‘Act fast and do whatever it takes’ to fight the COVID-19 crisis, say leading economists

Rosamond Hutt reported on March 23, 2020 for the World Economic Forum:

As the list of countries shutting down in the face of the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow, leading economists from around the world are calling for radical action to fight the economic fallout.

More than 40 high-profile economists, including IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath and former President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, Jason Furman, have contributed to an eBook from the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in which they urge governments to act quickly and do whatever it takes to keep the lights on.

They advocate using heavy fiscal firepower for a “whatever-it-takes” economic response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Among the drastic measures proposed are: ‘helicopter money,’ where everyone gets a no-strings-attached handout; Eurozone countries using eurobonds to issue debt together rather than individually; and state investment banks providing unlimited emergency lending to firms

Though the economists say it’s still too early to tell how bad the economic damage will be, they’re certain it will be large – the pandemic is destroying lives and livelihoods around the world…

The measures necessary to contain the virus – quarantine, social distancing, school, university and daycare closures, shutdowns of non-essential businesses, and asking people to work from home – are bringing economies to a screeching halt…

Read more.

The corona virus crisis and its continuation appear to have been socially engineered.

From Lefticon:

Crisis – an adverse event, series of events, confrontation, or threat that has reached a dangerous or intolerable level and requires immediate attention and action.

A crisis can occur in any area of human endeavor and interaction, as well as in the processes of the natural world and the cosmos. At any given time, there can be multiple identifiable global crises in the areas of climate, energy, finance, politics, technology, the media, and warfare.

Crises are exploited by ideologues to drive social and cultural change, by politicians to validate their own relevance, and by the social engineers of the deep state to control the people they pretend to serve. They are used by the corporate media to maximize a TV channel or publication’s market share of readers and viewers.

In the absence of a spontaneous crisis, one can be created. False flag operations are staged crises that serve a political or military agenda. A tool of social engineering, crisis creation relies on a complicit media using the proven techniques of propaganda: disinformation, statistical manipulation, “leaks” by unattributed sources, and confirmation by undisclosed “experts,” “authorities,” and “officials.” Some examples of engineered crises are

    • the climate change crisis to promote carbon taxes and alternative energy;
    • sequential mass shootings to promote restrictions on legal gun ownership;
    • the drug crisis to justify the War on Drugs;
    • the attack on the World Trade Center to create an Islamic-terrorism crisis, justify wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and support an unending War on Terror; and
    • the exploitation of a seasonal flu-like illness (the corona virus), to create a global pandemic, trigger socio-economic disruption, and test the receptivity of the masses to draconian measures of social control. Some of the effects of the corona virus pandemic on the economy were not typical and, if planned, may have escaped from the control of its planners.

Sequential and concurrent crises create uncertainty, insecurity, and stress in the masses, out of which can emerge a demand for solutions justifying more governmental spending, an expansion of the agencies involved, or the creation of new agencies. With each crisis comes an incremental increase of the power of the state and a decrease in individual freedom. The bureaucratic deep state, the military-industrial complex, and security agencies thrive on crises.

In most cases, the dysphoria from inundating the masses with socially-engineered crises benefits the economy. People spend more when they are anxious and depressed. In addition to impulse spending on unneeded gadgets and apparel, consumers self-medicate more with alcohol, tobacco, and “recreational” drugs; they travel more, take more vacations, and eat more in restaurants; they take more anxiolytics and anti-depressants; and they get more stress-related diseases requiring costly medical and hospital care. Relentless crises benefit multiple capitalist enterprises that are all too willing to exploit them.

Social engineering – the application of measures designed to change the attitudes and behavior of a targeted population.

Social engineering attempts to incentivize some attitudes and behaviors and disincentivize others. The measures can be coercive, cooperative, persuasive, reactive, or electronic.

      • Coercive measures are those applied by a government using its powers of legislation, regulation, adjudication, and enforcement. They include statutes, rules, regulations, taxes, licenses, permits, quotas, mandates, judgments, injunctions, penalties, confiscations, expropriation, and fines. Often guided by statistical analyses, these measures aim to correct specific social and economic inequalities or induce compliance with a political or ideological agenda. They are tactical rather than strategic. Examples are affirmative action and the penalizing of disparate impact.
      • Punitive measures make use of extralegal means to stifle dissent and control speech that is deemed hateful or politically incorrect, despite the free-speech protections of the First Amendment of the US Constitution. This is accomplished on the Internet in various ways from direct censorship to algorithmic manipulation of search engine results, termination or denial of web access, and demonetization. In many cases, government cannot be directly involved because of the First Amendment, but lets it happen if it fits the progressive agenda.
      • Cooperative measures involve governmental support of favored industries or programs. Examples include subsidies for minority-owned businesses; federal grants to the states to adopt a Common Core Curriculum; subsidies for Healthcare Exchanges; and the CIA-media collaboration in Operation Mockingbird. Financial backing at startup and in the early stages of an enterprise (before independent profitability) was a key factor in the extraordinary success of our major Internet search engine, cloud storage, and social media corporations. These same corporations are willing to punish dissent extralegally, as described above. Unfortunately, there is a level of government involvement with industry which becomes government control of industry, which is essentially fascism; or industry control of government, which is corporatocracy.
      • Persuasive measures are those using indoctrination and propaganda to achieve socio-political and cultural change. These measures are strategic in the sense of being long term, rather than tactical or short term, and their aim is full acceptance by the masses of a socio-political agenda rooted in ideology. They are the task of the educational system (K-20), the major media corporations, and Hollywood. In the Soviet system, these were called active measures.
      • Reactive measures use crises to further an agenda. In the immortal words of Rahm Emanuel, “You never want a serious crisis go to waste.” A crisis can be a single event that tests a system or policy; a turning point resulting in significant change; a forced confrontation between adversaries; or an accumulation of adverse events that has reached an intolerable peak. It can be spontaneous and commandeered for political purposes, or it can be created. Crisis creation requires the time-tested techniques of propaganda: disinformation, manipulation of statistical data, and media collaboration.
      • Electronic measures use advanced technology for mass surveillance coupled with a system of instant rewards and penalties for acceptable and unacceptable behavior. The social credit system in the People’s Republic of China is such a system, incorporating high-definition closed-circuit television (HDCCT), facial recognition technology, massive data storage capability, artificial intelligence (AI), and 5G internet. It is already operative in many major cities and scheduled for full implementation in 2020.

The foregoing measures are synergistic and most effective when applied concurrently. They can be initiated by government and sustained by the demands of a segment of the population, but they are generally purposed to affect an entire population.

It is possible for social engineering to have unintended consequences, becoming so successful that it turns on the social engineers, so to speak. The #MeToo movement is a case in point. Strongly advanced by feminists, it destroyed the careers of many leading progressives in industry, politics, academia, Hollywood, and the media who had staunchly supported feminism. In earlier times, they would have been unaffected (see Clinton-Kennedy paradox). Another case is the War on Drugs which resulted in the disproportionate incarceration of minorities.

Note:  The term social engineering is also used by Internet hackers, phishers, spammers, and scammers to describe their manipulative techniques to obtain confidential information for nefarious purposes.