Much of those losses were caused by the lockdowns which could result in a 60.6% fall in GDP.
The results won’t go away when the virus does. Much of the country may never recover.
The sheer scope of the destruction may be couched in statistics, but it can be seen in empty storefronts, deserted streets, and food bank lines in cities across the country. It’s an act of economic warfare with no precedent in our history waged against a very particular group.
Small businesses were shuttered by the lockdowns and then hammered by the race riots.
Compared to those trillions, the estimated $2 billion in damage from the Black Lives Matter riots funded, endorsed, and enabled by the Democrats almost seems like nothing. Unless you’re one of the many small business owners who had their stores looted and their insurance rates rise. Or unless you’re one of the many people who need those businesses to be there on the corner.
That $2 billion is just the insurance claims. The full total of losses suffered by the stores, the toll of the brutal violence inflicted on random people and on police officers, and the dollars and cents cost to taxpayers dealing with the rioting and the aftermath is much higher.
2020 was the worst year for the American middle class in almost a century. Millions of small business owners fell off the charts. A SCORE survey found that only 34% of small business owners were turning a profit. Meanwhile Yelp claimed that 800 small businesses are closing every day. The scope of this disaster extends to their workers, their suppliers, and the buying habits of their customers. The retail sector has been gutted and the winner is Communist China.
When shoppers shifted to Amazon in greater numbers than ever, they were really buying from Chinese third party sellers who are using the Bezos platform to sell directly to Americans. The retail sector in this country was cut out of the loop leaving few jobs except those of Amazon warehouse workers and executives as Made in China didn’t just mean factories, but retail.
Big Tech’s real business model is a trojan horse offering free services in exchange for user data that helps Chinese businesses target Americans. It’s why Facebook takes in $5 billion a year in ad money from China even though it's not allowed to operate in the Communist dictatorship.
Democrats are happy to move sales away from the domestic retail sector, which is traditionally more conservative, and to Big Tech which has poured unprecedented amounts of capital into their operations while acting as a political gatekeeper for their agendas. Wiping out the middle class and turning business owners and workers into welfare cases wraps up the Dem deal.
Republicans benefit from economic improvements while Democrats benefit from economic declines. Every time in the last thirty years that a Democrat replaced a Republican in the White House was during an economic decline. Voters are more receptive to Democrat promises that Washington D.C. will take care of them when times are hard and the future appears uncertain.
Democrats claim that they hate big business. But what they really hate are the small businessmen who are the backbone of local politics. Each economic disaster is built to thin out the ranks of the local businessmen and replace them with subsidized political operatives who benefit from generous bank loans and affirmative action government contracts. And then the Democrats can hit up Chinese oligarchs for bribes in exchange for contracts on terms that will wipe out the rest of the economy and reduce America to a third world welfare state. Again.
The Democrat playbook under Bush and Trump was to cause massive economic disasters, run for office promising to take care of the little guy, and then wipe out small businesses nationwide. Now they’re doing to the retail sector what they already did to manufacturing in America. The Rust Belt wasn’t enough and they intend to add a Broken Glass Belt across the nation.
The Black Lives Matter riots of 2020 were the biggest national disaster in terms of cost in a century. But this disaster was not caused by earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes or wildfires. It wasn’t even an act of international terrorism, or the work of a few domestic radicals huddled in a basement. Instead it was funded, planned, and carried out by some of the biggest donors and organizations affiliated with the Democrats and their political nonprofits.
Think of the riots as a $2 billion version of 9/11 whose leadership isn’t hiding in a cave or in Pakistan, but is meeting openly in D.C. hotels while buying elections from coast to cost.
But that $2 billion orgy of rioting, looting, burning, maiming, and killing still pales when compared to the largest disaster of the pandemic lockdowns which cost trillions of dollars. A sum amounting to several times more than the household savings of the country was burned in that fire and will go on burning if Democrat leaders and their leftist activist base has its way.
The fact that both the lockdowns and the riots targeted small business is not a coincidence.
While the lockdowns were presented as being all about science and the riots as a populist response to racial injustice, both emerged from policy shops and think tanks. Neither were a natural response to conditions and neither came close to achieving their stated goals.
The lockdowns did not stop the surge and the race riots did nothing for black lives. Instead pandemic deaths and the deaths of black people actually increased in the wake of these measures. But the lockdowns and the riots did achieve their true goals which, among others, was to decimate the retail sector in order to reconstruct the economy and local politics.
Every disaster is followed by a recovery. And the Democrat playbook is to cause the disaster and then control the recovery. The Obama recovery was just another kind of disaster and the pandemic recovery will be as devastating in some ways as the pandemic and the riots.
The recovery is the carrot while the disaster is the stick, but both reconfigure the economy to undermine the independence of businesses and the social mobility of individuals, moving money and jobs away from conservative areas and businesses, and into leftist areas and organizations, while deepening big government’s death grip on the economy.
Even as the pandemic may be approaching its end, the next stage of the disaster is here.
Democrats may have destroyed a sum equal to the household savings of the country three times over, but that was just the warm-up act. After the crisis comes the recovery. And if you thought the crisis had hit small businesses hard, wait until you see how hard the recovery is.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
This article first appeared exclusively at Front Page Magazine.