Jeff Clark's Market Minute

Who Benefits From This Illusion?

“The whole world is a magic show.”

That’s what my dad said to me when David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear.

It was April 1983. I was a freshman in college. I stopped by my parent’s house to say “hi” and to catch a free meal. And, I watched the greatest magic act of all time with my father.

I think I said, “WOW” when the illusion was done. And my dad uttered the sentence above.

He didn’t elaborate on the meaning. He was always a man of just a few words. But, I knew what he was saying…

The whole world is a magic show. You can choose to be entertained by it, or you can be informed by it. You can look at the magician and be amazed by his/her tricks, or you can look at the bigger picture and see what's really happening.

I quoted my father’s words to my sons this past weekend as we were stuck hanging out together in the obligatory California lockdown situation.

It’s not that I dispute the severity or the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s suffering. There’s death. There’s heartache.

I wish that wasn’t the case. But, my wishes carry no weight in the greater scheme. So, I’m stuck wondering if the illusion is masking a larger agenda.

Purely from a numbers perspective, we can look at any number of illnesses that have resulted in vastly more deaths than COVID-19 has dealt us so far. Yet… we never shut down the economy. We never said, “don’t go out.” And we never threatened to imprison or fine U.S. citizens for hanging out together.

Shutting down the economy is the magic act.

We can be entertained by it. Or, we can wonder what’s really going on.

If there’s an “elite class” of folks that are privy to the information ahead of time, and they set the agenda for what goes on in the world… I’m not part of it. But, they’re the magicians in this scenario. They are telling us to hibernate, to shut down our economy, to sacrifice our welfare for the greater good.

And I’m wondering… who benefits here?

Clearly, we can now make a case for universal basic income. We can now make a case for artificial intelligence to take over the low-skilled labor market. We can concede that the government provides more security to the livelihoods of most folks in these distressing times.

Those are subjects and ideas that were considered absurd just a few months ago. Yet… I think of my father’s words, and I wonder…

This is perhaps the greatest illusion ever. It puts David Copperfield to shame.

Best regards and good trading,

Jeff Clark

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Reader Mailbag

Readers, do you think this is “an illusion”? Who do you think is benefitting, if anyone, most during this time? Send us your thoughts and answers at [email protected].

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