episode 208: “How Policy Responses to the Pandemic Continue to Shatter Our World” with Jeffrey Tucker
The world has suffered and continues to suffer catastrophic economic and social damage from the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 – but not from the virus itself.
Rather we’re in the midst of a continuing global crisis created by governments’ policy responses to the pandemic.
- Trillions of dollars of Federal “relief” spending
- Financed by the Federal Reserve massively increasing the money supply
- And the countless coercive rules and restrictions implemented to stop a Covid virus that came anyway.
The result is the highest inflation in 40 years, which is not slowing down but accelerating. Of course there are other forces at work, like the Biden Administration’s war on fossil fuels, but the root causes of inflation were in place before that.
To understand this better and what we need to be concerned about next, in this episode I talk with the great Jeffrey A. Tucker, the founder of the Brownstone Institute and author of the recently published “Liberty or Lockdown.” Our topic: his speech at Hillsdale College and related article about“The Economic Disaster of the Pandemic Response.”
From the beginning – and starting with Donald Trump’s response – the idea of “the economy” – viewed as mechanistic, money-centered, mostly about the stock market, and detached from anything truly important – was pitted against public health and lives,” reminds Jeffrey.
When governments started declaring some businesses essential and others non-essential what they did not understand is that everything in a economy is interconnected. It’s woven. It’s never obvious, but if you cut even one thread, all of a sudden the whole fabric can start to unravel. You cannot just turn off an economy and expect that you can restart it with a snap of your fingers.
The same thing was done with medical procedures and treatments and hospital beds. Some were declared “essential”, others not. Perversely, spending on healthcare plummeted during the pandemic. Non-virus health conditions worsened and life expectancy in America fell.
“We lost two years of education, substance abuse and addiction rose and hundreds of thousands of businesses were destroyed,” says Jeffrey. “Vaccine mandates led to more than a million people being displaced from their jobs.”
In the almost three years after the virus emerged from Wuhan China, “we face an economic crisis without precedent in our lifetimes, the longest period of declining real income in the post-war period, a health and educational crisis, an exploding national debt plus inflation at a 40-year high, continued and seemingly random shortages, dysfunction in labor markets that defies all models, the breakdown of international trade, a collapse in consumer confidence not seen since we started tracking it, and a combustible level of political division.”
So here we are. We all need to be deeply concerned about not just this one crisis, but authorities response to the inevitable next “crises” as well.
“To this day, the educated elites in the public health establishment defend every last thing they did. Not a single power that they used to lock us down before has been diminished,” worries Jeffrey. “Yes, the courts have cut this policy or that policy a little bit here and there, too little, too late. But in general, all the policy, all the powers that they had before, they have now still, and they will use them again.”
We can’t afford to sit on the sidelines and let this happen. Listen in as Jeffrey and I explore what happened and what we need to do to prevent it next time.
episode 208 transcript
Episode 208: “How Policy Responses to the Pandemic Continue to Shatter Our World” with Jeffrey Tucker
Speaker 1 (00:04):
Welcome to The Bill Walton Show, featuring conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and thinkers. Fresh perspectives on money, culture, politics, and human flourishing. Interesting people, interesting things.
Bill Walton (00:20):
Welcome to the Bill Walton Show. I’m Bill Walton. Well, I’m delighted today to be joined again by my friend, Jeffrey Tucker, who I see as a great American and one of the leading intellectuals of our day. And I met Jeffrey about a year and a half ago when I brought him on to talk about the COVID lockdowns and the government coercion measures that were in place at the time. And while the obvious measures of have begun to recede, we’re still seeing a lot of damage done to the economy, to society, to people’s lives from the measures governments took, not only in the United States but worldwide.
Jeffrey, in response to this, founded the Brownstone Institute, which has gathered an incredibly interesting group of writers and thinkers to help get the word out to avoid any future recurrence of what we went through. Jeffrey’s, incredibly prolific, written thousands of articles, 10 books in five language. And I think his most impressive feat for me is he writes a daily column for The Epoch Times, which is a must read. Jeffrey gave a speech at Hillsdale last month about the economic consequences of the government reaction to lockdowns. And so with no further ado, Jeffrey, let’s get started in here. What was the gist of what you talked to the folks at Hillsdale about?
Jeffrey Tucker (01:53):
The professor there invited me because he said the students, they can’t make a connection between the pandemic policies and their disastrous lives. How come they go to the store and chicken and rice cost $40, whereas it used to cost 17 a couple years ago? So what’s going on? But to make these connections is in many ways the essence of what economics is about. It’s about causes and effects and tracing through the consequences of actions, of using certain means and achieving certain ends, and that’s what economics is.
And I’ve just noticed this, that a lot of people just do not understand. You could see it in the midterms, Republicans raging against inflation, but rarely actually explaining why it exists. It’s doesn’t exist because Biden’s bad. It exists because of certain real changes that were made in the macroeconomic monetary environment throughout 2020 and 2021, that had certain inevitable results. The money that they created had to become endemic, same with the virus. So my job in that essay was, and that presentation, was to connect everything together, to just draw up the linkages. And the presentation I gave to Hillsdale had a lot of fancy charts and things like that, some of which I was very proud of. But in the Hillsdale edition, they couldn’t print, they couldn’t them all, which I understand, so I had to describe it as best I could.
Bill Walton (03:24):
So you were using hand puppets to… I saw your charts, they were gorgeous. But one of the things that I think you get right to the heart of is that… My world’s the world of private equity, economics, Wall Street, and I’ve been an economic actor forever. And what the politicians, the political class, intellectual class does not get, is everything in the economy’s interconnected. It’s woven. It’s something that this piece, this thread’s connected down here. It may not be obvious to what’s happening over here, but you cut one thread and all of a sudden the whole fabric starts to unravel.
And when we started declaring some businesses essential and others non-essential, who are these people that get to decide that this is essential?I guess we had Whitmer and in Michigan deciding that, “This section of Home Depot is essential and this section isn’t.” And that’s like, how on earth would she know? Because what we’re seeing now with the supply chain issues and pricing, and forget the flood, I mean, don’t forget the flood of money, but it’s much more than that. When you mess around with deeming things essential or non-essential, you don’t know what you’re doing.
Jeffrey Tucker (04:45):
They did the same thing with medical procedures, too. They said, “Well, that’s an unessential or elective surgery, so you cannot get that done,” or, “That’s a diagnostic that you can get done this week, next week, next month, you can wait on that. If you got a toothache”-
Bill Walton (04:59):
Well, one of the industries that was damaged, ironically enough, I think you pointed out, was the healthcare industry and hospitals. Instead of booming business because of these so-called COVID virus issues, they were largely empty.
Jeffrey Tucker (05:19):
That’s true. You could tell it from looking at the parking lots at your local hospital, everybody just vanished after March 16th, they just emptied out. Every governor, Bill, had a law, had a rule in place, that emanated from the CDC that said, “The hospitals need to reserve all their beds for COVID patients.” And so every health department of the country did this. And I’m telling you, there’s still a lot of things we need to know. There’s every aspect of these details we need to chase down. I write about this every day on Brownstone. We’ve got lots of intrepid researchers looking into every aspect of this response. Where did that edict it come from? Why did they think that was a good idea? It led to disaster because they all did it the same day.
Now, here’s interesting, as far as we know, COVID had been in the US for quite a long time, since October, probably, of 2019. But we only became conscious of it, really super conscious of it as a threat in late February. And it was that moment that they passed this edict. Well, it pertained to the whole country as if a virus arrived everywhere at the same time and it’s equally severe for all communities. It wasn’t. So in many places where the hospitals just closed non-COVID patients, they didn’t have any patients at all, which led to a great financial crisis in the hospitals, so that when government came along and said, “Tell you what, if you got a COVID patient, we’re going to bump you a nice subsidy in your Medicare, Medicaid reimbursements. If you have somebody on a”-
Bill Walton (07:07):
Well, and they were marking the death certificates accordingly, were they not?
Jeffrey Tucker (07:11):
They were and they had an incentive to because they were bleeding money all over the place and needed subsidies to keep going. So you’re exactly right, one thing led to another. And it was, in the healthcare industry where spending, and again, another chart on this, spending in healthcare plummeted during the pandemic. Sometimes I’d like to think about what future historians are going to say about this great COVID period. They look at a chart and see healthcare spending collapsing and employment in healthcare industries plummeting, and 300 hospitals furloughing nurses at the height of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. What are they going to say? This is a very weird pandemic when you had a dramatic reduction in the uses of healthcare resources and workers.
Bill Walton (08:04):
Well, let me set a stage a bit for Brownstone. You founded Brownstone in order to make sure this never happens again. Who are the people involved and what’s everybody working on?
Jeffrey Tucker (08:16):
Oh, well, we’ve got researchers, they’re just trying to figure out what happened to us. Alone, who are the responsible parties who made the decisions to lock us down and why? We’re getting closer to answers on this, I have to say, the more that time goes on. In fact, my sense of what happened has gradually shifted with this research. So one thing, we know we’re pretty sure now that this was a national security-style response, that the country went on a wartime footing, as inspired by National Security Council and Department of Homeland Security, so that the CDC and NIH were a cosmetic cover and Fauci did all the press interviews, but they weren’t the ones that responsible for the planning.
And probably this happened because there was a perception that SARS-COVID-2 was a bio weapon. Another possible theory, is that they used SARS-COVID-2 as a trial run for a potential biological warfare attack, and they wanted to have a real time experience of what it was like to put the country under a quasi-martial law, which is what it felt like at the time. This is a new understanding, we’ve got a lot of documentation on it. This is the kind of research we’re engaged in now.
Bill Walton (09:31):
But this is something that you had to figure out, you had to FOIA. It’s not like these agencies came forward with this voluntary admission.
Jeffrey Tucker (09:41):
Yeah. It’s not the case that there’s some one FOIA, where there’s a document that comes out, says, “Oh, so here’s the truth.” It’s a matter of piecing together things. I’ll just give you one example. There was a document that came out that was released on March 13th by Health and Human Services, March 13th. This was three days before the Trump Press conference and one day after the travel restrictions. That document was released by the New York Times about six weeks afterwards, it was a confidential document. And I had read it several times and not really understood what it was. These documents can be very complicated, I was looking in the wrong places, but I know that document is important for some reason. We have a researcher named Debbie Lerman, who’s now a Brownstone Fellow, we have seven Brownstone Fellows now, and she figured out what that document was really about. It was about the allocation of responsibilities to agencies, and noted that the National Security Council was sitting above the CDC in the pecking order of rulemaking. Now, that’s really interesting.
Bill Walton (10:46):
Well, maybe you understand, dug into something I don’t understand, which is China’s reaction to this, even today, and there’s been the zero COVID strategy or policy that Xi’s employed in China, up to this very moment. They’ve had a big chunk of their economy locked down. And I guess my question would be, why? Because they’d seen this virus come through the United States and it didn’t have much effect on many people, except for older people and people who are already at risk because of some other diabetes or heart issues or things like that, but it didn’t affect most of the population. Yet China is now doing the same very bad stuff that was done in the worst of the states here in America.
Jeffrey Tucker (11:41):
So your question is, why hasn’t China pivoted?
Bill Walton (11:44):
Yeah. Or do they believe that this was a bio weapon and that they’re more afraid of it than you or I are, because we’re looking at what happened in the United States wasn’t here. They seem extremely… Their reaction’s draconian and I just wonder why.
Jeffrey Tucker (12:04):
So I’m open to any theories. I don’t see a lot of evidence for that though. I think you can explain the reaction of the CCP to this virus and Xi Jinping’s passionate attachment to lockdowns, just as a matter of political pride. If you think about it, long predating COVID, there was this, I guess you would call it, manifest destiny, that China had developed as a political ethos, that they’re going to surpass the US and GDP, they’re going to be the world’s leading country in economics and so on and so on. So when the virus came along, they used, what in fact is a… There’s precedent in China’s history for lockdowns due to germs. It’s not a Western country. They didn’t have to think about human rights and freedoms like we do, it’s a little bit different. And so lockdowns, were just-
Bill Walton (13:00):
That’s putting it mildly?
Jeffrey Tucker (13:02):
Yeah. Okay. So lockdowns were just what he did. But what’s important, Bill, is that from Xi’s point of view, is that he somehow successfully marketed this strategy to the whole world. Now, you talk about political pride. So he locks down Wuhan, and then the World Health Organization sends a junket there that included the deputy assistant to Fauci and lots of Western epidemiologists, and gave them a Potemkin village tour of Wuhan. This would’ve been February 16th, lasting up to the 24th. And so they’re flying them here, flying them there, “We had a disease, but we locked everybody down. It was brutal. It was tough, it was hard decisions, but we got rid of it.”
And these tools, these chumps associated with the World Health Organization and Fauci’s NIH wrote a report saying, “Wow, they did it. They really did it,” so they recommended this. The World Health Organization said, “The whole world should follow what Xi Jinping did in China. They have figured out how to control this virus. Everybody should follow.” So meanwhile, he’s opened up the country. This was talking about late February, and then there were no lockdowns for a very long time, cases were zero, no lockdowns, no real deaths as far as we know, we don’t know the truth, but that’s what it looked like.
Bill Walton (14:34):
We don’t know what their numbers are.
Jeffrey Tucker (14:36):
We don’t know what their numbers are, but the whole world’s following him now. So imagine if you came in, you’ve engaged in a wackadoodle policy that’s utterly ridiculous, but the entire world is celebrating you as a magic person who’s figured out how to conquer a virus. You are more powerful than even nature, your intelligence, “Is he even able to outwit a simple respiratory pathogen?” That’s how brilliant you are. So of course, he got attached to the [inaudible 00:15:10].
Bill Walton (15:09):
Given his behavior up since then, he would’ve appreciated that. He likes that.
Jeffrey Tucker (15:14):
So that’s why he’s attached to it. So it’s very difficult for them to roll back this policy because this is his great contribution. No matter what Stalin was to wheat production, Xi Jinping was to SARS-COVID-2.
Bill Walton (15:26):
This is The Bill Walton Show. I’m here with Jeffrey Tucker and we’re talking about, I’m not sure exactly what we’re talking about. A very interesting conversation about COVID and our reaction to it and China’s reaction to it. And let’s circle back to our reaction to it, has Brownstone put together a punch list of the horribles that came out of this, excess deaths, economic damage, educational attainment, that sort of thing? How bad was it?
Jeffrey Tucker (16:01):
Well, we lost two years of education, obviously. The amount of substance abuse and addiction that’s out there as a result of the pandemic response is just… And all this stuff is perfectly predictable, but appalling. We’ve lost, in terms of life expectancy, two years in three. That’s just unbelievable. And the hundreds of thousands of businesses are destroyed. Vaccine mandates led to more than a million people being displaced from their jobs or shifting employment. The demographic of people in this country, compared to what it was in the Western expansion of the end of the 1830s, just the number of people who left blue states going to red states, which made the red states redder and the blue states bluer, are very interesting.
But New York has been shattered. I was just in New York a couple of days ago. That place has just transformed. You can’t safely ride the subways, really. The entire place reeks of weed, the entire city smells of pot. It’s very interesting. And it’s crime-ridden and half the commercial real estate is empty. So I the level of tragedy… And don’t forget, there were about three months there, where these people segregated the great city of New York by looking for evidence of compliance with the shots, which meant that 40% of the members of the African American community in New York City itself could not go to museums, theaters, restaurants, or bars.
Bill Walton (17:43):
Because they didn’t have the shot the jab.
Jeffrey Tucker (17:46):
So it’s very difficult. In terms of the inflationary effects of [inaudible 00:17:52], looking back at the numbers to make sure they’re right, right before this call, looking at M2, we really did create, over the course of two years, about 6.5 trillion [inaudible 00:18:06].
Bill Walton (18:07):
M2 is one of the measures we use to determine money supply, and that went up-
Jeffrey Tucker (18:12):
That’s the only one we can use right now, really, because they in May of 20, I’m sure you know this, they changed M1, the definition, and didn’t backdate it so it’s useless, so we use M2 now. $6.3 trillion. And in terms of transfer payments over that same period of time, I’m seeing more than $10 trillion of increase in sheer raw transfer payments for individuals. The effects of this were very interesting, because in the early days, I’m talking about spring and summer and fall of 2020, when all this stuff began, you saw real incomes go through the roof. Now, keep in mind, inflation’s not here yet. So people were seeing thousands of dollars dropped into their bank accounts, businesses, individuals, which you go to your Wells Fargo account and suddenly there’s an extra $8,000 for you, courtesy of Uncle Sam. And when does that ever happen?
So we had major money transfers going on. Real income was soaring, savings went through the roof, reaching, I think, as high as 35% or something like that. But was all the savings were in the form of newly printed cash, which was reached at its peak at 27% per annum increase in raw money. So savings were going through the roof, interest rates were still zero, and people were paying off their credit cards and using the balance and spending on Amazon and Netflix, and so on, so on.
So all these big tech companies were selling computers like crazy. They’re all going through the roof, their price valuations, everything was pretty until January of 21 where everything gradually began to flip in the other direction. So savings went from a high of, I don’t know, 30%, something like that. Now, we’re down to a historic low of 3.2%. We’ve been through 19 successive of months of declines and real income. Credit card debts that were already fully paid off, we reached a historic low, are now at the greatest increased rate of increase we’ve seen in 20 years. So look, think about this way, so we were rich, now we’re poor. And it’s getting worse because 19 straight months of declining income, falling savings, and soaring credit card debt is not the basis of prosperity.
Bill Walton (20:41):
So you have a great way to put it, I think. I think it’s from your speech, where you said, “Essentially since January of 2021, the government has stolen 15 to 18% from Americans through inflation.”
Jeffrey Tucker (20:56):
Bill Walton (20:57):
And it’s probably the higher number. And the thing that’s happening is that that’s not going to stop right now, this is going to continue. And we could see, I like the word government theft of 25, 30% in the course of the next few years.
Jeffrey Tucker (21:16):
I think it’s very likely. I was looking at the-
Bill Walton (21:16):
Jeffrey Tucker (21:20):
Yeah. The M2 numbers right now, we have declined a little bit in terms of… We’ve sucked out some of that money, not much a little bit, but the rest of it has to become an endemic. So I think we’re looking at another year or two of inflation. And what it’s doing right now to Federal Reserve policy. As far as I’m concerned, Jerome Powell’s policies are doing the right thing right now. What he’s trying to do is reach what he calls a terminal rate. What that means is that the return on Treasury Bills needs to be positive once you adjust for inflation. It hasn’t been that way for 14 years, so that’s going to change everything.
It’s not just that it’s seizing up all real estate markets and that’s happening already. It would be a buyer’s market if there were any buyers. But it’s going to affect everything. If people actually experience a reward for savings and capital starts seeking a safe return in the form of treasuries that’s not in the negative realm, but it goes into the positive realm., It’s going to affect financial markets, spending habits, savings rates, advertising dollars spent on silly big tech platforms and everything. We’re going to see a wrenching out of the cheap money economy of the last 14 years. So if Powell is serious about this, and I think he is, life in this country is going to change dramatically. So much for racking up $200,000 into student loan debt so you get a fake credential to go to work on a six figure job where you don’t have to do anything but use a mouse to trick your boss into think you’re on Slack, those days are done.
Bill Walton (23:01):
Well, we’re also stuck with their paradigm, which is they think the only way to stop inflation is to smash the economy, take a hammer out and crush it.
Jeffrey Tucker (23:10):
Bill Walton (23:11):
The other way to do it would be to grow the economy and slash the regulatory states, become unbelievable, and get oil and gas, get the fossil fuel industry back in business. And we would have some chance to grow our way out of it, but they think economic growth is inflationary, which is…
Jeffrey Tucker (23:30):
Yeah. John Tamny writes very compellingly about this whole-
Bill Walton (23:33):
John’s great. Yeah. Go ahead.
Jeffrey Tucker (23:35):
I think he’s right about this, they actually do believe this. But here’s the thing, Powell is not in charge of regulations, he’s not in charge of spending, he’s not in charge of tax policy, but he is in charge of the federal funds rate, so he’s doing his part to mop up some of the excess liquidity. But you’re exactly right, you need also a fiscal and regulatory response. You need a dramatic reform of the administrative states, where you reduce their bureaucracy and inspire small business again, and so on and so on. That is not happening.
Bill Walton (24:11):
Well, and we’ve got the slender, slender, slender majority in the house, and they retain control of the Senate, so the idea that we’re going to do something dramatic is highly unlikely.
Jeffrey Tucker (24:25):
Highly unlikely. So we need to-
Bill Walton (24:27):
I like this, “The inflation already in the bag is going to cost the American family $8,739 over the next 12 months.” That’s stunning.
Jeffrey Tucker (24:38):
It’s stunning. And we’re talking about a rich country, and we can’t forget that there are a lot of places in the world that are suffering a lot more than the US. Millions face real privation of an astonishing sort. Global poverty is take turned the corner. All this began with the pandemic response. This is a disaster for the world, not to mention the prospects of human liberty itself. It was a catastrophic time. We really went a bad direction. And I’m not really convinced of the idea that it was all a deliberate great reset plotted Klaus Schwab, I don’t believe that. I think it was just an-
Bill Walton (25:22):
Klaus makes such an excellent bond villain though. For entertainment value alone, we need to paint him… Anyway.
Jeffrey Tucker (25:30):
Yeah, that’s right.
Bill Walton (25:31):
Let’s continue. But he’s quite a type.
Jeffrey Tucker (25:35):
Yeah, he is. Well, the world’s full of fakes and liars these days and they’re all being exposed. But I tell you what, we have got to turn the corner. We’ve got to rally around old fashioned ideals, like individual liberty and human rights and get back to economic growth and cut the administrative state. All this is absolutely essential or we’re just going to sink further and further. I wrote just yesterday about a little bit of a nostalgic column, about 1980. We were in a very bad time in the late 1970s with stagflation, the great national malaise, cultural crisis all around. A handful of great intellectuals, among whom George Gilbert and people like David Stockman, Ronald Reagan, and just a handful of others, really just turned everything around, put us on a great track, and we experienced a real restoration of the country, it really was morning in America. So it can happen, but you’ve got to get the policies right.
Bill Walton (26:33):
Well, it sounds like that’s something you and I should be doing now, although the names you mentioned, those are the gods of a free market economy, which is… Now, you make a very important point though, and I think people need to understand this, you can’t treat a health crisis or you don’t deal with a health crisis and act like you can separate that out from the economy. You got to really say there are other methods here, and don’t touch the economy, because if you do that, you’re only going to make things worse. And now we have abundant evidence that that’s true.
Jeffrey Tucker (27:12):
Yeah. It must have been very strange for you, it certainly was for me, when I heard people talking about this idea of turning off the economy, shutting down the economy so that we can focus on health. There is an economics of health, they all go together. And you cannot turn off an economy as if it’s a casino that’s closing earlier because of a hurricane threat or something like that, that’s not the way it works. So you’re talking about destroying lives. And I’m not even sure that the public health establishment has really learned this lesson. I was just at a debate in New York pertaining our friend, Jay Bhattacharya, and a dean of public health at Yale University or something like that, with whom he was debating. And the guy doesn’t have a slight regret, not one regret about anything they did. He said, “We had to do it. We had to keep everybody separate so we could slow the spread and wait for the vaccine. And now not enough people have gotten the vaccine, so that’s why COVID is still around us.”
And was saying these things and you listen to this stuff, it’s really tragic. They don’t have regrets, and they have every intention of repeating this sort of experience next time around, too. Biden’s pandemic plan, makes no apologies. In fact, the only thing they apologize for is not having centralized response enough. They’re biter that such a thing as Georgia, Florida, and South Dakota even existed at all, that we have a federal system and some states departed from the norm. And thank God that happened, but they want to make that impossible next time around. This is serious stuff. These people, not a single power that they used to lock us down before has been diminished. Yes, the courts have cut this policy or that policy a little bit here and there, too little, too late. But in general, all the policy, all the powers that they had before, they have now still, and they’ll use them again.
So as far as I’m concerned, this is the fight of our lives. And this is why I started Brownstone, because I didn’t see anybody else really picking it up with the kind of focus that we have. And by the way, both George Gilbert and David Stockman are on my board, so I’m very, very happy about that. So we’re trying to inspire a new intellectual renaissance unit, so we’re focused on research. Another thing that I’ve done at Brownstone, is we picked up… There has been a great diaspora, a good mindset of lost jobs, lost venues, lost research locations, having to give up law practices to go pro bono to sue the state of New York, these kinds of things. This Fellows Program picks these people up, gives them a home, gives them a community, enables them to continue to do their great work for a full year while they found a new direction in life. That’s what the Fellows Program is about. I’m very proud that we have it. We’ve only been in existence for 18 months and I already have seven people on the Fellows Program, so I’m very happy with-
Bill Walton (30:11):
So how many people are you able to help employ so they can keep doing this good work?
Jeffrey Tucker (30:18):
Right now, I’m able to support seven.
Bill Walton (30:22):
Okay. We need to make that 70. How do we find your website? Brownstone.org?
Jeffrey Tucker (30:29):
Yeah, brownstone.org. And you’re right, this is a scalable program and I-
Bill Walton (30:33):
It needs to be scalable. Yeah.
Jeffrey Tucker (30:34):
Yeah. It is scalable. And I’ve never heard of a nonprofit organization that works precisely like this. My model, of course, is the inter-word diaspora of Viennese intellectuals that had to flee. And where did they go? They had to have a home. They went to Geneva, they came to New York, they went to many different places, and they were able to continue the work. As far as I’m concerned, that kind of work is what saved scholarship in the 20th century and did a lot of… Did great good for the world, so we need that again. So that’s the model we’re using for this Fellows Program.
And I tell you, when I was able to call these people… And I would love to tell the individual stories, without being pathetic, there’s some really powerful stories here. People who stood up for principal and paid a huge price, for me being able to place that call and say, “I’ve got very good news. We’re going to make you a Brownstone Fellow for 2023, give you a venue, give you support, and it gets you through this period of your life,” followed by tears and thank yous. And it’s just something we can do together to make a little bit of a difference in the world, and maybe the difference we make. But I’m just really, really proud that we have that program and super thrilled about its prospects, and a lot of people are really in need. Seven’s not enough, but it’s a good start.
Bill Walton (31:57):
Well, the thing that was dismaying was the number of think tanks, supposedly conservative think tanks, that went right along with the lockdowns and the masks and aftermath of that, and didn’t really fight back and should have. And of course, the churches were in that mode as well. And most all of our institutions just folded up like tents. You didn’t. You went on, started Brownstone. But I think what you’re doing is so important because we can’t let this happen again. And the education tasks is enormous to get people to understand that you do this again and that God knows how we make our way back from it.
Jeffrey Tucker (32:41):
The recovery from what we’ve done is going to take a very long time if it ever happens. I think about, especially the kids. And I had two years of education, and then when they finally went back and having their mouths covered, taught that human life is nothing but pathogenic avoidance, that everybody is a disease vector. This is not the basis of enlightened philosophy. This is a brutal and barbaric philosophy of life, and we have to completely reject it. I will be happy to get some apologies from the elites who did this to us, but they are not apologists.
Bill Walton (33:20):
No, that’s not going to happen. They’re not only not going to apologize, they refuse to be held accountable.
Jeffrey Tucker (33:27):
Yeah. So as I say, at that debate in New York the other night, I was just sitting there just astonished at one of the world’s smartest, most educated elites in the public health, defending every last thing that they did. Every bit of it.
Bill Walton (33:50):
Well, we’ll pause to reflect on that because that’s the problem. Jeffrey, I know we’ve got to let you go back to hopefully saving the country intellectually. How about a final word here. How should people support what Brownstone is doing? How do we get behind this?
Jeffrey Tucker (34:16):
So my final word here, is just as fellows, in the 1920s, there were a lot of intellectuals who said that the world was sweeping to destruction, and people didn’t listen to them, but they were right. The world was sweeping to destruction and it was saved from the brink of disaster in many parts of the world by brave intellectuals who threw themselves into the battle. These are also these times, nobody can afford to sit on the sidelines and say, “I don’t care. Whatever happens, it happens.” No, it’s going to involve all of us and all of our efforts. Civilization really is at stake right now. We cannot live in a world of lockdowns that they try to create force. We need to claw our way out of this, and it’s going to involve everybody. And why? Because everybody will be affected. You cannot just hide out, even in Florida, it’ll eventually get to you.
So I would appreciate any support that brownstone, you can give Brownstone. And I can promise you that every dime we’re getting is going to a good cause, to help people who are brave, telling the truth, they’re doing the research, they’re showing courage at a time when there aren’t enough people doing that. So I think they deserve our support. I think that everybody should. If you don’t know what to do, I think this is one thing you can do.
Bill Walton (35:42):
Well, I’m a supporter and I’ll be supporting in the future, you’ll be happy to hear. And so this is a message we need to keep getting out over and over. So Jeffrey Tucker, founder of Brownstone Institute, and a great thinker and great American, thanks for joining. And thank you all for joining in on this. This is an important issue for us to understand and to act on. And so stay tuned for future misease from Jeffrey and Brownstone and join in the fight for freedom. So thanks for joining. And of course, you can find this show on all the major platforms, CPAC Now on Monday nights, and Rumble and YouTube, and the whole list of the whole list of platforms. And anyway, thanks and we’ll be back with more quite soon.
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