Protests rolling out around the world, highlighting a betrayal of public trust with policies calling for segregation and mandatory vaccines.
July 19, 2021
By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director GWP
Correction 19 July 2021: President Emmanuel Macron of France announces a reversal on his “health pass” policy due to overwhelming public pressure.
The sobering reality of what a recovery from protracted lock-downs looks like is unfolding. 2020 was not the worst year, but rather the first of many miserable years to come.
The directions some countries took or are taking might affect some decisions in terms of where you seek residency or even visit. It was not that long ago when each country was touting how much they each respect human rights, privacy, and decency. Now they are competing for who can trace, track, and contain a virus.
The US saw two depressions in relatively short order.
The first lasted just under two years: from January 1920 to July 1921. Warren G. Harding, the presiding president of the time, did absolutely nothing: no bailouts, no subsidies, nothing.
Fast forward to 1929. The stock market crash felt around the world, that would mark the beginning of what is now called “The Great Depression”. This lasted for ten years: from 1929 to 1939, in large part because both Hoover and Roosevelt meddled heavily in the economy with inflationary measures.
What got the US “out of the depression”, if you even want to say that, is World War 2.
The question is, will the world governments handle the recovery like Harding or like Hoover and Roosevelt?
I haven’t seen the guts of Harding in my lifetime, but I’ve seen the cowardice of Roosevelt extolled across the world. If I had to guess, humanity is taking the inflationary and highly interventionist route to recovery.
That being the case, the protests we are seeing in countries throughout the world is only the beginning.
The protests have taken to the streets in Ontario, Canada; Wellington, New Zealand; Tripoli, Lebanon; West Jerusalem, Israel; Tbilisi, Georgia; as well as Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Spain and the United Kingdom.
France has rolled out some pretty harsh mandates and measures to its people, and they are not happy. A few key takeaways from the recent announcement include:
Mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations from now for all staff (healthcare and non-healthcare) working in hospitals, clinics, retirement homes, establishments for persons with disabilities, and all workers or volunteers who work in contact with elderly or vulnerable people, including at their homes
Checks and sanctions to ensure this mandatory vaccination rule is followed to begin from September 15. Health Minister Olivier Véran said that those who are not vaccinated will not be able to work, and will not be paid.
We will no doubt need to consider “compulsory vaccination for all in France,” warned President Macron, but he said that for now the government is choosing to put “confidence” in people to get vaccinated voluntarily “as soon as possible”
Health pass required for all aged 12 and above to enter events of over 50 people from July 21. This will be expanded to cafés, restaurants, shopping centres, hospitals, retirement homes, planes, trains and coaches for long-distance journeys from the beginning of August (to be confirmed by parliamentary vote). Long-distance travel concerned will include TGV and Intercités trains, inter-regional coach trips and all domestic and international flights. Local trains, buses or trams will not be concerned.
Tens of thousands protested, calling the vaccine mandates and health passes a form of Apartheid.
Thousands also took to the streets in protest over similar laws to France, where vaccines are being mandated to return to normalcy. Greece opened up vaccinations to children as young as 15 years old, and require full vaccination for healthcare workers or for anyone who wishes to enter any leisure facilities.
Their protests were organized by cardiologist, Faidon Vovolis who said:
“Every person has the right to choose. We’re choosing that the government does not choose for us.”
A sea of protesters turned out in response to the recent passing of a law requiring vaccine passports to simply dine out:
The Health Amendment No 2 Bill was passed by 74-68 votes on Wednesday night to introduce new indoor dining legislation for the country, which will allow those who are fully vaccinated to sit indoors.
Not only did everyday people turn out, but a 13-year player for the Irish National Hockey team, Niall McEvoy, resigned in protest as well, giving a very clear reason why:
“I can no longer represent a country that has approved of the discrimination and segregation between vaccinated people and unvaccinated people.”
That quote was part of a larger letter he drafted admonishing the policy and the government for allowing it, along with a warning to others.
These are just some of the protests, but what about the economic aftermath?
In August 2020, American author, James Altucher wrote a blog: “NYC is Dead Forever… Here’s Why“. He was highly criticized for this take by Mark Cuban, Jerry Seinfeld, and Mayor Bill DiBlasio. Mark Cuban said New York City is fine, in fact he plans on investing. Well, of course he does. It’s a down market. Anyone with means should be buying up real estate while the gettin’ is good! That’s not a sign that things are recovering. That’s a sign of someone casting lots for a dying city’s stuff.
Altucher only further qualified his observations, and the numbers didn’t lie. 7% of city employees were let go, 400,000 people left the city with no sign whether they’d return, and now an article rolls out with the headline: “This is Reality” – NYC is Reopening, But Businesses Aren’t Coming Back.
I think NYC reopening is like an abusive drunk sobering up. The question isn’t whether he’ll beat you when he’s sober. The question is, what happens when he gets drunk again? In the case of New York state and city, it would drunk on power.
There was a betrayal of trust. You have people a year in arrears on their rent. You have very high vacancies, and subsequently dropping rents. And that’s because as of June 2021, 20.7% of NYC workers are back in offices.
This is what the world has to look forward to. Right now any job someone gets is considered “economic growth”, when really the world is struggling to get back to where it was in February 2020, and it’s nowhere near that. Government policies have created major disparities in wealth and power.
People will not have the freedom they had in February 2020. It might be rationed back very conditionally as privileges, as we are seeing now. People will argue that in many countries where there are protests, the majority of people agree with the measures their governments are taking. But it doesn’t matter because rights should never be on the political chopping block in the first place.
As you travel around the world, consider the countries you visit. Be careful where you go. Many countries that were once destination goals for so many, are taking a very dark turn.
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