Demographic Doom Podcast
Virus Lockdown Mania: Is It Making Things Worse?

Virus Lockdown Mania: Is It Making Things Worse?

March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020 — As the COVID-19 epidemic spreads around the world, schools, businesses and events are shutting down, crippling the economy. Could the effects of these shutdowns be worse than the coronavirus itself? A lockdown of healthy people is different from a quarantine of sick ones, which is sensible and economically manageable. Telling your entire workforce to go home is not manageable, and its medical benefits are dubious. France and Italy have essentially shut down their entire countries, supposedly for a fixed period, but when will it ever end? At the end of 2-3 weeks, the epidemic will still exist, probably worse than before, so when can you tell people to go back to work and school? The longer a lockdown goes on, the more devastating it is to the economy and to the ultimate ability of a society to function. Instead of locking everything down, Glenn Campbell believes everyone should go about their usual business. They should modify their behavior to avoid infection, but they must do it in sustainable ways that allow the economy to keep functioning. If people simply go into their bunkers for six months, there may be no economy left when they come out. — Also see DemographicDoom.com — Instagram & Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See episode notes, comments & corrections on the video version of this episode at j.mp/dd_lock [ep 34, 17 Mar 2020 revised]

Ironies of Herd Immunity

Ironies of Herd Immunity

March 15, 2020

When will the current COVID-19 epidemic end? The answer lies in the concept of "herd immunity." Since a virus can't live outside its hosts, it will expire when it doesn't have enough hosts to sustain it, which happens well before distribution reaches 100%. Current calculations suggest only a maximum of about 60% of the US population will get the disease. The rest are protected by the fact that not enough carriers will be available when too many people become immune. This means that one person does not need to catch the disease to share the immunity of others. Herd immunity has a number of social implications, including the perverse idea of deliberately infecting young people to protect their elders.— Also see DemographicDoom.com — Instagram & Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See episode notes, comments & corrections on the video version of this episode at j.mp/dd_herd [ep 33, 15 Mar 2020]

Millennials vs. Baby Boomers: The Coronavirus Edition

Millennials vs. Baby Boomers: The Coronavirus Edition

March 11, 2020

COVID-19 disproportionately threatens the old while sparing the young, and this may spark a new conflict between the generations. Baby Boomers have often been accused of robbing future generations by monopolizing wealth and charging up the national debt. Now younger generations have a chance to get even. Because their risk from the virus is low, young people have little incentive to change their behavior. Many may ignore quarantines and recommended hygiene, which ultimately puts their elders at greater risk. There is no malice involved. Young people are simply obeying their own self-interest, just as the Boomers did. ***** UPDATE 3 MAY 2020: I was wrong! It isn't young people who are protesting the lockdowns but the same older voters who support Donald Trump. See video description for my confession. — Also see DemographicDoom.com — Instagram & Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See episode notes, comments & corrections on the video version at j.mp/dd_millboom [ep 32]

The Crash Begins

The Crash Begins

March 1, 2020

The week of February 24-28, 2020 saw the worst stock market drop since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. Glenn Campbell congratulates himself on his accurate prediction of it in his episode two weeks earlier. This week, he says, marks the beginning of a massive economic collapse he has been predicting for over a year. Looking ahead, he sees only bad things happening as the coronavirus spreads around the world and economies react. While his crystal ball is foggy in the long term, he offers a new prediction for the medium term: Unemployment in the United States will double by the end of June, and things can only get worse from there. — Also see DemographicDoom.com — Instagram & Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See episode notes, comments & corrections on the video version at j.mp/dd_crash [ep 31]

Pandemic + Financial Collapse = Chaos

Pandemic + Financial Collapse = Chaos

February 23, 2020

As of February 23, 2020, the coronavirus had invaded all of China and was gaining a foothold in several other countries, including Italy, South Korea and Iran. Glenn Campbell tries to comprehend the vast financial impacts of the pandemic—and finds that he can't. His position is like someone from 1939 trying to look ahead to the coming World War and trying to predict how it will work out. The best he can do is describe some of the medical and economic factors that will make this a truly horrible event. As of the date of this recording, stock market investors are in denial, pushing indexes to new highs. This cannot last. Before the virus, the economy was already in an "Everything Bubble" and a worldwide pandemic is more than enough to pop it. — Also see DemographicDoom.com — Instagram & Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See episode notes, comments & corrections on the video version at j.mp/dd_collapse [ep 30]

Introduction to Triagism: A Philosophy of Life Based on Medical Triage

Introduction to Triagism: A Philosophy of Life Based on Medical Triage

February 21, 2020

Glenn Campbell describes his own self-styled philosophy called "Triagism" based on medical triage as might be practiced in a big-city Emergency Room. Recorded on 21 February 2020 as coronavirus (Covid-19) spreads around the world, Triagism is highly relevant to the government response to this disease. If there are only 10 beds available in a hospital and 1000 sick patients show up outside its doors, how do the staff decide which patients to take in? In traditional triage, the aim is to save as many lives as possible by carefully selecting the patients served. Mildly sick patients may be declined because they are likely to live without intervention, while severely ill patients may also be refused because they are beyond help. Triage tends to favor the moderately ill patients who can most benefit from treatment. While intended for medical management, the same triage principles can be applied to all kinds of human decisions. — Also see DemographicDoom.com — Instagram & Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See episode notes, comments & corrections on the video version at j.mp/dd_triagism [ep 29]

Coronavirus Predictions

Coronavirus Predictions

February 10, 2020

By February 10, 2020, the coronavirus outbreak has spread across China despite draconian efforts by the Chinese government to contain it. As of now, the virus doesn't seem to have gained a foothold in overseas countries like the USA, but experts seem to concur that it will become endemic, affecting every part of the globe. At this pivotal point in history, Glenn Campbell summarizes what he understands about the virus and makes some predictions about the social and economic effects. — Also see DemographicDoom.com — Instagram & Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See episode notes and comments on the video version at j.mp/dd_corona [ep 28]

Coronavirus: Is This The Black Swan That Crashes the Economy?

Coronavirus: Is This The Black Swan That Crashes the Economy?

February 3, 2020

As a viral epidemic takes hold in China, Glenn Campbell predicts it will be the "black swan" that pushes the world economy into severe recession. Podcast recorded on Feb. 3, 2020, when only 17,000 cases were confirmed and 360 official deaths. The news will certainly change over the coming weeks, but no matter what happens, the economic costs will be devastating. The real damage is loss of confidence. In previous podcasts, Glenn talked about the worldwide debt crisis and the coming major recession. The economic collapse only needs a trigger, and the coronavirus may be it. — Also see DemographicDoom.com — Instagram & Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See episode notes and comments on the video version at j.mp/dd_virus [ep 27]

Government Birth Incentives: Why They Don’t Work

Government Birth Incentives: Why They Don’t Work

January 27, 2020

Governments around the world, desperate to raise their birth rates, are offering incentives to parents to make more babies. These can range for one-time cash bonuses to complex parental support systems like subsidized childcare. None of these systems seem to be working. For example, Sweden, which is doing everything right to encourage childbirth, has a fertility rate similar to the USA, which is doing little to support its parents. The core problem with any incentive program is that nothing a government can offer comes anywhere close to the true costs of parenthood. Such incentives may even have the perverse effect of encouraging the wrong kind of people to have children. — Also see DemographicDoom.com — Instagram & Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See episode notes and comments on the video version at j.mp/dd_incentives [ep 26]

Fictitious Wealth and the Coming Economic Collapse

Fictitious Wealth and the Coming Economic Collapse

January 21, 2020

"Fictitious wealth" is assets that people think they have that cannot be realized in the long run. You can own stocks, bonds, real estate even cash in a mattress, but none of it has a secure value in the future. All assets are vulnerable to crash, and government actions over the past decade have assured that nearly all of them will. During the Global Financial Crisis, big governments and central banks worked together to rescue the economy, but all they really did is kick the can down the road. Particularly demaging are the runaway deficits of the U.S. government and the low interest rates of the Federal Reserve. Both have given rise to an "everything bubble" that is bound to pop in the 2020s. Glenn Campbell explains the mechanisms involved and how there is little hope for a non-catastrophic resolution. — Also see DemographicDoom.com + Instagram + Twitter. Comment on video at j.mp/dd_fiction [ep 25]