Steel Employment and Production

Employment and production were declining before the pandemic. March employment is roughly the same as three years ago. Production is down 7.8% in April vs. three years prior.

Figure 1: Employment, 000’s (blue, left scale), and production (red, right scale), in NAICS 3311, iron and steel. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: BLS and Federal Reserve. 

All this comes at a time of a 60% increase in the iron/steel PPI.

57 thoughts on “Steel Employment and Production

    1. Ivan

      I think that is correct. It would sort of make sense. If you increase competitiveness by taxes on imports, then the domestic industry can survive without needing to increase its productivity. Old inefficient plants can survive (or be revived). Still I think the main damage is that all the domestic companies using steel and aluminum to create products (cars, appliances, etc.) will become less competitive because the cost for their raw materials goes up, whereas it doesn’t for their foreign competitors.

      Reply
  1. Barkley Rosser

    So, Trump’s protectionism for steel gained about 5,000 jobs in the industry or so? Wow, that should really impress our house protectionists.

    Reply
  2. pgl

    Oh good grief – a new trade war?

    https://mnetax.com/ustr-updates-next-steps-of-section-301-digital-services-taxes-investigations-six-countries-still-subject-to-potential-action-us-trade-representative%e2%86%92-43186

    A little background. I think we all know companies like Google and Facebook are tax cheats shifting tons of profits to tax havens because the IRS is not enforcing our transfer pricing rules. Now the European nations have noticed that and all of a sudden thinks the intangible profits that we do not tax should be part of their tax base. The OECD has noticed and made this even more complicated with “PILLAR ONE”.

    But why wait for all these bodies to deliberate and deliberate. The Europeans have decided to impose excise taxes known as digital taxes.

    And of course not letting Zuckerberg get away with massive tax evasion is such an evil European socialist scheme we have to impose tariffs on their goods.

    Yes – the world has gone bonkers again but Zuckerberg is laughing all the way to the bank.

    Reply
  3. ltr

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-06/03/c_139987012.htm

    June 3, 2021

    Over 700 mln COVID-19 vaccine doses administered across China

    BEIJING — More than 700 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered across China as of Wednesday, the National Health Commission said Thursday.

    [ China is administering 20 million doses daily of 5 coronavirus vaccines domestically. Another 350 million Chinese vaccine doses have been distributed internationally. ]

    Reply
  4. ltr

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/03/business/economy/wage-growth-pandemic.html

    June 3, 2021

    Wage Growth Is Holding Up in Aftermath of the Economic Crash
    The pay increases are giving Democrats a bragging point. But it comes with risks: Gains could fade, or spark quicker price inflation.
    By Ben Casselman and Jeanna Smialek

    When millions of workers were getting layoff notices last spring, Sharon McCown got something different: a raise.

    Target, where Ms. McCown was earning $13 an hour stocking shelves and helping customers, gave frontline workers an extra $2 an hour in hazard pay in the early months of the pandemic. The company later raised starting pay permanently to $15 an hour, and paid out a series of bonuses to hourly employees.

    The extra pay, combined with relief checks from the federal government and the forced savings that came with pandemic life, means Ms. McCown, who is 62 and lives in Louisville, Ky., will emerge from the pandemic in better financial shape than she was in before it.

    “I did save quite a bit of money given that I wasn’t doing as I usually do, going out to movies, going out to dinner,” she said. “I would look at my bank account, and I was really happy with it.”

    Workers in retail, hospitality and other service industries bore the brunt of last year’s mass layoffs. But unlike low-wage workers in past recessions, whose earnings power eroded, many of those who held on to their jobs saw their wages rise even during the worst months of the pandemic.

    Now, as the economy bounces back and employers need to find staff, workers have the kind of leverage that is more typical of a prolonged boom than the aftermath of a devastating recession. Average earnings for non-managers in leisure and hospitality hit $15 an hour in February for the first time on record; in April, they rose to $15.70, a more than 4.5 percent raise in just two months….

    Reply
    1. pgl

      Good for Sharon McCown. Maybe she could use her pay raise to help poor Princeton Steve buy his bagels!

      Reply
    2. Ivan

      With all the right wing whining about increased salaries not being worth it because it just will lead to increased prices I would like to know this:

      If all the salaries below $12 were increased by 10% how many billions would that be in increased production (wage) cost as a whole for the country?
      If all of that increased production cost was added to the prices of products and services, what kind of increased cost (inflation) would that become.

      I would be surprised if a 10% increase in wages for the lowest paid would produce more than a 1% increases in prices (inflation) even if it was all pushed on to the consumers.

      Reply
      1. Steven Kopits

        Maybe you prefer Nick Wade.

        https://nicholaswade.medium.com/origin-of-covid-following-the-clues-6f03564c038

        Let me quote a section:

        Dr. Shi returned to her lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and resumed the work she had started on genetically engineering coronaviruses to attack human cells.

        How can we be so sure?

        Because, by a strange twist in the story, her work was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). And grant proposals that funded her work, which are a matter of public record, specify exactly what she planned to do with the money.

        The grants were assigned to the prime contractor, Dr. Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance, who subcontracted them to Dr. Shi. Here are extracts from the grants for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. “CoV” stands for coronavirus and “S protein” refers to the virus’s spike protein.

        “Test predictions of CoV inter-species transmission. Predictive models of host range (i.e. emergence potential) will be tested experimentally using reverse genetics, pseudovirus and receptor binding assays, and virus infection experiments across a range of cell cultures from different species and humanized mice.”

        “We will use S protein sequence data, infectious clone technology, in vitro and in vivo infection experiments and analysis of receptor binding to test the hypothesis that % divergence thresholds in S protein sequences predict spillover potential.”

        What this means, in non-technical language, is that Dr. Shi set out to create novel coronaviruses with the highest possible infectivity for human cells. Her plan was to take genes that coded for spike proteins possessing a variety of measured affinities for human cells, ranging from high to low. She would insert these spike genes one by one into the backbone of a number of viral genomes (“reverse genetics” and “infectious clone technology”), creating a series of chimeric viruses. These chimeric viruses would then be tested for their ability to attack human cell cultures (“in vitro”) and humanized mice (“in vivo”). And this information would help predict the likelihood of “spillover,” the jump of a coronavirus from bats to people.

        The methodical approach was designed to find the best combination of coronavirus backbone and spike protein for infecting human cells. The approach could have generated SARS2-like viruses, and indeed may have created the SARS2 virus itself with the right combination of virus backbone and spike protein.
        It cannot yet be stated that Dr. Shi did or did not generate SARS2 in her lab because her records have been sealed, but it seems she was certainly on the right track to have done so. “It is clear that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was systematically constructing novel chimeric coronaviruses and was assessing their ability to infect human cells and human-ACE2-expressing mice,” says Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University and leading expert on biosafety.

        “It is also clear,” Dr. Ebright said, “that, depending on the constant genomic contexts chosen for analysis, this work could have produced SARS-CoV-2 or a proximal progenitor of SARS-CoV-2.” “Genomic context” refers to the particular viral backbone used as the testbed for the spike protein.
        The lab escape scenario for the origin of the SARS2 virus, as should by now be evident, is not mere hand-waving in the direction of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. It is a detailed proposal, based on the specific project being funded there by the NIAID.

        Even if the grant required the work plan described above, how can we be sure that the plan was in fact carried out? For that we can rely on the word of Dr. Daszak, who has been much protesting for the last 15 months that lab escape was a ludicrous conspiracy theory invented by China-bashers.
        On 9 December 2019, before the outbreak of the pandemic became generally known, Dr. Daszak gave an interview in which he talked in glowing terms of how researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been reprogramming the spike protein and generating chimeric coronaviruses capable of infecting humanized mice.

        “And we have now found, you know, after 6 or 7 years of doing this, over 100 new sars-related coronaviruses, very close to SARS,” Dr. Daszak says around minute 28 of the interview. “Some of them get into human cells in the lab, some of them can cause SARS disease in humanized mice models and are untreatable with therapeutic monoclonals and you can’t vaccinate against them with a vaccine. So, these are a clear and present danger….
        “Interviewer: You say these are diverse coronaviruses and you can’t vaccinate against them, and no anti-virals — so what do we do?

        “Daszak: Well I think…coronaviruses — you can manipulate them in the lab pretty easily. Spike protein drives a lot of what happen with coronavirus, in zoonotic risk. So you can get the sequence, you can build the protein, and we work a lot with Ralph Baric at UNC to do this. Insert into the backbone of another virus and do some work in the lab. So you can get more predictive when you find a sequence. You’ve got this diversity. Now the logical progression for vaccines is, if you are going to develop a vaccine for SARS, people are going to use pandemic SARS, but let’s insert some of these other things and get a better vaccine.” The insertions he referred to perhaps included an element called the furin cleavage site, discussed below, which greatly increases viral infectivity for human cells.

        Reply
        1. pgl

          Snore. Yes – they were experiments like this. EVERYONE with a brain knows this. But that provides ZERO evidence of the Trump scam that this lab decided to infect the world with the fruits of this experiment. EVERYONE with a brain knows that too.

          Of course with you – it is not clear whether you are just lying or whether you have nothing but straw in your brain.

          Trump wants to sue China for $10 trillion. Has he promised you with a 1% commission fee if his law suit prevails.

          Let me give you a little advice – don’t spend in anticipation of collecting this fee as you will not get a dime. But we all know you will continue with your parade of lies. It’s what you do.

          Reply
        2. pgl

          Princeton Steve wants us to waste 45 minutes of our day reading some spin from a known right wing nut job names Nicholas Wade who is spinning some crap that Anthony Fauci helped fund a Chinese lab that deliberately created this COVID-19 crisis.

          What are Wade’s credentials? He calls himself a science writer and he may have written a piece or two for the NYTimes. But his new gig seems to be writing science fiction.

          Reply
        3. pgl

          ““And we have now found, you know, after 6 or 7 years of doing this, over 100 new sars-related coronaviruses, very close to SARS,” Dr. Daszak says around minute 28 of the interview. “Some of them get into human cells in the lab, some of them can cause SARS disease in humanized mice models and are untreatable with therapeutic monoclonals and you can’t vaccinate against them with a vaccine. So, these are a clear and present danger….”

          Since Princeton Stevie pooh put the last part of this in italics and bold – I’m sure he read it. But does he understand it? Gee we DO have vaccines and therapeutic monoclonals that successfully treat COVID-19. And this is his evidence that the Wuhan lab caused this virus? WTF? One has to wonder how anyone can be this incredibly STUPID!

          Reply
          1. Steven Kopits

            My read on that was that covid-19 was not one of the dangerous pathogens in their arsenal. This was the junior varsity, why it apparently ending up in a BLS-2 lab. The varsity stuff is the making of the Planet of the Apes.

        4. Ivan

          Knowing a little is usually more problematic than complete ignorance – you are a perfect example of this.

          We actually know the genetic sequence of the coronavirus that got out of Wuhan to “explore” the world. We have complete genetic sequences of early isolates from humans in US, Germany, Spain and Italy, confirmed by dozens of independent laboratories. One thing that is clear from comparing those sequences is that the natural isolates from bats are very similar – none of the minor differences between SARS-CoV-2 and natural bat isolates suggests that SARS-CoV-2 has been genetically manipulated to become more infectious to humans (rather than arriving by natural mutations in the wild). The sequences are simply not compatible with the suggestion that they are the product of a deliberate rational process to make the virus more infectious to human cells.

          The only scientifically legitimate question from the “blame China” crowd is whether the natural variant SARS-CoV-2 was traveling directly from a bat to a human in the dirty man-to-bat environment of non-scientists, or it was studied in a clean lab and somehow evaded the airlock/spacesuit procedures of a science lab.

          For those of us with a scientific background or our Bull Shit meter turned on sentences like:

          “The approach could have generated SARS2-like viruses” and “It cannot yet be stated that Dr. Shi did or did not generate SARS2” are the equivalent of “we do not know whether or not Mr. Kopits is a pedophile”. Any scientist who want to make a claim should provide evidence in support of it, not say that it cannot be disproved that ….. I mean where are we; in a high school cafeteria ?

          Reply
          1. Steven Kopits

            I have relayed the considered work of a writer in Vanity Fair and I believe Nick Wade is the NYT science reporter. But, hey, if the Chinese want to convince us that it wasn’t theirs, open the books and let us look. Everything the Chinese authorities have done smacks of cover up.

          2. baffling

            the coincidence of the wuhan lab and the origin is what makes me keep this as possible option. but like ivan points out, when you look at the scientific evidence available (call this a caveat), the data does not suggest the virus was manipulated by humans. the genetic sequence does not stand out in an artificial way, which it should if it was a lab creation that leaked.
            in the lab, i think there is very little likelihood that the virus jumped to humans through cell culture tests. very unlikely. now it may be more possible that it jumped if the virus was injected in live mice. those critters certainly increase the safety risk of exposure. but a simple test would be to see exactly how susceptible a mouse is to the virus. if the virus does not infect a mouse, then i doubt this would be the path to infect humans. as of today, i have not heard if that is an issue.

          3. Barkley Rosser

            Steven and others,

            These links you provided miss the latest, focusing way too much on the WIV and Dr. Shi.

            Front page of WaPo today has a lot on Tian Junshun of the Wuhan CDC, the lab around the corner from the wet market there, the one Moses Herzog is unaware exists.. He was the guy in the bat caves, a scientist, the “bat hunter.” Not clear if he brought any bats back, but he did bring a lot of samples of bat viruses back, and several people in that cave in Yunnan got very seriously ill.

          4. pgl

            “Steven Kopits
            June 4, 2021 at 1:04 pm
            And who are you, Ivan?”

            Ivan – Princeton Steve has a bigger ego than even Donald Trump. After all he is the chief economist for Fox and Friends.

            ‘And who are you?’ Princeton Steve is a total a$$.

          5. pgl

            ‘I believe Nick Wade is the NYT science reporter.’

            Try science fiction writer wee old blow hard. A reporter is not a scientist. And a shifty consultant who happens to have a place in New Jersey is no expert on these issues. Stevie – you idea of credentials makes Lawrence Kudlow look like an economist with a Nobel Prize.

          6. Steven Kopits

            Nicholas Wade (born 17 May 1942) is a British author and journalist.[1]

            He is the author of numerous books, and has served as staff writer and editor for Nature, Science, and the science section of The New York Times.[2][3]

            His 2014 book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History was widely denounced by the scientific community for misrepresenting research into human population genetics.[4][5][6]

            Early life and education
            Wade was born in Aylesbury, England[1] and educated at Eton College.[7] He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Natural Sciences from King’s College, Cambridge in 1964.[1]

            Wade immigrated to the United States in 1970.[1]

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Wade

          7. Steven Kopits

            Barkley –

            No one contests that certain workers who went to the caves got sick. However, this is a highly contagious disease and it should therefore be easy to trace back to the caves. Except it is hard to transmit it to bats. Read the Wade piece and the Vanity Fair article.

          8. Barkley Rosser

            Steven,

            Hard to transmit to bats? What does that have to do with anything?

            Your linked articles say almost nothing about this. They are all focused on WIV, a highly secure facility. But that suppressed article by two Chinese last year from the Southern Tech U. of China in fact focused on the WCDC, even as nearly everybody ignores it.

            But this was not a super secure facility. They certainly had lots of bat viruses from a Yunnan cave where people got very sick. The issue is not bats getting sick at the WCDC, but humans getting sick from the large number of bat viruses there in this insecure facility around the corner from the superspreader wet market. I pointed this out last year, but none of you picked up on it, not you, not pgl, and sure as heck not ludicrous “Moses Herzog.” Why not? This is looking more and more like the most likely source. No intermediate animal, none has been found. Viruses from seriously dangerously sick bats end up in an insecure facility at the epicenter of the outbreak. Not hard to have a person get it in the lab, as I have suggested over and over and over here, and then spreading it out of the lab. Looks more likely than all these other stories.

            Final point . The “bat hunter” has gone dead silent, not speaking to anybody, at least not publicly. But, as I always say, we are not going to be able to get to the bottom of this because of so much destruction of dats. Batman stopped doing research on bats some time ago.

          9. Ivan

            The right wing seems to begin with the conclusion (that Chinese scientists/government are to blame for the origination of the virus), then move the goalpost whenever their concocted rationales fall apart under scrutiny. As a trained scientist that just pisses me off – especially if done by people from academic institutions calling themselves “Professors”.

            Having been forced to abandon the baseless “Wuhan lab created the virus” idea, the right wing now has moved on to “Wuhan CDC bat collector got and spread a natural bat virus”. Any unbiased scientist who wanted to understand where this virus came from (with the non-political goal of preventing something like this to happen again) would focus on the likelihood of each alternative pathway from bats to humans. Is the transfer more likely to have happened when a single highly trained scientific bat collector harvesting bats a few times a year; or to one of the dozens of ignorant untrained wild bat collectors who harvest bats to wet markets on a daily basis? Is the transfer more likely to have occurred in the filthy conditions of a wet market where live animals are handled with bar hands, or in a sterile laboratory where negative pressure rooms with sterile filtered air as well as double gloving and masks are standard procedure? For a scientifically trained person with no political agenda, the answers to those questions are not that difficult.

            However, the question of exactly how SARS-CoV-2 moved from bats to humans is the wrong question. For those interested in policies to prevent SARS-CoV-3, rather than just making xenophobic political points, the real question is how to prevent transfer of bat viruses to humans. By far the biggest risk is in exposure of untrained humans to live bats – precautions and procedures should be developed to reduce risk in that setting. Scientific laboratories working with infectious material already have stringent procedures and specially designed laboratories. They should, once again, look over engineering standards and work protocols to see if an already extremely safe situation can be made even safer. However, it reminds me of how years ago I heard a guy, who was grilling himself a burger, saying he wasn’t going to have an apple because it may have the carcinogen Alar in it – ignoring the fact that his burger would contain 50,000 fold more cancer causing potential than any Alar residues on that apple.

            The idea that scientists refusing to hand over their notebooks to outsiders is “proving” they have something to hide is both ignorant and absurd. You try to go to Plum Island and demand that they hand over all their data for a stupid political stunt. We all know that if the books show nothing – the right wing will simply demand another recount claiming that the fact that nothing was found is just showing how good they are at hiding it.

          10. Barkley Rosser

            Holy cow, Ivan, you are claiming to be some sort of scientist, but this latest comment by you is just off-the-wall ignorant and stupid. Sheesh.

            First of all, the right wing has most definitely not given up on the idea the virus was created in the WIV lab by Dr. Shi or her associates. They are doubling down on it, heck way more than doubling down on it. None of them are talking about the WCDC possibility. That was a front page story in WaPo, not a right wing outlet, a day or so ago, and mentioned by me here, and, sorry, I am not a right winger.

            Not only is the right wing doubling (or quadrupling) down on the WIV artificially created story, they are all in on how it was funded by NIH and specifically by Dr. Fauci. He is now being vilified all over right wing media as personally responsible for the coronavirus, an evil man, Tramp had nothing to do with the pandemic, all Dr. Fauci all the time. It has gotten so bad that last night apparently Donald Trump, Jr. declared that he was looking forward to celebrating the murder of Dr. Fauci. This has gone completely out of control and off-the-boards. So, Ivan, sorry, you sure as heck have no effing idea what you are talking about on that stuff, even if you are a “scientist.”

            I agree that people should be more careful about messing with some of these bats. But you are off on yet more stuff here. They were not selling bats in the suspect wet market in Wuhan. The theory that it (or another wet market) was the epicenter source, the theory you seem to be supporting, involves the virus having gone from a bat to an intermediate animal and then to a wet market, with pangolins the leading candidate. But so far none has been found, a major part of the reason why this theory has not swept aside alternatives.

            As for your cheerleading for the strict conditions in these labs, well one reason to think WCDC might be a more likely source than WIV is that the latter operates at a much higher level of security than does the WCDC. I am not aware of anybody particularly checking on what has been going on at the WCDC because so many have been all hyped up about the WIV. But for the right wing a WCDC story does not allow dragging in Dr. Fauci so that he can be murdered.

            In any case, I do hope you are aware that there have been leaks from labs in both China as well as the US. In China one of these was of the SARS that earlier was a problem, widely recognized to have leaked from a lab in Beijing. All this huffing about how it is nearly impossible to have a leak from a lab, especially one that is not a super high security one such as the Wuhan CDC, looks misplaced.

            I think you need to be more careful about what you are writing before you post here again on this topic. You have just fallen flat on your face, making a complete fool of yourself. Some “scientist,” my eye. Gag.

          11. Ivan

            Barkley; your level of ignorance is astounding. Your suggestion that “the SARS that earlier was a problem, widely recognized to have leaked from a lab in Beijing” is supported by nothing. The scientific literature tracking the outbreak of SARS (-CoV-1) simply doesn’t point to any Beijing laboratories but rather to individuals who came in contact with wildlife. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3323155/

          12. Barkley Rosser

            Wow, Ivan, you are even more ignorant than I thought, with a bunch of arrogance on top of it to boot. As it is, you are making Moses Herzog look almost reasonable.

            Your link is too early. There were two rounds of that SARS pandemic. The second one came after the one discussed in your link. Oh, you did not know that? How convenient. It was the second round that was due to in fact two leaks out of a Bejing lab in 2003. There are many sources on this. Just google it. But here is one fairly respectable one.

            the-scientist.com/news/analysis/sars-escaped-beijing-lab-twice-50137 .

            You have now made a major fool of yourself twice here. Want to try again?

          13. Ivan

            You obviously have no understanding of the concept of probability. Your base claim seem to be that because one (out of hundreds) lab in China had a single incidence of a couple of sloppy post-docs getting in trouble over a decade ago – we all have to consider it likely that a facility a thousand miles away with no history of sloppy work, is the likely source of SARS-CoV-2 ?

          14. Barkley Rosser

            Oh, I can’t resist, since the theme of people making fools of themselves over twos has come up. So, we have two people who have indeed made fools of themselves over twos.

            One is Moses Herzog Senior, who managed to declaring that there was not a second virus lab in Wuhan, when, well there is.

            The other is, of course, Ivan the Terrible Scientist, who managed to somehow be unaware that there was a second round of the SARS pandemic back in 2003, that second round triggered by leaks from a virus lab in Beijing.

            Yeah, you can’t make this stuff up.

        5. Ivan

          So I am supposed to be impressed with a link to a sciency newsmagazine? I have wasted enough time on you – why don’t you give us one last brilliant example of you ignorance – then we can all get one last laugh and move on to something more interesting

          Reply
          1. Ivan

            “second round of the SARS pandemic back in 2003”

            Thank you Barkley. Managing to get two things wrong in just a quarter of a sentence! I couldn’t have asked for a better laugh.

          2. Barkley Rosser

            Holy cow, Ivan, you actually want to pretend these leaks (there were two of them) from the Beijing labs did not happen or did not create the second wave of SARS pandemic? Or maybe you think it was only one leak and that was it? There have been many more leaks, indluding ones from US labs. This is not that uncommon, although apparently you so not know what you are talking about.

            Oh, you did not like the “sciency magazine” source? That ultimately links to a refereed journal article. Here is an official US government link to it.

            ncbi.nlim.nig.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7096887 .

            You are just way wrong and out of it on this, and the sooner you accept it and stop floundering around trying to get the egg off your faxce, the better it will be. All you are doing with this floundering is making Moses look smarter than you, how shameful.

          3. Barkley Rosser

            So, Ivan the Terrible Scientist, there were several rounds of SARS leaks out of Beijing labs. Here is another one.

            cdc.gov/sars/media/2004-04-30

            although it only led to a few cases.

          4. baffling

            barkley, as i have told others. it is fine to keep lab leaks as a possibility to consider. but if you want to accuse a nation of creating the epidemic through lab leaks/manipulations, you need to have some pretty sound evidence. right now there is only speculation and coincidence. that evidence is lacking. there is nothing wrong with continuing to investigate this issue. but this is a very serious accusation. accusations should be withheld until we have more certainty. the weapons of mass destruction in iraq should convince you of the ramifications for being wrong.
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/03/22/iraq-war-wmds-an-intelligence-failure-or-white-house-spin/
            it is incumbent on us to continue to investigate and find evidence. failure to find evidence and simply calling it a coverup is not acceptable. we should simply continue to investigate. evidence will eventually emerge, if the lab was a source. our initial accusations by trump only pushed the chinese to further try to hide any evidence, making an investigation even harder than it should have been. those accusations did not help.

          5. Barkley Rosser

            baffling,

            It is a matter of record that there have been lots of lab leaks in both the US and China. Ivan the Terrible Scientist wants to pretend that they did not happen or have never been of any importance in China, declaring that anybody disagreeing with him does not understand probability theory, when in fact the issue is the data, the facts going into the analysis. And he denies facts.

            I do not have the answer, and I am not “making accusations.” I am reporting other peoples’ reports. This should not be politicized by anybody on any side, although plenty are doing so, with it looking to me that you are among tose.

            I have pointed out that there seems to be this quite serious possible alternative that almost nobody is talking about that is neither the “Fauci funded evil Chinese in the WIV to create the virus consciously” and the “it just wandered into the wet market via an unkinown intermediate animal” cases, that it got out of the WCDD that is only 500 meters from the wet market, but that in fact it did originate in the wild. I do not know which of these is true, if any.

            Heck, there is another theory floating around on the internet that it appeared in sewage in Barcelona in Feb. 2019, but that probably this was a version that was not so deadly. Somehow between there and then there was a mutation that ended up with what became the pandemic issuing from the Huanan wet market big time in January 2020. Where did that happen and how if that is the case?

          6. baffling

            https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-science-suggests-a-wuhan-lab-leak-11622995184
            this is the first time i have seen a conspiracy theory that has some actual evidence to support the claim. i am still not convinced. but at least there is some logic to argue why this may have been created in a lab. my feeling is that we do not make accusations. simply keep digging. if the virus was truly modified in the lab, the evidence will slowly emerge, even if people try to hide some of it. have patience to ride this out properly.

    1. Paul Mathis

      It’s his only hope to avoid prison. He knows that Weisselberg has flipped on him and he knows that his business and tax records are very incriminating. Further, he will lose his Secret Service protection in prison so he will likely be put in solitary 23 hours/day to avoid being killed.

      Reply
  5. ltr

    China has administered more than 704.8 million coronavirus vaccine doses domestically, and the vaccines have proven completely effective.  Twenty million doses of 5 Chinese vaccines are now being administered daily in China.  Additionally, 350 million doses of Chinese vaccines have been distributed internationally.  The World Health Organization has approved 2 Chinese vaccines.  Separately, a range of countries have approved a Chinese vaccine.  Presidents, Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers repeatedly express gratitude.

    Chinese vaccines are saving lives, and preserving and protecting health, and tens of millions of recipients understand and are grateful in turn:

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-05/31/c_139981227.htm

    May 31, 2021

    How Chinese COVID-19 vaccines are boosting Serbia’s recovery

    — The China-developed vaccines have showed reliability that “no one could have expected in difficult times and circumstances,” Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said at the reception of the latest batch of Chinese vaccines last week.
    — Support from China also included advice of the best Chinese experts and doctors who helped Serbia combat COVID-19 and technological equipment for Serbian hospitals, doctors, and nurses.
    — Official data shows that notwithstanding limited production capacity and enormous demand at home, China has honored its commitment by providing free vaccines to more than 80 developing countries in urgent need and exporting vaccines to 43 countries….

    Reply
  6. ltr

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-06/03/c_139987565.htm

    June 3, 2021

    Over 700 mln COVID-19 vaccine doses administered across China

    BEIJING — More than 704.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered across China as of Wednesday, the National Health Commission (NHC) said Thursday.

    The number of doses administered has continued to rise at an ever-faster rate since China hit the landmark figure of 100 million on March 27.

    China took just 25 days to hit the next milestone of administering 200 million doses nationwide. It only took five days to increase vaccine distribution from 600 million doses to 700 million.

    A total of 20 vaccines have entered clinical trials in China since last year, according to Zheng Zhongwei, an official with the NHC. “China has been taking the lead in terms of the number of vaccines that are being developed.”

    While quickening domestic vaccination and vaccine research and development, China has honored its solemn commitment to making COVID-19 vaccines a “global public good,” despite its own huge population and supply shortage at home.

    So far, it has provided more than 350 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the international community, including vaccine assistance to more than 80 developing countries and exporting vaccines to more than 40 nations, which has made a significant contribution to the accessibility and affordability of vaccines….

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  7. pgl

    I get Biden’s wish for bipartisan support on his infrastructure plan paid for by collecting more in corporate taxes but this is a bridge too far:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/06/03/biden-infrastructure-tax-republicans/

    Biden originally wanted that global minimum tax of 15% or more and a 28% corporate tax rate. Now he says give us the global minimum tax and McConnell can keep his 21% rate. WTF? Look enforcing the transfer pricing rules may help a little but there is no way to pay for infrastructure without some tax increase. If Biden wants to tax the little guy while giving tax breaks to the rich – he has turned into an old fashion Republican. Sad.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Dysmalist

      OTOH, if the GQP can’t even accept this, which I suspect will be the case, Biden & the Dems have a perfect excuse to go back to the original proposal and to put immense pressure on SineManchin to go along with it and to torch the filibuster once and for all to put it out of our misery. I just can’t see Yertle the Turtle McConnell going along with any Administration proposal, for the simple reason that it would give Biden a victory. If the Dems are willing to play this right, McConnell is in a vise whether he realizes it or not.

      I’m not surprised that iron & steel employment had only a brief bubble upward. Why should those firms use trade protection to hire more people and produce more when management and shareholders can simply pocket the higher prices?

      I also think the ‘hard’ infrastructure parts of Biden’s proposal give him a great excuse to pitch the Trump tariffs into the dumpster – reduce prices on some of the inputs to that part of the bill to lower the overall cost. The actual extent of such cost reductions doesn’t matter. It’s still more plausible (has more basis in theory and fact) than any economic argument made by any Repukelican in at least the last 12 years.

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      1. pgl

        Wait. Their 10-K for fiscal year ended 5/31/2020 indicates they replaced that Bermuda tax dodge with the foreign-derived intangible income benefit in Trump’s little tax deform. So rather than being taxed at 21% intangible profits are taxed at 12.5%. Now Biden should get rid of this massive tax give away.

        I read your link and almost hurt myself falling out of my chair when Nike tried to include its customs (tariff) duties in reported income taxes. Excise taxes are not income taxes and Nike knows that. But they will lie to us assuming we are too stupid to know the difference.

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      2. pgl

        “Amazon told the world ITEP’s analysis is wrong because the company collected the payroll taxes owed by its workers.”

        WTF? Employment taxes (which are effectively paid for by the workers in the form of low wages) counted as income taxes? Of course Amazon lies. The dude who wrote this is smart enough to call their corporate thieves on their BS. Thanks for the link!

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