It looks like the US is going to have to live with the consequences of its myriad stupidities. From Jim Kunstler at kunstler.com:
You understand, there will be no meaningful resuscitation of the dear, departed, so-called greatest boom in history. Ponzi schemes don’t “bounce back,” they collapse for the simple reason that the pieces holding them up were not really there. Such are the unanticipated consequences of a media over-saturated culture that we were so easily deceived by appearances.
The emotions entrained by this implacable disaster have barely expressed themselves in the social arena. The public is still too shell-shocked by the prospect of losing everything – jobs, incomes, status, chattels, a future – to commence what the shrinks call “acting out.” Anyway, half the country is still acting out over the election of Mr. Trump three years ago.
But, for the moment, an interesting debate rages internationally as to whether the Covid-19 virus was some kind of engineered event designed to bring about various political outcomes. One thread declares that the Democratic Party, its media handmaidens, and a helpful Chinese leadership used the virus to blow up the US economy and finally, after several botched attempts, get rid of the vexing Mr. Trump. It’s a tidy story, but I don’t buy it, for the simple reason that the entire global economy has blown up, including China’s, so you can file that meme in the Wile E. Coyote folder.
People buying gold hand over fist might want consider a precedent that’s already been set for the government taking that gold: Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Executive Order 6102. From schiffgold.com:
Yesterday marked the anniversary of the great government gold heist of 1933 ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
On April 5, 1933, the president signed Executive Order 6102. It was touted as a measure to stop gold hoarding, but it was in reality, a massive gold confiscation scheme. The order required private citizens, partnerships, associations and corporations to turn in all but small amounts of gold to the Federal Reserve in exchange for $20.67 per ounce.
The executive order was one of several steps Roosevelt took toward ending the gold standard in the US.
With the dollar tied to gold, the Federal Reserve found it difficult to increase the money supply during the Great Depression. It couldn’t simply fire up the printing press as it can today. The Federal Reserve Act required all notes have 40% gold backing. But the Fed was low on gold and up against the limit. By stealing gold from the public, the Fed was able to boost its gold holdings.
Perhaps a state like South Dakota, with few people and a lot of space, doesn’t require the same coronavirus measures as New York City, with millions of people and limited space. From Jeff Deist at mises.org:
South Dakota is not New York City.”
A seemingly innocuous statement, made last Wednesday by Governor Kristi Noem in response to calls for her to issue a coronavirus shutdown across a state with the motto “Under God the People Rule.”
South Dakota, after all, is one of the least densely populated states in the vast American West. Surely local circumstances should inform local responses to a communicable disease?
Not so, according to Noem’s scolds at Change.org. They want the same “theory” applied in Brooklyn and in prairie towns with eleven residents per square mile.
To her tremendous credit, Governor Noem has held firm against the tide of state officials ordering lockdowns and shelter-in-place directives. As of today five US states do not have statewide shutdown orders in place, and some sheriffs too have stood bravely against impositions of soft martial law.
The coronavirus outbreak has been going on for almost six months now, but in the US, the economic effects of shutting down businesses and confining people to their homes is just starting to bite. From Sophie Quinton at pewtrusts.org:
DENVER — Economists who advise the Colorado legislature told lawmakers in mid-March to expect a roughly $800 million revenue decline for the next fiscal year as people travel and dine out less during the coronavirus pandemic.
That estimate already looks far too optimistic. “The forecast that we released in March — we weren’t imagining the world that we’re living in right now,” said Kate Watkins, chief economist for the Legislative Council Staff, the nonpartisan research arm of the Colorado General Assembly.
Governors nationwide have ordered businesses to close and people to stay home in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. But the public health measures have created an economic crisis that will, in turn, hit state and city budgets.
Now policymakers are scrambling to figure out how much spending power they’re losing at a moment when they need money to fight the pandemic and help laid-off workers and struggling businesses.
Food banks, just like the unemployment offices, are seeing skyrocketing numbers. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
America is crashing into a depression. In just two weeks, 10 million people have claimed unemployment benefits. This has put unprecedented stress on food bank networks across the country, a new investigation via The Guardian shows.
The US labor market is in free fall – the increasing lockdowns across major US metropolitan areas have forced millions of people out of work and into a hunger crisis.
The Guardian shows demand for food aid in some regions of the country has surged eightfold in recent weeks as RealInvestmentAdvice.com’s Lance Roberts warns the unemployment rates in the US could spike to levels not seen since the “Great Depression,” or about 15-20% in the second quarter.
Britain has succumbed to the general insanity. From Peter Hitchens and Brendon O’Neill at spiked-online.com:
In the past few weeks, society has been shut down, the economy has been put on hold, and civil liberties have been curtailed in the name of fighting against coronavirus. There has been hardly any scrutiny of or opposition against these ever-stricter measures. Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens has been one of the few dissenting voices in the media. He joined spiked editor Brendan O’Neill for the latest episode of The Brendan O’Neill Show. What follows is an edited extract. Listen to the full conversation here.
Brendan O’Neill: We live in a country where parliament has been suspended, our most basic freedoms have been eroded, we are all virtually under house arrest, and there are a whole bunch of new rituals we all have to observe when we encounter other people, which is increasingly rare. Like me, are you a bit terrified by the speed and the ease with which Britain became this country?
Peter Hitchens: I wouldn’t say terrified – distressed and grieved, but not terrified. I am actually not shocked because in several controversies in recent years, where I have thought that the people of this country would stand against the way in which they were being bullied and messed around, I have noticed that there hasn’t been all that much spirit of liberty. I think there is an awful lot of conformism now in this country and people have accepted being pushed around.