Jobs not face masks

Let’s focus on kick-starting economic growth and refrain from COVID19 scaremongering and remove all COVID19 restrictions. Otherwise the ‘solution’ really will be a lot worse than the ‘problem’


By James-Kevin Fenech

Kevin is the founder and owner of JOB Search - and FENCI Consulting

The focus now must now be job creation and economic growth. We therefore need jobs not face masks.

I lambast face masks because to me they represent the COVID19 doomsayers, who unfortunately use ‘public health’ as a blanket cheque to undermine our liberty rights and economic well being. To them it’s all about COVID19 and everything else is secondary.

We simply can’t let the ‘solution’ be worse than the ‘problem’ itself but sadly that is what we are doing which is going to kill off any chances of a V-shape recovery.

Economic health is as important as public health. Without economic health, countries tend to be crippled by long-term poverty, extreme political ideologies which eat away at our freedoms and undermine our democracy and eventually all this leads to war. The history of the world has taught us this painful lesson every century, sadly.

We need to go back to basics and kick-start our economy and restrain the COVID19 scaremongers who keep pushing for overly-restrictive ‘laws’ or ‘guidelines’ which undermine business confidence or demonise incoming tourists which our economy desperately needs.

The government has implemented its equivalent of the Marshall Plan; a one time injection into the economy. It is now, however, time for market forces to be allowed to play the capitalist game of wealth creation and wealth distribution for the benefit of the owners of capital and workers alike. The government has provided the spark to get the economy going again but then it must take a step back and let market forces play out without fear or hindrance from the COVID19 doomsayers.

This is why now is the time for business confidence and stability to grow, otherwise the government’s Marshall Plan will have been in vain and we will see the V-shape recovery turn into an L-shape.

To guarantee recovery, the government has to respond to the COVID19 over-reaction, the scaremongering and (worst of all) the misinformation campaign, since this is undermining business confidence and negatively affecting economic recovery.

For example, we can’t have the Prime Minister telling us that the wearing of face masks is not mandatory and that the Public Health Authorities simply issue guidelines or recommendations on this ‘principle’; yet two weeks later the Public Health Authorities tell us that the wearing of a face mask is a ‘principle’ which to them means a law. This creates confusion and undermines business confidence, completely.

Looking at it from a macro-economic level, we therefore need three economic cogs to turn, without any COVID19 hindrance or obstacles. I am referring to the following:

  • Tourism must be allowed to scale-up again, relatively quickly, without any shocks to the system or CVOID19 scaremongering since the cash inflows from this activity directly impact a lot of local businesses which has a huge multiplier effect (up to 1/3 of GDP);
  • The retail sector must be freed of all COVID19 hindrances including the wearing of face masks (given the lack of science to confirm their effectiveness) and F&B outlets need to have their capacity restrictions lifted, since otherwise we are looking at a lot of businesses going bankrupt and unemployment rising;
  • Public sector spending must continue a little while longer but at sustainable levels since any increase in future taxation due to government overspending now, will wipe out any future growth. High taxes never did any economic growth any good!   

I write all this because the research based on 6+ months of CVOID19 data shows us that the average mortality rate is a mere 0.2%-0.6% (comparable to severe flu) and the bulk of the population is barely affected by this novel virus (82% are asymptomatic). Therefore, let our COVID19 response be proportionate to the actual threat rather than the perceived threat.

Surprisingly, this is not just a Maltese reality, since governments all over the world continue to kill the economy in favour of COVID19 public health restrictions and repressive laws; they are all copying each other and not engaging in critical thinking. I use the adjective ‘kill’ because travel is what makes the global economy function and currently we seem to be doing everything to kill travel.

Let’s focus on kick-starting economic growth and refrain from COVID19 scaremongering and remove all COVID19 restrictions. Otherwise the ‘solution’ really will be a lot worse than the ‘problem’.

Give us jobs and not face masks.

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