What is causing virus’ is something which suddenly is in the front of our thinking. In this article the author argues that Viruses such as Covid-19 wouldn’t emerge in food markets if it wasn’t for factory farming, globalised industry and rapid urbanisation. Here’s the article:
Don’t say I never quote the ACT leader in Parliament:
As long as my backside faces the ground I would never, ever vote for ACT. However, I liked what David Seymour said in Parliament last week:
“I’ve counselled people who have approached me with a simple bit of advice: this is a generational-defining period.
“People will remember how you, your household, your business, your institution makes its choices at this time. They will judge and they will remember.”
We must start thinking about what our world will be like post Covid 19:
Its time, in our isolated cells, to think about the very different world we will emerge into when the country lock down is uplifted. As I said last week, I am a tragic. I love public policy. At present we are really responding to the initial attacks, and nobody has any idea where we are headed. One of the reasons I read widely is it is essential, when engaged in public policy thinking, to read publications which present a different view from the one I would normally hold. I do not bother with the sort of rubbish emanating from libertarian boltholes. However, I found these quotes from the Economist last week really interesting:
From the Economist:
- For believers in limited government and open markets, covid-19 poses a problem. Only the state can deal with this crisis. Yet history suggests that the state will not give up all the ground it takes—with implications for the economy and surveillance.
- the world is in the early stages of a revolution in economic policymaking.
- Perhaps the most important lesson of 500 years of history, however, is that nothing has helped boost state power in Europe and America more than crises. Historians broadly agree that the growing fiscal capacity of capitalist countries from the 1700s onwards was linked to the need to fight increasingly sprawling and expensive wars, especially those using navies and where the field of battle was far from home. (The Seven Years War of 1756-63 is widely considered to be the first global war because it involved a large number of countries, often fighting in foreign theatres.)
- To win, countries required increasingly complex, well-resourced administrations which could supply fighters with weapons that worked and food that had not rotted. They also needed the money to pay for it, whether by levying more taxes or by becoming a reliable borrower in markets—which called for yet more bureaucracy. Growing state capacity, in turn, allowed for the emergence of the capitalism we know today, with properly regulated markets, efficient telecoms and transport, and healthy and educated citizens.
- The likely economic effects of the pandemic reach far beyond the role of the state. Countries could become even less welcoming to immigrants—the better, they may believe, to reduce the likelihood of infection from foreign arrivals. On the same logic, resistance to the development of dense urban centres could mount, thereby limiting construction of new housing and raising costs. More countries may seek to become self-sufficient in the production of “strategic” commodities such as medicines, medical equipment and even toilet roll, contributing to a further rollback of globalisation. But the redefined role of the state could prove to be the most significant shift. The rules of the game have been moving in one direction for centuries.
- Another radical change is looming.