On second thought, I was wrong. It’s not stupidity; it’s reasonable terror.

I titled a post written on April 14, “A picture of abject stupidity.” The centerpiece was this photo, which appeared in many publications, including the St. Lous Post Dispatch, along with this description:

While many Americans are filled with fear, Melissa Ackison says the coronavirus pandemic has filled her with anger.

The stay-at-home orders are government overreach, the conservative Ohio state Senate candidate says, and the labeling of some workers as “essential” arbitrary.

“It enrages something inside of you,” said Ackison, who was among those who protested Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s orders at the statehouse in Columbus with her 10-year-old son. She has “no fear whatsoever” of contracting the virus, she said Thursday, dismissing it as hype.

Melissa Ackinson may or may not be stupid. But there is a strong temptation to call her stupid because:

  1. She is a conservative politician, a follower of Donald (“I know everything”) Trump, and
  2. She is encouraging people to stand on the edge of a cliff during an earthquake.

She may or may not be stupid or simply a conniver trying to advance herself politically on Trump’s shirttails. 

But I do not believe her followers are stupid. I believe they are terrorized.

They have lost their jobs — jobs that may never return. They not only have no source of income, but they have scant savings.

They have families to feed; they have rent and mortgages to pay. They can’t even look for work, because there is none, and even if there were any jobs, the people may not even have enough money to travel to a job interview.

These are brave people, willing to risk death in order to work for money, while the politicians’ golden incomes and benefits continue — and meanwhile those same politicians dither and vacillate about an extra $250 Billion, though several more Trillions are needed to save this economy.

And all the while, columnists, who are ignorant of economics write this:

Stimulus spending doesn’t mean we can afford the progressive agenda

Chapman: The legislation is the start of what is likely to be a cascade of outlays to offset the terrifying collapse of the U.S. economy. Speaker Nancy Pelosi says House Democrats are considering another spending bill that could “easily” exceed $1 trillion, and the administration is not inclined to impersonate Scrooge.

Except that the additional $1 Trillion — if it ever happens, while Congress debates about $250 Billion — is far too little and much too late. At least an additional $5 Trillion is needed. So the Scrooge impersonation continues.

The drastic shift has many people on the left claiming that the previous constraints on budget policy were a fraud. If we can afford all this spending, the argument goes, why can’t we afford “Medicare for All,” the Green New Deal, free college and other ambitious initiatives?

“It’s a fascinating progressive moment because what it’s shown is that all of these issues have never been about ‘how are you going to pay for it?’ ” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., last month. “All of these excuses that we have been given as to why we cannot treat people humanely have suddenly gone up in smoke.”

But this is like thinking that because you laid out several thousand dollars to replace your broken furnace in the dead of winter, you can also add a whole new wing to the house.

Being forced to spend a large sum in a serious emergency, and even borrow to cover it, doesn’t mean you would be wise to give up living within your means.

That false comparison with personal finances either is abject stupidity, or unmitigated ignorance, or simply parroting the party line of the rich, or all of the above.

Meanwhile, the people are left to writhe in terror, because of an inferior Congress and a ridiculous President. They see the long lines of cars with people waiting to receive help from food pantries.

San Antonio Food Bank Serves 10,000 Families, Huge Line of Cars
San Antonio Food Bank Serves 10,000 Families, Huge Line of Cars

I swear, that if I had no money and no jobs, and I didn’t know how I would feed my family, I too would be standing there, banging on my Congressperson’s door.

It’s the information sources and political leaders who are the stupid ones.

Between them they easily — EASILY — could end the crisis and end the fear.

That they choose not to spend enough money — which is free to our Monetarily Soveregn government — is one of the great disgraces and tragedies of our time. 

So, I will do something Donald Trump never would do. I will admit it. I was wrong. The people are not stupid. They are reasonably frightened and reasonably desperate for leadership where none is to be found.


Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell



The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.


4 thoughts on “On second thought, I was wrong. It’s not stupidity; it’s reasonable terror.

  1. What happens when not enough revenue is being realized and the demand for government services increases? You and I know there will be a day of reckoning. It’ll be Do or Die: “Print” the money or deal with mass hysteria like never before. Everybody makes it or nobdy does.


  2. U.S. reportedly shipped millions of facemasks to China earlier this year
    Manufacturers in the United States shipped millions of dollars’ worth of facemasks and other protective medical equipment to China in January and February, The Washington Post reports after a review of economic data and internal government documents.

    The shipments were reportedly encouraged by the federal government, suggesting Washington did not anticipate the novel COVID-19 coronavirus to reach the heights that it did at that point.


    The people aren’t stupid, but this is. Funny and scary.


  3. The people who elected him are like the economists who say the federal government is like a household: They’re not wrong!


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