Doug Casey on the Economic Outcomes of the Coronavirus

Editor’s note: Last week, our founder, Doug Casey, shared why he believes the coronavirus is a “manufactured scam”… and how the feds will use it to avoid blame for the coming Greater Depression.

Today, as promised, we’re sharing part two of this Conversations With Casey. Read on below to hear Doug’s thoughts on the true consequences of this pandemic… and what he considers the only solution that could restore some normalcy.

Daily DispatchDoug, what will be the true economic outcome from the pandemic? And what especially does it mean for the people within the economy?

Doug Casey: Well look, first of all, there’s less real wealth being created across the board because nobody is working. And a lot of real wealth is actually being destroyed, with farmers breaking eggs, slaughtering livestock, and plowing under vegetables. Mines and factories are shut down. It’s supposed to be a consumer service economy, but services have been hit even worse. Confiscation Ferguson, Kenneth R. Best Price: $12.73 Buy New $10.00 (as of 05:21 UTC - Details)

Real wealth is not being created and lots of wealth is being actively destroyed.

That’s going to reduce the amount of real wealth in the world at the same time as the amount of purchasing media (money in circulation) goes up. So this is going to be inflationary in the longer run. But it could turn into a deflation, if there are too many bankruptcies, bond defaults, a stock market collapse, and the like. But the State fears a deflation and will fight it at all costs by printing money.

At the same time, we’ll see different effects in different parts of the economy.

Let’s say that people, since they’re now poorer, can’t afford to eat as much beef; there will be less demand for beef. But they still have to eat. What are they going to eat? Maybe they’ll buy more rice and beans. So during a boom, the price of beef goes up, and the price of rice and beans goes down. During a bust, the exact opposite happens.

That’s just one example. There are similar things across the economy where that’s happening. In the end, however, the Greater Depression will be highly inflationary, because the amount of purchasing media is going way, way up. Retail prices are bound to reflect that because there’s less real wealth for that money to chase after.

Unlike in 2008, not all that money will go into the stock market this time. A lot will filter down to the retail level. You’ve got to remember that during the 1970s, the U.S. had what it called “bad inflation,” where retail prices went up and financial asset prices went down.

We’ve had “good inflation” for the last 20 years, where financial prices went up and retail prices were comparatively level. I think we’re going to go back to “bad” inflation, with retail prices going way up. But the key is that the average guy’s standard of living is going down a lot. The natives are going to get restless.

They’re going to get especially restless because they see the government as a cornucopia. But the government’s bankrupt. All they can do is print up money. Let’s see, rough numbers – $2.2 trillion divided by 300 million Americans equals about $7,500 for every man, woman, and child. It’s going to be like Argentina. Except here, the corporations get almost all that money. Hmm… strike that, it’s also what happens in Argentina. Fascism is wonderful for the ruling elite everywhere. American Default: The ... Edwards, Sebastian Best Price: $24.00 Buy New $12.11 (as of 05:21 UTC - Details)

Daily Dispatch: I see. On that subject, and maybe this is an impossible question to answer, but is it easier for the State to print money and create inflation today than it was 30, 50, or 100 years ago? And does the way that people use money today have any effect on that? For instance, 100 years ago, people used physical money. They had notes or coins, and so they could see the devaluation of it. But now people just use cards to pay. It’s harder to see the devaluation of money.

Doug Casey: Sure. It’s going to be much easier for them to destroy the currency now. In those days, most people didn’t even have a bank account, and everybody used actual gold and silver for money. That’s one reason the State wants to move to an entirely digital currency. Perhaps they’ll give everyone a free smart phone to access it. Absolutely everybody will have a digital currency account number. The government will be in complete control. Traditional cash is on its way out. Quite amazing really.

The government will know what’s bought, what’s sold, and what you own. They’ll be able to debit and credit your account just by a computer stroke. A phone will amount to an ankle bracelet, the kind they give to prisoners.

The trend is very much in motion. The world is coming to resemble a dystopian sci-fi novel much more than even a bizarre conspiracy theory.

Daily Dispatch: In that case, could you see U.S. or Western governments doing something similar to what India did a couple of years ago? The Indian government just cancelled a whole bunch of their notes. If people held them after the cut-off date, they were worthless.

Doug Casey: Yes, the Modi government in India got rid of most of the currency, impoverishing tens of millions of savers, and they got away with it. The Indians are so slavish that somebody with his life savings in rupee notes could be wiped out all of a sudden, and there’s not a whimper. They should have rioted, burned down all the government buildings, and crucified the people in them. But not a peep of protest. Americans are better. But not by much.

Because most of the poor in India don’t have bank accounts, they were the ones who suffered the most. But they’re so used to being treated like stray dogs there wasn’t a revolution. I guess it will be like that in the U.S., too. The spirit of the 21st century, its zeitgeist, is strangely placid, docile, and sheep-like. Everywhere. No Cash Accepted Door ... Buy New $12.95 (as of 05:21 UTC - Details)

Daily DispatchAnd what about the chances of another gold confiscation? Is that possible, or do you think gold is so irrelevant to most people now that they wouldn’t even bother, that it’s a waste of time? So few people actually own gold. There would be no point in confiscating it.

Doug Casey: That’s a good question. I’d say anything can happen today. Current events resemble science fiction. You can make up any scenario. It’s all possible. Who guessed every city in the world would look post-apocalyptic, even a few months ago?

The idea has been floated of a guaranteed annual income that everybody gets, just for existing. I’ve discussed that before. It’s a criminal idea, as well as a total catastrophe. But probably another thing that’s going to come out of this.

I’ve actually heard it proposed that the income tax should be abolished – which is a very good idea, incidentally, although not for the reasons they propose. They’re thinking of doing so with Modern Monetary Theory. “Why not just print the money?” It makes a kind of sense, actually, because the amount that’s being created now totally overwhelms the income tax receipts anyway.

Right now, the lid is still on the pressure cooker, because the economy is locked down. The question is, what’s it going to be like when the lid comes off, and people can go out, wander around, and drive around? And they don’t have jobs? Their jobs have disappeared, their business is out of business, and a lot of those jobs and businesses just aren’t coming back.

However, their credit card debt, student loan debt, mortgage debt, and their rent payments still exist. Those won’t go away. The debt will eventually, as the dollar is destroyed. But then you just destroy someone else’s asset when you destroy a debtor’s liability. That’s very serious. The stuff of class warfare.

This is a real conundrum. How do you get out of this? Well, as I said before, you have to abolish government agencies, cut government spending and taxes by 50% to start, bring the troops home, abolish the Fed, etc., etc. But that’s the last thing that’s going to happen. Forget about that.

I’m afraid that the only thing that’ll work is the only thing that’s absolutely not going to happen. Your Money or Your Lif... Sheldon Richman Best Price: $5.99 Buy New $9.24 (as of 05:21 UTC - Details)

Daily Dispatch: That’s right. But they will eventually want people to go back to work. So does that mean it’s vaccines all round?

Doug Casey: Possibly. In fact, probably. It appears that something like 60% of the U.S. population wants the lockdown to continue until they can be assured the virus is gone. And that means they want to wait until the government approves a vaccine.

But it’s even worse than that. When the vaccine comes out, because of what a disaster this has all been, they’ll undoubtedly make it obligatory. I have no desire to take their goofy and unnecessary vaccine. Besides, the knock-on effects of this hysteria are just going to be catastrophic.

We’re already seeing the next stages of the “surveillance state.” Police forces are testing drones that can scan for people’s temperature at a distance. In Dubai, they were doing compulsory blood tests before people could get on flights to leave the country.

So, again, anything’s possible. When this is all done, you’ll end up having to carry a certificate, or an embedded chip, if you want to go anywhere, to show that you’ve had the vaccine. If you don’t show it, they won’t let you fly. That’s the way things are going.

Anyway, I’ll sign off this interview the same way I did the last one. I’m not going to say anything stupid and unnecessary like “stay safe.” I’m sick of people whimpering “stay safe” while they huddle, sheltering in place like whipped dogs, doing as they’re told during this hysteria.

But do have a good day.

Daily DispatchThank you, Doug. You too.

Reprinted with permission from Casey Research.