Reader Garry Goldsworthy calculates the real-world cost - to you - of our government's Coronavirus payments
Garry and Wendy Goldsworthy are currently in their yacht Spirit of Sobraon tied up in South Korea where they've closely watched the South Korean response to the Coronavirus - as well as our government in Australia.
Remember when Oprah said. "you get a car, you get a car, you get a car, in fact everyone gets a car" well don't wish for it.
I have copped a lot of flack from some posters on facebook pages and twitter for suggesting in a post that the cure that our government is enacting for this Covid-19 Chinese Flu virus is possibly worse than the disease itself.
Most argue that it is heartless and people are dying. Well let me focus this post simply on the financial implications and forget the heartstrings rhetoric.
Here is a very simplistic look at how much the government is spending of YOUR money.
The two stimulus packages they have announced so far total 213 Billion. A simple figure right. Well i think most people have no understanding of what that actually looks like.
Let's start with how you would write 213 billion dollars with just numbers. That's $213,000,000,000.00
If you take 213 billion apart and turn it into millions you get 213,000 million dollars.
Confused yet, well let me put this into context that might highlight what it might look like
You could buy ever Australian taxpayer a 'free' brand new 2020 HONDA JAZZ VTI and give them unleaded petrol for a year. Yes "you get a car, you get a car, you get a car, in fact everyone gets a car"
how about building every family in Brisbane a brand new house for free.
What if you were a thrifty saver. and you could save $10,000 every single DAY. It would take you 58,356 YEARS to save the 213 Billion. That's over 16,000 generations of your family.
Are you starting to get an idea of how much we are talking about now.
Every single tax payer in Australia is going to have to pay back an extra $15,777.00 above what they already pay in tax just to recoup this package. Every single taxpayer. Even those on the dole.
What I haven't addressed yet is the actions of the State Premiers. They reacted to the virus by shutting down businesses across their States and people are now forced to stay at home. That means the National output or GDP has dropped dramatically, almost to a zero and the tax receipts that would have been generated from business is falling dramatically. That loss will also need to be recouped. Probably by you
Another concern is that the Australian dollar has fallen to it's lowest point since it was floated. More than 15% in the past few weeks. So those brand new Honda's we could have given everyone are going to now rise by at least 15% and unleaded will rise to levels we have never seen as soon as the Russian and Arabs go back to normal production rates. So I guess we don't all get a new car.
Recession, rampant inflation, massive job loses and a return to a Banana republic is truly on the horizon.
All of this assumes the shutdowns last only a few weeks and the Government doesn't throw more money at the problem. But wait I am sure there is more.
Remember all of this money has bought absolutely nothing. It has simply given most taxpayers a fraction of their salaries that they would have earned had they stay at work.
So what is the ultimate goal and is it the right approach?
So far as of tonight there have been 27 elderly Australians, most who had underlying medical and morbidity issues that have unfortunately fallen victim to the virus. Yes a tragedy but we are not dealing with the heartstrings in this post
There are 1.9 million pensioners in Australia. Not all are vulnerable nor have underlying health issues. The $213,000,000,000.00 would have been $112,105.00 per pensioner. We could have really looked after them and covered the range of the vulnerable couldn't we.
Would the public have gone along with that spending without the fear and panic knowing it was going to cost everyone the cost of a brand new Honda? Probably not.
The spending is what fear can do when a media looks for gotchas rather than facts and drives panic in the community. Most are going along with it and celebrating a $750 windfall.
If we had of looked at those who are really the most vulnerable, the over 70's with underlying morbidity and health issues, we could have really made a difference and protected them without any lose of life including possibly their underlying health issues. $213,000,000,000.00 buys a hell of a lot of health care.
Now let me compare the Australian response to that of the Korean Government's where we are currently on the boat.
Korea was at the forefront of the fight against the onslaught of the virus. No shutdown, no huge bailouts, an economy that's ticking along just fine and most of the media stick to the facts rather rhetoric. Life is pretty much normal. People look out for each other and wear masks. And guess what, after coming to grips with the problem the daily stats are falling. More cases are recovering than are catching the disease. The country is well and truly on the back side of the curve. Taiwan is doing even better with similar procedures.
So ask yourself are you getting bang for your buck and who is really responsible and should be held to account.
I sincerely hope someone can see sense and have the balls to stand up to the media and opposition to get Australia started back on the road to recovery soon. That would be you Mr Morrison and the rest of the LNP. If not the cure will certainly be worse than the disease and my great great great ..........grand kids are going look back on history and ask why.
Cheers and Fair Winds.