Not By China!

The US is the arms dealer to the world…..and we will NOT tolerate anyone trying to horn in on our monopoly in arms.

Recently the US learned that Serbia is thinking of buying some defensive missiles from China…..

Interested in modernizing their defense systems, Serbia reports they are interested in the Chinese-made FK-3, a medium-range air defense model made for export. This would be a second purchase by Serbia from China, who just sold them some attack drones.

It makes sense for Serbia to be interested, because China is the low-cost solution. The US was mad about the drones, and is even madder about the air defense, warning Serbia that this could cost them EU membership if they go through with it.

Serbia insists no final decision has been made, and it’s not clear the US warning is sincere, let alone that the EU would listen to the US opinion on membership for Serbia. It’s unlikely this would be a real obstacle, even if the US gets mad.

Serbia probably doesn’t have an alternative, either, with US options probably too expensive for them. US anger is probably more going to be for China getting a foothold in Europe in the first place.

(antiwar.com)

One question…why is it okay for the US to sell their implements of destruction to the world but not for China to do so as well?

What happen to the idea of a “free market”?

Is the US admitting that the idea of “free markets” is a total lie and nothing more than a slogan to discard when it suits those using it?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–21Jul20

You know how much the conservatives hate socialism…..but only when it is applied to the downtrodden of this society…..it is acceptable as long as it will benefit the wealthy and preserve profits….

What?

I read a piece the other day about the idea of nationalization of one of America’s industries…..

With the US the world’s largest military, by far, it makes sense that their own armsmakers often have a level of capacity far beyond overseas competitors. The Air Force is finding this is limiting to the competition for US business.

Air Force acquisition head Will Roper has suggested the solution for this may ultimately be having the US nationalize chunks of the military aviation industry outright, to ensure that a few different armsmakers survive.

And yet they’d survive only nominally. The nationalization would give the government an effective monopoly on those parts of the industry, but the US might spare the expense to prop up multiple design and construct facilities just for the sake of “competition.”

The nature of these many billion dollar plane projects means only a few could ever compete to begin with. Many have responded to the mounting cost by merging to share expenses. The Pentagon wants more than one contractor to choose from, even if they have to own them all.

Yet doing this necessarily will lead to consequences for state-run monopolies, replacing the profit motive at the company level with a new layer of bureaucracy. The companies traditionally seek Pentagon deals with lobbyists, and by hiring former Pentagon figures to gaudy contracts. It isn’t clear how well the military will be able to sustain this if they nationalize the companies.

The legality of nationalizing US industries remains shaky, with President Truman’s failed bid to nationalize the steel industry in the 1950s. The Obama Administration, however, did successfully nationalize General Motors, temporarily, under the guise of saving jobs.

Nationalizing to ensure competition is a very unusual notion, and that’s going to make advancing the case all the more difficult. Expect the big armsmakers to resist, as these huge plane deals tend to be wildly profitable.

(antiwar.com)

For more in-depth report…..https://www.defenseone.com/business/2020/07/us-may-need-nationalize-military-aircraft-industry-usaf-says/166894/

I wait for the reaction from conservs…..so far I have heard.read NOTHING!

Why is that?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Remember All Those Tariffs?

Well I do and I have written about Trump’s tariffs extensively……https://lobotero.com/2018/03/05/word-of-the-week-tariffs/ and https://lobotero.com/2019/12/18/tariffs-trump-weapon-of-choice/

Before I continue…do I need to refresh everyone’s mind on the tariff thing?

I thought so……https://lobotero.com/2019/10/03/sanctions-and-tariffs/

Now that I cover all my bases…..let’s move on to the news on tariffs.

A study by the Federal Reserve has found that the tariffs that Trump so loves has done MORE HARM than good….

President Trump‘s tariffs on imports — meant to boost the economy — ultimately led to job losses and higher prices, a new study from the Federal Reserve has found.

“We find that tariff increases enacted in 2018 are associated with relative reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices,” the report by Fed economists Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce reads.

MarketWatch first reported the study, noting that 10 primary industries were hit by retaliatory tariffs and higher prices, including producers of magnetic and optical media, leather goods, aluminum sheet, iron and steel, motor vehicles, household appliances, sawmills, audio and video equipment, pesticide, and computer equipment.

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/476100-fed-study-trump-tariffs-backfired-caused-job-losses-and-higher-prices

And how much of that profit hiding offshore accounts have returned to the shores of the US?

Not enough to make a difference….but wait I thought that was going to be a gimme when Trump won….what happened?

The world economy does not look good for the next several years…..between an idiot in the White House and a pandemic….all is NOT well.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has significantly increased its forecast for the contraction in global economy, warning that it will take a cumulative $12 trillion hit over 2020–2021. Updating its forecast yesterday, the IMF said the global contraction for 2020 would be -4.9 percent, some 1.9 percentage points below the forecast it issued in April.

The IMF said that for the first time ever all regions of the world are expected to experience negative growth in the 2020.

Growth in the advanced economy group is projected at -8 percent this year. The US economy is predicted to contract by 8 percent, Japan 5.8 percent, the UK 10.2 percent, Germany 7.8 percent, France 12.5 percent and Italy and Spain 12.8 percent.

If Trump wins in November I cannot to see what monumental economic stupidity he will cough up or pull out of his ass next.

Learn Stuff!

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“lego ergo scribo”

Another Taxpayer Bailout

This pandemic has seen the loss of revenue (profit) for many firms and the Congress has put together several stim plans to help business weather this viral storm……

The latest industry to get lots of taxpayer money is Military-Industrial Complex……

The Pentagon has begun to bail out U.S. companies that have seen large parts of their business dry up amid the coronavirus pandemic, in a bid to make sure they can still build weapons. 

On Wednesday, officials announced that five mid-tier defense companies had received a total of $135 million to “help sustain defense-critical workforce capabilities in body armor, aircraft manufacturing, and shipbuilding,” according to a Defense Department statement.“These actions will help to retain critical workforce capabilities throughout the disruption caused by COVID-19 and to restore some jobs lost because of the pandemic,” Lt. Col. Mike Andrews, a Defense Department spokesman, said in the statement

https://www.defenseone.com/business/2020/06/pentagon-starts-bailing-out-companies-have-lost-business-due-coronavirus/166106/

How will this effect the industry and the DoD?

First of all we cannot afford the weapon systems that the DoD is drooling over…..will the Pentagon be capable of choosing what system to get over another?

The Pentagon cannot afford all of the new weapons it wants to buy and will be forced to choose winners and losers, absent an influx of cash, a new assessment from data and analytics firm Govini.

More cash is unlikely, experts say, regardless of whether President Trump wins a second term or is defeated by his Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Moreover, they predict the Pentagon will face increased competition for dollars as the United States tries to dig itself out of a recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, which has left more than 30 million American without jobs.

“I don’t see a Biden administration making big, big cuts to defense,” said Robert Work, a deputy defense secretary during the Obama administration who is now chairman of Govini, an artificial intelligence-driven analysis firm. “But what I see a potential Biden administration doing is defining the priorities within defense in a different way.”

https://www.defenseone.com/business/2020/06/pentagon-cant-afford-all-weapons-it-wants-new-report-says/166034/

I say if it does not protect the homeland from imminent attack then it should be scrapped until better days are here again.  After all that is what families have to do in these days of dwindling funds…if it is not essential then it can wait.

Image

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–25May20

Today we remember our veterans and those lost in combat…..I will wait for the traditional day….

This Memorial Day eCard - Free Memorial Day Cards Online

News success for our workers (sarcasm)….nearly 40 million unemployed….

More than 2.4 million people applied for US unemployment benefits last week, per the AP. That means roughly 38.6 million people have now filed for jobless aid since the coronavirus forced businesses to shrink their workforces, the Labor Department said Thursday. The figure is slightly below last week’s revised total of 2.7 million claims, notes the Wall Street Journal. An additional 2.2 million people sought aid under a new federal program for self-employed, contractor, and gig workers, who are now eligible for jobless aid for the first time. The continuing stream of job cuts reflects an economy that is sinking into the worst recession since the Great Depression. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated this week that the economy is shrinking at a 38% annual rate in the April-June quarter. That would be by far the worst quarterly contraction on record.

During April, US employers shed 20 million jobs, eliminating a decade’s worth of job growth in a single month. The unemployment rate reached 14.7%, the highest since the Depression. Millions of other people who were out of work weren’t counted as unemployed because they didn’t look for a new job.

What better time than a pandemic to lay-off health care workers…..(again…sarcasm)……

Even as American deaths from COVID-19 exceed 90,000 and frontline health care workers are needed more than ever, hospitals and other medical facilities, guided by market forces, are closing or laying off large sections of their workforces.

The US Commerce Department reported at the end of April that health care spending by consumers had dropped by 18 percent during the first quarter of 2020. This is the largest drop since records began in 1959, contributing substantially to the annualized 4.8 percent decline in US gross domestic product. Morgan Stanley forecasts a breathtaking 37.9 percent decline in GDP during the second quarter

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/22/hosp-m22.html

An update…..the number of deaths should read 96,000+…….

But not to worry those parasites on Wall Street are still making money hand over fist while the rest of us suffer…..

While many Americans are facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak, US billionaires saw a boost in net worth in the first two months of the pandemic, according to a new report.

According to the report, published on Thursday by the left-leaning think tanks Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies, the total net worth of all US billionaires got a $434 billion boost since March 19, when many US states were placed on lockdown.

According to Forbes, 623 billionaires live in the US, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, investor Warren Buffett, and Oracle founder Larry Ellison. The report indicates that just those top five billionaires saw their wealth increase by a total of $75.5 billion, or 19%. 

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-billionaires-434-billion-richer-during-pandemic-report-2020-5

Ain’t an oligarchy great?  (Once again…..sarcasm)….

Sorry for the bad news…..someone has to tell you since the government does not want to….

Be Well….Be Safe….Be Informed

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is The Economy Rigged?

My answer ….yes….. you bet your sweet bippy it is.

But I am sure that there will be those that do not agree with my assessment…..

Let me point to the stock markets during these trying times….over 30 million Americans are unemployed and yet the stock markets are still going great guns…..

The stock market is doing fine, even though everything else is definitely not.

Earlier in the coronavirus crisis, Wall Street had a meltdown. Stocks plunged amid fears of the disease’s spread and its potential impact on the global economy, sometimes to the point that trading was halted altogether to rein in the chaos. But in recent weeks, the market has been doing okay. It’s not at the record highs it was in mid-February, but it’s not bad — the S&P 500 is hovering around where it was last fall. And given the state of the world — a deadly global pandemic with no end in sight, 30 million Americans recently out of jobs, an economy that’s fallen off of a cliff — a relatively rosy stock market is particularly perplexing.

Sure, the stock market isn’t the economy, but right now, it seems particularly divorced from what’s happening on the ground. “The gap between markets and economic data has never been larger,” wrote Matt King, global head of credit strategy at Citigroup, in a recent note.

https://www.vox.com/covid-19-coronavirus-economy-recession-stock-market/2020/5/6/21248069/stock-market-economy-federal-reserve-jerome-powell

The latest reports on the economy are grim…..

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged more than 300 points at opening Friday, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq continued to steadily climb from a low point in late March, when states across the country were imposing economic shutdowns.

The Dow also increased by 250 points right after the Labor Department released its May jobs report Friday, which showed an official unemployment rate of 14.7%, the highest since the Great Depression. Economists estimate that including people who lost their jobs in the last two weeks and people who have not filed for unemployment, the actual unemployment rate is likely higher than 20%.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/08/what-rigged-economy-looks-says-sanders-stock-market-enjoys-best-month-33-years

I agree that it is time for the economy to be more reflective of society….granted the markets are NOT the economy…but those thieves need reining in….

Even Trump’s lackeys are not painting a rosy picture for this Summer…..

The US economy is in rough shape, and things are going to get worse. That was the dire prediction from not one but two of the White House’s top economic advisers Sunday, per the Washington Post:

  • “The reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get better,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Fox News Sunday. “I think you’re going to have a very, very bad second quarter.” Asked by host Chris Wallace whether the nation’s unemployment rate was “close to 25% at this point, which is Great Depression neighborhood,” Mnuchin replied, “Chris, we could be.”
  • “To get unemployment rates like the ones that we’re about to see … which I think will climb up towards 20% by next month, you have to really go back to the Great Depression to see that,” said White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett on CBS’ Face the Nation. He predicted the rate will be “north of 20%” by next month, and added that “nobody knows” when the jobless will be able to go back to work.
  • But it wasn’t all dire; Mnuchin predicted the job market could start to improve by September. The situation we’re in, he noted, “is no fault of American business, it is no fault of American workers, it is the fault of a virus.” And Vox notes that on ABC’s This Week, Larry Kudlow, director of the Trump administration’s National Economic Council, said that of the latest unemployment numbers, “80% of it was furloughs and temporary layoffs,” which “suggests strongly that the cord between the worker and the business is still intact.”

This economy is driven by greed, pride, gluttony and vanity….we need an economy that benefits everyone not the wealthy few.

To prove that point I point to the recent report that 20.5 million Americans are unemployed…..and that same day there was a market rally…..

The clearest illustration of that came on Friday, when the government reported that 20.5 million people lost their jobs in April. It marked a period of unfathomable pain across the country not seen since the Great Depression. Also on Friday, the stock market rallied.

The S&P 500 is now up 30% from its lows in mid-March and back to where it was last October, when the outlook for 2020 corporate earnings looked sunshiny. Companies have sold record amounts of debt in recent weeks for investment-grade companies. Junk bonds, historically dodgy during an economic swoon, have roared back.

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-bailout-is-working-for-the-rich

Now you tell me who benefits the most from this system?

Count out the workers….and the nation……

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Covid Capitalism

The workers are losing their jobs….and yet the markets are doing so well during this time that shareholders are making billions…..why is this?

Five major U.S. corporations that have laid off thousands of workers in recent weeks have simultaneously dished out hundreds of millions of dollars in cash dividends to wealthy shareholders, drawing outrage from Sen. Bernie Sanders and others who say the companies should be using the money to keep people employed.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that manufacturing giant Caterpillar, toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker, clothing company Levi Strauss, office furniture company Steelcase, and World Wrestling Entertainment have paid out a combined $700 million in cash dividends to shareholders while they shutter operations and lay off employees as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the U.S. economy.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/06/outrageous-major-us-companies-hand-shareholders-hundreds-millions-dividends-while

Seems like bodies are commodities…..

The allure of capitalism has never been a clean or ethical one—the very roots are predicated on a system of continued growth and extraction, only becoming less feudal and more “modern” with the advent of beliefs that technological advances could usher in continued input to help the system survive. This has been true in some ways, such as the advent of fracking, which was able to massively disrupt Hubbert’s peak (the bell curve expected to show the gradual diminished reserves of oil). That peak was extended like a covid graph 10 days after an evangelical beach party. The rub with all things extractive and unsustainable is that there is always inherent blow-back. Just because there is more petro-product to burn doesn’t mean those greenhouse gases won’t build up from actually burning them—there will be hell to pay. This is because the natural world has a way of slapping down hubris with an intangible, almost sentient response to the greed.

Capitalism’s Voracious Appetite: Bodies are the Commodities

Instead of helping the US deal with the coming viral storm….companies kept shipping much needed supplies overseas…..

U.S. companies continued their massive sell-off of medical masks overseas throughout March, well after the coronavirus began infecting Americans and draining hospitals of critical supplies and even as White House officials raised red flags, a USA TODAY investigation found. 

America exported more protective masks — including disposable surgical masks and N95 respirator masks — this March than in any other month in the past decade. In all, $83.1 million worth of such products were sent from the United States to the rest of the world, according to an analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau trade data for the export category that includes textile-based protective masks.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2020/05/08/u-s-companies-kept-shipping-masks-overseas-despite-warnings/3090505001/

The capitalism has grown into profits even at the price of screwing the country…..there is no “patriotism” in the souls of these corporations….

…consider 23 ways in which it is a crisis of and by capital and its class rule profits system:

+1.  The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back. United States capitalism was already on the verge of a major recession before COVID-19 hit.  All the classic signs were there:  absurdly inflated P/E ratios s (an absurdly inflated stock market), massively deb-leveraged corporations, giant consumer and student debt, savage economic inequality (so extreme that the top tenth of the U.S. upper 1 percent had more wealth than the nation’s bottom 90 percent), tens of millions living just one inadequate paycheck away from being unable to meet basic living expenses, and more.  If the virus hadn’t broken that camel’s back, something else would have done the job, albeit with a less devastating impact than an epic pandemic.

Coronavirus Capitalism and “Exceptional” America  

It is time for a change….but this election will bring NO CHANGE….mostly a few reforms that do nothing but strengthen the hold that capital has on the nation….and more people will suffer and die…..

WE NEED CHANGE NOW!

WE NEED STRONG UNIONS!

Will you be part of it or just a by-stander?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Open The Country Up!

Caution be damned!

Damn the virus…full speed ahead……

Donald needs the country up and running…his political life depends on it.

But is this the best way to get votes? 

Most Americans do not agree with the Rabid Orange Man……

In the past couple weeks, many states have announced plans to gradually lift the stay-at-home orders put in place to stem the tide of the coronavirus. However, polls show that most Americans believe it is too soon to reopen.

In their latest poll (conducted May 3-5), The Economist/YouGov found that only 11 percent of adults believed it was safe to end social distancing and reopen businesses right now. Six percent said it would be safe in about two weeks, and another 19 percent said it would be in a month or so. A plurality (29 percent) thought it would take several months, and 15 percent even said a year or longer. A Morning Consult survey taken April 29-30 found that just 20 percent of registered voters thought the economy should reopen in April (i.e., immediately) or May, 37 percent said June or July, 16 percent said August or September, and 12 percent said October or later. And a May 5 poll from Global Strategy Group and GBAO for left-leaning firm Navigator Research found that 60 percent of Americans opposed reopening the country in the next few weeks, versus 36 percent who supported it. Finally, a May 2-5 poll by Civiqs for Daily Kos asked respondents flat out whether they supported having a stay-at-home order in place in their state: Sixty-five percent said yes, and 29 percent said no.

Most Americans Think It’s Too Soon To Return To What Life Was Like Pre-Pandemic

Slowly but slowly the president and the oligarchs are forcing the country to re-open no matter how dangerous it could become…..and in doing so has decided that some deaths are necessary for them to keep their profits flowing….

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Trump administration has embraced an approach to the pandemic that will—and that it knows will—result in the deaths of tens of thousands of people in the coming weeks and months.

On Sunday night, Trump nonchalantly stated that he now expects 100,000 people to die from COVID-19 in the United States, up from his previous estimates of approximately 60,000.

Referring to death numbers like he was negotiating a real estate deal, Trump stated, “I used to say 65 thousand, and now I’m saying 80 or 90. And it goes up and it goes up rapidly. But it’s still going to be, no matter how you look at it, at the very lower end of the plane.” He added separately, “And look, we’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100 thousand people.”

That is, an additional 40,000 people, by Trump’s own count, will die—40,000 people with children, spouses, families and loved ones, who would not have died if appropriate measures were taken to contain the virus.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/05/pers-m05.html

Donald the Orange has decided that some of us are worth sacrificing as long as the corporations retain their profitability…..

Amidst the expanding coronavirus pandemic in the United States, the Trump administration is implementing a reckless and socially criminal “open up the economy” policy that will result in hundreds of thousands of deaths that could, with correct policies, be prevented.

Trump, in an interview with ABC News aired on Tuesday night, exuded indifference to the consequences of the policies his administration is carrying out. “There’ll be more death,” Trump said, “the virus will pass, with or without a vaccine. And I think we’re doing very well on the vaccines but, with or without a vaccine, it’s going to pass, and we’re going to be back to normal.”

On Monday, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a close advisor to Trump, bluntly told CNN that it was necessary for the American people to “sacrifice” their lives by going back to work. “The American people have gone through significant death before [in World War I and II] … and we’ve survived it. We sacrificed those lives.” The “sacrifice,” he added, was necessary to “stand up for the American way of life.”

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/06/pers-m06.html

Donald would like nothing better than some of us crap out…..

Friday, May 1 marked a new stage in the social crime being perpetrated against the American people, as President Trump allowed federal guidelines recommending “sheltering in place” during the coronavirus pandemic to expire. Dozens of state governments, with Washington’s blessing, have lifted lockdown orders, allowing stores, restaurants and even movie theaters to reopen, and ordering workers to go back to their jobs on pain of having their unemployment benefits cut off.

The loosening of restrictions is being justified with claims that the COVID-19 pandemic is waning and people can now begin to work, shop, dine out, travel and go to church as they once did, without undue risk. But that is not actually the expectation of the Trump administration. On the contrary, press inquiries have found that the federal government expects an enormous spike in the death toll and is making preparations accordingly.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/02/pers-m02.html

You notice the people that will be sacrificed are the poor…….and if that does nit work then I am sure that Congress will find it in their hearts to float another stim package that will aid no one but the rich.

Don’t worry…..even if Donald loses in November 2021 will be little difference….the poor will pay the ultimate rice for this pandemic.

Lear Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Pandemic Profiteers

There are some of the lowest of the low in society those people that profit off of war….and now we can add another to the list of worthless slugs of society…pandemic profiteers.

Think about this for a moment…..26 million Americans lose their jobs, the billionaire class has added $308bn to its wealth…..

Never let a good crisis go to waste: as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the world, America’s 1% have taken profitable advantage of the old saying.

Some of the richest people in the US have been at the front of the queue as the government has handed out trillions of dollars to prop up an economy it shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the billionaire class has added $308bn to its wealth in four weeks – even as a record 26 million people lost their jobs.

According to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive thinktank, between 18 March and 22 April the wealth of America’s plutocrats grew 10.5%. After the last recession, it took over two years for total billionaire wealth to get back to the levels they enjoyed in 2007.

Eight of those billionaires have seen their net worth surge by over $1bn each, including the Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos, and his ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos; Eric Yuan, founder of Zoom; the former Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer; and Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX technocrat

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/26/heads-we-win-tails-you-lose-how-americas-rich-have-turned-pandemic-into-profit

Yes a number of billionaires have used the pandemic to their advantage……(a reiteration)……

A number of American billionaires have used the coronavirus pandemic to grow even wealthier than they were before.

In fact, billionaires in the U.S. have increased their wealth by a combined $282 billion, Fast Company reports. That’s a ten percent increase over where the billionaire class stood at the beginning of March — illustrating how the global crisis has furthered global inequality.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/billionaires-making-killing-off-pandemic

Time for Americans to wake up and see what is being done to them and their country….it is not pretty and it is a crime in my eyes…..it must STOP!

Stop the Pandemic Profiteers

We Americans have the power to make this stop and to reverse the growing inequality….but the question is….do we want this to stop or just go away for awhile?

Me?

I want these fuckers in prison for treason and profiteering…..and I want change and I have been working for that change my whole life and not many were listening……maybe now the deafness has passed.

We will see!

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–23Apr20

The pandemic has the world in flux…..Supermarkets are suffering….shopping is suffering…..farmers are suffering……and now we hear that breweries are staring to suffer….

Germany’s Werneck Brewery has survived world wars, economic crises, and decades of declining beer consumption. But after 400 years it has finally met a fatal challenge: the coronavirus. The brewery, which the AP reports traces its history to 1617 and has been owned by the same family since 1861, is closing for good, taking with it 15 full-time jobs and more part-time positions. Also gone is a chunk of local history and tradition in Werneck, a town of 10,000 in the brewery-rich state of Bavaria. German brewers fear its demise is the leading edge of more closures as the virus outbreak threatens the existence of the country’s many local producers of the national beverage—community institutions, often family owned for generations, whose buildings and affiliated taverns are regional landmarks in a country where the hometown brew is a sentimental favorite despite national competition.

Hardest hit are smaller breweries that like Werneck that depend on supplying kegs to local taverns and events such as local festivals. Retail sales are providing some support as people drink at home. Breweries are trying things like drive-through sales and even shipping beer and glasses to customers so they can join an online tasting. Family member and brewery manager Christine Lang said the decision to close came with “many tears.” The beer market was already hard fought with tough price competition, she said. Then came the virus, and the restaurants the brewery depended on were suddenly closed. The head of the German Brewers Association said that “many breweries will not survive this crisis, that is already becoming clear.” For Lang something irreplaceable has been lost. “My family and I will miss it very much. The brewery has been … part of every dinner table conversation all our lives. We will be missing part of our identity, and in a way the region will too.”

Even Oktoberfest is in jeopardy……

Since social distancing and Oktoberfest go together about as well as beer and milk, this year’s festival in Bavaria has become the latest COVID-19 casualty. This is the first time the beerfest has been cancelled since World War II and Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter says it is a “bitter pill to swallow,” Bloomberg reports. Last year’s festival attracted around 6 million visitors. This year’s event had been scheduled to run from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4, but authorities said that with no coronavirus vaccine available, the public health risk was simply too high, the Guardian reports. This isn’t the first disease-related cancellation in Oktoberfest’s 210-year history: It was called off amid cholera outbreaks in 1854 and 1873. Other iconic events including the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain have also been called off, reports the AP.

Germany without beer will be ripe for revolution…..how long before the US has a similar problem…..what will the faithful do without their daily dose of alcohol?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”