As TDB has been pointing out from the very beginning, tis pandemic won’t just be a public health nightmare it will be an economic apocalypse.
When many of the NZ woke activists online were screaming criticism of the wuhan virus was xenophobic and racist, TDB was demanding a war time footing response.
- Immediate rationing protocols in all aspects of the market from petrol to food. Maximum purchase amounts need to be urgently put into place now because all that is stopping full blown panic buying is the belief that by 6am tomorrow the shelves are replenished, when that stops happening people will lose their shit, we must ensure that doesn’t happen by implementing 2 per customer styled rationing.
- The military needs to be mobilised and prepared to step in and ensure essential services can operate. And no Matt Nippert, that isn’t martial law.
- We should be considering releasing nonviolent prisoners out early because if the virus gets into our prison system they will not be able to save peoples lives in there.
- Food banks should be delivering to people, not having the people come to the food banks and warm clothing for winter should be distributed with those food parcels.
- Be prepared to quarantine suburbs and cities if the outbreak spreads.
On top of these responses, we need an economic response that matches the danger we face and targets certain groups within society.
- Dairy Farmers: They are up to their eyeballs in debt from dairy intensification. To get them to agree to helping everyone else, you need to help them. Guarantee Dairy farm debt on the agreement that they revert from Dairy to planting mixed forests.
- First home buyers: You can’t leave them for the wolves of the Market, guarantee their mortgages through Kiwibank.
- Mum and Dad’s investment property: You can’t wipe out an entire generations wealth base, again guarantee one property over the family house through KiwiBank.
- KiwiSaver contributions: The Government must look at tripling Kiwisaver contributions to rebuild peoples mutilated KiwiSaver accounts.
- Corporations: They will turn up with their golden begging bowls and beg for bail outs. If Labour do this over the well being of citizens, they risk enormous backlash.
- Banks: Only save Kiwibank (who will require a huge investment to scale it up) and TSB, the others can fail.
- Property Investors: Anyone with more than a family house plus one property investment can burn.
- Tax amnesty for small and medium business: They are the ones who will suffer the most, allow a tax amnesty with the usual penalties cancelled.
- Welfare: Everyone will be scrambling for some type of welfare, it will need to be increased, and the draconian punitive crap dumped.
- Immigration Freeze: We will need to freeze immigration at a time of economic crisis because everyone will be fleeing.
- Rent Freeze: Don’t allow greedy Landlords to benefit from a crisis.
- Minimum Wage Freeze: We can’t seriously be asking small business to pay people more as the economy collapses.
Bernard Hickey goes further…
We should start thinking about how to deal with a global depression, starting with massive public works projects and an NZ Super-style Universal Basic Income for all funded by the Reserve Bank buying of Government bonds.
…Bernard is correct, the Economic Depression we are facing is unprecedented…
Never before has the US economy screeched to such a sudden, violent stop. Its shutdown has inflicted a case of whiplash on Americans who had enjoyed a decade-plus of gains from the job market, the stock market and a steady economic expansion. The economy is cratering into what looks like a deep recession. Millions will likely lose jobs by summer.
“The economy has never gone from healthy to disaster so quickly,” said Jason Furman, who was US President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser and is now a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School.
…and public health nightmare almost incalculable…
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled much more stringent measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak after research indicated a quarter of a million people would have died under previous plans to control the pandemic.
The modelling study, by Imperial College, and led by Professor Neil Ferguson, an expert on the spread of infectious diseases, was published on March 16.
It helped change the British government’s position, according to those involved with the decision. The government said it had accelerated its plans on “the advice of the experts”.
…the response to this collision of mass death and economic apocalypse is to throw the baby out with the bath and go looking for the baby after the pandemic passes…
Strong coronavirus measures today should only last a few weeks, there shouldn’t be a big peak of infections afterwards, and it can all be done for a reasonable cost to society, saving millions of lives along the way. If we don’t take these measures, tens of millions will be infected, many will die, along with anybody else that requires intensive care, because the healthcare system will have collapsed.
…the reality is that we can’t get back to any semblance of normalcy until we gain a vaccine and that’s still 12-18months away.
In the meantime, extreme quarantines and extreme economic responses are required.
The incredibly cautious Grant Robertson needs to adopt extreme measures that require vision not management and he needs them now.
The Government must put together an urgent blue sky task force of our best economists and economic thinkers to generate ideas, and they must do it now.
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TDB Team 2020.