One of the worst policies a developing country’s government can make is to deprive its citizens from earning a living. Unfortunately, this is exactly what we witnessed in response to the Coronavirus pandemic that began to truly take shape in March 2020. Many people have already highlighted the enormous costs of lockdowns on individuals and businesses, but there has been scant discussion on how these policies impacted developing countries relative to their wealthier counterparts.
Article by Michael N. Peterson from AIER.
In developing countries, small and midsize enterprises—as well as informal enterprises—make up roughly 70% of total employment. In addition, these small and informal businesses account for more than 30% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). For most developed countries, on the other hand, informal markets account for less than 20% of total employment and only about 9-15% of GDP. What this means is that lockdown orders affect countries differently based on the economic composition of each nation.
For developed countries, lockdowns undoubtedly imposed significant economic and health costs. Many workers in the service sector, like the food industry, for example, were left unemployed and had to rely on government stimulus checks to get them through the bumpiest stages of the pandemic. Some businesses had to shutter their doors entirely, leaving many employers without jobs as well. This is to say nothing of the severe mental health consequences of government lockdown orders.
However, richer countries are better able to flexibly adapt to such changing circumstances, even in the case of unprecedented, and some would argue, draconian lockdowns. That’s because many businesses were able to transition to remote work, a luxury many developing countries can’t afford. In a working paper for the World Bank, it was estimated that approximately 1 in 5 jobs can be performed remotely in the developed world. In developing countries, this figure stands at only 1 in 26.
As Karsten Noko writes, “[I]f the choice before you is often to stay home and fail to provide the evening meal for your family, or to brave it out into the city and try and fend for your family… I know what choice I would make.” There are numerous cases of citizens in low-income countries defying lockdown or strict stay-at-home orders just so they can earn enough to feed themselves and their families.
In some instances, these defiant stances have led to angry protests in many parts of the world. In response to these protests, many governments have issued repressive orders, such as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declaring that violators will be shot if seen disobeying lockdown orders. In Colombia, recent protests against a tax plan and overbearing lockdowns have resulted in dozens of casualties as police and protestors violently clash with one another.
Because governments in developing countries are more prone to corruption and are in constant fear of political unrest, they have greater capacity to abuse their authority under the guise of public health safety. For example, in Argentina, many citizens have been harassed and attacked by police.
Another reason lockdown orders have disproportionately hurt developing economies is due to their low savings rates. In general, high domestic savings rates tend to lead to higher economic growth rates. Unfortunately, since developing countries typically have lower domestic savings, it’s much harder for those countries to weather lockdowns because individuals are unable to draw upon savings to compensate for lost income. For many developed nations, domestic savings is higher, which means that these countries will fare relatively better when income is severely reduced or altogether nonexistent.
Some forecasts attribute major increases in global poverty to Covid-19, without specifying how much of the increase can be attributed to specific policy actions issued in the wake of the virus. These estimates are not themselves inaccurate, but they fail to distinguish between economic costs associated with voluntary social responses and government-imposed mandates.
Dozens of studies have shown that government lockdown policies wouldn’t even pass a cursory cost/benefit analysis, a requirement to which many U.S. government agencies must submit. It also appeared that developing countries reflexively instituted lockdown measures by merely imitating the early responses taken in more developed nations. Thus, very little calculated deliberation was conducted in countries which had more to lose through unilateral and blanket policies than better situated richer nations, like the United States, England, and Australia.
Contrary to popular opinion, there were real alternatives available other than government lockdowns. These alternatives should have been especially reviewed in developing countries, where a one-size-fits-all policy is least effective and most likely to do more harm than good. For example, it would have been wise for governments to invest early in testing and contract tracing—or at the very least, allow private actors to provide these services without onerous restrictions.
In his new book Economics in One Virus (2021), Ryan Bourne asserts that “fast and reliable tests… would have helped to overcome… the informational problem of determining who is infected or likely to be contagious” (p. 191).
Similarly, in one paper, coauthors Chowdhury and Jomo state that “If contact tracing and other early containment measures had been adequately done in a timely manner to stem viral transmission, nationwide lockdowns would not have been necessary.”
In addition, some economists have proposed more autonomy be given to local and state governments, which are more likely to implement policies that better suit the needs of people within each jurisdiction. If more resources were devoted to some of these strategies, major government lockdowns could have been avoided.
Additionally, we should embrace the prospect of rich countries selling vaccines to poor countries, which would in fact make both nations better off. Finally, vaccines should be the biggest investment governments make during a pandemic to ensure the virus halts its spread as soon as possible.
Real alternatives were available if only governments were willing to see. These irresponsible government actions are especially acute and more harmful in developing countries and among the poor because most workers can’t afford to sacrifice weeks or perhaps months of income, only to be confined to what is effectively house arrest. If we sincerely care about the poor, we must rethink lockdown policies and vow to do better next time.
American Patriots Uniting to Fight Tyranny from, Well, Everywhere
We’re building a new conservative news network. Based on responses from fellow patriots, we’re heading in the right direction.
It may be hard to believe based on what we’re seeing around the nation today, but there are many reasons to be hopeful. First and foremost, the false narrative that most of America hates traditional values or the foundations of our nation are finally being proven false. Despite the best efforts of globalists and Neo-Marxists, patriotic Americans are starting to unify in droves. Meanwhile, Joe Biden can barely muster a half-filled auditorium to deliver his message to the scant few watching CNN and the paid shills in the “crowd.”
The “silent majority” that drove Donald Trump to victory in 2016 and 2020 (yes, he won by a landslide but was robbed along with the American people) is finally starting to realize we cannot stay silent any longer. We used to win with our votes, but those are being stolen. We used to win with truth, but the radical left and their agents in mainstream media, Big Tech, and academia are building a post-truth society to drown out reality. Today, we are waking up to the realization that only through direct action and fearlessly spreading the truth can we overcome the nefarious forces working against us.
We are proud to be working our way up to the tip of the conservative media spear. Our network is growing. We’re establishing strong partnerships with like-minded news outlets and courageous journalists. Even as Big Tech suppresses us, the honest messages they’re trying to quash are finding their way to the eyes and ears of patriots across the nation. With the help of new content partners like The Epoch Times and The Liberty Daily, we’re starting to see a real impact.
Our network is currently comprised of nine sites:
- NOQ Report
- Conservative Playlist
- Truth. Based. Media.
- Freedom First Network
- Based Underground
- Uncanceled News
- American Conservative Movement
- Conservative Playbook
- Our Gold Guy
Some of our content is spread across all of these sites. Other pieces of content are unique. We write most of what we post but we also draw from those willing to allow us to share their quality articles, videos, and podcasts. We collect the best content from fellow conservative sites that give us permission to republish them. We’re not ego-driven; I’d much rather post a properly attributed story written by experts like Dr. Joseph Mercola or Natural News than rewrite it like so many outlets like to do. We’re not here to take credit. We’re here to spread the truth.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $2200-$7800 per month. May, 2021, for example, was amazing and we almost broke even. June, revenue was sluggish at best and we had to make up a big difference out of our pockets. But we’re not just trying to get out of the red. If and when we start getting enough contributions to expand, we will do just that. Very few get into journalism to try to get rich and we’re definitely not among those who do. Our success is driven by spreading the truth, profitable or not.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring proper news and opinions to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal or Bitcoin as well. Bitcoin: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
Time is short. As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going. Our promise is this: We will never sell out America. If that means we’re going to struggle for a while or even indefinitely, so be it. Integrity first. Truth first. America first.
Thank you and God Bless,
Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We just launched a new GiveSendGo page. We also have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!
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JD Rucker – EIC