Thursday, October 09, 2014

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

(NaturalNews) A surprisingly large number of sectors of the U.S. economy depend on what I call “public faith in the safety of crowds.” Tourism, commercial air travel, restaurants, sporting events and even public transportation all depends on the public believing that coming into close contact with other people is a relatively safe activity. (Which it is, for now…)

If that belief in the safety of crowds is shattered, the public’s unwillingness to risk their health and lives will lead to a rapid revenue implosion among numerous sectors of the economy.

This shattering of faith can happen literally overnight in local regions. For example, the “patient zero” announcement in Dallas, Texas already resulted in me personally hearing comments from people who delayed their plans to visit Dallas until the 21-day “observation” period passes for those who came into contact with Duncan. After all, they were power-washing Thomas Duncan’s vomit off the sidewalk in front of his apartment while pedestrians meandered by, and none of the sidewalk cleanup workers were wearing any protective gear whatsoever. (Has everybody suddenly forgotten that Ebola is a level-4 biohazard strain?)

Whether such concerns about visiting Dallas are rational or otherwise is beside the point: they are real concerns in the minds of the people, and it is the people who make all economic decisions. (Economics, ultimately, is the study of human behavior.)

World Bank warns about economic consequences of Ebola outbreaks

“[Ebola has the] potential to inflict massive economic costs on Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone and the rest of their neighbors in West Africa.” — Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group [1]

While the CDC appears to have this outbreak contained in Dallas, no one believes this will be the last case of Ebola in the United States. Should the virus spread in some other city — New York, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Chicago — it would immediately cause many people to start questioning the safety of visiting the named city. And if the outbreak begins to spread in a way that appears to be uncontrolled, it would convince a steadily-increasing number of people to avoid all the local activities where people might catch a disease that we now know can be spread via indirect contact.

Air travel to and from the city would suffer a sharp decline in business, and all the local businesses that depend on people gathering in crowds — restaurants, gyms, sporting events, concerts and more — would begin to slide toward bankruptcy.

The bigger impact comes from a loss of public transportation

The real economic impact from all this, however, comes from a loss of faith in the safety of public transportation.

All forms of public transportation, by definition, involve masses of people coming and going, potentially touching contaminated surfaces such as subway car hand rails. The ability of Ebola to spread in subways is especially strong, given the lack of natural sunlight in underground tunnels (sunlight destroys Ebola with UV light).

If the public suddenly loses its faith in the safety of public transportation — perhaps from the announcement of a confirmed case of Ebola being contracted on a plane, train or subway car — many people will immediately choose to avoid public transportation altogether in that particular city.

While this may not initially seem like a big deal, it is in fact the crux of our modern economy. Public transportation delivers the workers to the corporations that run all the enterprise activities across the nation: banking, transportation, import and export operations, financial services (including insurance companies), health care and medicine, energy production and distribution, defense contracting, universities, research labs and so much more.

Any sustained stoppage of the infrastructure that delivers workers to their jobs will have a near-immediate devastating effect on the local economy, depriving corporations and institutions of the literal human resources needed to keep them operational. Under such dire circumstances, it won’t take very long for many corporations to descend into bankruptcy.

The World Bank, by the way, has already issued a warning about Ebola’s economic consequences in Africa, explaining: [1]

…a new economic impact assessment from the World Bank Group says that if the epidemic was to significantly infect people in neighboring countries, some of which have much larger economies, the two-year regional financial impact could reach US$32.6 billion by the end of 2015.

Ebola to be the scapegoat for an imminent debt collapse?

One theory currently circulating the ‘net is that if Ebola gets bad enough in the western world (the U.S. and Europe, mainly), the impending global banking debt collapse that has been staved off for years with money pumping will be “allowed” to unravel and implode. There’s no proof that this is the plan, but it’s an interesting theory to consider.

This would allow the central bankers who caused the global debt problems in the first place to get away scot-free, making Ebola the “Act of God” scapegoat that grants everyone immunity from any financial repercussions. It’s the perfect getaway plan: blame Mother Nature and God!

Since late 2008, the global banking system has remained on the verge of systemic collapse, only being propped up by the steady injection of new money into the system by the Federal Reserve via “quantitative easing.” Allowing the system to reset (i.e. unravel all the trillions in derivatives debt) would only require a pause in the money injections being steadily pursued by central banks. Under a runaway Ebola outbreak in western nations that leads to a declaration of a national emergency, it’s not difficult to imagine some sort of executive order declaring universal debt amnesty for bankers (but not for the citizens, of course).