Prudence seems a lost virtue in coronavirus pandemic response

Today in The Australian

This has been a hard year for the traditional virtues, not least that which used to be known as prudence.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
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6 Responses to Prudence seems a lost virtue in coronavirus pandemic response

  1. bollux

    The press won’t be happy until we are all cowering in our bedrooms hiding from a cold [for nearly everybody] that affects some compromised people. It’s obvious that the more tests you do, the more cases are revealed. Most people don’t even know they have it, so why the hysteria? Is there another agenda?

  2. Old School Conservative

    A brilliant article Henry.
    Here is the standout quote for me:
    The number of cases and of fatalities is easily observable; the harm imposed by the clampdown is not, and is obscured by torrents of public spending whose costs will fall largely on future generations.
    In a nutshell, this is the cause of the economic panic destroying us right now.

  3. John snowy Bowyer

    Lets declare an emergency! This will entail all politicians and public servants being restricted to a weekly wage of $750 only for the duration of the “Emergency”. This figure would also be for all government pensions but that the period would be the total month when the emergency was declared over.
    Take one dollar off the elites and the emergency would be over within the hour.
    All media cannot take any advertising revenue but commit to helping. Same stricture on their waged $750, that’s your lot lol!

  4. mem

    The press won’t be happy until we are all cowering in our bedrooms hiding from a cold [for nearly everybody] that affects some compromised people. It’s obvious that the more tests you do, the more cases are revealed. Most people don’t even know they have it, so why the hysteria? Is there another agenda?

    To be exact 113 people have died in Australia from ascribed Corona Virus since January, but most of whom were already at death’s door from age related illnesses or other serious afflictions. The government and health bureaucracy were lured into over-reach by the totally erroneous figures produced by a failed epidemiologist in the UK and by the WHO. It would have been, and still makes more sense, to protect the aged and infirm and let the rest of us get on with living our lives.

  5. Just Passing By

    John snowy Bowyer
    #3515980, posted on July 17, 2020 at 10:03 am
    Lets declare an emergency! This will entail all politicians and public servants being restricted to a weekly wage of $750 only for the duration of the “Emergency”.

    I’ve said that a couple of times in different forums. If all pollies and public servants were on jobkeeper we’d be reopened in a week.

    Being governed by people who aren’t affected by the decisions they make is becoming a huge problem in our society. If our backbenchers were on $25k like pensioners instead of 180k do you really think we’d have gone from among the cheapest to most expensive energy costs in the world? A $600 winter gas bill is nothing for them but ruinous for pensioners.

    Apparently when Chifley left the Primeministership his friends chipped in together to buy him a home. What a different age that was. We’re heading for a US style polity where life long public servants like Navy Pelosi can be worth $100 million. Surely a sign of deep decay.

  6. JPB:

    We’re heading for a US style polity where life long public servants like Navy Pelosi can be worth $100 million. Surely a sign of deep decay.

    Jeez mate, I’d settle for the horrible old cows ice cream fridge.
    Hang on, it’s not one of those lines of ice cream cultured from vaginal scrapings, is it?

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