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The folks at the World Economic Forum and whatever confabs Bill Gates is sponsoring this week will all be playing rather cynical word games about the “COVID-19 Crisis” and its impact on the “most vulnerable”. There will not be the slightest acknowledgment that it was the destructive and ineffectual government actions and not the virus (much less the defects of capitalism) that caused the greatest share of the damage. Instead, the current buzz is that COVID-19 showed us that people could be made to drastically adjust their living, working, and consumption patterns in a very short time frame if the government just chooses to make them do so.
And as is typical of grand policy-making concocted by the elite, the non-elite invariably get screwed.
It is truly stunning that spectacularly unscientific, hideously costly, racially and socioeconomically disproportionate government actions are seen by some as proof for a need to expand the role of government because it was the “capitalist system” that failed in the COVID crisis.
We watched “capitalist” entities rapidly adapt in many ways from food delivery to the speed of vaccine development whereas governments across the globe adopted a failed approach in March, set it in concrete and most are still unable to adapt to what a growing abundance of data tells us about what the policy should be regarding closures, schools, and protection of the most vulnerable. Who is it again that needs a “reset”?
South of my Maryland home down in Washington, DC, murders are up, opioid deaths are way up and unemployment is up in a town that is supposed to be recession-proof due to the presence of the federal government; and it is hourly wage workers getting hammered. Higher COVID death rates and a disproportionate economic hit for the African-American non-elite is happening.
DC may even cost their students more than a full year of schooling due to the lingering effects of the unwarranted school closures.
DC schools are 90% Black and Latino and some schools are overwhelmingly low income so guess where those kids fit on the chart.
The federal workforce (“work”) has been on paid remote-work status for eight months, so tens of thousands of daily customers for DC shops and restaurants have literally disappeared as have many or most of those businesses along with the jobs that they provided. The contractors and suppliers who maintain office buildings, computer systems, supply paper and pens, support copiers and phones, paint, and remodel are all laying off employees in droves.
The Metro rail and bus system has suffered a 90% drop in revenues and now have a $400-500 million shortfall. Metrorail will no longer run on weekends. Several stations are closed to reduce the number of workers needed to operate them. If someone using the system still has a job with weekend hours (like at a hospital, maybe), tough.
Using the eyeball test, more than half of downtown DC storefronts are boarded up. This DC restaurant website now functions more like an obituary page, listing restaurants killed by the government mandates. In addition to restaurant staff, the job losses are similar for suppliers, drivers, and many other vendors. The commercial property market is cratering. Firms are bailing on copier maintenance contracts and coffee machine suppliers. Jobs related to maintenance, security, and remodeling have declined.
And in passing, one of the most depressing items I’ve read concerning COVID-19 developments elsewhere in the world is that the UN estimates that in some of the poorest nations as many as 50% of girls will not return to school once schools re-open but will be forced into early marriage or low-wage work instead as families dig out of newly worsened poverty.
None of this was due to a really bad flu so much as some really bad policies which also failed to combat that flu.
We will be told repeatedly by those who control most of the media that this crisis means that there must be a Great Reset of capitalism in favor of taking power away from stockholders (and also even from workers and customers) and putting it into the hands of a vaguely defined set of “stakeholders.” Precisely because the definition is too amorphous and malleable to identify who they are, these stakeholders will naturally need the enlightened ones to speak for them.
The same left-of-center high-income people who are quick to declare that anything with a“disparate impact” is racist appear to be oblivious to the disparate impact of imposing their sensibilities on the world. They now want to do even more damage now that COVID power-abuse has provided them with a blueprint. Racist bastards, all of ‘em.Published in