:

The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 12 per cent Thursday, the biggest one day drop since May 1940, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Trading was halted earlier in the day amid dramatic selling at the opening. The nation’s benchmark slumped to its lowest since February 2016 at the close.

The last time the Canadian stock market crashed so spectacularly, Hitler's armies were marching through and conquering the Western part of Europe.


SPYfall 2

I've been paying attention to the financial markets for the last eight years. Never have I seen such volatility and pessimism. The NYSE has halted a few minutes into the open because of a steep 7% drop.

U.S. stocks hit critical circuit breaker levels on Thursday minutes after the opening bell for the second time this week as global markets plunged amid investor fears about the coronavirus global pandemic.

SPY has gone from a high of $339 to $250 in under a month. That's a staggering 26% drop. TVIX has gone from $40 to $420 in about three weeks.


Equality!

The ratio of women to men is approaching 2:1 in colleges. Plus, too many women support ridiculous vagina quotas for high-paying jobs. Not to mention, the downward pressure on wages thanks to near-open borders. So, how exactly are men supposed to get a job that would provide for their households?


Stretched thin

Aurora wanted to be #1 but now, there's a strong possibility that they'll go bankrupt:

Aurora Cannabis Inc. reported a second-quarter loss Thursday that missed analyst expectations due to a sharp decline in cannabis production, while writing down about $1 billion in assets as the pot giant looks to dramatically reduce spending to become profitable.

The management at Aurora used shares worth $3.2 billion to buy two companies (CanniMed and MedReleaf) in a six-month period in 2018. Not to mention the dozens of other companies they bought over the years. Today, the market valuation of Aurora is $2.13 billion. Its stock price is down 88% from all-time highs. They're losing money and running out of cash fast.

They were foolish to tout an annual grow rate of 600,000 kg of cannabis two years ago. Today, they are harvesting only 30,000 kg a quarter while selling about a third of that.

The quarterly results, presupposed by last week's corporate overhaul, mark a pivotal period for the cannabis company, which is the second-largest pot producer in the world by valuation behind rival Canopy Growth Corp.

I had a feeling that was wrong. So, I checked the market caps on Google Finance:

  1. Canopy Growth (TSE:WEED) :: $9.3 billion.
  2. Cronos (TSE:CRON) :: $3.2 billion.
  3. Aurora (TSE: ACB) :: $2.13 billion.

Aurora was the second-largest. Now, it's at the third position.


The Short Squeeze of 2020

Tesla going to the moon:

"Tesla shorts were down $2.89 billion in ... losses in 2019 and are down $8.31 billion in ... losses so far in 2020, including $2.47 billion on today's price move," S3 Partners analyst Ihor Dusaniwsky said in a research note.

Tesla stock price at the beginning of this year was $430. It's now at $945. Those who bought calls made an absolute killing. Those who bought puts are crying.


The Socialist Mind

The rich vs. poor rhetoric is alive and well. All for the impossible quest of equality. One can't make the poor into life-long millionaires. The only way to achieve "equality" is to destroy the rich. Equal misery for everyone! Of course, the people who make these decisions enjoy their power and luxuries.

"No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars," Ocasio-Cortez said, receiving applause. "I'm not here to villainize and to say billionaires are inherently morally corrupt. ... It's to say that this system that we live in, life in capitalism always ends in billionaires."

Ocasio-Cortez said billionaires make their money "off the backs" of "undocumented people," "black and brown people being paid under a living wage" and "single mothers."

She addressed a hypothetical "widget" billionaire in her remarks.

"You didn't make those widgets, did you? Because you employed thousands of people and paid them less than a living wage to make those widgets for you," Ocasio-Cortez said. "You didn't make those widgets. You sat on a couch while thousands of people were paid modern-day slave wages, and in some cases real modern-day slavery."

It's always amusing when Leftists bash the rich and wealthy. Here, Cortez accuses billionaires of paying "slave wages" and slavery. Yet, she can't name one person. 

Bill Gates? Michael Dell? Michael Bloomberg? Elon Musk? Steven Spielberg? Who are these evil, corrupt billionaires? Should they not be in jail for their heinous crimes? Why doesn't the righteous and morally pure Cortez use her political power to identify the barbarous billionaires and then put them behind bars?


Squeezing the "rich"

The top 10% of Canada’s earners make 34% of the country’s income, but are paying 54% of income taxes, says a new essay that questions the premise that the “rich” don’t pay enough tax.

“Despite common misperceptions and misleading rhetoric, our top 10 per cent of income-earners pay more than half of Canada’s income taxes — and this group includes people that few would consider wealthy,” said Philip Cross, a former chief economic analyst at Statistics Canada, in the essay released by the Fraser Institute.

[...] And here’s the kicker. Being in the top 10% of earners in Canada doesn’t mean you are wealthy. In fact, in 2017, any Canadian making $96,000 (or more) was in that group, Cross says.

Most of these evil rich people are your teachers, professors, doctors, and engineers -- and too many are hit by the top marginal income tax rate of 50%+! Yet, a large portion of Canadians think that the rich need to pay more.

Here's another shocking statistic:

The average Canadian household paid nearly $40,000 in taxes last year, more than the combined cost of clothing, food and shelter, according to a new report. The Fraser Institute’s annual Canadian Consumer Tax Index is meant to show how the tax bill has changed over time. Last year’s average tax burden of $39,299 is almost three times what Canadians paid in 1961, after adjusting for inflation – and has risen much faster than the cost of necessities, including housing, the institute said.

No wonder so many are drowning in debt. Clothing and food might be relatively cheap but the cost of shelter and taxes have skyrocketed. Guess what? The governments are largely to blame for the insane real estate bubble as well.

In my area, houses that sold for $250,000 twenty years ago are now being put on the market for close to a million dollars! Even those "rich" people are going to be slaves to their local bank if they want to buy those lavish closets.


Terrible stress

Financial Post: 'A terrible experience': The CRA asked Canadians to assess its customer service — and they didn't hold back.

One respondent pointed out a glaring inconsistency in response times between how fast taxpayers are required to respond to a request for information from the CRA, compared to how long it takes for the CRA to get back to the taxpayer once the information has been provided. As one respondent wrote, “Over six months since information provid(ed) and still CRA has not got around to looking at it.”

Once the dreaded letter is received, one basically has a month to provide the requested documentation for the approval of the Canada Revenue Agency. The CRA, however, can take its sweet time to reply as was the case here: When the CRA calls: Jamie Golombek on his 10-month, transit pass reassessment saga.

The public transit amount the CRA was reviewing was $747. Note that this was not the amount of tax under review as the transit “amount” was eligible for a non-refundable federal tax credit at 15 per cent, meaning the CRA was asking for proof to substantiate a $112.05 federal tax reduction I claimed on my 2016 tax return.

Yup. It took almost a year for the CRA to admit that the absolutely enormous tax reduction of $112.05 was legitimate.


P.M. Zoolander

Tens of thousands of people lost their jobs a few weeks before Christmas:

Canada’s job market unexpectedly weakened for a second-straight month, registering the biggest drop in employment since 2009 and casting doubt on the resiliency of the domestic outlook. The economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa, following a decline of 1,800 in the prior month.

Of course, what Canada needs is millions of more immigrants!

Isn't this flood of diversity just so lovely?

The flood of immigrants and non-permanent residents to levels not seen in a century has been one of the main drivers supporting Canada’s economic expansion over the past several years. That has kept the Bank of Canada as an outlier in the global easing trend as it held its policy rate unchanged, bolstering the allure of the loonie. [...]

The country’s population grew by 208,234 in the July to September period, or 0.6 per cent, the fastest quarterly increase since at least 1971. Some 83 per cent of that increase is due to international migration, according to estimates from Statistics Canada released Thursday in Ottawa. Over the past year, Canada’s population has jumped by almost 560,000, an increase of 1.5 per cent — that’s the fastest annual pace since 1990.

Sky-high rents! Exploding real estate prices! Crushing debt! Stagnant salaries! Fat bankster profits! Ho ho ho!

Also, won't you feel sorry for the Japanese who haven't flooded themselves with diversity?

Canada’s population boom has driven robust gains in the housing and labour markets, countering the effect of an aging demographic. This has helped to avoid the Japanification trap of low growth, low inflation and low interest rates that are slowly becoming evident in other parts of the world.

I'm sure the Japanese will be very sad in a few years as they turn on the TV to see the diversity hit the fan in Canada.


The Big Three Crushed

The three largest cannabis companies in Canada, in terms of revenue, are Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED), Aurora Cannabis (ACB), and Aphria (APHA). All of them were penny stocks a few years ago. The legalization hype in Canada made their stock prices skyrocket.

The approximate all-time stock price highs:

  • WEED: $76
  • ACB: $16
  • APHA: $24

Then, in 2019, all the significant public figures from these three companies were basically fired. Vic Neufeld, the CEO of Aphria, resigned in January. Bruce Linton, the CEO of Canopy was terminated from Canopy in early July, and now Cam Battley from Aurora is being shown the door.

The stock prices on the close of Friday.

  • WEED: $26.35
  • ACB: $2.95
  • APHA: $6.55

The Cannabis Bubble of Canada has definitely burst. Shorts made an absolute killing this year.

Canopy has $2 billion and Aphria has costs under control with a few hundred million dollars. Aurora is in serious trouble because they're running out of cash and they're not profitable. Their strategy of buying everything before 2019 is now coming to bite them. For instance, they paid roughly $4 billion in stock to buy two other cannabis companies in 2018. Now, their entire market capitalization is ... $3.1 billion! They've had to halt construction to preserve capital. Perhaps, they can sell off a few assets to Canopy or Cronos to survive ...

Quite a few companies are going to die in 2020.


Robert "The Sham" Reich

Reich is trying to be a clever demagogue. Note that he didn't say that 60% of the rich people inherited their wealth; only that 60% of the wealth is inherited.

Here's a scenario:

  • A city has 100 millionaires.
  • 80 of them inherited $0. Their wealth is worth exactly $1 million each.
  • 19 of them got exactly $1 million inheritances.
  • 1 lucky bastard got a mammoth $101 million dollars from his rich uncle.
  • Conclusion: 60% of the wealth was inherited in this city. Yet, only 20% of rich people got inheritances!

Of course, when it comes to those horrible, eeevil rich people, perception and reality are often different:

We recently released the findings of the largest study of millionaires ever conducted, with 10,000 people participating. We also surveyed the general population, and we found out that 74% of Millennials believe millionaires inherited their money. So do 52% of Baby Boomers.

Our study of millionaires blows that theory out of the water. Only 21% of millionaires received any inheritance at all. Just 16% inherited more than $100,000. And get this: only 3% received an inheritance at or above $1 million.

So, four out of five millionaires inherited $0! Not only is it a lie to say otherwise but it also diminishes their efforts over decades.

We gave the millionaires in our study a list of items that could contribute to someone becoming a millionaire, and then we asked them to rank them. What ranked number one, beating out everything else? Financial discipline. What ranked number two? Saving consistently.

Here in Canada, there have been stories of people who worked for many decades and consistently added money to their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs). When they retired, they had over a million dollars in their RRSPs. By design, one can only contribute to an RRSP after earning an income. An old rich dude who never worked would have precisely $0 in his RRSP.

Instead of showcasing the teachers, doctors, and engineers who worked and saved to become millionaires, schmucks like Reich demoralize their audiences by telling them that they can't make it.


Banksters and Barbaria

This Financial Post story is just so delicious. The following part perfectly illustrates the airheaded combination of arrogance and incompetence of the Saudis:

[...] Aramco walked into the IPO under-prepared. Despite four years of work, executives still struggled to answer simple questions from foreign investors, its legal team couldn’t produce documents on time, and nobody at Aramco could convincingly explain why Aramco deserved its US$2-trillion valuation.

They can afford to be a bunch of fucking idiots because they've been paid handsomely for swimming on oil for almost a century. The halaal clowns really don't know how the world works.

[...] in the early hours of Sept. 14, a fleet of drones attacked the very heart of the Saudi oil industry — the giant crude processing plant at Abqaiq in the kingdom’s eastern desert. Half of Aramco’s production was knocked out in minutes.

That's how you shave $1 trillion off the top. Aramco is going to make billions of dollars for shorters one day.


Miserable Women

Because they've been told that it's so icky and horrible to be dependent on one loving husband and that it's true independence to get volatile and pitiful paychecks from various cold, faceless, remorseless corporations.


Hatred of Debt

Too many people don't have the willpower and the discipline to save and invest. Mortgage payments act as forced savings for them. At least, they have something after decades of running in the rat race.

What Molyneux says is true. Though, it's amusing to see the reaction of normies upon finding someone who adamantly refuses to saddle himself with an epic house loan. Instead of being curious about other options, they react with shock, horror, and indignation. YOU RENT! OMG, YOU'RE WASTING MONEY! OWNING A HOUSE IS THE BEST THING EVER!


Ok Boomer

I have had more than one Boomer tell me that renting is stupid because YOU ARE THROWING YOUR MONEY AWAY! Get a mortgage and buy a house! Yeah, about that:

The average millennial’s after-tax household income is $44,093 a year, yet the national average price for a bungalow is $521,250. Even if the buyer comes up with a 20 per cent downpayment of $104,500 — monthly mortgage payments of $2,205 on a 20-year fixed-rate mortgage at 2.49 per cent will eat up around half of their income. That doesn’t include property tax and other expenses.

A 1% property tax on that house will eat up $5,200. The mortgage plus property tax gives us a total of $31,660 a year. So, the basic Millennial will have to pay 72% of his after-tax income for the privilege of owning an average house in Canada today.


Clueless boomers

Vox Day: OK Boomer.

As I wrote before:

I was chatting with an older gentleman last month who was very surprised to find out that I don't own any real estate. He said that owning a house is one of the best financial decisions he made. I asked him, "How much did you pay for your house?"

"$54,000."

"Do you remember your annual income at that time?"

"Hmm, about $20,000."

"Did you have a mortgage?"

"No, I borrowed from family and paid them back in a few years."

So, at the time, the price of his house was 2.7 times his salary. Today, for a guy in the Greater Toronto Area, the average price of a house is over 20 times his salary! (Annual income = $40,000. Average selling price of a house = $807,000.)

Another anecdote: I knew a guy who worked as a part-time English tutor at a private school in my area. This was around 2006. He, and other tutors, made $15/hr. The minimum wage at the time was $8/hr. Note, that this job required a degree.

Fast forward to 2013. I found out that a woman who had just graduated from university with a degree in mathematics was working at this school as a part-time math tutor.

Her wage? $12/hr. Minimum hourly wage at the time was almost $11. Tuition, rent, housing prices, electricity, and other costs had significantly increased in those 7 years but the tutoring work was paying just $1 more than a job where one flips fries. She quit after one month.

Boomers really don't have a fucking clue how the economic and financial situation for the younger generations has severely deteriorated. Worse, they're responsible for it.


Those sweet cannabis dollars

Following the one year anniversary of legalization, some Ontario municipalities are rethinking their original ‘say no to cannabis’ decisions and warming up to the idea of allowing legal brick-and-mortar cannabis stores in their communities.

A year ago, these idiots said 'yes to the black market'. They should have put a billboard on the road to their town, "Criminals Welcome!" Now, that the employment and tax dollars are materializing in other municipalities, these clowns are coming around.


The Miserable Millennials

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation did their annual poll in the United States.

  • Communism is viewed favorably by more than one-in-three Millennials (36%), up 8 points from 2018.
  • 72% of Americans incorrectly say that communism has killed less than 100 million people in the past 100 years.
  • While 50% of Millennials say they are “somewhat likely” and 20% of Millennials say they are “extremely likely” to vote for a socialist candidate, doubling from 10% in 2018, Americans overall are more hesitant about voting for a “democratic socialist” than they were last year (53% “never” or “hesitant” in 2019 versus 47% in 2018).

The financial situation for Millennials is definitely atrocious but pivoting to a system in which tens of millions of people have starved to death isn't the solution. Sadly, my generation doesn't even know that because the Left -- the education system, the media, and Hollywood -- has done a bang up job over the decades.


Pumping the GDP

The average Syrian imports won't make the same as the average Canadians. Worse, they, like other immigrants, will send billions of dollars back home to their relatives every year. And that's just the sorry economic picture. The increasing cultural, political, and societal chaos is much worse.


How not to help the poor

As minimum wage goes up, employers have the following options to stay in business:

  1. Fire a few workers.
  2. Reduce employee hours.
  3. Increase the prices of products.
  4. Some combinations of the above.

Sometimes, that's not enough.

Just as predicted, the $15 minimum wage is killing vulnerable city small businesses, with the low-margin restaurant industry one of the hardest-hit as it also faces a separate mandatory wage hike for tipped staffers.

In Sunday’s Post, Jennifer Gould Keil reported on the death of Gabriela’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar — closing after 25 years.

What's insidious about all this is that the poor workers who were paying the bills making $12 an hour are now getting the true minimum: $0. Also, it'll be very difficult for them to find a similar job as other restaurants are also firing workers!

Other eateries share the pain. In an August survey of its members, the NYC Hospitality Alliance found more than three-quarters have had to cut employee hours, more than a third eliminated jobs last year and half plan to cut staff this year.

“It’s death by a thousand cuts,” the Hospitality Alliance’s Andrew Rigie told The Post, since “there’s only so many times you can increase the price of a burger and a bowl of pasta.”


Reality of rent control

Henry Hazlitt:

Government control of the rents of houses and apartments is a special form of price control. Most of its consequences are substantially the same as those of price control in general, but a few call for special consideration.

Hazlitt showcases the long term destructiveness of rent controls. Many people don't see this as he concisely explains here: 

When unreasonable price controls are placed on articles of immediate consumption, like bread, for example, the bakers can simply refuse to continue to bake and sell it. A shortage becomes immediately obvious, and the politicians are compelled to raise the ceilings or repeal them. But housing is very durable. It may take several years before tenants begin to feel the results of the discouragement to new building, and to ordinary maintenance and repair. It may take even longer before they realize that the scarcity and deterioration of housing is directly traceable to rent control.


The Folly of Price Controls

Also, the quality of the real estate deteriorates. Apartments could have thin drafty windows, chipped paint, inefficient appliances, a leaky roof, and scores of vermin but people will still line up to sign the lease.

Why should the landlords sink money into fixing anything when they can't increase the rent and there's a ridiculous waiting list?

The city’s queue for rent-controlled housing is so long that it’s being considered by the Guinness Book of World Records. On average, it takes nine years to be granted a rent-controlled property – and that jumps to two decades in some of the most popular neighbourhoods.

Rent control (maximum price) is the opposite of minimum wage. They both sound good and quite a few people even benefit from them but overall they severely distort the market and cause a lot of problems. Unfortunately, such policies appeal to ignorant voters who don't, or can't, see the second order effects.


Man of Action

Vox Day:

If you've noticed, we don't advertise any of our projects anywhere. Arkhaven, Castalia, Infogalactic, VFM and Unauthorized all refuse to pay-to-play on Amazon, Facebook, Google, or anywhere else. We would rather rely upon our core supporters, focus upon serving them, and gradually grow that strong foundation than try to catch a big wave on Amazon or wherever.

Why? Because the wave belongs to the wave maker and is entirely under its control! We've seen, repeatedly, that even million-selling Amazon authors have ZERO support outside of Amazon.

Vox Day is building platforms for books, comics, TV, and movies where the structures are anti-fragile.

Forget material support, the majority of the Right doesn't even bother to provide links to his efforts. They'd rather keep crying and bitching about their enemies in the Leftist-controlled media world.


Won't you feel sorry for poor Americans?

Most Americans would probably have a hard time wrapping their heads around a $350,000 salary. [...] The thing is, that kind of income, while relatively huge, is barely enough, according to Dogen, for a family to lead a comfortable life in coastal counties — where almost half of the nation’s population calls home.

The unintentionally funny monthly budget shows an after-tax income of $18,653 with $121 (!) left after all the expenses are deducted. This family makes over a quarter million dollars a year but a tiny 1% decline in income would put them in the red!

Yeah, that's not an income issue -- that's a severe spending problem. 


Shaalan the Shyster

Effective 1 May 2019, CFA Institute imposed a Revocation of membership and of the right to use the CFA designation on Hussein Hamdy Shaalan (Montreal, Quebec), a lapsed charterholder member.

What did Hussein do?

CFA Institute found that, starting in June 2016, an investor in the United Arab Emirates hired Shaalan to manage and invest money she had set aside for retirement. He met with the investor and told her about his investment strategies. Afterwards, Shaalan emailed her a document in which he downplayed the extreme risks associated with his strategies, putting the potential loss at 10% or less, while the potential profit was touted as 60% to 80% per annum.

Anyone offering annual double-digit percentage returns is a scam artist.

In just 22 days, however, Shaalan had lost $195,000 of the $200,000 that the investor had deposited into the account.

Just how stupid is the client? This stupid:

[...] the client wired Shaalan an additional $45,000 to invest. Shaalan told her that the $45,000 infusion would help him tune the mathematical and cognitive limits of his investment strategy and potentially recover the $195,000 lost.

In the end, Hussein "The Shyster" Shaalan lost 98% of all the money that gullible woman gave him.


Trouble Down Under

This (844,800) is an insane level of immigration for a tiny population. In relative terms, this would be like if India took in 45 million immigrants in a year!

Australia's immigration rate has surged to a new record high with more than 115,000 permanent arrivals in just one month.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released new immigration figures on Thursday, hours after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called an election for May 18.

The overseas arrivals data showed 115,100 new people declared Australia as their new home in February, as annual immigration soared by a record 844,800.

Life in the modern city of the West: Cheap labor, lower wages, higher rents, traffic jams, spikes in theft, a few dead bodies now and then, and increasing hostility -- all thanks to this cultural enrichment that the young generation will have to reverse.


Men =/= Women

Given the amount of time and resources it takes to train a doctor, this is horribly inefficient:

More and more women doctors are cutting work hours or leaving the medical profession altogether to spend time with their families, findings show.

Researchers found 40 percent of female physicians either reduced their hours to part-time or quit working, according to a study published Friday in JAMA Network Open. Experts worry this exodus could add to the growing doctor shortage in the United States.

The next part is both predictable and funny.

The researchers asked 167 male and 177 female doctors about their preferences to work either part-time or full-time. Then they produced word clouds from those answers.

The typical words that jumped out for men were "need money," "loan" and "financial."

By contrast, the terms that stood out for women were "childcare responsibilities," "balancing work" and "family and children".

Instead of attracting more men to the field, the authors offer their vapid prescriptions which won't solve the problem.


Data breached

Capital One got hacked:

A hacker gained access to personal information from more than 100 million Capitol One credit applications, the bank said Monday as U.S. authorities arrested a suspect in the case.

That's huge.

Capital One Financial Corp., the nation's seventh-largest commercial bank with $373.6 billion in assets as of June 30, is the latest U.S. company to suffer a major data breach in recent years.


Traitors in charge

An excellent piece in the Vancouver Sun that showcases the ugly reality of increased immigration levels because of the Liberal Party of Canada:

The number of non-permanent foreign workers arriving in Canada each year has doubled in the past decade, escalating particularly after the federal Liberal government was elected in 2015.

Partly as a result of the increasing flow of guest workers, UBC economist David Green and Carleton University’s Christopher Worswick say in a paper that new immigrants are doing “worse and worse” in regards to earned incomes. And it’s Canada’s low-wage workers who are suffering the most.

Yup.

In line with the research of American economist Giovanni Peri and the University of Ottawa’s Pierre Brochu, Green described how owners of a Tim Horton’s franchise, a café or a supermarket often try to justify bringing in more guest workers by saying they can’t find anyone to fill the low-skill slot.

“So they go to their local MP and say, ‘I’m in trouble here. I can’t get enough workers for my front counter.’ The real response to them should be, ‘Well, pay them more.’ But it’s not the answer they want to hear, because they want to make more profit,” Green said.

The numbers are quite shocking: 250,000 "international mobility" workers, 300,000 new immigrants, 400,000 students -- all of whom drive down the wages of poor workers in Canada. That's nearly a million non-citizens who're also driving up the rent and increasing real estate prices. Businesses, landlords, and the banks are happy while the poor and the middle class gets squeezed.


Are you a neo-Nazi?

Skills and intelligence are factors that contribute to the difference. They, of course, don't tell the whole story. For example: family dynamics, nutrition, education, ambition, personal effort, time preferences, religion, etc. also explain some of the group differences. However, intelligence is a core component. It doesn't matter how much hard work a certain Pakistani kid puts in to becoming an astronaut, he won't get there if he can't even pass high school math. Generations of common inbreeding significantly impacts such children.

Comparing the two countries, the average Japanese is significantly more intelligent than the average Pakistani. Look around you. How many products do you see that are "Made in Japan" vs. "Made in Pakistan"? It is what it is.

I don't know why Taleb thinks that a race or country that has a low average IQ must have a population of 100% idiots. Non-White countries have doctors, engineers, scientists, etc. Who the hell even made the claim that all of them are idiots?


Fragile setup

Two Halifax-area entrepreneurs are banking on the honesty of their customers. [...]

There is no one waiting to take your cash or process your payment — customers are trusted to take what they want and pay using the tablet and card reader or by dropping cash in a mailbox.

This food kiosk is in an international airport. A pilferer would be on dozens of cameras. So, the store will work in this context.

One such shop located in the lobby of the Manila Police Department's headquarters — just a few metres away from a security guard — had to be closed after someone repeatedly raided the cash box.

Yup. One asshole is enough to ruin the system.

He said if the project continues to be successful, he would like to expand it to schools, universities, hospitals and shopping centres.

He's going to learn the hard way.