More reports on the devastation caused by the social and economic shutdown.

Illustration of what happened to average earnings of working poor because of the economic lockdowns. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Reports keep rolling in on the destruction caused by governmental orders to shut down the economy, our educational system, and large portions of society.

My prediction is we will continue to these reports for the next five or 10 years,

Merely two of recent articles:

  • Excess deaths are identifiable for people who had mental health struggles.
  • Harvard study shows lockdowns seriously hurt earnings of poor folk while rich folk were earning more money.

Lockdowns killed people with mental health struggles.

Medical Express – 10/8/21 – Excess deaths in people with mental health conditions increased during the Covid-19 pandemic– The lockdowns and other actions taken during the pandemic killed a significant number of people with mental health trouble.

Let me say it again – The shutdowns killed people who were already struggling with mental health problems.

A concept we all need to learn about is something called “excess deaths.”

That is the number of people who died because of some situation or circumstance greater than the number who would have otherwise died if that situation or circumstance had not taken place.

Research published in The Lancet Regional Health – Europe looked at people living in England and Wales. They standardized the results based on age, gender, and even adjusted for whether people were living inside London or not.

Researchers explained that people with the conditions they researched routinely have double the mortality rate of people without any of those issues.

Here’s the baseline:

  • Two times higher – normally increased mortality rate of people with serious mental health issues compared to the general population

Here’s what the researchers found during the shutdowns:

  • Nine times higher – mortality rate of people with learning disabilities compared to the general population
  • Five times higher – mortality rate of people with eating disorders
  • Four times higher – mortality rate of people with personality disorders
  • Four times higher – people with dementia
  • Three times higher – people with schizophrenia
  • Two times higher – as a reminder this is the baseline of increased mortality for people suffering these conditions compared to the general population without the pandemic

For any of those categories of struggling people, a death rate more than two times higher is an indication of excess deaths. In other words, how much worse the death rate was due to the lockdowns.

To restate the destruction caused by government policies, the lockdowns killed far more people with severe mental health struggles than would have died otherwise.

Lockdowns trashed the earnings of working poor.

Foundation for Economic Education – 6/17/21 – New Harvard Data (Accidentally) Reveal How Lockdowns Crushed the Working Class While Leaving Elites Unscathed – Yeah, the article is about five months old. I mentioned this back on 6/25/21, but it bears repeating. Will expand the discussion by describing the false “Yeah, but…” arguments that try to pretend the results aren’t real.

Data analysis from Harvard University, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Brown University calculated the change in income levels from the month before the pandemic kicked off through March 2021.

The analysis looked at earnings for low-wage workers (less than $27,000 annual income), middle wage earners (annual income between 27,000 and 60,000), and high wage workers (earning more than $60,000 a year).

What is the change from January 2020 to March 2021?

  • Down 23.6% – low-wage workers
  • Down 4.5% – middle wage workers
  • Up 2.4% – high wage workers

In other words, the government-ordered shutdown of the economy cut average pay for the lowest earners by about 25%. That is a devastating drop in average income.

Highest earners, those over $60,000 a year remember, increased their earnings about 3%.

That reminds me that the new description someone coined for our economy is the laptop class and the servant class.

Yeah, but wait a minute, I hear you say, it is actually the coronavirus that caused the economic destruction. Article points out that there are multiple studies showing that states with more aggressive lockdowns suffered increased unemployment rates. So, the lockdowns themselves, not the virus, caused that economic destruction.

Yeah, but wait another minute, I hear you say, the lockdowns prevented sicknesses. Article points out there are multiple studies showing that at best lockdowns slowed the infections. Some studies which I’ve referenced in previous posts a year ago show that many of the lockdowns were imposed at or after the peak infection rate. Thus, most of the lockdowns had nothing to do with the dropping infection rates that were already underway.

That means we are left with deliberate lockdowns as the cause of that destruction in earnings for the lowest paid workers in our economy.

The laptop class rode out the pandemic while the working poor saw their average income drop by one-fourth.

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