The spreading of panic for political purposes is in full gear. On this Monday morning we need to remember priorities: Protect yourself from getting sick, yes. Protect yourself from shortages of goods. Protect yourself from drops in stock markets and economic activity. But above all, protect yourself from the government and statists who use these to gain more power.
This morning’s early news is clearly panic-inducing.
Supposedly, the Saudis and the Russians have started a price war. Not content with their slice of the shrinking oil market, they are going to race to the bottom to grow their market share. Some pundits are predicting $20/barrel oil this year – down from near $60.
The reason is that China, world’s largest importer of petroleum, still is using only a fraction of their normal consumption. Thanks to quarantines and shutdowns due to coronavirus. Worse, Chinese factories aren’t producing merchandise for the rest of world – so shipping has dropped off the edge. Which means less oil for container ships, trucks, and trains. As a result, West Texas Intermediate is down by 11% this morning – down to $41.28. And Brent is off 10.4%, down to $45.27.
You would think that would be enough to scare both Russians and Arabs. To scare them into stopping their price war, and cutting production instead of ramping up to flood the market.
And you would think it would cause other countries to work very hard to increase production of all kinds of things, apply some common sense, and take some deep breaths.
Instead, panic reigns.
As the media and the Trump-haters here in the Fifty States scream, the stock market seems to be taking a nose-dive into a dry pool. The BBC has an incredible chart:
This is the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the first couple of hours this morning, as thousands of software programs and a few humans implement their “Black Monday” protocols. Protocols which seem to try and turn troubles into disasters. (At 1100 hours Eastern Time, the Dow was still down 1,723 points.) CNN claims that “extreme fear” is the emotion driving the market.
EXCEPT for Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Their supporters are jubilant. Their supporters are also (again) viciously attacking the current (Trump) regime over everything and anything. Figuring that an economic collapse will ensure Trump’s defeat in just eight months, with all these other factors:
- Coronavirus pandemic
- China Trade War
- Bigoted homophobic, anti-women, anti-people of color
A lot of this is bogus. For example, the Dow Jones is still higher than it was at the beginning of 2019:
The coronavirus is bad, but nothing compared to normal seasonal flu and other causes of death – despite the panic in too many places.
Bad as Trump is – not that any recent president has been good – the false claims about his evil ways are just that – false.
But they are making hay, and although the common wisdom is that Sanders is once again toast, it seems to still be a horse race now that almost all the riffraff have gone away (or endorsed Uncle Joe). So they can stop attacking each other and double down on the Donald.
Actually, maybe they don’t want to wait until November (or the change of regime in January of 2021). Maybe they want a revolution now?
Or maybe they won’t need to: the deep state may do its normal response to every crisis. What is that? MORE government, MORE spending, MORE control of everything. Oh, and push for another war (or wars) to distract the peons.
The Beer Flu seems to be ready made for that kind of tightening the screws. This is what should be alarming more than getting more socialism with Bernie (or Joe) in the White House.
We see that happening in Italy, worst hit yet in Europe. The government, among other things, has shut down all the schools, gyms, museums, and the Venice carnival. 16 million people in 15 provinces have been quarantined and must have government permission to travel anywhere. And amazingly, the government has now prohibited marriages, baptisms, and funerals. It is against the law for customers in bars and restaurants to sit closer than one meter to any other person. The punishment? Three months in jail. And the pope says he has been “caged” in the library.
Already in the Fifty States, New York, California, and Washington State have all implemented “states of emergency” in which just about anything goes when it comes to government control. As usual, a crisis is an excuse to grab more power.
As is the spreading of panic for political purposes. Protect yourself from getting sick, yes. Protect yourself from shortages of goods. Protect yourself from drops in stock markets and economic activity. But above all, protect yourself from the government and statists who use these to gain more power.