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Posts Tagged ‘Build Back Better’

Biden Staff Did ‘Inexcusable’ Things: Manchin | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on December 21, 2021

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/our-entire-democracy-line-squad-fires-manchin-killing-build-back-better

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

Update (1515ET): Manchin on Monday laid out possible changes to the $2 trillion Build Back Better economic agenda which might encourage him to reverse his “no” on the legislation.For starters, Manchin said he would only support a $1.75 trillion bill that seriously overhauls the US tax code, and that significantly lowers the cost of a broader array of prescription drugs vs. the current offering.”If you’re going to negotiate then negotiate. Don’t start picking and choosing and playing games,” he said.

He also wants work requirements for benefits, such as expanded child tax credits, as well as a means test which would cut off people making over $200,000 per y ear.

Manchin’s vision for the child tax credit is at odds with Biden’s pledge to not raise taxes on those earning less than $400,000. Manchin suggested scaling back the tax benefit for those earning between $200,000 and $400,000. He said he didn’t believe that parents who didn’t earn any income should be able to get the credit, a revision that would reverse a change Democrats made to the benefit earlier this year.Even if those changes are made, Manchin indicated he has other issues with the bill and how its been pushed through Congress. –Bloomberg

The West Virginia moderate also said he wants the bill to be run through several Senate committees that would examine its effects, and he’s also rejected attempts to fast-track “major policy changes” that would bypass the GOP filibuster.*  *  *Update (1034ET): Sen. Joe Manchin said during a local radio interview that Joe Biden’s staff did some ‘inexcusable’ things which drove him to reject the Build Back Better plan.

“They figured surely to God we can move one person. We surely can badger and beat one person up. Surely we can get enough protesters to make that person uncomfortable enough that they’ll just say, ‘OK I’ll vote for anything,'” Manchin continued. “Well, guess what? I’m from West Virginia. I’m not from where they’re from and they can just beat the living crap out of people and think they’ll be submissive, period.”*  *  *Progressive Democrats are livid at moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) for killing the Biden administration’s $2 trillion Build Back Better plan over the weekend.Our entire democracy is on the line,” tweeted congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday. “We, as always, are here to fight for this agenda. What matters most to us is that it gets done,” she added. “But we cannot just shrug our shoulders and accept this as some Charlie Brown moment.””So we need to get back in there and get this s*** done. Period.”

See the rest here

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Some common sense advice from two billionaires

Posted by M. C. on December 18, 2021

Simon Black

Elon Musk didn’t have a care in the world last week as he hilariously mocked questions in a live interview with the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal’s reporter had essentially prepared a number of softball questions designed for Elon to praise the US government’s new ‘Build Back Better’ bill.

If you haven’t heard, the legislation contains a number of provisions which should greatly benefit Tesla, including major subsidies to build electric vehicle charging stations across the US.

But Elon had no interest in the puff piece.

“Unnecessary,” he interjected when the reporter started to ask what he thought of the subsidies.

“Do we need support for gas stations? We don’t. So there’s no need for support for a charging network. I’d delete it. Delete.”

This left the reporter flummoxed… how could Elon possibly not be excited about “free” government money that would support his business?

But Elon’s point seemed completely lost on her.

“Seriously we shouldn’t pass it,” Elon continued, almost exasperated.

“If we don’t cut government spending, something really bad is going to happen. This is crazy. Our spending is so far in excess of revenue its insane. You could zero out all billionaires in the country… you still wouldn’t solve the deficit.”

Want to ensure you and your loved ones can survive and thrive, no matter what happens next? Download our FREE Ultimate Plan B Guide now to discover fully actionable strategies you can start putting in place right now…

So the reporter said, well, let’s change the subject.

Elon then sounded-off on issues like the rise of China and corresponding decline of the US. He also called declining birth rates “one of the biggest risks to civilization.”

Now, Elon Musk is a famously eccentric character.

But another more ‘traditional’ billionaire is also on board with this ethos.

Ray Dalio founded and runs the largest hedge fund in the world, Bridgewater Associates.

He has been very vocal over the past several years about the pathetic state of US government finances, and obvious shift of wealth and power away from the US.

For example, last year he published an article which asks, why in the world would you own bonds?

Dalio points out that, buying US Treasury bonds (which is tantamount to loaning money to the federal government) USED TO BE a good investment, back when America was actually creditworthy.

But now when you buy bonds, you’re loaning money to the largest debtor that has ever existed in the history of the world… and in exchange you are receiving return that is well below the rate of inflation.

Dalio points out that people still value US government bonds because of “the ‘exorbitant privilege’ the US has had being the world’s leading reserve currency, which has allowed the US to overborrow for decades.”

But there are signs of the changing global wealth and power dynamic, as international investors are starting to shift to Chinese bonds.

That’s a major theme in Dalio’s new book, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail.

Dalio has made it his life’s work to understand debt and political cycles, in order to foresee risks that others miss, and better serve his clients.

He makes a lot of the same assertions that Elon makes; for example, Dalio explains that economies, governments, and civilizations move in cycles. And in simple terms, there are good parts of the cycle, and there are bad parts.

The good part of the cycle is characterized by peace, prosperity, and production. The bad part includes recession, depression, inflation, social conflict, and war.

If you think about US history, we can see that the 1920s were a ‘good’ part of the cycle. The 1930s and 1940s were bad— the Great Depression, World War II, etc.

Then the 1950s and early 1960s were good again. The late 1960s through the early 1980s were bad, marked by extreme social turmoil, geopolitical conflict, and stagflation.

The mid 1990s through the mid 2010s were generally quite good, especially from an economic perspective.

Now we seem to be in transition once again to a bad part of the cycle— social conflict, inflation, geopolitical tensions, and more.

Dalio’s book, which I highly recommend reading, lays out a very clear case of what is happening right now, and why.

His ideas are quite similar to much of what we have been writing about for so long here at Sovereign Man.

And Dalio has suggested some of the same solutions that we’ve discussed in these pages.

First, education is critical: it’s imperative to understand how these cycles work in order to be prepared for what’s coming.

Mindset is also key: There’s no reason to panic. The world is not coming to an end. But it IS changing. Rapidly.

Dalio writes that the transition from the good part of the cycle to the bad part are rarely smooth or peaceful. And they often coincide with a shift of wealth and power.

And the United States, while still strong, is clearly losing its wealth and power thanks to its historical debt, massive deficits, an utter embarrassment in Afghanistan, the rise of Marxism, ridiculous ‘woke’ national priorities, etc.

For these reasons, it makes sense to take rational steps to mitigate these long-term risks.

Investors frequently diversify their portfolios to reduce risk; they spread their assets around different companies, different sectors, and even different asset classes, in order to ensure that they’re not over-exposed to a single set of risks.

Similarly, our approach at Sovereign Man is to diversify your geographic/country risk as well.

Give serious thought to the long-term risks where you live. Will your home country experience social conflict, inflation, capital controls, or war?

The good news is that not all countries are going through the same part of their cycles. By taking a global view, you can avoid the worst of the economic shifts that Elon Musk and Ray Dalio are talking about… and what we’ve been writing about for years at Sovereign Man.

This could mean securing foreign citizenship or residency, to ensure you always have another place to go, just in case you ever need the option.

It could mean using alternative assets like crypto or precious metals as a hedge against inflation. Or investing internationally to reduce exposure to your home currency.

The key idea is— don’t put all of your eggs in one basket… especially when that basket is the largest debtor in world history that’s blindly racing as fast as it can into a fiscal abyss.

PS: Alternative residency or citizenship generally forms the backbone of any robust Plan B. But there are WAY more things to consider. That’s why we created our 31-page Ultimate Plan B report to help you get to grips with this topic, and you can download the full, unabridged report here – 100% FREE.

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‘Delete It’: Elon Musk Slams Biden’s Build Back Better Bill – Full Interview – LewRockwell.com

Posted by M. C. on December 11, 2021

New respect for Elon Musk

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/12/no_author/delete-it-elon-musk-slams-bidens-build-back-better-bill/

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Here’s one tiny example of how absurd Build Back Better is

Posted by M. C. on December 8, 2021

So why would any sane individual continue investing in this program? Even the New York Times called it a complete failure and “a little bit like prison”.

And yet the Job Corps is set to be the proud beneficiary of $1.5 billion, courtesy of the Build Back Better Act that passed the US House of Representatives on Friday.

LBJ at least got one thing right.

In his original State of the Union address in 1964, he acknowledged that the private sector (NOT the government) had the real power to create jobs, enhance prosperity, and alleviate poverty.

Simon Black

In early January 1964, barely six weeks after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, US President Lyndon Johnson delivered a speech to the American people in which he declared an “unconditional war.”

But he didn’t declare war on Vietnam. Or Cuba. Or the Soviet Union.

Johnson declared war on poverty.

And in his State of the Union address he told his fellow Americans that it would take more than “a single piece of legislation” to eradicate poverty.

So they got to work preparing a series of expensive programs to create jobs, build affordable housing, establish new entitlement programs, and invest in vocational training.

It goes without saying that this spending bonanza kicked off a steep increase in inflation. But more importantly it turns out that most of these programs were utter failures.

One of the best examples is the Job Corps, an initiative established in 1964 to provide free vocational training to young people.

The Job Corps was something of a pet project for Lyndon Johnson; he believed that “one thousand dollars invested in salvaging an unemployable youth today can return $40,000 or more in his lifetime.”

This is a long-standing argument for increased public investment in education.

And yet according to a long-term study of the Job Corps published in 2018 by the agency’s own Inspector General, the program has been a terrible investment for the American taxpayer.

See the rest here

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I Read Biden’s Build Back Better Plan and…Oh, My God

Posted by M. C. on November 12, 2021

Over and over again, the bill is written expressly NOT to help the hardworking Linda, apparently because she is white. Here are just a few examples:

Ann Coulter

The White House’s official press release announcing the Build Back Better Act (BBB) pitches it as a “PLAN TO REBUILD THE MIDDLE CLASS.” It rhapsodizes about “working families” squeezed by the economy, and reminds voters that “Biden promised to rebuild the backbone of the country — the middle class.”

A cartoon illustrates the sort of person who would benefit from Biden’s Build Back Better programs: “Linda,” a white woman, who works at a manufacturing plant but struggles to raise her son, “Leo.”

One thing the White House’s official press release did not mention is that almost all of the $2 trillion doled out under BBB is expressly designated for Black, Latino, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander and non-English speaking individuals. White Americans will get nothing and like it. “Even provisions that don’t explicitly exclude whites, turn out, on closer examination, to exclude whites.”

Over and over again, the bill is written expressly NOT to help the hardworking Linda, apparently because she is white. Here are just a few examples:

— $1 billion to Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities for housing “needs.”

— $500 million for minority-serving schools of medicine.

— $112 million for teacher preparation programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).

— $75 million for culturally appropriate care management and services for older individuals who are racial and ethnic minorities or are underserved due to sexual orientation or gender identity.

— $75 million to study maternal health for pregnant and postpartum minority individuals.

— $50 million study maternal mortality among minorities.

— $50 million to improve behavioral health outcomes for communities of color with substance abuse.

— $75 million to increase research capacity at minority-serving institutions.

And on and on and on.

See the rest here

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‘Build Back… You Know, The Thing’: Americans Have No Idea What’s In Biden’s Economic Plan | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on October 24, 2021

What’s more, “Not even Congress knows what the bill would accomplish, with the contents of the plan changing day-by-day as Democrats squabble over how much it should spend, who it should benefit and who should pay for it.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/build-back-you-know-thing-americans-have-no-idea-whats-bidens-economic-plan

by Tyler Durden

While Congressional Democrats spar over the ultimate size of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” economic plan, Bloomberg astutely points out that Americans have no clue what they’re signing up for with their tax dollars. In fact, according to a CBS News poll published Oct. 10, just 10% of Americans say they know the specifics of the bill, while only 1/3 think it would benefit them directly.What’s more, “Not even Congress knows what the bill would accomplish, with the contents of the plan changing day-by-day as Democrats squabble over how much it should spend, who it should benefit and who should pay for it.”

For example, on Tuesday, the White House suggested it would jettison free community college. The next day, Democrats were focused on proposed tax hikes after moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) put her foot down over corporate and personal tax rates.In an attempt to provide some clarity (don’t hold your breath), Biden on Thursday night held a CNN town hall-style event (on the same night as Dune’s US release).In short, their messaging sucks.”I will state the obvious, but they need to shift the focus away from process to policy. So far, the coverage around their proposal is all around Democratic divisions, which inevitably makes it impossible to sell,” said former Marco Rubio communications director, Alex Conant. “Frankly, they need to talk about what their goals are,” he added. “Why is this necessary?”Republicans, on the other hand, are clear on their messaging; “Massive government spending leads to massive tax hikes,” according to GOP strategist Ron Bonjean. “When you have a shifting number and shifting programs, it becomes confusing to follow.”

Instead of focusing on the legislation’s new investments in child care, the elderly, education, healthcare and climate change, Democratic lawmakers have openly haggled over the price tag. A standoff between the party’s progressive and centrist factions has created cable news-ready drama.“Given how much is wrapped up in this package, it was always going to be a long and intense negotiation,”  said Ben LaBolt, a former spokesperson for President Barack Obama. “One way to start is to build the case for the way this will help middle class families and focus the public on those conversations, while at the same time preserving room for the closed-door negotiations to bring all of the elements of the party together for the biggest, most comprehensive approach possible.” -Bloomberg

In a Wednesday speech in Scranton, PA, Biden tried – and failed – to  convey how his economic agenda would help working class families – by intermingling stories about growing up in the area and programs contained in the legislation.”Frankly, they’re about more than giving working families a break; they’re about positioning our country to compete in the long haul,” said Biden, doing his usual poor job of reading a teleprompter. “Economists left, right, and center agree.”Meanwhile, Biden – let’s face it, Biden’s ‘advisers’ have failed to ink a final compromise between warring factions of Democrats. For the Build Back Better plan to pass, every single Senate Democrat must be on board. As moderates Sinema and Joe Manchin (D-WV) balk on the price tag and demanding deep cuts, progressive House Democrats are sure to similarly balk at passing the smaller, $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that’s already passed the Senate.

While advocacy groups have started to spend heavily to promote policies in the plan, most of the discussion remains centered on its cost.Biden’s advisers are banking on the presumption that ordinary Americans don’t pay much attention to the machinations of everyday Washington. Much as they were during the presidential campaign, the president’s aides are largely dismissive of what they call horse-race stories.But Biden’s team had a much easier time selling his pandemic relief legislation, the American Rescue Plan, in March, with its convenient focus on three clear issues — money for vaccines, money to re-open schools and checks sent directly to American households. -Bloomberg

They haven’t laid out why we need this, other than Democrats are in power now and aren’t going to have it again for a long time,” said Conant.Good luck with that.

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Do You Believe in Magic? | Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on March 30, 2021

A command economy means that government increasingly attempts to takes over economic enterprise, to replace x-million individual economic choices of freely-acting people in a society with bureaucratic central planning. (Have you already said ha-ha-ha, knowing how that has worked out through history?)

UBI is the primary feature of that because, in a command economy, production is mostly pretend, so you just have to give people money (for nothing). Remember the old basic operating system of the Soviet Union, stated succinctly as: We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us. Got that?

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/do-you-believe-in-magic/

James Howard Kunstler

The people pretending to run the world’s financial affairs do. The more layers of abstract game-playing they add to the existing armatures of unreality they’ve already constructed, the more certain it becomes that they will blow up all the support systems of a sunsetting hyper-tech economy that now has no safe lane to continue running in.

Virtually all the big nations are doing this now in desperation because they don’t understand that the hyper-tech economy is hostage to the deteriorating economics of energy, basically fossil fuels, and oil especially. The macro mega-system can’t grow anymore. We’re now in the de-growth phase of a dynamic that pulsates through history, as everything in the universe pulsates. We attempted to compensate for de-growth with debt, borrowing from the future.

But debt only works in the youthful growth phases of economic pulsation, when the prospect of being paid back is statistically favorable. Now in the elder de-growth phase, the prospect of paying back debts, or even servicing the interest, is statistically dismal. The amount of racked-up debt worldwide has entered the realm of the laughable. So, the roughly twenty-year experiment in Central Bank credit magic, as a replacement for true capital formation, has come to its grievous end.

Hence, America under the pretend leadership of Joe Biden ventures into the final act of this melodrama, which will end badly and probably pretty quickly. They are about to call in the financial four horsemen of apocalypse: 1) Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), 2) a command economy, 3) Universal Basic Income (UBI, “helicopter” money for the people), and 4) the “Build Back Better” infrastructure scheme.

MMT is the idea that a nation which claims a monopoly on issuing money can “create” new money ad infinitum with no negative consequences. That is, we can “lend” ourselves money (borrow it into existence) without having to worry about paying it back. The theory caught on only because that’s what we’ve done for two decades and, so far, it hasn’t destroyed the banking system — though debt turned exponential, which is to say ruinous, only recently — so we won’t have to stand by long to see how this experiment works out. Note this: MMT completes the divorce between productive activity and capital formation, that is, prosperity without wealth.

A command economy means that government increasingly attempts to take over economic enterprise, to replace x-million individual economic choices of freely-acting people in a society with bureaucratic central planning. (Have you already said ha-ha-ha, knowing how that has worked out through history?)

UBI is the primary feature of that because, in a command economy, production is mostly pretend, so you just have to give people money (for nothing). Remember the old basic operating system of the Soviet Union, stated succinctly as: We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us. Got that?

The idea behind “Build Back Better” is to renovate the infrastructure of a hyper-tech economy that actually no longer exists because we are in the contraction phase of an historic pulsation or cycle, leaving us with lots of tech and less production, tending toward zero. Nobody flogging this slogan actually knows what it ought to mean under the circumstances, which is to go with the flow of the reality of this contraction: to downsize, downscale, and re-localize all our activities to bring them back into sync with actual productivity — that is, raising food, making real stuff, and trading it. Again, it’s the energy dynamic, stupid.

To get to that point, we’re going to shed the massive over-burden of financial game-playing that has pretended to represent our economy. That means stock valuations and bond prices will vaporize along with the derivative activities concocted for trading gainfully in these now-phantom representations of capital. If that happens sooner rather than later, we won’t even be able to pretend to Build Back Better the interstate highways, the electric grid, airports, and all the other stuff in the “infrastructure” folder.

Indeed, a lot of that would be malinvestment folly now because we’re nearing the end of mass motoring and commercial aviation as we’ve known them. If we even have electricity twenty-five years from now, it will come from much-reduced grids on a much more regional basis. The bottom line for all this is that pretty soon every corner of the country will be on its own amid quite a bit of social disorder and financial wreckage. So, whatever energy you actually can marshal to Build Back Better, save it for your town or your local community. And remember, all of the attempts by a national government to control these events, and coerce its citizens in the service of that, will only lead to a more ineffectual and impotent national government that nobody has faith in, confirming the fact that you are on your own.

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“Build Back Better”: Why Are Both Biden and Boris Now Using This Phrase? | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 14, 2020

During lockdown, countless commentators waxed lyrical about how “nature was coming back to life” during our miserable house imprisonment. Now, economist Mariana Mazzucato, of University College London, is floating the idea of “climate lockdowns”—that is, forcing people to stay in their homes to limit carbon dioxide emissions. And the UN is pushing a global propaganda campaign to get a good percentage of national bailout budgets siphoned off into “green” gravy train projects with highly questionable environmental and economic returns.

https://mises.org/wire/build-back-better-why-are-both-biden-and-boris-now-using-phrase?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=705dd97dc7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-705dd97dc7-228343965

Mark Tovey

Listen to the Audio Mises Wire version of this article.

The Trump campaign shared a video on social media this week, claiming Joe Biden had ripped off a slogan from British prime minister Boris Johnson.

“We have a great opportunity to build back and to build back better” (emphasis added), Biden said in the video, dated July 9, 2020. Then rolled a video of the British PM, using the same phrase on May 28: “We owe it to future generations to build back better.” Damning evidence—it seemed—that the Democratic nominee had, once again, copied his homework. (Biden was famously caught passing off a Robert F. Kennedy quote as his own during his ill-fated 1988 run for president.)

In fact, the story here is not one of lazy speech writing or plagiarism. The use of the phrase “build back better” by both Biden and the British PM spells something far more sinister. “Build back better” is the rallying cry of a globalist plot to exploit the coronavirus pandemic for the sake of narrow-minded, well-connected lobby groups—particularly of the “environmentalist” stripe.

Boris Johnson did not coin the phrase “build back better”. It first surfaced on April 22 in a UN press release, marking “International Mother Earth Day”—a faux holiday created by the UN in 2009.

As the world begins planning for a post-pandemic recovery, the United Nations is calling on Governments to seize the opportunity to “build back better” by creating more sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies.

“The current crisis is an unprecedented wake-up call,” said Secretary-General António Guterres in his International Mother Earth Day message. “We need to turn the recovery into a real opportunity to do things right for the future.”

But would “Brexit Boris” really swallow a globalist scheme hook, line and sinker? On October 6, the British PM unveiled a plan at the Conservative Party conference to dump £160m into powering every home with wind energy by 2030—all part of a harebrained scheme to “build back greener.”

The Conservative lawmaker Lord Matt Ridley excoriated Boris’s “build back greener” policy in a radio interview the next day: “It takes 150 tonnes of coal to build one wind turbine…if we want a zero-carbon future by 2050, the only way we’re going to get it is nuclear. Wind is messing around and rewarding rich people at the expense of poor people.”

But it is not just Boris Johnson and Joe Biden who are being played like cheap violins by the UN. All around the world, politicians are echoing the same sentiment.

The European Commission used the slogan when announcing their €750 billion stimulus fund on May 27: “Through this fund, officially titled Next Generation EU, the Commission hopes to “build back better,” through channels that contribute to a greener, more sustainable and resilient society.”

In Canada, PM Justin Trudeau signaled his allegiance to the globalist “green” lobby in August, saying: “We need to reset the approach of this government for a recovery to build back better.”

The UN have even taken the liberty of translating the slogan into Spanish (reconstruir mejor), Portuguese (reconstruir melhor), French (reconstruire en mieux), and many other tongues—so that politicians all over the world can sing from the same hymn sheet. The No Agenda podcast, hosted by Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak, is a fantastic resource for keeping track of the growing number of co-occurrences of the “build back better” meme.

Some environmentalists are twisting the covid-19 pandemic into a pretext for extreme “green” policies, of the type that would have been unthinkable less than a year ago. During lockdown, countless commentators waxed lyrical about how “nature was coming back to life” during our miserable house imprisonment. Now, economist Mariana Mazzucato, of University College London, is floating the idea of “climate lockdowns”—that is, forcing people to stay in their homes to limit carbon dioxide emissions. And the UN is pushing a global propaganda campaign to get a good percentage of national bailout budgets siphoned off into “green” gravy train projects with highly questionable environmental and economic returns.

Talk of “building back better” and “green growth” obfuscates the tradeoff between growing GDP and limiting carbon dioxide emissions. Globally, GDP is forecast to plummet a whopping 4.9 percent in 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Lifting lockdowns, cutting taxes and deregulating would quickly get the world turning again. On the other hand, financing a global racket with billions of dollars of funny money—or “building back better”—will only cause us to sink deeper into this malaise. Author:

Mark ToveyMark Tovey works for a data news agency and has authored numerous reports for London-based think-tanks, including the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Taxpayers’ Alliance. His research has largely focused on health economics issues and the UK foreign aid budget. He graduated in 2016 with a degree in economics from the University of Sussex.

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