Elon Musk on Lockdowns: ‘Sweden Was Right’

Instead of rebuking Sweden and states such as South Dakota who exposed the failure of lockdowns, we should be thanking them.


When people think of polarizing countries, Sweden rarely leaps to mind. At least that was the case before 2020.

Sweden’s decision to take a “lighter touch” to the coronavirus pandemic—foregoing strict lockdowns and relying primarily on social responsibility to encourage social distancing—has made it a lightning rod for criticism.

Many commentators claimed Sweden was behaving recklessly and selfishly by refusing to enforce an economic lockdown like most other nations around the world.

Though its per capita death rate remained well below European neighbors such as the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Spain—each of which enforced strict lockdowns—Sweden became, as one CBS report claimed, “an example of how not to handle COVID-19.”

As I previously observed, however, the fact that Sweden was coming under fire had less to do with the results of its policies than the nature of its policies. There were far better “cautionary tale” examples than Sweden—such as Belgium, a nation with a similar population whose per capita death toll is 50 percent higher than Sweden’s.

Unlike Sweden, however, Belgium had a strict lockdown that, as the BBC reported back in May, was enforced with “drones in parks and fines for anyone breaking social distancing rules.” But nobody cared about Belgium because they had followed the lockdown script.

Months later, Sweden’s decision to avoid lockdowns only looks better. While much of Europe is experiencing a second wave of the virus, Sweden’s numbers are a stark contrast. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization and thousands of physicians and public health officials are now arguing against the use of lockdowns as a method of taming the virus.

The reason for this is obvious. While the harms of lockdowns are clear—trillions of dollars in economic losses, widespread mental health deterioration, and social decay—there is no compelling evidence that lockdowns reduced COVID-19 deaths or the spread of the virus.

The results of Sweden’s strategy become clearer with every passing week. And more people are beginning to notice.

“Sweden was right,” Tesla founder Elon Musk recently tweeted.

Musk, of course, has been suspicious of the efficacy of lockdowns for months.

In May, he took the bold step of restarting production of Tesla’s car plant in Fremont, California, in defiance of orders from government officials that the plant remain closed.

“Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules,” Musk tweeted. “I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.”

Musk’s act of civil disobedience paid off. Alameda County health officials caved, reversing the shutdown order and providing provisional approval for the plant to reopen.

The toll of COVID-19 has been severe. As of mid October, nearly 1.1 million people worldwide have died, according to Johns Hopkins University data, including 216,000 Americans.

Unlike previous pandemics, however, the human costs have been accompanied by a global recession and an economic collapse unprecedented in modern history. (This would seem to confirm Musk’s early assessment that the danger of panic posed perhaps a greater threat than the virus itself.)

As Harvard economist David M. Cutler and former World Bank chief economist Lawrence H. Summers noted in a new study, the toll of the Pandemic of 2020 is unlike anything the modern world has seen before.

“Output losses of this magnitude are immense. The lost output in the Great Recession was only one-quarter as large,” the authors write. “The economic loss is more than twice the total monetary outlay for all the wars the US has fought since September 11, 2001, including those in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.”

The economic results of the lockdown experiment are undeniable. Meanwhile, evidence is scant that they saved lives. In fact, new research suggests the lockdowns exacerbated the spread of the virus.

Unfortunately, many people still want to deny the data and the science. As one commentator recently put it in the Washington Examiner, the better Sweden’s numbers get, the angier people seem to become.

This is the danger of allowing a virus to become politicized. It obscures reality. Many seem intent on defending lockdowns because they were designed to help people (or perhaps because President Trump has resisted them), but such thinking should be avoided.

“One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results,” the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman famously observed.

Instead of rebuking Sweden and states such as South Dakota who exposed the failure of lockdowns, we should be thanking them.

Without them, we may never have learned a truth that is becoming more obvious every day: the lockdowns failed.

AUTHOR

Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: Newsweek, The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.

Sweden Now Has a Lower COVID-19 Death Rate Than the US. Here’s Why It Matters

Why Sweden Succeeded in “Flattening the Curve” and New York Failed

Sweden’s Actual COVID-19 Results Compared to What Modelers Predicted in April

BBC: Sweden’s Economy Is Doing Way Better Than the Rest of the EU During the COVID-19 Pandemic

5 Charts That Show Sweden’s Strategy Worked. The Lockdowns Failed

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Elon Musk has secured a $46.5 billion financing commitment to acquire Twitter Inc.

and  from the New York Post reported:

Elon Musk has secured $46.5 billion in financing to fund his Twitter takeover bid, according to a Thursday regulatory filing.

The Tesla tycoon is also considering mounting a tender offer — which would involve trying to buy up stock from existing shareholders at $54.20 per share — in order to grow his stake in Twitter, the filing shows.

Twitter rose 0.6% on the news to $46.98 but remain well below Musk’s proposed takeover price of $54.20, indicating that investors are still skeptical that the deal will go through.

“He’s making the offer and it’s not conditioned on financing or business due diligence,” a hedge fund manager reviewing the situation told The Post, adding that he was surprised at the speed Musk’s dealmaking team is moving.

Read more.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

RELATED TWEETS:

Governor Ron DeSantis, ‘Florida is going to hold Twitter’s board of directors accountable for breaching its fiduciary duties’

Bloomberg’s reported:

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the state could take action against Twitter Inc. for launching a poison pill defense to thwart an unsolicited bid by Elon Musk.

“Why would you reject the 20% premium?” DeSantis said Tuesday at a press conference, accusing the company of censorship. “I don’t think that was a rejection based on financial concerns or business judgment. They rejected it because they know they can’t control Elon Musk. They know that he will not accept the narrative.”

Read more.

Watch Governor DeSantis explain how the Sunshine state will hold Titter’s Board of Directors accountable:

The Governor has a fiduciary responsibility to insure that Florida’s pension fund, and the companies the pension fun has invested in, increase the value of their stock to keep the fund solvent. Twitter’s stock has not performed well and dropped 10% on April 20th, 2022.

Twitter Financials

Quarterly financials
(USD) Dec 2021 Y/Y
Revenue 1.57B
Net income 181.69M
Diluted EPS 0.21
Net profit margin 11.59%

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: DeSantis and Musk Team Up With A New Strategy After Twitter Board Commits Corporate Suicide

GEICO blundered with invite to Islamist, will it fix the mess?

If anyone has reason to be furious about GEICO’s decision to invite Linda Sarsour to participate in a diversity seminar honoring Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month for the company’s employees in early April, it’s the company’s corporate owner, Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway.

For a company whose entire raison d’etre is to mitigate risk, GEICO’s selection of Sarsour is bewildering. Without meaning to, GEICO provided a clinic on how companies can make gross errors in partnerships when they move forward without an iota of research or an eye towards actual risk for the company, its communities, and our country. Even a few moments with that elusive search engine, Google, would reveal Sarsour’s incendiary and divisive rhetoric is hardly the message that a national insurance company in the business of risk management should promote.

In 2017, Sarsour called for “jihad” in America, comparing Donald Trump, an elected president, with unelected authoritarian tyrants in the Middle East. And at the height of the George Floyd riots during which protesters were destroying store fronts and setting buildings on fire in cities throughout the country, she declared that reforming law enforcement practices in the United States was impossible. “Burn it all down, start over,” she said.

In both instances, Sarsour said she wasn’t promoting violence, but given the realities of intergroup conflict in the U.S., it’s hard not to conclude that some of her listeners would interpret her words as license for attacks on property owned by GEICO customers.

It just doesn’t make sense for an insurance company to promote such a speaker, but that’s what GEICO did when it asked Sarsour to speak at a celebration of Middle East and North African Heritage Month.

GEICO officials did the right thing by canceling Sarsour’s presentation, but the company put itself into the proverbial Islamist frying pan and is not yet out of trouble. GEICO is facing an onslaught of bad publicity from Islamist groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its allies who now absurdly claim that its change in programming for its employees is surely a sign of “Islamophobia.”

Many Muslims would argue that the only anti-Muslim bigotry seen so far from GEICO officials was their perception that civilizational jihadists and Muslim Brotherhood legacy group sympathizers like Sarsour somehow represent “diversity” among the Arabic and Muslim communities. If events proceed as has other Islamist bullying episodes, CAIR and its allies will not stop until they force the company into apologizing for canceling Sarsour’s presentation and admitting to the sin of Islamophobia.

I’m certainly not a fan of cancel culture, as the Islamists have targeted me on a number of occasions. When I was targeted, however, I was booked to speak on the very principles our reform-minded Muslim organization promotes.

In this instance, GEICO did the right thing. When GEICO realized it booked the wrong person for the event they were hosting, the corporation changed direction.

By anointing Sarsour as a representative of Arab Americans with its invitation, GEICO unintentionally portrayed this community as being at war with the country where they live, and that’s simply not how it is, not to mention the venomous antisemitism that Sarsour embodies in her support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel.

 

Most Arabs and Muslims living in the U.S. are not interested in promoting “jihad” in the streets of the cities in which they live, nor are they interested inflaming tensions in a country that has endured so much violence in recent years. They want to live in peace with their neighbors and have little tolerance for Sarsour’s inflammatory and self-aggrandizing rhetoric.

Sarsour also brings Islam into undeserved disrepute with her antics. The cycle is all too predictable. First, she engages in divisive rhetoric that incites tensions. And then, when people complain, she calls them white supremacists and Islamophobes, transforming Islam from a pietistic faith that changes people’s lives into a club with which to abuse her opponents in the public square.

GEICO didn’t know how unpleasant Sarsour was, but they did the right thing upon finding out.

The company needs to do more.

In particular, GEICO needs to promote the work of moderate, reform Muslims on the American scene. Not only will this help improve intergroup relations in the U.S., but will preempt attacks from CAIR and its allies to portray GEICO as a bastion of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigotry in the U.S.

First off, GEICO should contact the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), an organization founded to advocate for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state.

GEICO could also contact the Muslim Reform Movement which seeks to “reclaim the progressive spirit with which Islam was born in the 7th century to fast forward it into the 21st century.” The organization’s website declares, “We support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by United Nations member states in 1948.”

The company should consider hosting a talk by Asra Nomani, Raheel Raza, or Soraya Deen. They are all Muslim Reformers and women’s rights activists outspoken against the separatist Islamist ideas Sarsour touts. Soraya praised the company for canceling Sarsour’s talk and confronted Sarsour’s rhetoric directly, declaring that she is “is proud of her hate of Israel, Israeli Jews and Muslim reformers and atheists, not to mention conservatives, cops and the US military.”

GEICO made a terrible mistake by inviting Sarsour to speak at a “diversity and inclusion” seminar. Sadly, the cancelation of the event where she was slated to speak rendered the company vulnerable to attacks from Islamist groups like CAIR. The damage can be minimized and the attacks countered by highlighting Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. who love their country and want to see it succeed.

If GEICO does the right thing, it will help the U.S. turn a corner and start to heal from the ugly divisiveness and hostility that has dominated its public square for far too long.

It will also perhaps learn its own actuarial lesson in loss-prevention.

AUTHOR

M. Zuhdi Jasser

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser (@DrZuhdiJasser) is a physician, a former US Navy Lieutenant Commander and founder and president of American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) and co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement. He is also a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy. His weekly podcast, Reform This! can be heard on the Blaze Podcast Network.

EDITORS NOTE: This Center for Security Policy column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Biden to Revoke ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers!

“Many people are not living their dreams because they are living their fears.” – Les Brown

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt


One of the many great things done by President Trump was putting in place a conscience rule whereby Health Care workers could refuse to perform certain medical procedures or work if it conflicted with their sincerely held religious or moral beliefs.

The bill was never actually put in place as democrats and leftists in dozens of blue states and other liberal advocacy groups tied it up from 2019 onwards in Federal Courts.

Had it been implemented as planned, it would have allowed any and all health workers to legally refuse to provide services like abortions, contraception, gender affirming care, or any other procedure they objected to on religious and/or moral grounds.

The Democrats, as they get closer to losing power, and understanding that as many red states are introducing legislation to reduce or eradicate abortions and transgender care, they are telling this illegal regime occupying the White House to ensure that the Trump conscience bill never becomes law.

After all, these lefties love abortions! Especially those up to birth!! Destroying lives for political gain is their game. Just suck those babies out!! Murder them and call it a “woman’s choice” while refusing certain Americans the choice of if to take the poison – whoops – I mean China Virus Shot!

The plans to permanently remove Trumps conscious clause is underway at the Office of Management and Budget. Weird place to me to do this but what ever works I guess for these tyrants.

Progressive advocates see the removal of the clause as a major step in dismantling the Trump administration’s policy on reproductive rights, something every libtard in the nation hated. After all, they know better so don’t argue! If you do they will call you names covering everything they think will harm you, like racist, homophobe, anti LGBTQUI etc. What was that old expression? Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me! We need to go back to that and stop fearing everything the left throws at us.

Planned Parenthood, one of the most reprehensible and disgusting companies out there that deal in blood, murder and mayhem, are delirious that the Biden Administration may get this done! Certainly no wailing and gnashing of teeth there!! Especially as they keep sucking up tax payers money!!

Jacqueline Ayers, the senior vice president of policy, organizing and campaigns for Planned Parenthood stated joyously “as state politicians continue to strip people of their sexual and reproductive rights and freedoms, it’s imperative that the Biden-Harris administration revoke this discriminatory policy and help ensure people can access the healthcare and information they need when they need it.” Healthcare? Since when did callous pre thought out murder of a living human being become healthcare? Just asking…..

Originally U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer, a Hussein Ovomit – I mean Obama appointed federal judge with a very leftist past and career, was the Judge who initially killed the Trump conscious clause. He got his law degree at Harvard… a liberal bastion of lefties, commies and America haters. He and his wife are both very progressive and woke Jews. Enough said and his bias is obvious.

We will continue seeing this administration under Dumbo in Chief, attacking and destroying as fast as they can, Trumps legacy and finest work.

I call it treason.

©Fred Brownbill. All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: Vaxtermination: The Deliberate Culling Of The Human Population?

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Top Biden Pollster Warns ‘Most Americans Are Pissed’

Top Biden Pollster Warns ‘Most Americans Are Pissed,’ Says Democrats Are Facing ‘Really Sour Environment’


President Joe Biden’s chief pollster John Anzalone warned Democrats about major electoral problems going into the 2022 midterms in an interview released Friday, although he believes that they can still avoid major losses.

Anzalone, who also worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, has previously warned of Biden’s low approval rating overall and among Hispanic voters in particular. He told Politico’s Ryan Lizza that voters are unhappy with the Democrats’ lack of action on key issues such as inflation and health care.

“Voters are very much in ‘What have you done for me lately?’ They always are. And they don’t feel Democrats can get their shit together and get things done,” Anzalone said.

“So if we’re able to do something — a skinny BBB or whatever — on health insurance costs, prescription drug costs, elderly care, childcare, that’s a big deal because it will give Democrats a competitive advantage on what they’re doing for working families. And it’ll cut through the inflation narrative, the Ukraine narrative, the Afghan narrative, the border narrative, etc.,” he continued.

Anzalone also pushed back on the perception that Hispanic voters primarily care about immigration.

“There’s this narrative in D.C. among Democrats that you only talk to Latinos about immigration. Like, immigration is the twelfth issue that they’re concerned about. It’s always about the economy or inflation or healthcare or schools,” he said.

Republicans are pinpointing a July special election in South Texas as a test of their newfound gains among Hispanic voters. Republican Mayra Flores, who will also seek a full term in November, is hoping that concerns about immigration and inflation will be decisive in flipping a seat formerly held by Democrat Filemon Vela.

Anzalone also argued that Democrats should push tax increases on wealthier Americans, adding that Democrats are too “scared of their own shadow” to do so.

“Biden’s proposal of making those making over $400,000 pay a little bit more taxes and big corporations pay a little bit more taxes so they pay their fair share to make investments in healthcare and education and childcare is really important,” he claimed. “Most Americans are pissed at the fact that they pay their fair share in taxes as middle-class people. They work hard. They want to see the benefits of the economy.”

Election forecasters believe that Republicans could pick up as many as 35 seats in the midterms, which would create the party’s largest majority since the Great Depression. Anzalone believes that such losses could be in the cards for Democrats if they do not act quickly.

“No one’s going to sit there as a Democratic consultant and try to bullshit you that this is anything but a really sour environment for Democrats,” he said.

AUTHOR

MICHAEL GINSBERG

Congressional reporter.

RELATED ARTICLE: Are Latinos Really Abandoning Dems? Poll Analysis Gives New Insight

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Bidens’ Stupidity on Gas Continues!

“This above all: to thine own self be true.” – William Shakespeare


Joe Biden, the usurper occupying, in my mind, the White House illegally, continues trying to pretend to be doing his best to get gas prices down. Remember, it’s an election year and he is about to get annihilated! Anyway. Trust me, everything he tries is just propaganda for the weak minded sheep out there who think the old man in his dotage is doing a good job!! None of it makes a real difference. It’s all charades. All a shell game where you gotta find the pea except there is no pea!

Let me explain.

First inflation and gas costs are not the sole fault of Putin or oil companies. His war is not helping but prices and inflation began their swift upward movement within hours of these leftists’ theft of our government and electoral system.

Secondly understand the gas prices we are seeing at the pumps are a direct result of this satanic administration and their energy policies on fossil fuels. They declared war on fossil fuels from the first moment they stole power. We all know, stopping drilling on federal land, no more permits, stopping construction of pipelines, putting so much red tape in front of lease holders to make it unprofitable. I could go on and on but my audience is smart and understands.

This administration sold its soul and our country to the extremists on the far left and have bought whole heartedly into the global warming lies. They say they are the party of science until science takes them in a different direction to their commie agenda. Then truthful science must be disregarded and mocked.

We see this by their choice to stop as much CLEAN production of oil here in my beloved United States of America and to buy oil from (a) our enemies and (b) from producers who will never produce oil as clean and safely as we do. Their lies and hypocrisy blow my mind as does the stupidity and ignorance of the sheep following them to the slaughter.

Let’s be honest here. If we had not made a big deal about us buying Russian fuel and therefore paying Russia’s military expansion tab in the Ukraine, we still would be. This administration is absolutely shameless. Then there is the Iranian deal they are trying to put together so as to get oil from Iran! By the way they are using China and Russia to negotiate that deal! You cannot make this stuff up.

Treason? You bet!

Oh. I forgot, they also want to buy oil from Venezuela and OPEC! All while we have enough right here for 100% of our needs plus a massive surplus we could export!

So, back to this administrations efforts to pretend they care!

That too is a lie.

They have authorized several releases of oil from our strategic reserves, oil that is there for emergencies, not to cover up terrible policy decisions in an election year. Thus they are damaging our national security – not that they care at all about that. The amounts amount to a tiny percentage of our daily use.

They have gone like the weak cowards they are on bended knees to OPEC begging them to increase production hoping that would bring the prices down. However, we were humiliated as a now weak nation multiple times as OPEC said no.

That wouldn’t have happened under Trump – in fact nothing we have seen the last 14 months or so would have happened under President Trump.

So. A brief resume of events so far before I come to their latest stupidity and lies. We have so much oil we can cleanly produce here that we cannot now obtain. We buy oil from our enemies that is produced without too much care about global warming and the pollution. We bought from Russia until the scandal came out. Now we want to buy oil from Iran, the worlds largest international sponsor of terrorism. Plus give them countless billions of dollars on top of that so they can become a nuclear armed state! Israel – look out, we are stabbing you in the back. Then we want to buy oil from Venezuela, a terrible socialist dictatorship that hates America. They will use those American Petro dollars to further keep their citizens down. Forcibly.

Everyone happy with those choices? I know I am not.

The latest scam is to allow ethanol fuel year round. This is fuel with a percentage of ethanol and sells for about 10c a gallon less. It is highly subsidized with tax payer money to the farmers.

Here is the kicker!

You get a little more performance BUT you do not get as many MPG out of it! Chicanery? Yep! Like a card shark.

Now they have just reversed course again and will begin offering for sale oil leases on federal land – again.

Hmmmmm ….. again, why? They are not reducing the red tape, cost and the years oil companies would need to start production, they are not allowing pipelines to be finished or started to move the oil cheaply once produced. These new announcements will produce more barriers and hoops for oil companies to jump through.

Most of the more significant areas of land with potentially the most easily and cheaply obtainable oil are not being included in the sales. The increased costs that will come with these leases will not encourage drilling as the oil cannot most likely be produced economically or for years. They are offering 173 parcels of land on 144000 acres which is an 80% reduction from the acreage originally stated. So not a big deal. By the way oil companies have to pay these leases monthly regardless to if they are actually drilling.

U.S. Oil and Gas Association President Tim Stewart said the following on Neil Cavuto’s show the other day after this latest Biden scam was proudly heralded by Biden’s Secretary of the Interior, that the oil crisis will be further compounded by this latest stupidity.

In his words from the Cavuto Show on Fox he said the following,

“I realize that the Secretary of Interior is very much on message with the rest of the Biden administration…which is we all pay 50% more for 80% less…she was very clear that’s what she was going to do for those oil and gas operators who were interested in doing work on federal lands, that we should be prepared to pay about 50% more in royalties and other fees that we already pay. At the same time, we’re only going to have access to about 20% of the current acreage that we have put forward to the secretary as potential oil and gas opportunities for us. It goes to this fundamental question of when we’re in a crisis like this, is this policy, will it do anything to increase production? And the answer is no…actually it will compound the problem. We have a short-term production shortfall right now. The Secretary’s actions that she announced yesterday will push this problem out three, five, seven, 10 years.”

You guys beginning to see it now? The lies. The propaganda? The chicanery?

The MSM will as always attempt to show Biden in a good light, showing how his wiseness and kindness plus his real concern for we, the people is coming out with these latest Team Biden solutions!!

DO NOT BUY INTO THAT.

TRUST ME.

THE ONLY THING THIS ADMINISTRATION CARES ABOUT IS THE TOTAL ANNIHILATION OF THIS CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC.

SIMPLY PUT – THEY ARE TRAITORS.

©Fred Brownbill. All rights reserved.

Unhinged Twitter Board Adopts ‘Poison Pill’ Stop Elon Musk and Free Speech

UPDATE: Florida Gov. DeSantis Vows To Hold Twitter Board Members ‘Accountable’ For Activating ‘Poison Pill’ On Elon Musk.


The left cannot permit the free exchange of ideas because their failed ideas cannot stand up to scrutiny and challenge.

Freedom of speech is the foundation of a free society. Without it, a tyrant can wreak havoc unopposed, while his opponents are silenced.

Putting up with being offended is essential in a pluralistic society in which people differ on basic truths. If a group will not bear being offended without resorting to violence, that group will rule unopposed while everyone else lives in fear, while other groups curtail their activities to appease the violent group. This results in the violent group being able to tyrannize the others.

If speech that offends a group is outlawed, that group has absolute power, and a free society is destroyed. A group that cannot be criticized cannot be opposed. It can work its will no matter what it is, and no one will be able to say anything to stop it.

Inoffensive speech needs no protection. The First Amendment was developed precisely in order to protect speech that was offensive to some, in order to prevent those who had power from claiming they were offended by speech opposing them and silencing the powerless.

A free society is by its nature one in which people put up with others being uncivil and offensive. The alternative is a quiet authoritarian society in which only one opinion is allowed and the others are silenced, and ultimately sent to the camps.

Twitter board adopts so-called ‘poison pill’ plan to block Musk from taking platform private

The plan was adopted by Twitter’s board of directors

By Just the News, April 15, 2022 – 1:09pm

Twitter’s board of directors on Thursday unanimously adopted a plan Friday to stop Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s plan to take private the social media company

Under the plan, which is also referred to as a “poison pill”, shareholders’ rights will become exercisable if an entity, person or group acquires beneficial ownership of 15% or more of Twitter’s outstanding common stock in a transaction not approved by the board,” according to Fox News.

The board says the plan “is intended to enable all shareholders to realize the full value of their investment in Twitter” and will “reduce the likelihood that any entity, person or group gains control of Twitter through open market accumulation without paying all shareholders an appropriate control premium or without providing the Board sufficient time to make informed judgments and take actions that are in the best interests of shareholders,” the news outlet also reports.

RELATED ARTICLE: Biden approval rating drops to 33 percent, hitting new low in key poll

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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Johns Hopkins Study: Lockdowns ‘Had No Public Heath Effects’

As we here at the Geller Report have reported for the past two years. One only has to look at countries that did not lockdown, ie Sweden, who fared better.

Still Democrats, in their relentless pursuit of American destruction, continue to threaten us with them.

Johns Hopkins Study: ‘Lockdowns Had Little to No Public Health Effects’

By Keely Sharp, Think American, April 16, 2022

According to a new study by Johns Hopkins University, the pandemic “lockdowns have had little to no public health effects,” and have “imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted.”

“While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted,” the authors of the study reported.

They added, “In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”

Wow, you mean the “conspiracy theorists” were right?? No wonder social media giants, the media, and the government worked so hard to keep them quiet.

Breitbart reports:

The authors are Jonas Herby, special advisor at Center for Political Studies in Copenhagen, Denmark; Lars Jonung, professor emeritus in economics at Lund University, Sweden; and Steve H. Hanke, a Professor of Applied Economics and Founder & Co-Director of The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.

The study, the authors said, was “designed to determine whether there is empirical evidence to support the belief that ‘lockdowns’ reduce COVID-19 mortality.” The authors defined lockdowns “as the imposition of at least one compulsory, non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI).”NPIs, they explained, “are any government mandate that directly restrict peoples’ possibilities, such as policies that limit internal movement, close schools and businesses, and ban international travel.”

The authors explained that “public health experts and politicians” have “embraced compulsory lockdowns” to address the coronavirus pandemic, and their study was to answer the question of other or not that has done more harm than good.

“To answer our question, we focused on studies that examine the actual impact of lockdowns on COVID-19 mortality rates based on registered cross-sectional mortality data and a counterfactual difference in-difference approach,” the authors said.

Read the rest.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Sweden’s COVID Success: NO Lockdowns, They’re Doing SO MUCH BETTER Than Their European Nieghbors, 

Sweden Refused to Lockdown: They Were Right, New Cases Plunge, Very Ill Approach ZERO

Sweden records just 40 new coronavirus deaths: New data shows moderate social distancing slows Wuhan Virus spread to manageable levels with no lockdowns needed

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Quick note: We cannot do this without your support. Fact. Our work is made possible by you and only you. We receive no grants, government handouts, or major funding.

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These 5 States Will Have Highest Tax Burdens in 2022, New Analysis Reveals

Don’t be surprised if the states topping this new list start losing people to states that don’t take as much of their money.


ax season is in full swing, and many Americans are likely grimacing as they crunch the numbers and prepare to open up their wallets. But some more so than others, as the relative tax burden in the US varies vastly across different states. And now, a new analysis reveals which states will have the highest (and lowest) taxes in 2022.

The right-leaning, nonpartisan Tax Foundation just ran the numbers to rank the states based on their average combined state and local tax burden. This does not include the many federal taxes all Americans must pay regardless of state residency.

Here’s what analysts Erica York and Jared Walczak found:

  1. New York: 15.9 percent
  2. Connecticut: 15.4 percent
  3. Hawaii: 14.1 percent
  4. Vermont: 13.6 percent
  5. California: 13.5 percent
  1. Alaska: 4.6 percent
  2. Wyoming: 7.5 percent
  3. Tennessee: 7.6 percent
  4. South Dakota: 8.4 percent
  5. Michigan: 8.6 percent

This ranking does not look solely at the absolute amount received in taxes by state and local governments. It also attempts to account for the true burden of taxes, given that sometimes the real cost of a state tax can be imposed on residents of other states. (For example, people who live in New Jersey but work in New York City also pay many New York taxes).

These differences in taxation levels are more than just a pleasant surprise for taxpayers in some states (and an ugly reality for taxpayers in others). With combined state and local tax burdens varying between nearly 16 percent in New York and just 4.6 percent in Alaska, there’s a big enough difference between the states to encourage tax competition.

What is tax competition?

It’s when “jurisdictional competition leads to better tax policy,” economist Dan Mitchell explains. “Simply stated, politicians are less greedy when they have to worry that the geese with the golden eggs can fly away.”

Americans can (and do) relocate when their local and state governments excessively raise taxes. This means states must always be on the watch against losing residents to lower-tax neighbors, a positive incentive structure that helps keep the growth of government in check and protect our wallets from greedy politicians.

So, don’t be surprised if the states topping this new list of high tax burdens start losing people to states that don’t take as much of their money.

AUTHOR

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.

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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Labor Unions [Quietly] Admit the Jones Act Is Contributing to America’s Supply Chain Problems

The AFL-CIO appears to recognize that the Jones Act is part of the US supply chain problem.


As reported by Politico earlier this week, the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trade Department has authored a new statement on US maritime policy that features predictable enthusiasm for protectionist policies such as the Jones Act and cargo preference laws. More interesting, however, is the statement’s inclusion of language calling for a fleet of feeder vessels to transport cargo through the country’s coastal waters:

Creating a fleet of U.S.-built, U.S.-flag and crewed feeder vessels to carry a portion of America’s trade along our coasts to be offloaded in underutilized ports for transportation by truck and rail to their ultimate inland destination will not only strengthen the maritime industry and create jobs aboard ship and in our ports but will help mitigate against future shipping supply chain disruptions.

This passage is significant for at least two reasons. First, it acknowledges that the United States currently lacks such vessels connecting smaller ports to larger ports as part of a hub and spoke system. Second, it states that such a transportation option would help relieve supply chain disruptions by alleviating demands on overburdened truck and rail networks.

Thus, US policies that stand in the way of developing a network of coastal shipping—also known as short sea shipping or marine highways—contribute to the supply chain crisis.

As I’ve written before, one of those policies is the Jones Act. Simply put, requiring the use of vessels that are far most costly to build and operate than foreign ships is a significant disincentive to utilizing this method of transporting goods. The capital costs alone of acquiring such vessels—which must be constructed by US shipyards much less efficient than their foreign counterparts—were perceived by ocean carriers as the single largest obstacle to the implementation of short sea shipping in the United States according to a 2006 study.

As my colleague Scott Lincicome pointed out last September, this lack of coastal shipping has “worsened the current shipping situation by (1) putting additional pressure on inland transit (i.e., trucks and trains are used instead of ships that could travel between US ports); and (2) causing companies to avoid the Jones Act by “port hopping” up and down US coasts using larger, foreign‐​flagged ships that take longer to offload and are prohibited from picking up additional cargo while they’re in port.”

Fortunately, the AFL-CIO may be catching on. Noting the lackluster state of US shipbuilding, the head of the organization’s Metal Trades Department stated in a December interview that foreign‐​built ships may have to be purchased to help jumpstart marine highways. For that to happen, however, Congress would have to pass legislation waiving the Jones Act’s US-built requirement.

This legislative change wouldn’t solve all of the Jones Act’s problems but would mark an excellent first step in reducing the law’s burdens. Allowing an influx of new, less expensive ships would generate jobs for US mariners, business for smaller US ports, and even potential repair and maintenance work for US shipyards while reducing American highway and rail congestion and transportation costs.

Such change would be good for the environment too: reduced traffic means fewer emissions while ships are a more carbon‐​friendly means of transporting goods than trucks or rail. Once realized, such benefits could spark an appetite for further liberalization and a paring back of maritime protectionism.

The article was republished with permission from the Cato Institute.

AUTHOR

Colin Grabow

Colin Grabow is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Skyrocketing Food Price Mystery Exposed

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Food shortages and skyrocketing food prices now appear inevitable. The global food price index hit its highest recorded level in March 2022, rising 12.6% in a single month. On average, food prices were one-third higher than in March 2021. In the U.S., food prices rose 9% in 2021, and are predicted to rise another 4.5% to 5% in the next 12 months
  • Inflation was already ramping up well before Russia went into Ukraine, thanks to the uncontrolled printing of fiat currencies that occurred in response to the COVID pandemic. Governments’ COVID responses have also wreaked havoc with global supply chains, causing disruptions that continue to this day
  • Ukraine has ceased exports of wheat, oats, millet, buckwheat and cattle, and Russia has banned exports of fertilizer
  • Together, Russia and Belarus provide nearly 40% of the global exports of potash, a key fertilizer ingredient. Russia also exports 48% of the global ammonium nitrate, and combined with Ukraine, they export 28% of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium fertilizers. Experts are now predicting fertilizer prices may double as a result of Russia’s ban on fertilizer exports
  • The long-term answer lies in regenerative biodynamic farming, which does not use any chemical inputs

In the featured video, “Breaking Points” cohosts Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti discuss one of the greatest threats currently facing the people of the world, namely food shortages and skyrocketing food prices.

According to a recent NPR report,1 the global food price index hit its highest recorded level in March 2022, rising 12.6% in a single month.2 On average, food prices were one-third higher than in March 2021. In the U.S., food prices rose 9% in 2021, and are predicted to rise another 4.5% to 5% in the next 12 months.3

But while the Ukraine conflict is cited as the primary cause, it’s not the sole reason. Price inflation was already ramping up well before Russia went into Ukraine, thanks to the uncontrolled printing of fiat currencies that occurred in response to the COVID pandemic. Governments’ COVID response have also wreaked havoc with global supply chains, causing disruptions that continue to this day.

The climate has also been uncooperative, causing poor harvests around the world. China, for example, has reported it expects the lowest harvest yields in history this year, thanks to serious flooding of its farmland in the fall of 2021.4

Compounding Crises Threaten Global Food Productivity

That said, the Russia-Ukraine conflict is certainly making a bad problem worse. Ukraine is known as “the bread basket” of Europe, responsible for producing and exporting 12% of all food calories traded on the international market. Russia is also a major exporter of food, and together with Ukraine, the two countries account for nearly 30% of global wheat exports, nearly 20% of the world’s corn and more than 80% of the sunflower oil.5

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s projections, wheat exports from Russia and Ukraine will be reduced by more than 7 million metric tons in 2022. At the same time, the Ukrainian government has decided to ban all export of wheat, oats, millet, buckwheat and cattle, to ensure food safety for its own people, while Russia has banned exports of fertilizer.6

As reported by Wired, the current food crisis in Ukraine is made up of several components, and the effects will have a worldwide rippling effect, thanks to our dependency on global trade:7

“Goods that have already been harvested — last autumn’s corn, for instance — can’t be transported out of the country; ports and shipping routes are closed down, and international trading companies have ceased operations for safety. (Plus, while those crops sit in bins, destruction of the country’s power grid takes out the temperature controls and ventilation that keep them from spoiling.)

This year’s wheat, which will be ready in July, can’t be harvested if there’s no fuel for combines and no labor to run them. Farmers are struggling over whether to plant for next season — if they can even obtain seeds and fertilizer, for which supplies look uncertain [ … ]

Analysts worry that the countries that buy the most wheat from Ukraine — predominantly in Africa and the Middle East — will have the hardest time paying as prices rise.”

Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist and professor in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois told Wired magazine:8

“This crisis is beyond the normal ability to shuffle supplies around. We’ve exploded that system, and the cost is going to be extreme economic pain.”

Serious Fertilizer Shortage Looms

Together, Russia and Belarus provide nearly 40% of the global exports of potash, a key fertilizer ingredient. Russia also exports 48% of the global ammonium nitrate, and combined with Ukraine, they export 28% of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium fertilizers.9

Experts are now predicting fertilizer prices may double as a result of Russia’s ban on fertilizer exports. For some farmers, that will be a death knell that causes them to go out of business. The rest will be forced to charge more for their commodities, resulting in skyrocketing food prices.

Biodynamic Solutions

Are there any solutions to this pressing dilemma? I would argue that there are, but it’ll require rapid response and adaptation from farmers everywhere. As explained in “Kiss the Ground,” a documentary about biodynamic farming, a beautiful harmony exists within nature, and we can benefit by tapping into that natural system with biodynamic practices rather than working against it.

As noted in the film, a preview of which is included above, “Biodynamic farming is simply farming in service of life.” While it requires a leap of faith to make the transition, the results speak for themselves. Biodiversity improves rapidly on farms that make the transition, and the quality of the food (and the quality of life of the farmer) is greatly augmented.

Biodynamic agriculture builds upon the foundation of organic farming. That means zero pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are used. But biodynamic then goes a step further. The goal is to make the land better than it was before. It doesn’t just stop the destruction of soil, but actually regenerates it.

The farm as a whole is basically viewed as one organism, where each part of the farm supports the rest. Livestock have their role, as do microorganisms and beneficial insects. Rather than working against you, they’re now working for you to improve the fertility of the soil and the quality of the food grown in it.

Biodynamic farming is really about being a part of nature and working with it rather than trying to conquer nature through unnatural and ultimately destructive means.

Biodynamic farming can also, over time, help stabilize the climate. Not only do biodynamic farmers not pollute the air, water or soil in the first place, but the plants also pull carbon from the air, depositing it back into the soil where it does the most good, and requires far less watering. Regenerative practices also prevent the loss of topsoil and increase rainfall.

For example, regenerative ranchers in Northern Mexico, in the Chihuahuan Desert, who have added 1 million acres of rotational grazing, report getting 15% to 20% more rainfall than their neighbors who haven’t regenerated their land.

Support Biodynamic Farming

Many of the food products we sell under the Mercola brand are produced by Demeter certified biodynamic farmers in eight countries. Demeter is the oldest ecological certification in the world. Most recently, we’ve initiated the first-ever standards for Demeter Certified Biodynamic supplements as well.10

We also fund the Billion Agave Project, initiated by Regeneration International on a regenerative farm in Mexico run by the Organic Consumers Association. It’s a fantastic solution that solves several problems at once.

This project is a game-changing ecosystem-regeneration and reforestation strategy that uses a combination of agave plants and mesquite (a nitrogen-fixing companion tree), to salvage and regenerate degraded semi-arid lands that aren’t suitable for other crops.

Forty percent of the world is arid or semi-arid and in danger of becoming desert where nothing will grow. But we can reverse this process using native plants and permaculture techniques such as this one.

By taking a limb from a healthy mesquite tree, adding some natural hormones and wrapping the branch with a bag filled with compost, you will, after three to four months, have a small tree ready for planting as new roots grow into the compost-filled bag. At that point, you can either plant it into a container or directly into the soil.

This process is known as “air layering.” A 1-year-old mesquite tree grown in this way will be as big as a 7-year-old mesquite tree grown from seed, significantly speeding up the reforestation effort. The roots of the mesquite tree can burrow hundreds of feet down in search of water, and they in turn provide nutrition for other plants, as they exchange liquid carbon from the tree for the nutrients from the soil.

In this way, the mesquite supports the growth of the agave without need for chemical fertilizers, and the agave can then be used to produce a fermented nutrition-rich biomass that supports grazing livestock that otherwise might not have enough to eat.

A Way to Support Grazing Cattle on Semi-Arid Lands

Agave is best known for producing tequila, but a local farmer in Mexico discovered he could use the massive leaves, which are typically discarded as junk, to produce a nutrient-rich livestock feed. Cows, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and even sheepdogs enjoy it.

The feed is produced by finely chopping up the leaves, each of which can weigh 40 to 80 pounds, and then fermenting them in a closed container. To this fermented mash, you can then add mesquite pods at a ratio of 80% to 90% agave leaf and 10% to 20% mesquite pods. This mix is superior to alfalfa in terms of nutrition, but costs only a third or a quarter of the price.

A big part of the cost-savings is from the reduced water consumption. Alfalfa needs about 26 times more water than agave and mesquite. Most of the animals on the farm eat the natural vegetation and get the agave mash as a supplement.

However, by adding garbanzo beans — another low-water crop — you could produce a feed that the animals could live on exclusively. Considering some areas are now considering culling their livestock herds due to a shortage in cattle feed,11 this could be a novel solution in some instances.

New Market Opportunities

Changing the farming subsidies to prioritize regenerative farming would go a long way to changing the status quo, but private investing is another route to success that is now coming to the fore.

There’s a new type of asset being developed on the stock exchange called Natural Asset Stocks, or Natural Asset Corporations. The government of Costa Rica, for example, is putting all government-owned forests and farmlands into a Natural Asset Corporation.

This is a type of stock different from anything we’ve seen so far. Basically, these stocks will allow fund managers, private investors and corporations to invest in natural assets. The part you end up owning is the ecosystem services of that land.

So, for example, you could own the environmental services resulting from the Billion Agave Project, which include carbon sequestration amounts and water savings. Over time, as the whole system matures and the soils are regenerated, your asset rises in value.

This new asset system will allow Wall Street to divert financial assets into ecosystem assets that benefit the planet in a multitude of ways, and still get a return on their money.

The Organic Consumers Association has also developed a system of verification to go along with this new asset system. Using modern technology, it will be able to accurately measure things like the number and size of plants and the health of the soil.

Had heed been taken sooner, we wouldn’t be in such a precarious position right now. But hindsight is 20/20, and I believe many farmers will now be forced to make the tough choice to make the conversion to biodynamic if they want to survive in the long term.

They’re also using a blockchain accounting system to verify the calculations and make it very difficult to cheat. So, anyone who invests in a natural asset will be able to verify, several years down the road, at a very low cost, whether the asset has improved or degenerated.

Regenerative Farming Could Save the World

A number of people have pushed regenerative farming for decades, warning that the current chemical-dependent monoculture is unsustainable in the long run, and subject to geopolitical disruptions. We’re seeing the reality of those warnings right now.

Had heed been taken sooner, we wouldn’t be in such a precarious position right now. But hindsight is 20/20, and I believe many farmers will now be forced to make the tough choice to make the conversion to biodynamic if they want to survive in the long term.

Their transition is not going to bring immediate help to the global population, as it takes a number of years to turn depleted soils into soils that can support food production without chemical inputs. But we have to start thinking in the longer term if any of us are to survive.

As a nonfarmer, you can support this effort by buying food from regenerative and biodynamic farmers. Regenerative International, incorporated in 2014, has built a global network of regenerative farmers and ranchers, with some 400 affiliates in 60 countries.

You can find a map of these regenerative farms on RegenerationInternational.org. Of course, you can also implement regenerative strategies in your own garden, even if it’s a small one. The future does look bleak at the moment, with food shortages and skyrocketing prices appearing inevitable, but doing nothing is not the answer. We must all start thinking ahead and make wiser choices.

The globalization of food production has led us to the brink of disaster. The answer is to return to locally grown foods. Similarly, our reliance on chemical-dependent monocultures has just been proven to be a weak link that needs to be replaced by regenerative methods that don’t need chemicals to thrive. We have the answers to the problem. We just need to implement them, as rapidly as possible.

Sources and References

RELATED ARTICLE: Labor Unions (Quietly) Admit the Jones Act Is Contributing to America’s Supply Chain Problems

EDITORS NOTE: This MERCOLA column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

ALL TIME HIGH: Producer prices soar 11.2% from a year ago in March, the biggest gain on record

And the ruling party’s number one concern is sexualizing your children.

Producer prices rose 11.2% from a year ago in March, the biggest gain on record

  • The producer price index, which measures prices paid by wholesalers, rose 1.4% in March and 11.2% from a year ago, both records for data going back to 2010.
  • Prices for final demand goods led with a 2.3% monthly rise, while services prices gained 0.9%.
  • Wednesday’s release comes the day after the BLS reported the consumer price index for March surged 8.5% over the past year.

The producer price index, which measures prices paid by wholesalers, rose 1.4% in March and 11.2% from a year ago, both records for data going back to 2010.
Prices for final demand goods led with a 2.3% monthly rise, while services prices gained 0.9%.

Wednesday’s release comes the day after the BLS reported the consumer price index for March surged 8.5% over the past year.

Producer prices soar 11.2% from a year ago in March, hit new all-time high

The prices that goods and services producers receive rose in March at the fastest pace since records have been kept, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.

The producer price index, which measures the prices paid by wholesalers, increased 11.2% from a year ago, the most in a data series going back to November 2010. On a monthly basis, the gauge climbed 1.4%, above the 1.1% Dow Jones estimate and also a record.

Stripping out food, energy and trade services, so-called core PPI rose 0.9% on a monthly basis, nearly double the 0.5% estimate and the biggest monthly gain since January 2021. Core PPI increased 7% on a year-over-year basis.

PPI is considered a forward-looking inflation measure as it tracks prices in the pipeline for goods and services that eventually reach consumers.

Wednesday’s release comes the day after the BLS reported that the consumer price index for March surged 8.5% over the past year, above expectations and the highest reading since December 1981.

On the producer side, prices for final demand goods led with a 2.3% monthly rise, while services prices gained 0.9%, up sharply from the 0.3% February increase. Goods inflation has outstripped services during the Covid pandemic, but March’s numbers indicate that services are now catching up as consumer demand shifts.

Energy prices were the biggest gainer for the month, rising 5.7%, while food costs increased 2.4%.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Quick note: We cannot do this without your support. Fact. Our work is made possible by you and only you. We receive no grants, government handouts, or major funding.

Tech giants are shutting us down. You know this. Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Adsense, Pinterest permanently banned us. Facebook, Google search et al have shadow-banned, suspended and deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here.

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Remember, YOU make the work possible. If you can, please contributeto Geller Report.

Capitalism Is Good for the Poor

Markets Beat Back Poverty.


Critics frequently accuse markets and capitalism of making life worse for the poor. This refrain is certainly common in the halls of left-leaning academia as well as in broader intellectual circles. But like so many other criticisms of capitalism, this one ignores the very real, and very available, facts of history.

Nothing has done more to lift humanity out of poverty than the market economy. This claim is true whether we are looking at a time span of decades or of centuries. The number of people worldwide living on less than about two dollars per day today is less than half of what it was in 1990. The biggest gains in the fight against poverty have occurred in countries that have opened up their markets, such as China and India.

If we look over the longer historical period, we can see that the trends today are just the continuation of capitalism’s victories in beating back poverty. For most of human history, we lived in a world of a few haves and lots of have-nots. That slowly began to change with the advent of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution. As economic growth took off and spread throughout the population, it created our own world in the West in which there are a whole bunch of haves and a few have-more-and-betters.

For example, the percentage of American households below the poverty line who have basic appliances has grown steadily over the last few decades, with poor families in 2005 being more likely to own things like a clothes dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, or air conditioner than the average household was in 1971. And consumer items that didn’t even exist back then, such as cell phones, were owned by half of poor households in 2005 and are owned by a substantial majority of them today.

Capitalism has also made poor people’s lives far better by reducing infant and child mortality rates, not to mention maternal death rates during childbirth, and by extending life expectancies by decades.

Consider, too, the way capitalism’s engine of growth has enabled the planet to sustain almost 7 billion people, compared to 1 billion in 1800. As Deirdre McCloskey has noted, if you multiply the gains in consumption to the average human by the gain in life expectancy worldwide by 7 (for 7 billion as compared to 1 billion people), humanity as a whole is better off by a factor of around 120. That’s not 120 percent better off, but 120 timesbetter off since 1800.

The competitive market process has also made education, art, and culture available to more and more people. Even the poorest of Americans, not to mention many of the global poor, have access through the Internet and TV to concerts, books, and works of art that were exclusively the province of the wealthy for centuries.

And in the wealthiest countries, the dynamics of capitalism have begun to change the very nature of work. Where once humans toiled for 14 hours per day at backbreaking outdoor labor, now an increasing number of us work inside in climate-controlled comfort. Our workday and workweek have shrunk thanks to the much higher value of labor that comes from working with productive capital. We spend a much smaller percentage of our lives working for pay, whether we’re rich or poor. And even with economic change, the incomes of the poor are much less variable, as they are not linked to the unpredictable changes in weather that are part and parcel of a predominantly agricultural economy long since disappeared.

Think of it this way: the fabulously wealthy kings of old had servants attending to their every need, but an impacted tooth would likely kill them. The poor in largely capitalist countries have access to a quality of medical care and a variety and quality of food that the ancient kings could only dream of.

Consider, too, that the working poor of London 100 years ago were, at best, able to split a pound of meat per week among all of their children, which were greater in number than the two or three of today. In addition, the whole family ate meat once a week on Sunday, the one day the man of the household was home for dinner. That was meat for a week.

Compare that to today, when we worry that poor Americans are too easily able to afford a meal with a quarter pound of meat in it every single day for less than an hour’s labor. Even if you think that capitalism has made poor people overweight, that’s a major accomplishment compared to the precapitalist norm of constant malnutrition and the struggle even 100 years ago for the working poor to get enough calories.

The reality is that the rich have always lived well historically, as for centuries they could commandeer human labor to attend to their every need. In a precapitalist world, the poor had no hope of upward mobility or of relief from the endless physical drudgery that barely kept them alive.

Today, the poor in capitalist countries live like kings, thanks mostly to the freeing of labor and the ability to accumulate capital that makes that labor more productive and enriches even the poorest. The falling cost of what were once luxuries and are now necessities, driven by the competitive market and its profit and loss signals, has brought labor-saving machines to the masses. When profit-seeking and innovation became acceptable behavior for the bourgeoisie, the horn of plenty brought forth its bounty, and even the poorest shared in that wealth.

Once people no longer needed permission to innovate, and once the value of new inventions was judged by the improvements they made to the lives of the masses in the form of profit and loss, the poor began to live lives of comfort and dignity.

These changes are not, as some would say, about technology. After all, the Soviets had great scientists but could not channel that knowledge into material comfort for their poor. And it’s not about natural resources, which is obvious today as resource-poor Hong Kong is among the richest countries in the world thanks to capitalism, while Venezuelan socialism has destroyed that resource-rich country.

Inventions only become innovations when the right institutions exist to make them improve the lives of the masses. That is what capitalism did and continues to do every single day. And that’s why capitalism has been so good for the poor.

Consider, finally, what happened when the Soviets decided to show the film version of The Grapes of Wrath as anticapitalist propaganda. In the novel and film, a poor American family is driven from their Depression-era home by the Dust Bowl. They get in their old car and make a horrifying journey in search of a better life in California. The Soviets had to stop showing the film after a short period because the Russian audiences were astonished that poor Americans were able to own a car.

Even anticapitalist propaganda can’t help but provide evidence that contradicts its own argument. The historical truth is clear: nothing has done more for the poor than capitalism.
AUTHOR

Steven Horwitz

Steven Horwitz is the Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise in the Department of Economics at Ball State University, where he also is Director of the Institute for the Study of Political Economy. He is the author of Austrian Economics: An Introduction.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Disney Stock Plummets -30%: Boycott Child Grooming

Dump your stock. Take the kids to Dollywood. Unsubscribe to Disney plus. These cretins are sexually grooming your kids. Protect the children. Do not support sexualizing children.

In recent weeks, Disney has been emerging as an increasingly vocal activist for the LGBTQ+ agenda.

Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek has argued that Disney is simply seeking more diversity because it is good for business.

In that light, Chapek apologized to the LGBTQ+ community “for not being the ally you needed me to be,” and pledged to be a better ally, in a new video that journalist Christopher Rufo tweeted.

Chapek said that he is working with the “LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council” to discern different suggestions about how to take action to help the LGBTQ+ community.

He added that “words are not enough so we are taking some actions now.”

“I want you to know that your words have made a real impact on me,” he said. “I understand that we have made mistakes, and the pain that those mistakes have caused.”

“I and the leadership team are determined to use this moment as a catalyst for meaningful and lasting change,” Chapek added.

Disney has continued to insist that there is a growing queerness in our culture that now must be catered to in entertainment.

Karey Burke, head of entertainment, said that her son had told her: “Gen-Z is 30-40 percent queerer than the other generations Mom, so Disney better get with it,” the Daily Mail reported.

Disney keeps pushing the envelope beyond just verbal support of the LGBTQ+ agenda, though, as Chapek said they would.

The entertainment giant also announced to its employees that they have a new benefits program that will allow employees and their families to access gender reassignment surgeries or hormone usage, the Post Millennial reported.

“The other big area is gender identity and expression. So doing all of this work to ensure that our employees and cast can express their gender here authentically and proudly at the company. So, you know, coming up with guides on how to change your photo information about pronouns, working with our benefits team to give information about gender affirmation procedures, both for our employees who are transitioning and trans, but also our employees who have kids who are transitioning,” a man explained in a video of a Disney internal meeting, that journalist Christopher Rufo then tweeted.

Disney’s strong stance has come particularly to light after Florida passed the Parental Rights in Education bill (which critics inaccurately call the “Don’t Say Gay” bill). The bill prohibits Florida teachers from teaching about sexual orientation to children in kindergarten through third grade.

Disney blatantly declared that they opposed this bill and would try to overturn it, CNBC News reported.

Since then, Disney has grown bolder in its stance of allying with the LGBTQ+ community and more evidence has been published about just how the corporation is planning to do that.

Either through catering to LGBTQ+ employees, or featuring more trans and gay characters in its content, Disney is acting on its promise.

For instance, Disney, alongside three other media corporations, announced that it will air a new public service announcement from GLAAD that will feature a transgender teen and will call for nationwide support for LGBTQ+ youth, CNBC News reported.

Chapek was serious when he announced that Disney would be taking more action.

“By now, I hope you have all read my most recent note in which I pledged to be a better ally for the LGBTQ+ community; apologized for not being the ally you needed me to be; and committed to ensuring that our company lives up to its values,” Chapek said in the video. “I meant every word.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.