YOUGHAL, IRELAND – This week, we are looking at some big dots… ruminating, really, about freedom and how it is connected to prosperity… vaccinations… the First Amendment… truth.
What good is freedom, anyway? In our economy? In our lives?
Here at the Diary, we don’t particularly care about freedom. We just don’t like anyone telling us what to do. Especially when the person telling us what to do is an idiot.
Of course, whenever someone tells us what to do, it’s a good bet that he is an idiot. Heck, half of the world’s people have an I.Q. below average.
The other half are morons. Throw a rock through a Capitol Building window and you’re bound to hit one of them. But it is a certain kind of moron who thinks he has the inside story on God’s Ultimate, Absolute, and Complete Truth (GUACT).
Getting vaccinated has become – like wearing a face mask – a sign of secular piety and obedience. The vaccinated person shows his “health pass” proudly, like a war hero with his medals. The medals prove that he has done the Right Thing.
Irresponsible and Immoral
By contrast, the unvaccinated are treated like cowards… shirkers… lepers.
They are unclean… irresponsible… immoral.
Pope Francis says so:
I believe that morally everyone must take the vaccine. It is the moral choice because it is about your life but also the lives of others.
Others – including the American Civil Liberties Union – believe there should be no choice at all. They see “no civil liberties problem with requiring COVID-19 vaccines in most circumstances:”
In fact, far from compromising civil liberties, vaccine mandates actually further civil liberties. They protect the most vulnerable among us, including people with disabilities and fragile immune systems, children too young to be vaccinated, and communities of color hit hard by the disease. […]
COVID-19 vaccine mandates – much like mask mandates – are public health measures necessary to protect people from severe illness and death.
Yes, the people who gave us the war in Afghanistan, the war on poverty, the war on drugs, and the Wall Street bailout – the great and the good, the elite, the media, the professoriat, the medical/pharmaceutical complex – all now insist that we get vaccinated.
But is forced vaccination really “necessary,” as the ACLU claims? Colleague Jim Rickards spells it out:
Among all individuals, vaccinated and unvaccinated, the global survival rate is 99.2%. Among those under 70, the survival rate is 99.97%. The survival rate for children is 99.995%.
And if the vaccines are so effective, couldn’t anyone who is worried about getting COVID-19 protect himself by getting vaccinated? Why make a federal case out of it?
Apparently, the ACLU has reconsidered its mission. It used to be dedicated to protecting Americans’ liberties. Now, it is protecting their health.
“Protecting our health and safety” is now the desideratum of the entire nation.
Nothing else seems to matter. “Screw your freedom,” says former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But wait… We still drive our cars. We climb dangerous mountains. We make whoopee with people who may have a communicable disease. We visit Chicago on a weekend. And we buy cryptos!
Hey… you could get hurt doing those things. What gives?
All we have is questions.
Why take chances…? When you’ve got real geniuses who know God’s Ultimate, Absolute, and Complete Truth, who needs the freedom to discover it for himself?
Who needs to wander into sin when the saintly path is so clearly marked? Who cannot know the truth about vaccines, when the major media have excised all “misinformation” on the subject?
And why do we let markets set interest rates… employment levels… wages… or consumer prices – when the Federal Reserve, bless its craven little heart, knows exactly what they should be?
Shouldn’t we inoculate ourselves against the rough and tumble, the booms and busts, the ups and downs… of all of life?
Good News; Bad News
On Friday, just before the Labor Day weekend, the feds released the latest numbers. For the working man, there was bad news and good news. CNBC reports:
Job creation for August was a huge disappointment, with the economy adding just 235,000 positions, the Labor Department reported Friday.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for 720,000 new hires.
New hires fell from 1.1 million the previous month. But wages rose. Alas, they did not rise enough to keep up with inflation. The 4.3% overall annual wage gain was still below the latest 5.4% inflation reading.
At least those people laboring in the Leisure and Hospitality sector got a real raise. Colleague David Stockman tells us their weekly wages rose at a 12% annual rate – the fastest in 52 years.
But on Monday came more bad news for some people. Those federal unemployment “toppers” came to an end. The Associated Press has the latest:
Two critical programs expired on Monday. One provided jobless aid to self-employed and gig workers and another provided benefits to those who have been unemployed more than six months. Further, the Biden administration’s $300 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit also ran out on Monday.
It’s estimated that roughly 8.9 million Americans will lose all or some of these benefits.
The amount of money injected by the federal government into jobless benefits since the pandemic began is nothing short of astronomical.
Misery and Heartbreak
This is what free-ish markets bring us, isn’t it? Good news and bad news. Wealth and profits… misery and heartbreak.
Maybe that is what freedom gives us in the rest of life, too – flimflam… fantasy… and a brief glimpse of truth.