The Pandemic Is Deepening America's Many Divides

And so we’ve reached the precarious state of disunion in which the only thing the warring elites can agree upon is that the Federal Reserve should rescue their private wealth, regardless of cost or consequences.

America’s divides are proliferating and deepening by the day. The key political and economic divides predate the pandemic, but the pandemic is acting as a catalyst, creating new divides and exacerbating existing ones.

Let’s start with the politicization and subsequent polarization of re-opening the economy. In a reasonably sane, coherent society, this issue would be subject to common sense debates about risks, trade-offs, policies, responses to new data, etc.

But American society is neither sane nor coherent, so what should be a non-partisan debate was immediately politicized, to the absurd extreme that “progressives” must favor continuing strict lockdowns lest they be accused of being “conservative.” Get a Job, Build a Rea... Charles Hugh Smith Best Price: $7.99 Buy New $13.99 (as of 02:30 EST - Details)

The erosion of middle ground and the disappearance of de-politicized policy debates is a clear sign that a society is doomed to disintegration not just of the social order but the political and economic orders.

Author Peter Turchin has described the disintegrative stage in his book Ages of Discord, in which he modeled a Political Stress Index comprised in part of these three dynamics:

1. Stagnating real wages due to oversupply of labor.

2. Overproduction of parasitic elites.

3.Deterioration of central state finances.

The pandemic has catalyzed the oversupply of labor and the deterioration of central state finances, and illuminated America’s vast overproduction of parasitic elites, most of whom feed off various cartels and monopolies or the financial system, which has been saved yet again from gravity by the super-wealthy’s most important protector, the Federal Reserve.

The pandemic has created new divides that highlight existing extremes of inequality. Those Americans in poor health and in jobs that cannot be performed at home are at greater risk than healthy Americans who can work at home. Will You Be Richer or ... Smith, Charles Hugh Best Price: $10.99 Buy New $11.55 (as of 05:55 EST - Details)

Those Americans whose regular pay was considerably less than unemployment plus the federal bonus have zero financial motivation to return to work, while overpaid parasitic elites are getting paychecks even if they’re performing little or no work.

The top 10% who own 90% of all assets are breathing a sigh of relief that the Federal Reserve printed up a couple of trillion dollars to save the stock market from a well-deserved collapse, while the bottom 80% who own a tiny slice of America’s wealth are not directly impacted by the market’s swoon or recovery.

The top 10% has financial reserves to smooth out any disruptions arising from the pandemic and policy responses, while the majority of the bottom 80% have few if any reserves or resources to tap.

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Resistance, Revolution... Smith, Charles Hugh Best Price: $4.00 Buy New $11.01 (as of 01:10 EST - Details) Money and Work Unchained Charles Hugh Smith Best Price: $11.00 Buy New $1.99 (as of 10:55 EST - Details)

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