The primary tool of an entrepreneur is being able to predict: what to produce, where to produce, what quality, what price, what amounts, where and how to distribute and how it can be done profitably. Whether they are aware of it or not, every entrepreneur asks and answers these questions prior to starting a business. Without answers that approximate reality, no business has much hope of success.
The ray of light offered by the idea that we might, at some stage, be allowed to re-open ‘our’ businesses from the shutdown, is more than offset by the threat that ongoing shutdowns could happen indefinitely – shutdowns ad infinitum. The good judgement of business people, fine-tuned by the knowledge that the very survival of their business depends on it, has been entirely over-ruled by politicians who, in the main, have never opened or operated a business in their lives.
With the destruction of so many thousands of businesses that have accrued so much debt during the shutdown that they cannot re-open, the future urgently demands new businesses. They will not happen. Quite apart from the orgy of capital destruction of the last few weeks and the burden of regulations and award wages, without the certainty of being able to trade no one can answer the above questions with any degree of confidence. The odds of successful entrepreneurial prediction have been reduced to almost zero.
New businesses will not open in anywhere near sufficient numbers until it is written into the Constitution that never again, under any pretence, will government take it upon themselves to deliberately destroy the economy by forcibly shutting down businesses.
The Chinese, as usual, made a complete hash of their response to the virus. Yes, it could well have been malicious, but it is just as likely is that it was the usual incompetent dithering common to central planning. No matter, the totalitarian reactions of our own politicians were far worse. They betrayed our country and managed to achieve what no wartime enemy ever managed – the shutdown of the economy. I am not aware of one politician who stood up in the Australian parliament and opposed this Stalinist idea. Every single one of them is guilty of treason. Better that a thousand people a week should die than we destroy the future of our children and grandchildren.
The shutdown is an egregious example of a self-obsessed generation, evidenced by the mountain of debt that had been bequeathed its descendants. So yes, the economy had already been set on the path to destruction, but the decision to bring the wake forward a few years in order to avoid some deaths in the self-perceived ‘most important ever generation’, was reprehensible.
Every man and woman for themselves; abandon the children. History will judge this generation very harshly.