Now that the lockdown, mask, and mandate wars have died down, I’m getting calls from friends who two years ago cut me off because of my writings and views. They are also looking for insight into the unfolding economic chaos around them. And of course they want some insight into how best to protect themselves.
It’s all a consequence of the thing they supported for two years, I explain. The lockdowns prompted government spending which fired up the printing presses and hence inflation. The masking led to demoralization of the population and falling interest in large events. Who wants to sit in a Broadway play or opera in a mask? And the mandates devastated the labor pool, tossing millions out of jobs and treating remaining workers like chattel.
As for the crime, which is roiling American cities in wave after wave, it’s almost as if locking people in their homes, closing their churches and rehab clinics, taking away social opportunities, and otherwise treating people like lab rats was not overall good for the human psyche. It made good people bad and bad people evil. Who would have thought? Oh, just about anyone who thought about it for a few moments.
But of course this is not a message anyone who backed all these terrible policies wants to hear. In fact, I can think only of a few authors—just a handful of us—who have drawn this connection at all. That’s an intellectual scandal! Most writers are just going about their merry way as if there is no relationship at all between the pandemic response and the gradual and systematic end of American prosperity and tranquility.
Maybe this should not be surprising. We live in strange times when basic matters of science and logic are being displaced by ridiculous sloganeering and poses. Biden says this is the best economic recovery ever, and the White House spokesperson backs him up, and we are just supposed to nod our heads as if our fantasies are the same as reality.
It’s the very essence of postmodern thinking: reality is a social construct and ideology overrides even the law of cause and effect. If you are worried and concerned about your economic future, it’s all your fault for imagining such things.
Of course what has prompted all this public concern—and which has driven Biden’s popularity down to rock-bottom levels—is inflation above all else. The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) just came out and its report exceeded my worst expectations. I figured it would be a bit better than last month. It was worse; 8.6 percent year over year.
In reality, the rate is far worse, closer to 12 percent, according to real-time data, and people know this. Still the official CPI matters simply because it is a consistent metric generated by a stable methodology and also because it is official. Even the official statistics cannot lie all the time.