Aug. 29, 2023

It’s Not A Game - Monopoly Money & Our Economic Future – with E. J. Antoni – [Ep. 183]

It’s Not A Game - Monopoly Money & Our Economic Future – with E. J. Antoni – [Ep. 183]

One does not need to be an economist to understand our economy is in free fall. Rising debt, inflation, and interest rates are causing multi-generational problems for American citizens. The economy was booming in 2019, with historic gains across the...

One does not need to be an economist to understand our economy is in free fall. Rising debt, inflation, and interest rates are causing multi-generational problems for American citizens. The economy was booming in 2019, with historic gains across the board, and a strong comeback was in process in 2020. What happened to the comeback? What is happening now and what can we expect for the future? Mainstream media pundits tell us the economy is doing well. Is it? How do we know what’s true? Numbers do not lie, but they can be twisted and distorted to fit a narrative. Economist E.J. Antoni joined Linda to sort fact from fallacy and fiction from reality regarding the economic outlook for America. A strong economy is necessary to success, and we can learn how to recognize and respond to economic truths and trends so we may win in the games of life, business, and national sovereignty and security. Don’t roll the dice and rely on chance for your future. Tune in today to gain valuable information to help you adapt to our changing economy.

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Linda J. Hansen:  Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101 Breakroom Economics Podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen, your host and the author of Prosperity 101- Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, and the creator of the Breakroom Economics Online course, the book, the course and the entire podcast library can be found on Prosperity101.Com. I seek to connect boardroom to break room and policy to paycheck by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs. My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity, and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement and retention, and to an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Listen each week to hear from exciting guests and be sure to visit Prosperity 101.Com.

Thank you so much for joining with me today. My guest today is a repeat guest and a good friend. If you are struggling to figure out what is next for the American economy or the world economy or your own financial future, my guest today will bring light to all of these subjects. EJ Antoni is, like I mentioned, a repeat guest to the podcast and one of the listeners favorites because he always brings great information. EJ is an economist at the Heritage Foundation and he also works with the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, but he is a prolific author writer. You've seen him on many, many news interviews and I'm just thrilled to have him back again. Thank you so much for joining with us again, EJ.

E. J. Antoni: Oh, Linda, my pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, I know the listeners always respond to me that they learn so much from the podcast interviews when I have you, and so it's just a delight to have you back on. And I know we have constant texting conversations about things I see in the news and things. And one of the things that sparked this particular interview request was something I saw the White House post more recently and it was just I wish I could show the listeners right now what the visual is, but if the listeners go to the White House Instagram feed or Twitter feed, whatever, you would see it.

There was a graph that the White House posted and it was average jobs per month per President and by the thousands. It had. Reagan average jobs per month 150,000. Bush, 50,000 Clinton, 250,000 W. Bush. George Bush Jr. At 25,000, Obama at 125,000, trump in the negative. They had Trump in the negative in terms of jobs created per month. And then they had Biden over 400,000 jobs per month. And I am not an economist. I turn to you and our mutual friend Steve Moore and others to give me deep economic insights because I'm not an economist, but I'm also not stupid. And I looked at this graph and hmm, that's interesting. I'm sure a lot of people look at that as fact, but it is not. So could you shed light on that?

E. J. Antoni: Oh, certainly. I mean, like many things from this administration, it's just another half-truth. It's like when the administration talks about how wages have gone up so much and that part of the narrative is true, right. We have seen huge wage gains under this president and by historic standards they've been excellent. The problem is that prices have risen even faster. And so in real terms, in other words, what your wages can actually buy you, that has gone down. It has gone down at an exceptionally fast clip since Joe Biden became president. And when we look at things like the jobs numbers, for example, those are the figures from the administration are purposely ignoring the government imposed shutdowns that we had in 2020 and even beyond, specifically in Democrat controlled states, you had the lockdowns go on much longer and the lockdowns were much more severe, much more draconian.

And as a result of that, it took a long time to actually get many of those jobs back. So jobs that would have essentially been recovered in the second half of 2020. A lot of that job reclamation, if you will, was forestalled until 21 and even into 22. In fact, there are a few states that still have not yet returned to pre pandemic employment levels. And so what that chart is looking at is essentially it is including all of those job losses from the pandemic during the Trump administration and it is counting a good chunk of the job gains as during the Biden administration. But if you actually take out the effects from the pandemic, what you find is that Trump added jobs and you also find that about nine out of ten of the jobs added during the Biden administration are simply just jobs reclaimed from the COVID shutdowns. So Joe Biden goes from being one of the best job creators ever to actually one of the worst.

Linda J. Hansen: Exactly. And I really like to help people understand a little bit of the news behind the news and to discern what is fact from fallacy, especially as we look at what the White House puts out or what the mainstream media puts out. And so that's really helpful to go a little bit behind the headlines there. And I know like I mentioned, when I looked at that I thought, hmm, I'm not an economist, but I'm not stupid. It just it was so blatantly tilted that I thought we really should address it because to a low information voter or someone who really doesn't have time or hasn't had the inclination in their life yet to really research these things a little bit more beyond the headlines, they might look at that and think, oh, Biden economics. The Bidenomics is doing great. And actually there are so many other factors in our economy that are doing so poorly that we need to take a deep dive and look at these things from a different perspective than what they're feeding us.

E. J. Antoni: Sure. And I think part of the problem here is that the PR around the Biden administration is not just taking advantage of the low information voter, but even the moderate information voter, if you want to call them that. The people who are aware, for example, of the monthly jobs reports, they see those numbers and they think that the economy is just zooming right along. But again, those numbers are deceptive because of the underlying condition in the economy when Joe Biden took the reins. So, for example, the economy was already recovering jobs at an enormous clip, and then that has slowed since Joe Biden took office. But without that context, it does appear as if these monthly job gains are still quite robust.

Linda J. Hansen: Exactly. And what do you see going forward? I know we are actually recording this on August 17 of 2023. It may actually not be released for a week or two, and I'm wondering what's ahead. So if we look at what will the economy be doing the end of August on into September, and as we look into the fourth quarter of the year, what should listeners be aware of in terms of really trying to find truth among the lies?

E. J. Antoni: Well, one of the things we're going to see is those job gains continue to slow down and then eventually flat-line and then eventually reverse. In other words, you go from job gains to job losses in terms of when exactly that's going to occur. I'll be honest, earlier this year, a lot of the data was pointing towards a late summer decline in jobs. But we have several different indicators that continue to push that forecast back and back and back. That's not to say that things are not still pointing to a recession, but they are pointing to a recession that is still going to be several months in the future. One really good indicator is the yield curve, which measures the difference in essentially interest rates that you're seeing on short term debt versus long term debt. And what's happening there is that the curve has inverted, meaning it's reversed from its normal condition. And that is a very good indicator of recession. But what a lot of people miss is that before you actually get to the recession, the yield curve begins to normalize. In fact, a lot of times it even turns positive.

And so, in other words, the yield curve goes from being inverted to returning to its regular condition. And that has still not happened yet. In other words, what was an indicator of recession at the very beginning of the year? Pointing to a recession about this time is still pointing to a recession. But again, in terms of when that recession eventually arrives until the yield curve really begins to normalize, we have to keep pushing that forecast back into the future. That's just one example of many. But another thing that I think is going to happen is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is going to put out a large revision report to those monthly job numbers later this month. I think it's the August 23. And what I'm anticipating is that we're going to see a lot of jobs numbers revise downward from that. One of the key reasons is because the Bureau of Labor Statistics, when they do these surveys every single month to try to calculate the number of jobs that there are, the number of jobs that are being created, they don't know how many jobs are created at newly established businesses. And so what they do is they use data from new businesses called births versus businesses that close when you go out of business.

That's called a death. So that birth and death estimate they use to try to figure out how many additional jobs are being added in those businesses that are not yet being surveyed. In other words, I'm going to assume that for every business that gets added to the economy, x number of jobs are added as well, because that business is going to need a certain number of employees on average. Now, during COVID we lost an unprecedented number of jobs, but we also lost a large number of businesses. Now, a lot of the people who used to work for those businesses simply got jobs elsewhere. So as new businesses are being added, and they're still being added at a very high rate, and again, a lot of that has to do with an underestimation of just how many small businesses we lost, unfortunately, during COVID But as businesses continue to be added, BLS continues to add jobs with those business startups, with those business births. And it is very clearly overestimating the number of new employees.

It's just a question of how much. And so I've seen a lot of very wildly varying estimates from some very respected economists, some who believe that it's a small number being added. It's not going to make that much of a difference to other estimates that indicate that these additions, this overestimation of jobs from business births, has actually been flipping the job report from negative to positive. Now, I'm really not quite in that camp. I'm not sure there's enough data to support that extreme of an estimate. However, again, it is still very clearly overestimating the actual number of jobs. So we're just going to have to wait and see with these revisions to answer the question of just how much that overestimation is just how large it is.

Linda J. Hansen: Rather well, we should be waiting for that and be able to look between the lines to what they're really saying and what's actually happening. Another thing I heard you talk about in an interview once was about there's all these jobs, but sometimes people are taking two or three jobs just to make ends meet. So it may be a new job, but it's not a family sustaining job, or they're taking on an extra job just to make ends meet and pay for these inflationary costs that we're all dealing with. Could you address that?

E. J. Antoni: Sure. So, Linda, with these monthly job reports, there's actually two different surveys that they use that the BLS uses to compile the entire report. The first is an establishment of businesses, which that's what we were just talking about, and that's where we get that monthly headline number of 200,000 jobs added per month or 500,000 jobs added last month, whatever the case may be. But we also have a survey of households. And one of the questions in the survey of households is that it asks people, how many jobs do you actually have? And we've seen that steadily tick up. It also asks questions like, do you have an unincorporated business of your own? In other words, does this unincorporated business that you have employ you? And the reason that that's important is because those unincorporated small businesses are not surveyed by the establishment survey, the survey of businesses.

And as a result of that, if you're someone who I'll give a very common example the last couple of years, you have your own small business. It's unincorporated, and because of high costs from inflation, you were forced out of business because you just can't compete with larger businesses that have larger profit margins that are better able to absorb these rising costs. And as a result of that, you end up having to go work for one of these large corporations. You just went from not being counted in that monthly survey from BLS to being counted in that monthly establishment survey from BLS. And in that example, you didn't actually increase the number of people employed, right? All you did was you shifted from not being counted to being counted. Now. Likewise, if you are someone who is working one job and then you have to go and get a second job again, because let's say the rising cost of living has made it a necessity for you to have additional income in order to try to maintain your standard of living, what happens? You once again were previously counted as one job.

Now you're counted as two in that establishment survey, because when we survey businesses, there's no question in there about, do any of your employees have additional jobs? It is strictly looking at payrolls. So again, you haven't actually increased the number of people employed. But what you've done is you have once again goosed that monthly number from the establishment survey. And so you can really parse through the data on both of those surveys, and you find that we have had many instances where going on a monthly basis, we weren't even sure the economy added any additional jobs at all or simply did things like double counted individuals.

Linda J. Hansen: I so appreciate your insight on all this and that's why I like to ask you to come back so many times, because you do. You dig through all the layers and it like I said, goes beyond the headlines because this is something people don't always understand. And especially if they're not an economist or they're busy doing these two or three jobs to keep a roof over their heads, they don't have time to dig into all this. But it's so important to understand how these things are counted and how the narrative can be so twisted and deceptive. You had mentioned too, I saw one article that you did that I thought was just great, or one interview where you said Mr. Monopoly would be a better Fed chairman. And I just loved that. Could you explain a little bit your thoughts on that? And a lot of people don't understand the Fed and its role and why we need to pay attention to what the Fed is doing and why you think Mr. Monopoly would be a better Fed chairman.

E. J. Antoni: Certainly when Monopoly was first rolled out in 1935, a lot of games were sold. And in that first year since its intro, or that first year of its introduction, I should say, a certain amount of money, monopoly money, was printed to go in each of those game sets. And one of the very interesting things is that it was almost exactly the same amount as the monetary base, what we call M two. In other words, the amount of Monopoly money, fake money, roughly equaled the amount of real money in the economy. I think it was something like 37 billion versus 39 billion. So almost identical. But since then, the amount of money that has been printed, we're talking real dollars here, the amount of money. Now, Federal Reserve notes that the Federal Reserve has created, it's been growing at over three times the pace of the increase in Monopoly money. And so sometimes people will refer to the dollar as Monopoly money. And we do that as a pejorative right to say like, oh, it's worthless.

Like Monopoly. Money is worthless. But the incredible irony here is the fact that had we been using Monopoly money instead of Federal Reserve notes, we would literally have less inflation today than under the current circumstances because we have seen the growth of the money supply be 29 times the growth of the real economy. Now, the reason that's important is because you want those things to grow at a one to one ratio in order to actually keep the value of the currency stable over time. That's the ideal scenario. And that's more or less what we have for many, many years when we still had a currency that was convertible into either gold or silver. However, what happened during the same time with Monopoly money, monopoly money grew about 19 times faster than the real economy. Now that's not good, right? If you're going to use Monopoly money, that's not good. But again, the irony here is that it's much, much better than the American dollar. And so it's a bit whimsical to put it that way.

But it's true. If Mr. Monopoly, I think his official name is Rich Uncle Penny Bags, the mustachioed and top hated character in the center of the board, if he had been running the Fed, essentially, meaning if we had been creating money at the same pace as we were creating Monopoly money, we would have substantially less inflation today. Look at 2020 for example. That was a year when the Fed created literally trillions of dollars. And what happened during Monopoly money at that time? Well, sales of Monopoly actually exploded because many board game that was true for many board games. Not just Monopoly, but so many people were stuck at home in 2020. A lot of families said, oh well, let's break out the old board games. Or if we don't have them, let's order some online and play some board games together, since we're all stuck here and we need something to pass the time. And so there were hundreds of billions of dollars of Monopoly money that was printed in 2020. But once again, that would have been far, far better than the trillions of dollars that were printed by the Fed.

Linda J. Hansen: True. So true. And that brings me to another thing we have discussed in the podcast previously, and it's the demise of the dollar. I know I had you and Peter St Ange on to discuss this. And we look at what the BRICS nations are doing now with their currency and we look at the demise of the US. Dollar. Could you address that mean, because that just plays right into this conversation about the Fed and the value of the US. Dollar. Please address that and help listeners understand.

E. J. Antoni: How should they prepare for certainly really good questions there. So I guess to start we need to point out that the Biden administration has been just destroying the dollar both at home and abroad. In terms of at home, we've seen the dollar lose 16% of its value since Biden took office. I mean, it's not unprecedented to have that big of a drop, but it certainly is devastating. And after so many years of relatively stable prices and relatively low inflation, the rest of the world assumed that that was going to be the norm moving forward for the United States dollar. And clearly that is no longer the case under Joe Biden. Furthermore, if you look at the last year, if you annualize the monthly changes in something like the Consumer Price Index, the CPI, what you find is that growth in the CPI has not been trending towards 2%, like we've been told by the administration, by the Fed, et cetera. It's very, very clear that it's been trending towards 3%. And we've arrived there and there's no indication we're going any lower anytime soon. In fact, in the last inflation report that we got earlier in the month of August, inflation accelerated during July, and it's very likely going to do the exact same again in August when we get that report, which will be, I think, the second week of September. So, again, there's no indication we're going below 3% anytime soon.

And the reason for that is because there's no indication that Biden or Congress is going to return us to pre COVID spending levels. In other words, as long as government spending remains at these elevated rates, and the treasury continues borrowing at these elevated rates and the Fed continues to allow a money supply at an elevated level, we are going to continue to have elevated inflation, full stop. So a lot of countries are looking at the dollar and they're saying, anything that's going to get me paid in dollars might not be a good investment anymore. Things like treasury bonds or frankly, any kind of securities, even commercial paper that's denominated in dollars. Why? Because I now have to factor in a larger inflation premium we can call it. In other words, if I'm going to lend money for a year and it's going to lose 3% of its value, I need to make sure that my rate of return includes that 3%. So let's say I want a 2% rate of return. Given whatever risk is involved with this loan, I need to demand a 5% interest rate. And so what a lot of people are doing around the world is they're looking at this and saying, wow, the dollar is not really as good of an investment as we thought it was anymore. In terms of abroad, what's going on, what the Biden administration has done, not just domestic, but in foreign markets to the dollar. It used to be the case that the dollar was really sacrosanct and that you didn't mess with someone else's dollars. What I mean by that is there are a lot of countries around the world that will keep dollars as a reserve currency, or they will keep different assets in terms of, well, how do I put it? They will keep liquid dollars to back other assets.

This is something that we didn't even do during the Cold War. I want to specify we literally confiscated dollars that were owned by the Russian Central Bank and the Russian people. These were not our dollars that we said you can't have anymore. These were Russians dollars that we literally confiscated. And now they're debating literally giving them to the oligarchs in Ukraine. And to be clear, because I always catch so much flak for this, and people are like, oh, you're defending Putin? No, I'm not defending Putin. I have no horse in this race, okay? I'm not saying anything he did was right or wrong. This is strictly from a monetary perspective. It has been an absolute disaster taking dollars that weren't owned by the Americans, by the American people, the American central bank, the American government, et cetera. Again, this is something we didn't even do during the Cold War. And now what's happening around the world? You're seeing a lot of countries wondering, am I going to be next? Am I going to be the next country that faces these sanctions? You have countries in Europe, for example, especially Eastern Europe, who are running afoul of the Biden administration because they have very pro life laws. They have a lot of protections for the Unborn on the books. And the Biden administration is threatening that they're going to impose some kind of sanctions. Because of that. You have countries in Africa that either have or are considering imposing anti sodomy laws. And the Biden administration, again, is threatening sanctions against those countries as well. And so different nations are now beginning to wonder, are dollars even a safe, let alone, am I going to get a good return? Are dollars even a safe investment? And the answer is increasingly becoming no.

And so countries don't want to hold dollars. They don't want it to be their reserve currency, and they don't want to do business in dollars. The consequence of that, then, is not only nations selling off their dollars, which reduces the scarcity of dollars, which makes them less valuable, but you're also seeing countries increasingly not want to use the dollar for international trade. And China is really leading the way on this, which should give us all pause. But China is increasingly entering into bilateral trade agreements where countries will use their own currencies instead of the dollar to settle international trade. And that makes sense in a lot of cases where they can say China can say to a country like Brazil, listen, you are buying, let's say, $100 billion of raw materials from us, and we are buying $100 billion of finished products from you. Why don't we just exchange our own currencies instead of converting our currencies into dollars or using dollars that we already have to make that transaction? And every time that happens, you are decreasing the international demand for dollars. And one of the reasons why that's so important is that literally for decades now, we have been exporting deficits and exporting inflation around the globe, and we have been using that demand for dollars to finance so much of our spending, both personal and government, by the way.

And that's one of the reasons why when the government here in the United States spends so much, the inflationary impact on the American people is somewhat minimized because we have so many foreigners paying that inflation tax as well. Because it's not only our dollars that are losing value, it's everyone's dollars around the globe and everything denominated in dollars to a certain extent. So you put all of this together, and you have a lot of countries you mentioned the BRICS nations. You have a lot of countries and a lot of coalitions who are increasingly trying to move away from the dollar and to replace it with something else, be that gold or their own currencies or even a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. And this is all very dangerous for the United States, for the United States economy, because what happens when no one wants all of those trillions upon trillions of dollars anymore that are floating around the globe? What happens? Well, what do you do with the currency? You buy stuff with it. Okay, what can you buy with dollars? Well, anything that's denominated in dollars. Right now, one of the biggest things on the international market since we call it the petrodollar, is oil.

But what happens when all of these countries stop pricing oil in dollars and they price it in something else? The only thing left to buy with your dollars are American produced goods and services. So you will have trillions of dollars come flooding back home again. This is decades worth of deficits will come flooding back home almost all at once to compete for the goods and services that you and I are already buying. That is going to cause a massive increase in the money supply somewhere, probably about a third. In other words, you'd be looking at an inflation rate of over 30% in an incredibly short period of time. It's difficult to overestimate just how devastating something like that would be. And a lot of people ask, well, yeah, this isn't happening all at once, or it's not happening very quickly. Why are you so worried about it? And it's that old line, I think it's from Hemingway, right? How did you go bankrupt, sir? Well, slowly at first, and then suddenly, right.

Linda J. Hansen: Things happen slowly until they happen all at once. And as you talked about what's happening with that, the economy, the Demise of the dollar is an episode that we did a few months back. So I would recommend that listeners go back and listen to the episode, the Demise of the Dollar that featured you and learn more about this issue. However, I know the BRICS nations are buying up gold at record rates, and we're looking at, like you said, what is the denomination? What are things measured in? And what would you say to the digital currency? I know there's the whole talk about the world coin, the world currency, where dollars aren't going to mean anything. We're going to have a world currency, and we better abide, and it's going to be digital. And if we're not in the club, we don't get to buy or sell.

E. J. Antoni: Certainly the push towards a central bank digital currency right now is incredibly dangerous, and I may sound hyperbolic here, so I will stick to using the positions of the actual advocates for these things instead of my own ideas. But the people who want a central bank digital currency are becoming increasingly transparent about why they want it. They want it. So that they can do things like force your behavior in ways that they are unable to do so, or that it's very difficult for them to do so right now. So instead of, for example, trying to use the tax code, which we already do, to do things like get you to buy an electric vehicle instead of a gas powered vehicle, we have additional taxes on gas powered vehicles and we provide tax subsidies to electric vehicles instead. It's a lot easier with the CBDC to just say hey look, every ten years you're only allowed to spend x amount of dollars towards the purchase of gas powered vehicles, but you can spend as much as you want on an EV.

Likewise, maybe you're only allowed to spend X number of dollars per week on gasoline, but you can spend as much as you want on charging stations. And the reason this is all possible is because under a central bank digital currency, not just every dollar, but every single cent has a unique fingerprint. And so every single cent can be traced, can be tracked, can be taxed, can be controlled. The government has the ability to veto purchases, to allow purchases, whatever the case may be, because every single transaction has to be routed through a single central authority. And so that gives the government an ability to monitor and again, control like we have never seen before. Something that frankly or   well could not have even dreamed of. And you can find central bankers, treasury officials and other government bureaucrats from around the world who are already saying that CBDCs would allow us again to limit purchases on things like meat, so that we can shift people away from eating beef and towards eating bugs. Again, not my words, not my idea. These are things that are already being proposed and are already being pushed for around the world. The advocates for a central bank digital currency have also said that what Canada did with the trucker protests, it would make it a lot easier for the government to crack down on people giving money to those truckers.

Because what the government in Canada had to do the last time around was essentially force the banks strong arm them into handing over bank records to see who was sending money to the truckers, who were protesting peacefully, mind you. And so what the government could now do, since again all transactions have to be routed through the government, is the government can simply just monitor and see who's sending money there. It doesn't take much imagination to see that the government can very easily see and monitor who is giving money to maybe a pro-life group. Not just a freedom of speech group, but pro Second amendment group, whatever the case may be. Who is not supporting the LGBTQA plus Ampersand pound signed alphabet soup people agenda, right? Whoever is not supporting the things we like and whoever is supporting the things we don't like it's very easy to see that and to crack down on those people. And it's very easy to simply deny those transactions. For example, the Biden administration has already taken steps to try to shut down crisis pregnancy centers, claiming that they are using false advertising, that these organizations are not really helping women. Why? Because all the Biden administration wants is for those women to get abortions.

They don't want them to have their children. They don't want them to receive access to goods and services that will help them in their time of crisis. Right? And again, you can find still yet other examples, especially in Europe, where they want to not just monitor purchases of guns and ammunition like they already want to do here in the United States, but then also once again, limit how much you can spend on those things. And so you don't actually have to completely repeal the Second Amendment. You can just simply infringe upon it so much that it effectively doesn't exist anymore. And again, obviously in places like Europe, we're not talking about a Second Amendment because it doesn't exist there, it's only recognized here in the United States. But again, these are not things that I'm coming up with on my own. These are not my personal musings. These are ideas. These are positions that are already being pushed by the advocates for a CBDC in various places around the world. And you have to wonder if these are the things they're saying out loud. What are the things that they're saying behind closed doors?

Linda J. Hansen: That's a really good point. And I've actually interviewed several people who've had their bank accounts closed, their websites scrubbed off the Internet, their social media accounts locked, and their posts removed because they spoke things that didn't fit the narrative. So, like you mentioned, they might make it impossible for us to purchase guns or ammunition. Well, they might make it impossible for us to purchase a gas stove. Might make it impossible for us to purchase you mentioned beef. Well, what about water?

What about anything else? I mean, having a CBDC just gives away all of our autonomy, all of our independence as individuals, as consumers. And we are left at the mercy of the oligarchs and the elites who want to control every aspect of our life. And so I saw that in France, some people were effectively standing up to this and they were getting groups of people together and going into grocery stores or department stores or gas stations, and they would get their groceries all scanned through or whatever. And then they'd say, oh sorry, I just have cash. And there'd be groups of them that would go at once and just say, I just have cash, I'm sorry.

And so the stores were almost forced to accept the cash. Same with the gas stations. They'd fill up with gas and say, here, I'm here to pay for cash. Well, they already had the gas, so the gas station kind of had to take the cash. And so it was their way of revolting. And I read that it was happening all over France. It's not effective if one person goes and does it, but if you get groups of people to do it and it's a unified effort, we may be able to push back on this. There's so many people who want control over us, but America has always fought against that type of control. This is more than the tea bags in the harbor. This is really control over every aspect of our life. And so we really need to stand up to it and be unified against it. So I appreciate what you said about that.

And then you were mentioning too, about your dog in the fight regarding the Ukraine situation in Russia. And it's almost like if we ever say anything against sending money to Ukraine, we're painted as pro-Russian or something. And I would say for you and for me, if anybody's know, our dog in the fight is America and the American citizen and the American taxpayer and the billions of dollars we're sending to defend a border that is not our own, and we're leaving our border open you Know, there are so many things that need attention here in the United States of America, and our tax dollars should be taking care of American citizens and the needs of America, which are truly being neglected in so many ways. We've just touched on a few Know my dog in the fight and your dog in the fight, I'm sure, is America and the American citizens, because without a strong America, we don't have a strong world at all. We can't help any country, Ukraine or any other country fight for freedom. So we have to have a strong America, a strong economy. So do you have any other closing comments and closing comments for employers, employees, or anyone in general?

E. J. Antoni: Well, I guess one thing, Linda, going back to what you were saying about government control. It'd be one thing to give the government control. If the government was always right, why are parents allowed to tell their children what to do? Because the parents know better. But the clear evidence is that the government does not know better than the American people, neither the individual nor the people at large. Just recently, for example, the FDA reversed course and said that, oh, just kidding. Ivermectin actually is not only effective at treating COVID, but we're going to now allow it. I mean, look at what the government did here. Essentially, just because Donald Trump was an early promoter of Ivermectin, immediately it was decried as horse de-wormer and all this other nonsense. Never mind the fact that Ivermectin was developed not for other animals, but for humans, but even still, even if it was developed for animals.

Look at how many drugs were developed for animals, but they work very, very well on humans. Sometimes for the same use, sometimes for different uses, whatever the case may be. And so Ivermectin, a very cheap and readily available and already extensively tested drug, was denied to many people, including one whom I personally know was denied to them when they had COVID. And again, this person that I personally know died. Why? Because they were denied any kind of treatment. And so as a result of that, literally because bureaucrats essentially hated Donald Trump, they caused who knows how many people to die. Are those really the kinds of people that we want running the country? That we want to have the kind of control that tells us what we can and can't do with our money? And so it took a massive media campaign to shame doctors and to convince them not to give out Ivermectin, not to write those prescriptions. It took a massive media campaign to get many doctors fired in order to make others afraid to actually prescribe that drug. And what could the government do if we had a CBDC? Well, very simple. Anytime they see that transaction denied. Denied. Every single pharmacy denied. Oh, Ivomectin was in your bag, was on your receipt, whatever, denied.

That's a whole heck of a lot easier than, again, the massive, coordinated media campaign that it took to shame doctors and others in the medical profession not to prescribe that drug and to instead force upon people. Literally force. Upon them a drug that was untested, unproven, and now we know is essentially of almost zero benefit for a very, very large number of people. And who knows what long term side effects there are because we haven't done any long term studies, because it hasn't been around long enough. And maybe there are no long term maybe there is no long term harm from it. I don't know. No one knows because we haven't done the studies. But we do know that even some of the short term risks like myocarditis, which were dismissed out of hand by the government oh no, actually now we know. That's a very, very real concern. And so again, are these the people that you want to have such an unprecedented level control of your finances and therefore of your life? And I think the very clear answer there is no so for both individuals and businesses alike. This needs to be aligned in the sand.

You need to get in contact with all of your legislators, whether they're at the state or the federal level. Some states have already passed laws essentially saying CBDCs are not allowed to be used in this state. And if a CBDC is passed at the federal level, we're basically just going to ignore the law. You need to get your state legislators to essentially do that or something very similar to it. And we need to push for the federal government to ban it as well. We shouldn't even be exploring the idea. We need to ban it before it ever gets a foothold, because once this kind of thing gets a foothold, Linda, I don't know how you ever root it out.

Linda J. Hansen: Yeah, it's like the camel's nose in the tent, uh yes, definitely. And talk to your lending institutions, too, because I know some banks and credit unions who have told me they will not participate in CBDCs. So you get a lot of banks and lending institutions who refuse to comply. We can have a quiet revolt against this. We don't have to have violence or anything like that, but we can just not comply to your points regarding some of the COVID protocols and things like that, I just want to give people information. If you're wondering about the vaccine or side effects of the vaccine, or you mentioned some of the things regarding pharmaceuticals and things, they can go to Dailycloud IO. Dailycloud IO and the teams there have done extensive research and even published a book on the Pfizer documents the trials of the Pfizer vaccine and the ones they wanted to keep under wraps for 75 years. But a court order opened it up and the thousands and thousands and thousands of pages of what was really happening during the trials that the American people weren't told.

And also the Moderna trials are now public as well. And this team at Dailycloud IO, they're going through all that, too. So I really encourage listeners to go there and learn because there was more behind the scenes. And as you mentioned, the whole thing about Ivermectin and other things, and before you mentioned the trans movement. Let's put the pieces together and what's the money flow with the trans movement? And you're talking about these transition young people. I mean, they become a multi-million dollar big pharma customer for their whole life. And so this is never really about helping the individual. There is a Follow the Money story to all of this, you know, when things seem off listeners, they usually are. So just dig a little deeper. Follow EJ's writings, listen to his interviews. You will find more about the economy and things. Go to places like I mentioned, Dailycloud IO, where you can find some things that we talked about, but also Heritage Foundation, which EJ is a part of, and then Committee to Unleash Prosperity. They have a daily email that comes out with all sorts of news about the economy and just our culture and things. That's very helpful. It's short, it's easy, it bitesize, but it breaks things down. So you can get that. So how can people reach you?

E. J. Antoni: EJ actually, the best place to find me is going to be on Twitter or X or whatever we're calling it these days. But you can find me at real. EJ. Antony I post all of the different articles. I write a lot of the show clips from the different interviews that I do, whether it's podcast or television, sometimes even radio. And then I also go through all of the daily data releases. Things like the jobs report, for example. And I put plain English summaries that actually go into a decent amount of depth, but they're still pretty short, so you can read them all very quickly, but it gives you a good sense of what's going on in the economy without actually having to have a PhD and spend hours everyday going through these reports.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, that's what I love about having you on, because you articulate everything so well and so simply. And I know that's what the listeners really appreciate because you explain things in a way that meets their daily life in a sense. And so I really do appreciate your continued returning to the podcast and I hope to have you back again.

E. J. Antoni: Wonderful. Thank you, Linda, so much.

Linda J. Hansen: Thank you.

Linda J. Hansen: Thank you again for listening to the Prosperity 101 Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share, and leave a great review. Don't forget to visit to access the entire podcast library to order my newest book, Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck or to enroll you or your employees in the Breakroom Economics online course. You can also receive the free e-book, 10 Tips for Helping Employees Understand How Public Policy Affects Their Paychecks. Freedom is never free. Understanding the foundations of prosperity and the policies of prosperity will help you to protect prosperity as you become informed, involved, and impactful. Please contact us today at to let us know how we can serve you. Thank you.