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    Unemployment in Free vs. Locked-Down States

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    The economic results of America’s ongoing experiment with COVID-19 top-down authoritarianism are in, and they provided for the clearest picture to date about the very real, devastating side effects of lockdowns.

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has made available a series of new statistics highlighting the unemployment figures from January (pre-pandemic mania) 2020 when compared to January of 2021, and the difference in outcomes is staggering.

    As you can see by the chart posted by Phil Kerpen, South Dakota, which has remained open over the course of the past year, has the best numbers on record. Under Governor Kristi Noem’s leadership, South Dakota registered both the lowest percentage increase of unemployment, in addition to the lowest overall unemployment percentage.

    Of the remaining 9 states with the best unemployment numbers, every state but Vermont took a more minimalist approach to COVID-19 restrictions.

    On the other side of the spectrum, here’s a list of the states that saw a spike in unemployment of 4 percent or more since January, 2020: 

    • California
    • New York
    • New Jersey
    • Connecticut
    • Hawaii
    • Illinois
    • Nevada
    • Massachusetts

    All of the aforementioned states instituted major lockdowns that were intended to stop the annual respiratory sickness season from occurring, but failed to do so. These policies did in fact detonate their respective economies. Moreover, most of these states continue to have major restrictions in place that will keep unemployment moving in the wrong direction.

    After a full year of evaluating the data, it’s clear that there was no threat to states that allowed the economy and society to flourish. It took courage for these political leaders to stand up to COVID mania, and their states have been rewarded in the form of a more thriving economy and society.

    States like New York and California, where millions have been driven into financial ruin, imposed top-down draconian measures in order to “stop the spread.” They have only registered significantly worse outcomes, on both a disease burden front in addition to the ruinous economic and societal side effects of lockdowns. Not a single top-down restriction supposedly intended to “stop the spread” did anything statistically demonstrable to quell the virus problem.

    Jordan Schachtel

    Jordan Schachtel

    Jordan Schachtel is an investigative journalist and foreign policy analyst based in Washington, D.C.

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