The “COVID Coup”

What we are experiencing is a COVID coup.

While Joe Biden (apparently) won the election, the entire process was dominated by COVID precautions and distortions.

Nearly 80% of Joe Biden’s vote — according to the exit polls — named COVID as the key issue. A similar 80% of Trump’s vote saw the economy as the key issue.

In the name of COVID fears, election day was essentially cancelled and more than half the votes were cast by mail, many of them weeks before.

With the Democrats leading the push for early mail-in voting, people who feared to go to the polls (because of COVID) were overwhelmingly Biden voters.

Republicans across the country allowed the Democrats to intimidate voters with COVID myths and then use the myths as a pretext for voting by mail from home.

On the assumption that it was perilous to vote in person, mail-in ballots were authorized everywhere. More than 100 million votes were mailed-in.

Breaking the links between personal presence, IDs, signatures, ballots, and individual voters, the new procedures fostered a murky and error-prone system that should not be repeated.

The mail-in operations prolonged the voting period and changed the electoral dynamic. We can only hope that the American future was not “lost in the mail.

The Myth and Mantra of COVID

The ruling theme of the campaign was the myth and mantra of 220,000 “COVID deaths.” This claim the media inculcated and propagated relentlessly and even Trump disastrously seemed to condone. The electoral campaigns pivoted on the myth of the 220,000 or more deaths.

Actual COVID-caused deaths were less than 10% of this number and the average age of deaths was higher than the average age of all-cause deaths.

Measured by years of lost life, COVID was insignificant compared to ordinary flu, pneumonia, TB or other diseases.

The chief significance of COVID were the political lockdowns, quarantines of the healthy, and neglect of the sick in the name of reserving healthcare resources for COVID.

A probable majority of so-called “COVID deaths” occurred in nursing homes and “assisted living facilities,” where the average stay is around five months.

Unlike the flu, measles, or other diseases, which kill millions of young people, COVID chiefly kills people already in the process of dying.

In reality, our bodily biomes are full of viruses, mostly innocuous or neutralized by the immune system and many of them are coronaviruses associated with the common cold.

But the CDC classified anyone who died with a positive test as a “COVID death.” Depending on how many actual infections there were, false positives were frequent. A test that harbored 1% false positives — the lowest estimate — would produce 50% false results in the case of an infection rate of 2%.

You just can’t trust the numbers.

But as Mark Twain wrote: “It is easier to fool the people than to convince them they have been fooled.”

This principle applies overwhelmingly to politicians. Once they have made a mistake, it is nearly impossible for them to admit error. It is far more popular to double-down on the error than to retract it.

American democracy is now fraught with pernicious myths.

Under the Democrats, it suffers from an electoral process devoted both to a myth of pandemic and to an economic program devoted to a green religious cult. On the Republican side, the Administration has enlisted in a misguided campaign based on the myth of the “trade” gap.

Democrats propose to replace this myth with the myth of CO2 pollution in a futile battle against climate change that voters rank near the bottom of their list of priorities.

For investors, the climate change paradigm means a massive national program of subsidies for a feckless transformation of our energy economy from a robust and functional system to a vulnerable, volatile, and vain apparatus marked by windmill totem poles and pervasive sunhenges.

Our meager national savings will be dissipated, and our scarce resource of arable land will be wasted in a campaign against CO2, a benign elixir of life.

Intelligent investors understand that economic growth is real learning, based on falsifiable facts rather than on political fantasies. Against the overwhelming power of socialist government, learning is constantly thwarted.

Investors will increasingly tend to look overseas. There, the best opportunities reside in Israel, Taiwan, South Korea, and China.

Although it is not good news for Americans to be forced to focus much of their investment abroad, Biden’s program of national lockdowns, confiscatory taxes, and energy suppression gives us little alternative.

The upside of a Biden Administration is a possible improvement of international trade and technology policy. The only serious blunder of the Trump years was his adoption of mercantilism based on the pursuit of the chimera of a trade surplus.

The result was a retrograde effort to use U.S. technology assets to bully China. In international trade and technology policy, Biden offers some promise of improvement.

The Biden downside overseas is a catastrophic failure of his Israel Test.

Based on a keen grasp of the centrality of Israel in the American prospect, Trump triumphantly passed his Israel test as no other President, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and supporting Israel’s outreach to the Arab world beyond the seething “Palestinians.”

Kamala Harris’s eagerness to reenter the Paris climate accord is exceeded only by her passion for the cause of a Palestinian state and its renewed intifada “Peace Process” that is devoted to the destruction of Israel. The pursuit of peace by negotiating with Jihadists always produces war in the Middle East.

Opportunity Is Out There

In this maelstrom, the smart investor will keep his eye on new technologies that are not dependent on political subsidies and guarantees. Investors should spurn academic minds all sickled o’er by a pale cast of green goo. In the United States, real opportunities will often be in private companies, still below the radar, and on their way to transforming our current moment of madness into a national revival.

As economists Gale Pooley and Marian Tupy, our guides on time-prices insist, this era continues to bring massive technological progress. The last twenty years has seen an accelerating decline in the cost of nearly all goods and services, measured in the hours of work needed to purchase them. Time-prices tell us that opportunities continue to expand.

They’re just hidden behind the noise of politics and fashion.


George Gilder
for The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning