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We need to get back to business and get people working again

Posted by James Cagney on 4 April 2020

We are only starting to feel the effects of the strict and often draconian measures of the shut down of our economy. Millions of workers have either been stood down, lost their jobs or asked to take leave.

Unfortunately there is no where to go. Most recreation centres, resorts and beaches are closed, The bars and restaurants are closed. You can't lie in the park, soak up the sunshine in an attempt to improve their mental fortitude and well-being without the police asking them to move, go home or cope a fine. The ludicrous regulation which differ per States in distancing laws and which activities are permitted only confuses the public and the police. So a lady sitting on a bench on her own is hit with a hefty fine - ridicules! Are are becoming a police state or have politicians gone mad?

Many Australians are concerned about mental health and domestic violence over these tough times, yet our civil liberties are so restricted and frustration levels will inevitably increase. If you are asked to take leave over this period it is not going to be much of a holiday.

Many of my readers will disagree with my opinion. However, this is what democracy is about. We are entitled to our own opinion even if it is right or wrong. Time will tell. What we should not allow is to let the media to once again to fill us with fear, paranoia and panic. There is no doubt they have over-inflated the extent of the crises because that is how they get our attention. We do need to wise up to the wiles of journalists giving us inaccurate, fictional, scantly researched and farcical information. They seem to pursue making a name for themselves over anything else relying on sensationalism to alarm the public and get readership and notoriety.  We just can't blindly accept the horrific forecasts and predictions of these alarmists. We need to be prudent and do our own research.

I believe that the current measures the Federal and State Governments have imposed on us is aptly described as "The cure  is worse than the disease". Please do not think that I am minimising the tragedy of this pandemic or unsympathetic to those who have lost loved ones to Coronavirus or respiratory infections. However, there is a pattern to the deaths that have occurred, Most adults under 60 years old have a higher resistance to the virus and majority of those who got the infection have recovered. The Coronovirus mostly affected the elderly and particularly those who have chronic health issues. By all means isolate the most vulnerable to reduce the number of  deaths. But do not switch of the economy because we are full of fear and panic. A big thank you to our health care workers who are more vulnerable than the rest of us.

Passengers and crew on cruise ships and those who traveled overseas are also amongst the vulnerable but I believe the Australian Government has this finally under control.

I believe the Australian government should encourage those businesses that can get back to work and introduce the rigorous testing similar to what Singapore and Taiwan have implemented to contain the virus, Do what Sweden is doing by responsible distancing and kept business opened and people employed. Why not learn from counties that are successful at containing this dreadful virus?

Workers can then get back to work earn money and recover their self worth. Unemployment is also a disease. Many people lose their motivation and dignity sitting at home doing nothing. Many feel unappreciated and some feel useless and suicidal. Many small businesses will close their doors for ever. The mental anguish of losing your income and feelings of failure will push many people over the edge.

The Australian governments have taken drastic measures to stop the contamination but it is time to take the foot off the pedal. The Australia Government should be commended for acting swiftly & decisively to deal with the pending health crisis The economic consequences of what we are doing now through this business shutdown will affect our children, grandchildren and  great-grandchildren. Whatever we are borrowing to keep our population fed and in shelter right now will increase Australia's debt to close to a trillion dollars. This money has to be paid back which either comes from increased productivity or increased taxes. Unfortunately in the foreseeable future this money will come from increased taxes and cut backs in the social services

Australia generously offers right now. I am referring to Medicare, Disability allowances, old age pensions, child support, single parent allowances education, vocational allowances. Many of these allowances will simply be unaffordable as the Federal & State governments struggle to pay off enormous debs. There will be no alternative because if Australia looses it's credit triple A rating the interest we pay will increase significantly and we will slippery slide into further debt. 

I know it's a fine line between shut down, lock down and business as usual. However we need to continue to deliberate, debate and make decisions that will deliver the best results. 

My recent Blogs have taken a swipe at Scott Morrison and other politicians who have arrogantly refused to take a pay cut and share the pain. One of these articles is entitled "Scott Morrison still has his Hawaiian shirt on" and this post can be accessed by clicking BLOG.  

Will the newly established Co-ordination Commission recommend lessons from countries that have been successful in containing the virus whilst keeping business buoyant and will politicians listen.... (for more info click CO-COM).
Author: James Cagney
Tags: We need to get back to business and get people working again
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