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'Facts' and Figures

Covid economics, overheard poolside...
TODAY we allow ourselves to get sidetracked...shunted off on a rail that goes nowhere, writes Bill Bonner in his Diary of a Rogue Economist.
We were at a cocktail party on Saturday. Naturally, the conversation turned to Covid, masks, lockdowns, and shots.
And while we were thus engaged, a little girl nearly drowned in the pool.
"I'm just fed up," said an older man.
"I had the Covid. They put me in the hospital. And now, statistically, I'm 27 times less likely to get the disease again or pass it along than the person with the vaccine.
"Or, to put it another way...if I hadn't already gotten the disease, a fully vaccinated person would be 27 times more dangerous to me than a person who had recovered from it.
"If they want to protect other people, they should give people the disease, not the vaccination. Let them build up a natural resistance. A few old geezers like me will die, but the rest of the population will be really protected."
An important note to dear readers: This was the comment of someone at a cocktail party. It is the kind of message that might be blocked or censured by the mainstream media in order to avoid any "misinformation" circulating.
Is it true that he is 27 times less of a threat than a vaccinated person? We have no way of knowing.
Like all the many studies, findings, tests, arguments, "facts" and figures used in the Covid discussion, it is probably partly true, partly false, and widely misinterpreted.
But here at the Diary, we mistrust all statistics, even those we make up ourselves.
Three little children had stripped down to their underwear and were playing in the pool. They were all under six, with the eldest of them able to dog-paddle around...and the two little ones sticking to the shallow area.
We were listening to the Covid complaints when we glanced down and noticed that one of the little ones was under water. A young man stood between us and the pool, so we simply pointed to the water...
"I think she needs help..." we said.
The young man, a professional fisherman, deftly reached into the water and pulled her out, as if he were bringing in an Atlantic salmon. He gave her a slap on the back.
As she began to gurgle and cry...her father came running over with a towel...and she was soon as good as new.
Last week came news that 1 in 500 Americans have died of Covid-19. That, too, may sound like a "fact." But there are few real facts in life...and fewer still in the Covid-19 story.
It may seem indisputable that someone "died." The corpse may be in the coffin...the smell of lilies in the air...and the check in the mail.
But unless they get shot down in West Baltimore, we don't always know what they died "of." The medical industry has its own fads and fashions. And its own motivations.
All we know for sure about these corpses is that they were reported to have had a Covid-19 infection when the spark of life went out of them.
Curiously, the average age of someone dying from Covid-19 in the US is about the same as someone dying from something else – around 78.
Of course, we're all going to die. The real question is when.
But if there were little difference between the age you die from Covid-19 and the age you die from other causes...How does this rank as a major Plague-like emergency?
Also, if the average person dies at 78, you'd expect that out of a group of 500 (assuming an even age spread), 6.4 (500 divided by 78) should be ready to pop off in any given year.
If only one of them is taken out by Covid-19, what's the big deal?
Also, exceedingly odd for a Plague Year, the US population actually rose by nearly one million people. There were 331 million people living in America in January 2020. By the end of the year, there were 332 million.
Let's ask a simple question: Would the world be better off...or worse off...if governments completely ignored Covid-19?
Of course, no one knows the answer. The question itself could only be posed, sensibly, to God Himself. Who else would know what "better" means?
So, instead of worrying about it, the busybodies resort to numbers. The press is full of them – the number of new "cases," the number of "exhausted" nurses, the number of those who resist vaxxing.
(Another favorite of the mainstream press is the self-satisfied morality tale: "Anti-Vaxxer Dies of Covid," along with a story that tells us how the person had been misled by "false information" and misguided by an irresponsible attachment to "freedom.")
The "numbers" substitute quantity for quality. We don't know what is "better"...but we can count! The higher the number, the bigger the emergency...and the more the powers-that-be need to "do something."
And yet, there are plenty of other numbers. How many lives have been distorted or stunted by Covid-19 restrictions? How many people living on $2 a day will now die early, after being forced (by a locked-down world economy) to live on $1.90 a day? How much human happiness will be sacrificed?
Nobody knows those numbers either.
Which is why you can't really depend on numbers. And why we have principles to guide us.
We can't predict the future...control the future...or even prepare for it. And we can't count the bodies that haven't died yet.
So we each do the best we can.
In America, this freedom to do what you want is supposed to be protected by the US Constitution. The Tenth Amendment clearly limits the power of the government to things it is expressly allowed to do in the Constitution itself.
This weekend, we found three major articles explaining why President Biden's vaccine mandate is perfectly constitutional.
Out of curiosity, we searched the founding document. We found no "Covid clause" giving the President such extraordinary power.
Then again, the Supreme Court – along with the press, the military, Big Business, universities, and government itself – is part of the elite. Rarely has it shown much inclination to limit the power of the governing group.
Today, the President goes to war without an act of Congress – expressly forbidden by the Constitution.
The feds print paper money, though the Constitution insists on only gold and silver.
And the government has proclaimed so many laws and regulations that it can send forth a swarm of agents, harass you, fine you, or put you in prison at almost any time...regardless of the many "constitutional" protections you are meant to enjoy.
How do they get away with it, you might ask? What happened to the Tenth Amendment? How can they now insist on vaccinations?
Oh, you silly goose.

New York Times best-selling finance author Bill Bonner founded The Agora, a worldwide community for private researchers and publishers, in 1979. Financial analysts within the group exposed and predicted some of the world's biggest shifts since, starting with the fall of the Soviet Union back in the late 1980s, to the collapse of the Dot Com (2000) and then mortgage finance (2008) bubbles, and the election of President Trump (2016). Sharing his personal thoughts and opinions each day from 1999 in the globally successful Daily Reckoning and then his Diary of a Rogue Economist, Bonner now makes his views and ideas available alongside analysis from a small hand-picked team of specialists through Bonner Private Research.

See full archive of Bill Bonner articles

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