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Six Months to Flatten the Curve

Happy six month anniversary of “two weeks to flatten the curve!”

Is it flat yet? Or do we just not talk about that anymore?

The other day I had the chance to visit with some teenagers and the topic of lockdowns and mask mandates and curve flattening came up. A sixteen year old girl said, “It’s so funny because everyone just continues to go along with it, and yet the virus is hardly even in the news anymore. All the news stories I see are about the election, or riots and forest fires, or why capitalism is bad, but you’d think that if we were actually in the midst of some massive, life-threatening pandemic that justifies all of this (waiving her arms around to indicate basically everything) then reporting on the virus would still be a top priority. It seems like its just kind of taken a backseat to everything else. It’s almost like people are just kind of, over it, but still going along with all the rules and restrictions out of habit.”

She went on to call it “weird.” I have different words that I would probably choose to use, but we’ll go with “weird” in the name of keeping things family-friendly. 😉

On Wednesday, Yelp release its latest Economic Impact Report. The news was not good:

As of Aug, 31, 163,735 businesses have indicated on Yelp that they have closed. That’s down from the 180,000 that closed at the very beginning of the pandemic. However, it actually shows a 23% increase in the number of closures since mid-July.

In addition to monitoring closed businesses, Yelp also takes into account the businesses whose closures have become permanent. That number has steadily increased throughout the past six months, now reaching 97,966, representing 60% of closed businesses that won’t be reopening.

“Overall, Yelp’s data shows that business closures have continued to rise with a 34% increase in permanent closures since our last report in mid-July,” Justin Norman, vice president of data science at Yelp, told CNBC.

This is pretty terrible news. That number—97,966—is one I just keep getting stuck on it. How many people’s entire life work is encapsulated in it? How many of those people would be expanding their businesses, building their dream home, or helping their kids through school so they don’t have to get into student loan debt? How many people did those 97,966 businesses employ? And what are all those workers doing to support themselves and their families now?

It’s no secret that I’ve been against the lockdowns since day one. I’m the guy who wrote a kids book about why central planning is so terrible and all the harm it causes. Even good intentions and noble causes, when forced upon the masses, can lead to bad, unintended consequences.

Then I wrote another one about how markets can’t be controlled by government and how human action can’t be planned or directed by some central authority. Not only have the lockdowns been devastating to businesses, but there’s been a waterfall effect of domestic abuse, and mental health numbers quite literally skyrocketing.

Government has caused the largest scale suffering that I’ve witnessed in my lifetime, and in many places it doesn’t show any sign of stopping. These tyrant-governors seem to be totally unashamed of their willingness to use fear to push their agendas with many “COVID-19 regulations” that can’t be in any reasonable way linked to actual virus-related anything.

When I look around and see a lot of people really not understanding how burning a person’s business to the ground has any effect on the life of the business owner because, “they have insurance,” and when I see people in the streets demanding free… well, free everything… it’s easy to get discouraged. It’s certainly evident to me that today’s youth have been fed on a diet of anti-capitalist and anti-freedom propaganda. If you stop and listen to the things they’re saying—they really believe that freedom is selfish and capitalism is evil and they actually think that they’re some type of revolutionaries trying to usher in a more fair, tolerant, and equal world.

I’m encouraged by conversations with many teenagers, though, who seem to have had parents who took the time to teach them, and talk to them about the fallacies being peddled in school and media. The sixteen-year-old I talked about earlier told me that a lot of her peers are sick of all the violence and destruction—they don’t agree with the anti-capitalist, race-fueled anger and upheaval. She said she sees a lot of kids her age on TikTok and other social media platforms denouncing claims that racism is rampant in the U.S. and calling for an end to divisive agendas and pro-socialist messaging.

Maybe she just happens to have a really good group of friends. But maybe it’s true and there is a rising group of young people who see the world a little more clearly and aren’t going to be easily recruited into ideologies that lead to nothing but a loss of freedom and economic ruin. At this point I’m willing to take good news where I can find it, and I’m encouraged at the thought of young people who are thinking for themselves and using their voices to promote peace and goodness.

I think a lot of young adults have just been raised with agenda-driven educators and celebrities being the primary voices in their upbringing. Why are we surprised when they grow up angry and entitled?

The good news is that we have the power to shape the rising generation, and I think we’ve already got a really great group of kids to work with. The fact that we’ve sold over a million Tuttle Twins books tells me a lot about the role that parents, grandparents, and good teachers are taking in making sure kids are growing up learning true principles.

It’s easy to look around and feel beaten down, but I think there are really good days ahead, and I think our awesome kids are going to blow us away with what they’ll do. We just have to give them the resources to succeed and they’ll take it from there.

It’s exciting. Do you agree?

— Connor

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Textbooks don't teach this; schools don't mention it.

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