On the Open Thread, Makka says: October 16, 2021 at 9:27 am
“The fact is most people threw their lot in with the Man long ago. Credit cards, mortgages, the o/seas holidays, keeping up with the Joneses. Debt up to the eyeballs. To service it there can be no interruption whatsoever to income. Then there is the family ties spread across the wide brown land. That’s life as we know it and for it to continue the turds governing us know the vast majority will comply just to get on with it. The bud has blossomed and died long ago.”
In maybe 2014, I woke one morning with a premonition. Well, a hunch … or maybe a clue.
After a disastrous 2012 and a lacklustre 2013, the pressure to gear up again to tackle big jobs and higher risk, was significant. Something however, told me not to do it. Into 2012 we’d been running at a couple of $meg per year and then it all evaporated. We’d shed all the staff and cash on hand went to zero and we had sat on our bums for maybe 9months. A hell of a lot of hard work for nothing.
I guess this bought up memories of the early 90’s for me which was a pretty trying time and I had vowed never to be exposed like that again. It got better of course, and after a couple of years we were back to profitable but on a smaller scale.
Anyway, interest rates kept dropping and the pressure to expand kept mounting and what my noggin had finally worked was that — Interest rates down = yields down = risk up.
So, instead of biting off too much and chewing like hell, I decided to run the other way.
- Rearranged all our supply lines.
- Eschewed all debt and paid out all the leases.
- Shifted from risky sub-contracting exposed to pipe-monkeys (plumbers) and builders, over to customer direct. Took a while.
- Targeted large older buildings and portfolios where systems need ongoing maintenance and as time goes by, upgrades and retrofits.
- Leased the factory out to somebody else and now we are essentially home/mobile/site office only.
- Focused on quality and tech expertise.
- Learnt some new circus tricks.
Within our team, it took some convincing but over years of persuasive beer rants, I eventually got my way.
Many competitors just kept growing and started chasing more wet-cement jobs. We looked for all purposes like we’d run our race and the opposition laughed and while they laughed, we took some of their plum maintenance jobs away from them, which we are retrofitting now.
For years I kept marvelling at competitors’ appetites for big capital works and watched them grow more heads and lease more cars and work harder for lower margins. Whoever misses the most in the specification, wins the job with the lowest margin.
It was just yesterday I said to the business partner that, “we’ve been largely immune to the first-order effects of this Covidiocy but that the second-order effects will squish us. We need to re-position again”
Partner says, “yeah, we are lucky”
I said, “lucky, my arse.”
In the old days when we were allowed to go to a pub, “last man standing” is what I used to quip with a beer in my hand and an idiot grin. For years everybody laughed when I said kill the debt and grow some serious cash. They’re not laughing now, but then I was talking about business strategy, not WuFlu. The funny thing is, I’m sitting here typing this unvaccinated so, Last Man Standing smart-arsery starts to sound a little macabre.
Did not see that the thing bearing down on us all would take the form of a pandemic, but the effect was the same. I personally don’t think it’s the disease doing the destruction, more the response from our Guvs. That’s where the real problem is.
Everything of value is being destroyed for a disease with deaths/100k ranging from as low as 0.35 in China (remember China?) to about 600 in Peru.? Australia is currently about 6/100k and that isn’t a very big number at all. How’s the range though, heh? What’s going on there? Well clearly demographics, treatments, policy responses, comorbidities, race, testing regimes, natural antibodies etc have a large part to play, hence these numbers are near useless. I’ll wager lockdowns and mask-mandates have about zero effect. But I can’t show that.
Deaths v Confirmed Cases scatter shows a nice correlation in a narrow band with more cases correlating to more deaths (der!). All that does is show that people die from this covid stuff. By country, it also shows huge variations so metrics such as prevalence or degree of intrusion into a demographic must(?) play a big role. The variations between countries are huge: 0.1% in Bhutan to a stand-out Yemen at 18.9%. Australia is at 1.1%. I can’t easily plot case-fatality against govt policy mostly because I’m too lazy but, I’m smelling bullshit.
So just for fun what I did was take the data and divide the dead/100k by the IFR to get rid of the dead. This gives me confirmed cases per100k. I did this because all this Govt policy is being enacted in the name of the “cases” for the sake of the still living. What I now need is a new column in my data for the level of Govt fuck-wittery so I can correlate policy v cases per unit population.
I found a nifty spreadsheet for covid-policy-stringency here https://ourworldindata.org/policy-responses-covid and by using a pivot table I can get a metric for average govt fuck-wittery by country over time. All I need to do now is match these entries by country with my “get-rid-of-the-dead” entries in the other spreadsheet.
Covid causes dead people (more or less) but in this scatter it looks like Covid policy causes Covid cases but, that’s not really true either. That point at the bottom left is New Zealand, Algeria at the top and Haiti on the right. Australia is in there too — coords approximately (y=550, x=60).
What it really shows is that there is essentially no correlation between cases per unit population and policy … and that, is the scary bit. And by the way, look at this…Harvard Research Confirms What We’ve Been Saying for Months.
Govt Covid policy is a big lie wrapped in a small lie (get VX’d) because apparently, we must beat the epidemic. We’ll beat the virus for sure, but I’ll wager your last dollar we won’t beat the policies.
No, we’ll be stuck with them, or at least stuck with the industrial-strength economy eating energy which is destroying everything and cannot apparently be stopped.
Have you ever seen the Steven King Story, The Langoliers?
Well, they’re making a 2022 version. How apt.