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How bad economically can it get? March 31, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Pretty bad. Some interesting questions raised by Cliff Taylor here. For example:

After the big wave of Covid-19 cases passes, the Government here, like its counterparts worldwide, is going to face tricky decisions on what restrictions to lift and when.
You could, for the sake of argument, see a fair number of the domestic restrictions lift over the summer and many shops and other outlets reopen.
But when will we be able to start going to football matches, or into a crowded indoor setting like a pub?
And when will people start travelling again for business or pleasure?
The autumn? 2021?

And how does Ireland as a state with one of the most open economies in the world lock into this new post-crisis world? And those aren’t just economic questions – many of them are social and cultural questions too.


1. alanmyler - March 31, 2020

I suspect that until such time as there’s widespread global vaccination that normality as we knew it will not be returning. However now that capital has ceased to circulate and accumulate we’re likely to witness extreme measures in the attempts to get it moving again and reinflate the bubble of financial capital in particular. Extreme because I doubt anyone in positions of power really has any handle on the impossibility of that happening. Witness the unfortunate suicide of a regional finance minister in Germany the other day. I really can’t see us ever going back to how things were before this.


WorldbyStorm - March 31, 2020

Yeah, that was such a strange one, the German minister. I was wondering what his rationale was? Or perhaps in fairness he was simply overwhelmed by the crisis. I think we’ve mentioned this before but there’s time when I wonder has science fiction sort of paved the way mentally for me in relation to all this. I wonder should I be more appalled not by the obvious horrific aspects which are terrifying (I can’t help thinking about old peoples homes in particular, a very very close and very very dear relative spent a year in one in the late 2000s at an advanced age after a series of debilitating strokes that left her somewhat fuzzy mentally but now and then and more often than not pin sharp. She wasn’t unhappy there, it was the right place for her in terms of her medical care. But I think of this and then transpose it onto that and all the people who were around her, many very elderly and it is desperately sad and scary). But more generally there’s the issue of the planet going into a sort of lockdown of unknown duration. And I’m thinking am I actually fully appreciating the scope of this because it’s not that I’m anxious about it but perhaps I should be? Does that make any sense?

re going back to the way things were. Very much agree. And on such different levels. Economic obviously, but then smaller stuff. Aldi this morning has screens around the till staff. Something that when one thinks of it is a protection they’ve deserved for a long long time now. Those screens aren’t going to go. They’ll be there for the future. A lot fo stuff is going to stay online. People aren’t going to travel quite as far I’d suspect at least not for a few years. And on and on and on.

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alanmyler - March 31, 2020

Yes I think you’re right about a lot of the small stuff not going back, things you’ve mentioned there, even things like the demise of cash and the rise of tapping the card, teleworking, norms like that. And even best case the recession will cut back on things like travel and holidays. Schooling has moved online, and although it will undoubtedly return to the classroom the importance and centrality of those online platforms that are facilitating online learning and teaching isn’t going to disappear.

I hear what you’re saying about nursing homes. Quiet possibly this crisis and it’s concentrated impact on those in such homes might lead to a societal reassessment of the elderly care system and how it is failing in many ways including most immediately in terms of safety. Putting that back onto the radar because the human cost of business as usual just can’t be ignored anymore.

I wonder about the sci-fi? I think perhaps it’s more that we’re all here consumed to various degrees with imagining and working towards a different future in any case. We’ve spent a lot of time contemplating how different, better, things could actually be. So there’s no particular longing for business as usual to return, other than the daily niceties of being able to socialise again, go for a pint, a cycle, a holiday, a pizza, whatever, things that would be just as enjoyable and available, if not more so, in a socialist future compared to a capitalist one,

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EWI - April 1, 2020

even things like the demise of cash and the rise of tapping the card, teleworking, norms like that.

Speaking of ‘tapping’, I see that Tesco have declined to update their automated tills on Treasure Island (in order to get with the social distancing program and higher tap limits). Brexiteering, the traditional sneering at the Airish or just greed? (the possibility of a till or two not taking the updates)


2. Pasionario - March 31, 2020

The crisis makes Soviet-style central planning seem rational.

It’s the only form of economic management that could ensure firstly that the entire population is provided with basic human needs without having to earn an income; and secondly that the medical response is effectively and equitably co-ordinated.

A centrally planned economy could also be restarted more easily after a prolonged shutdown, whereas capitalism’s debt-fuelled networks are already being torn asunder.


rockroots - March 31, 2020

I felt fairly Soviet this morning as I queued to get into Tesco and buy bread.


oliverbohs - March 31, 2020

Heard talk from lefties ubiquitous on social media about the book People’s Republic of Walmart which seems to have as a thesis that the megamart chain is proof of the success of Central planning. That’s as much as I know


Michael Carley - March 31, 2020

Well worth reading, even if it does have an air of lefties dazzled by technological possibility about it. Maybe back to back with Red Plenty.


yourcousin - April 1, 2020

Soviet style you say?


I for one cannot wait for Kadar to be rehabilitated and await with glee his reinterment with all the pomp and circumstance the occasion will no doubt contain (I mean if they can find all of him that is).


3. sonofstan - March 31, 2020

That line, variously attributed to Zizek or Jameson, about it being easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism….
Perhaps now the latter is easier to imagine?

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