Month: March 2020

The Elites Want You Living in Fear

As the coronavirus-induced economic shutdown continues, a divide has emerged in Americans’ opinions over What To Do About It. Not so long ago, it used to be that most people agreed that pretty much everything should be shut down and that people should stay home until this blows over. The Trump Administration publicly declared on March 15 that the country would begin “15 Days to Slow the Spread” with the hope that two weeks of social distancing and closure of “non-essential businesses” would reduce the spread of the virus significantly. After the 15-day period, then we could see where things are and potentially allow things to go back to normal. Most Americans were on-board with this plan.

But as time has passed since March 15, two developments have caused a divergence in public opinion into two camps:

  1. “Testing in the US has ramped up significantly, revealing thousands of new coronavirus cases every day. Therefore, the 15-day economic shutdown period will not be long enough, and the country should be shut down for even longer. If we do not double down on our efforts to suppress the virus, then countless more people will die.”
  2. “The collapsing stock market (which has rebounded some over the past few days), spiking unemployment claims, and testimonies from small business owners hurting from the shutdown, show that we need to Get Back To Work ASAP and re-open the economy before this turns into Great Depression 2.0.”

And so now, many Americans are split into the two camps: one that thinks that if we don’t keep it all shut down indefinitely then 1-2% of the US population will die, and another that thinks if we don’t all go back to work ASAP we’ll have 50% unemployment and be lined up around the corner for the soup kitchen by April.

The two camps are increasingly intolerant of one another. The Quarantine Indefinitely crowd thinks the Back To Work crowd wants to sacrifice grandma so the stock market can go back up, while the Back To Work crowd thinks the Quarantine Indefinitely crowd are hysterical idiots.

I’ve got problems with both sides–especially how they act like the other side’s fears are completely unfounded and irrational–but I want to focus on the side panicking about the virus.

Re-opening the economy does not mean “sacrificing lives for the stock market.” This is nonsensical and disingenuous.

The virus is not going to kill a significant percentage of the population no matter what we do. As it stands now, the virus has a death rate of 1.4% in the US. But that death rate is only derived from the denominator of confirmed cases. Loads more people have it or had it and recovered already, and they’re not counted in the official figure of ~66,000 cases. So the death rate is definitely even lower than 1.4%.

You can’t claim that if half the country catches the virus, then 1.4% of those who catch it will die, resulting in the deaths of millions of Americans. The death rate only factors in those who have already been tested. And not only that, if you go to the tracking website, at the bottom it will give you descriptions of the people who have died from the virus. Overwhelmingly the descriptions are like this:

“March 21 (GMT) — New deaths include:

    • 1st death in Minnesota: a Ramsey County resident in their 80s [source]
    • 1 new death in Oregon, first in Marion County [source]
    • 1st death in Tennessee: a 73-year old man with underlying health conditions in Nashville [source]
    • 1st death in Arizona: a Maricopa County man in his 50s with underlying health conditions [source]
    • 1 death in Ohio: an 85-year-old man was an Erie County [source]
    • 2 new deaths in South Carolinaelderly people suffering from underlying health conditions [source]
    • 1 death in California: the first death in Contra Costa County: a patient in their 70s [source]
    • 1 death in Maryland: a Baltimore County resident in his 60s who suffered from underlying medical conditions  [sourceD.C. schools will be closed until April 27
    • 1 death in Missouri: a woman in her 60s, who suffered from multiple health problems prior to being diagnosed with COVID-19 [source]”

Because we’re now over 100 deaths per day, the site doesn’t provide a blurb for every death anymore. But you can go back a few days when deaths were much lower and get some background information for most of the deaths. Older people with underlying health conditions are the ones dying. This is not to minimize their deaths at all, it’s only to point out that the death rate is not the same for everyone.

The death rate is also going down over time. On March 4, there were 138 people confirmed infected with 11 deaths. That’s a death rate of 8%. On March 13, with 2,126 people infected, there were 48 deaths, or 2.2%. And now, March 25, the death rate is 1.4%. It keeps going down the more testing we do.

A couple of Stanford Professors published an article today elaborating on this:

“If the number of actual infections is much larger than the number of cases—orders of magnitude larger—then the true fatality rate is much lower as well. That’s not only plausible but likely based on what we know so far,” the professors argued.

The professors cited data from Iceland, China, the United States, and Italy, which is arguably the hardest-hit region when it comes to the coronavirus.

“On March 6, all 3,300 people of Vò [Italy] were tested, and 90 were positive, a prevalence of 2.7%,” the professors said. “Applying that prevalence to the whole province (population 955,000), which had 198 reported cases, suggests there were actually 26,000 infections at that time. That’s more than 130-fold the number of actual reported cases. Since Italy’s case fatality rate of 8% is estimated using the confirmed cases, the real fatality rate could in fact be closer to 0.06%.”

The professors argued that current epidemiological models aren’t adequate for two key reasons.

“First, the test used to identify cases doesn’t catch people who were infected and recovered. Second, testing rates were woefully low for a long time and typically reserved for the severely ill. Together, these facts imply that the confirmed cases are likely orders of magnitude less than the true number of infections,” it reads.”

They also said this:

“Ultimately, while stressing the seriousness of the virus that has infected almost half a million people, the professors aren’t convinced a universal quarantine is the most logical course of action.

“A universal quarantine may not be worth the costs it imposes on the economy, community and individual mental and physical health,” the article concluded. “We should undertake immediate steps to evaluate the empirical basis of the current lockdowns.”

One might object thusly: “Okay, even if the death rate is actually much lower than current figures show, ending the quarantine and allowing people to go about their business as usual means lots of people are going to get it who wouldn’t have gotten it had they stayed in self-quarantine.”

But that’s what we’re having the debate over. Is it really worth it to keep the economy running on half (or fewer) cylinders over a disease that may have a death rate as low as 0.06%? Someone should be able to answer “no” and not be considered evil.

What if people want to take the risk and go back to work and start spending money like normal? I’m sure a lot of small business owners who are hurting due to the quarantine measures would gladly take that risk. Given the number of people who catch the flu every year–CDC says at least 38 million Americans caught it this season–it’s just as risky to go out in public and go to work during flu season as it is now.

It’s not as if right now is the only time that going to work and going out in public put Americans at risk of getting sick. At any point from November to March you have a pretty high risk of catching the normal flu by going out in public and going to work, but most people don’t care–they don’t even think about catching the flu. Now is not the only time it has ever been dangerous to leave your house.

But the Keep Everyone Quarantined! crowd doesn’t want to hear it.

What is behind their extreme precaution and fear? Many, I would guess, see America’s cases of coronavirus (and deaths) increasing exponentially and quickly conclude that we do not have this thing under control, so it is idiotic and borderline-wicked to reopen the economy.

If you look at the data, they’ve got a point:

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We’re over 66,000 total cases as of right now after adding about 10,800 today. Yesterday was a little over 11,000 new cases.

In terms of deaths, yesterday was our worst day yet: 225 deaths nationwide.

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Today, we’ve had about 151 deaths today as of 7:15pm EST. No telling yet if this the start of a reversal, or if it’s just a blip. Still, things are clearly much worse now than they were even a few days ago.

Italy, however, is starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. It appears daily new cases are leveling off:

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Today, Italy had about 5,200 new cases.

Deaths in Italy appear to be leveling-off as well:

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Today’s tally for Italy was 683.

So the situation in Italy is by no means better yet, but it at least seems that things aren’t getting worse. It might be too early to say, but it appears the virus has plateaued in Italy.

This does not mean the same applies to the U.S. We began our 15-day period of self-quarantining on the 15th, so we’re only on Day 10. If Americans are doing their part (and that’s a big assumption given that our quarantine was a recommendation rather than a government order, like Italy’s was) then we shouldn’t expect to see things turn around for another several days.

If daily new cases and deaths do begin to slow in the next few days here in the US, then hopefully we’ll be able to avoid the “Everyone Dies/Great Depression 2.0” debate. You would think it’s a no-brainer to err on the side of caution and keep the country locked-down for longer, given that if things really get out of control and we do suffer massive amounts of deaths, we’ll have an economic depression anyway. So why not just play it safe and keep everything shut down for even longer?

Well, the Back To Work crowd would argue that it’s a false choice to say we have to choose between a hundred thousand people dying (or more) and another Great Depression. And they’re right: I don’t think there’s any scenario where tens of thousands of Americans die from the coronavirus.

Trump seems to have made up his mind already. Last night, he tweeted:

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“The cure cannot be worse than the problem.” This is essentially what the Back To Work crowd is arguing; we can’t wreck our economy for a virus that has only infected 66,000 people in a nation of 330 million. The Back To Work crowd also points out that the Swine Flu epidemic of 2009 was worse than this, with over 115,000 confirmed cases in the US and over 3,400 deaths, and we did not freak out anywhere near as much as we are now. We never considered shutting our economy down for that.

Trump tweeted this today:

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He’s completely correct. I don’t doubt for one second that a major reason most “news” channels and bluecheck “reporters” are pushing non-stop fear porn over the virus is because they think it’ll hurt Trump. Does the media want an economic collapse? Absolutely. They think it will turn the country against Trump.

Trump has figured out the game. While the vast majority of the Keep It Shut Down! crowd feel that way because they’re genuinely afraid of the virus, the media, which is chiefly responsible for making all these people so scared is completely exploiting this situation. And since Trump is aware of what they’re trying to do, he’s pushing for things to go back to normal soon.

In Trump’s most recent press briefing tonight, he said “There are large sections of our country, probably, that can go back to work sooner than others. We’re looking at that. People are asking ‘Is that an alternative?’ and I say absolutely, that is an alternative.”

Trump is targeting Easter (April 12) as hopefully the day everything can go back to normal, and that would mean almost a full month of social distancing. That seems like enough, but the Back To Work crowd says it’s too long, while the Quarantine Indefinitely crowd thinks it’s insanity.

But I don’t see why we can’t, after the 15-day period, lift the quarantine for parts of the country that haven’t been hit as hard as others. After all, more than half of the nation’s cases right now are in the immediate New York City area:

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We definitely should not lift the restrictions on NYC anytime soon. But for the rest of the country, as long as we take the necessary precautions and avoid New Yorkers, it should be fine.

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo says the peak is still 2-3 weeks away for New York, but that shouldn’t mean the whole country has to remain shut down. Quarantine New York. Don’t go there unless you absolutely have to, and when you return, self-quarantine for 14 days. Don’t leave New York unless you absolutely have to, and if you do, you self-quarantine for 14 days.

We can and should keep the current restrictions in place for the most at-risk subsets of the population, namely the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions. Keep the elderly–nursing homes especially–cordoned-off while the rest of us go about our business as usual. This seems like the path Trump is leaning towards, and to me it makes perfect sense. It’s a smarter, more efficient selective quarantine policy rather than a blanket nationwide quarantine.

But the Quarantine Indefinitely crowd is still very upset by this. Most of them, I’d guess, are motivated primarily by fear.

Specifically, there’s a widespread belief that This Virus Is Just Different, uniquely bad, and that if you catch it, it will permanently damage your health. Is this true? It could be true. It’s not really known for certain yet because it hasn’t been around for very long. But stories about how the virus left male survivors sterile turned out to be false. As far as permanent lung damage, that could well be true. But it varies from person to person. Probably most people who get it will recover and be just fine for the rest of their lives.

The regular flu and the common cold can even can have lasting effects on your body, from hearing loss to Guilliane-Barre Syndrome and even lasting lung damage. The Wuhan Virus is not the only widespread virus that can potentially inflict permanent damage on your body. Yet all the scary stories in the media have people convinced they should be downright terrified of getting the coronavirus.

But others in the Shut It Down! camp–I’d say a minority, but definitely a sizable number of individuals, and predominant on social media–are motivated by something else. It’s not really fear of the virus and mass deaths, either.

Some people just want to watch the world burn. Most of them are younger people, and this, right here, is the closest they’ve ever been to Chaos.

Maybe they’ve grown up on too many post-apocalyptic movies and video games, but they feel like life would be more fun if society collapsed. I’m not sure the reason, but there are a lot of people out there who want society to collapse. To them, the near-total shutdown of the economy is “cool” because it’s such a break from the ordinary. And some feel that if it continues for longer, then society itself will totally collapse, and after that, a new type of society will arise from the old one’s ashes. And it will be Better, they imagine.

I know this because I have a little bit in me, although not nearly as much as when I was younger. Really, it’s more of a yearning for adventure that cannot be satisfied in our world of urban/suburban orderliness and 9-5 jobs. So, some people think, maybe if everything collapsed and we went back to the Stone Age, life would be full of adventure. And maybe, if there is a “great reset” of human civilization, could end up on top.

This Societal Collapse Fantasy largely disappears once you’re invested in the stock market, but there are still lots of people who want to see the world burn.

Whether it’s young would-be socialist or anarchist computer-chair revolutionaries, or simply people who hate the modern world and wish for things to be completely different, there are a lot of people that are secretly (maybe even unconsciously) hoping the coronavirus basically brings the modern world to its knees. (And I’m not saying these are bad people for hating modern society! I’m no fan of modern life myself. But I don’t think society needs to collapse in order for me to get the kind of life I want out of it.

That said, I still think the broad majority of the “THE VIRUS IS GOING TO KILL US ALL!” crowd are motivated by fear of the virus rather than a desire to bring down the modern world.

Fear is a very powerful emotion. Some would say it’s the most powerful. Most people who are gripped by fear cannot be reasoned with (although some can). The only thing that will snap them out of the fear currently governing their words and actions is if real-world events prove their fears to be overblown and unfounded. And even then, they will credit their own over-cautiousness for the fact that the world didn’t end.

The people gripped by media-induced fear–while most of them certainly have noble intentions and valid reasons for being fearful–can’t be allowed to call the shots here. We just have to move forward and get the economy firing on all cylinders again. Eventually the people who want to stay quarantined until August will get over it.

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All that said, when we do re-open the economy, we should still emphasize washing our hands and social distancing and generally try to keep our hands in our pockets as much as possible. We should wear masks and gloves whenever possible and not look at people who do wear masks like they’re crazy. We should avoid large crowds of people and mass gatherings for at least another month.

But we should re-open the economy ASAP. Small businesses can’t hold out much longer.

The government has told many of them to shut down, and so businesses–small and large–need a way to recoup lost revenues. You can’t just tell businesses to shutter and then not expect to compensate them for lost revenues. That’s pure evil. Bailouts or bust. Wall Street nearly killed the global economy back in 2008 and they got bailed out. You could even argue that the big banks that survived ’08 were rewarded for their recklessness.

Those were bad bailouts because the banks didn’t deserve them.

This time around, however, the bailouts are infinitely more justifiable. Most of these businesses are not in trouble because they were reckless and immoral, but because they were simply doing what the government told them to do. There is nothing wrong with a bailout here.

Not every case is the same, of course. For instance, the airline companies that nickel-and-dime the hell out of us (carry-on fee, booking fee, checked-bag fee, seat selection fee) and spent 96% of their free cash flow over the past decade on stock buybacks, now they want a bailout because they have no money?

That’s the kind of stuff that should piss Americans off. But still: what else are we supposed to do? Let the airlines go belly-up? It might Feel Good for a little while to see those greedy bastards get what’s coming to them, but it would be terrible for our country in the long (and short) run. (Thankfully, it appears the stimulus bill will prohibit stock buybacks for any company that gets government money. I still think the weasels will find a way to weasel around this, but it’s at least encouraging that this language has been included in the bill.)

If, by keeping the economy shut down well into April and we force businesses to fold–both mom and pop stores and the larger publicly traded companies–then it will only accelerate the consolidation of our economy, in other words, monopolization. The big trend of the past 20 or so years has been consolidation: the big firms get bigger by buying up the smaller firms. The market share of the various sectors of the economy held by the largest corporations has only increased over the past couple of decades, and if we let businesses fail now, that will only get worse.

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This is what happened in 2008-2009 and it’s what’s going to happen today if we let small businesses fold.

What I’m trying to say is that there’s a lot of validity in what the Back To Work crowd is saying. It will be very bad for our country if lots of businesses have to close, and not just because of all the people who will lose their jobs. The big corporations that can weather this storm just fine will emerge with more power and market control.

Which is why I wonder if this has been the plan all along: a mass economic genocide of small businesses so that big businesses can swoop in and buy all their assets up for cheap. The conspiracy theorist in me fears that this has been the plan all along, and until I see very generous terms from the government on the small business bailout that make it clear the government wants small businesses to come back, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to disabuse myself of that suspicion.

I saw something about the government promising small businesses “low interest loans” and that phrase set off my Conspiracy Alarm. The government is going to force small businesses to shut down and then act like it’s doing the small businesses a favor by offering them “low interest loans” to deal with problems they encountered for doing what the government told them?

I certainly hope this is not what happens when all’s said and done. But it might. I guess low-interest loans are better than nothing.

That said, I do think some of the Back To Work crowd’s concerns are overblown.

This chart of the ridiculous spike in unemployment claims is misleading:

I filed for unemployment, but I wasn’t fired. Not all of these people have lost their job. Many of them have actually just been temporarily furloughed.

As for the US economy not being able to handle a two-week pause: European countries shut down for a whole month every year. Scott Adams provoked a good discussion the matter today:

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But if the American economy shuts down for a week then everyone goes bankrupt and businesses can’t keep their doors open? What happened to rainy day funds?

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Yes, that’s because 300 years ago we were all farmers and our economy did not rely on complex international supply chains and financial leveraging products. People didn’t rely on much other than themselves. They knew how to budget–and I’m not just talking about money, I mean crops and food. They had to stretch the harvest through the winter months or else they died.

The replies to Adams’ tweet from Europeans were interesting:

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This Businessweek article from 1993 provides a small glimpse into how life is in Italy during August:

“It’s just no fun being a journalist in Europe during the summer. I had wanted to write about the spiffy new Punto subcompact that Italian auto giant Fiat will be rolling out next month, but nobody answers the phone at company headquarters in Turin. Then I thought, surely BUSINESS WEEK readers will want to know about how the Sicilian Mafia finally seems to be on the run? Alas, every prosecutor I try to call in Palermo is at the beach. Hey, I’ve got it! I’ll do a Letter From Rome–and describe how no one over here works in August. “Now that’s not a bad idea,” says Antonella, my Italian wife, who has been on holiday since July. “And while you’re at it, fetch me another Diet Coke.”

It’s mandated by most governments in the big European countries that employees get about a month’s worth of paid vacation:

“It’s August again and in Europe that means “out of the office” messages, “closed” signs, and desolated streets. August 1st marks the unofficial start of summer vacation in Spain, France and Italy, and even in times of economic crisis, most employees are dead-set on taking their summer days.

And why not? According to a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, European countries lead the world in guaranteeing paid leave for its workers. Among OECD countries, 16 of the 18 most generous governments when it comes to paid vacation are European.

Spain and Germany are among the most holiday-happy, both offering 34 days of paid leave each year. Italy and France guarantee 31 days of paid vacation, and Belgium requires 30. These numbers include both mandatory vacation and public holidays.

CEPR reports that the United States is the only nation among advanced economies that does not provide a legal guarantee of paid leave. New Zealand and Australia ensure respectively 30 and 28 days of paid leave, and Canada’s federal government stipulates 19 paid days, with some provinces adding on additional time. Even in Japan, where thousands commit suicide every year because of work-related stress, all employees are guaranteed 10 paid vacation days.

To be clear, many American companies do provide paid leave. According to CEPR, 77 percent of private sector companies offer employees at least some paid vacation, and those workers get an average of 21 paid days.

Still, that leaves nearly 1 in 4 Americans without any guarantee of paid time off from work. Those workers are noticeably overrepresented in the lower classes, notes CEPR. Half of the workers whose wages scale in the bottom 25 percent enjoy no paid leave.”

It seems like a matter of respecting basic human dignity to simply not expect employees to devote their entire lives to increasing The Company’s Profits. Maybe Americans who are off work right now will realize how nice it is to have a European-style vacation, and perhaps there will be a new push for some form of government-mandated paid vacation time for the most over-worked nation on earth.

To be sure, even though European countries have very generous state-mandated paid holiday requirements, it’s not as if it all happens at once. Lots of Americans have this belief that basically the entire continent of Europe shuts down for the month of August, but that’s not entirely accurate. Lots of Europeans do take their vacations in August, but not everyone. There’s a big difference between “much of the economy” and “the whole economy.”

But then again, it’s not as if the whole American economy is currently shut down. I’ve been out and about a few times over the past 10 days and plenty of businesses are open. I guess we’ll see when the Q1 GDP print is release just how much of the U.S. economy was shut down, but I don’t think it’ll be as bad as the alarmists are saying.

The whole point of the European example is that European businesses plan ahead for August, and the fact that all their employees get a full month of paid vacation. I’ve never heard any stories about how Europe descends into chaos and economic depression every August. They get by just fine.

In a globalized world of free trade, free travel and largely open borders (at least in the West, i.e. the countries everyone else wants to move to), we’re going to have to get used to events like this. A viral outbreak in one country will quickly spread and overwhelm the whole world. Maybe it’s time we structure our economy to be more prepared for stuff like this. It’s all part of the game our elites have chosen to play.

***

Now, all that being said, the one thing both the Back to Work and the Stay Quarantined crowds ought to be able to agree on is that

Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats she leads are not taking this seriously. They’re totally exploiting this crisis to load up the stimulus bill with pork and leftwing wishlist items that are not even remotely pertinent to the matter at hand.

By no means am I saying every last thing the Republicans put into the stimulus bill is pertinent and awesome. I am under no illusions that this is the case. There’s probably tons of corporate welfare and other bullshit handouts put into the bill by Republicans.

But Pelosi is on another level:

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She’s trying to squeeze “Green New Deal” agenda items into the coronavirus bill, as if limiting airplane emissions has anything to do with re-starting the economy.

Not only that, she’s pushing for mass amnesty:

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Amnesty for DACA illegal aliens? Unbelievable. She’s saying, “If you want to provide relief to small businesses, you have to legalize 800,000 illegals, too.” Can you make it a little less obvious you want to destroy America, Nancy?

I understand that Nancy has to do this kind of shit to appease the Sanders-wing of her party. She’s upholding her end of the deal, as required by Ocasio-Cortez and the rest to allow her to be Speaker: intransigently push for the most radical and idiotic Social Justice™ and Climate Change Cult agenda items at every opportunity.

But still, it makes me wonder: if Nancy and the Very Opinionated Young Women Of Color Whose Voices Will Be Heard she serves aren’t taking this coronavirus situation seriously, then why should I?

As I wrote earlier, I think this economic shutdown was probably part of the plan–whether China’s as part of the trade war, or the elite’s. I still don’t know who exactly was behind this but the goal was to tank the economy and make people give up their freedoms out of fear.

I’m ready to go back to normal. I like normal. It takes abnormal for us to realize how much we like normal.

But I can’t help but think that’s what the special interests and lobbyists want us to feel. They want us to be so afraid of losing our jobs and the economy tanking that we’ll acquiesce to whatever they want in the stimulus bill and just get back to normal. And the rest of us, they want so terrified of the virus that we

This headline just about sums it up:

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The government is preparing to hand out $2 trillion and the lobbyists for the most powerful special interest groups in the country are preparing to feast.

I think it’s a little more than convenient for the special interests that this coronavirus crisis will be capped off with a $2 trillion spending bill.

The Chinese Virus

Can we get some good news? Every time I open up the Twitter app on my phone, I almost instantly regret it. It is nearly all bad news, hopelessness and hysteria. It’ll make you think we’re all going to be dead soon.

The thing is, though, it’s not as if the people on Twitter are wrong. The situation is pretty bad right now, especially in Italy, where the number of cases just keeps going up. Today, there were over 800 deaths in Italy. Thousands of new cases are being diagnosed every day. Just a few days ago, it seemed like things were under control in Italy. New daily cases seemed to have stabilized and stopped going up, but then they started going up again, and in the past two days, Italy has gained more than 11,000 new cases.

America, Germany and Spain are all adding 2,000+ new cases a day over the past few days, and here in the US total cases are over 24,000 now.

In America, we now have over 24,000 cases, but more than half of those are in New York. And in New York, the overwhelming majority are in New York City. This means that New York City has more cases of coronavirus than the rest of the country combined:

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New York City is the epicenter in America. Undeniably. Overwhelmingly. It’s time to quarantine NYC from the rest of us. No flights in or out. Military checkpoints on the highway. Do not let a single soul in or out of New York City. Obviously make sure they’re supplied with food and goods, but we need to isolate NYC.

The scariest part of it all, however, is that Italy has been under nationwide lockdown since March 9 and things have never been worse. It appears the lockdown isn’t working, although perhaps it’s too early to say because the virus has a 14-day incubation period (although it’s possible for symptoms to appear as early as 5 days). So hopefully by Tuesday or Wednesday, Italy starts seeing its new daily cases start declining, because Monday will mark 14 days since the lockdown began.

All this bad news out of Italy begs the question: just to what extent was China lying about its coronavirus numbers? Italy already has more deaths than China claims they had, and China was the origin point for the virus. The worse the Italian numbers get, the less believable the China numbers look.

So just how bad was it really in China? The government’s official figures of 80,000 infected and 3,255 dead are clearly way understated, but by how much?

Well, there is some indirect data we can use to make some inferences about the possible death toll in China, and it is not good.

Yesterday, I saw on Twitter that a 4chan user looked at subscription losses for Chinese mobile phone service companies to try to estimate the number of coronavirus deaths based on how many subscribers Chinese mobile providers lost over the past couple months. The total number of subscribers lost was 14.4 million over a two month span.

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This user then drew the obvious conclusion that as many as 14 million people in China may have died from the coronavirus, given that the three main Chinese telecoms lost 14 million subscribers in January & February alone.

He included some images from the three main Chinese telecoms:

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The China Mobile numbers are somewhat confusing because it looks like the decrease in subscribers could have been from people switching from 4G to 5G, but focus on the “Total Customers” column. It shows a decrease of nearly 7 million overall.

These are the numbers for China Telecom:

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That’s a decrease of 5.17 million subscribers.

Another China telecom also showed over a million in lost subscriptions. It is between these three companies that the 4chan guy got the 14.4 million figure.

Now, I think this is a very high estimate. 14 million dead in China is 1% of the country, and that’s an astronomical death toll. I think it would be very hard for China to cover this up, although if any country could do it, it would be China.

Still, I don’t see many other good explanations for why 14 million people canceled their cell phone service other than: they died. Of all the expenses you’d consider cutting out during a time like this, cell phone service is at or near the bottom of the list.

But another Twitter offers another explanation for why China suddenly lost so many mobile phone subscriptions:

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It’s possible people canceled their mobile subscriptions as they fled the country, but even this seems somewhat implausible. If I were to flee the US, I doubt I’d cancel my mobile subscription, but who knows.

In order to make the claim that as many as 14 million people died in China from the coronavirus, you’d have to exhaust all possible non-death alternatives for why people could’ve canceled their subscriptions. For instance, if millions people did flee China and cancel their mobile subscriptions, did they open up new mobile contracts in the country they fled to? I have no idea where they would have fled to and what those other countries’ main telecom companies are, so it would be a lot of work to try and figure out if telecoms in countries outside of China saw corresponding increases of millions of new subscribers, indicating their gain was China’s loss.

It’s also possible people just used their phones on wifi only after fleeing China, and we will not see any other country with an explosion of new mobile subscribers caused by fleeing Chinese. We haven’t seen any headlines like, to use a country Chinese people could have plausibly fled to, “Taiwanese mobile providers struggle to accommodate millions of new Chinese expat subscribers.” Or really anything about fleeing Chinese pouring into any other countries at all.

In fact, even as early as late January, loads of countries around the world were moving to restrict travel to and from China. This article is from February 3:

“MORE countries have banned travel to China in the wake of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. As the death toll rose above 300 in China, more countries have issued travel warnings and bans.

Vietnam has barred all flights from and to China. Overall, nearly 10,000 flights have been cancelled since the outbreak. Australia is temporarily denying entry to non-citizens who have recently travelled to the country. Japan also said it would bar foreigners who had recently been in the Chinese province at the centre of the outbreak, or whose passports were issued there.

Previously, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, France, New Zealand, India, Egypt, Germany and a host of others had issued travel warnings or bans to the Asian country. African airlines have cancelled scheduled flights to China except Ethiopian Airlines. Last week, Nigeria issued a travel warning to China even as Nigerians in China were urged to tread with caution.”

Where could potentially millions of fleeing Chinese have gone? By early February, their options were extremely limited. No other countries wanted to take them in, and rightly.

However, most of these travel bans included provisions to allow expats living in China to return home. For instance, American citizens living in China were allowed to come back to The States. This article from Feb. 1 elaborated on that point:

“Russia will start evacuating its citizens from China next week. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the evacuations would be from regions that had been most affected by the outbreak, Interfax and TASS news agencies reported.”

What I’m trying to say here is that it’s possible that a portion, or even the majority, of the 14 million lost China telecom subscribers were foreign citizens living in China long-term who canceled their subscriptions to Chinese cell service when the virus started spreading and they had to make a quick exit from China.

This, to me, is the best possible alternative explanation to the “14 million Chinese died” theory. If I were an expat living in China long-term, I would most definitely have made a quick exit from China and come back to the states as soon as the virus outbreak began.

More recent headlines indicate Chinese expats are flocking back to China as coronavirus case numbers explode in Europe:

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So who knows. Even if we see a major spike in mobile subscribers in China for the month of march as loads of expats living outside of China come back to escape Europe, they might not be the same people who left China in droves in Jan/Feb. There are Chinese people living abroad, but then there are also Americans/Europeans/British/Australians/ Russians/etc. living in China. The latter category likely fled China in Jan/Feb, while the former category is in the process of fleeing Europe to go back to China now.

I don’t know. We’re living in chaotic times. But still, even if just 10% of those lost mobile subscribers in China are people who died, that’s still 1.4 million people.

The bottom line is that we are not getting the full story from China. They have been lying about and covering up the virus since the start. Someone on Twitter posted this on Feb. 8, which showed an unusual amount of sulfur dioxide being emitted from Wuhan, China, indicating mass cremation of dead bodies:

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China is so unbelievably guilty for all of this. Government officials forced a Wuhan lab to stop their testing on the virus and destroy the samples so as to destroy proof of it:

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This is the Chinese Virus. No honest person at this point can deny that. China passed this on to the rest of the world.

And the worst part of it is, we’re learning that China now basically owns the US Media given how much the media is advocating on China’s behalf. I’m sure you’ve all seen the clips of “reporters” attempting to scold President Trump for saying “Chinese Virus.”

As of February 21, CNN was more concerned with “racism” against Chinese than Americans dying of the virus itself:

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It’s almost worse that this article is from a month ago because it clearly shows CNN was not taking the virus seriously at all.

Three days ago, Rolling Stone whined:

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Trump bad, China scapegoat.

New York Times:

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Screw the “experts.” Why didn’t the experts prevent this from happening? And screw concerns over “xenophobia.” Xenophobia is a made-up term by the globalists to attempt to pathologize the natural human distrust of foreigners. If we were more “xenophobic,” we wouldn’t have to worry about coronavirus. Xenophobia is good.

Washington Post ran almost the same article as NYT:

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The media is the enemy inside the gates. The fifth column. The media is actively undermining America from within. Whether it’s because they’re all brainwashed morons, they just do whatever they believe will get them higher ratings, or (more likely) because they’re all bought-out traitors, they are America’s weakness.

You’ve got the worst global pandemic in decades spreading like wildfire, and the American media is determined to make the situation worse for us.

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So accustomed is our media to disingenuously framing literally every news story as a matter of “racism” that they are unable to resist doing so even in this global crisis.

Never has it been more clear that the media’s obsession with painting America as a viciously racist hellhole where life for minorities is nothing but endless misery and suffering, was simply them inventing problems where there were none. Now that we have a real problem on our hands, notice that nobody but the media is still fretting about racism. It’s almost as if the past five years’ hysteria over racism was complete nonsense and totally fabricated by the media.

And it’s not just racism that has fallen by the the wayside due to coronavirus:

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Hopefully, this means that when the dust settles and this coronavirus business blows over, most Americans will realize what a sham the identity politics push since 2015 has been.

But don’t be fooled into believing the media’s behavior has been harmless. The media’s conduct has been so reprehensible during this coronavirus outbreak that it is actively lobbying against finding a cure for the coronavirus. I’m not kidding or exaggerating.

It all started with Trump making a statement on Thursday that a drug called Chloroquine, normally used to cure Malaria, may actually be highly effective against the coronavirus.

This comes from a successful study conducted in France, published March 17:

“A renowned research professor in France has reported successful results from a new treatment for Covid-19, with early tests suggesting it can stop the virus from being contagious in just six days.

Professor Didier Raoult from infection hospital l’Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire (IHU) Méditerranée Infection in Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur), published a video explaining the trials on Monday March 16.

Professor Raoult is an infectious diseases specialist and head of the IHU Méditerranée Infection, who has been tasked by – and consulted by – the French government to research possible treatments of Covid-19. He said that the first Covid-19 patients he had treated with the drug chloroquine had seen a rapid and effective speeding up of their healing process, and a sharp decrease in the amount of time they remained contagious.

Chloroquine – which is normally used mainly to prevent and treat malaria – was administered via the named drug, Plaquenil. The treatment was offered to 24 patients, who were among the first to become infected in the south east of France, and who had voluntarily admitted themselves to hospital for the process.”

Not only did French researchers come to this conclusion, American researchers did as well a few days prior.

“A new academic study, published on Friday March 13 by US scientific researchers, also said that chloroquine appeared to be an effective treatment, and appears to align with the findings in France.

It said: “Use of chloroquine (tablets) is showing favorable outcomes in humans infected with Coronavirus including faster time to recovery and shorter hospital stay…

“Research shows that chloroquine also has strong potential as a prophylactic (preventative) measure against coronavirus in the lab, while we wait for a vaccine to be developed.

“Chloroquine is an inexpensive, globally available drug that has been in widespread human use since 1945 against malaria, autoimmune and various other conditions…[it] can be prescribed to adults and children of all ages.

“It can also be safely taken by pregnant women and nursing mothers [and] has been widely used to treat human diseases, such as malaria, amoebiosis, HIV, and autoimmune diseases, without significant detrimental side effects.”

Researchers worldwide are continuing to work on developing a vaccine against Covid-19.

So far, no country – nor the World Health Organisation (WHO) – has officially published treatment measures against Covid-19, but in China and South Korea, guidelines already outline the use of chloroquine as an “effective treatment”, the study report said.”

But don’t even bother clicking the link to the US study. It’s a Google Doc, and Google has taken it down due to “violation of terms of service.” Very curious.

For some reason, the media and Google are trying to throw cold water on the buzz around Chloroquine. As is the FDA, as we’ll see shortly.

Why would they be actively working to discourage the use of the Malaria drug for coronavirus? Because the drug is already on the market. As the block quote above shows, it has been widely available since 1945.

But Big Pharma has a strong financial interest in making sure it and it alone has monopoly control over the eventual mass production and distribution of the coronavirus vaccine.

Which is why you see CNN running shameful headlines like this regarding Trump’s touting of Chloroquine:

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How dare Trump try to boost our spirits amid such “dark times”!

Let’s have a look at the article, though, because it’ll show just how treacherous CNN is:

“For the past two days, Trump has said he is dispensing “game changer” breakthroughs on treatments and a wartime-style effort to mass produce medical supplies that appear as rays of light amid America’s darkening battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Such as. . .? We don’t get any specifics.

[…]

On Thursday, Trump celebrated his own announcement that he had torn down red tape and that several anti-virus therapies used to treat other conditions were now or shortly will deployed in the battle against Covid-19.

Which “anti-virus therapies,” CNN? Why won’t you specify?

“I think it could be a game changer, and maybe not, and maybe not. But, I think it could be, based on what I see, it could be a game changer. Very powerful — they’re very powerful,” Trump said.

But moments later, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn said that the several anti-virals, including one used against malaria, were currently in a regular clinical trial coronavirus and declined to give a timeline when their use might be approved for fighting the disease.” [sic? is the word “for” supposed to be in between “trial” and “coronavirus”?]

You can tell from Trump’s quote that he is referring to something specific (“it”), but CNN’s article is intentionally vague about what, exactly, Trump is talking about. They mention “the several anti-virals, including one used against malaria,” but never Chloroquine by name. This is no accident. They do not want you to be aware of the fact that Chloroquine has been shown to be extremely effective against the coronavirus.

The New York Times at least used the term “Malaria drugs,” but that was about it. They’re still very much against the use of an already-existing drug to combat coronavirus.

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“With minimal evidence.” Actually there are multiple studies out. Add New York Times to the list of evil institutions that don’t want coronavirus to be cured.

The FDA is probably in Big Pharma’s pocket as well given the speed with which it attempted to shoot down Trump’s claims.

The media even tried to pretend Chloroquine is DANGEROUS AND WILL KILL YOU BECAUSE TRUMP IS TRYING TO KILL YOU, with MSN posting a scare headline “Drug touted by Trump to possibly treat virus can kill in just 2 grams”. But they neglected to mention the recommended dose size is 500 milligrams:

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Wow, if you overdose on Chloroquine, it can kill you. So I guess we shouldn’t use it against coronavirus, even in the prescribed dose amount. In fact, let’s throw out every other drug that can kill you if you take 4x the recommended dose.

This dishonesty from the media is downright evil. Let’s be completely clear here: they literally want to deprive people of a safe, effective cure for Coronavirus because Big Pharma does not have a monopoly on Chloroquine.

We have the cure already. But Big Pharma has mobilized its shills in the media, at Google, and at the FDA to prevent it from ever seeing the light of day.

But Trump remained undeterred, reiterating his interest in using Chloroquine to cure coronavirus earlier this morning:

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Big Pharma and their paid shills in the media are determined to make sure the coronavirus does not have a proven and widely available cure, and that America remains entirely dependent on China for medical supplies.

The Daily Beast, for example, is very upset that a Trump administration official is trying to “commandeer” the Coronavirus in order to make the medical-supply chain “more America-centric”:

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Outrageous! America MUST remain reliant on China for medical supplies!

Were you aware that even drugs as common as aspirin are no longer produced in the United States because China put our last manufacturer out of business in 2002?

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Rosemary Gibson is the author of a 2018 book called “China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine,” and recently she went before Congress and testified that 90% of the core chemicals required to treat coronavirus patients come from China. She went further:

“There’s talk that we should let the free market fix this. The reality is there is no free market. Generic manufacturing has collapsed in the US. There are only two Western companies left that are making generic drugs, and they announced last year that they’re dropping half their products because they can no longer make them. So now they’re on the FDA shortage list.

And how does this happen? Because of China forming cartels. Which has driven out production of so many of our core medicines–we can’t make penicillin anymore, because of what I wrote about in ‘China RX,’ we can’t make vitamin C, we can’t even make aspirin. And thousands and thousands of other medicines.”

We are completely dependent on China for just about everything, including medical drugs and supplies. This is what Trump adviser Peter Navarro is trying to address, and the media is slamming him for it.

It’s difficult to overstate just how much damage the media is deliberately doing to America.

***

While the coronavirus may be causing chaos around the world (the US stock market is down over 30% as of Friday), and its death toll is rising by the day, we will get through it. It may not seem like there’s any end in sight, but we will get through this.

The world we will inhabit on the other side, however, will not be the same as the one we inhabited as recently as January. The Great Coronavirus Epidemic of 2020 will have long-term consequences all around the world.

Such as what?

First and foremost, the China Problem will take center stage. For too long we have ignored the fact that we have slowly but surely become entirely dependent on China. It all started with Richard Nixon “opening” China for business in 1971, and was cemented in 2001 when the Bush finally administration allowed China to join the World Trade Organization and obtain “most favored nation” status with the U.S.

This has been an utter disaster for America, and it’s not just in medical supplies. It’s in rare earth minerals, it’s in clothing, it’s in electronics–just about everything. I remember when I was working for a US Congressman I accompanied him on a tour of a semiconductor plant in our district. At the end of the tour we sat down with the owners and asked them how we could help their business out, and their #1 concern, overwhelmingly, was China. China was undercutting their prices and they would soon be out of business because they couldn’t compete. China has been waging economic warfare on America for decades, and we’ve deluded ourselves into thinking it’s all good because at least we get cheaper goods.

We can no longer view China as a developing country that needs our help to modernize. China is now our foremost rival in the world. I’d even go as far as to say they’re our number-one enemy in the world.

Our trade deficit with China has ballooned to head-spinning levels:

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And that’s on top of the fact that the US Trade Representative estimates that the US loses out on between $225-600 billion per year in Chinese intellectual property theft. The Chinese are bleeding us dry.

Growing wariness of China should not be a partisan issue, either. It’s an American issue. The only way one could oppose America ending its dependence on China is if they’ve been paid off by China. Our reliance on China benefits no one except the multinational corporations that have outsourced to China for cheap production, and the American universities that collectively accept hundreds of thousands–probably by this point millions–of Chinese students.

The rest of us are paying the price.

China is our enemy. That much has become crystal clear for Americans over the course of the past couple months. Not only have they bled our economy dry, they’ve now inflicted a deadly virus upon the whole world. No matter how much the media tries to muddy the waters by calling Trump a racist, this is a Chinese virus that has now become the whole world’s problem. We must lay the blame on China and hold them accountable for not only the medical suffering they’ve inflicted, but the trillions of dollars of economic carnage as well.

China wrecked the world economy. China did this.

And if you’re wondering why Italy has been hit so hard by the coronavirus, it’s because Italy has the highest population of Chinese expats in all of Europe. According to Wikipedia, there are 320,000 Chinese citizens living in Italy, and most of them arrived over the past decade. There is nothing coincidental about Italy being the worst-hit nation by coronavirus after China.

China has been investing in (read: buying out) Italy for the past decade, Milan specifically. And wouldn’t you know that Milan has borne the brunt of the virus outbreak in Italy.

There’s a medium-sized Tuscan town just north of Florence called Prato, and it has been completely taken over by the Chinese:

“I spoke to Marco, a 38 year old construction worker, about the changes he’s seen here over the last 30 years.

‘Prato has evolved and grown in terms of population, but the majority… how can I say it… the majority it’s all Chinese. That ‘something’ that there was before isn’t there anymore, Prato’s traditions, the feasts… on the 15th of August we used to go to Feast of Santa Maria, we’d eat watermelons, you’d go there and see all the people from Prato… now what you see, it’s mostly managed by [the Chinese]….’

So when did Via Pistoiese swap cantuccinis for noodles and dumplings? Where do all these hand waving cats come from, and who buys them? Why do some areas of Prato, in short, look so Chinese?

[…]

Until the 60s, the extra workers Prato needed came from the countryside and around Tuscany. In the 70s and 80s, these jobs were taken up by migrants from the south of Italy, and in the 90s by workers from China.

Chinese immigrants quickly began buying and opening small firms, merging those firms, and replacing the older firms owned by Italian families. They focused on fast production of ready-to-wear fashion clothing and employed mostly other Chinese people, who were much cheaper than Italians. Failing Italian firms began cutting costs by closing down and renting their warehouses to Chinese companies instead.

Today, Tuscany has the largest percentage of firms owned by Chinese citizens in Italy, and Prato has the largest share in Tuscany. More firms in Prato are owned by foreigners than Italian, and over 70% of those owned by a foreign national are owned by the Chinese.

Giulio, an 80 year old man who used to own a textile factory, said: “The young people from Prato all left to go work in France, Germany… if you look around, you can’t see a young person, it’s only the Chinese. It’s just like 50 years ago, when there were no jobs and Italians went abroad, to America… it’s like back then. The firms are all closing down, especially in Prato. The only ones that survived are the ones that buy already made stuff from China to sell. There’s no more manufacturing here.”

[…]

In the end, Marco points out, “People from Prato used to drive big expensive cars and Chinese people used to drive the Ape [a cheap and small three-wheeled truck]. Now people from Prato drive the Ape, and Chinese people drive the big cars.”

When white Europeans did stuff like this in Africa during the 19th century, it was condemned as “imperialism.” When the Chinese do it, it’s all just part of the glorious process of  “globalization.”

The developed West needs to ween off of China. It’s time to start making things again and stop allowing China to leech off of us.

In fact, when this is all over, China needs to answer for this virus that destroyed so much. We’re talking post-WWI style reparations like Germany was forced to pay at Versailles. Massive, punitive, crippling reparations.

Second, people in America are going to learn the art of saving money again. At least they should. 78% of the country lives paycheck to paycheck. 69% of Americans have less than $1000 in savings.

People are going to learn to save money again. No longer should people take their incomes for granted.

Third, people in America are going to question urban living. Densely-populated urban areas are, unsurprisingly, being hit the hardest by the coronavirus. Again, New York City has more than half of America’s cases. It’s also the most “international” city in the U.S., where thousands of foreigners flock daily for business, tourism and even to start whole new lives in the land of opportunity.

Not only are you far more likely to catch a deadly virus in a big city, urbanites are also the ones encountering emptied-out supermarkets. City dwellers are far more reliant on the supermarkets than rural Americans.

While it won’t be mass exodus from the cities, I think you’ll see some people move away from the cities and head for, if not rural areas, then at least suburban locales.

I’ve been saying it for a while and now it’s never been more crucial: get out of cities, move to the countryside and become self-reliant. Buy land, raise goats and chickens, get in touch with nature and God.

Fourth, I can’t even begin to fathom the economic impact the coronavirus will have on this country and the world. Hopefully, people who are out of work (that’s most of us) will either get unemployment insurance, or those Trump Bucks (preferably both). But if this goes on any longer, the number of businesses that will shut down will dwarf anything we saw in 2008. There’s a big difference in a business experiencing slowed demand and a business that cannot operate at all. We need to get the economy back up and running as soon as humanly possible or else things are going to get really bad.

Fifth, open borders is a liability. Not only is it turning America into racially-fragmented, third-world-esque banana republic, and eroding its historical culture and traditions, it’s made us vulnerable to viruses like this. The reason this virus became our problem and not just China’s is because of open borders and globalization. This will inevitably lead many more Americans to begin questioning if open borders is such a good idea–and since a lot of people have already started questioning it over the past several years, this could be a major turning point in public opinion. We can only hope.

***

Finally, at the beginning I said we need some good news around here because everything seems so apocalyptic at the moment.

Well, the good news is, the coronavirus may well in fact be “just the flu.”

I’m not talking about the symptoms of the virus, but rather in terms of numbers.

Here are the CDC’s stats on the current flu season, still ongoing:

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  • 38 million – 54 million total flu illnesses
  • 17 million – 25 million medical visits
  • 390k – 710k flu hospitalizations
  • 23k – 59k flu deaths

In America, we’ve only seen 24,000 total cases of coronavirus and 288 deaths.

Now, these numbers are of course still going up (and rapidly) but there’s no way we’ll see 38 million cases of coronavirus, and I seriously doubt we’ll see 23,000 deaths.

The death rate for coronavirus is certainly higher than the flu. That’s a fact. But it’s also true that we don’t have an accurate number on just how many people have the coronavirus. We don’t have anywhere near the testing capability for the coronavirus as we do the flu. It’s likely there are many more people who have the virus than we currently know of. Many people will get it and recover without ever going to a hospital or a doctor.

I’m not trying to say you should be out in crowded areas and being careless, but I am saying the virus is not nearly as scary as it seems.

Placing the virus in the context of the flu makes it less scary. At least it did for me.

Is the Coronavirus a Bioweapon?

Let’s see:

  • It kneecapped China’s economy (America’s primary rival).
  • Virus hit just before Lunar New Year in China, the country’s biggest travel holiday, for maximum impact.
  • Also spread in Iran, another of America’s chief geopolitical rivals. In particular, several Iranian politicians have contracted the disease. A prominent adviser to Ayatollah Khomeini died from the virus.
  • An Israeli company’s suspicious comments about producing a vaccine. It claimed it had already been developing a Coronavirus cure before the outbreak of the virus, and had decided to begin developing a Coronavirus vaccine out of “pure luck.”

There are claims that the virus actually originated in the US, rather than China. At least one Chinese official is publicly claiming that the US military brought the virus to China in Ocotber 2019 under the guise of the Wuhan Military Games, which took place that month.

Of course, while the disease initially hit China the worst and then Iran, it is now spreading rapidly in a lot of countries considered to be America’s allies. South Korea, Italy, France, Spain and Germany are all getting hit badly.

In fact the virus has largely plateaued in China, and Europe has become the epicenter, according to the World Health Organization. Based on the official reports from China, the worst is over for them:

It has plateaued in South Korea and it seems they largely have it under control there, but it is not under control in Europe.

So if this virus was an American bioweapon, there has been an awful lot of collateral damage. But this is all under the assumption that only cases and deaths matter. What if infecting a lot of people wasn’t the ultimate goal for whomever released the virus?

To the extent that people discuss conspiracy theories about the Coronavirus, they think along the lines of it being a weapon intended to kill lots of people.

But I don’t think that’s accurate. If the Coronavirus was indeed a bioweapon, and whomever unleashed it intended it to kill lots of people, by any objective measure, they have failed spectacularly at that. It’s tough to say with certainty just how many people have been infected by this virus given that we’re taking the official numbers at face value and assuming they haven’t been underreported by any country. But even if we triple the official numbers, that’s still not a lot of people in the grand scheme of things.

No, I think if this was a bioweapon, the real goal was something else. To figure out what that something else is, let’s look at what the virus has succeeded in doing:

  • Fear
  • Economic disruption

It has succeeded in spreading fear and disrupting the economy. If those outcomes were the actual goal of the coronavirus, then they didn’t even need an actual disease. They only needed a media fear campaign.

In fact, it seems that every year since Y2K there has been some media fear campaign over something or other:

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And don’t forget Global Warming™, which has been an unrelenting fear campaign for the past 15 years.

Why would they want us to be afraid? A scared populace is a controlled populace. And it makes us more likely to give up our freedoms in exchange for perceived safety.

But there is one highly compelling reason that suggests the Coronavirus isn’t a bioweapon orchestrated by the elite, or the Pentagon going rogue, or what have you: it has exposed the structural deficiencies of the globalist world order. Open borders and free trade turn epidemics into global pandemics. Globalization means a virus in one country can spread to countless other countries and even bring down the whole global economy.

Pat Buchanan recently argued quite convincingly that the Coronavirus could end up delivering a knockout blow to the globalist ideology.

“In retrospect, was it wise to have relied on China to produce essential parts for the supply chains of goods vital to our national security? Does it appear wise to have moved the production of pharmaceuticals and lifesaving drugs for heart disease, strokes and diabetes to China? Does it appear wise to have allowed China to develop a virtual monopoly on rare earth minerals crucial to the development of weapons for our defense?

As for the “open borders” crowd, do Democrats still believe that breaking into our country should no longer be a crime, and immigrants arriving illegally should be given free health care, a proposition to which all the Democratic debaters raised their hands?

In this coronavirus pandemic, people now seem to be looking for authoritative leaders and nations seem to be looking out for their own peoples first. Would Merkel, today, invite a million Syrian refugees into Germany no matter the conditions under which they were living in Syria and Turkey?

Is not the case now conclusive that we made a historic mistake when we outsourced our economic independence to rely for vital necessities upon nations that have never had America’s best interests at heart?

Which rings truer today? We are all part of mankind, all citizens of the world. Or that it’s time to put America and Americans first!”

It’s probable that once the dust settles and this thing has run its course, the coronavirus will have done irrevocable damage to the credibility of the ruling globalist elite. Nationalist ideologies have already been growing in popularity since at least 2015, and the rapid global spread of this virus will only boost their appeal.

How many normal people have been red-pilled against globalism due to the coronavirus? More and more people are going to start rejecting open borders and free trade after seeing how a virus can spread around the world. The idea that China’s (or any other country) problems shouldn’t be our problems resonates with people on a very fundamental level.

Now, just because this virus destroys the credibility of the globalist elites does not mean it wasn’t orchestrated. It’s possible the military went rogue and did this on its own, believing it to be in its interests rather than those of the civilian elite.

Or maybe the globalist elite was on-board with the military’s plan and it was simply botched. Never discount the possibility that the elite can be incompetent sometimes. They may be powerful but they’re not all-powerful. They make mistakes sometimes. After all, they failed to foresee that 9-11 and their power grab after it (Patriot Act/mass surveillance, world policing, endless foreign wars, massive ramp-up in military spending, etc.) would backfire into a lot of the driving force behind the resurgence of nationalism and isolationism.

So what’s the verdict? I don’t know. I reflexively distrust the mainstream media/government narrative on just about everything, and the coronavirus is no different. But it’s tough to see how this benefits anyone. The economic impact in America (and everywhere else) is likely to be severe, and if anything, this only further damages the public’s faith in the ruling elite and its official ideology of liberal globalism.

But we haven’t yet seen the endgame. Maybe they’re planning on rolling out some sort of vaccine in the darkest hour that people will desperately accept. Or maybe they’ll use the virus to roll out sweeping policy changes regarding quarantines, lockdowns and other authoritarian measures, similar to the Patriot Act following 9-11.

It’s tough to say because we’re still in the middle of it. We’ll have to wait and see what changes the elite seeks to implement with the virus as justification.

 

Bernie Sanders is a Pussy

Joe Biden’s Body is now the presumptive Democratic nominee after winning a handful of primaries last night. Biden won Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho. He’s going to lose to Bernie in North Dakota but that’s inconsequential. And the two so close in Washington state, even if Bernie wins the vote count, Biden will still win the same number of delegates as Bernie.

It’s over. Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee. There was a rumor going around on Twitter last night that Bernie was planning to drop out on Wednesday, but his campaign shot that down.

It doesn’t really matter, though. Joe Biden’s Body is going to take this thing.

But before I get to Joe Biden’s Body becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee, let me just mention Bernie Sanders and sum up his campaign in a few words: Bernie Sanders is a pussy.

There’s not much more to it.

Bernie is a pussy.

I apologize for using that word, I know it’s vulgar, but there is no better way to describe Bernie Sanders. That’s what he is.

The man has been wronged by the Dem Party Establishment at every turn since 2015 and yet he still will not stick up for himself.

Last night, Tucker had a segment in which he called Bernie Sanders the “lamest revolutionary ever,” and that’s exactly right. In this clip Tucker runs down all of the reasons why Bernie Sanders is a pussy–although of course Tucker is not allowed to use that word.

You should watch Tucker’s segment in full, but the bottom line is that Bernie Sanders is a pussy.

If Trump were in his shoes (and he will be in a couple months time), Trump would be raising hell. He wouldn’t shut up. He wouldn’t back down. He would not sit there and take it.

“Believe me, folks: Joe Biden should be in a retirement home. They’re calling him Senile Joe. Can you believe that? Bad stuff, folks. You really have to feel bad for this guy, Joe Biden. He can’t even tell you what state he’s in and they’re making him run for President. Did you see the other night he thought his sister was his wife? Unbelievable. He was talking about letting all the little kids rub his hairy legs. Disgusting. Just disgusting. What’s the matter with this guy?”

“So all my rivals dropped out right before Super Tuesday and they’re all going to endorse Biden. They’re trying to rig this election against me. Nasty people. I’ll bet Biden’s people cut a deal with all of them. They don’t want me to win. You know that, right? Well, we’re going to win. We’re going to win big. There’s nothing they can do about it, that I can tell you.”

If Trump were in Bernie’s shoes right now, he’d be going scorched-earth on the Democrat Establishment. Zero punches pulled. He’d be calling out all the dirty tricks even though it’s considered “taboo” to point out that an election that is obviously being rigged, is being rigged. He doesn’t care whose feathers he ruffles, or if he breaks with the “decorum” of Official Washington. In fact, he enjoys doing that stuff. He relishes being the party crasher, the bane of the Establishment’s existence.

Bernie, on the other hand, doesn’t want to fight. When push came to shove, Bernie folded like a cheap suit. He cucked. He sat on his hands while Joe Biden’s Body ran away with the nomination.

Bernie knows he’s sharper than Biden. Bernie knows he could pummel Biden in a debate. Biden has tons of weaknesses that Bernie could’ve exploited. But he didn’t do any of that. He fought with both hands tied behind his back, voluntarily.

He sat there and allowed his clearly undeserving and unfit opponent to run him over. Bernie allowed himself to be humiliated. He allowed himself to be cuckolded by Joe Biden’s Body.

Because of that, Bernie Sanders deserved to lose.

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Now, there was certainly more support for Joe Biden than most observers realized. You can say us political junkies were duped into conflating Bernie’s popularity on Twitter with his popularity in real life. This is a valid point. Most Biden voters aren’t on Twitter 24/7, while Bernie’s are everywhere on Twitter. So it was easy to fall into the belief that Bernie was the frontrunner and Biden had no support.

But this primary was about more than just the false reality of Twitter misleading a great many political observers. This was also one of the most blatant oligarchal interventions in an American political race, perhaps ever.

First, you had Pete the Cheat stealing Iowa from Bernie, which turned out to be a fakeout. At the time, I thought the Democratic Establishment had left Biden for dead and thrown its weight behind Buttigieg. But then Buttigieg quickly flamed out. He “won” Iowa thanks to help from that “malfunctioning” vote-counting app, but did nothing after that. Now it seems more like the Democratic Establishment simply wanted to blunt Sanders’ momentum any way they could, and since Biden was polling badly in Iowa, they rigged the race for the next closest non-Bernie candidate, which happened to be Mayor Pete. But once Pete had served his purpose, he was no longer useful to the Dem Party Establishment. So he fizzled out quickly.

And then there was Super Coupsday, where most of the field dropped out the day before and endorsed Biden in an effort to stop Bernie.

This is to say nothing of how badly they rigged it against Bernie in 2016, either. Bernie got screwed big time, twice.

But I still think he could’ve won if he would’ve fought for it–both in 2016 and 2020. Calling out a rigged system may evoke gasps and outrage and finger-wagging from the media, but it’s actually quite popular with voters. Shocking, I know. Had Bernie actually stood up for himself and gone nuclear on the Democratic Party Establishment, he could’ve won this thing–handily, too. But he didn’t. And we all know why.

The Big Club (as George Carlin brilliantly put it) wanted Biden, the Big Club got Biden. They muscled him through the primary.

What we’re witnessing right now is actually quite remarkable: there is no substance at all to the Joe Biden campaign, and yet he’s going to win the Democratic nomination. First it was Fake News, now we have a Fake Candidate.

What’s Biden’s rallying cry, his campaign’s raison d’être? There is none.

Do you know a single one of his policy proposals? Can you name one thing (besides cognitive decline) that is synonymous with Joe Biden 2020 in the way the Wall was for Trump in 2016, or Hope and Change was for Obama in 2008?

When Joe Biden first announced his candidacy in April 2019, he was asked what his campaign’s motto is, and this was his answer:

“In an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC’s Good Morning America, Biden was asked if he had his own motto for his 2020 run.

He said: “Make America moral again. Make America return to the essence of who we are, the dignity of the country, the dignity of people, treating our people with dignity… End this God-awful deliberate division that is being taken in order… separating people to aggrandize his own power.”

What on earth is he talking about? It sounds like he made that up on the spot. It’s incoherent word salad.

On top of this, no one actually believes Joe Biden is the man to “make America moral again.” Since when has anyone ever associated Joe Biden with morality? This is a guy who as Vice President set his crackhead son up with an $83,000 per month no-show job in Ukraine, and then threatened to withhold US military aid money to Ukraine unless the prosecutor investigating his son was fired.

And just yesterday, Biden was caught on video berating a factory worker who asked him a legitimate question about his stated plans to trample the Second Amendment. Biden told the factory worker he was “full of shit,” then commanded the woman next to him to “shush,” and then after some back and forth, asked the factory worker if he wanted to “go outside” with him, meaning fight.

The guy who’s trying to brawl with random American citizens that dare ask him questions he doesn’t like is going to Make America Moral Again?

Uh, what?

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I went to his official website to try and figure out what the point of Joe Biden’s campaign was, and I didn’t find much. First, I clicked on the “Joe’s Vision” tab, and there you’ll find a whole bunch of policy proposals he didn’t write, that no one will ever read. That section was labeled “Bold Ideas.” Great, but not what we’re looking for. Then there’s some generic campaign boilerplate waxing eloquently about “the idea” of America. Still not what we’re looking for. If you scroll down further, you will find what I would guess are the three main ideas of the Biden campaign. Here they are:

  • “Rebuild the middle class” (Apparently the Obama Administration didn’t adequately do this. Or he’s trying to claim Trump has destroyed the middle class in four years, which no one believes.)
  • “Demonstrate respected leadership on the world stage” (Translation: more foreign wars.)
  • “We’ve got to make sure our democracy includes everyone” (Translation: illegal immigrants voting.)

It’s just vague claptrap. There’s no real core message to his campaign. You cannot sum up the main thing Joe Biden wants to do for America.

Joe’s just running for President, and that’s it. There is nothing for people to sink their teeth into. There is no heart and soul of his campaign.

It’s just him running for President. He’s running for President to become President. That’s it. Trump ran for President in 2016 to Make America Great Again, Joe Biden is running for President in 2020 to become President.

Hillary’s campaign in 2016 was a clear and obvious power grab, but at least she attempted to vaguely make it about “WAMMEN!” and the “glass ceiling” or whatever. At least she made some effort to not make it so obvious that she just wanted power.

With Biden, there’s none of that. It’s just, “I’m Joe Biden and I’m runnin’ for President.”

The only thing I can think of that might give Democrat voters reason to be excited about Joe Biden is Obama nostalgia. Obama is still far and away the most popular Democrat out there, and I guess some Democrat voters view Joe Biden as the closest thing they can get to a third Obama term.

But that’s really all I can think of in terms of the natural allure of Joe Biden’s candidacy.

Outside of the fading memories of Obama, there is nothing there but Joe Biden himself, and Joe Biden is not even really there anymore.

The guy is so far gone mentally he doesn’t even know what day of the week it is half the time, and yet right before Super Tuesday, all of his rivals dutifully dropped out and threw their support behind him.

I don’t think we’ve ever seen such an obviously propped-up candidate for President in U.S. history. Everyone can see that Joe Biden’s campaign isn’t for Joe Biden. He’s not running for President: they’re running him for President.

The Big Club sees Joe Biden as their best shot at retaking the White House, and once Biden gets in, the Big Club will be calling the shots. Completely. Joe Biden will be living in the White House, and that’s about it.

And the VP spot on his ticket will be the most coveted job in Washington.

Does anyone actually see this guy making it to 2025, much less 2029? Is there even a snowball’s chance in hell Joe Biden will be President until the end of this decade, which only began a couple months ago?

No way.

The jockeying to get the nod to be Biden’s running mate will be spectacular, because whoever ends up locking it down will, should Biden win in November, have great odds at taking over as President sometime in the next few years.

They may even be calling the shots from Day One of a Biden presidency given how obviously unfit for office Joe currently is.

There will not be one single decision a President Biden’s Body makes that will be his. They’re not going to let him.

And that’s the point I’m trying to make here: there has never been a more obvious figurehead candidate than Joe Biden in 2020. Never. All the reasons we regular people look at him and think, “there’s no way this guy has the mental capacity to be President” are the same reasons the Big Club threw its support behind him.

“But Joe Biden doesn’t even really have a campaign platform at all!”

Yeah, that’s the point.

Obama was an obvious figurehead, but at least he could play the part. At least Obama could fool a lot of Americans into believing he was actually his own man and calling all the shots.

Joe Biden can’t even play the part. It is so obvious what they’re doing running him for President.

So I think we should take a moment and recognize this watershed moment in American politics for what it is: today was the moment the Big Club stopped trying to hide it. In the past, they put up figurehead candidates for President, and then people whose names you don’t know and who you didn’t vote for would call the shots behind the scenes.

With a clearly-gone Joe Biden becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee today, they’re not even trying to pretend he’s an actual, legitimate candidate. They haven’t even given us a fake slogan to believe in, or a signature policy proposal we can vainly hope will improve our lives. Joe Biden is nothing more than a vehicle for the Big Club to regain power.

The whole point of Joe Biden’s campaign is simply to get Trump out of office and return power to the exiled Establishment. Biden recently cut an ad that closed with him literally saying “I will not let this man [Trump] be reelected president of the United States of America.” They view Trump as the Usurper and Biden as the restoration of the old globalist monarchy. If Biden wins this fall, the history books will refer to the years 2017-2021 as the interregnum, a brief disturbance of the status quo that was quickly rectified.

Joe Biden isn’t just the Big Club’s Candidate–he is the Big Club. He is its stand-in. He’s not just going to do their bidding if he’s elected; they will do it directly.

The Coronavirus Shows Why it’s Time to Become Self-Sufficient

Mainstream public “intellectual” Steven Pinker might well have said one of the dumbest things of 2020:

The thought never even crossed Steven Pinker’s head that globalization is a choice, and that there is an alternative.

“Viruses don’t care about borders.” Yeah, assuming you continue allowing people to cross those borders.

Assuming you continue the system of global trade and reliance on dozens of other countries around the world for your supply chains.

It’s all by choice. It’s all so the global economy can be structured like this:

“Intellectuals” like Steven Pinker cannot conceive of any other way for the world to work. To him, modern globalization is and always has been.

To him, there is no conceivable alternative to a world where one break in the supply chain leads to cascading problems all around the world.

Bizarrely, he cites a global pandemic as the reason why “neo-nationalism” (gotta throw in that word association with Neo Nazis) doesn’t work. But this is a vulnerability of globalism, not nationalism.

Nationalism would be closing the borders so we’re not susceptible to a virus that originated in China. Globalism means someone in Argentina can catch a virus that started in China. What on earth is Steven Pinker saying?

Is he trying to claim that nationalism is simply a political ideology that nevertheless still accepts a globalized world? This guy doesn’t know the first thing about nationalism.

“Nationalist politics is rising all over the world, so an international virus outbreak made possible and exacerbated by the still-dominant globalist world order proves nationalism is futile and stupid.” This has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read.

If we actually lived in a world of independent nations rather than an interdependent network of “economies,” virus outbreaks in one country would be better contained and pose far less of a risk to other countries.

Globalism is why basically all of Northern Italy is under quarantine due to a virus that began in China:

“Italy reported a huge jump in deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday, a surge of more than 50 percent from the day before, as it ordered an unprecedented peacetime lockdown of its wealthiest region in a sweeping effort to fight the epidemic.

The extraordinary measure restricted movement for a quarter of the country’s population.

“We are facing an emergency, a national emergency,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in announcing the government decree in a news conference after 2 a.m.

The move is tantamount to sacrificing the Italian economy in the short term to save it from the ravages of the virus in the long term. The measures will turn stretches of Italy’s wealthy north — including the economic and cultural capital of Milan and landmark tourist destinations such as Venice — into quarantined red zones until at least April 3.

They will prevent the free movement of roughly 16 million people.

Funerals and cultural events are banned. The decree requires that people keep a distance of at least one meter from one another at sporting events, bars, churches and supermarkets.

The Italian outbreak — the worst outside Asia — has inflicted serious damage on one of Europe’s most fragile economies and prompted the closing of Italy’s schools. The country’s cases nearly tripled from about 2,500 infections on Wednesday to more than 7,375 on Sunday. Deaths rose to 366.”

Globalism is why the stock market is plunging, and we’re only at 500 cases nationwide here in the US:

In New York, 103 nationwide cases of Coronavirus caused a flood of shoppers to descend upon local supermarkets and empty the shelves:

Britain, too:

This is how quickly it happens. That’s all it takes to set off a panic and make people rush into the supermarkets to empty the shelves. Imagine if it was something worse, like a war or an invasion or an even deadlier virus.

This is one of the many rarely-mentioned downsides of globalization.

So what should you be doing?

Well, short term, if you have some extra cash lying around, I’d invest it in the stock market. There’s been a decent-sized dip in the market as I’m sure you’re aware. Might be a good time to buy. Of course, stocks are still highly overvalued in a big-picture sense, having fallen just 10-15% from all-time, human history highs. But they’ll likely resume heading upwards as this blows over. We’re not going into a recession or a cyclical downturn right now so I’m thinking the market should bounce back.

When is the right time to buy? I’d say now. Stocks were killed all last week and are getting slaughtered again today (down over 5% as of 11am c.t.) That’s a 19% drop from the market’s all-time high it hit last month. So I’d say the market has fallen about enough to warrant hitting the Buy button. It could fall even further, so I would gradually buy. Don’t spend all your money in one day, wait it out a bit and buy over the course of a few days in case it goes lower tomorrow. The strategy is called “Dollar Cost Averaging,” look it up if you want to learn more about it.

But the bottom line is that I believe the market gotten cheap enough to become attractive for bargain hunters. It might go down another 5-10%, but that would just be an even better opportunity to buy.

This tweet sums up the market panic nicely:

It’s funny but it’s accurate. Markets are in free fall because of the prospect that economic activity will likely slow down for a couple of weeks tops.

If you are considering buying stocks but are fearful given all the scary news headlines, ask yourself if we are witnessing the collapse of the US economy, or if this is just a temporary panic. If it’s the latter, I’d say this looks like a good time to buy. Look at some of the big name stocks that have fallen and start buying shares.

Again, the market still could go lower. The worst may not be over yet. But we’re pretty close to the turning point right now. Ease into the market and don’t spend all your money at once.

Big picture, however, you need to be making plans to become self-sufficient. Coronavirus has shown just how fragile our global system is to unforeseen events. You have seen how quickly the supermarket shelves empty out, and it should scare you. Most Americans only have a week or two of food in their houses at best, and the coronavirus should make us realize how vulnerable we really are.

We don’t think about this when the shelves are full, only when they’re already empty.

It’s time to get out of the cities and become self-sufficient. Global pandemics will affect the cities the worst. City-dwellers are dependent on the supermarkets for food. They’re tightly packed and live in close proximity to tons of other people, meaning it’ll spread fastest in cities. So get out.

When the shit really does hit the fan in the future, the city-dwellers will be the first victims. They won’t stand a chance.

Just as nations should start taking steps to become more independent and self-sufficient, so should individuals.

***

I don’t want jump the gun but it appears the Coronavirus has already long since peaked in China, meaning that although it will continue to spread around the world and peak later in different countries due to distance from the epicenter, it’s basically over. It’s no longer spreading uncontrollably:

“China is the origin of the virus and still accounts for over 80 percent of cases and deaths. But its cases peaked and began ­declining more than a month ago, according to data presented by the Canadian epidemiologist who spearheaded the World Health Organization’s coronavirus mission to China. Fewer than 200 new cases are reported daily, down from a peak of 4,000.

Subsequent countries will follow this same pattern, in what’s called Farr’s Law. First formulated in 1840 and ignored in ­every epidemic hysteria since, the law states that epidemics tend to rise and fall in a roughly symmetrical pattern or bell-shaped curve. AIDS, SARS, Ebola — they all followed that pattern. So does seasonal flu each year.

This is why I’m writing about it as if it has already blown over. Of course, China may well be lying about its figures, but I think it’s safe to say the virus has already long since peaked there.

Again, the worst is still to come here in America due to the fact that the epicenter is halfway around the world and there’s a lag because of it. But this is not going to be a global catastrophe of historical proportions. Society is not going to collapse. We’re going to be okay. Things should largely go back to normal in a month, two months at most.

But don’t let that be an excuse not to take any lessons from the Coronavirus. I hope it has made you keenly aware of just how vulnerable you are to mass panics. You should be taking steps to make yourself less reliant on full supermarket shelves.

The News Benders: Truth or Fiction?

I highly recommend watching this TV episode from 1968 called “The News Benders,” directed by someone named Desmond Lowden. It was part of a TV series called “Thirty-Minute Theatre,” aired on the BBC between 1965-1973. The IMDB page describes the series thusly: “An anthology drama series of short plays shown on BBC Television.”

It appears to be similar to the Twilight Zone in that each episode has nothing to do with the last or the next–all the episodes are self-contained storylines and plotlines. So there is no background needed to understand what’s happening in this episode.

It’s 28 minutes long but I promise you, it will fly by. It’s worth your time.

Just watch it and let me know what you think.

Is this just a scary idea, or could it actually be how the world truly works?

The money quote:

J.G.: “For the past ten years, people have been looking at our fake newsreels, listening to our fake commentaries.”

Larkin: “And they accept it for the truth?

*J.G. nods*

Larkin: “And you can do it. . . Stop 100 people in the street, and how many of them have actually seen a missile or a satellite? They’re just told they exist, and they believe it.”

J.G.: “Now you’re getting there. I knew you would.”

It was very difficult to track down this clip. I first saw part of it on Owen Benjamin’s livestream and then found the full 28 minutes on YouTube after a bit of digging. The full show was only uploaded to YouTube yesterday. A five-minute excerpt was uploaded in 2011 but as of today it only has around 900 total views.

I saw that it was uploaded to archive.org in January of this year. I downloaded the clip and have it saved to my computer, and uploaded the full video here to my site.

Fascinating stuff.

The Democratic Primary Summed Up in One Image

Bernie Sanders as Julius Caesar.

Sometimes a picture is truly worth 1,000 words.

With both Buttplug and Klobuchar surprising the country by abruptly dropping out and endorsing Biden just in time for Super Tuesday, and with Warren staying in the race presumably to siphon off votes from Bernie, the Democrats have made it clear that Bernie Sanders will not be their nominee. Not now, not ever.

Instead of Super Tuesday, people are calling it Super Coupsday.

What a fortuitous (and surely coincidental) turn of events for Joe Biden and the Democratic Party Establishment!

You know, Republicans made a lot of noise about stopping Trump back in 2016, but ultimately they didn’t really do much to deprive him of the nomination.

In 2020, Democrats haven’t really said much about making sure Bernie does not win their party’s nomination, but they certainly are taking action, closing ranks quickly around Joe Biden.

The polls for Super Tuesday don’t close until tonight, but it seems like Biden is poised to roar back into contention with Sanders. Here are the latest opinion polls for the race:

It’s suddenly a two-man race, and the Democratic Establishment has clearly thrown its weight behind Biden. Bernie clearly has the popular support, but will it be enough to overcome the party bosses?

It wasn’t in 2016.

Socialism is Rising in America Because Capitalism Has Failed

After nearly 250 years of glorious, uninterrupted Capitalism (the most undeniably and self-evidently flawless economic system ever!), America suddenly finds itself on the brink of becoming a socialist hellhole like Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela.

And for no reason at all, too! Why are people even supporting Bernie Sanders, anyway? Probably because they’re just idiots who can’t see how Amazing and Wonderful our Capitalist System™️ is. They just need to watch more Youtube clips of Ben Shapiro DESTROYING 19-year-old gender studies majors with Facts & Logic, is all.

Right? Right?

There is a meme that is popular on Conservative Twitter: “This is why you got Trump.” It is usually deployed when a politician or media propagandist reveals a little too much raw contempt for Middle America–which is to say, more than the usual amount of sneering condescension. It is directed at clueless elites who still to this day fail to see why the American voters delivered them a massive “F-you!” in November 2016. Instead of soul searching and re-evaluating to see where they went wrong or what problems in the nation they’ve been overlooking (or, more likely, causing), the U.S. political establishment is content to simply blame Trump’s election on “white nationalism,” Racism or, most absurdly, Russia. Usually it’s a combination of the three. The takeaway is that even after mobilizing the full might of the controlled media and the US government’s intelligence apparatus against him, the Establishment was still unable to scare the American people away from Trump. And they still have no idea why Americans despise them and weren’t swayed by their fearmongering.

Instead of asking what they’ve done wrong to invoke the wrath of the silent majority, the elites simply come up with comforting self-assurances to convince themselves it’s Not Our Fault. Their total lack of self-awareness and failure to admit any shortcomings whatsoever is Why We Got Trump.

But now, ironically, the new version of this meme might well be: That’s why you got Bernie. And this time, Conservatives™️ will be on the receiving end.

They have failed to address–or even acknowledge–the major failings of our Capitalist™ economic system, and that’s why we may well get a Socialist President.

Our elites–Democrat and Republican alike–believe that because they are living large, everyone else must be too. The elites like the system in place–it works for them–so it must work for everyone else. Anyone who doesn’t like Capitalism™ is either just a loser or is Doing It Wrong.

But that’s not the answer disaffected Americans want to hear, nor is it the correct answer. Because to the elite, doing it “right” means going into six-figures of debt by age 22 and becoming a wageslave for Corporate America until 65. And somehow, elites born into rich, powerful families fail to see why normal people don’t want that kind of life.

The Democratic Elite takes Bernie seriously–given that they only narrowly fended him off in 2016–and fears him accordingly. Conservatives™️, though, will be just as blindsided by Bernie as the D.C. Elite was by Trump, because they’ve completely failed to identify the legitimate reasons for his rise—they are content simply calling his supporters idiots who haven’t cracked a history book. “Don’t they know socialism doesn’t work?! Haven’t they heard of the Soviet Union?!

Well, I’ve got bad news for the Conservatives™️: the Bernie Bros have a point. They’re not wrong about our economic system.

You may think calling Bernie a Commie Bastard will suffice in discrediting him, but the guy is saying stuff that resonates with people:

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A lot of people out there hear Bernie saying stuff like that and think to themselves, “If that’s socialism, then maybe I’m a socialist, because I agree with him.”

The reality is that American Capitalism™️ now only works for a small number of people at the top. The rest of us are expected to be content with iPhones, Netflix, free online HD porn, and cheap Chinese crap from Amazon delivered in 2 business days. We’re told to quit complaining about the shrinking middle class, the mass importation of foreign labor that depresses wages and costs many their jobs, and the trillions of dollars of student debt we amassed to obtain mostly useless degrees in hopes of getting a job with Corporate America (which we’ll probably hate and dream of quitting).

That’s the raw deal most Americans have gotten from Capitalism™, because Capitalism™ is inherently soulless. The corporations have no allegiance to the nation where they were founded: they will always go where the labor is cheapest. This is why once finally permitted, most major firms moved their manufacturing plants abroad, decimating the American manufacturing sector. Capitalism™ does not care if the American middle class withers and dies because of its cost-cutting efforts. Just enjoy your Netflix shows, you ungrateful peasants!

Once you accept all this and stop believing the Capitalism™ Mythology, it’s actually quite liberating. You no longer have to rationalize and experience cognitive dissonance when confronted with unpleasant facts about the American economy and how it has utterly failed for the past few decades. In this regard, the socialist Bernie Bros have the upper hand on us “conservatives” because they have no borderline-religious devotion to Capitalism™, like we do. They’re free to relentlessly critique our failed economic system because they have simply chosen not to pretend that modern American Capitalism™ is the best we can do.

Until we drop this attachment to Capitalism™, we will never be able to reclaim conservatism from the shills and sellouts who have turned it into little more than a democratic stamp of approval for the unchecked rule of multinational megacorporations. Conservatism will never win out over socialism if we continue defending a system that is rotten to the core. Because the socialists are on the “right side of history” about one thing: the system has failed and it does need to be completely demolished. Where the socialists go wrong is in their belief that Capitalism™ should be replaced by socialism.

Are we really going to allow America to be turned into a socialist country because we were too blinded by our dogmatic attachment to a failed economic system? Most Americans recognize the whole system needs to be rebuilt, but only the socialists are offering them an alternative to this corrupt scam that is the US economy. The socialists are going to win by default because we’re the idiots defending a rigged game (which isn’t even rigged in our favor!)

Conservatives should also be seeking a complete restructuring of the failed American economy, it’s just that most aren’t yet aware they should be. But an honest appraisal of the state of American Capitalism™ makes it clear that there is virtually nothing conservative about the way the system works today.

For example, there is nothing conservative about “vulture capitalism” as practiced by Wall Street Billionaire (and GOP megadonor) Paul Singer. In fact, there’s nothing conservative about Wall Street in general: they create nothing, they don’t improve our lives, and when they wreck the whole economy with financial alchemy (like “collateralized debt obligations”), they know they’ll get bailed out by taxpayer money. There is nothing conservative about shuttering American factories and moving them to Asia for the cheap labor. There is nothing conservative at all about running annual $500 billion trade deficits with China. There is nothing conservative about trillion-dollar Silicon Valley monopolies killing free speech as we know it.

There is nothing “America First” about any of that. In fact, modern American Capitalism™ is as America Last as you can possibly get (behind of course being convinced to fight Israel’s wars in the Middle East).

I feel like Conservatives™ have been brainwashed into becoming shills for the multinational megacorporations who view all of us (including you, Conservatives™) as nothing more than mindless consumers who have no other use but to be constantly milked for our hard-earned money.

Guys, why are you cheering when big corporations report a blowout quarter? Why are you so obsessed with the GDP number? You do not benefit from that. The days of the stock market and the quarterly GDP print actually translating into positive effects on average Americans’ lives are long gone. Median family income in the US has been flat since the early 1970s:

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Conservatives™ are some of the biggest cucks out there right now, cheering as the rich get richer while they, the Conservative Intellectuals™, barely get the table scraps.

Stop shilling for Big Business. Big Business does not give a shit about you. In fact, Big Business utterly despises you. They sponsor the Pride Parades. They are obsessed with “Promoting Diversity”. At literally every opportunity, the big corporations will bend over backwards to virtue signal for the approval of the pussyhats, the bluehaired feminazis and the trannies. Gillette ran an ad that stated point-blank, men are everything that’s wrong with society. Goldman Sachs now refuses to handle the IPO of any company that is run by white guys. And here these Conservatives™ are cheering anytime the Dow goes up 200 points.

Give it up. Big Business is not on our side. They think you Conservatives™ are total suckers. Stop defending these guys:

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The socialists are going to win–whether it’s this election or the next one. It’s a matter of when, not if. Do you really want to go down with the Capitalism™ ship? Do you really want to go down protecting the quarterly profits of leftwing megacorporations that despise you and your way of life?

There is nothing conservative at all about shilling for big business. Andrew Jackson would think you are a huge bitch for defending these soulless multinationals. The multinationals themselves are laughing at you for defending them as they pillage the middle class and plaster the rainbow flag all over town.

The Bernie Bros are pissed off about all the corporate malfeasance (besides the rainbow stuff), and we should not be afraid to agree with them there. Agreeing with them that the system has failed doesn’t make you a socialist–wanting socialism makes you a socialist.

I’m not saying I hate capitalism. That’s why I distinguish between “capitalism” (the idea) and “Capitalism™” (the twisted reality). I love the idea of capitalism. I love the idea of being able to keep your money and earn as much as you deserve by way of your talents and innovations. I love the idea of only the free market setting prices, allocating resources and deciding winners and losers.

But we don’t have capitalism. We don’t have a free market.

Or, at least, we don’t anymore. We did at one point in our nation’s history, but those days are long gone now.

The natural tendency of capitalism is toward monopoly and corruption. Eventually the corporations become so big that they buy out the government and write the rules to ensure their own continued dominance.

How else do you explain the fact that 91 companies in the Fortune 500–including Amazon, Netflix, Starbucks, Chevron, General Motors and IBM–paid $0 in taxes last year? This is no accident. It’s a rigged game: the corporations and the government are now one and the same.

Meanwhile, it is not easy to open up a small business in America.

I had a friend a while back whose family owned a small sporting goods store in rural Illinois, and her dad used to quip that given the amount in federal, state, local, payroll and property taxes he paid–along with OSHA and other compliance costs–he was the minority owner of his store. Imagine living in a supposedly capitalist country and giving up over 50% of your profits to the government–while multinational megacorporations pay $0 in taxes.

Socialism is not the answer. I feel like I have to keep saying this because so many conservatives have been trained to believe that any criticism of the American economic system–however valid–equals FULL BLOWN COMMUNISM INCLUDING GULAGS. But I promise you I am just as far from a socialist as you are. I’ve never believed in its viability as an economic system. It has never worked anywhere it has been tried. Turns out the people who work hard don’t like being forced to subsidize those who don’t (or, worse, won’t). And yes, the “free market” is a better allocator of resources than a centralized megastate–at least marginally. (Anyone who has ever worked for a large company knows how much money is wasted and how many unqualified job applicants get hired.)

But you don’t have to be a Full Blown Commie to realize that our system of deformed Mutant Capitalism is not working.

It’s time to let go of the idea that present-day America is an accurate representation of “capitalism.” You are already working hard to support people who refuse to work. Contrary to the Democrats’ oft-repeated claims that America is a merciless, Darwinian libertarian state with zero safety net for the poor, America actually has the second-largest welfare state on the planet, behind only France.

America is not a capitalist paradise full of financially independent freemen. In fact it resembles a socialist country more than anything else, in that there’s a large class of cash-strapped, hand-to-mouth-living wageslaves beneath a small, rich oligarchy that plays by its own set of rules.

Right now, the top 1% owns nearly as much wealth as the entire middle class. If that’s not the definition of an oligarchy, then I don’t know what is.

78% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck:

Financial independence and self-employment in America are at 80-year lows. If America is truly a capitalist country, then explain this:

The number of self employed Americans is as low as it has perhaps ever been. Official figures put it at 8.4 million Americans. For perspective, the number in 1990 was 8.7 million Americans, but the total population back then was 250 million vs. 320 million today. Obamacare has made it far more difficult (read: expensive) for entrepreneurs to both get health insurance and cover their employees, but the trend of fewer and fewer Americans being self-employed began long before Obamacare was passed in 2010.

“But Google and Facebook were startups!” Never mind that they were both secretly created by the CIA (and are probably still run by the CIA today), that’s not gonna cut it. Two companies do not prove that entrepreneurship is thriving in America.

(Also, Facebook and Google aren’t hiring Middle Americans whose towns were decimated when the factories moved out. They’re using the H1B program to import foreign labor from East Asia and India. That’s who the tech sector is creating jobs for. Even though they tell you to just learn to code if the factory shuts down, they’ll never hire your white privilege-having ass anyway.)

Face it: the government does not want you starting your own business and becoming financially independent. They want you dependent on Corporate America. Most Americans’ jobs exist to make someone else richer. Students go through 16 years of schooling including college and don’t learn a single thing about starting their own business or becoming financially independent, and this is because the American education system is meant to turn you into a wageslave, not an entrepreneur. I’m not sure about you but that doesn’t sound like capitalism to me.

80+% of the country in our supposedly capitalist system works for somebody else. Most of us exist to make someone else richer. Some company president or small board of directors at the top.

And don’t say “the shareholders” as if that’s just regular Americans like you and me. The shareholders are just another group of rich elites.

Do you know who “the shareholders” are? It ain’t mom and pop. Today only 33% of the stock market is owned by households:

That’s down from over 90% in the late 1940s. Most regular Americans aren’t in the stock market, so they don’t really benefit when it goes up.

That chart above is even misleading. If you think it’s bad that households have gone from owning over 90% of the stock market to just 33%, wait till you see exactly which households make up that 33%:

The bottom 60% of Americans own a grand total of 1.8% of the stock market. Tack on the next 20% of Americans (meaning the bottom 80%) and that figure is just 6.8% of the stock market. In fact that top 1% owns 40% of the market, and the top 5% owns over 70%.

When the market goes up, most Americans do not benefit from that. At least not directly. I know a lot of people think the wealth “trickles down” but in reality, the wealthy are just watching their portfolios expand. They’re not liquidating their portfolios and Starting Businesses So They Can Hire You. If anything they’re just buying real estate and art and other assets.

And as for the Big Corporations, they use their profits mostly to buy back stock, not hire. In 2018, corporations bought-back over $1 trillion of stock. That does not benefit the average American.

It’s hard to argue that American Capitalism is anything more than an ideal, a dream, for more than a small sliver of the population.

The game is now rigged. You are now living in a post-capitalist America.

The reason, however, is not because we’re secretly a socialist country (although this country is a lot more socialist than most people think). Rather, it’s because capitalism has a shelf-life. Capitalist systems inevitably tend toward monopoly and cartel control of the various sectors, and then the government itself, creating what I call “The Beast.”

Firms in competition are like animals in nature: the strongest will rise to the top and dominate the rest. Almost every sector of the economy today is dominated by just a few massive multinational firms, because that’s what happens in capitalist systems. Firms do not remain in competition forever: eventually, one firm wins. The loser either gets bought-out or goes under. Over time this process of competition results in firms growing smaller in number but ever-larger in size, until you are at the point we’re at today, where the economy (and the government) are dominated by a small number of massive firms.

To illustrate this, just look at the consolidation of the banking sector between 1990 and 2009:

There were 38 major banks in 1990, and that number shrank to 4 in 2009. That’s how capitalism works. Firms don’t want to compete, they want to dominate. Competition is hard. It’s much easier to buy-up and thereby eliminate the competition—in addition to paying off the government, too.

The entire rationale of why capitalism works in theory is that competition is good, but anyone can see that that’s not how capitalism actually plays out in reality.

Capitalism is just like socialism in that it sounds good in theory, but it doesn’t work in practice. The difference is that with capitalism, there is a period of time where it actually works as intended. But capitalism will always devolve into oligarchy, in which the corporations steadily amass power and eventually take over the government.

The funniest part is that when capitalism turns into Capitalism™, it actually ends up looking a lot like socialism–socialism in practice, not socialism in theory. Think about it: in virtually all socialist countries, you’ve got a group of wealthy elites at the top who play by a different set of rules, and then you have the common people, who are all equal in their poverty and misery. Present-day America resembles that an awful lot.

So, ironically, when the Bernie Bros win and implement socialism, the system won’t actually change in the way they expect. It’ll be like the system we already have, only much worse. Even if they do successfully “eat the rich” (and it appears they just might given how the rich elite has mobilized against Bernie Sanders) the socialists will just become the new oppressive, wealthy ruling class. Look to the Russian example for a hint as to how socialism will play out: they took down the big, bad Tsar, only to end up with a guy like Stalin, who was unquestionably worse than the Tsar in every possible way. Tsarist Russia may have been bad for most people living under it, but Communist Russia was even worse.

Again: just because true capitalism is dead in America does not make socialism good by default. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m trying to show you why Bernie Sanders is so popular and why so many people think socialism is the answer. The right can’t keep on deluding itself that Capitalism Is F*cking Awesome and perfect in every way.

Capitalism has a shelf life. Ours is definitely past the expiration date.

***

My opposition to socialism stems from the fact that it has failed everywhere it has been tried, and that although Marx made no explicit mention of socialist governments needing to be murderously totalitarian, every socialist regime established in the world since 1917 has been just that.

So don’t be under any illusions that I’m saying Actually, Socialism Is Good.

I’m just asking, are we sure our “Capitalist” system is so great these days?

At least in a socialist country, the oppressive ruling regime has the national interest in mind.

Ours, conversely, does not. What else could explain them enacting global “free trade” policies that ship all the manufacturing jobs overseas?

What else could explain them flooding the country with poor immigrants to do our jobs for less?

The ruling class is bleeding America dry.

The Soviet Communists were guilty of many horrific crimes, but selling their country out to foreign interests for higher quarterly profits was not one of them.

Again, I am emphatically NOT saying we should give socialism a try. But you don’t have to be a socialist to recognize that American Capitalism has failed.

In fact, it should be the so-called “conservatives”–who claim to value strong families, hard work, social tranquility, and the dignity of man–sounding the alarm at how badly our economy has been perverted.

We have been here before as a country. Following the Civil War, a rapidly industrializing America saw an explosion of commerce and development that resulted in a handful of savvy businessmen and captains of industry (e.g. John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, John Pierpont Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt) not only becoming obscenely rich, but amassing a tremendous amount of influence over the U.S. government.

This period of time is synonymous with the term “monopoly.”

The so-called “Gilded Age” was the first time American capitalism reached its expiration date. And it was known at the time, too. Look at any of the old political cartoons from the era; most depict a nation that had fallen completely into the hands of a wealthy few, at the expense of everyone else:

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America in 2020 is not a perfect analogue to the America of the late 19th century, but it’s pretty close. In the Gilded Age, the Industrial Revolution paved the way for the creation of not only whole new industries–railroads, oil, steel, etc.–but completely reshaped the economy. Vast sums of wealth were suddenly there for the taking, and when the dust settled, most of the money–and the power it could buy–wound up in the hands of a small number of men. At the same time, America was absorbing massive waves of immigration from southern and eastern Europe, and these new arrivals immediately entered into competition in the labor market with working-class Americans (there yet wasn’t much of a middle class at the time given that prior to the Industrial Revolution basically everyone was a farmer).

In the 21st century, there are more factors at play, but the main one that has reshaped the economy and funneled hundreds of billions of dollars into the hands of a few men has been the Internet. Gates, Bezos and Zuckerberg are the Robber Barons of our time. Add in a new wave of wage-depressing mass foreign immigration (this time from Central America), plus a global free trade regime which has allowed multinational corporations to outsource their production to Asia, and you’ve got a hollowed out economy that’s deprived the working class of its lifeblood–working, i.e. manufacturing. Formerly working class Americans have been shoved into soul-crushing service sector jobs as our economy is increasingly “brain-driven” (as opposed to brawn).

And this is not a knock on the working class at all. A healthy and balanced economy has demand for both brains and brawn, white collar and blue collar, but ours increasingly only values the former. There needs to be balance; there needs be a role for everyone, not just the college grads who “know computers” and the finance whizkids who push complex financial instruments like options and mortgage-backed securities (which do not improve anyone’s lives and have already wrecked the economy once this century).

In fact, the ditch-diggers and the factory workers are far more valuable contributors to society than the tenured Harvard PhDs and the Wharton MBAs on Wall Street.

The elite have completely detached and left the masses in the dust. We are back to early-20th century levels of income inequality:

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And that chart stops around 2010. It’s even worse today.

We need a dramatic restructuring of the American economic system or else socialism is inevitable. If things keep getting worse for the majority of Americans, the socialists will get more and more radical, and more and more popular. Down the road, someone so radical will rise up that he or she (or, in all likelihood, xer) will make Bernie Sanders look like Ronald Reagan.

We got things back on track in the past by breaking up the monopolies (Theodore Roosevelt was known as the Great Trust-Buster) and enacting pro-worker policies with the New Deal. After World War II, America entered into the greatest, longest, and most widely-enjoyed economic boom in our nation’s history. This is why we look back on the 1950s so fondly: it was a time of broad-based prosperity, when you could afford a decent home in a safe neighborhood in which to raise a family. The middle class was thriving because manufacturing was booming, unlike today:

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We have to get things back on track. Just because the socialists are wrong about what they believe the solution is does not mean they’re wrong about the problem.

Socialism isn’t the answer, but there most definitely is a problem.

As I said earlier in this post, capitalism has a shelf-life. Eventually, most industries will be dominated by monopolies or oligopolies, and then the corporations will fuse into an unholy union with the government.

Capitalism is great in its early and middle stages, but once it reaches its later stages, it becomes monstrous. We’re in the late stage now, and drastic action is required so that it actually works for all Americans.

Trump needs to continue being tough on trade and focused on bringing manufacturing back to America. No longer should the multinationals be allowed to exploit cheap foreign labor at the expense of the American worker.

We need to halt immigration–both legal and illegal–for a long period of time to allow wages to grow.

We need to Make Trustbusting Great Again, starting with Silicon Valley, followed by Wall Street.

Something must be done about the out-of-control price of a college education. College endowments in America are now worth an aggregate $479 billion, and it’s mostly because they run a massive, nationwide scam aimed at 18-year-old kids. Seize the endowments, return the money to the bamboozled students, and bring college tuition costs back down to earth. And while we’re at it, stop letting the Chinese overrun our universities. America first. American universities should exist to educate and train Americans, not foreigners. Every foreigner at an American university equals an American deprived of a college education. That’s a travesty.

We need to enact policies that are pro-small business, not pro-big business. We need to encourage entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency. In fact, this should be the highest priority of all: financial independence is freedom, but we’re a nation of wageslaves.

This is not an exhaustive to-do list–for instance, I’ve said nothing about the Fed and its mass-manipulation of the economy. But it’s a good start.

If we do not turn our economic system around, not only will we be unable to stop the rise of socialism, we’ll deserve it.