Shut Down The Shut-Down Before The People Do It For You

It may sound noble to say, ‘Damn economics, let us build up a decent world’ but it is, in fact, merely irresponsible. With our world as it is, with everyone convinced that the material conditions here or there must be improved, our only chance of building a decent world is that we can continue to improve the general level of wealth. The one thing modern democracy will not bear without cracking is the necessity of a substantial lowering of the standards of living in peacetime or even prolonged stationariness of its economic conditions.” – F.A.von Hayek

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76 Responses to Shut Down The Shut-Down Before The People Do It For You

  1. Colonel Crispin Berka

    C.L. is suddenly singing the praises of classical liberalism? Fine.
    Here’s some more classical liberal wisdom for you to apply to the current situation.

    Your rights end where my mucous membranes begin.

  2. BorisG

    I think we are in wartime. Or like in wartime. And they won’t shut it down for a few cat cranks.

  3. stackja

    No one has the right to infect me.

  4. Hay Stockard

    Stop your whining you despicable gullible brainless whoozes.
    Your panic at a chimera ends when you stand between me and the bar.
    Now go and join Monty in the safe corner.

  5. stackja

    Hay Stockard
    #3385177, posted on March 31, 2020 at 1:35 am

    I am in isolation. Good luck. If you survive.

  6. Colonel Crispin Berka

    Yeah, I did look it up just to check the origin before I paraphrased it. It had a questionable pedigree but the idea itself was sound enough so I used it anyhow. It was surprisingly said by alcohol prohibitionists first, possibly in connection with people’s predilection for violence while under the influence of The Demon Drink and not really about liberty per se. But it was later used more in the sense I intended by one preacher named Robert F. Y. Pierce.
    The connection to classical liberalism was not made by any of the well-known liberal authors, but by some guy called Richard Posner in 1992:

    Libertarianism–or, as it is sometimes called, classical liberalism–the philosophy of John Stuart Mill On Liberty, can be summed up in seven words: “Your rights end where his nose begins.”

    I can absolutely assure you that if SARS-CoV-2 had arisen in JSM’s time he definitely would have said what I said. Probably.

  7. Hay Stockard

    Enjoy your isolation stackja. I would be in the vulnerable group except I am a,smoker. It seems the lurgie doesn’t care for smokers. Would you like me to run a few packets over to you?

  8. Tom

    Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago, regressives in the West have been steering us back towards tyranny. Now the last remaining mighty communist dictatorship has collapsed the world economy and the regressives are cheering.

    In the next three or four years, we as a species will decide whether it is possible to advance our free societies under the crushing mountain of debt our political class is now bequeathing us or; or whether a final showdown between good and evil, freedom and enslavement, capitalism and communism is unavoidable.

    In other words, World War Three. I pray not, but the evil men of the Chinese Communist Party will accept nothing less than global domination and the enslavement of all who do not bow before communism.

  9. Mater

    In other words, World War Three. I pray not, but the evil men of the Chinese Communist Party will accept nothing less than global domination and the enslavement of all who do not bow before communism.

    Tom,
    Have a look at the number of deaths from COVID19 in Australia and note the cowering and instantaneous capitulation of rights, with barely even a question asked, that has resulted. There is not an ounce of fight left in Australian’s, as a collective.
    There will be no war. It might cost a life…and that alone, and above all else, is sacred.

    A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    The isolation is not going to get me, but the disintegration of my faith in my countrymen, might. Thank God ANZAC day services are off this year. It would be the height of hypocrisy.

  10. Chris M

    or even prolonged stationariness of its economic conditions

    No riots in Adelaide and many other similar towns despite decades of no progress?

  11. Mater

    A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    – John Stuart Mill

    Sorry, forgot to attribute it.

  12. jupes

    Shut Down The Shut-Down Before The People Do It For You

    Doubt it. What Mater said:

    There is not an ounce of fight left in Australian’s, as a collective.

    Worse, many of them support the shutdown and want more of it.

  13. Tel

    No one has the right to infect me.

    That’s why you have the right to stay home.

  14. Herodotus

    we as a species will decide whether it is possible to advance our free societies under the crushing mountain of debt our political class is now bequeathing us
    Adam Smith Creighton is advocating that all oldies be stripped of their assets to repay the debt.
    And: while people are being threatened with fines and possible imprisonment for flouting arbitrary rules of behaviour, the NSW “Liberals” are contemplating a revision of what life imprisonment means, and the Daily Telegraph (not free for 28 days unless you sign up for further payments) surmises that this might free up crims like the Cobby killers, or what’s left of them.

  15. Worse, many of them support the shutdown and want more of it.

    They’re stoically putting up with it because they’re rational, and don’t want to put others at risk.
    Contrast this behaviour with many of the halfwits who condemn community cooperation and who couldn’t give a stuff about anyone else.
    The public cooperation, condemned by some here, clearly reveals the extent to which elements of Catallaxy reflect the lunatic fringe.

  16. Mater

    They’re stoically putting up with it because they’re rational, and don’t want to put others at risk.

    They’re accepting being deprived of their rights based on something which has no defined aim, no defined milestones, and appears not to be following the predictions it was based on. Despite this everyday new restrictions are imposed. Who would go to work without knowing what they need to achieve and what time knock was. Wouldn’t you ask…and be unsatisfied with “We don’t know”? If they think the ICU beds might become overwhelmed, they know the figures and the necessary trajectory, show us daily!

    They are not demanding daily updates of the essential statistics (ICU Beds filled versus available), and are happy to digest the most sensational, yet lest important figure of total confirmed infections.

    Through fear, they have placed compete and utter trust in a group of people which have time and again proven to be unworthy of it (up to and including the initial border response). A group of people who squandered piles of tax payer money trying to suppress the Red Shirt scandal. They have traded in their Grandchildren’s future and ensured that this treatment will become rather more regular.

    Pathetic creatures, indeed.
    You’ve got your on aims, Bob, try not to conflate them with compassion.

  17. mundi

    Everyone one here with a brain knows where this is going.

    The $550/wk JobSeeker payment will not be rolled back, this will morph into a defacto UBI, with no real requirement to seek work.

    The $750/wk for JobKeeper will also never end, the claim will be that the economy is now too dependent on it. The government will be stuck subsiding ever job throughout the entire economy, essentially making all firms public run.

    The government outlays will nudge up near to $600b to $700b per year, which will be paid for by colossal increases in tax revenue and inflation.

    Rent control and mortgage control after less than a week away , with ABC driving the policy.

  18. Grunter

    Perhaps one of the moderators could start this thread …

    “What is the end game?”

    Is there a point at which Government restrictions will ease, and if so what is that point? New infections below a certain number? Rate of increase below a certain percentage?

    Give the people a goal to aim for and a target to aim for.

  19. who squandered piles of tax payer money trying to suppress the Red Shirt scandal.

    About $330000 as I recall.
    Which was refunded as I recall.
    And which has absolutely nothing to do with government reaction to a health crisis.
    And as far as I know, the Victorian state government has no jurisdiction to advise lockdowns outside Victoria.
    It makes about as much sense to connect the sports rorts scandal with Morrison’s handling of the crisis.
    Your desperation is showing.

  20. Pyrmonter

    Has CL located any guidance on what mobs do when they perceive governments to be doing nothing to inhibit the passing on of diseases that put at risk all but the youngest in the population and put at serious risk the health of those above median age? We’ve seen – can see – what is happening in Italy and Spain, and what is beginning in Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

  21. Mother Lode

    I find the people who talk about ‘community rather than economy’ tend to be ones who believe that the community needs an elite to keep it running smoothly. They are the people who told us that Australia would not tolerate
    ‘Privilege’ (which only they saw),
    Homophobia or misogyny (which they have taken as meaning failing to grant privilege to women and gays),
    Racism (any expression of support for the majority culture against minority ones – often with traditions including…homophobia and misogyny)
    etc.

    They have now taken to telling us that there are an unknowable number of genders that have no basis in physiology but are as unlimited as imagination – but we must treat it as having the same manifest objective reality as the traditional ‘innie and outtie’.

    When they say community they mean a ‘project’ for themselves and we the bulk of the population are merely the medium for them to impress their genius.

    The economy is in fact how we feed ourselves, clothe ourselves, and secure our future. It is an important part of society. Not all of it certainly, but not separate. The left used to believe economics underpinned everything, most conspicuously in the theories of Marx.) It is not a surprise that economic systems keep producing similar societies.

    Our economy and society is built up from billions of atoms each one connected to the ones around it. That is a lot of cohesion. Social and economic bonds with common themes such as trust, taking responsibility, cooperation, compassion etc. The society so produced is vibrant and flexible. Like the cells of a brain, in a way. No cell is the cell. No cell holds a thought. Yet between themselves they generate a universe.

    It is beyond the grasp of the elites who nevertheless think that if they tamper with it, knead it, excise bits and introduce implants then it will be perfect. Their perfect.

    Yet, as they denounce the economy, they show they don’t even understand breathing in and out.

  22. Mater

    About $330000 as I recall.
    Which was refunded as I recall.

    Because they got caught. Not a glowing reference for their morals or ethics.

    And which has absolutely nothing to do with government reaction to a health crisis.

    See above. The very same, morally deficient people are using state power to restrict people’s rights.

    And as far as I know, the Victorian state government has no jurisdiction to advise lockdowns outside Victoria.

    Correct, but each state sits on the new ‘Politburo’ and State are the enforcement instrument (but you knew that already).

    It makes about as much sense to connect the sports rorts scandal with Morrison’s handling of the crisis.

    See first point about morals and ethics (and then read up on some yourself).

    Your desperation is showing.

    Right! You are yet to see desperation, but the Australian public are about to get a lesson in it, good and hard.

  23. Mark M

    AUS Parliament shutdown for nearly 5 months. Important piece by Anne Twomey.

    “there will be very little parliamentary scrutiny of the government for nearly five months, a critical period during which extreme powers may be exercised.”

    https://theconversation.com/a-virtual-australian-parliament-is-possible-and-may-be-needed-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic-134540

    Perhaps we could transport all the politicians to Christmas Island, and keep them isolated and running parliament from there.

  24. Robber Baron

    Everyone one here with a brain knows where this is going.

    Death duties shall return.

  25. Mater

    About $330000 as I recall.
    Which was refunded as I recall.

    And let’s get this right. This was the initial ‘transgression’.
    They then spent $1m of taxpayer money in legal fees trying to “thwart the investigation”.

    So they didn’t just ‘refund’ it when the ‘mistake’ was pointed out to them.
    Scumbags…who are now playing Overlords.

  26. Rebel with cause

    Give people a bit more time. They are still in shock.

    Once people realise the burden of sacrifice is not being shared equally then the outcry will begin.

    Whatever the country that emerges from this, it certainly won’t be Australia as we knew it.

  27. Tom

    AUS Parliament shutdown for nearly 5 months. Important piece by Anne Twomey.

    “there will be very little parliamentary scrutiny of the government for nearly five months, a critical period during which extreme powers may be exercised.”

    And yet 90% of Australian academics, who collectively published that piece at leftwing propaganda site The Conversation, are the Chinese Communist Party’s useful idiots (like Numbers), who don’t work in the real economy and are ideologically cheering the CCP’s latest blow against capitalism and the free market.

    However, I agree it’s a useful factual article by professor Anne Twomey about the lack of scrutiny of our politicians this year during the crisis they are responsible for.

  28. Mater is right at #3385228 about ANZAC Day hypocrisy.

    At least we will be spared nauseous recitations on sacrifice by well fed MPs who have never read, or even cared, about the deeds of real men at Beersheba, Kokoda, Maryang San, Kapyong, Coral, Balmoral, Long Tan and so on.

    The same MPs knowingly leave our ADF without the right ships, men, aircraft or fuel to defend this country.


    ” A foolish Faith in “Authority” is the worst enemy of truth “
    Albert Einstein

    Put not your trust in princes, Psalm 146:3

  29. Candy

    Mundi sums it up well. How does a government take away the Jobkeeper and what is now virtually UBI. Most people become dependent in a flash.

    If we are moving to this more socialist strructure perhaps we should be given the chance to vote on it. It is a massive change. It won’t end well. Trouble with Morrison is his secrecy and who he gets advice from.

  30. mareeS

    I am in isolation with the spouse, aged 70. I never realised what a cranky bastard he could be, left to his own devices. The cat and I go on long walks at present, leave him alone to rage at the heavens.

  31. bollux

    We are being told what to do by people who believe that 22 men in NSW gave birth last year, and allowed at least 157 people carrying this”deadly” virus to walk off a ship in Sydney. A rope would be too good for most of these shysters.

  32. C.L.

    Has CL located any guidance on what mobs do when they perceive governments to be doing nothing to inhibit the passing on of diseases that put at risk all but the youngest in the population and put at serious risk the health of those above median age?

    Well, up to 600,000 die annually of colds and the flu – history shows they do nothing at all.

  33. flyingduk

    “What is the end game?”

    Quite! As a longtime military officer, might I observe

    1) The first question to ask at the start of a war is ‘what does victory look like?’
    2) The fastest way to lose is to have your supply lines cut.

    We started by cutting our own supply lines, and have no idea what victory looks like (unless its ever bigger government and ever more dependent citizens’

  34. notafan

    All but the youngest is a very long now.

  35. flyingduk

    Death duties shall return.

    That’s why my ‘generational wealth’ is already buried deeper than I will ever be.

  36. flyingduk

    No one has the right to infect me.

    No one has the *responsibility* not to either. If you want to self isolate, go ahead, but don’t expect me to stop earning my living to keep you safe.

  37. max

    Sweden says no to quarantine

    Swedes remain free to socialise as the harsh Scandinavian winter comes to an end. Although universities and high schools have shut, pre-schools, kindergartens, bars, restaurants, ski resorts, sports clubs and hairdressers have all remained open.

    With the exception of Belarus, which hasn’t even suspended its football league, Sweden’s restrictions amount to the most relaxed out there.

  38. max

    Prime minister Stefan Lofven has warned that times ahead would be tough but also put the onus on individual Swedes. He added: “We all, as individuals, have to take responsibility. We can’t legislate and ban everything.”

  39. Andre Lewis

    The current draconian shutdown could be tolerated if we were given a rough timeframe when restrictions would slowly be lifted but all we get is ‘months, possibly six’ which would be a guarantee of widespread bankrupt businesses and tragic unemployment.
    Comments about getting regular updates on ICU beds and use are salient as the raw numbers of infected and critical suggest that it is far from a problem, particularly given elective surgery has been severely curtailed. Medical personnel are to be valued but at present they do not seem to be in crisis.

  40. Caveman

    What you all forgetting is that when this is over we all go back to work stronger than ever , we are all in this together. It will be just like magic.

  41. thefrollickingmole

    Robber Baron
    #3385319, posted on March 31, 2020 at 8:31 am
    Everyone one here with a brain knows where this is going.

    Death duties shall return.

    Only thinking this yesterday.
    Every hollow log, including super is now up for grabs.
    No stash of wealth beyond the transient glory of an Aldi bag of Chi-com cash will be left unmolested.

    He added: “We all, as individuals, have to take responsibility. We can’t legislate and ban everything.”
    Australian Government: “Challenge accepted”.

  42. Archivist

    mundi:

    Everyone one here with a brain knows where this is going.

    The $550/wk JobSeeker payment will not be rolled back, this will morph into a defacto UBI, with no real requirement to seek work.

    The $750/wk for JobKeeper will also never end, the claim will be that the economy is now too dependent on it. The government will be stuck subsiding ever job throughout the entire economy, essentially making all firms public run.

    The government outlays will nudge up near to $600b to $700b per year, which will be paid for by colossal increases in tax revenue and inflation.

    Rent control and mortgage control after less than a week away , with ABC driving the policy.

    I hope you’re wrong.

  43. flyingduk

    Every hollow log, including super is now up for grabs.

    I stand by my longstanding prediction that all super will be stolen – sorry ‘pooled together into a single safe, centrally managed government fund’ – for your protection you understand?

  44. John Bayley

    We started by cutting our own supply lines, and have no idea what victory looks like (unless its ever bigger government and ever more dependent citizens)

    I’m sure that’s the very ‘victory’ the ABC and their fellow travellers in academia etc would love to see.
    And likely will achieve too, seeing how many turkeys/voters out there are enthusiastically demanding that Christmas needs to be brought forward as quickly as possible.

  45. eb

    It’s swung from way too punitive (previous newstart) to people on a couple of hundred more bucks a week than $500 or $750 thinking “hmm, it’s a lot of effort to fight traffic every morning”.

  46. Hay Stockard

    Flyingduk,
    As a long serving officer you might like to know that we have a Viet Nam veteran that sometimes posts here. He is quite the intellectual too, though you wouldn’t know it as he is quite modest regarding his achievements.
    Perhaps you should meet him for a yarn and a beer. Are you any where near Toowoomba?

  47. billie

    so the 10,000 charities in Australia, employing around 1m workers and nearly all their funds come from government, will now get more government funding to pay their employees who are already government funded

    double/triple dipping?

  48. Steve

    As best I can tell based on how this virus can survive in air for 3 hours, on surfaces for 17 days ( CDC ) and highly infectious, destroying lungs and organs, its highly likely its a bioweapon.

    Ergo – Qui Bono? Also – who will be punished for this?

    Given the wanton willingness of govts globally to delay closed borders to basically ensure infection and subsequent draconian measures, it concerns me that given the delay clearly understanding what this thing is, I cant help but think this is another 9 / 11 , foisted by the exact same human hating crowd, upon us.

    If Australians don’t loudly demand the draconian measures rolled back one month from now ( enough to play the game a bit but then push back on Big Gov ) then they are fools. Its one thing to give govt benefit of the doubt and be collectively be put over a barrel and the govt have its way with you, its another to demand more of it, which makes people foolish whores, and deserve it.

    At what point do we transition from a population under lock and key with armed guards and alsatians to the cries of “Halt!! Citizen – papers, bitte” to a free people who wont put up with being monstered by the globalists?

    Choose wisely , lest you enjoy slavery more than freedom.

  49. Pyrmonter

    Slightly off topic, but prompted by some of the comments here.

    Does no-one have a ‘savings for use in case of emergencies, because they happen’ fund? The idea seems to be abroad that no wage-slave can possibly have saved a cent. Which seems improbable having regard to the level of avocado consumption etc around.

    And what are the effects of the economic ‘stimulus’ and ‘bailout’ policies going to be on future savers? And on the savings of those who were prudent?

  50. John Bayley

    With the exception of Belarus, which hasn’t even suspended its football league, Sweden’s restrictions amount to the most relaxed out there.

    It does tell you something that countries run by unreconstructed commie dictators/President-for-life like Alexander Lukashenko prove to be among the most sensible out there.
    I guess the process started some time ago already, with the likes of Gerard Depardieu moving to Russia in order to escape the 75% tax rate he would have been subjected to in France…

  51. flyingduk

    Perhaps you should meet him for a yarn and a beer

    Ah, no, am in isolation after visiting the dirty dirty state of Victoria….

  52. Archivist

    When the scale of the damage becomes clear, and when life – and the economy – fail to return to normal, there will be a surge in populist, nationalist, right-wing sentiment.

  53. John Bayley

    Which seems improbable having regard to the level of avocado consumption etc around.

    Avocado consumption is funded by Afterpay or another app.
    Do try to keep up with the modern consumer programming! 🙂
    Seriously though, I personally know of at least two couples who have been on the equivalent of more than $300K combined for the last 15-20 years.
    They are in their early fifties, still have a substantial mortgage, nothing in the bank and around $350K in combined super.
    These people are the rule, not the exception.
    Sad but true.

  54. flyingduk

    Does no-one have a ‘savings for use in case of emergencies, because they happen’ fund? The idea seems to be abroad that no wage-slave can possibly have saved a cent. Which seems improbable having regard to the level of avocado consumption etc around.

    I very definitely saw winter coming, I admit I thought the ‘white walkers’ would be the meth/welfare hoardes, not COVID19, but the economy was on feet of clay and something was going to trigger this. I spent the last 5 years buying ‘guns gold n bitcoin’ whilst the proles were buying bundy and coke. This ant very much resents being fleeced AGAIN (and obviously, now, forever into the future) to feed the grasshoppers who ‘spent the summer singing’.

  55. Megan

    When the scale of the damage becomes clear, and when life – and the economy – fail to return to normal, there will be a surge in populist, nationalist, right-wing sentiment.

    Highly likely but not inevitable. Outcomes now are high uncertain.

    I tried to explaining this concept to simple minded managers to make them think more analytically about proposed changes as – we are in Situation A, you want to impose Change B in order to create New Situation C. Be aware you could find yourself at Disaster Situation Z instead and no way of ever getting back to A or C.

    Our various levels of government have gone right ahead with A plus several levels of B. The idea they can restore the system to A at some point in the future is absurd.

  56. Megan

    Addendum: Given that no-one anywhere has clearly defined New Situation C as yet, we can safely assume they have no freaking idea.

  57. Roger

    Henry Ford did more to increase human happiness than any placard waiving Lefty.

  58. nfw

    The “people” won’t do anything, they’re sheep. And now the NSW Plod have a reason to exist, ie arresting those who dare to stand in three’s, there’s even less freedom. They can now justify being paid although they’re not chasing speeders or drunks or welfare cheats or illegals or drug runners or drug sellers or whatever they should be doing. Nope, arrest those who stand in three’s. Of course the unofficial collaborators (Inoffizielle Mitarbeiter in Stasi speak or the KGB’s “Big Babushka”) will be loving the chance to be busybodies and dobbers. Next step making the criticism of politicians, functionaries and the middle of the night knock on the door state security organs illegal too. Just wait.

  59. flyingduk

    WA shut down gun and ammunition purchases last week, now Vic doing same.

  60. Archivist

    Does no-one have a ‘savings for use in case of emergencies, because they happen’ fund?

    No, because the government saves it for you. Don’t blame the public for something that’s the explicit result of policy.
    Superannuation was the end of personal choice in whether you save, how much you save, and where it is kept.

  61. Pyrmonter

    @ Archivist

    A whole genre of personal investment columns, magazines and the small issue of negative gearing at the last federal election suggests otherwise.

  62. Pyrmonter

    Another slightly off topic reference, perhaps most of all for @ Archivist – these have been good, as have the author’s Twitter and FB postings. Almost worth a Cat Thread of their own:

    https://iea.org.uk/films/coronomics-with-dr-steve-davies/

  63. Hay Stockard

    Maree S,
    I have an old mate in isolation with his missus. He has the hump because after all this time he never realised she is a crazy cat woman.

  64. Mak Siccar

    Excellent comment to this article at Quadrant Online.

    https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2020/03/this-cant-go-on-much-longer/

    Peter OBrien – 31st March 2020
    On the subject of those whom Creighton categorizes as ‘those who are being saved’ it is as well to remember that to date, no one has been saved by the extraordinary measures taken by the government.. Until the 2200 ICU beds that we had before the crisis erupted are fully occupied, then no-one is in this category. And I doubt that after it’s all over, anyone will be.

  65. Archivist

    @Pyrmonter, I was being a bit flippant. Sure, there are people who save money. But in the aggregate, superannuation has reduced total private savings because it replaces private savings. Many people think of super as their savings, and with some justification. They’ve been encouraged to think of it that way. Low interest rates have also contributed, of course.

    Thanks for the IEA link. I watched one episode, and it was pretty good. A big takeaway for me from Steve Davies was that, to paraphrase, the rules are different in an emergency by definition; but you have to make sure that the actions taken don’t become permanent. That’s the thing that we need to keep an eye on.

  66. Archivist

    Until the 2200 ICU beds that we had before the crisis erupted are fully occupied, then no-one is in this category. And I doubt that after it’s all over, anyone will be.

    No, that’s not it.
    If we ‘flatten the curve’ so that we never run out of ICU beds, then we “save” everyone who would have died if we had run out of beds.

  67. Megan

    … then we “save” everyone who would have died if we had run out of beds.

    A totally unknowable number.

  68. Archivist

    A totally unknowable number.

    Correct. And if we had no lifeguards at the beach, more people would drown. But how many more? Unknowable.

    It’s nice to have certainty, even if it’s after the fact, but we’re not in a situation where it’s attainable.

  69. Pyrmonter

    @ Arch

    I find Davies insightful (and IEA has been more original than the contributions from, say CIS).

    I’m a bit bewildered by the posts here and on other threads treating this whole episode as some trojan horse for communism. It will be, if we let it. But pretending there isn’t a problem when thousands are dying in Italy and Spain woudl be another way to get to that goal, one the left would keenly follow. That, however, says nothing about the ‘economic’ measures the government is taking, which I think liable to make things worse in several ways.

  70. Archivist

    I’m a bit bewildered by the posts here and on other threads treating this whole episode as some trojan horse for communism

    It’s been compliced by the two-tracked debate about the virus itself (how bad is it really?) and the policy response. And some of the grumblers here can’t tell the difference between economic damage caused by policies and economic damage caused by the pandemic. Coronavirus was destroying jobs before the government lifted a finger.

    What we need are Lomborg-style voices along the following lines: “The virus is a grave public threat (or at minimum: I accept for the purposes of discussion that the virus is a grave public threat), but even so, policy X is a bad one.”

    I accept the magnitude of the threat. Therefore, the following time-limited policies are justified , because they slow transmission and ‘flatten the curve’:
    – travel bans
    – quarantines
    – banning large public events (sports games, festivals, and so on).

    Some of the more draconian measures are dubious though, and it’s right and proper that people argue and disagree with policies that seem over the top. The following measures are nothing but destructive:

    – quantitative easing
    – paying companies the salaries of their employees
    – massive increase in the welfare allowance.

    The entire government strategy is based on “building a bridge” to the other side, where the hope is that there will be some kind of V shaped recovery. The prboblem is, there is no other side. Australia’s economy is structured around selling stuff to China: coal, steel, education, holidays, high rise apartments. China’s economy is toast. It’s not coming back from this, and we won’t be selling them dodgy degrees and dodgy apartments any more. China is fudging the economic data for as long as it can, while telling the world they have ‘solved’ coronavirus. It’s all a lie and the truth will emerge soon enough. This bridge they’re building to the other side of the crisis has no solid foundations, and will not lead us anywhere we would want to go.

    They cannot see it, but they are building a bridge into the ocean.

  71. Colonel Crispin Berka

    Mater #3385236, posted on March 31, 2020 at 6:14 am

    A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature

    Absolutely, Mater. My personal safety was never under threat in the slightest by this virus. It’s not me that I’m worried about. So the question then is, when will you, by JSM’s standard, stop being a “miserable creature” and start caring more about the lives of others?

    I’ve never asked for martial law. I asked for 3 weeks of self-isolation in a national project everyone could be easily convinced about because it is undoubtedly the least cost option, instead of this 6 month slow bleed that SloMo is putting us through.

  72. notafan

    Nicely put Archivist.

    A lot of the economic damage would happen anyhow.

    Travel businesses were struggling (flight Centre closed 100 stores almost immediately) and of course with complete bans in place now kaput.

    Grey nomads were travelling less or plain heading home, the brunch and lunch crowds had all but deserted, either because of work from home arrangements or retirees not going out.

    Plays and theatre was also on the nose for the retiree demographic.

    And that won’t change greatly even if the government gives a back to work signal.

  73. Tel

    As New South Wales goes full retard, I’m trying to figure out if this is “necessary” business activity.

    Suppose I a trainee excuses vendor and I’m delivering some personalized excuses to a customer, but I could have theoretically delivered that online, thus reduced the need for a trip. However my customer is a hoarder who is afraid his stash will be discovered, therefore meeting in the local park is a compassionate way to ease his understandable anxiety.

    That would count as a essential service, yes?

  74. notafan

    And the Ponzi is definitely over.

  75. notafan

    I dunno Tel.

    But getting my new dishwasher fixed today was definitely an essential service.

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