Government determines COVID-19 outcomes, so Congress will work on impeachment

Government action determines the death rate from/with COVID-19. With the right laws, and/or female leadership, we could have a death rate of 0 (see Cambodia), in fact. We’re at the height of Plague Wave #2. Californians donned the hijab and observed the sacraments of the Church of Shutdown, yet still the God of Corona was not appeased (NYT):

Plainly we need some different laws. Is Congress right now fully engaged in passing those new laws that would save hundreds of thousands of American lives? “House Democrats plan to vote Wednesday to impeach Trump” (CNN):

House Democrats plan to vote Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told Democrats on a caucus call Monday, setting up an impeachment vote one week after rioters incited by Trump overran Capitol police and breached some of the most secure areas of the US Capitol.

The House will vote Tuesday evening on a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from power, and then plan to vote Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET on the impeachment resolution, Hoyer said.

Democrats formally introduced their impeachment resolution Monday, charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” as they race toward making him the first president in history to be impeached twice.

In other words, rather than beat COVID-19 with muscular government action, Congress will devote full time to impeaching a president who is already effectively gone (as far as anyone without a Chinese IP address can determine).


  • “Democrats were for occupying capitols before they were against it” (Washington Post): “Thousands of protesters rushed to the … Capitol Wednesday night, forcing their way through doors, crawling through windows and jamming corridors.” That is how one newspaper described the storming of the Capitol — not the one in Washington last week, but the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., a decade ago. Back then, thousands of pro-union activists — many bused in from out of state — rampaged through the historic building in an effort to stop a vote on collective bargaining reform legislation. … House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) praised the occupiers for an “impressive show of democracy in action” and tweeted as they assaulted the Capitol that she continued “to stand in solidarity” with the union activists. In other words, Democrats were for occupying capitols before they were against it.
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What will Democrats do with the U.S. and what should investors do?

Based on the Georgia Senate races, in which my friends who call themselves “feminist” cheered for the idea of someone identifying as a “woman” losing her important job, it looks as though the Democrats will be in charge of the U.S. (Regarding today’s events at the Capitol, an immigrant friend said “it’s like BLM just with white people.”)

Now that elite insiders are ruling again, what should we do as investors? To answer that question, first we have to try to figure out what the Democrats will do.

Let’s assume the first priority for the Democrats is to stay in power forever. The simplest way for that to happen is by ramping up low-skill immigration, which has been at the rate of more than 1 million low-skill migrants/year for more than 50 years (Pew). A migrant single mom in public housing is not going to vote for a white male Republican empty suit! A 70-year-old chain migrant parent who consumes $40,000/year in Medicare is not going to vote to trim the Federal budget. The procedure for becoming a citizen is not frozen into the Constitution, right? The Democrat-controlled Congress can streamline citizenship into a 1-year web-based process. That will guarantee a ton of new loyal Democrats for the 2022 elections. Ramp up low-skill immigration to 2 million/year to ensure continued power indefinitely.

(How can we be sure that this is the right strategy for Democrats? The Republicans thought it was, which is why they sought to curtail immigration during the dictatorship of the Trumpenfuhrer.)

The American working class will be the biggest losers (Harvard study), paying higher rents and receiving lower wages, with a massive transfer of wealth to upper-income Americans (the transfer was already at $500 billion/year 10 years ago, according to the Harvard eggheads). Life will be good for the rich, who will pay the same prices for Ubers, restaurant meals, etc. that they would pay if they went to some of the world’s poorest countries. The rich will receive higher rents for the urban real estate that they own and pay lower wages to the workers they employ (either directly or through corporations whose shares they own).

Can one trade on this expectation? We can’t short working class people or go long rich people, though.

Similarly, Bigger Government means the biggest enterprises will thrive. Many of the small businesses that accidentally survived 2020 will be destroyed going forward as increased regulation requires companies to “Go Big or Go Home.” But small businesses are not publicly traded, so there is no obvious way to short them.

How about buying a REIT that holds urban apartment houses? My theory for why urban Americans vote for Democrats while rural/suburban Americans vote for Republicans is that Big Government spends most tax dollars in cities: public housing, hospitals, government jobs, etc. In 2016 for example, Donald Trump won only 4 percent of votes in Washington, D.C., the ultimate example of a city that gets richer when government expands. The low-skill migrants will migrate primarily to cities where taxpayers will fund their housing for the next 100+ years (“means-tested” public housing programs of various kinds, not “welfare” when you pay $125/month, including utilities, for a 3BR in Manhattan or San Francisco!). Increased demand and the river of federal cash will drive up rents even for apartments not occupied by migrants.

Bigger Government is good for cronies. Here in Maskachusetts, for example, we are floated on a tide of federal cash subsidizing Big Pharma Big Higher Ed, and Big Health Care. (Where does the money come from? Medicare/Medicaid and tax subsidies for health insurance, $66 billion for the federal Department of Education, most of which ends up subsidizing student loans and grants) We can’t buy stock in universities or hospitals, though, as they are nominally non-profit. How about the companies that give money personally to Democrats, just before and just after they are in office? “Biden’s treasury secretary pick Janet Yellen earned more than $7 MILLION in speaking fees in 2 years from financial firms and tech giants including Goldman Sachs and Google” (Daily Mail) gives some insight into which publicly traded companies might look forward to favorable treatment.

(A neighbor’s house, photographed from the helicopter by my friend Tony, part of my poorly received #InThisTogether series on Facebook:

Note the solar panels that will be funded by middle-class taxpayers in Maskachusetts.)

One of the best features of the U.S., from the point of view of folks in New York, California, and other high-tax states, was that residents of lower-income lower-tax states had to subsidize rich Democrats in higher-tax states via the deductibility of state and local taxes. This program was cruelly ended for 2018 with the Trump tax law. It seems reasonable to expect that one of the first things a Democrat-controlled Congress will do is restore unlimited deductibility for state and local taxes. How to trade based on that expectation, though? Buy the Case-Shiller Index for houses in New York and San Francisco and short the South Florida sub-index? A house in New York should have a higher value if property tax and personal income tax associated with living in that house become deductible once more.

The Democrats are the party of the American rich. From the NYT:

Joe Biden has outraised President Trump on the strength of some of the wealthiest and most educated ZIP codes in the United States, … In ZIP codes with a median household income of at least $100,000, Mr. Biden smashed Mr. Trump in fund-raising, $486 million to only $167 million — accounting for almost his entire financial edge.

(see also “Biden is vastly outspending Trump in the final week of the 2020 race” and “Trump spent about half of what Clinton did on his way to the presidency”)

If the Democrats are funded by the rich, presumably the rich will be getting much richer in the coming years under Democratic rule. We can’t short the middle class and buy the rich. But maybe we can buy companies that make the things that the rich want. Let’s consider American cities. They’re on track to have Chinese levels of population density (with all of the new low-skill migrants) combined with Nigerian levels of infrastructure quality. Rich people will be happy to pay to escape these crowded virus breeding grounds. We already saw this to some extent in 2020. Luxury oceanfront real estate boomed. My friend who runs a Gulfstream charter operation had his best year ever. Could we trade on this expectation by purchasing shares in General Dynamics, Gulfstream’s parent company, and in luxury hotel chains?

How about Bitcoin? I personally think that Democrats’ stress on LGBTQIA+ issues is a way of delivering social justice without having to reduce personal spending. What if I’m wrong as usual, though, and President Harris does raise tax rates dramatically? We should expect a big rise in Bitcoin (but maybe this is already priced in via the recent lift? BTC is 3X what it was in October) as Americans try to move money offshore and/or out of reach of the IRS. (I personally know a fair number of folks who have big unrealized gains in BTC that are inherently hidden from government and financial institutions.)

One of my savvier friends (he doubled his wealth during coronashutdown, for example, by betting (with public equities) that Americans would be champions at cowering in place)):

If you hold cash, it’s about 3% value loss per year, accounting for inflation. I want to take out a huge mortgage to lock in a 2.5% 30 year rate. No way inflation stays below 3%.

Maybe this will be an even better strategy if Democrats lift limits on mortgage interest deductibility, which is a question of basic fairness. The current mortgage interest deduction limit is $750,000, which is a 1,200 square-foot apartment in a righteous area and a 4,000 square-foot single-family house among the Deplorables.

How about a simpler strategy of investing in Asia and selling off stocks that are mostly dependent on the U.S. economy. Kids in China spend 2020 in school; kids in the U.S. spent 2020 on Xbox and will probably stick with Xbox/Netflix for 2021. If education drives wealth, we have to expect Asia to perform better than the U.S.

Very loosely related… a 2008 photo of one of the whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium, funded by Trump supporter and Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus.

Readers: What are your best ideas to profit from the return to rule by elites?


  • Programs to raise female wages will secure a voting majority for Democrats? quotes the Economist: “unmarried women are spectacularly loyal to the Democrats … The ‘marriage gap’ dwarfs the sex gap, by which women as a whole have long favoured Democrats.” (if women can earn a lot in the labor market they won’t bother getting married; another way Democrats can benefit is by making divorce lawsuits more lucrative; if more women are divorced that means more votes for Democrats, but this depends on state-by-state initiatives)
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Rich white Americans help themselves to subsidies from Black Americans

“Complacency and wasteful spending blight US higher education” (

The push by American progressives to have Joe Biden’s incoming administration forgive $50,000 of student debt per borrower is deeply stupid, but at least clarifyingly so.

More polite language fails to capture the absurdity of singling out college attendees for an unprecedented $1tn transfer of wealth — equivalent to the total spent on cash welfare in the last 40 years. The top sources of US student debt are professional business and law degrees. [Brookings]

(The comparison to “cash welfare” is misleading because nearly all U.S. welfare spending is officially “not cash” and, for Democrats, “not welfare”. A person who gets a free “means-tested” house, a free “means-tested” health insurance policy, free food via SNAP/EBT, and free phone service via Obamaphone is not “on welfare” and is not receiving “cash welfare”.)

The article contains some other fun facts. College here costs 2X what it costs in Germany or France. Only one quarter of the folks who sign up at two-year community colleges earn a degree within six years. And the author points out that young people would be stupid not to take the opportunity to enjoy “sports and parties, sex and alcohol” for four years at taxpayer expense.

What the author doesn’t mention is that Black Americans will be paying for this while white Americans will be the ones primarily enjoying the sports, parties, sex, and alcohol.

If 2020 was the year that old white rich Americans stole a year of life from young healthy slender Black Americans (by locking them down to “protect” them from a disease from which they faced minimal risk), maybe 2021 will be the year that young white rich Americans steal massive quantities of cash from Black Americans via student loan forgiveness?


  • “Who owes the most in student loans: New data from the Fed” (Brookings): The highest-income 40 percent of households (those with incomes above $74,000) owe almost 60 percent of the outstanding education debt … The lowest-income 40 percent of households hold just under 20 percent of the outstanding debt. … education debt is concentrated in households with high levels of educational attainment. In 2019, the new Fed data show, households with graduate degrees owed 56 percent of the outstanding education debt—an increase from 49 percent in 2016. The 3 percent of adults with professional and doctorate degrees hold 20 percent of the education debt. These households have median earnings more than twice as high as the overall median.
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Social Justice Christmas Gifts

What Would Jesus Give this Christmas? Here are my ideas…

The GayBCs, a book for 4-8-year-olds.

A is for ALLY.
A friend who is there
to stand up for you
with strength, love, and care.

B is for BI.
You can shout it out loud:
“I like boys and girls,
and that makes me proud!”

C is for COMING OUT.
You’re ready to share
what you feel deep inside;
it’s okay to be scared.

Note to computer programmers: Nobody wants you to share what you feel deep inside.

The book gets 4.5 stars on Amazon.

(Should S be for Sashay if we are trying to teach away from stereotypes?)

How about this one…

H is for HATER

Who won’t buy the GayBCs

And don’t forget to “Queer Your Screen Time”. From a companion document:

What if you don’t have a 4-8-year-old who needs to learn about LGBTQIA+ terminology? From … dress like Goya Employee of the Month AOC in a $58 sweatshirt:

Miss your inexpensive and plentiful Ubers? Also from AOC, a $28 hat to demonstrate your advocacy of open borders for low-skill migrants:

You might also want this $30 T shirt from Ilhan Omar:

A $34 “Justice from Detroit to Gaza” T shirt from Rashida Tlaib:

Readers: What are your best ideas for social justice gifts?

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The Dr. Jill Biden stories are preparing Americans for her rule?

A big selling point for the Democrats is the assertion that elite technocratic rule yields superior results compared to rule by ordinary folks. Democrats #FollowScience by citing experts with credentials while Republicans cite common sense. A Republican, for example, might remember “Rising Obesity in the United States Is a Public Health Crisis” (2018; “Obesity accounts for 18 percent of deaths among Americans ages 40 to 85…”) and conclude that denying children a year of gym class, making it illegal for kids to run around together, locking down adults next to their refrigerators (15 lb. weight gain typical), and shutting down activities that resulted in a few thousand steps per day of incidental walking would kill far more people than could conceivably be saved via a lockdown. The uncredentialed Republican wouldn’t need to try to run a calculation of lost life-years, but simply look around at obese neighbors and say “parking these folks next to the fridge for a year is the worst idea ever.”

The Ed.D that Jill Biden obtained is a credential “for certified teachers already possessing master’s degrees who seek to become administrators.” ( The master’s degrees themselves are worthless in terms of improving teaching ability and outcomes (Washington Monthly; Baltimore Sun; CPRE: “on average, master’s degrees in education bear no relation to student achievement”).

Why would Mx. Biden insist on being called “Dr.”? He/she/ze/they would not be referred to as Dr. under the conventional American newspaper style guide (MDs who support Donald Trump aren’t “Dr.” either; e.g., see this 2018 NYT article in which Ben Carson, MD, a neurosurgeon, is referred to as “Mr. Carson”).

What if the answer is that faithful Democrats are being prepared for Jill Biden’s rule? In order to be a legitimate ruler in Democrat voters’ eyes, she needs some sort of technocratic expertise and the Ed.D credential is a demonstration of that. “Smart enough to have sex with a married Congressman” is not an obvious qualification for managing a $5 trillion enterprise. With the EdD highlighted, American Democrats can feel comfortable being governed by a senile Joe Biden following Dr. Biden’s science-informed instructions. Joe won’t have to yield to President Harris, but can instead govern in the same sense that Woodrow Wilson governed following his stroke (see “When a secret president ran the country” (PBS)).

From March 2020, the factory of future primary care non-EdD “doctors” for the “underserved” (that’s what the M3s say that they’re planning to do; where the U.S. finds plastic surgeons and dermatologists is a mystery).


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Elites dine out in Los Angeles while schools for the non-elites are closed

“LA County Supervisor dines at restaurant hours after voting to ban outdoor dining” (Fox 11, LA):

Just hours after Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl voted to ban outdoor dining at L.A. County’s 31,000 restaurants over COVID-19 safety concerns, she visited a restaurant in Santa Monica, where she dined outdoors, FOX 11 has learned on Monday.

During Tuesday’s L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting, Kuehl referred to outside dining as “a most dangerous situation” over what she described as a risk of tables of unmasked patrons potentially exposing their servers to the coronavirus.

This is a serious health emergency and we must take it seriously,” Kuehl said.

“The servers are not protected from us, and they’re not protected from their other tables that they’re serving at that particular time, plus all the hours in which they’re working.”

Kuehl went on to vote in support of restricting outdoor dining in Los Angeles County, which passed by a 3-2 margin of the Board of Supervisors.

In other words, reasonable minds can differ on whether or not restaurant dining is permissible. Everyone can agree that public schools for children of the non-elite, closed since March, should remain closed. From the LAUSD site (retrieved 12/1):

As the level of the virus in the Los Angeles area remains widespread, state guidelines say schools cannot reopen at this time, and we will not reopen schools until it’s safe and appropriate to do so. We are preparing to serve students at schools as soon as it’s possible, in the safest way possible. Our plans include the highest standards for health, education and employee practices at schools.

Meanwhile, in Frogland… “Positive Test Rate of 11 Percent? France’s Schools Remain Open.” (NYT) How about in “give the finger to the virus” territory? From “Sweden has kept schools open during the pandemic despite spike in cases”:

I think it is good that they don’t wear face masks,” one mother tells FRANCE 24, as she leaves her children at school. “I think it is very important that they go to school, otherwise it would be very difficult for me to work.”

The teachers also believe it is very important to stay open, particularly for struggling students.

“They need a teacher in the same room as them to cheer them on and clarify things,” says Charlotte Hammarback, a teacher at the NYA Elementary School in Stockholm. “Most of the time these students will not ask for help, they will just sit and wait until someone comes up to them.”

No-mask Mom doesn’t #FollowScience!

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The stock market is up because Bigger Government is great for Big Business?

The stock market has been up lately, perhaps in response to the Biden-Harris electoral victory. I wonder if this makes sense. Democrats promise a bigger government. The companies that are well situated to harvest contracts, bailouts, etc. are the biggest American companies. Investors could expect a disaster for small business owners and the working class (i.e., the folks who voted for Trump), but that shouldn’t discourage them from buying stock in publicly traded companies (i.e., the biggest U.S. companies).

From “The Biden Popular Front Is Doomed to Unravel” (New Republic):

It may turn out that Donald Trump was the one force keeping the Democratic Party together.

Trump didn’t sell out his supporters. In fact, his presidency saw something extraordinary, even if it was all but invisible from the country’s globalized cities: the first egalitarian boom since well back into the twentieth century. In 2019, the last non-Covid year, he presided over an average 3.7 percent unemployment rate and 4.7 percent wage growth among the lowest quartile of earners. All income brackets increased their take. That had happened in the last three Obama years, too. The difference is that in the Obama part of the boom, the income of the top decile rose by 20 percent, with tiny gains for other groups. In the Trump economy, the distribution was different. Net worth of the top 10 percent rose only marginally, while that of all other groups vaulted ahead. In 2019, the share of overall earnings going to the bottom 90 percent of earners rose for the first time in a decade.

The reasons for Trump’s success are not yet clear. They may well have involved his unorthodox policy choices: above all, limiting immigration.

So the good times for the elites might be even better soon! That’s a great reason to purchase stock in America’s largest companies owned by elites, managed by elites, and mostly employing the reasonably elite).

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Even a dead president needs prohibited airspace

President George H.W. Bush died two years. He left office more than 27 years ago. As far as pilots in New England are concerned, his most important legacy is Prohibited Area P-67, centered on the former/late president’s house in Kennebunkport, Maine:

It is thus illegal to zip up the coast at a low altitude, but why? To protect Barbara Bush, the former First Lady? She died in 2018 as well. Because George W. Bush occasionally goes up there? (But then why would it be necessary to “check NOTAMs daily for expansion”? Does a big TFR follow an ex-President?) Because the U.S. government is good at prohibiting things, but has no mechanism for de-prohibiting?

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High hopes for Kamala Harris

Our hotel in Bowling Green, Kentucky had a stack of the WKU student newspapers. From “A ‘monumental moment’: What a Kamala Harris vice presidency means for young POC”:

Americans have been governed by a white executive since 1789 when George Washington and John Adams assumed the presidency and vice presidency. It wasn’t until Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 that representation truly began to change.

“Kamala Harris being the first African-American Asian woman vice president is life-changing for so many girls including myself,” freshman journalism and broadcasting major Brianna Cooks said. “Growing up as a girl and in the minority race I never saw someone on TV or in a position of authority that I could look up to. Kamala Harris gives me encouragement and hopefully other young girls of color and other races.”

Harris is next in line for the presidency, and that is a symbol of hope for many women of color. “Now we have someone to look up to and we know that if she did it we can too,” Cooks said.

All of our problems are solved? Maybe not. From Chicago (stopped for fuel and shut down to let the 48-knot surface winds move off the Great Plains):

And from Bethesda, Maryland on the way back:

“BLM is the minimum,” which means that our neighbors are actually weak. “Black Lives are Needed,” which means that the Chinese are finished. Should we short the SSE Composite? (Sad: flight instructors are classified as “essential” yet we are not thanked.)


  • Election 2008 Prediction: Obama wins by 5 percent; we will all be depressed (from December 2007: “People assume that all of their problems can be blamed on George W. Bush personally. When the hated King Bush II has been back to Texas for a year and the beloved Obama has been in office for a year, people will look around for a quick status check. They will still be stuck in horrific traffic. They will still be paying insane prices for crummy housing in bleak, lonely communities. Their children will be getting a terrible education at the local public school, perhaps developing to about 15 percent of their potential. If in a hip urban area, criminals will still be smashing their car windows and taking their GPS. They will realize that virtually none of the things that are unpleasant about their life have anything to do with the federal government, except for the war in Iraq, which a quick check of the headlines will reveal that we are still losing.”)
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Thanksgiving in the Land of Liberty

A round-up of Thanksgiving policies in the Land of Liberty (TM), COVID-19 edition:

Feel better about paying $trillions for the military that protects us from losing our liberty to the Canadians or Mexicans!

An immigrant originally from Moscow: “I never imagined that one day people would have more freedom in Russia than in the U.S.”

If you’re a sports car enthusiast, this floor sign from the National Corvette Museum might be a good addition to your living room before the relatives show up…

(Photo taken on Monday. Hardly anyone was adhering to this rule. Just as the Swedish MD/PhDs predicted, once you tell humans that masks will protect them, they don’t worry about proximity to other humans.)

Readers: I hope that your turkey cooking goes well! Our dish towel:

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