The Lockdowns Kicked Off this Depression

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by Jeffrey Tucker, Brownstone Institute:

If you were on vacation last week, good for you. You missed one of Congress’s greatest-ever scams. They just approved some $750 billion (do these numbers even mean anything anymore?) to “transition” us from fossil fuels and coal over to reliance on the wind and sun, and also to subsidize a bunch of chip manufacturers because American companies screwed up their inventory control two years ago.

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The worst of the two bills is called the Inflation Reduction Act. Shameless!

The details of this don’t matter as much as the big picture. What you have in Congress and the presidency right now is exactly what one might expect from an empire in decline. Special interests are tapping the petty racketeers in political power to pillage as much of American prosperity as possible before they are swept out of office in November.

Think of a criminal band that has entered a majestic home. They are grabbing as much as they can before the owners come home. If it is not nailed down, it is going straight into the satchels and put on the truck to be carted away.

Actually, it is worse than that. What Congress is doing today with its out-of-control trillions in spending is robbing generations hence of a chance for prosperity. We will be left holding almost nothing to hand on to our kids and grandkids. Most of all, what’s being stolen is hope for the future.

The last two days have been consumed with a discussion about whether we are in a recession or not. They want to change the conventional definition, just as predicted. The only piece of data to which they can point is the low unemployment rate while failing to indicate that labor participation itself has not recovered from 2020 and continues to fall dramatically.

It appears as if we’ve lost 40 years of progress in a mere two and a half years. This is not an exaggeration: real personal disposable income has been falling since May 2021, the longest period of decline since the Second World War. It follows an explosion in printing-press faux wealth in 2020 that went as quickly as it came.

Also last week, the Fed raised interest rates again, all in the name of controlling inflation. But the damage to the dollar is already done: since lockdowns, we’ve lost some 14% of domestic purchasing power. This has been devastating for savings, the rate of which has fallen to half what it was ten years ago. In real terms, wages and salaries are falling fast.

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