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It’s About POWER

Jeffrey Tucker

Posted June 02, 2022

Jeffrey Tucker

You know the wicked truth about Chairman Mao’s “Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom.” He said this in 1957, while inviting anyone to criticize the Communist Party. There were cheers all around and the criticisms were unleashed. This lasted six weeks, after which many of the biggest critics were shot. It was a bait and switch. Brilliant tactic for evil people. 

That’s not exactly what happened this week but the analogy works. A judge in Florida this week struck down the Biden administration’s transportation mask mandate. And a thousand flowers bloomed in the form of air-born celebrations from coast to coast. Will it last? Not if our rulers in D.C. get their way. 

The Metaphor 

But let’s be clear about something. It’s about more than masks. The mask is a metaphor for ALL THE CONTROLS AND WRECKAGE of the past two years. People hate them because they are so personal. More precisely, they are depersonalizing. 

We are our faces, to others and ourselves. Take that away and what are we? We are tools. We are nothing but pawns. We are lab rats for their experiments. Masks are dehumanizing because they are supposed to be. The mask has a very long history as a tool of subjection. We all know this intuitively. 

Therefore, the opportunity to throw it off was glorious. One evening an entire nation of travelers celebrated. Celebrating even more were the airline staff, flight attendants, and pilots. They have lived two years in these ridiculous things, which have nowhere been proven to work to protect from a virus. Emancipation from them was a welcome relief. 

All the airlines announced it quickly, as a way of making it impossible for the Biden administration to roll it back. Even Biden himself said that the new rule is that everyone should do what they want. I guess he didn’t get the memo. 

Hold on one just one minute, said someone in the administration. We need to find out what the Department of Justice says. Then the Justice Department immediately kicked it to the CDC: they are in charge of “The Science” and so we’ll wait. 

There must have been moments of panic at the CDC. They had the hot potato and didn’t know what to do with it. Finally they settled on the usual strategy: they threw it to an anonymous committee. Then the committee came out with a statement. 

These people are absolutely bonkers, I must say. Instead of citing “The Science”, or claiming that they knew for sure that masks were great for people, the statement started with the following sentence: “To protect CDC’s public health authority….” Notice that this doesn’t say to protect public health. It says public health AUTHORITY. Those are certainly different things. 

In any case, the decision was made. The CDC “has asked DOJ to proceed with an appeal.” Ah, there we go: throw that potato back at a different agency. The CDC has merely asked! So now the DOJ will appeal. The results will certainly be terrible because the next court will agree with the previous court that there was never any legal basis for the mandate. 

They could also issue a stay. That would be catastrophic for the Biden administration. Public anger would be out of control. Mao got away with this because he had total power. Biden does not. In fact, his polls are awful, dreadful, in the toilet. 

I’ve personally never seen an example of a sadistic government that is simultaneously politically masochistic. In other words, these people not only do not understand what’s good for the country; they don’t even know what’s good for themselves! 

Power, Power, Power

The words of the CDC statement are the chilling part. They care about their authority first and foremost, even only. This seems to be the view pervasive in Washington today, as a cold civil war heats up between the states and with Washington. Every day grows more intense. Every day, the conflict becomes more raw and brutal. There is no end in sight. 

You know what makes this even worse? Inflation, rising interest rates, and falling valuations of companies that were riding very high during the lockdown period. The pressure is on, and now people can look at their 401Ks and see that if there are any gains at all, they are nowhere staying ahead of inflation. 

Wealth is right now looking for a safe place. Much of it has landed in residential real estate. That could last a few months longer and even to the end of the year. But it won’t last much longer. The indexes are showing home prices far above the rates of increase before the last housing bust. It’s possible that this will happen again, so we would have a simultaneous collapse in housing along with an inflation in everything else. 

Wouldn’t that be a sight to behold?

Boom and Bust 

It does appear that the collapse of Netflix, and even Disney, Twitter, and Paypal, could be a sign of things to come. These companies did very well in lockdown and got cocky and ridiculously political. They pushed an agenda and punished those who disagreed. Now with a population seething in anger, they have a huge problem. The resentment is high and that expresses itself in consumer behavior. Investors are not unaware. 

Watch out for other companies that blew up beyond their level of sustainability. I’m speaking of Doordash, Uber, HBO, and even Amazon. The performance of Netflix might only be a sign of things to come. 

As for inflation, the pace of increase has cooled a bit for now, down from 13.5% to 12%, according to real-time measurements. That’s still very high. Plus, there is plenty of room for these numbers to get out of control very quickly as we approach the end of the summer months and into fall. At this very time, we can fully expect Covid cases to be rising as well. 

Will governments have learned their lessons? Look around! We live in a world burdened by extremely stupid public agencies that have lost public trust. The administrative state is as angry at us as we are at them. There is a peaceful solution here but it doesn’t seem to be on the table. 

If I’ve learned anything new over the last two years, it’s about the strange way in which the ruling class is impervious to the will of the people, even when it shows up in devastating polls. They seem not to regard this as a corrective but a challenge. 

It’s all about…authority. Who is in charge? They say them and we say us. Government says them and the markets say us. In the end, the real world of markets will have its ways but not without some terrible roil and toil along the way. 

Regards,

Jeffrey Tucker

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