Among other things, perhaps we will have a clearer view of that wonderful, wacky world of cryptos…Some day in the future…we’re going to understand the world better.
Are they investments? Are they alternative forms of ‘money’?
Or are they more like an art form…or just entertainment?
Maybe they’re a kind of financial pornography…exciting, but ultimately, phony, and unsatisfying?
When we figure it out…you’ll be the first to know, dear reader.
Similarly, the COVID-19 panic needs a deeper insight.
Our friend, and former US budget director, David Stockman, reminds us that the signal event in the first chapter of the COVID-19 calamity was the isolation of the cruise ship, the Diamond Princess.
The ‘novel’ COVID-19 virus was found on board in February last year. And the passenger list was heavy with old people — every one of whom might have been exposed to the death bug.
‘Order the lilies,’ said one and all. ‘Those people are doomed.’
But they weren’t doomed.
Out of the 3,711 people trapped on the death ship, only seven died, according to Stockman. While that was a much higher mortality rate than on the average holiday cruise, it was not exactly the plague.
Besides, nearly every one of the dead was over 70, the age when death normally begins peeking in through the portholes.
That was then, when nobody really knew much about the virus, and the initial reports had the whole world in a panic.
Now, it is 17 months later. We’ve seen that the disease, and its variants, are very hard to stop. And that it really has it in for old people.
Some countries fought it tooth and nail. Yes, that got pulses racing too — as if the planet had been invaded by hostile aliens.
Other countries took a more relaxed approach. And the results — in terms of death tolls — were all over the place.
But then…hallelujah! Suddenly, a miracle — a vaccine! The Russians…the Chinese…the British…even the Cubans had one of their own.
With the shot in the arm, the human race was saved. Take the shot, says Dr Anthony Fauci, and you are protected.
But what’s this? Here’s a headline that appeared on Bloomberg during the week: ‘Get Shots or Get Out: US Employers Are Telling Workers’.
And here’s The Washington Post on the same theme: ‘More companies are weighing penalties for unvaccinated workers’.
Meanwhile, my better half is back in the US, she reports the following:
‘We got an invitation to a lawn party. It looked like fun. So I was going to take [our grandchildren].
‘Then, I read it more closely and saw that the “invitation is extended to all those who are vaccinated.”
‘I don’t get it. Dr Fauci was on the news today. He clearly said that the vaccines are effective and that vaccinated people don’t have too much to fear. Even if they get the virus, they suffer much less from it. So why are people so afraid?’
If the vaccine is as effective as Dr Fauci says, it makes COVID-19 — to vaccinated people — no more of a threat than the common cold or the typical flu.
People who take the medicine are no more likely to catch the coronavirus, and die from it, than they are to die in a traffic accident on their way to the party.
So why the fear?
Why don’t vaccinated people go about their lives like normal people — without masks — and let the unvaccinated take their chances?
Why the continued hysteria? Is it just a fake excitement…a porno-like thrill, full of sound and fury, panting and moaning, but signifying nothing?
Questioning our assumptions
We don’t know…but like cryptos, we’re on the case.
And we have a suspicion that both the crypto craze…and the COVID-19 panic…are related to our subject this week.
But what isn’t?
We’re exploring how an economy actually functions…and how false signals, sent out by the feds, created a kind of porno-economy…full of fake action and unrealistic expectations.
This week, we dug down to the bedrock…the hard foundation of ideas that helps us understand what is going on. If we’re wrong about them, we may be wrong about everything:
Maybe you really can get rich by printing money…
Maybe it’s not really sweat, toil, saving, and innovation that create wealth; maybe prosperity comes from government decrees…
And maybe we owe our standard of living not to Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, and Steve Jobs…but to those selfless politicians and bureaucrats, who so carefully regulate and control our lives…
Don’t they make sure that the ‘male’ and ‘female’ ends of the iron pipe screw together properly?
Don’t they tell us when we should wear our face masks…and exactly how much inflation — 2%, not 3% or 4% — the nation needs?
Saviours and protectors
Didn’t Franklin D Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’ pull us out of the Great Depression?
Didn’t Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke’s ‘Courage to Act’ save us from another great depression in 2008?
Didn’t Dr Fauci protect us from a catastrophic plague?
We’ll back up the tape and take a closer look this week.
For The Rum Rebellion
PS: The Rum Rebellion is a fantastic place to start your investment journey. We talk about the big trends driving the Australian Economy. Learn all about it here.