Cosmic pandemic economics
EDITOR: It is obvious the St Vincent and the Grenadines politicians and politicians globally have already failed pandemic economics. Firstly, never in history did the vast majority of the world decided to cease economic activities except those essential for life. If people are on lockdown, how will they consume? If they have no or little money, how will they buy? How will government collect taxes? Some people were barely eating everyday and this economic shutdown is driving them into absolute extreme poverty.
Povery leads to shorter live span. People in the top 25 percent economically prosperous countries live 14 years longer than people of the bottom 25 percent economically prosperous countries. If Vincentians’ income drops by one quarter it would be equivalent to 6 600 deaths. I am asking is the cure is worst than the disease?
In any diaster, health or other kinds, protecting, preserving and working towards restoration of normal life should be implemented. It not the aim of any stimulus so far. I propose aggressive and frequent testing, building up the population immunity with a diet rich in vitamin c, proper nutrition, everyone wears a mask and practice good hygiene. We need to resume economic activities so everyone can eat.
I believe the global economy was fragile and on a bubble built on low interest rates and quantitative easing (money creation) and debt. According to the IMF global debt is at US $ 257 trillion, 322 percent of global GDP. If people, corporations and governments had savings and were not so heavily indebted they would be able to weather the Covid-19 storm.
Let’s look at history and see how people successfully dealt with viruses or other diseases and pandemics. Like the flu, even if we get it under control it will evolve and return in a mutated form. As of April 7, 2020, there are 1,421 577 cases and 81 688 deaths, a 5.7 percent mortality rate. Ninety-nine percent of the people who died had other health complications. We need to protect the very young and very old and people with health complications and we will be okay.
When will this lockdown come to an end? Two months or two years?
Brian E Plummer