We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

We have so far “spent”, ie borrowed £410 billion to pay for the lockdown policy which was meant to “save the NHS”. Would anyone have agreed to that if they had known the cost? Vulnerable people could have been given a pension to stay at home and supplied by Ocado at a tiny fraction of the cost. We have shut down our society for the sake of a disease with a survival rate of over 99.5%. That is just decadent.

JohnK

23 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    The huge amount spent on the sainted NHS is a classic example of how any cost appears justifiable if it gets us to the supposed end of protecting “our NHS”. To “flatten the curve” we have, so it seems, been asked to flatten a large part of our lives.

    Some people have argued that a “shielding” policy would not have worked because it would have been too difficult and costly, but as Perry writes, for the amount spent, we could have done so and had plenty of change left to spare. It reminds me a bit of the argument that instead of carpet bombing German cities and costing huge loss of life to civilians and RAF aircrew, we could have gone for pinpoint bombing using faster aircraft (De Havillands!) instead.

    What we have done is to “carpet bomb” a virus.

  • Lee Moore

    Veering somewhat from the topic, has anyone done a duckduckgo search for Samizdata recently ? Until not long ago, such a search would yield this site in the first two or three items. Now this site doesn’t appear at all in the search results. There’s plenty of links, eg references eg to Natalie and to Wikipedia entries for samizdata.net, but no search result for the site.

    There’s an entry callled “samizdata blog” at the bottom of the page, which is what I followed to get here, but it isn’t a search result as such, it’s just a suggestion of how you might refine your search.

    Anyway, are you folks in danger of getting cancelled even by duckduckgo, or what ?

  • Mr Ed

    Not one penny of the £410,000,000,000.00p seems to have been spent on early treatment for Covid, mind.

    But, of course, early treatment would actually work for 80% of cases.

  • Lee Moore, I get this from DDG:

    Not a problem. Even the Google result puts us first too.

  • staghounds

    Borrowing gets repaid, you mean “written bad checks for”.

  • Lee Moore

    aha – I had my safe search on “moderate.” This site came straight up when I switched moderate to off.

    You are obviously an “adult” site.

    I still suspect woke gremlins.

  • Phil B

    That is just decadent.

    No, that is insane. But there again, anything and everything about the sainted NHS generates irrationality on the scale of religious fanaticism.

  • APL

    JohnK: “We have so far “spent”, ie borrowed £410 billion to pay for the lockdown policy which was meant to “save the NHS”.

    2020 was a sound year. We deliberately cut our income, borrowed more, and spent that on unproductive aspects in the economy. Perspex screens in Pubs that installed such in a futile attempt to save the businesses, ultimately to fail because the government shut the lawful business down ( selling alcohol to your willing customers ) for concocted and arbitrary reasons.

    I hear unofficially that the government acknowledge ~£34bn has been lost to fraud. I was going to write ‘and incompetence’, but all of the £410bn + 10% of GDP were lost to incompetence.

  • Jacob

    “We have so far “spent”, ie borrowed £410 billion to pay for the lockdown policy
    ~£34bn has been lost to fraud

    It is a mistake to assign all the covid19 economic damages to lockdowns. Even if a more logical restrictions policy were in place, the economic damage would nevertheless have been quite great. More reasonable restrictions would have been theater and sports and travel restrictions only. Even without any restrictions at all, the mere voluntary actions of people who chose to protect themselves would have caused economic damage = less travel, less hospitality services, etc.
    Sweden which had a reasonable protection (i.e. lockdown) policy suffered economic damage.
    Even if restaurants and pubs stayed open – the number of patrons (and revenue) would have been much reduced.
    This covid19 plague is a natural disaster – with it’s corresponding economic damage that was unavoidable.
    Strict lockdown policies were wrong, but not the main cause of the economic losses. At best – a contributing cause.
    And… repeating the number of 0.5% of risk tries to create the impression that there was no plague… the covid19 plague is very real and very serious. almost 3 million people have died of it. There is no point in trying to imply that nothing happened.

  • This covid19 plague is a natural disaster

    No, Covid-19 is a natural phenomenon (probably), but the disaster aspect is entirely unnatural, an artefact of governments intentionally spreading fear & acting as if a very discriminating disease was actually a threat to everyone.

  • Paul Marks

    It would have cost a small amount of money to go for Early Treatment with a combination of existing medications which would have saved about 80% of the people died of Covid 19 in this country – but when this is pointed, profoundly evil people present “studies”, which even the Lancet (once a medical journal – now more interested in “public policy” for “equity”) now admits were FAKE, denying it. Indeed people in the United Kingdom were not even told to increase their Vitamin D. levels – astonishing and casting into severe doubt whether the “expert advisers” ever had any interest in saving lives. The SMEARING of basic Early Treatment with Combination of Hydroxychloroquine, ZINC and either Azithromycin or Doxycycline (for NON Covid infections that may develop) continues to this time (I was sickened by the dishonesty of “Ginger Dave” yesterday – but I should have expected it from these people).

    As for the 400 Billion Pounds spent in the United Kingdom and the many trillions spent in the West on totally FAILED lockdown policies. I still believe that the West was on the road to economic breakdown even before all this – but now we will never know if that is so (perhaps I was WRONG – perhaps optimistic people such as President Trump were correct).

    Now we are where we are – people in some countries, such as Australia (where, Nicholas Gray informs us the politicians do NOT use World Economic Forum slogans such as “Build Back Better” and “Reset”), may get by – although they will hit by hard times. We will not get by.

    There appears to be no understanding that there is even a problem in the United Kingdom – even such things as HS2 and the “Green” agenda just carry on as if the 400 Billion Pounds had not been spent.

    I will stop here for now – because I am in despair.

  • Ferox

    The habit of government spending a dollar to fix a nickel problem is not restricted to disease response, of course.

    Just take a look at how governments handle problems like homelessness. In Seattle, for example, if I recall correctly the local government spends something like $80k per homeless person per year to address the problem there. For that money those homeless could live comfortable middle-class lives in their own apartments, with their own transportation, insurance, etc.

    And it still doesn’t get fixed. That money is going somewhere … I assume that the money thrown at Wuhan Flu is ending up in a similar location.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    A median estimate for deaths from Spanish flu is 50m out of a world population of 1.5bn. Scaling that up to (less than) today’s world population of 7.5bn we get 250m, or 80 times the current death toll.

    Moreover, unlike SARS-CoV 2, the Spanish flu killed predominantly the young with much longer prospective life spans.

    3m excess deaths is definitely bad, but the next time you hear someone say `the worst pandemic since the Spanish flu’ you might stop and think what that means.

  • Alexander Tertius Harvey

    Paul.

    HS2 would make more economic sense, when built, if no trains ever ran on it. Perhaps it could become a bridleway (very green).

  • Jacob

    “`the worst pandemic since the Spanish flu’ you might stop and think what that means.”
    It means exactly that: the worst pandemic since the Spanish flu. There wasn’t such a pandemic like covid since then. There is no point in belittling the pandemic, even if it is much smaller that the Spanish flu (thank God). And it’s not yet over.

  • Jacob

    “It would have cost a small amount of money to go for Early Treatment”
    I’m not convinced about the efficacy of “Early Treatment”. Sounds like a conspiracy theory to me. I won’t argue about it. I’m not that qualified or interested.
    My point is that the pandemic was very real, and it caused great damage, also economic damage.
    Governments reacted like Governments do – with panic, in a silly and ineffective, and in a profligate way, as expected.
    But there was a bad pandemic.

  • APL

    Jacob: “My point is that the pandemic was very real “

    No, it wasn’t. The COVID-19 virus was no significant threat to healthy people between the ages of 1 to 60.

    Over sixty, the risk of dying from COVID-19 increased, over 70 it increased significantly, and over 80 your chances of dying from COVID-19 were something like 15%.

    Jacob: “and it caused great damage, also economic damage.

    No, the response to the fear of a pandemic, fear spread by the BBC ( a government terrorist operation ), caused great damage. The governments response to its own terrorist operation caused great economic damage, yes.

    Jacob: “But there was a bad pandemic.”

    Keep up the mantra Jacob, sooner or later you’ll will convince yourself that the government can be trusted.

    The British Governments own bureau of statistics the ONS, has posted preliminary figures for mortality in England and Wales for 2020 ( previously linked to on Samizdata ), which shows that the death rate last year was less than the death rate in 2003. And in 2003 nobody batted an eyelid when a larger number of people in the twilight of their years, fell off their perch, as a result of the seasonal flue.

  • Ferox

    The British Governments own bureau of statistics the ONS, has posted preliminary figures for mortality in England and Wales for 2020 ( previously linked to on Samizdata ), which shows that the death rate last year was less than the death rate in 2003. And in 2003 nobody batted an eyelid when a larger number of people in the twilight of their years, fell off their perch, as a result of the seasonal flue.

    This is the thing, isn’t it. Eventually the overall mortality numbers are going to come out (AFAIK they lag a couple of years behind in the US) and the wokie fascists who imposed this lockdown bullshit simply aren’t going to be able to hide the lack of extra bodies. They can hide them now by pretending that every death that occurs is somehow related to Wuhan Flu, but they still can’t produce the millions of extra deaths that are supposed to have occurred.

    The really entertaining part of the show will come when the left-media and all the smarmy smarter-than-thou talking heads in the media try to dance to some kind of explanation for the lack of bodies that doesn’t show them all to be goddamn liars.

  • Jim

    “In Seattle, for example, if I recall correctly the local government spends something like $80k per homeless person per year to address the problem there. For that money those homeless could live comfortable middle-class lives in their own apartments, with their own transportation, insurance, etc.”

    But it doesn’t work like that in reality though does it? If thats what you did, gave every homeless person all those benefits, then guess what you’d get? Every person not earning $80k pa would make themselves ‘homeless’ in order to get the free money. And the whole thing unravels. Its a dynamic system of incentives, there is not a fixed amount of ‘homeless’ people who need attention, there is a virtually limitless amount of people who would attempt to qualify if such largesse were offered.

    Yes dealing with homeless people is very expensive (and given the usual government efficiency rate probably does a very poor job for the money), but just handing out the cash would just create more of the problem you are attempting to solve. See also the effects of free money for single mothers, free money for the ‘disabled’ etc etc.

  • Ferox

    I’m not suggesting that the city of Seattle should give $80k to everyone claiming to be homeless. That would, of course, be ridiculous.

    I am claiming that the amount spent per putative homeless person is preposterous, and clear evidence for those not in love with the State that there is graft and corruption occurring under the guise of “charity”, here as in other government endeavors.

    And I am saying that the amount of money being spent on Wuhan Flu response is similarly a clear indication of rampant corruption. Well-connected hands are out and busy filling well-connected pockets as never before in human history.

    In the US our government is now creating tens of trillions of dollars out of thin air. For perspective, $1 trillion would be about $4k for every man, woman, and child in the country. And we have spent tens of trillions, with people around the country receiving less than $3k each from that ocean of vaporous funds.

    Graft and corruption, such as has never occurred before in the lengthy story of human society.

  • Paul Marks

    Alexander T.H.

    Yes I do not understand it – even before the government had spent 400 Billion Pounds, HS2 was a great financial burden, to CONTIUNE with it (after the financial damage done by the reaction to Covid 19) is inexplicable, it defies rational thought.

    And remember the costs of the “Green” agenda are vastly GREATER than those of HS2 – and that is being continued as well, as China laughs and produces more and more C02.

    The attitude of Western governments (especially the insane Biden/Harris regime in what was the United States of America) is that Western manufacturing industry should be destroyed and everything made in China – regardless of the fact that his policy will mean higher (not lower) C02 emissions.

    This is certainly not just a British thing – for example Chancellor Merkel is obsessed with the C02 emissions are evil theory, yet the lady is CLOSING DOWN all nuclear power stations, that policy defies all rational analysis – one might as believe that the circles of stones erected before the “evil” Indo Europeans arrived in Germany, will produce all needed power.

    Indeed I suspect the Greens actually do believe that – and believe that the Indo Europeans destroyed the supposedly perfect society of the Stone Age.

    Compared to the doctrines that are now taking control of the West, the Classical Marxism of Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, “Stalin” (fake name) and so on, was quite sane.

    Indeed we can check that.

    As the Classical Marxist (NOT Frankfurt School Marxist) regime in Belarus, reacted rationally to Covid 19.

    It was the Frankfurt School influenced areas of the world that went stark, staring, bonkers.

    Remember the Frankfurt School (like French Post Modernism) rejects rational thought.

    Frankfurt School Marxists and French Post Modernists get on well with the extreme form of Greens – Classical Marxists really do not get on with them.

  • bobby b

    “But it doesn’t work like that in reality though does it? If thats what you did, gave every homeless person all those benefits, then guess what you’d get? Every person not earning $80k pa would make themselves ‘homeless’ in order to get the free money. And the whole thing unravels”

    I think you’re actually supporting his point here, while adding a new one of your own: That it only works so long as they can keep it quiet. If word doesn’t get out, the rake-off margin from the money going through the system is . . . nice . . . and no one is going to intentionally mess it up.

    Once word gets out generally, you end up having to shut down, like California welfare did after the homeless started moving there for the bennies.

  • APL

    Jim: “But it doesn’t work like that in reality though does it? If thats what you did, gave every homeless person all those benefits, then guess what you’d get? Every person not earning $80k pa would make themselves ‘homeless’ in order to get the free money. “

    According to Google $80K is about £58,000 which is well above the UK ‘poverty’ line, an affluent lower management remuneration. I doubt if people earning £58 thousand a year would give up their jobs – not least because those now being given $80,000 might represent a large group of new affluent customers.

    No, the real victims of such a policy ( handing out $80,000 to the homeless ) would be the administrative class. Junior members of the deep state. That’s why such a policy will never be implemented.

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