I think that many people are rapidly coming to the view that this economy crushing, totally impractical over reaction and panicked response to the Coronavirus is very much haphazard, make it up as you go, ill-conceived and hasn’t been thought through.
No doubt the government is boxed in, in a damned if they do and damned if they don’t situation but we are getting to the point where the community is becoming mollycoddled, infantilised and confused. (Image)
At the moment most people are willing to go along in the spirit of community but there will come a time, not to distant, when that spirit will start to break down and evaporate. When people start losing on a massive scale, their homes, their businesses, their jobs and everything they’ve ever worked for. It has started already.
At that point things become very unpredictable.
If the government seriously believes they can prop up the economy with everyone from Virgin Airlines to childcare centre getting a slice and that this largesse can go on for another six months or ‘for as long as it takes’ whatever that means and that they can seriously continue to spend the stratospheric, nose bleed, hundreds of billions of dollars ’for as long as it takes’ a debt that will not be paid off for generations, if ever, we are destined to become ‘Venezstralia’.
And what happens when we come out the other end and the extra payments will need to be wound back? Labor, the unions and the Greens will squeal “drastic cuts to social welfare and childcare” etc.
Just remember the response when the Abbott government wanted to insert a $7 co-payment into the Medicare schedule.
People, having adjusted their spending to the new money will forget about the circumstances that made it necessary and those payments will become the expected birthright and the new normal.
To my way of thinking, anything beyond another month or six weeks of this, socially and economically, will go well beyond the cost versus the benefit when weighed against those normal risks of something as simple as crossing the road or going about your usual routine.
Think about it this way. For every life saving medication not included on the PBS, people, unless they can afford it over the counter, are going to die. That is a given. That is a cost versus benefit value judgement made by economists, bureaucrats and politicians.
In full knowledge of the consequences, we make choices, take risks and make value judgements every minute of every day and take measures, consciously and unconsciously, to minimise those risks. Drive or walk. Bus or car. Elevator or stairs. Sunscreen or no sunscreen, make your own list.
Sweden would seem to have got the balance right in trusting the community to do the right thing and to be brutally honest those that don’t exercise caution and commonsense, if they contract the virus in the face of all the knowledge and advice, so be it. They live with the consequences of their actions or in-actions.
“….Swedish authorities have advised the public to practise social distancing and to work from home, if possible, and urged those over age 70 to self-isolate as a precaution. Yet compared to the lock-downs imposed elsewhere in the world, the government’s response to the virus allows a liberal amount of personal freedom…”
The fact that the Swedish model has been “called into question” by the WHO, given their sucking up to China, tells us that Sweden is probably on to something.