Everywhere the war analogy is used re the fight against coronavirus.
Probably within a year we’ll have a vaccine. But all about us will be economic devastation, record unemployment and despair. History says that will induce two political consequences. One, as is evidently already happening, will be people placing faith in perceived “strong” leaders. That always ends in tears.
The other will be a cry for “fairness” and that too is occurring with some journalists writing forecasts saying as much.
“Fairness” in their eyes will be soak the rich. They don’t use those words but instead talk of taxes. If they were honest they’d talk of envy.
That’s what happened in the post second world war period, culminating in the high taxes, high unemployment, recessionary 1970s.
Then the world came to its senses, recognising a simple truth, namely that economic incentives actually work. Additionally, that governments are no good at commercial activities.
So if we’re to pull ourselves out of the economic morass lying ahead, don’t remove incentives from the doers and shakers who will start businesses creating products and services and of course, employment.
Mind you, if we must duplicate post-war history, then the Nuremburg trials spring to mind.
It will be recalled the most proffered excuse was, “I was only following orders”. That presumably will be Jacinda’s, she pointing the finger at her Health puppet-master.
Well, it didn’t wash at Nuremburg and they hanged the buggers anyway.
The other proposition getting a run is the pie-in-the-sky paying everyone a base income idea. It’s madness, once again ignoring the critical incentive factor which underlies all (not just economic) activity.
POST SCRIPT – Since drafting this I see Auckland University Professor of Economics Tim Hazledine has written an excellent article in the New Zealand Herald expressing similar sentiments (although he overlooked the Nuremburg angle).
No surprise there though; he’s always been a stand-out sensible bloke.