Narrated by talk show host, Brian Wilson, “Down With Power” a Libertarian
Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
Number 1,066, April 12, 2020

Has everyone gone utterly insane?.

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The Rock vs. the Hard Place
COVID-19 vs. The Economy

by L. Reichard White

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

The Rock is the designed-for-perfection just-in-time economy plus record debt. The Hard Place is the jinned-up fear of COVID-19 and the deaths it may cause.

To an extent almost no one except maybe hard-core preppers appreciate, nearly everyone in the modern world—especially in the so-called First World—depends entirely on the economy to survive. By "survive," I mean "keep breathing."

Just food. Suppose, as CNBC is suggesting and the local WALLY*WORLD is verifying, the supply-chain from farm to store is breaking down. I just bought the last plastic carton of blueberries. It came from Chile. The only beef is four packages of burger.

The food banks and charities just aren’t designed for this unimagined black-swan event. An indication is the record-smashing 3.2 million new U.S. unemployment claims filed the week of March 24, 2020, the following week’s 6.6 million and this week’s 6.9 million for example. That’s a total of 16.7 million newly officially unemployed in just the last three weeks.

The estimate is that, world-wide, the Pandemic Could Wipe Out 195 Million Full-Time Jobs.

Just the restaurants: As of Thursday, March 26, here in the U.S., three percent of them are already closed for good, and it may soon be 10% —Trump cheer-leader media conference, Thursday, March 26, 2020 5:59 PM

Now zoom-out a click—it’s not just the restaurants—

Half the people employed in the U.S. own or work for small businesses and most of those have at most 3 weeks of operating capital. Three weeks of no business and they’re out of business. ...Once we lose these small businesses, you can’t just turn them back on.
—Karen G. Mills, Harvard Business School, Fmr head of SBA, Bloomberg, Thursday, March 26, 2020 6:50 AM

It’s like this—

You can’t impose order, it evolves. When you mess it up, it has to evolve all over again.—lrw

That’s bad but not the worst. You can’t pay Paul the $100 you promised every month—because your business is shut down. So he can’t pay Harry who can’t pay Marjorie, etc. They call that cascading cross defaults. Any entity in debt and counting on income from another debtor is likely in serious danger or will be.

In this case, since approximately 70% of the U.S. economy is powered by spending by us consumers, and they’re regulating, threatening and scaring huge numbers of us out of work, out of restaurants, and stadiums, off cruise ships and planes, etc., well—

How many businesses will have the gumption, capital, patience and persistence to wait for enough of their spooked customers to patronize them back into profitability—which could take years?

But to heck with that, according to hedgefund guru Bill Ackman, even the milder version of only closing down parts of the U.S.—

"...the alternative of an 18-month period of rolling shutdowns would likely bankrupt almost every business, even dominant, well-capitalized ones." —Billionaire Investor Bill Ackman Explains Himself | Forbes

And keep in mind, Few Americans have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency.

Can Uncle Sam print-up enough money to feed these folks, let alone pay their rent and utilities for months—maybe 18 months?

While Uncle—now that his "printing press " is a super-computer—can create money at a truly terrifying rate—

"The Fed was able to spend so much money [$1,249,999,999,999.39 ($1.25 trillion)] so quickly because it has a unique power: It can create money out of thin air, whenever it decides to do so. So, Dzina explains, the mortgage team would decide to buy a bond, they’d push a button on the computer—’and voila, money is created.’" —Federal Reserve Mortgage Purchase Program : Planet Money : NPR

—can he distribute it fast enough and equitably enough to head civil unrest off at the pass and to inadvertantly prove a " Guaranteed National Income" is possible, at least until the inflation hits?

As legendary Senator William Proxmire quipped about the Social Security ponzi scheme, "It will be worthless, but by God , they’ll get their money."

You think the homeless-and-hungry problems in L.A. and Frisco are bad? Now imagine what the Great Depression challenging 20% to 30% unemployment predicted by former World Bank Chief Economist—and optimist—Joe Stiglitz would be like in every U.S. city, not to mention small town.

If you want an idea of how seriously bad things can get when you allow centralized so-called "Authorities" to dictate one-size-fits-all behavior on you and your neighbors—you probably don’t—check out Mao’s Great Leap to Famine—The New York Times, which, according to the author, killed more than 45 million Chinese, about 90% by starvation, the rest from torture. Other sources suggest lower totals. The consensus seems to be around 30 million.

At least during the Great Depression, 30% of us farmed and so wouldn’t starve. Today that’s less than 2%.

How many people today do you suppose will die from lack-of-economy, not to mention the stress of years of extended economic "recovery" misery?

So, that’s The Rock.

Now the MSM is reporting that the Trump Administration is plotting a course for re-igniting the economy. Germany’s Merkel is making similar noises. Is it possible?

The unappreciated problem is, how successful has the media/government complex been in scaring the bejezzus out of us? Because it’s fear, not government edicts, that will be the main problem.

Not to minimize the effects of COVID-19—which is obviously the Hard Place—but there are some wierdnesses worth mentioning, including how it’s been diagnosed and reported so far.

And, as usual, there’s a lot of "bad," even fake, information out there, even from "experts."

An RNA virus, COVID-19 genetic material seems to survive a lot longer on surfaces than "normal" RNA viruses. According to this report, up to 17 days. Further, it has spread further and faster than the computer simulations suggest, even showing up in the Falkland Islands several days ago.

These factors are among a handful that suggest a bio-engineered source. And, in the person of virologist Dr. Shi Zhengli , a haunting chain of evidence leads from Fort Detrick to Wuhan’s P-4 facility via The University of North Carolina.

On the other hand, maybe there’s a different explanation. 5% to 17% of yearly flu cases have always been caused by one of the many circulating corona viruses anyway. A German virologist pointed out the implications like this—

A number of coronaviruses have been circulating for a long time—largely unnoticed by the media. —Killerby et al., 2018, 101, 52-56... If it should turn out that the COVID-19 virus should not be ascribed a significantly higher risk potential than the already circulating corona viruses, all countermeasures would obviously become unnecessary. —German epidemiologist Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi to German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Further, just because someone is diagnosed with COVID-19 and dies, that doesn’t mean that’s what killed them. Suppose, for example, Uncle Joe was diagnosed with COVID-19 and then died in an auto accident. Was it the COVID-19 that killed him?

In his letter to Angela Merkel, epidemiologist Dr. Bhakdi puts it this way—

"...the mistake is being made worldwide to report virus-related deaths as soon as it is established that the virus was present at the time of death—regardless of other factors. This violates a basic principle of infectiology: only when it is certain that an agent has played a significant role in the disease or death may [that] diagnosis be made."

In other words, correlation does not prove causation, especially in folks with pre-existing conditions. That means, to be scientifically accurate, we should usually speak of COVID-19 related deaths rather than COVID-19 caused deaths.

To wide-spread disbelief, China is now claiming only about 3,300 COVID-19 CAUSED deaths and no new infections . Maybe they’ve corrected the mistake most of the rest of the world is still making.

And how did they determine that COVID-19 was even present? Diagnoses in the U.S., until at least March 14, 2020, were not done by even the unvalidated tests which simply weren’t available—and as of April 1, 2020, still aren’t. So, how do they know?

In many places around the world, there is much less testing. For example, originally Chinese diagnoses were based on CT scans which found, unsurprisingly, pneumonia which was ass-u-me_d to be caused by COVID-19. Except there was no widely available specific test for COVID-19 to see if it was really there.

Combine that with Jon Rappoport’s AIDs insight—note the words "con" and "illusion"—

As I discovered in 1987, when I was researching AIDS, the basic epidemic con involves grouping all sorts of people and groups who are suffering from different traditional diseases, environmental toxicities, and certain new NON-VIRUS conditions UNDER ONE UMBRELLA LABEL. And then saying they’re all sick because of one virus. That is the central illusion. —Jon Rappoport’s blog, April 1, 2020

In the same article, Mr. Rappoport reveals that in the case of Swine Flu, CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson discovers that the overwhelming percentage of tissue samples from US Swine Flu patients show no sign of any kind of flu. The virus isn’t there. Ditto in the case of the Zika scare, the labs could only find the Zika virus in a few patients.

In a different article but eerily echoing the above, Mr. Rapport discovered that, according to the officially examined death certificates in Italy so-far, medical examiners claimed only two people unequivocally died from COVID-19 alone. —Corona Bologna Italy: The Truth begins to leak out ® Jon Rappoport’s Blog

Interestingly, Mr. Rappoport documents that the Swine Flu only infected people after there was a U.S. patented vaccine for it. That means the Swine Flu was a genetically engineered invention that included, as is common in biowarfare work, a vaccine to protect " our guys."

The question is, "Was it released into ’the wild’ on purpose or by mistake?" What do you think?

But then that would be a conspiracy theory, which would be ridiculous since, as we all know, governments, giant corporations—and as Ed Snowden explained, the NSA, CIA and the rest of the intelligence deep state—both ours and theirs—never does anything hidden, immoral, shady or illegal.

But now with the tests, they indeed seem to be finding that confoundingly large numbers of folks test positive for COVID-19. That proves the pandemic is real. Or does it?

If COVID-19 is one of the circulating Coronas that have been causing the 5% to 17% of flu cases for years, that would explain the apparent quick spread and wide dispersion. And the related deaths. They’ve always been there but no one paid attention. And for the conspiracy minded, that would also solve the problem of imagining a pandemic into existence that has legs—that is, an actual virus—this time.

One way or the other, someone’s seriously underestimated the civilization-smashing results of closing down the economy.

Now as far as wierdnesses go, since there are always large uncertainties in computer simulations, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that Dr. Fauci is now saying that the US death toll "looks more like 60,000 or less" than his original 100,000 to 200,000 estimate.

But let’s stay on the dark side for now. Let’s suppose that Dr. Fauci’s original computer-modeled estimate that between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans may die from COVID-19 related causes is correct.

Keeping the economy in mind, what should we do about it?

Should "we" ass-u-me the same one-size-fits-all behavior will work everywhere for everyone and "lock-down" everyone everywhere? Should we shut down the entire economy for 18 months, at least till the end of April or May?

That would be committing the same collective fallacy politicians and bureaucrats regularly commit. During Hurricane Harvey in Texas for example.

And is having the government, which almost no one trusts these days, try to force this on a polarized, naturally rebellious,—and maybe desperate and hungry—citizenry a good idea?

Sweden has the more practical libertarian approach, much more suited to a free people while not decimating the economy or worse.

Either way, the estimates are that 80% or more of the population will eventually experience COVID-19. At this point, it looks as if most of us, especially the youngers, will survive the experience, many with only minor discomfort.

Most credible experts, Dr. Fauci for example, no longer speak of stopping the pandemic, instead they more realistically talk about slowing down the progression and thus "leveling out the spike " in the number of cases storming the hospitals all at once.

That won’t save everyone, but it will likely reduce the additional numbers of especially older folks who might die from lack of available health care.

And while I’m not a fan, it looks as if, thanks to the Trump team so-far resisting the calls to go full-frontal Fascist, the American Economy, despite its government handicaps, is coming through for us, at least in the hospital equipment department.

While current computer simulations suggest 82,000 U.S.COVID-19 related deaths by August, and Dr. Fauci now suggests less than 60,000 ,CDC estimates 24,000 to 62,000 U.S. flu deaths already occurred in the last six months.

Notice the scientific uncertainty confessed by the wide ranges in all the estimates. Extrapolated over a year, the six-month flu deaths could easily out-strip Dr. Fauci’s current " less than 60,000 COVID-19 related deaths" estimate and maybe already do. Not that that’s a good thing, but it helps put the current COVID-19 "pandemic" panic in perspective.

Since all sorts of things are more likely to kill you if you have pre-existing conditions, clearly you should avoid COVID-19 and most other flus and diseases. If we want to save the world, clearly the most vulnerable are the ones who should self-isolate.

That means mostly older folks, who are more likely able to afford it and handle the isolation, especially those of us with pre-existing conditions. If we don’t, well, that’s our gamble and the rest of the world shouldn’t destroy itself trying to protect us from ourselves.

The Bottom Line: While the MSM hypes the rare deaths among youngers, one European expert claims, RT, April 2, that 95% of the victims of COVID-19 related deaths have been 50 or older. Another claim, buttressing Jon Rappoport’s Italian info, is that almost all COVID-19 related deaths are folks with pre-existing conditions. That’s why COVID related is accurate while COVID caused is currently speculative at best.

Not to be indelicate—I fit both catagories—but is it worth the death and misery already being caused by destruction of the economy—and likely America-as-we-know-it—to possibly—and temporarily—save a few of us who may be on the way out anyway?

So, if it was your choice, which would you choose, The Rock or The Hard Place?


HERE for updates, additions, comments, and corrections.

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L. Reichard White [send him mail] taught physics, designed and built a house, ran for Nevada State Senate, served two terms on the Libertarian National Committee, managed a theater company, etc. For the next few decades, he supported his writing habit by beating casinos at their own games. His hobby, though, is explaining things he wishes someone had explained to him. You can find a few of his other explanations listed here .

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