by Kevin Barrett (Main Stories, Crescent International Vol. 49, No. 3, Ramadan, 1441)
The US economy is in a tailspin. By late April, roughly 26 million jobs had disappeared in less than two months—an all-time record. Retail sales fell 8.7% in March. Total American industrial production dropped 5.4%, the worst decline since war production ended in January 1946. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) plunged 7.5% overnight, a whopping 30% annualized decline. The stock market, too, imploded, plummeting 30% in 22 days, the fastest decline ever, worse even than the more famous collapse of 1929.
The destruction of the US economy was blamed on coronavirus lockdowns. 43 of 50 US states issued stay-at-home orders in late March, part of the first-ever planet-wide experiment in mass house arrest. “Non-essential” businesses, most of them small, were forcibly shut down, while “essential” businesses, most of them large, continued to function.
The most essential business of all, judging from the government response, was usury banking and speculative investing. The parasites who operate those useless “industries,” which are really just casinos for the super-rich, grabbed the lion’s share of the $6 trillion rescue package consisting of the $2 trillion CARES Act and $4 trillion in Federal Reserve handouts. The bailout bonanza built on the post-2008 frenzy of “quantitative easing,” a euphemism for printing trillions of dollars out of thin air and handing it to the richest and most parasitical and unproductive people on earth to bail out their fraudulent casino-style “investments.”
Meanwhile ordinary Americans, many of them deprived of their livelihoods by state-ordered lockdowns, are being offered a single $1200 stimulus check. Since the average US income is $63,000 per year, one stimulus check equals considerably less than one week’s average earnings. Yet most Americans are being locked down for more than a month. Many will face economic disaster, given that, as the Forbes Magazine headline put it, “63% Of Americans Don't Have Enough Savings To Cover A $500 Emergency.” Adding insult to injury, the measly $1200 stimulus checks were delayed because Trump insisted they bear his personal signature.
Rich Americans—those with six-figure earnings—were deemed ineligible for the $1200 stimulus checks. But many are laughing, not crying, all the way to the bank. The stimulus package includes a set of provisions ensuring that “at least 43,000 American millionaires who are too rich to get coronavirus stimulus checks are getting a far bigger boost — averaging $1.6 million each, according to a congressional committee.” In other words, each of those super-rich Americans who make more than a million dollars a year is getting more than one thousand times as much as his or her poorer counterpart.
Though the pandemic has devastated the US economy overall, some have profited. As small local retailers have been forcibly shuttered, the biggest conglomerates have scooped up their market share. CNBC reports that “Analysts see stocks like Amazon and Walmart continuing to benefit from the coronavirus pandemic.” Additionally, the medical-surveillance-industrial-complex is booming. RT reported April 10: “Apple and Google debut Bluetooth-based contact-tracing platform to combat Covid-19... and end privacy?” The new smartphone app will trace all Americans’ movements and hand the data to the government, ostensibly so that people can be notified if they cross the path of someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
The plan for total government surveillance of the American people, using the pandemic as a convenient excuse, is exactly what the National Security State has been demanding. The FOIA-released document “Chinese Tech Landscape Overview,” produced by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), essentially argues that the only way the US can contain the rise of China is to institute an even more draconian surveillance state than the one the Chinese are building. The document states that in order to “maintain a technological advantage in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other associated technologies related to national security and defense” the US will need to institute mass surveillance on a herculean scale and feed all the data to AI-driven supercomputers.
“Having streets carpeted with cameras is good infrastructure,” the document tells us. It also calls for the elimination of cash, so that all buying and selling can be watched in real time by corporate-government fused AI systems. (Conveniently, the pandemic has cast cash as “dirty.”) Private automobiles, the document says, must also be eliminated. In short, the coronavirus pandemic has provided a perfect excuse, under the cover of a “national emergency,” to shunt aside privacy concerns and enter an Orwellian total surveillance nightmare.
As all of the above observations suggest, the tiny, parasitic billionaire oligarchy that rules America is getting exactly what it wants thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Is that a coincidence? Some analysts think not, especially given the geopolitical context. Dr. T.P. Wilkinson writes: “This economic war (by the neoliberal Western oligarchy against China and to a lesser extent Russia) entered a new phase with the Wuhan attack.”
His article is worth quoting at length:
In the Western media one finds accusations that China caused the “corona crisis” to benefit from a fall in asset prices (not only stock markets but also for businesses damaged by the lockdown) to buy them up on the cheap. Personally I follow a golden rule when reading Western official statements, whether directly from regime mouthpieces or through their Great Wurlitzer: what they accuse is what they are hiding. It is like that classic scene in many a classroom: the bully slaps another pupil. Pupil slaps back and bully screams. The teacher only sees the return slap and never the first strike. The slapped pupil is punished and the bully rewarded.
If we ask critically what the new QE is supposed to do—is it to protect all these banks from another 2008 failure? No, not really. Instead it is to fill the “banks” with cash for pre-emptive buying following the price crashes so that China can be blocked out of any further investment in the West’s critical sectors. It is also survival money so that all the defaults and bankruptcies in the SME sector can be written off without damaging the overall profit line.
Independent historians have convincingly argued that previous major crises and policy turning points—the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, World War 1, the Great Depression, World War II, Kissinger’s controlled demolition of the gold standard in 1971, 9/11, and the 2008 collapse—were orchestrated events designed by the Western usury-banking oligarchy to extend and consolidate its wealth and power. All of these events were engineered shocks, like those explored by Naomi Klein in The Shock Doctrine. Each war or economic catastrophe forces smaller players out of the market, allowing the big players to buy everything up at pennies on the dollar while re-writing the rule book to favor themselves. And each war or catastrophe forces governments to borrow even more money at compound interest from the private bankers, who print that money out of thin air, then collect endlessly-compounding interest from future generations. (About one-third of Western GDP is stolen by the usury banking parasites, meaning that there is a hidden “usury tax” of 33% on every transaction you have ever engaged in.)
Historical context forces us to conclude that COVID-19 was almost certainly produced in a biological weapons laboratory and deliberately unleashed on China, Iran, and the world, possibly as a botched attack meant to seriously harm only China and Iran, but more likely as a means to paralyze and deglobalize the world economy in order to stop the rise of China, while further consolidating the wealth and power of the usury banking oligarchy. So, during this locked-down Ramadan, always a good month to ponder and reflect, we should consider why Allah SWT has literally declared war on usurers, and take notice of our own obligation to wage war on the Western banking oligarchy, the worst group of usurers in all of human history.