|When people in power want to consolidate it at the expense of citizens’ liberties, one of the most effective ways to do so is to create conditions which are bad enough that the same people who would likely resist under other circumstances will acquiesce out of desperation.
When the Great Depression hit almost ninety years ago, one can find parallels with modern coronavirus lockdowns. Millions were unable to operate their businesses, shortages appeared, hoarding of some items took place and suicide rates dramatically increased. If you were to read just the previous sentence, you could easily see how it could apply to 1930 or to 2020. People in both time periods realized rapidly they had a problem bigger than they could resolve by themselves and they have gone looking to the government for relief. While this may not be a difficult reaction to understand, the results of people who expect the government to come to their rescue will result in a new dependency on government and the ongoing expectation that the government be a provider, instead of a defender of liberty.
President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal is not identical to what we are seeing today simply because its tenants were enacted when the Federal government was a fraction of its current size. But, it both laid the groundwork for massive expansion of national authority and, perhaps more disturbingly, it convinced a substantial number of citizens to see government as their savior. While not identical in all cases, there are some striking similarities which need to be addressed and their long term impact considered.
1. Michael Snyder of the Economic Collapse Blog says 110,000 restaurants have closed which in turn will set the stage for a commercial real estate implosion which will only be adding to the existing problem of vacant commercial properties. This is compounded because of the disappearance of the shopping mall from the American socio-economic framework. Small business collapse in favor of large corporations was a factor in the Depression but in the coronavirus era the damage has been beyond catastrophic as 60% or more of small businesses which close are never expected to reopen and massive corporations like Amazon, Netflix and Apple have exploded in value and market share. President Roosevelt’s New Deal was a disaster because it shifted many private sector jobs to the public sector. Obviously, sole proprietor restaurant jobs are not being shifted to the public sector but instead they are being moved to corporate chains whose cuisine will offer none of the ethnic and creative variety of local business. Forget it, Applebees, I am not interested.
2. The US Constitution does not mention any federal basis for a Department of Education, public schools, teachers’ unions, national curriculums, school breakfast or lunch programs, research grants to colleges and universities, special education mandates, school accreditation, charter schools, vouchers, mandatory attendance, graduation rates or other federally funded programs like Head Start, Common Core, No Child Left Behind Act, busing to achieve racial desegregation, or Race to the Top. Each of these have already been instituted in some form where the federal government is now exercising powers not enumerated in our governing document and while I am not implying every one is bad or automatically Unconstitutional, the current era is only contributing to more people depending upon these federal programs which, as always, come with financial strings attached which in turn expands government power and control. They are just more examples of the shift in power from citizens, municipalities and states to Washington.
3. Social Security has been in effect since 1935 and, like all government programs, it has only expanded in time and cost. This was the New Deal version of government provision but it certainly could be called the forerunner of modern era cash stimulus checks plus the much more radical call for universal basic income (UBI) which interestingly seems to be most popular with millennials and billionaires which is an interesting coalition as the millennials surveyed often want to tax billionaires out of existence.
4. The Home Owners’ Loan Corporation was created in 1933 to assist in the refinancing of homes because the onset of the Depression created a many foreclosures. Today, the Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, are offing ultra low loans as well as government restrictions that forbid evictions or provide rent assistance to address many similar problems. Again, not all of this is bad but once the federal government got into the money lending business, it has never moved out of that sector of the economy. The Clinton Administration’s repeal of the Glass Steagal Act decreased the reliability of mortgage holders which again leaves government bailouts as a remedy for mass defaults such as what happened after the 2000-2006 real estate bubble.
5. The National Industrial Recovery Act was passed by the 73rd Congress which authorized the President to regulate industry for fair wages and prices that would stimulate economic recovery.
The Supreme Court declared this Unconstitutional in the case Schechter Poultry Corp. v. the United States as a violation of the separation of powers. However, the right to unionize and collective bargaining remained as part of our business world. Today, some wage and price regulation, subsidization of jobs as well as some rationing have appeared as methods to combat coronavirus challenges. The question is how long can this reasonably continue? There are certainly people being helped but obsolete jobs cannot be perpetuated indefinitely.
6. The largest provider of electricity, the Tennessee Valley Authority, was created in the 1930s and still is active today. While there is little to complain about other than the federal government being in the electrical business, it set the tone for government control of the means of production. Today, the goal is for the government to take over health care and all education, including University costs. One thing we can be certain of is that if the government moves in, it will not move out and bureaucratic waste an inefficiency will be the result.
7. When President Roosevelt took power, he declared a four-day ‘bank holiday’, ostensibly to give the impression that banks were solvent and reliable. The creation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation soon followed. Whatever one thinks of these methods, this is one area where the last several decades have dwarfed prior government movement into the financial sector. The Savings & Loan bailout, the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) and several Quantitative Easing (QE) injections of liquidity into the financial system only have the long term effect of saving irresponsible lenders and causing inflation by printing money out of thin air. None of this should have happened because the power to print and coin money was given to Congress, not the Federal Reserve, in Article One, Section Eight of the US Constitution.
8. When President Roosevelt continued his massive economic interference of moving thousands of former private sector jobs and responsibilities into the less efficient and sometimes Unconstitutional hands of the federal government, he was sometimes stopped by the Supreme Court which he responded to by offering his ‘Court Packing Scheme’ in hopes of adding justices who would approve his expansionist policies. Today is almost identical as leftist members of Congress already have voiced their desire to do the same just because they do not like that President Trump was able to add three conservative justices to the Supreme Court. It was stopped in 1937 but were it to happen today it would mark the end of the USA as we know it because activist judges will create total oversteps of government authority just to approve more socialist takeovers of the private sector as well as ‘discover’ rights and entitlements which were never intended for the nation.
The above historical comparisons show how crisis can lead to a vast alteration of government but the misery, both financial as well as in mental health, is spreading as lockdowns either return or are expanded in their scope and enforcement. Los Angeles County is home to ten million people and Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered people to ‘stay home as much as possible, wear masks anytime they are outside including while exercising or going to beaches or parks’. The Governor has warned he may impose more ‘much more dramatic, arguably drastic’ restrictions which is the essence of hypocrisy as his children attend in person private schools and he recently was seen dining at the Michelin starred elite restaurant The French Laundry in Napa. This lunacy is not confined to California either. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is using lockdown orders to close ‘nonessential’ businesses but the result of this foolishness has been what are being called ‘modern breadlines’ of people having to queue for two to four hours to enter stores. I, on the other hand, will just call it ‘Soviet light’ as a policy.
Over forty million Americans could be facing eviction in 2021 unless some additional government relief is passed. As previously mentioned, suicide rates have reflected this. In some cases, it is the stress related to the inability to provide economically but in other cases it is the depth of loneliness. One ninety year old Canadian named Nancy Russel found out another lockdown was coming and instead of face the solitude, she opted for assisted suicide. She, along with millions of others who live in retirement villages or nursing homes are suffering profound mental repercussions. Residents have to eat alone in their rooms, few if any social events are permitted and in many cases family visits either are prohibited or can only be done with a plastic partition between people. In particularly sad cases, family members have had to watch their loved ones last moments of life from behind these inhuman barriers instead of being able to share the necessary compassion of touch… one last time.
Americans have long taken pride in being an independent, free thinking and sometimes obstinate type of people. And, to be fair, the rest of the world may agree on some or all of those terms but they might be tempted to add some other less flattering adjectives such as brash or self centered. Whichever of the term(s) you might associate with Americans, we are now being forced to take a hard look at evidence which might suggest a very different view of this nation’s residents.
Regrettably, the coronavirus situation has revealed the possibility that Americans either were or have become a much more compliant and obedient society. When the coronavirus emerged, there were two very general themes of how to address this illness. The first was to do what has traditionally been done when there has been a widespread outbreak. That involved quarantining those diagnosed with the sickness and possibly also those who show specific symptoms. Additionally, precautionary steps could also be taken if there were certain demographics deemed to be at higher risk. The second involves a mass policy inflicted upon all residents by implementing lockdowns, business closures, mandatory face coverings and travel restrictions.
To any free society prior to 2020, the first option would have been the most logical and prudent because it acknowledges the potential hazards but it does not have nearly as much potential for ‘collateral damage’ to people’s freedom of movement, freedom of association and right to earn a living. However, to my utter astonishment, many members of our society have completely subscribed to the second policy for an illness with a fatality rate with estimates that range between .01 and .03 percent. Never has the second method been applied in the modern era with such wide reaching social and economic ramifications. Nor have I even seen my fellow Americans show such blind obedience while millions of people have become unemployed or underemployed while countless businesses are now permanently shuttered.
So, refer back to the earlier paragraph and ask yourself again ‘Are Americans really self reliant and freedom loving people?’. While the answer may not be as simple as a binary yes or no, it is now time to accept that the majority of people in this nation have bought the mainstream media’s lies and are obedient sheep. In March of 2020, Dr Fauci said in a press conference he saw no reason or benefit for people to wear masks. As the Presidential election came closer, this shifted to demands for everyone to wear masks and to close ‘non essential’ businesses. Remember, Nevada strip clubs were included in the ‘essential’ category, despite bars/nightclubs being listed by the CDC as the highest risk locations for contracting coronavirus. To anyone with a neuron left, this should suggest an agenda other than just health concerns. Now, as 2021 begins, Americans are being asked to entertain the stupidity of double or triple masking themselves which is more likely to cause long term illness including dental and respiratory problems plus brain impairment from extended deprivation of oxygen.
Now, I really hope to push you out of your comfort zone. If you are one of the people who feel fear or anger when you see an unmasked person, how many more infringements upon your personal liberty will you bow down to and obey? What will you do when you are told you must wear a mask inside your own home at all times? This is not a hypothetical, it has already happened in Pennsylvania and several other areas of the country. What will you do when you are told you must take a rapidly developed and inadequately studied vaccine? What will you do when you no longer have a business which can provide for you and your family? If what we are observing in the aggregate holds true, Americans have now become a nation of docile and obedient people. This is no longer the ‘land of the free and home of the brave’; that has been replaced with the ‘land of the complicit and home of the supine’. What this means is that the population on the average has demonstrated that they are very easy to control with fear mongering. If you think that masks and lockdowns are temporary conditions, you may be deeply mistaken. Even when the coronavirus is eradicated, how much damage will have been done? Businesses are permanently closed, homicide rates have risen in an unprecedented way, domestic violence, substance abuse and suicide are dramatically increased and students have fallen years behind in academics. Yet, despite the disaster than has been imposed, people still act like the final paragraph of 1984 which reads ‘Winston had won a victory over himself. Winston’s victory was his ability to fully accept the Party’s political agenda and genuinely love Big Brother’. That should sound familiar…
To push the issue further, now consider how coronavirus and its low fatality rate has resulted in such drastic measures being taken with almost no resistance. Once the mentality of complicity is adopted, what will happen the next time the government spouts its favorite mantra of actions ‘for the greater good’? How many of your freedoms are you willing to let disappear? As a general rule, it is far easier to keep a right than to regain it after it has been lost. Our experience with coronavirus suggests that our society is on a downward spiral where Big Tech data mining and Unconstitutional infringements on the Bill of Rights are things that people are now too timid to defend.
Masks and lockdowns of healthy people were first implemented by China. One would hope a person from an ostensibly freer Western society would have enough brains to see the ‘foot in the door’ policy being implemented elsewhere. Do you want your nation to evolve in the coming years to be more like the police state of China where there is one CCTV camera for every 4.1 residents in a nation of 1.4 billion people? Do you want to see a social credit system where facial recognition will penalize you for nonsensical crimes like jaywalking or failure to pick up after a pet? Do you wish to never be allowed to travel on a jet plane again unless you acquiesce to this vaccine as well as every new one that gets developed ‘for the greater good’? Lockdowns and masks are actually a study that is still in progress and you are the trial guinea pig. The long term results cannot be known because not enough time has elapsed. However, if one considers the mental and physical health complications that have already arisen, one can reasonably conclude that lockdowns, mask requirements and vaccinations will have far reaching effects that only time will reveal.
If you evaluate the statistics on places which implemented strict lockdown policies, the data clearly shows that these policies did not work. From Italy to California to Manhattan, some of the most strict lockdowns did not stop these places from being coronavirus hotbeds. Naturally, those intoxicated with ‘Obsessive Compulsive Corona’ will only spout out the pre-scripted explanations that it was too late, too short or too lenient but as we have seen before, the level of fear that these people display not only makes them immune to the truth, it also makes them far more easy to control when the next ‘fear factor’ ploy is instituted. These people need to come to terms with the fact they are part of an experiment as to what infringements can be imposed without widespread resistance. Be assured that your reactions and behavior are being closely monitored in preparation for ‘next time’.