To The Editor,
While I fully support and comply with the efforts to combat Covid-19, they bring to mind that old saw about how the operation was a success, but the patient died. The economic damage done is considerable, and while the measures being taken make medical sense, they may exacerbate the situation by dragging out the rise and fall of Covid-19. Clearly, the economic bump needs to be flattened as well as the viral. Relief programs need to be “global”, quickly implemented, and easily administered; no complex assessment procedures.
I always thought that the government should act as an economic flywheel, putting money into the economy during hard times, but being careful to recover it during good times so it doesn’t become long term debt. (John Maynard Keynes stole this idea from me. The matter is still before the courts, so I can’t comment further.). For instance, people and businesses could be given the option to defer payment of utility bills. The government, for its part. would provide any funds needed to keep the utilities viable. Crisis over, deferees would be presented with a pay down schedule and the government would likewise recover its funding. This type of thinking could be applied to other areas normally beyond the pale of government assistance.
On the home front, I usually avoid doing business online and generally shun my credit card. He who steals my wallet steals cash. Lately, however, I’ve been doing the “tap dance” for even the most trivial purchases. And so I mostly sit at home these days making little paper airplanes out of my growing pile of Visa receipts.
Times change, we change with them, even to the extent of the change in our pockets.
Keep well, everyone.