Apr. 14, 2020

There will be no easy street after the pandemic is over the hump

Joe Biden remarked on a video clip, “we have to battle the cure.” That was very insightful, even if he wasn’t aware of what he was actually saying.

Now that there are indications we may have reached the top of the curve, we face an even bigger challenge – our economy is in a mess. Anytime government tries to fix something the cure can be worse than the disease. Simply creating new programs and giving millions and millions of dollars to individuals and businesses is a sure-fire recipe for disaster.

Pouring in money will lessen the pain for now but it will not solve the problem.

What we are hopefully learning is we are all dependent on each other. Workers at every level of private and public enterprise are a part of an intricate mechanism. If people can’t work and don’t have an income, that flows up the chain in lack of purchases.  On the down flow, businesses cannot operate without sales and suppliers cannot continue to operate. If one link in the chain is broken nothing will work. The economy flows in two directions, both up and down that chain.

We have been indoctrinated over decades about the corporate sector, never accepting the system cannot function without them.

Now more than ever we can see what happens when the system virtually shuts down. People can't earn wages, employers lay off people because they don't have customers. They can't pay their rents or mortgages, it’s all the way up the chain. When the corporate sector is affected everyone is affected with fewer jobs and less taxes to grease the wheels of government. And the cure will not be overnight, there’s no quick switch to click. There is no magic potion.

Governments are vowing to “help” us. As usual, all levels of government have already screwed this up. It should be a very simple approach but they created a convoluted process. All government help could be related to last year's income tax (declared earnings) which can be the determining point from which to make quick direct payments, on a graduated scale based on income declared. The lower the income, the higher the payment. It doesn’t need thousands of bureaucrats, just one computer programmer to set the parameters and then have the money sent out.

It’s a very similar picture for mortgage and rental help. Last year’s totals are all in government computers, and they can go from there.

All the government is doing for us is to let us recover our own money. What we haven’t already paid in taxes we surely will down the road. The day of reckoning is coming and it's not going to be pretty having to pay back everything through higher taxes and fees while we're scratching to claw back what was lost.

We do need to end to the offshore sellout – foreign companies operating here by qualifying for aid only if they are totally Canadian in every aspect, especially the continuing imports of Saudi oil. That could go a long way toward getting our economy back in shape after this threat is over.

The scary part about the “cure” is that money will surely fall between the cracks as it is shovelled into the trough by governments sincerely trying to help. It’s not a simple task to hand out million and billions of dollars without having a safety net process in place. There will be those who access that trough when they should not be eligible.

And surely, accusations and judicial inquiries will follow, but sadly those who “got away with something” will never really account for their actions. That’s not to point the finger at anyone in advance, that’s just how it works.