Many politicians in the government and in the opposition have become immune to common sense when dealing with the economic consequences of the Virus.
The big questions we are faced with who should we help and should we even help others when our own country is pushed into difficult times?
These are the 2 big questions posed today by our governments and by the EU’s leaders – they come up with proposals that sound fine until we realise that they are not talking about other people’s money, but Our Money!
Support for ordinary people – Many say that we should give handouts to the general population – something like Universal Basic Income. That is impossible because not costs too much and does nothing to ensure the production of goods and services. Most normal people in the Nordic countries find this idea totally unacceptable. We accept that we must earn money with work, and we are prepared to help those who are not able to work, or in need through no fault of their own. We look after our own and are proud that we honour diligence, reasonable equality and the maintenance of a fair and law abiding society.
Support for ordinary companies – It is also suggested that we give grant handouts to companies help them with their running expenses. This is a better idea but how do you ensure that the money is really going to the right companies? How do you police this? There are hundreds of thousands of big and small companies. Some good work has been done by the governments and their advisors, but we need to keep people employed and minimise bankruptcy proceedings. It is not easy and care should be taken to channel most of the support to smaller companies. They are the motors of growth, employment and innovation. We should avoid channeling such funds to big companies who should have had the foresight to keep cash reserves for difficult periods like this. They always have easier access to bank and bond funding. Support should also be channeled to companies that are making serious efforts to invest in sustainable properties and not to those companies that pollute the world.
Support for weaker EU member countries – The economic damage of the Virus has hit every country in the world. The extent of the damage can only be estimated only after a year when it may be too late and futile – it is better to act now for our own national needs.
However, many countries like Italy, Spain were already facing economic challenges because large parts of the their governments and private sectors were corrupt and inefficient, while the UK was pursuing self inflicted damage to its economy by cutting it ties with the EU.
The EU is proposing that the stronger countries should give money to the weaker countries in the EU. This is a bad solution. If you are weak when the Virus arrived then the population will suffer much more because there are fewer resources to help companies, the unemployed, the very young and the elderly. It is worth noting that you do not see these leaders of these countries living without food and shelter. They still get to keep their nice black cars and rather comfortable jobs. These countries also have many wealthy residents who can afford to avoid paying due taxes. These countries can make do with loans from their banks – it is not our jobs to “help them along with grants” – money that does not have to be repaid.
The EU should also not to be allowed to issue EuroBonds jointly guaranteed by member states. The EU has too many problems to allow them such a free hand with our money. Reforms are necessary before we can consider such solutions – corruption of EU funds is rife, two Parliaments in Bruxelles and Strasbourg is simple madness, the Common Agricultural Policy creates huge disruptions and cost inefficiencies in the primary food markets, MEP’s expenses need to be transparent, the European Central Bank needs urgent reform top stop it printing money by the trillions of Euros to support poorly managed government deficits…. And this list goes on… much needs to be done also with straying member states like Poland and Hungary…
Support for very poor and underdeveloped countries – Countries where the majority of the population suffer from poverty, war and violence can only watch their loved ones die, while many of their leaders live in luxury, surrounded and protected by equally corrupt supporters and bodyguards. These people need support but not their leaders. This is hard, really hard because our cash easily ends up financing a new Mercedes or a luxury villa in Vienna, Munich or Switzerland. There is no easy solution that being careful and vigilant by our representatives who are on the ground doing good work – that is all we can hope for – but these poor people are seeing their lot improve according to the latest statistics.
We must re-establish Europe’s Original Values – The Nordic countries are well managed fair societies that have a strong interest in remaining part of the EU. The EU is a group of independent national countries that actively trade together and in general get on well together. Common social values and a long history of democracy bind most of us together with occasional flare-ups when the wrong leaders pop up every few years…
We are not a United States of Europe ands never will be but that does not detract from the benefits that we have built successfully since the last disastrous World War some 75 years ago.
If we feel like fools sometimes then we must vote more carefully and demand that necessary reforms be made and stupid deals be stopped in their tracks.
The Virus has struck and we have lost many good people and many economic benefits – they will be missed, but slower economic growth and a gradual return to a more normal and cleaner life is coming – and that we can have if we really want that…
The above quote is from Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, Mevlânâ/Mawlānā, Mevlevî/Mawlawī, and more popularly simply as Rumi, was a 13th-century Persian poet, faqih, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic originally from Greater Khorasan. He was born on September 30, 1207, in Balkh, Afghanistan and died December 17, 1273, in Konya, Turkey.