How Governments Killed the Gold Standard

Article by: Joseph Salerno

The historical embodiment of monetary freedom is the gold standard. The era of its greatest flourishing was not coincidentally the 19th century, the century in which classical liberal ideology reigned, a century of unprecedented material progress and peaceful relations between nations. Unfortunately, the monetary freedom represented by the gold standard, along with many other freedoms of the classical liberal era, was brought to a calamitous end by World War I.

Also, and not so coincidentally, this was the “War to Make the World Safe for Mass Democracy,” a political system which we have all learned by now is the great enemy of freedom in all its social and economic manifestations.

Now, it is true that the gold standard did not disappear overnight, but limped along in weakened form into the early 1930s. But this was not the pre-1914 classical gold standard, in which the actions of private citizens operating on free markets ultimately controlled the supply and value of money and governments had very little influence.

Under this monetary system, if people in one nation demanded more money to carry out more transactions or because they were more uncertain of the future, they would export more goods and financial assets to the rest of the world, while importing less. As a result, additional gold would flow in through a surplus in the balance of payments increasing the nation’s money supply.

Sometimes, private banks tried to inflate the money supply by issuing additional bank notes and deposits, called “fiduciary media,” promising to pay gold but unbacked by gold reserves. They lent these notes and deposits to either businesses or the government. However, as soon as the borrowers spent these additional fractional-reserve notes and deposits, domestic incomes and prices would begin to rise.

As a result, foreigners would reduce their purchases of the nation’s exports, and domestic residents would increase their spending on the relatively cheap foreign imports. Gold would flow out of the coffers of the nation’s banks to finance the resulting trade deficit, as the excess paper notes and checks were returned to their issuers for redemption in gold.

To check this outflow of gold reserves, which made their depositors very nervous, the banks would contract the supply of fiduciary media bringing about a monetary deflation and an ensuing depression.

Temporarily chastened by the experience, banks would refrain from again expanding credit for a while. If the Treasury tried to issue convertible notes only partially backed by gold, as it occasionally did, it too would face these consequences and be forced to restrain its note issue within narrow bounds.

Thus, governments and commercial banks under the gold standard did not have much influence over the money supply in the long run. The only sizable inflations that occurred during the 19th century did so during wartime when almost all belligerent nations would “go off the gold standard.” They did so in order to conceal the staggering costs of war from their citizens by printing money rather than raising taxes to pay for it.

For example, Great Britain experienced a substantial inflation at the beginning of the 19th century during the period of the Napoleonic Wars, when it had suspended the convertibility of the British pound into gold. Likewise, the United States and the Confederate States of America both suffered a devastating hyperinflation during the War for Southern Independence, because both sides issued inconvertible Treasury notes to finance budget deficits. It is because politicians and their privileged banks were unable to tamper with and inflate a gold money that prices in the United States and in Great Britain at the close of the 19th century were roughly the same as they were at the beginning of the century.

Within weeks of the outbreak of World War I, all belligerent nations departed from the gold standard. Needless to say by the war’s end the paper fiat currencies of all these nations were in the throes of inflations of varying degrees of severity, with the German hyperinflation that culminated in 1923 being the worst. To put their currencies back in order and to restore the public’s confidence in them, one country after another reinstituted the gold standard during the 1920s.

Unfortunately, the new gold standard of the 1920s was fundamentally different from the classical gold standard. For one thing, under this latter version, gold coin was not used in daily transactions. In Great Britain, for example, the Bank of England would only redeem pounds in large and expensive bars of gold bullion. But gold bullion was mainly useful for financing international trade transactions.

Other countries such as Germany and the smaller countries of Central and Eastern Europe used gold-convertible foreign currencies such as the US dollar or the pound sterling as reserves for their own domestic currencies. This was called the gold-exchange standard.

While the US dollar was technically redeemable in honest-to-goodness gold coin, banks no longer held reserves in gold coin but in Federal Reserve notes. All gold reserves were centralized, by law, in the hands of the Fed and banks were encouraged to use Fed notes to cash checks and pay for checking and savings deposit withdrawals. This meant that very little gold coin circulated among the public in the 1920s, and residents of all nations came increasingly to view the paper IOUs of their central banks as the ultimate embodiment of the dollar, franc, pound, etc.

This state of affairs gave governments and their central banks much greater leeway for manipulating their national money supplies. The Bank of England, for example, could expand the amount of paper claims to gold pounds through the banking system without fearing a run on its gold reserves for two reasons.

Foreign countries on the gold exchange standard would be willing to pile up the paper pounds that flowed out of Great Britain through its balance of payments deficit and not demand immediate conversion into gold. In fact by issuing their own currency to tourists and exporters in exchange for the increasing quantities of inflated paper pounds, foreign central banks were in effect inflating their own money supplies in lock-step with the Bank of England. This drove up prices in their own countries to the inflated level attained by British prices and put an end to the British deficits.

In effect, this system enabled countries such as Great Britain and the United States to export monetary inflation abroad and to run “a deficit without tears” — that is, a balance-of-payments deficit that does not involve a loss of gold.

But even if gold reserves were to drain out of the vaults of the Bank of England or the Fed to foreign nations, British and US citizens would be disinclined, either by law or by custom, to put further pressure on their respective central banks to stop inflating by threatening bank runs to rid themselves of their depreciating notes and retrieve their rightful property left with the banks for safekeeping.

Unfortunately, contemporary economists and economic historians do not grasp the fundamental difference between the hard-money classical gold standard of the 19th century and the inflationary phony gold standard of the 1920s.

Thus, many admit, if somewhat grudgingly, that the gold standard worked exceedingly well in the 19th century. However, at the same time, they maintain that the gold standard suddenly broke down in the 1920s and 1930s and that this breakdown triggered the Great Depression. Monetary freedom in their minds is forever discredited by the tragic events of the 1930s. The gold standard, whatever its merits in an earlier era, is seen by them as a quaint and outmoded monetary system that has proved it cannot survive the rigors and stresses of a modern economy.

Those who implicate the gold standard as the main culprit in precipitating the events of the 1930s generally fall into one of two groups. One group argues that it was an inherent flaw in the gold standard itself that led to a collapse of the financial system, which in turn dragged the real economy down into depression. Writers in the second group maintain that governments, for social and political reasons, stopped adhering to the so-called rules of the gold standard, and that this initiated the downward spiral into the abyss of the Great Depression.

From either perspective, however, it is clear that the gold standard can never again be trusted to serve as the basis of the world’s monetary system. On the one hand, if it is true that the gold standard is fundamentally flawed, that in itself is a crushing practical argument against the principle of monetary freedom. On the other hand, if the gold standard is in fact a creature of rules contrived by governments, and it is politically impossible for them to follow those rules, then monetary freedom is simply irrelevant from the outset.

The first argument is the Keynesian argument and the second the monetarist argument against the gold standard.

Two recent books have elaborated these arguments against the gold standard. The economic historian Barry Eichengreen published a book in 1992 entitled Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression.Eichengreen summarized the argument of this book in the following words:

The gold standard of the 1920s set the stage for the Depression of the 1930s by heightening the fragility of the international financial system. The gold standard was the mechanism transmitting the destabilizing impulse from the United States to the rest of the world. The gold standard magnified that initial destabilizing shock. It was the principle obstacle to offsetting action. It was the binding constraint preventing policymakers from averting the failure of banks and containing the spread of financial panic. For all these reason the international gold standard was a central factor in the worldwide Depression. Recovery proved possible, for these same reasons, only after abandoning the gold standard.

According to Eichengreen, then, not only was the gold standard responsible for initiating and internationally propagating the Great Depression, it was also the primary reason why the recovery was delayed for so long.

It was only after governments one after another in the 1930s severed the link between their national currencies and gold that their national economies finally began to recover. This was because, unbound by the rules of the gold standard, governments were now able to bail out their banking systems and run budget deficits financed by bank credit inflation without the constraining fear of losing their gold reserves.

Thus, the phrase “golden fetters” in the title of Eichengreen’s book is a reference to Keynes’s statement in 1931, “There are few Englishman who do not rejoice at the breaking of our gold fetters.”

Of course, what Keynes and Eichengreen fail to understand is that the end of the classical liberal era in 1914 caused the removal from government central banks of the “golden handcuffs” of the genuine gold standard. Were these “golden handcuffs” still in place in the 1920s, central banks would have been rigidly constrained from inflating their money supplies in the first place and the business cycle that culminated in the Great Depression would not have taken place.

A second book that inculpates the gold standard as a leading cause of the Great Depression was published in 1998 and is entitled The Great Depression: An International Disaster of Perverse Economic Policies. According to the authors, Thomas E. Hall and J. David Ferguson, one of the most perverse and destabilizing economic policies of the 1920s involved the Fed violating the rules of the gold standard by allegedly “sterilizing” the inflow of gold from Great Britain.

This means that the Fed refused to pyramid inflated paper dollars on top of these newly acquired gold reserves in quantities sufficient to drive US prices up to the inflated level of British prices. This policy would have made US products more expensive relative to British products on world markets and would have helped mitigate Great Britain’s ongoing loss of gold reserves through its balance-of-payments deficits.

These deficits were the result of the fact that Great Britain had returned to the gold standard after its wartime inflation at the prewar gold parity, which, given the inflated level of domestic prices, significantly overvalued the British pound in terms of the dollar.

These deficits could have been avoided if the British government had either deflated its price level sufficiently or chosen to return to gold at a devalued exchange rate reflecting the true extent of its previous inflation.

Hall and Ferguson, however, ignore these considerations, arguing that when the United States sterilizes gold,

The impact on the system is that Britain bears the brunt of the adjustment. Since the money supply in the United States did not rise, neither did U.S. incomes and prices as they were supposed to, which would have helped Britain eliminate their payments deficit. Since Britain was not aided by rising exports to the United States, Britain must experience a more severe decline in incomes and prices than would have been the case if the U.S. money supply had gone up. In this way Britain would bear the brunt of the adjustment in the form of a more severe recession than would have occurred if the United States had been playing by the rules. Thus it was critical that each country play fair.

Thus, in Hall and Ferguson’s view, the rules of the gold standard dictate that when one central bank irresponsibly engages in monetary inflation and subsequently attempts to maintain an overvalued exchange rate, less inflationary central banks must rush to its aid and expand their own nations’ money supplies in order to prevent it from losing its gold reserves.

But if a nation losing gold due to inept or irresponsible monetary policy can always count on those gaining gold to share “the brunt of the adjustment” by expanding their own money supplies, this is surely a recipe for worldwide inflation.

Now, this line of argument indicates that Hall and Ferguson completely misunderstand the true purpose and function of the gold standard. To begin with, a gold standard functions much better without a central bank, because these institutions, as creatures of politics, are inherently inflationary and tend to promote rather than restrain the inflationary propensities of the fractional-reserve commercial banks.

But, second, under a genuine gold coin standard, the choices of private households and firms effectively control the money supply. As I explained above, if the residents of one nation demand to hold more money for whatever reason, they can obtain the precise quantity of gold coin they require through the balance of payments by temporarily selling more exports and buying fewer imports.

This implies that, if a central bank does exist and it wishes to act in accordance with a genuine gold standard, it should always “sterilize” gold inflows by issuing additional notes and deposits only on the basis of 100 percent gold reserves and insisting that the commercial banks do the same. It should not permit these gold reserves to be used as the basis of a multiple credit expansion by the banking system.

In this way, a nation’s money supply would be completely subject to market forces. By the way, this is precisely how the distribution of the supply of dollars between the different states of the United States is determined today. There is no government agency charged with monitoring and controlling New Jersey’s or Alabama’s money supply.

Hall and Ferguson reveal their uneasiness with and lack of insight into the operation of the money supply process under a genuine gold standard with the following example:

Suppose a fad had swept the nation in 1927 because Calvin Coolidge appeared in public wearing one gold earring. Then every teenager in America wanted to wear a gold earring “just like silent Cal”.… The result would be an [increase] in the commercial demand for gold. Since more gold would be used in earrings less would be available for money.… It would be beyond the power of government to do anything about this fact. What a scary thought, the teenagers of America would have caused the U.S. money supply to decline.

While it is true that the commercial demand for gold does play a role in determining the supply and value of money under a gold standard, it is hardly cause for alarm. Rather, it highlights the important fact that the gold standard evolved on the market from a useful commodity with a preexisting supply and demand and was not the product of a set of arbitrary rules promulgated by governments.

Now, Hall and Ferguson conclude that by breaking the rules of the game and persisting in sterilizing the gold inflows from 1929 to 1933, the Fed caused a monetary deflation in Great Britain and throughout Europe. The nations losing gold were forced to contract their money supplies and this contributed to a financial collapse and a precipitous decline in real economic activity that marked the onset of the Great Depression.

Thus while the authors blame the initiation of the Great Depression on Fed sterilization policies, they attribute its length and severity to the gold standard. According to the authors, as long as European countries remained on the gold standard and US sterilization continued, there could be no end of the Depression in sight. The US gold stock would become a huge pile of sterilized and useless gold. Starting with the British in 1931, our trading partners began to recognize this fact, and one by one they left the gold standard. The Germans and ironically the United States were among the last to leave gold and so were hurt the worst, experiencing the longest and deepest forms of the Depression.

So although Eichengreen emphasizes the gold standard as a restraint on government monetary policy and Hall and Ferguson the failure of governments to play by its rules, in effect, they reach the same conclusion: the gold standard, and with it monetary freedom, stands indicted as a primary cause of the greatest economic catastrophe in history.

In the face of the historical evidence they adduce, can any defense be mounted in favor of the gold standard? The answer is a resounding “yes,” and the defense is as simple as it is impregnable. As I have tried to indicate above, the case against the gold standard is from beginning to end a case of mistaken identity. The genuine gold standard did not fail in the 1920s, because it had already been destroyed by government policies after 1914.

The monetary system that sowed the seeds of the Great Depression in the 1920s was a central-bank-manipulated and inflationary pseudogold standard. It was central banking that failed in the 1920s and stands discredited to this day as the cause of the Great Depression.

A detailed case in support of this view can be found in the works of Murray N. Rothbard, particularly in his book America’s Great Depression and in A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II.

In these works you will read that the US money supply, properly defined, increased from 1921 to 1928 at the annual rate of 7 percent per year, a rate of monetary inflation that was unseen under the classical gold standard. You will also learn that during the 1920s the Fed, far from operating as the deflationary force on the money supply portrayed by some monetarists, increased the categories of bank reserves within its control at the annual rate of 18 percent per year.

Finally you will read that from 1929 to 1932, the Fed continued to exercise a highly inflationary impact on the money supply, as it feverishly pumped new reserves into the banking system in a vain attempt to ward off the cyclical downturn entailed by its own earlier inflation of the money supply. The Fed was defeated in this endeavor to pump up the money supply and “reflate” prices in the early 1930s by domestic and foreign depositors who reclaimed their rightful property from an inherently bankrupt US banking system. They had suddenly lost confidence in the Fed-controlled monetary system masquerading as a gold standard, when they perceived at last the dwindling prospect of ever redeeming the rapidly expanding mountain of inflated paper claims for their gold dollars.

CDC Director Says There are More Suicides and Overdoses than COVID Deaths

By Micaela Burrow

Center for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield testified in a Buck Institute webinar that suicides and drug overdoses have surpassed the death rate for COVID-19. Redfield argued that lockdowns and lack of public schooling constituted a disproportionally negative impact on young peoples’ mental health.

“We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID. We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID,” he said.

Roughly 146,000 people have died from COVID or COVID-related causes in the U.S., according to CDC data.

The most recent publicized federal data records 48,000 deaths from suicide and at least 1.4 million attempts in 2018. In 2019, almost 71,000 people died from drug overdoses.

Where Redfield obtained his data is unknown, although a doctor at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, CA claimed the facility has “seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.” He did not say how many deaths occurred, or whether the statement was exaggerated for emphasis.

“What I have seen recently, I have never seen before,” Hansen said. “I have never seen so much intentional injury,” said a nurse from the same hospital.

And while health authorities will not have verified data regarding suicides and drug overdoses in 2020 for two more years, local reporting indicates that suicide fatalities have increased year-on-year.

According to the American Medical Association, “More than 35 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality as well as ongoing concerns for those with a mental illness or substance use disorder in counties and other areas within the state.”

In Eagle County, Colorado, six suicides have been recorded, just one below the yearly average. Colorado on the whole recorded a 40 percent decrease in suicides in March and April, but the number of calls to Colorado Crisis Services increased 48 percent.

The Chicago Sun-Times looked specifically at black populations. In Cook County, Illinois, the number of suicide deaths is already higher than for all of 2019.

In Yakima County, Washington, the suicide rate has risen 30 percent, according to the county coroner.

Between March 15 and April 29, as many people commited suicide in Queens, New York than did between January 1 and April 29 the year prior.

The Pima County Health Department in Arizona has recorded an uptick in suicide rates as well.

Historical trends give reason to believe the suicide rate may rise due to extenuating circumstances caused by COVID-19, including unemployment and social isolation. For example, in the year after the Great Recession in 2008, the rate in America was 6.4 percent higher than expected. While the rate didn’t’ “skyrocket,” as some have predicted it will this year, the coronavirus pandemic and economic shutdown has dealt a worse blow to the U.S. psyche.

Thirty to 40 million jobs have been lost to the economic shutdown, compared to 2.6 million in 2008.

Read the rest here…

A Tyranny of Health?

By Theodore Dalrymple


The dream of a society so perfect that no one will have to be good (as T.S. Eliot put it) is a beguiling one for intellectuals, perhaps because they think that they will be in charge of it, as a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association titled “The Moral Determinants of Health” well illustrates.

In this article, which has the merit of being clear and logical, no single instance of individual conduct is mentioned as being necessary for, or conducive, to health. In the healthy society envisaged by the author, who is a public health doctor in Massachusetts, no one will have to try to behave well—not drink or eat too much, refrain from smoking or taking drugs, not indulge in hazardous pastimes, take recommended but safe exercise and so forth—because everything will come as a matter of course to him. Living in a perfect society, he will behave perfectly. The author’s means of achieving these ends are entirely political, and wildly impractical examples of progressivism without practical wisdom—and as such, unremarkable.

More troublingly, in the author’s view, at least implicitly, health is the goal of goals to which all other considerations ought to be subordinate. It is perhaps natural for a doctor to think this, concerned as he is, day in, day out, with the health of others, but nevertheless this is a very reductive view of life.

It goes almost without saying that health is desirable; no one would actually prefer to be unhealthy than healthy, though a considerable number do prefer to claim to be unhealthy, or unhealthier than they are. But we should remember that a life is not well- or badly-lived according only to its length. Mozart died at thirty-six, but would anyone say that his life would have been better-lived had he survived to seventy-two but without having composed any of his music? People, moreover, sacrifice their lives for any number of reasons, from the noblest to the most ignoble. Would anyone say that Martin Luther King lived badly because he exposed himself to assassination, which a nice quiet life would not have done? As is known, assassination is bad for the health; we do not say, therefore, that people who tell the truth despite threats are bad because they betray the cause of health and thereby lower (albeit infinitesimally) life expectancy in their society.

Read more here…

Money-Supply Growth Hits New High for Third Month in a Row

By Ryan McMaken

n June, for the third month in a row, money supply growth surged to an all-time high, following new all-time highs in both April and May that came in the wake of unprecedented quantitative easing, central bank asset purchases, and various stimulus packages.

The growth rate has never been higher, with the 1970s the only period that comes close. It was expected that money supply growth would surge in recent months. This usually happens in the wake of the early months of a recession or financial crisis. The magnitude of the growth rate, however, was unexpected.

During June 2020, year-over-year (YOY) growth in the money supply was at 34.5 percent. That’s up from May’s rate of 29.5 percent, and up from June 2019’s rate of 2.04 percent. Historically, this is a very large surge in growth, both month over month and year over year. It is also quite a reversal from the trend that only just ended in August of last year, when growth rates were nearly bottoming out around 2 percent. In August, the growth rate hit a 120-month low, falling to the lowest growth rates we’d seen since 2007.

Read more here…

A Picture is Worse than a Thousand Words

By Ramon P. DeGennaro, Phd

popular link circulating on the internet shows the results of a demonstration. Dr. Richard Davis sneezed, sang, talked, and coughed into agar cultures wearing a standard surgical mask, and again using no mask. The result is a powerful image: The cultures without the mask clearly show more microorganism growth.

The strongly worded conclusion from the post’s author? Wear a mask. That way, “Lives will be saved.”

A picture is worth a thousand words, but a picture is not a good substitute for thoughtful analysis. Does the image actually support the conclusion? Or even worse, is the image misleading, steering you to an incorrect conclusion?

Indeed, Dr. Davis’ own conclusion of his demonstration is considerably less emphatic than the author’s: “A mask preventing your spit & breath from flying out of your mouth, even if doesn’t catch it all, will stop some spread of bacteria (see [in this demonstration]) AND LIKELY VIRUS (not seen [in this demonstration]).” ~ Rich Davis, PhD, D(ABMM), MLS June 27, 2020, emphasis in the original.

That’s far less powerful. First, as Dr. Davis is careful to say, the cultures show bacterial growth, not viral growth. Bacteria are much larger than viruses, so a test showing that a mask blocks bacteria gives us no direct evidence that masks help block COVID-19 and other viral infections, such as the flu.

This doesn’t mean the demonstration is necessarily irrelevant for viral infections. But to inject a dramatic photo of bacterial cultures into the COVID-19 conversation is at best misleading. Masks may or may not be a good idea for you, but Captain Michael Doyle, the commanding officer of a coronavirus testing site, says, “The only mask that the CDC considers safe from you getting the coronavirus, the only way to actually prevent you from inhaling it, is the N95 mask.”

So, based on Captain Doyle’s statement, should we not bother to wear a mask? Again, masks may or may not be a good idea for you, but his statement is also potentially misleading: Although Captain Doyle is absolutely correct, he is discussing whether the mask protects the wearer. Perhaps we should consider those around us.

The rest of the article continues here….

The Metaphysics of Lockdown, According to Albert Camus

or many people, it was their first experience in a full denial of freedom. Locked in their homes. Prevented from traveling. Separated from loved ones. Forced to spend day after day wondering about big things previously unconsidered: why am I here, what are my goals, what is the purpose of my life?

It was a transformation. We are not the first to go through this. It is something experienced by prisoners, and by previous populations under lockdown.

I’m reading – over and over – Albert Camus’s classic and astonishingly brilliant book The Plague from 1947. There is a chapter that describes the inner life of people who have experienced lockdown for the first time. It came suddenly in the presence of a deadly disease. The entire town of 200,000 closed. No one in or out.

It’s fiction but all-too-real. I’m astonished at Camus’s perceptive insight here. Reading it slowly and nearly out loud is an experience. The poetry of the prose is incredible, but more so the depth of knowledge of the inner workings of the mind.

One interesting feature of the narrative is the difference in communication. They could only communicate via telegraph with the outside world, and with limited vocabulary. There were also letters outgoing but one had no idea whether the intended recipient would see it. Today of course we have vast opportunities for digital communication in audio and video, which is glorious, but no real substitute for the freedom to assemble and meet.

Here I am quoting this one chapter. I hope it helps you understand yourself as much as it did help me gain awareness of my own experience. The entire book is compelling. You can download it or read it for free at Archive.org.

Read the rest of the article here.

HG Wells on the Partnership Between Viruses and Humans

By Peter Earle

The tension between man and nature is always, everywhere, taut. It is particularly easy to forget that, particularly in urban environs — given the preponderance of concrete, steel, and glass amid commerce and social engagement. But even in midtown Manhattan, one of the most heavily trod places on earth: isolate a small area of pavement for a few days and sprigs soon appear from the edges. In just a few months, frail plants with leaves thinner than paper have wrest modernity back to the primordial: splitting asphalt, invading neighboring areas, and inexorably pushing toward the sky.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic has come so differently than most other collisions between human beings and the natural world — natural disasters and extreme weather, usually — that it seems to have leapt to an existential status.

At AIER we have written at length about historical analogues to the pandemic, about the need to maintain our humanity. Not so much the need as the requirement to not sacrifice the things that make us human — commerce, social interaction, creative association — in the wake of a new microbe.

HG Wells’ “War of the Worlds” (1898) carries a bevy of allegories, from colonialism and militarism to primitivism, Social Darwinism, and war. The nameless narrator (“Narrator”) survives the onslaught of a brutal Martian invasion. Amid the invasion, as he makes his way from Woking, England to London, he finds that many of his formerly rational countrymen have descended into bizarre behaviors and views. With citizens creeping around to avoid detection, a clergyman begins bellowing about the Apocalypse, leading to his death. Another suggests abandoning the surface of earth to restart civilization in subterranean caverns. Hysteria leads to the demise of untold numbers of people.

Read the rest here.

Stanford’s Dr. Scott Atlas: ’80-85%’ Of Texas Hospital Patients ‘Have Nothing To Do With COVID-19

By SCOTT MOREFIELD

Dr. Scott Atlas told Fox News’ “The Story” that a significant percentage of the surge in Texas hospital beds “have nothing to do with COVID-19.”

Atlas, former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, urged viewers not to panic at the spike in coronavirus cases before explaining that it “doesn’t really matter how many cases” there are, only “who gets the cases.”

For those under 70, Atlas said, the death rate is actually lower than the seasonal flu.

“We realize we have to wait to have the story play out here, but right now, the cases have been going up for three weeks and we have no increase,” he told guest host Trace Gallagher. “In fact, we have a decrease in death rates. You know, it doesn’t matter if you get the illness if you’re going to fully recover and be fine from it. That is what people must understand. For younger healthier people, there’s not a higher risk from this disease at all.”

Read the rest here…

Coronavirus Qualified Plan Relief: 401(k) withdrawal penalties waived due to Coronavirus

The 401(k) plan has many benefits and restrictions. Currently, due to the crisis from the coronavirus, Congress has waived some of the penalties, and increased the loan amount— along with altering other provisions.

Read more here:
https://fortune.com/2020/03/27/401k-withdrawal-penalties-waived-retirement-accounts-loans-retirees-coronavirus-stimulus-package-cares-act-relief-bill/?fbclid=IwAR2_x6jmPGN5fiYcMSZR6ae-II6WJzd9wnbLeYmRQ3bKeTbsFyC0CFEEKcc