EDITOR'S NOTE: The authors below are quite bold. They’re bold enough to present arguments that go hard against the grain of popular (often liberal) opinion. Their arguments contradict mainstream notions of scientific fact. They even question the validity of the science “producing” the facts. When discussing the pandemic, the authors cite evidence supporting the claim that the states that suffered the most during the pandemic were the ones most compliant with CDC protocols. Those vilified states that deliberately went against scientific guidance were, according to the evidence, the ones that most successfully navigated the pandemic. The authors also claim that the current inflation crisis didn’t begin in 2020 in the wake of the pandemic, nor did it begin with the Fed’s QE program following the 2008 financial crisis. Rather, it began in 1999; its emergence resulting from decades of government flops and failures. It’s hard to determine what in their arguments may be true, partially true yet debatable, or utterly false and misguided. Regardless, their arguments are well constructed and compelling from a particular logical context. And that alone makes the following piece a worthy read.
Righteous sanctions, record inflation and a generation of governmental flops and failures...
Bill Bonner, reckoning today from San Martin, Argentina...
America’s last successful government program was WWII. Since then, they’ve all been flops and failures. And together, they’ve brought US debt from $259 billion in 1945 to nearly $30 trillion today.
Had the extra $29.741 trillion been invested in productive enterprises, instead of being frittered away on dead end wars and 70 years of gimmie/stimmie programs, it might now pay a dividend of a trillion dollars a year – $10,000 per family every year! – rather than doom the nation to bankruptcy.
It’s not ‘just money,’ in other words. Each dollar represents time, resources, and output – houses, dishwashers, vacations – that otherwise would have helped people get more of what they really wanted.
Yesterday came news that the Covid shutdowns were a waste too. With the death tolls all over the place, there didn’t seem to be any connection between how many people the Covid-19 killed and what the feds did to stop it. But now, two years later, a detailed study by the National Bureau of Economic Research gives us a fuller picture.
NBER rated each of the states on how well it managed the crisis – not just on how many people died, but on other factors, such as how many hours did children spend in school, how many people were unemployed, etc.
The outcomes in NJ, NY, and CA were among the worst in all three categories: mortality, economy, and schooling.
UT, NE, and VT were leaders in all three categories.
Among the winners, in #6 position was Florida, a state whose citizens, according to the elite press, were being wantonly massacred by an irresponsible, Covid-denying governor. It didn’t turn out that way.
And the lineup of the worst? Again, as you’d expect – Illinois, California, New Mexico, New York, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Those who embraced the shutdown policies most enthusiastically… that is, those who “followed the science” – generally, suffered most.
What we take from this experience is that the ‘science’ was bogus. Real scientists were always skeptical that we could ‘win the war’ on the Covid. At best, we could help protect vulnerable people from dying. As Shanghai is discovering now, trying to stop the bug in its tracks is probably not worth the cost.
The deeper lesson is this: America’s elite is incompetent.
And now, the debt is what it is. Covid is yesterday’s news. And today’s real news – inflation – is hidden behind anti-Russian warmongering and America’s ‘sanctions war’ against Vladimir Putin. Will it be a loser too?
Trade sanctions work their mischief in strange and often unpredictable ways. For Europe’s giant carmaker, Renault, for example, Russia is its 2nd largest market. The company will lose billions of dollars because of the sanctions.
Hundreds of US companies are on-board with the sanctions too – giving up their sales and profits in Russia, in return for whatever psychic benefits they get in return.
And what did Putin’s daughters do wrong? Or the ‘oligarchs?’ Supposedly, the sanctions war is intended to back the ‘rule of law.’ But what law is it that allows the US/EU alliance to take away a young woman’s career, or the oligarchs’ yachts, without due process? What crime did they commit?
Bloomberg highlights the plight of the Russian airline, S7:
Sanctions Hobble the Airline Built by ‘Russia’s Elon Musk’
S7, heralded as a success story, is cut off from overseas destinations—and the supply of parts it needs for maintenance.
Less than two months ago, S7 Airlines was heralded as a Russian success story.
[But now], the airline is stuck between international sanctions that have prompted leasing firms to reclaim their aircraft and a Russian government determined to keep its aviation industry aloft. The airline, which once boasted service to 35 nations, is cut off from both its overseas destinations and the flow of aircraft maintenance essentials that are key to keeping a modern airline running, from cockpit software upgrades to spare parts.
The Pain in Ukraine
Alas, the pain of sanctions falls like acid rain, on the just and the unjust alike. S7 can’t get parts. But Boeing can’t sell them either. Neither of them had any control over the facts on the ground in the Ukraine.
And the costs are mounting up. Foreign Policy reports:
Globally, the war in Ukraine is set to damage recovery prospects following the shocks at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic. The World Trade Organization announced on Monday that the war could lower global GDP growth by as much as 1.3 percent this year, and cut global trade growth from 4.7 percent to between 2.4 and 3 percent.
And the more the US tries to cancel, stop, de-platform and shutdown the Russian economy…the more it slows down the world economy, hobbles its own, and raises prices for US consumers. Here’s the Washington Examiner with yesterday’s inflation news:
The latest consumer price index shows that consumer prices rose 8.5% year-over-year from March 2021 to March 2022. That’s even higher than last month’s shocking 7.9% year-over-year figure and amounts to the highest level of inflation we’ve seen in decades.
The White House has repeatedly tried to deflect blame onto the shoulders of the Russian president and his invasion of neighboring Ukraine. True, this absolutely has disrupted global energy markets and led to increased gas prices over the last few months.
Inflation was created by US policymakers – by printing up $8 trillion in new money since 1999… by shutting down important parts of the economy to try to fight the Covid… by holding interest rates far too low for far too long…
…and now, by stifling the flow of goods, services, and money… in a ‘sanctions war’ against Russia.
Leading economists are now guessing that inflation may have ‘peaked’ out… that these are the highest numbers we will see.
We doubt it.
A note from BPR Investment Director, Tom Dyson…
The chart below comes from John Hussman, of Hussman Strategic Advisors…
(Source: Hussman Strategic Advisors)
The blue line is the nominal S&P going back to WW2. The red bars represent the times that met Hussman's 6 "crash criteria", which he notes below. We've got a red bar now (far right). Raise the crash alert flag!
Originally published by Bonner Private Research.