Defeating COVID-19, Impact on the Election, & Temporary Economic Effects | Scott Adams on The Pomp Podcast with Anthony Pompliano

Check out The Pomp Podcast Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • We WILL defeat COVID-19; here’s why:
    • “For the first time in human history, all the smartest people in the world are focused on the same problem at the same time and can communicate”Scott Adams
  • 100% of the economists/finance experts Scott has spoken with say the effects of COVID-19 are temporary—the moment we’re in the clear, an economic boom will follow
  • In these times, temporary universal basic income is a MUST
  • Use your time in quarantine productively
    • “If you come out the end of this and haven’t developed a whole new skill, you did it wrong” – Scott Adams
  • “The coronavirus took the odds of a Trump landslide [victory] to something closer to 50/50” Scott Adams

Books Mentioned

  • Scott’s favorite book is Influence by Robert Cialdini
    • He calls it a “must-read” for anyone who regularly deals with people
  • Pomp’s favorite book of Scott’s is Win Bigly

Intro

The State of Affairs & Why We WILL Defeat COVID-19

  • “The scariest part is a fear of the unknown … I’m in the middle of a crisis, but by 8 PM, if I turn off my phone, I’m not really in a crisis—I’m home like every other night.” – Scott Adams
  • “I’ve been watching the events very carefully, and it’s not something I advise for everybody. It takes a large, psychological load … So much so that I’m forcing myself to take 1-hour breaks during the day.” – Scott Adams
  • During this time, it’s of the utmost importance that we do everything possible to take care of ourselves and stay out of the hospital. By doing so, we’re saving lives.
  • Overall, Scott isn’t too worried about COVID-10; here’s why:
    • “We’ve had big problems in the past … But we’ve never had a situation like this—a global problem where all the smartest people could talk to each other instantly … For the first time in human history, all the smartest people in the world are focused on the same problem at the same time and can communicate.” – Scott Adams

How will COVID-19 change the healthcare system?

  • “There will be a whole bunch of good news coming out of the bad news” – Scott Adams
  • Think about it: we’re putting the best medical minds in the world together to fight a problem—many benefits are likely to result
    • (It’s similar to how startups develop in high-talent areas like Silicon Valley )
  • “I feel as though it’s close to guaranteed that there will be some red tape that’s removed” Scott Adams
    • We’re removing the “red tape” temporarily in several areas—we’ll likely find many things are better off without it
  • COVID-19 will certainly toughen our ability to fight pandemics—we’ll have much better plans for the next one
  • It’s 100% certain we’ll move our drug pipeline from China to the U.S.
    • “If you hear your government is not making that happen, change your president. Find one that will. That’s not optional anymore.” – Scott Adams
  • We’ll likely allow doctors to practice across state lines via telemedicine (at the moment, it’s illegal!)
  • Also, the world will develop better hygiene habits—this can only improve things!

How will COVID-19 affect the economy?

  • 100% of the economists/finance experts Scott has spoken with say the effects are temporary
  • “The moment we get the word, the uptick will be breath-taking”Scott Adams
    • As soon as the U.S. government says they have a handle on COVID-19, the economy will BOOM
  • “The biggest, most important, and robust parts of the economy will not be affected by this, but there are definitely some pockets [that will be] … Restaurants will get whacked, hotels, travel—all of that stuff will have some trouble.” – Scott Adams
  • Because they’re handing out loans to many profitable small businesses in a cash crunch, banks will do amazingly well

Use Your COVID-19 Quarantine Time Productively

  • “If you come out the end of this and haven’t developed a whole new skill, you did it wrong” – Scott Adams

Because of COVID-19, is temporary UBI a good idea?

  • “Maybe universal basic income (UBI) might not make sense as an ongoing thing, but boy does it make sense now … For me, it shouldn’t even be a discussion … We should do it TODAY.”Scott Adams
  • But won’t it run up the debt?
    • “I don’t see a better reason to run up the debt—maybe I’ve never seen a better reason to run up the debt—than what we have right now” – Scott Adams
  • One more point:
    • “The idea of doing any kind of trickle-down approach in this kind of emergency is bat sh*t f***ing crazy” – Scott Adams

Is it fair to bail out the airlines (and other industries)?

  • One argument against doing so: many of the companies/industries asking for help are also companies that had a high percentage of their free cash flow devoted to stock buy-backs
  • It’s definitely possible to bail out these industries, but is it fair
    • “Don’t care. Don’t bother me with that. The last thing I’m even going to engage with you on is the question of fairness during an emergency … Fairness has no weight now.” Scott Adams

How will COVID-19 affect the 2020 election?

  • Before the coronavirus, Scott had said Donald Trump was on path to a landslide re-election unless something big changed (and it did)
    • “The coronavirus took the odds of a Trump landslide to something closer to 50/50” Scott Adams
  • The big question: will people still be worried about crowds enough when it comes time to vote?
    • Scott puts the odds at 50/50
    • The most likely scenario: it will be recommended that if you’re above a certain age, you should avoid voting in person, and instead, vote by mail
    • Perhaps we’ll finally be able to vote digitally—how hard can it be to make this happen? 
  • We have 3 old candidates (Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden)—if they keep campaigning in public, they’re incredibly prone to infection
    • Given their ages, COVID-19 poses a significant risk
    • “We could lose one or two of them—that’s not beyond the realm of possibility” Scott Adams
      • The odds of this? ~10%
  • It looks like Joe Biden is a lock to get the democratic nomination, but as far as his cognitive abilities go…
    • “I don’t think there’s more than a 30% chance he’ll seem completely competent by election day” – Scott Adams
  • The most likely outcome (which is still only ~50% likely to happen): Biden wins the nomination and gets slaughtered by Trump 

Does Scott own Bitcoin?

  • Scott previously owned Bitcoin as part of a fund, but recently sold it for a 20-30% profit
    • “I laughingly said I would own it to stop other people from getting rich without working” – Scott Adams
  • On Bitcoin: “It’s a hard argument to say it’s a safe place to put money in a crisis” – Scott Adams

Let’s Talk Investing

  • “In terms of stock investing, diversification is the only word I like to use—it’s the only thing you need to do” Scott Adams
  • Most of Scott’s wealth is invested in Fortune 500 companies
    • By investing in something like the S&P 500, your success is tied to the United States’ success—if the country does well, you’ do well
  • Another piece of advice: If you think you can “pick” stocks…. you can’t

Scott’s Advice to CEOs and Business Leaders During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Lead with empathy and take care of your people
    • If, at the end of the crisis, your employees think, “Wow, my company really cares about me,” you’ll be much stronger—employees remember good deeds

What’s Scott’s favorite book?

  • Influence by Robert Cialdini
    • Scott calls it a “must-read” for anyone who regularly deals with people

What about Scott’s work has impacted Pomp the most?

  • Pomp’s favorite books of Scott’s is Win Bigly—he particularly loved how Scott articulated the idea of “weapons-grade persuasion”
  • Another one of his favorite teachings: the importance of becoming great at what you’re already good at

Are aliens real?

  • Scott believes in simulation theory
    • The theory states that the odds of us being a “real” civilization–as opposed to a computer simulation—are extremely low
  • Given this, we need to ask: Would the people building the simulations build worlds we wouldn’t visit?
    • No (AKA aliens probably don’t exist)

Additional Notes

  • “The person who says, ‘You should have done it sooner,’ is the most useless person in the room … Everything could have been done sooner.” – Scott Adams
  • Scott Adams recently blocked James Woods on Twitter for talking politics—not the time for that!
  • To test vaccines, Great Britain is paying people to be infected with COVID-19
    • If it came down to it, Scott would volunteer (despite being >60!)
  • “The more you know about economics, the more you realize you don’t know anything” – Scott Adams
  • By the end of the 2008 financial crisis up, the price of gold had risen ~3x

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