Economic Armageddon – or why it's not a good idea to knock the entire house down just because the roof leaks

Our destination, globally, is clear. We are heading for economic – and thereby social – Armageddon.

The warning signs have been there for years. Decades.

But there’s an irony to what’s happening: it isn’t rampant capitalism or environmental collapse that’s endangering our world. Not an asteroid, nor even a nuclear war. No. Instead, it’s incompetent and panic-ridden leadership on an enormous scale.

What we’re doing to our economy – globally – in response to a relatively small threat from a virus is a massive, massive over-reaction. And long after the virus has (hopefully) gone, the much greater costs, even in terms of life, will roll on for years to come.

The economy needs to be restarted. Now. Before it’s too late.

All these shutdowns are the wrong medicine. They’re a panic measure. A flexing of the wrong muscles, too late in the day.  

Look at it like this: imagine the roof of your house has a leak. The leak is a nuisance. It’s spoiling your furniture and possessions inside the house. One of the bedrooms is now out of use. The leak needs to be dealt with. Yes.

But would you knock the house down in order to deal with that leak? No. Of course you wouldn’t. You’d work slowly but diligently towards moving things out of the way and accept that there will be some loss, some damage, call it what you will. But you’ll get through the wet days and repair the leak.

And once it’s all done, you may even (hopefully) admit that you were very wrong, for so many years, to not invest in repairs to such vital structures as your own roof.

As things stand, it isn’t too late to prevent decades of damage – and the loss of countless thousands, perhaps even millions of lives – as a result of the current policies of economic suicide. Things can be done to prevent that catastrophe from ever happening. Free money can be given away, for, say, the next 18 months. Governments can reduce their tax takes, generate economic growth with massive stimulus packages and, of course, invest heavily in that most precious of things: healthcare. The staff, the hospitals, the medicines and the equipment.

On the other hand, in order to spare significantly less than 1% of the population a close (and, yes, sometimes fatal) encounter with the Covid virus, we can carry on demolishing the whole damned house. And, once that’s done, and we find ourselves destitute and on the street, we can then try to blame it all on the wet weather.

4 thoughts on “Economic Armageddon – or why it's not a good idea to knock the entire house down just because the roof leaks

  1. I take your point, but I feel that ‘economic suicide’ was already the path, before the virus. It’s a finite resource game with a blind driver heading towards a deadly crash, just a case of what gets smashed first.

    Typically in major disasters the rich scheme to take advantage wherever they can, often under the guise of rescue packages, sometimes under the pretence that a certain enterprise is vital.

    For decades it’s been apparent that the whole system of existence needs to change as at it’s heart (whatever the wealth distribution) capitalism can only exist with growth allied to increased consumption. This growth can only come from exploitation (in the neutral sense) of resources from the earth and from ever-increasing population.

    The legal systems, Police and military are arguably used more to continue this state of affairs than to exert law and order or defend nations.

    The untrammelled expansion of mankind into wilder environs is unleashing pathogens which could be far worse than covid-19. Destruction-reconstruction cycles caused by war and disasters are at the root of climate change.

    -Without a policy of war (otherwise why would arms manufacturers be traded as shares/stocks) we could easily have sufficient healthcare for EVERY nation.
    -Without a massive imbalance of wealth we could vastly reduce crime and poverty and build a world of cultured middle-class people.
    -Without Capitalism population growth and territorial expansion could be slowed then reversed and climate change could be addressed.

    Getting back to normal is not enough – radically rethinking our whole relationship to the planet and nature as well as inventing new economic systems that can be sustained and that are fair – is what’s needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I totally agree Zaph – the system as we have it (had it?) is totally wrong. There’s plenty to go around for everyone, only for some reason we’re all expected to keep contributing to a system whereby the richest get richer and the poorest get poorer.

    I’d really really like to believe that after this “crisis”, there were enough raised voices to change the way things work. But having experienced the stupidity that was Brexit I really don’t believe people can see that what’s best for society as a whole, from top to bottom and side to side, is ultimately what’s best for every individual too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s