Peter Schiff appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience this week. The wide-ranging, three-hour interview covered a number of topics, including a critique of socialism, the 2020 presidential election, the recent social unrest and how to fix troubled communities, how the minimum wage hurts workers, and the economic impacts of the coronavirus.
As far as the economics of COVID-19, Peter said the first thing to remember is that the government doesn’t have any money.
The government only has money it takes from the people — one way or another.”
He quoted President Grover Cleveland who quipped that while the people must support the government, the government should never support the people. If the economy had to be shut down to mitigate the pandemic, people and businesses should have had enough savings to weather that storm. This is how Americans coped with World War II.
Average Americans had lots of money in the bank. They weren’t loaded up with debt. The didn’t have credit card debt. They didn’t have student loans. They didn’t have car loans. They were solvent. Even after the Great Depression, they were solvent. We lived in a bubble economy. Everybody was paycheck to paycheck. Nobody had anything. Businesses couldn’t survive if their revenues stopped. Workers couldn’t pay their rent if they didn’t get their salary. That’s not right. That’s part of the bubble.”
Rogan pointed out that we’ve been in lockdown mode to some degree for four months. Few people have the resources to weather a four-month rainy day. But Peter said people will suffer even more due to the government response and the massive inflation that the government and the Federal Reserve have unleased to finance the bailouts and stimulus.
We can’t just use the Federal Reserve as a piggy-bank. The Federal Reserve cure is going to do more damage than the coronavirus disease. I think, if the states knew that they would have to bear the economic consequences of their own decision-making, they would do a better cost-benefit analysis on what they shut down and how they do it. Right now, every state is like, ‘Oh, let’s shut everything down and the federal government is going to bail everybody out. … Thinking that everything is free, that is the problem.”
Peter emphasized that the money-printing, the stimulus and the bailouts are going to ultimately lead to a massive economic collapse.
We are compounding the mistakes of the past with much bigger mistakes.”
Peter emphasized that we’ve suffered a wound that the government inflicted upon us.
The free market would have never screwed us up this much. It was government interference in the free market.”
Peter went back to the WWII analogy and emphasized that despite running up a massive debt to fight the war, Americans had the capacity to pay it back. That’s no longer true.
The debt’s never going to go down. The debt’s going to keep on rising and rising and rising until the dollar implodes. See, that is the real crisis that we’re heading for. It’s going to be a collapse in the value of the dollar. Because right now, we’re printing money and the government is sending it out and the people are able to buy stuff with it. But that’s going to come to an end because the world is no longer going to accept US dollars as the reserve currency.”
Ultimately, it’s not going to matter if the government sends you a stimulus check if you can’t buy anything with it.
The government can’t create purchasing power. They can print all the money they want, but none of that printed money adds any purchasing power. They don’t grow any food. They don’t produce any products, nothing. They just print money.”