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Aggy That is good information. There are c1800 deaths a day on average in the UK so it is the increase in deaths compared to the normal level which is the true impact. Another way of thinking about it would be the reduction in average age of death to show real impact. I think Ferguson mentioned that you would expect half to two thirds of those dying to die shortly in any case so it is debatable  how many people are dying of Covid 19 compared to dying with Covid 19. I think it will increase the death rate rate and reduce life expectancy but it is important to see in context.
 

The news should also be putting the numbers in context, talking more about recovery rates, expansion in capacity, the amazing speed of work in developing testing, treatments and vaccines. This is horrible and tragic but there are also reasons for longer term optimism. 

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5 hours ago, Badger said:

Too much to deal with one one post Ron.

The model is very robust and highlights the dangers of reducing aggregate demand at the wrong stage of the economic cycle. It is fashionable to denigrate economists, but the broad thrust of mainstream economics is accurate. It is quite good at predicting outcomes, but poor at predicting the timings.

e.g.The trade cycle is well known, but the length of it varies. We know that when we are booming and there is a shortage of factors of production and prices are rising that a bust will come: it always does. It is timing it that is the hard thing. Ditto recoveries.

I don't want to be party political so shall ignore whether particular parties have better or worse records of investment (and encouraging it) but there is an almost universal recognition at a macro level that investment leads to growth in the long term. Of course, there is variation within this: individual schemes may fail - it is the same as personal investing in that respect. If you buy individual shares you may do far better than the market as a whole or far, far worse. Many therefore "buy the market." The market is dynamic and the infrastructure to support it, is likewise but "betting the market" and encouraging a wide rage of investment would bring benefits in terms of output. I think all economists see investment as a prerequisite to growth.

Sorry Badger, that won't do.

Without a time scale no model has any utility. Once again Popper's falsifiability criterion applies

And any model has to have been accurate over a long time scale. The longer the time over which the model has worked the more confidence can be placed in it.

Hard science, proper science, deals in time scales going back as far as we can measure. If we assume constants such as the velocity of light have had the same value since within microseconds of the Big Bang then those models work right up to the present day.
Now there is nothing to stop the 'laws' of physics changing tomorrow, but the models we have work extremely well using those laws, so our confidence in them is inordinately high. Higher than any other explanatory model we've ever had, simply because it's worked consistently for so long.

Does this apply to economic models? I suggest not. The trade cycle has only been going for, what, 100 years? 200 years? How many times has it been interrupted by war? Irrational market sentiment? Events??

There are very few constants in economics & a vast number of variables. About 7.8 billion of them. And how do you factor in technology - one of the main drivers of economic change?

Investment always leads to growth? Growth in what? It doesn't matter what you invest in then? By that criterion we might as well sponsor a massive hole digging programme, rapidly followed by a massive hole filling in programme. That'd be good for growth.

I think it matters a lot what you invest in, & that the investment should be in producing more stuff that people need or want; if it's generally felt, that we want more cars we can elect a government that facilitates more investment in car production. If we want more investment in the NHS we can elect a government on that basis. Obviously in reality we elect governments for a complex mix of reasons, but the principle holds.

Edited by ron obvious

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Unfortunately that is rather meaningless,as to have any valid use there would have to be few variables.

Whereas the opposite is true. As how many of the daily number of deaths are 'road' deaths, how many a directly 'ar work' deaths, or simply accidental deaths that don't fall into either catagory, but as with the former are not happening due to lockdown ?

I spoke earlier how these figures can be distorted by, say, deaths at a nursing home. Seventeen died at a nursing home outside of Glasgow.

Should those deaths be an indicarion of spread, mortality rate or just an unfortunate occurence of infection ie if the cause of that infection had visited a property with a large number of much younger residents would the death number have been the same ?

If infection risk rates increas with levels of contact then would there not be pockets of infection at racing stables due to the Cheltenham Racing festival/ Similarly at that w/e's football matches where one infexyed person could infect others who do likewiase., before it is even known ?

As said there are so many variables in just the movement of people for there to be any analysis that gives us an worthwile data. Even the suggested mortaily rate varies over a 600% range. And is of little worth as we do not know the infection rate as there has been no mass testing.

 

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5 hours ago, Barbe bleu said:

What is this a chart of?  It looks hopeful though!

The Mendips?.....

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18 minutes ago, Bill said:

Unfortunately that is rather meaningless,as to have any valid use there would have to be few variables.

Not sure if this was in response to my post or another, but I acknowledge there are lots of variables and the lack of testing etc. makes pretty much every stat about coronavirus fairly useless in isolation.

I would though say that the total number of deaths from flu, pneumonia and covid this years vs flu and pneumonia in other years will be interesting to look back on - far fewer variables come in to play there. 

I would also point out that week ending March 20th (which the stats refer to) was before the ‘lockdown’, so people were still driving and at work. There are also stats in there for the whole year up to March 20th, so again deals with periods before the lock down when road deaths etc etc would presumably have still been roughly the same as the annual average.

There are multiple factors every year (which is why they use a five year average as a comparison tool). 

My main point though would be that coronavirus figures are being reported irresponsibly - the first thing you see on the BBC app when you open it is “1.1 Million cases, 60,000 deaths”. That sounds scary! But that figure is over a three month period, worldwide. Around 56 million people die annually worldwide - so in a three month period, that’s about 14 million. 60,000 deaths is 0.4 per cent. So, yes, coronavirus is bad, but the way it is being reported causes more panic than is necessary and can only be bad for people’s mental health. 

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Completely agree. Context and hope are important   So is learning from other countries  

 

Forget that it is Germany but  important thing here in attached article is extensive testing and getting to people early before they deteriorate and a population that trusts the government and complies with expert advice  This means the UK needs to expand testing and tracing and monitoring of people  Expanding treatment capacity and putting people up front who people trust. In Germany  the experts are more out front than the politicians and potentially the political spin doctors who have low trust should be taking more of a back seat  Merkel is not always agreed with but is trusted  Trust are not words you associate with Boris and Gove  

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/04/world/europe/germany-coronavirus-death-rate.html

 

 

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11 hours ago, T said:

Aggy That is good information. There are c1800 deaths a day on average in the UK so it is the increase in deaths compared to the normal level which is the true impact. Another way of thinking about it would be the reduction in average age of death to show real impact. I think Ferguson mentioned that you would expect half to two thirds of those dying to die shortly in any case so it is debatable  how many people are dying of Covid 19 compared to dying with Covid 19. I think it will increase the death rate rate and reduce life expectancy but it is important to see in context.
 

The news should also be putting the numbers in context, talking more about recovery rates, expansion in capacity, the amazing speed of work in developing testing, treatments and vaccines. This is horrible and tragic but there are also reasons for longer term optimism. 

I agree 100% with this, I am incredibly disappointed with our news services.

Both from the point of not giving us the full story (though I accept that if you look hard enough there are bits and pieces) but also not being agressive enough at the daily press briefings.

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Interesting little article about the Netherlands and their approach.

I was mentioning earlier that I was there the week they began to close bars etc and a couple of the guys I was working with said they hoped they would more easily beat the virus as they tend to be compliant to what their government asks them to do.

Bit of slightly lazy journalism when they say the deaths are high compared to their population, their totals look pretty much the same as you would expect them if you compared them to ours and multiplied them for our larger population.

Netherlands Strategy  

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I guess a good reason for not giving people a balanced overall picture now is they really want people to focus on social distancing which I do agree with. Sadly we have seen that simple slogan messages are the most effective with people and even then some people don’t grasp it.

And yes I’m seeing a more balanced picture elsewhere and one of the fundamental lessons that needs to come out of this is that people need to be better educated on assessing risk, statistics, and thinking about issues in a logical, reasoned, evidenced way. Currently it as if the politicians want to be able to manipulate people which they have done successfully rather than educate them. 

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More encouraging figures from Spain today, cases and deaths continue the downward trend  🙂

 

 

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1 hour ago, T said:

. Currently it as if the politicians want to be able to manipulate people which they have done successfully rather than educate them. 

The problem is many do not want to be 'educated' and will simpl reject anything that goes against their closed minds.

As with Animal Farm and the sheep there are plenty who will bleat out what they are told to bleat, how absurd it is.

In the US sales of an anti malaria drug have shot up becausw Trump told them it could protect them against the virus.....despite all medical eveidence to the contrary.

You can lead a horse...etc

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20 hours ago, ricardo said:

Also I understand PHE wanted to keep testing "in house" for far too long. In Germany they used the full gammut of public and private labs from the start. Thankfully we are now doing the same.

This is why we need a clean out of the civil service when this virus scare is over. Far too often the public sector have been hiding behind rules and procedures and dragging their heels to get stuff done. 

Compare with the private sector. Panic shopping was a one-week thing until the supermarkets under their own volition started to introduce measures to solve the problems. They quickly brought in new workers from those who had just been laid off and ramped up production. Empty shelves are a thing of the past. 

Likewise with medical equipment. When left to civil servants we don't have enough and they seem to be at a loss to know what to do. Step in the private sector and within days we have companies producing designs for ventilators that are better than existing models. 

Same goes for testing. Completely underwhelming when left under the administration of NHS bureaucracy, it needed the introduction of the private sector to get testing ramped up. 

It's clear we are top-heavy with a bloated public sector and civil service of so-called experts who can't even agree on a successful policy. We've got Imperial College in a turf war with the Oxford group over access to politicians. 

Time to have a big clear out of these timewasters that are costing us unnecessary deaths

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Article linked about Germany's decentralised government. They have similar systems in place around education and employment. Good for testing and potential for a more efficient ending phase (even though rates of death and numbers have  followed similar paths to other EU nations)....

 

Germany's devolved logic is helping it win the coronavirus race

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/05/germanys-devolved-logic-is-helping-it-win-the-coronavirus-race?

 

 

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13 hours ago, T said:

Completely agree. Context and hope are important   So is learning from other countries  

 

Forget that it is Germany but  important thing here in attached article is extensive testing and getting to people early before they deteriorate and a population that trusts the government and complies with expert advice  This means the UK needs to expand testing and tracing and monitoring of people  Expanding treatment capacity and putting people up front who people trust. In Germany  the experts are more out front than the politicians and potentially the political spin doctors who have low trust should be taking more of a back seat  Merkel is not always agreed with but is trusted  Trust are not words you associate with Boris and Gove  

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/04/world/europe/germany-coronavirus-death-rate.html

 

 

I don't know about the German situation and maybe you can say something about this but the UK has a very partisan press that even in this current situation attempts to score political points knowing full-well that it causes fear and panic among the general population.  

You only have to look at the tweets of a figure like Piers Morgan who tweets every twenty minutes or so in a very aggressive partisan manner. Or the framework of BBC reporting which seems to be more concerned with creating panic than with reporting news. 

Hopefully this can begin to change from next week onwards if Starmer comes onboard a cross-party consensus of a plan to tackle the crisis. We need to get the media to calm down as they don't help the situation. 

 

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17 minutes ago, sonyc said:

Article linked about Germany's decentralised government. They have similar systems in place around education and employment. Good for testing and potential for a more efficient ending phase (even though rates of death and numbers have  followed similar paths to other EU nations)....

 

Germany's devolved logic is helping it win the coronavirus race

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/05/germanys-devolved-logic-is-helping-it-win-the-coronavirus-race?

 

 

Its obviously far too early to judge Germany's relative success but this crisis is shaping up to be a big test of centralisation v devolution.

One thing I am wondering about is PPE and how it gets to nursing staff.  Did we have it but it wasnt delivered? If so, is that because the middle managers (who, lets face it, run 90% of large organisation) were not sufficiently empowered to collect and use their allocation as appropriate? 

On a cheeky note, the germans pretty much perfected  the effective allocation of command and control functions 80 years ago, so no surprise that the front line commanders are still empowered and expected to make decisions without reference upwards. Good job it's on health care decisions now...

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35 minutes ago, Rock The Boat said:

I don't know about the German situation and maybe you can say something about this but the UK has a very partisan press that even in this current situation attempts to score political points knowing full-well that it causes fear and panic among the general population.  

You only have to look at the tweets of a figure like Piers Morgan who tweets every twenty minutes or so in a very aggressive partisan manner. Or the framework of BBC reporting which seems to be more concerned with creating panic than with reporting news. 

Hopefully this can begin to change from next week onwards if Starmer comes onboard a cross-party consensus of a plan to tackle the crisis. We need to get the media to calm down as they don't help the situation. 

 

You forgot to mention the Daily Mail, Telegraph and Times who have also been questioning the governments response. And considering they got the current incumbents in the real partisan press are not being so partisan.

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Hancock recons exercise out of the home could be banned if people flout social distancing measures and says “let’s not have a minority ruin it for everybody”. On that logic, I’m not sure why we didn’t ban everyone from driving years ago on the basis a minority continue to speed?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52172035

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11 minutes ago, Barbe bleu said:

On a cheeky note, the germans pretty much perfected  the effective allocation of command and control functions 80 years ago, so no surprise that the front line commanders are still empowered and expected to make decisions without reference upwards. Good job it's on health care decisions now...

Not sure about your point. Sure, the Nazis ran through France and the Low Countries, but their Command and Control style of management saw the failure of Operation Sea Lion, and abject failure at Leningrad, Kursk and Moscow? All directed from Berlin. 

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15 minutes ago, Pugin said:

Not sure about your point. Sure, the Nazis ran through France and the Low Countries, but their Command and Control style of management saw the failure of Operation Sea Lion, and abject failure at Leningrad, Kursk and Moscow? All directed from Berlin. 

Going a bit off topic now but...

I think that we might be agreed.  When Berlin sought to over-coordinate  the wheels fell off.  When they empowered the front line the wheels stayed on ( in as much as wheels can stay on whilst driving on an impossible track).

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Barbe bleu said:

Going a bit off topic now but...

I think that we might be agreed.  When Berlin sought to over-coordinate  the wheels fell off.  When they empowered the front line the wheels stayed on ( in as much as wheels can stay on whilst driving on an impossible track).

You can't fight a war on three fronts and win. Luckily, Hitler was a poor commander as well as being a complete loon.

I love a good World War Two discussion!

OTBC

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3 minutes ago, Disco Dales Jockstrap said:

You can't fight a war on three fronts and win. Luckily, Hitler was a poor commander as well as being a complete loon.

I love a good World War Two discussion!

OTBC

He clearly hadn't played Risk before his homicidal rush for world power.

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5 minutes ago, Herman said:

He clearly hadn't played Risk before his homicidal rush for world power.

More Braun than brains.....obviously.....

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14 minutes ago, Disco Dales Jockstrap said:

You can't fight a war on three fronts and win. Luckily, Hitler was a poor commander as well as being a complete loon.

I love a good World War Two discussion!

OTBC

However, he was fond of his dog😀🐕

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https://www.itv.com/news/2020-04-05/coronavirus-premier-league-football-donate-wages-hospices-matt-hancock-daniel-hewitt/

“The hospices of this country have traditionally been largely funded by charity and charity shops. Those shops have had to close so I'm putting more money - taxpayer's money - into hospices to support them but why don't our footballers club together and support our hospices and support the national effort that we're all in?

“I think that is the sort of thing that would go down really well and help bring the country together.”

They're not working at the moment so these footballers should be using thier spare time making masks, finding a vaccine, transporting PPE around the country and finding a cure for cancer.

Some of them have children, why aren't they cleaning chimneys?

 

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9 minutes ago, ricardo said:

However, he was fond of his dog😀🐕

Indeed! 'Blondi' if I recall correctly. 

"I was Hitler's Dog" would have been a fascinating biography to read...if dogs could write...and if Hitler hadn't of killed her.

OTBC

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Disco Dales Jockstrap said:

Indeed! 'Blondi' if I recall correctly. 

"I was Hitler's Dog" would have been a fascinating biography to read...if dogs could write...and if Hitler hadn't of killed her.

OTBC

Actually he escaped in a submarine to Argentina with Blondi and Mrs H.😉

Must be true, I saw it on a Youtube video😁

Edited by ricardo
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Actually he escaped in a submarine to Argentina with Blondi and Mrs H.

David Sullivan, protector of the Fourth Estate told us in one of his rags that he had escaped to the moon in an old WWII bomber. I hope Guy Gibson wasn't the pilot as his dog, before it was run over, was called something quite the opposite.

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