About theartfuldilettante

The Artful Dilettante is a native of Pittsburgh, PA, and a graduate of Penn State University. He is a lover of liberty and a lifelong and passionate student of the same. He is voracious reader of books on the Enlightenment and the American colonial and revolutionary periods. He is a student of libertarian and Objectivist philosophies. He collects revolutionary war and period currency, books, and newspapers. He is married and the father of one teenage son. He is kind, witty, generous to a fault, and unjustifiably proud of himself. He is the life of the party and an unparalleled raconteur.

Free People Take Responsibilty and Solve Problems

Free People Take Responsibility and Solve Problems, by Star Parker

Several months ago, before anyone imagined the current crisis, I read a book called “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl.

Frankl was a Jewish Viennese psychiatrist who was captured by the Nazis during World War II and managed to survive four concentration camps including the infamous Auschwitz and Dachau.

He went through the ordeal observing human behavior, and the result was his formulation of a system of therapy he called logotherapy.

Frankl found that those who were most successful, surviving under the most challenging circumstances, were those who retained a sense of meaning in their lives. That is, the real challenge that every person faces is not what’s happening outside of themselves but what’s happening inside.

In Frankl’s own words: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

He continued: “Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness.”

With all our talk about freedom, somehow its essence has gotten lost: human beings taking responsibility for their own life and the world around them. Human beings are causes, not results. They are free agents, not victims.

I can’t think of a more important message as we face these great challenges today as a nation and as individuals.

The whole idea of America was, and hopefully still is, freedom, which means America must be about individuals taking responsibility.

The country now faces two huge areas of uncertainty and lack of clarity.

One is regarding the nature of the health threat we are dealing with. I am still reading different opinions from knowledgeable sources about how lethal this virus is and the best way to stop it without totally shutting down and destroying our economy.

Second, we’re suffering great absence of clarity in government regarding who is responsible for what.

Times of uncertainty are times, in the spirit of Viktor Frankl, for individuals to step up and take responsibility.

But, unfortunately, we’re getting the opposite.

It’s obscene that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who held up the emergency stimulus bill to insert left-wing nonsense, accused President Donald Trump of fiddling while “people are dying.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer complained to the press, “We’re not getting what we need from the federal government.”

But this isn’t new. Back in February, Whitmer delivered the Democrats’ response to President Trump’s State of the Union address and went on for her full 10 minutes about the federal government not doing enough.

She touted her efforts to expand health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, meaning more bureaucratization of our hospitals and health care delivery, and creation of government health care incapable of flexibility to changing market realities, let alone dealing with a crisis.

The Psychological Impact of Lockdowns

From the perspective of a mental health professional who still counsels people every day: What’s going on psychologically in this crisis?

Stir-craziness. Cabin fever. People have been denied their sense of purpose.

They also have lost their sense of choice.

If the authorities hadn’t wiped out virtually ALL options, people would be able to make cost-benefit analyses, case by case. “Should I skip this activity, or not?” We have lost the right or the ability to use our minds in this way. Psychologically, we are already in a state of martial law. Suddenly we all find ourselves living in something like a totalitarian regime. The food is still on the shelves and hospitals are still open (thankfully) … and we have the Internet. But that’s pretty much it.

This is all a shock to the psychological system.

What sustains most people right now is a sense that this is only temporary. But it’s also mixed with a lot of anxiety. People sense the contradictions, fear and uncertainty in our “leaders”. We’re told repeatedly that it’s temporary. But there’s no end date on it. Will it REALLY all end on April 30? Will it REALLY all end on May 15? Or June 1? How do we know that? Even so, June 1 is still a long time.

Those are fair questions, because every level of official contradicts him- or herself repeatedly. Even Dr. Fauci — the Anointed One, beyond reproach (for now) — speaks with authority one moment, and then admits in another moment that we have no idea how bad this virus is, because we don’t have nearly enough facts. The one thing he’s consistent about is that this will go on a long time. Does that mean the lockdowns will continue for a long time? If not, why not? We’re told they’re essential now; that we would all die without them. Why will that be any different in July? Or next Christmas? Based on their own facts and recommendations, that is?

In a sense, we’re in the state of young children, who perhaps do not understand but sense the errors, contradictions and evasions of their elders. It’s not a good place for a child psychologically, and it’s not good for adults, either.

Uncertainty and denial of choice are the worst prescriptions for a person’s mental state. We’re talking about the development of anxiety and mood disorders in people who never had those problems, and never otherwise would have developed them. I guarantee: These are going to develop given enough time. We will have a mental health crisis on our hands perhaps bigger than coronavirus.

Our officials consider none of this. All they seem to care about are optics and ensuring that nobody gets coronavirus on their watch. But there’s an enormous tradeoff here. As a society, we are trading off the sanity and serenity of virtually EVERYONE in exchange for a THEORY that trying to control everyone’s behavior will lead to a more favorable medical result, and soon. That remains to be seen. So far, it’s not going well, because the headlines scream daily that coronavirus is expanding despite the unprecedented level of control over our daily lives. Perhaps one might say, “Well, let’s try this shelter-in-place for a month.” Perhaps most would have done that anyway, even voluntarily, without the coercion of the government. We’ll never know, because coercion was implemented almost immediately.

Now we have established the precedent. So long as the government perceives it as an emergency, the government now has unlimited power to do whatever it wants — for the entire period the government deems it as an emergency. Sure, the government consults with scientists. But they’re all government scientists. And only the scientists who say things the government wants people to hear get to weigh in. Not all scientists are saying precisely what Dr. Fauci says. But somehow Dr. Fauci knows all.

Consciously, nobody wants to be seen as questioning anything, especially at a time like this. But subconsciously, millions of people are uneasy, at best. It’s not World War II. In that era, the enemy was clearly outside of our government. Most people got on board with the government — agree or disagree — because they didn’t doubt that their own government was on their side. Most Americans — regardless of their politics — now mistrust our government, for a variety of reasons. And most distrust the media — to put it mildly. I’m only telling you this is not good for anybody’s psychological state. All the social and psychological problems present in society pre-coronavirus are operative now. With choice and personal destiny completely removed from daily life, the psychological status of Americans will not improve.

Most people seem somewhat depressed or anxious right now. I don’t detect much or any cheer that “we’re all in this together, we’ll get through this.” Most don’t have the sense of phoniness required to utter such empty platitudes, especially when those platitudes seem at odds with both objective reality and their own emotional states. There’s too much evasion, confusion and contradiction going on for that. I don’t see Democrats suddenly hugging Trump supporters. If anything, the hostility has grown. I base that on what people tell me, from both sides of the political aisle.

Either those symptoms of mood and anxiety disorder will worsen in most people, or at some point many will start to get angry. Anger is healthy, but it has to be channeled toward a rational demand at restoring what was lost. We have lost our freedom. It’s rational to be angry and frustrated over that. We have lost our way of life. It’s far deeper than politics and government, although those areas are relevant, of course.

It has to do with whether you believe you control your destiny, or you’re totally powerless over it. If you fall into (and stay in) the powerless mindset, you will lose. You will have given up, at which point your political freedom won’t matter much.

If you fight and learn how to be angry at the right people for the right reasons, then this disaster could transform itself into an amazing opportunity. It’s no time to give in, or to give up.

Stay well! Perhaps mentally, most of all.—Michael J Hurd

The Media is a Public Health Threat

Bars, restaurants, offices, libraries, and schools have shut down. Times Square and Los Angeles freeways are deserted. But the media goes on, without a break, spreading distrust, doubt, and panic. Everything in the United States can shut down, but like roaches emerging from the rubble of a postapocalyptic world, the media goes on lying, smearing, and undermining the President of the United States.

The media only knows how to do one thing and that’s take a crisis and make it even worse.

While much of the country was coping with the massive dislocation caused by the Wuhan Flu, the media was focused on accusing President Trump of racism for calling it the Chinese virus.

At a White House press briefing meant to provide the public with information about the government’s plans to fight the virus, reporters complained about the name. The briefing interruptus was a small sample of the nomenclature campaign by the nomenklatura obsessed with political correctness.

While entirely missing the point.

The People’s Republic of China has rolled out a sophisticated campaign to blame the Wuhan Flu on the United States. In a time when there’s no barrier to conspiracy theories, the ChiComs know that a portion of the population will believe that the Wuhan Flu came out of one of our labs, instead of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, just like they believe that a Communist defector didn’t kill JFK, America didn’t land on the moon, or that Islamic terrorists didn’t fly planes into the World Trade Center.

What’s at stake here is more than bragging rights. The People’s Republic understands that the Chinese Century, its manifest destiny of becoming the leading world power, is on the line. The Wuhan Flu significantly undermined its global credibility. The only way out is to shift the blame and convince the world and useful idiots in this country that the virus is really America’s fault.

If China wins the race to reemerge successfully from the Wuhan Flu and establishes economic preeminence once again, the Chinese Century is back on the menu. And that requires sabotaging America’s recovery both in our own country and on the world stage.

Every time President Trump calls it the Chinese virus, he’s making an important point. Meanwhile the media has become a repository of People’s Republic propaganda. The problem extends far beyond whether to call it the coronavirus, the Wuhan Flu, COVID-19, or the Chinese virus.

The media has met this crisis, the way it has every other, by persistently undermining President Trump’s leadership. Repeatedly interrupting his press briefing for ChiCom memes is not an aberration, but how the media has tackled the subject of the Wuhan Flu all along.

Even President Bush received a “crisis honeymoon” after September 11 in which the media briefly projected calls for national unity and solidarity. There has been none of that with this virus. Instead the media has reacted to the pandemic the way that it did to Hurricane Katrina.

After years of stirring up divisiveness as a political and profit model, why change now?

The media’s message is that POTUS is inept, incompetent, and incapable. That no one should listen to him or trust him to lead us through this emergency (while repeatedly holding up China as a model) and that the only thing to do is panic, panic some more, and vote Biden.

The Wuhan Flu shows that the media is the country’s real public health crisis.

Faced with a pandemic, the media never asked itself what its responsibility to the country might be beyond doubling down on its efforts to defeat Trump and elect a Democrat. Instead it has amplified misinformation, undermined the country’s leadership, and spread defeatism.

The media’s usual nasty habit of accusing President Trump of lying (accompanied by mendacious fact checks which don’t check facts, but spin political narratives) is a lot more dangerous than usual during an outbreak in which it’s important for the public to believe what the President of the United States is telling them about safe and unsafe behaviors.

Like the ChiComs, the media has no problem worsening the disaster to score political points.

In just the last few hours, the media has run hysterical smears with headlines like the New York Times’, “The President Is Lying About Coronavirus” whose goal is to undermine Trump. The media presumably believes that the general public will understand the distinction between accusing President Trump of lying about the Wuhan Flu, take Vanity Fair’s “Every Time Trump Opens His Mouth, Nine Lies Fly Out: Coronavirus Edition”, and taking his health advice for staying safe from the Wuhan Flu.

But there’s no reason to think that the public share the media’s complicated ideological calculations.

When the media undermines trust in a nation’s leader during an emergency, it causes panic, fear, and doubt. You can’t tell the public that they shouldn’t believe anything President Trump says, except when it comes to advising an end to larger gatherings and avoiding exposure by the elderly.

Normal people’s brains don’t work this way.

The entire country does not share the media’s ideological filter. The reality that Hillary Clinton isn’t in the White House, but is instead accusing President Trump of racism for calling it the Chinese virus, should have brought that fact home to even the most blinkered media echo chambers.

When the media tells the public not to trust President Trump, it’s also telling the public not to trust his public safety advisories or anything coming from the White House team fighting the Wuhan Flu.

Period.

Even as the media scores record profits from views and clicks of its hysterical and uninformed virus coverage, it doesn’t actually care about the people at risk or those whose lives have been overturned. What it cares about is monetizing its coverage and weaponizing it to put Biden in the White House.

That’s just politics. And it’s not alone.

Bad actors like The Lincoln Project and PACROYM have decided that their campaign to beat Trump shouldn’t take a break during a public health emergency. But it’s one thing when PACs run ads targeting the President of the United States during a crisis, that’s politics, albeit in very bad taste, and another when the media, which wants to be seen as a source of credible information, does the same thing.

National unity during a crisis would have the White House and the media communicating the same message. And it would be a message that the entire country would be able to put its trust in.

Instead the media is tainting the pool, attacking the credibility of President Trump, forcing him to retaliate, and sending mixed messages at a time when people need clear and simple health advice.

Local governments have shut down bars and eateries. Nobody has shut down the media. But an hour of CNN is far more of a public health threat than all the bars in all the cities of the country.

The Little Boy Who Rang the Bell

This is the story of the little boy who rang a bell in the city center. When asked why, he said to keep away the elephants. When told there are no elephants, he said, “See? It works!” This is the communist using this “crisis” to implement communism, to keep the elephant virus away by ringing the communist bell of handing everything over to the government. Phase 1 was gaslighting the sheeple into thinking they will die without government intervention. Phase 2 is control the people and shutdown of their businesses. Phase 3 is government providing payment for business rents and payroll. Phase 4 is the government simply stating that since the government already pays for everything that the government now owns the businesses. Communism complete: Total control of the sheeple and a complete takeover of commerce. The liberal States of Washington, Pennsylvania, California, Colorado, and New Jersey have implemented martial law, selecting which businesses must close and that the people must stay indoors. This isn’t a quarantine; this is martial law. Just because the communists are using the virus as an excuse doesn’t mean it is not martial law. When the government can tell you to stay home, implement curfews, and shut down businesses, it is martial law. Trump is in on this communist takeover. He is encouraging States to go into martial law and shut down businesses and lock everyone into their homes. To get the people’s cooperation, the government is buying their cooperation. Each adult gets $1,000; $2,000 per couple but only if they make under $150k. Great, huh? Get taxed to give other people free money. Colorado is giving people a pass on parking tickets as though people can no longer seem to properly park. Just as we were moving manufacturing back to America, the communists are closing those businesses making us rely on foreign imports again. Since Trump has surrounded himself with the communist healthcare workers, he is pushing the narrative and supporting “free” money which means both conservatives and liberals, alike, support him and this effort to take over the country by the communists. We are past the tipping point. Americans are fully endorsing any and all measures. They actually want more closures. The drama queens are begging to have all their liberties taken away in the name of safety. They are begging for their businesses to close, thinking somehow Uncle Sugar will hand them money to live on instead of having to work. For those of us not so stupid as to fall for this communism propaganda, we have the right to take on jobs and visit businesses of our own free will. This is the liberals taking away our right to choose. The WHO estimates between 250,000 and 500,000 die worldwide from the flu. China had 81,000 infected of a population of 1.4 billion and have now lifted their quarantines and claim to have no new cases. South Korea with 8,600 cases likewise has seen a tremendous drop in new cases. This virus so far is the typical flu level symptoms and treatment. Nothing to be taken lightly, but nothing to go and shut down the country for either. Hillary only needs to wait until the July democrap convention to show up and say, “See? I told you Trump would screw things up! I’m here to save you from that idiot!” She has been preparing to enter the race (notice new face lift, makeup, hair, clothing), and she can win when 30+% of the country is unemployed, a million small businesses have been closed by government dictators, the people are living under martial law and cannot travel, and basic necessities are no longer found and people are wiping their butts with anything they can find. Anyone feel stupid yet?

White Privilege

In thirty-four years of living in America, I have never faced the problem of radical racial resistance from committed individualists, many of whom fall within the conservative camp. They have mostly accepted me as an individual and treated me as an equal. My race to them was neither a qualifier nor a disqualifier, but a sociological marker which, as far as I could tell, was irrelevant to how I performed. In my experience with far-left progressives there exists an insidious racism that is often hard to diagnose. Their sense of their own whiteness required black helplessness and inadequacy to shore up a sense of guilt, which would then prompt action on their part, from which they could seek redemption and contrition.

There is unbridled hubris behind such psychic exploitation, because one needs to posit an inferior before one can masochistically experience redemption from some perceived wrong one has inflicted against another. That wrong, which the so-called progressive feels she or he has wielded, is white privilege.

Earth hath no greater self-righteous and moralistic avenging angel than the progressive afflicted with a sense of wrongful white privilege. So, what did I do in the face of the holder of this white privilege? I committed the worst crime possible: I communicated that it was a farce. I laughed at it, made it clear I was unharmed by it, rendered the holders irrelevant, and incurred their repressed but seething wrath. Hell also hath no greater fury like a far-left-progressive rejected for his or her redemptive gestures. Why? Because if the moral meaning and purpose of your existence as a far-left liberal rests on my suffering and victimization as a black person, then you will need me to suffer indefinitely in order to continue to cull some meaning and purpose from your life.

If I reject your help on the grounds that I will not let you expropriate my agency on behalf of my life, that I will cultivate the virtues in my character that are needed to emancipate my life from the hell you imagine it to be, then I’ve annihilated your meaning here on earth. I’ve identified your moral sadism in the relief of my suffering and named the moral hypocrisy of your life. It was never about me all along. It was about your redemption.

These alt-left individuals suffer from annihilation anxiety because black freedom signals the death of the very sociopolitical relevance of the far left, and not just in black lives, but in all forms of social engineering. Liberals who have staked their identity on black oppression, victimization, and suffering are moral sadists because in order to continue justifying their existence, they must continue to wish to see black people suffer under racial oppression. They expropriate the agency of racial minorities so they can speak for them, to them, and, in essence, determine who among them is qualified to count as their racial spokesperson.

The sense of superiority is unmistakable. People who regard other people as their moral equals either leave them alone to make their own way, or, when they are aggrieved, address the injustice quietly and move on after it is resolved.

A far-left liberal friend of mine recently told me that she was disturbed by my views on race.

“Yes, we all need to take responsibility for who we are. But, let’s face it, this message rings more hollow in some cases than in others,” she declared. “Your main message that blacks need to take more responsibility for their own lives saddens me; it seems to put the emphasis in the wrong place. Is your message to women, too, that they just need to stop whining and start succeeding?”

Since I had not been aware of women besides those who were very privileged, elitist, and those entitled who were whiners, I never bothered to respond. For the most part, ordinary working women in America, possessed of a deep, independent, and pioneering spirit, are not and have never been whiners, for they know that America remains the best place in the world to be a woman.

There is something nefarious simmering behind the motivation of the so-called progressive sector among the left-wingers for black emancipation. In my early years as an immigrant in the United States, and working up to three jobs to put myself through college, there was definitely an unmistakable and discernible attitude being directed at me.

Who was I not to be harmed or victimized by white privilege? How dare I not be a victim? How dare I deny them that power of identifying me as a victim and then emancipating me? What possessed me to have so large an efficacious agency that I could usurp and circumvent the power of this disguised form of white supremacy exercised by progressives?

Here is what I admire about individualists who identify, often, as conservatives. They know that one dare not possess the temerity and impertinence for finding them guilty simply for being white, and they know that any privilege they possess, whether it is brilliance, beauty, or physical prowess, is simply wasted if not exercised. If whiteness is a privilege, as is maleness, then what do people expect white people or men to do about them? Act black? Feminize themselves?

There is an antidote (especially for those who are black) if you are traumatized by what you experience as “white privilege.” Though I hate to cast any virtue in racial monikers, I would, nevertheless, say its name is: Black Excellence! Excellence in one’s character and excellence in the cultivation of one’s intellect are the best remedies for the fear of being overwhelmed by whatever magical powers one imagines that whiteness today can exercise over the lives of free people in a free society. Moral and skill perfection as goals to strive for provide one with an aspirational identity that is always in a process of perpetual development in concert with one’s fellow compatriot.

The so-called social privilege leveraged by another person cannot inflict harm on a person who believes in the inviolate certainty of his or her moral and skill efficacy. Those who chronically complain of the unfairness of white privilege not only lack basic self-esteem, they also suffer from an appalling inability to either take an inventory of their own privileges that they are failing to cultivate or, worse, they regard the cultivation of the virtues that would indeed make them privileged as politically inexpedient since it would rob them of their victim status. But, a deep commitment to a life of lived excellence is not an inoculation against anyone’s privileged existence. Dignified lives are not in competition with one another. They each have their own unassailable integrity and indubitable individuality.

I have never complained about white privilege. I have never taken it seriously as having any real causal pull in my life, nor do I trust those white people who prate endlessly about white privilege to black folks or guilt trip among themselves about its so-called deleterious effects on black lives. I have never feared it is because I have never thought white people had any volitional power to control the manner in which I shaped my moral character, nor have they influenced my intellectual skill set in any shape or form. I simply perceive reality clearly and correctly: whatever is codified socially as white privilege is and has always been weakened by the force of my personal will, my values, the unquestionable set of excellences I have developed in several areas of my life, and the habituated virtues of my soul. These have always added up—even when I was a poor and struggling student—to a very privileged existence and rarefied life.

If black victimologists hate America by virtue of their suffering and historical exclusions from mainstream society, then left-wingers can gain street credibility by enlisting their black brothers- and sisters-in-hatred in solidarity. What the bourgeois alt-left lack in personal oppression, they make up for in their righteous indignation over the plight of black victimization. And, since black victims often lack the institutional resources to showcase their suffering and perceived hopelessness to a large audience, what better way for left-wingers to make themselves useful than by atoning for their social insignificance and irrelevance by creating a performance on behalf of the victims?

In the end, I have only my indisputable agency to stand on. It has a universal shape to it. It can navigate a multiplicity of registers and, above all it is not an existential problem. Rather, it is the very inoculation and bulwark against those who would view me as a problem to be solved.

Jason D. Hill is professor of philosophy and Honors Distinguished Faculty at DePaul University in Chicago. His areas of specialization include ethics, social and political philosophy, American foreign policy and American politics. He is the author of four books, including “We Have Overcome: An Immigrant’s Letter to the American People” (Bombardier Books/Post Hill Press). Follow him on Twitter @JasonDhill6

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Central Banking is Socialism

Last week, the Federal Reserve responded to Wall Street’s coronavirus panic with an “emergency” interest rate cut. This emergency cut failed to revive the stock market, leading to predictions that the Fed will again cut rates later this month.

More rate cuts would drive interest rates to near, or even below, zero. Lowering interest rates punishes people for saving, thus encouraging consumers and businesses to spend every penny they make. This may give the economy a short-term boost. But, it inhibits long-term economic growth by depleting the savings necessary for investments in businesses and jobs. The result of this policy will be more pressure on the Fed to indefinitely maintain low interest rates and on the Congress and president to create another explosion of government “stimulus” spending.

Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren has suggested that Congress allow the Federal Reserve to add assets of private companies to the Fed’s already large balance sheet. Allowing the central bank to buy assets of, and thus assume a partial ownership interest in, private companies would give the Federal Reserve even greater influence over the economy. It could also allow the Fed to advance a political agenda by, for example, favoring investment in “green energy” companies over other companies or refusing to purchase assets of retailers who sell firearms or tobacco products.End The FedRon PaulBest Price: $2.18Buy New $5.68(as of 09:55 EST – Details)

Mr. Rosengren’s proposal to allow the central bank to “invest,” in private companies seems like something one would hear from democratic socialists like Senator Bernie Sanders. This is not surprising since the entire Federal Reserve system is a textbook example of socialism.

The essence of socialist economics is government allocation of resources either by seizing direct control of the “means of production” or by setting prices business can charge. Federal Reserve manipulation of interest rates is an attempt to set the price of money. Federal Reserve attempts to set interest rates distort the signals sent by the rates to investors and business. This results in a Fed-created boom, which is inevitably followed by a Fed-created bust.

Economic elites benefit when the Federal Reserve pumps new money into the economy because they have access to the money created before there are widespread price increases. Artificially low interest rates also facilitate the growth of the welfare-warfare state.

The Federal Reserve’s inflationary policies harm the average American by eroding the dollar’s purchasing power. This forces consumers to rely on credit cards and other forms of debt to maintain their standard of living. Many Americans are unable to afford their own homes because they are saddled with student loan debt that can even exceed their income.

Since the bailouts of 2008, there has been a growing understanding that the current system is rigged in favor of the elites and against the average American. Unfortunately, popular confusion of our system of Keynesian neoliberalism with a free-market economy, combined with a widespread entitlement mentality, has led many Americans to support increasing government control of our economy.

The key to beating back the rising support for socialism on both the left and right is helping more people understand that big government and central banking are the cause of their problems and that free markets in all areas — and especially in money — is the solution. It is important that the liberty movement put pressure on Congress to cut spending and rein in or, better yet, end the Fed.

We Are Not Going to be OK

“Senate Democrats’ coronavirus bailout plan could give each American $4,500”, according to Fox Business.

Is giving every single American $4,500 a good thing?

You bet! Free money! Yay! That can NEVER be a bad thing, right?

In an economy where all schools have closed indefinitely, all bars and restaurants are closed indefinitely, and most economic activity, from Wall Street to the suburbs to Main Street simply STOPS, what are people supposed to do after they have spent the $4,500?

What are they supposed to spend it ON? Clothes or supplies for school? Vacations on planes that aren’t flying? Resorts that won’t be open for the summer? At bars or restaurants, all closed until further notice? How do you spend $4,500 under a state of martial law, which the Governor of California has suggested is coming? Or under the probable lockdown coming in New York City — once the literal center of the universe? What good will $4,500 do you under martial law? Snowflake America is not ready for any of this.

It was easy to delude ourselves that money grows on trees when we actually HAD TREES. If money can come out of an almost non-existent economy, shut down thanks now to our government, then why don’t we all simply stop working and take not a mere $4,500, but a trillion dollars per person from the government? Why not? It’s America, right? Our government can do anything. Get rid of Donald Trump? Sure! Put Joe Biden in there. He will make it all happen!

Is it possible — even just a tiny bit possible — that our federal, state and local governments have overreacted to coronavirus … just a little bit? Did it really make sense to create an even bigger catastrophe in order to avoid one? What have the lockdowns and shutdowns accomplished? What good is being healthy when the collapse of the economy will soon make us all prefer not to be alive? This can’t continue.

This is madness. It’s literally psychosis. It’s madness that can no longer work even on its own terms. I am frankly speechless, at this point. People will just have to learn the hard way. There’s not much else to say.

It’s not going to be OK. Not unless we open up our economy again. The vast majority of us are still healthy, and the vast majority of the minority who get sick will get well. That’s what the FACTS tell us! Convince me that an indefinite, or even permanent shutdown of America, is warranted by what we know about coronavirus. Nobody has yet. If you’re worried about hospital beds for the flu, then let hospitals become profit centers instead of largely wards of the government. Give people tax holidays, and a break from government. Instead, we’re getting as much government as Venezuela has. And the results are going to be exactly the same. Don’t believe me? Look around. —Michael J. Hurd