D’ye think this might not be a response, but an excuse?

So, what to do? First, declare lockdowns. Close hospitality. Require very limited bubbles. Close all hospitality. Close all non-essential shops. Close schools and universities. Require working from home. We have to do this.

The requirement is because a) we have to protect people b) we have to protect the NHS c) we have to protect essential economic services from the utilities to food supply. We cannot do that unless everything else closes down.

But then what? Economic support does have to follow. First and foremost, furlough has to return. But this time there has to be fraud detection built in, whilst support has to go to the 3 million who lost out last time. They cannot lose again.

Second, the social safety net has to be raised. The £20 universal credit payment has to be restored. Other protections have to be delivered to protect those unable to meet bills.

Third, small business loans have to be available again, but once more with anti-fraud measures built in. Proper checks have to be made this time. It would really not be hard to do given how bad the checks were last time.

Fourth, the Bank of England has to indicate its support for the economy. Its recent interest rate increase has to be reversed as a clear signal of that. Negative rates may need to be considered.

Fifth, QE has to return, but only as a short term measure. We cannot fuel inequality with QE as the benefit of it goes mainly to the wealthy. What this means is that the consequences of permanent QE have to be planned for. So far we pretend it will go away, and it won’t.

Sixth, emergency tax measures are required, targeted wholly at the wealthy to ensure maximum recovery of QE funds injected into the economy and to mitigate risks of inflation, especially in asset prices.

Seventh, longer term plans need to be drawn up. We need (in no particular order):
– A permanent vaccination service
– A significant increase in NHS capacity
– Investment in ventilation and filtration throughout the economy (a precursor for the investment funded by QE to come)

– A national investment bank to better direct QE into the economy in the long term
– A recognition that QE is now a part of government funding and that government economic reporting needs to change to recognise the fact
– An end to Bank of England independence

– A job guarantee
– An enhanced social security system
– A mass education programme on why we need all this – starting in schools but extending to any and every available media
– Preparation for the environmental change transition to come

I think the mass education programme is a nice touch. For how could we expect people to put up with all of this without propaganda?

23 thoughts on “D’ye think this might not be a response, but an excuse?”

  1. That second to last item (Seventhly, part nine!) demanding mass education is, basically, a demand for political commissars to be established in all organisations.

  2. – A job guarantee
    – An enhanced social security system

    Why do we need an enhanced social security system if everyone has a guaranteed job?

  3. Strangely a flurry of activity on my Twitter Feed brought me into ‘conversation’ (i’d hesitate to use the term engagement) with an MMT advocate at the weekend. I enjoyed reading through it actually. Was slightly bemused that anyone over the age of 30 can have had such limited exposure to the real world that they think any aspect of it is feasible in the long term. The ‘job guarantee’ mentioned by BiW was particularly amusing.

    Basically Murphy wants to use the crisis as an opportunity to get on his hobby horses. That a man in his seventh decade still believes in the economic equivalent of the tooth fairy is really quite a sad indictment of his life to this point.

  4. Spot on. Murphy loves covid. Lockdown is his courageous state – governments spending huge amounts of money and micromanaging businesses and peoples lives.

    Fortunately no serious politicians are talking to him so he is left with his echo chamber of far left activists and sycophants.

  5. When do we kill the kulaks? Or is that a natural consequence of lockdowns, first depleting the savings of the independent middle and working classes after which they become state dependents?
    The livelihoods of the medical establishment should be dependent on how many patients they successfully treat ie become returning customers, not on how happy they keep record keeping middle management.

  6. There is one item missing from his list, one very sinister item

    Richard Murphy to be in a remunerated position of power and status as supreme director of any or all of these policies

  7. O/T but the covid case numbers are not backing up the idea that the Omicron variant is increasing exponentially. For the last four days they have been virtually static (between 82k and 93k). Thankfully Bojo has not introduced any new restrictions today but the scientists are putting pressure on him to do so.

  8. @Sam Jones

    “…but the scientists are putting pressure on him to do so.”

    AIUI its a cherry-picked set of modelled results based on certain (impausible/unvalidated?) scenarios that are being used to prod/scare the government into action

    Sound familiar?

  9. Bloke in North Dorset

    “O/T but the covid case numbers are not backing up the idea that the Omicron variant is increasing exponentially. ”

    And they’re well behind the original “projections”.

    However in England the positivity rate is increasing quite sharply. Having been flat at 9.6% for some its gone up to 13.1% from 5 Dec to the latest calculation at 15 Dec. It went up 1.2% in one day from 14th to 15th.

    The good news is that most of the increase appears to be in young people so we shouldn’t see a corresponding rise in hospitalisations.

  10. BiND

    The Twitter handle is @Van_Patten

    I made a comment that MMT was ‘voodoo economics’ and a few Leftists piled in. Main guy was Peter Donaldson – like a less objectionable version of Murphy. Because the LHTD blocked me when I called him ‘the most dangerous man in Britain’ Murphy not on the thread…

  11. I wont be any part of any of the crap on Spud’s list nor will I be involved in any of his crazed bullshit. He is a mental case who might well suffer from negative consequences from such schemes. He would certainly regret his nonsense if sane people had their way.

  12. @BiND we had a situation where the local school board nailed classroom windows shut to stop the teachers opening them
    And despite evidence to the contrary we still have Perspex screens everywhere blocking airflow and ventilation
    Conversely when asked why the local indoor sports arena could be open at 19,000 full capacity with no mask mandate the government health officer claimed it was because they had good ventilation and everyone attending was vaccinated
    There’s no point trying to make sense of any of it

  13. Where’s the economic activity going to come from to pay for all this when all economic activity is smashed and shut down and everybody is locked into their homes? East Germany was called a prison state, but this proposes it quite literally.

  14. Complete lockdown means shutting down the media and press too, since it’s too dangerous for the people maintaining the transmitters/operating the presses.

    Of course, the media are “essential” in getting State propaganda and fear-mongering out there.

  15. Dennis, Clear-Eyed As Always

    Investment in ventilation and filtration throughout the economy

    We could install really big HEPA filters at the windmill farms. That should do it.

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