- Date published:
11:10 am, August 7th, 2020 - 110 comments
Categories: brand key, covid-19, economy, education, health, jacinda ardern, john key, Judith Collins, politicans, tertiary education, uncategorized - Tags:
This week feels like I have gone through a time warp and that I have been returned to 2016.
Suddenly John Key is back in the media and displaying that passive aggressive style that he perfected.
On Tuesday he was advocating that the country’s borders be opened to allow rich people to emigrate so that we could repeat National’s economic strategy from a few years ago. This involved creating rampant real estate inflation and a housing crisis and ignoring the real cost in human misery.
He also wants us to allow more international students to enter and for private enterprise to do the quarantining. I am sure that will work, just as well as it has in Melbourne.
He went on the media circuit and ended up on Magic Talk, talking to another washed up politician, John Banks where he alleged that Jacinda Ardern was disinterested in the economy. From Vita Molyneux at Newshub:
Former Prime Minister Sir John Key says while Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern communicates well she is disinterested in the economy.
In an interview with John Banks on Magic Talk on Thursday Key said the Government is “fundamentally distrustful” of the private sector and Ardern lacks passion for the economy.
“I don’t know whether the economy is her big thing really,” he said.
“I don’t know if she’s terribly interested in all that stuff.”
He also accused the Government of “not listening” to economic professionals.
“They’re listening to the health professionals but not the economic ones,” he said.
As to his claim that Ardern is disinterested in the economy a significant majority of the population would disagree with him. And what a stupid thing to say. After successfully holding off a surge of unemployment that would otherwise have been inevitable of course Ardern is deeply concerned with the state of the economy.
As to his second statement should we be listening to economists and not health professionals in dealing with a pandemic? This makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? What do health professionals know about health matters? The logical extension of this is that if you are feeling unwell you should book yourself into an economist to work out the best treatment.
As to his wanting to open up the borders there is one problem dear readers with Key’s proposal, even from an economic perspective the proposal is bollocks.
Clint Smith in this twitter thread explains why. He suggests the analysis should be to work out the cost of adding, for instance, a billion dollars to GDP to create roughly 10,000 jobs and then work out the risk.
we would need to take in 25k intl students to create $1b GDP/10,000 jobs— Clint Smith (@ClintVSmith) August 5, 2020
25k x 14 days isolation = 350k bed/nights. bring them in over 2 months, that's 6k beds. means doubling current capacity
So, there's q 1 for proponents- where are you getting 6k secure self contained rooms?
My calculation is that fewer beds would be needed but still a lot more than we currently have. And an allowance would have to be made for turnaround and cleaning and extended stays. But clearly lack of beds would be an issue.
And what about the risk of infection, surely this should be factored into any decision.
actually, much higher because we would have to use inappropriate facilities as nearly every appropriate, available hotel in the country is being used already. call it 1 in 3— Clint Smith (@ClintVSmith) August 5, 2020
lvl 4 lockdown cost ~$2b GDP a week. lockdowns need to last at least 4 weeks & have ongoing costs after..
Comparing the GDP boost to the cost of another outbreak shows how bonkers the idea is.
this is order of magnitude costing. what it shows is the expected cost in outbreaks from bringing in intl students is around or above the extra GDP they would bring in.— Clint Smith (@ClintVSmith) August 5, 2020
we need too many of them to be worthwhile, which creates too much risk
And. we. don't. have. the facilities..
And there is an economic benefit in not allowing your country to be ravaged by a pandemic. Comparing Denmark’s performance to Sweden’s shows why. Denmark has from the start of the pandemic practised more proactive cautionary policies such as the use of masks and social distancing. Sweden has hoped to have the virus wash through and trigger herd immunity although it has more recently put in place more protective measures. Denmark has had 14,000 cases and 616 deaths. Sweden has had 81,000 cases and 5,760 deaths. And Sweden’s economy has been battered far worse than Denmark’s and is now facing supply chain problems.
What about Key’s other idea of letting in uber wealthy foreigners? Only if he wants the rest of us to become serfs in our own land.
While I am on the subject can I express my amazement that an Auckland [Council] controlled organisation would organise such a big event about what the Auckland community should do to deal with the economic repercussions of Covid and not invite locally elected councillors or local board members? Or have as keynote speakers, Key and Rob Fyfe, to broadcast with a council paid for megaphone during an election campaign the proposal that our quarantine system should be loosened. And the problem with the event is that it appears, at least at a superficial level, that because of what was said there is at least tacit Auckland Council support for the views expressed.
It is crazy that in the middle of a campaign Key would make such a big return to public life and effectively sideline Collins. National must be desperate.