How Governments Destroy Prosperity

Note: This post is actually a follow up to my essay about Covid-19 and the way our governments and institutions like the press have failed us.  Read it here if you haven’t already, then come back.

To paraphrase something I heard early on in the pandemic from an Israeli researcher, “Covid is going to do, what Covid is going to do.” He’s looking remarkably prescient, due to the state of affairs in Israel right now. Thanks to Omicron, they’re at all-times highs in case counts.  Yet they sealed their borders, took extraordinary mitigation steps, and administered one of the most aggressive vaccine rollouts in human history.  They vaccinated their most vulnerable citizens four times!  Yet Covid is still doing what Covid does.

These results in Israel destroy any possible rationale for vaccine passports or mandates that can be mustered. 

Vaccines have done a lot of good and personally I’m thankful for them.  There is evidence showing vaccines reduce the severity of Covid, hospitalizations, and mortality.  But the vaccines certainly don’t stop people from getting infected and they don’t stop infected people from infecting others – whether they are vaccinated or not. So how can any free society justify mandates for anyone?  (Let alone for small children.)  Can we please take a breath and process that?

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, take a peek at the situation in LA County, the ultimate bastion of wokeness. They’ve done mask mandates, vaccine mandates, strict vaccine passports, and boast that they have a more than 95 percent compliance rate with masking. What has all that accomplished for the good people in the City of Angels?  They had more Covid cases reported in the past month than they did in all of 2020.

These makeshift masks of cloth, paper, scarves, and bandanas people are being forced to use are not preventing the spread of Covid-19. It’s a multi-billion-dollar goldmine for the mask providers that is essentially Kabuki Theater for virtue signalers and power-hungry politicians.  The vaccine mandates have ripped apart society but done nothing to stop the spread of the virus.  (On a positive note, they have changed many people’s idea of superheroes from the Avengers or Justice League, to Canadian truckers.)

If you thought the politicians in Israel and California weren’t woke enough, you’re going to love the Republic of Kiribati... 

When the pandemic began, Kiribati closed their borders.  Not the silly, make believe travel bans like Trump, Biden, and many other political leaders did, where people simply had to change planes and arrive from a different airport.   Kiribati hermetically sealed their borders – no one in, no matter what.   If you were a citizen who went on a vacation somewhere one day before the lockdown, you couldn’t get back in, period.

For. Almost. Two. Years.

Think about that.  Suppose you worked at the bagel shop in downtown (using the term loosely) South Tarawa, your mother died in Australia and you flew over for her funeral and then the lockdown started.  You were locked out of your home country.  It didn’t matter that you couldn’t work, had an expired visa, no place to live, etc. – you couldn’t return to Kiribati. Imagine the severe emotional and economic hardships a policy like this creates. After almost two years of this crippling policy, just this month the country finally agreed to reentries.  They allowed the Mormon church to charter a place and bring home 54 missionaries from abroad.  Here’s what happened next…

The returning people were required to quarantine in nearby Fiji, test negative for three Covid tests while in the quarantine, had to be vaccinated, and then they were put in another quarantine when they got home.  After all of that, 36 people on the flight tested positive at some point in the quarantine, and it spread to 181 cases in the community within a week.

So now after two years of trying to keep the entire island nation in a protective bubble, the president has created quarantine sites and put the entire country in a lockdown.  People can only leave home for emergency or essential services.  Those essential providers can only operate limited hours, public transportation is shut down, social gatherings are banned, and travel between islands is prohibited.

I have long maintained that governments can never create prosperity, they can only facilitate it at best.  But much more often, they destroy it.  And that’s what is currently happening with public policies on Covid-19.  What we’re living through today has nothing to do with science.  What began as “two weeks to flatten the curve” has morphed into two years to:

  • Flatten small business and working people
  • Enrich large businesses with strong lobbying organizations and government connections
  • Transfer the most basic human rights and liberties to power-drunk politicians.

Our governments and institutions have failed us on a catastrophic level.  If we want to live prosperous lives, we’re going to have to stop getting sucked into the fear clickbait, regain our ability for rational thinking, and start recalling all political leaders who are using the pandemic for power and control over their citizens.  There was a time when these policies made sense, or circumstances led us to believe they might make sense. But as we come up on the two-year anniversary and objectively view the data and results we have to recognize many of these Draconian policies are not just ignorant and harmful, but they are futile in stopping the virus. The cure has become more dangerous than the disease.

If we want to live prosperous lives in the reality of Covid-19, there are really only two choices.

Option one: Manufacture 7.9 billion hazmat suits, put one on every human on earth, and shut down everything for a month while the virus dies off. (Hopefully.) Nothing can be open. No hospitals, police departments, or grocery stores. The entire world population has to stay home in their hazmat suits for a month. Whoever dies, dies.  But whoever is left, should come outside to the mythical Covid-free environment, that our political leaders believe is somehow possible.

Or option two: Recognize the Covid is going to do, what Covid is going to do.  We must learn to live with it, just as we’ve learned to live with the common cold, the flu, spinal meningitis, measles, mumps, and Tiger King 2.  Choose wisely.

Peace,

- RG

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How Governments Destroy Prosperity