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Good Economic News Continues

The good economic news continues. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the national unemployment numbers for August. Unemployment fell to 8.4%, compared to 10.2% in July. The number of unemployed fell by 2.8 million, to 13.6 million. These numbers have gone down for 4 straight months but of course, are not at the level they were at in February before the virus hit. Total employment rose by 3.8 million in August to 147.3 million. The labor participation rate rose by .3%, to 61.7%. You have probably heard that the stock market is doing very well. This is great news for those who have stocks or mutual funds in their retirement accounts.

The August unemployment/employment numbers for Iowa are not yet available. However, we do know that there was a decrease in the number of continuing weekly unemployment claims by 6,480 to 76,832, for the week of August 23-29.                                                 

COVID-19 Deaths

You have probably heard about the recent discussion of the fact that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has statistics showing that only 6% of the people who have died because of the COVID-19 virus, had no other conditions. In other words 94% of the people who have died, had 1 or more other underlying conditions. We have known for some time that about 80% of the people who have died were people over 60. Most had other health issues, but the 94% figure has only recently received wide attention.

It is a little hard to know how to look at these numbers. Though 94% of deaths were people with other conditions, that does not mean that they would have died when they did, without the virus. On the other hand, it appears that if you are a healthy person with no underlying health problems, your chances of dying from the virus are very small. Keep in mind that the 6% is not 6% of the people who contract the virus, but 6% of the very small number of people percentagewise, who contracted the virus and died. The numbers constantly change, but when I write this, according to the CDC as of September 1, the total number of people in the U.S. who have contracted the disease is 6,004,443. Of those 183,050 or 3%, have died. According to the CDC’s 6% figure, about 10,983 of the deaths were of people with no other conditions.                                                                  

Portland DA won’t Prosecute

The District Attorney for the Portland area has announced that he will not prosecute the big majority of those arrested in connection with the Portland riots, according to the New York Post and others. At the time of the announcement, 550 arrests had been made, 140 of which were for felonies. The DA said he would prosecute 45 of them. It is not clear what will happen with the others arrested for felonies. Apparently the non-felony cases will be dismissed.                        

More on Vote Fraud

The New York Post has published an interesting story about an interview with an “anonymous Democratic operative” who described how he and others committed vote fraud “for decades” in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Though the Post did not use his name, they said they checked him out and believe him. Here is some of the interview:

“He would have his operatives fan out, going house to house, convincing voters to let them mail completed ballots on their behalf as a public service. The fraudster and his minions would then take the sealed envelopes home and hold them over boiling water. ‘You have to steam it to loosen the glue,’ said the insider.” He then would remove the real ballot, place the counterfeit ballot inside the signed certificate, and reseal the envelope. ‘ Five minutes per ballot tops,’ said the insider.

The insider said he took care not to stuff the fake ballots into just a few public mailboxes, but sprinkle them around town. That way he avoided the attention that foiled a sloppy voter-fraud operation in a Paterson, NJ, city council race this year, where 900 ballots were found in just three mailboxes.”  That election has resulted in a court ordering a new election and election fraud charges being brought against the incumbent councilman, for whose benefit the fraud apparently was perpetrated, another councilman and two others.

I know that we are not close to New Jersey but on reading this I thought about how hard it would be to detect the kind of fraud described by the anonymous insider. The envelope is the real envelope, and the certificate is signed by the real voter. As long as they do a good job of copying the ballots they would probably not be detected. Surely there is a way to mark our ballots in such a way that they cannot be easily copied.

Julian Garrett

Author: Julian Garrett