The Animals Came Back - and other Wrong Lessons

The Animals Came Back - and other Wrong Lessons

If you've been going down youtube rabbit holes, spending time on social media, or have family who do, you might have a video similar to the below come to your attention:

Of course, at the end, the video  exhorts us to have more awareness of our connection to nature. It's part of a general leftist trend of looking at the changes quarantines and "social distancing" hath wrought, and drawing the wrong lessons from it.

When I had this passed to me, it was with a "why can't it be like this all the time?" note. I pointed out that it could be - we'd just have to permanently get rid of a lot of people. Those animals were there because the people weren't.

Also overlooked was how wild animals behave, as to why you don't see a lot of them as you're trudging noisily through the woods, as well as the fact that all those animals that were coming out had to already be existing somewhere. But they did have time to note that all wasn't roses for the animals, as some had gotten accustomed to humans as a source of food - which was no longer available.

Lastly, predators mixing in people spaces is a bad thing. Leaving aside the actual predators, large groups of deer will also eventually attract them as they go where the food is.

On a similar note, I can't find the original text, but the following showed up on or was reposted by a number of the usual suspects on facebook. By "usual suspects" I mean BLM-related, "impeach drumpf", and similar pages.

COVID-19 is showing you the facts that American capitalism has lied about. It’s showing how many of you support socialism when it’s convenient for you or the people you care for...

Children could’ve gotten laptops & free wifi this whole time.

Wifi could’ve been a utility this whole time.

Stores could’ve been allowing seniors to shop for one hour assisted.

Stores could’ve closed earlier to give stockers & cleaners proper time to stock & recover this whole time.

College students could have a frozen interest rate on student loans this whole time.

Pregnant women, disabled people & single parents could’ve worked from home this whole time.

Abandoned federal buildings could’ve been used for homeless people.

Students could learn from home instead of being suspended for a lack of transportation to school this whole time.

Bill payment could’ve been furloughed this whole time.

Evictions for hard times could’ve been delayed this whole time.

Co-Pays & other out-of-pocket health provider fees could have been waived.

Not turning someone's electricity or water off in desperate times so they can survive could’ve happened this whole time.

Airfare could’ve been cheaper this whole time.

Sick people could have been encouraged to take time off & given paid time off to care for themselves.

The bottom line is...

Humanity could’ve been humane this whole time.

Where to start?

COVID-19 is showing you the facts that American capitalism has lied about. It’s showing how many of you support socialism when it’s convenient for you or the people you care for...

First of all, as much as the commies and socialists of the left bitch and moan about "duh capitalism", we don't have anything approaching a free market. Big corporate and politicians are utterly wedded to each other and have been for decades. They're just upset that, short of outright nationalizing businesses, the government still "allows" corporations and business owners some latitude to decide what they want to make and do - unlike the National Socialist German Workers Party.

Second - as I've pointed out before - not everything government does is socialism. Since a libertarian utopia is as much a materialist pipe dream as a communist one, it is completely legitimate for the national government to manage and run services of a national scope. Defense, cross-regional disaster logistics, national communications, trade and import/export deals and safety, and so on. In service of these, highway systems and postal services beholden to that government are also a necessity.

Which brings me to the third assumption - that all of the above are sustainable.

Don't get me wrong - some not only sound good until you think about them, but are within a stones throw of being a good idea. Nonetheless, most of them are not sustainable once you factor in skin in the game, and who ends up carrying the bill vs who gets the reward. I'll even grant that the board members of a modern corporation are insufficiently restrained and at risk for their mistakes.

The fourth assumption is that the tech needed is already viable and in-place, and that solutions that work in a European demographic landscape would work on the much more distributed one here.

Children could’ve gotten laptops & free wifi this whole time.

Wifi could’ve been a utility this whole time.

I've done tech support for schools. Most people who say this have little idea how much it really costs to provide a laptop every couple years per child - even with typical life expectancies kids are rough on laptops, you'll replace them more often than every three years on average - how much it costs to cable, switch, and maintain a sufficiently dense wifi network for 20+ kids per classroom in any appreciable size building, how much it costs to install backbone services for public space wifi and install/maintain/monitor the wifi usage and network, or have given thought to the additional costs for network and laptop management in terms of content filtering, network filtering, and so on.

Public wifi, or school wifi, are orders of magnitude more expensive and complicated than an office building, much less a home.

That said, I can at least see the argument that internet as a public utility is something to consider. What it isn't though, is a right.

Stores could’ve been allowing seniors to shop for one hour assisted.

OK boomer.

Stores could’ve closed earlier to give stockers & cleaners proper time to stock & recover this whole time.

How tone deaf and classist can you get? Yeah, I know, "dems are da real rayssissts", but when it comes to grocery stores, the more upscale stores are the ones more likely to close early . I don't think these people have looked at the crowd at a Walmart in the daytime vs the evening, nevermind compared the crowd at a place with limited hours like Trader Joes, Whole Foods, or other more upscale regional chains to the people who you'll typically find on a midnight shopping run.

Besides - stores that stay open late and even 24 hours do so because there is a demand for that - otherwise the cost of keeping salaried employees around would outweigh the income.

College students could have a frozen interest rate on student loans this whole time.

Stone's throw. The short answer is - they couldn't. Leaving the usurious nature of a loan for something as ephermal as a college degree aside, the whole point of a loan is that the person getting the loan gets money they don't already have on them in exchange for paying extra back. the furlough is a response to the change in normals, and a postponement.

As to why a stones throw - it was a massive mistake to make student loans not dischargeable via bankruptcy. The guarantees drove an increase in lending that fueled the massive growth in tuition and, even more so, administration costs. Yes, some places do indeed pay for their students to go to university, but most, like Germany, don't accept everyone to university - and god forbid you have to tell mz soccer mom that her precious darling is slated for trade school and not something "better", another major factor behind the hike in demand, and thus cost, of universities in the states.

Pregnant women, disabled people & single parents could’ve worked from home this whole time.

See above - but most people touting this don't realize how much bandwidth would be needed compared to what most companies have available, never mind could afford, to do so. Even when bandwidth is sufficient, latency is death for certain applications, and can only be resolved via some form of remote desktop access - and even then, there are applications where the screen latency is still a killer.

Abandoned federal buildings could’ve been used for homeless people.

The history of how often homeless people use, and in many cases, abuse when they use facilities at all, would be instructive, but with a list like this, the author obviously won't let actual experience get in the way. Both Stefan Molyneaux and Aydin Paladin have done a couple excellent videos on how much of our homeless problem is a direct result of de-institutionalization.

Students could learn from home instead of being suspended for a lack of transportation to school this whole time.

Homeschool or die.

Bill payment could’ve been furloughed this whole time.

Because it's not like anyone needs to pay the farmers, or power plant workers.

Evictions for hard times could’ve been delayed this whole time.

Hard times on a regional or national level, sure. Guess what - we did. See again "temporary measure" vs "not sustainable", and the fact that the people providing the services you're being billed for need to eat too.

Co-Pays & other out-of-pocket health provider fees could have been waived.

Look. An argument can be made for a publicly funded health care system, but someone, somewhere, has to decide what treatments get paid for, and which do not, and as a result, you'll still end up with private insurance or out-of-pocket expenses for care where the publicly funded system is insufficiently timely or refuses to pay outright. In the end, if you're going to have publicly funded healthcare, you have to address the tragedy of the commons and skin in the game.

Not turning someone's electricity or water off in desperate times so they can survive could’ve happened this whole time.

Again, not sustainable. The consequences of doing so as a temporary measure when everyone is impacted vs doing so as standard policy are completely different.

Airfare could’ve been cheaper this whole time.

God no. First - airfare is cheap right now because there's no demand, and operating at a loss is better than not operating at all as long as you're recovering more than your salary and fuel/etc. expenses. Besides - they are already as cheap as they can get without cutting further corners, or being paid for out of taxpayer pockets.

Again, what do you think the odds are that such a slush fund of money will be abused?

Sick people could have been encouraged to take time off & given paid time off to care for themselves.

A lot of jobs do include paid sick leave. Part time and lower paid hourly jobs often don't. I'm self-employed - who's going to pay me to not work? I explicitly set aside money to take the occasional vacation, or deal with any illnesses.

No, the minimum wage hasn't kept up with real world inflation. Neither would it be as high as many of the proposals would place it. Ignored by the many of the same people proposing said minimum wage hikes is that one of the factors that has depressed wages, including the minimum and part time wages, is the ready availability of workers who are willing to undercut the locals.

The bottom line is...

Humanity could’ve been humane this whole time.

He who doesn't work, doesn't eat. There are no universal positive rights because no-one has the right to demand the fruit of someone else's labor at no cost to themselves.

Demanding other people pay for something you want is the hight of arrogance, entitlement, and ultimately, tyranny. It is anything but humane.

About Last Redoubt

Ex nuke mechanic, jack of all trades.