Will Covid Alter the Economy?


Armstrong Economics Blog/Civil Unrest Re-Posted Mar 23, 2021 by Martin Armstrong

Similar to attributing climate change entirely to human activity resulting in CO2, the same error is played out in disease. There is no evidence that social distancing or masks do anything. Just look at the Black Plague (1347-1352 AD), which wiped out about 50% of the population. From an economic standpoint, it was the birth of capitalism and the end of serfdom. The shortage of labor resulted in wages being offered to entice people to work the land of landowners.

However, even genetically, the Black Death didn’t just wipe out millions of Europeans during the 14th century. It left a mark on the human genome. There was no vaccine, so what took place was that some people’s genetic makeup allowed them to survive while others died. Clearly, the Black Plague favored those who carried certain immune system genes while others simply died. The children’s rhyme, “Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of posies,” comes from the Black Plague era.

Geneticists know that human populations evolve in the face of disease. This is simply part of life. The Black Plague killed the very old and those already in poor health, just like COVID. The CDC statistics show that only 42 children died of COVID under the age of 17. There is no vaccine that will prevent those with poor health from dying. Certain versions of our genes help us fight infections better than others, and people who carry those genes tend to have more children than those who don’t. So the beneficial genetic versions persist, while other versions tend to disappear as those carrying them die. This raises serious questions about the long-term implications of messing with the genetic makeup that could have long-term effects that nobody can confirm or deny. The Black Pague weeded-out of all but the best genes, which resulted in what is called positive selection.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not mess with the DNA. The real question nobody wants to address is the long-term. They call this a conspiracy theory to dare say anything against the vaccine. But the standard claim to just trust the science is pure nonsense. As in economics, studies are paid for because the conclusion is already known. Taking the vaccine does not mean you will never get COVID-19. If you are predisposed to be susceptible to this particular virus, you will still get it, as Forbes Magazine reports. It has often been said in war: Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius (Kill them. For the Lord knows who are His). Perhaps that is what natural-selection is all about.

In 1376, the English Parliament had claimed that “there is not a third part of the people or of other things that there used to be.” Taxation was dramatically altered, as we are starting to witness today. As tax revenues decline, governments will raise taxes. During the Black Plague, taxation was extending down the economic bell curve to embrace everyone. The old fixed assessments and taxing the rich were collapsing with the Black Plague and the wholesale depopulation. When the Anglo-French War restarted again in 1369, this is when the government altered the tax method from taxing property to people.

Because the taxes shifted to the number of people being a “poll tax” rather than property taxes on goods and chattels, this type of tax fell upon the most populated regions, and that was southern England. The first poll tax of 1377 produced 22,000 pounds. The assessment was 4d per person, with the only exception being children under the age of fourteen. The Parliament granted a second poll tax of 1379. This second tax was supposed to be fairer by imposing 4d jointly upon the poorest married couples in a sort of graduated type of tax. However, it produced only 19,000 pounds. In December 1380, Parliament returned to the first model and now tripled the tax-raising it from 4d to 12d per person, and the age limit exempting taxation was raised from fourteen to fifteen. The tax rebellion was now rising. Some 458,356 taxpayers evaded the tax. In London, 102,500 taxpayers were now “missing” from the tax collector records.

Edward III (b 1312; 1327-1377) issued the Statute of Labourers in 1351 that set a maximum rate of pay at pre-plague levels and required all able-bodied men to work. The Black Death created a very dynamic economic impact by increasing individual wealth, reducing the population, creating a shortage of labor, and price inflation.

The reason for the issue of gold coins was naturally the expense of war. The Hundred Years’ War was an on-again, off-again conflict fought between 1340 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of England, against the ruling French House of Valois. The first issue of 1344 was on the gold standard from Florence, Italy. It would see some extraordinary English victories, including the battles of Crécy, Poitiers, and Agincourt, but would also result in some disastrous routs, including those inflicted by Joan of Arc. At stake was the question of who was the rightful King of France.

As the war continued, Edward III introduced England’s first successful gold coinage based on the noble of 138 grains valued at six shillings and eight-pence. It is not exceptionally rare because he produced many to pay for the war. In the face of those expenses and the reduction in tax revenue caused by the Black Plague, this combination of forces led to the tac rebellion of 1381.

The question that lurks on the horizon is that these politicians who have been so eager to follow Klaus Schwab to the destruction of Western Society, the revenue at the state/provincial levels down to municipalities, they too will be forced to raise taxes, and we will inevitably be hurled into tax rebellions in combination with the destruction of the economy all to “Build Back Better,” which is green.

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