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New Exposé Shows UK’s COVID Response was Rife with Corruption and Cronyism

This article was originally published by Brad Polumbo at The Foundation For Economic Freedom. 

The United States government’s COVID-19 policy response has proven rife with waste, fraud, and abuse at every turn. From $10 million for gender programs in Pakistan being tied to a COVID relief bill to the expanded unemployment system’s runaway corruption by fraudsters, American pandemic governance in 2020 has seemed like a never-ending cycle of fiscal irresponsibility.

Yet a new exposé by the New York Times shows that the fraudulent and flawed nature of the US’s COVID response is not an outlier by any stretch.

According to the new investigative reporting, the United Kingdom’s COVID response was riddled with cronyism and corruption. The Times analyzed roughly 1,200 government contracts, worth $22 billion in sum, that were dolled out for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other pandemic-related purchases during the immediate aftermath of the outbreak. At least $11 billion—nearly half—went to suspicious contractors.

Roughly $5 billion went to companies with a clear connection to a politician. Nearly $6 billion went to companies with no prior experience in the goods they were contracted to produce, including jewelers, and fashion designers. And more than $5 billion was given to companies with controversial pasts including alleged tax evasion, allegations of human rights violations, and more.

The below graphic from the Times sums up this suspect spending well.

Image Credit: New York Times

Not all of this was necessarily fraudulent or corrupt—but a lot of it sure must be. And this just represents a small slice of the total waste. Many of the contracts that were doled out actually couldn’t be viewed by the Times because the UK government is eschewing normal transparency requirements.

The details get even worse.

House of Lords member Paul Deighton was put in charge of PPE and “helped the government award billions of dollars in contracts—including hundreds of millions to several companies where he has financial interests or personal connections,” the Times reports. The government also created a “VIP lane” that allowed companies recommended by government officials to get fast-tracked contracts that were 10 times more likely to be approved.

The Times notes that “there is no evidence to suggest that government officials were engaged in illegal conduct… but there is ample evidence of cronyism, waste and poor due diligence.” This corrupt government approach stands in stark contrast to how goods are distributed by the market.

In a free market, millions of customers make buying decisions based on their personal appraisal of costs and benefits. So, the overall market outcome is determined by widely dispersed decision-making. This makes it much harder for any one corporation or special interest group to rig a sweetheart deal.

Government officials, however, are not spending their own money, nor are they spending it on themselves. This means that their decisions regarding who gets what are less driven by economic factors and more driven by political factors. What’s more, large government contracts are often determined by a relatively small number of people relative to the free market.

Together, these conditions make corruption and favoritism, also known as cronyism, inevitable.

“Cronyism is the substitution of political influence for free markets,” Mercatus Center economist David R. Henderson explains. “It comes about when the government has a lot of power over private-sector decisions and when the government officials in power have great discretion over how to use it.”

“The more power the government has over the economy, the more allocation of resources will depend on political connections,” he concludes. “The way to eliminate cronyism is to have free markets and little government control.”

As we can see, the British government’s horrific misuse of taxpayer funds is not a one-off incident caused by particularly bad actors or some especially corrupt group of politicians. Rather, it’s just another example of the endemic favoritism and waste that inevitably corrupts all government spending.

The reality is that big government initiatives will always end up funneling money to the well-off and well-connected. And that’s a lesson worth remembering long after the COVID-19 pandemic fades.

The post New Exposé Shows UK’s COVID Response was Rife with Corruption and Cronyism first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Iowa Governor Issues Lockdown Orders, Mandates Muzzles

Get this: the Iowa governor has ramped up lockdown orders and mandated muzzles for those pesky peasants living in that state, but admits there isn’t enough law enforcement to force compliance.

That means you have to willingly submit to your own enslavement. Because if everyone ignored these mandates, there’s nothing they could do. It is similar to the taxation issue.  If everyone refused to pay, there is nothing they can do. They know this.  That’s why they need to convince you to follow their orders.

Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa has announced more “mitigation measures” (enslavement) to fight the COVID-19 scamdemic and they went into effect Monday night (November 16) at midnight. In a statement Monday, she said the healthcare system is being pushed to the brink in unsustainable ways with one of every four hospital patients having the virus in Iowa, according to a report by KCII Radio. 

Fauci Warns: Wear Your Mask, Or We Will Lock You Down Again

Are Face Masks & COVID Rituals Occultist Symbols For Submission?

Reynolds edicts also include a ban on sports.  All youth and adult sports are suspended, however, high school and college sports can continue with the two spectators per participant rule and masks worn. Gatherings indoors are limited to 15 people, and gatherings outdoors are limited to 30 people. These draconian measures are in place until December 10.

Starting Tuesday, people must also wear masks in indoor public spaces if they are unable to social distance after 15 minutes. The mask mandates are becoming increasingly concerning, especially considering studies show they don’t work.

“This isn’t about mandates, this isn’t about the government — there isn’t enough law enforcement in the country to make sure every Iowan is wearing a mask when they should, there aren’t enough sheriffs in Iowa’s 99 counties to shut down every non-compliant bar,” she said. “If Iowans don’t buy into this — we lose. Businesses will close once again, more schools will be forced to go online, and our health care system will fail, and the cost in human life will be high. So now is the time to come together for the greater good, to look out for each other — not because you’re told to, but because it’s the right thing to do.”

So believe what the authorities say, and “buy into it” using her own words, or lose. It looks like either way, we lose. They have that tied up in a nice little bow, don’t they? This is coming for the remainder of the states that haven’t locked down yet either.  They will keep this facade going as long as they can and as long as they are getting away with it. As long as the police comply, just do their jobs and follow orders putting morality aside and as long as the public continues to take it without standing up to the enforcers, this will go on.

How much more are people willing to take?

The post Iowa Governor Issues Lockdown Orders, Mandates Muzzles first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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MSM Argues The U.S. Needs Another “France-Like” Lockdown

Even though the election hysteria is ongoing, the mainstream media continues to try to garner support for another devastating lockdown. Most “authorities” and the MSM is saying we need a “France-like” lockdown to stop the alleged spread of COVID-19.

At this point, it’s absolutely disturbing that the media is continuing to argue for another lockdown, but as long as the sheep keep buying into the fear, they will be able to pull this off. “This is particularly insidious propaganda trick,” says James Corbett in his most recent video.

The threats of a second lockdown are not in the rearview mirror. In fact, Newsday argues:

Given the experience in Europe, lockdowns — or something very close to that — may be the only option.

Both Dr, Anthony Fauci, and Dr. Deborah Birx have already warned that a “dark winter” is approaching and “more aggressive” action needs to be taken against the virus, and this all happened within the past week. As we’ve said before:  if they can pull off a second lockdown, they will do it. If they even so much as think they can get away with it, we will all be locked down again. So prepare for it  Becasue Americans don’t seem to be understanding what’s actually going on here.

Greg Mannarino: “They Want People Desperate. People Aren’t Desperate Enough”

This is the rollout of the New World Order and they will attempt The Great Reset. This is playing out how they need it to.  While the nation is largely gripped by election results, the COVID-19 lockdown possibility still looms. Do not be distracted, and stay aware of what’s happening.

This whole charade is far from over. Remember, there was a “secret” election model done too that said Trump winning the electoral college while Biden take s the popular vote would be an election outcome that would result in the most violence chaos.

Before anyone says something like “it’s just a model,” I suggest you read Event 201, which modeled a “deadly coronavirus pandemic” and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Operation Lockstep, which is an elitist plan detailing how a pandemic would lead to an authoritarian form of government with total surveillance and the enslavement of every single human being on earth.

“[Trump] doesn’t have to win the election,” said Nils Gilman, a historian who leads research at a think tank called the Berggruen Institute and was an organizer of the exercise. “He just has to create a plausible narrative that he didn’t lose.”

The stage is being set. If you’ve been paying attention, you know elections are just smoke and mirrors anyway designed to give the public the illusion of choice. The Federal Reserve will choose the president as they have for decades and that’s who will win in 2020. If people would understand this simple fact, they could finally direct their attention to those trying to actively rule and enslave them. The information is out there, it’s time to wake up. Time is running out. SHTFPlan

This is a wake-up call. People need to realize what is being done to them. Do not think that a second lockdown won’t come. Instead, prepare for it and know it’s a possibility.

The post MSM Argues The U.S. Needs Another “France-Like” Lockdown first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.