The Universalist 11 — Universal Covid-19 ‘Eradication’
The Covid-19 ‘e it’ Goal
While The Citizen’s Dividend Organisation (CDO) would certainly rather not be distracted from its core goal,
when it comes to Covid-19,
there is one word Australia’s Federal, State and Territory Governments should be repeating:
Instead, it’s as though it’s a dirty word.
Yet, their coyness carries almighty costs.
And, if the Federal Government, in particular, doesn’t start stating it very soon then the potential for the Australian people’s consent will very likely evaporate.
‘Society before Self’
June 30 2020
In The Universalist 7 — The Universal Post-Lockdown Comparison Table article (dated May 4, 2020) [https://citizens-dividend.org/the-universalist-7-the-universal-post-lockdown-comparison-table/], The CDO was so concerned regarding the Australian Covid-19 response, in a marked-shift from its usual topic, it added the postscript:
‘On the separate issue of the Australian government’s Covid-19 plan, while it has done a tremendous job battling the disease’s spread, The Citizen’s Dividend Organisation is confused as to its end-objective.
That is, does the Australian Government wish to:
1. Eradicate Covid-19 from Australian territory and then, presumably, implement a 2-week compulsory quarantine (paid for by the recipient) for anyone coming in until there is a vaccine — this seems to be what Daniel Andrews is [from his actions] advocating; or,
2. Keep the Covid-19 case-load health-system manageable, which, with just a handful of daily new cases, would beg the question as to why we are locked-down and not following the example of, for instance, Sweden?
Given we are close to eradicating C-19, why not complete the job — i.e. then there will be no second-wave?
Yet, if the government’s goal is to eradicate it, why, on the verge of success, is it prematurely lifting restrictions?
Whatever the end-goal, it would be beneficial if the government informed us so we can all be on the same page and have the opportunity to debate it.’
Given the potential for a Covid-19 spike — such as that currently occurring in Victoria — was so obvious and the ramifications so knowingly costly (i.e. the continuation, even strengthening, of the lock-down and being shunned by other states/territories) yet the solution was so simple, this is an own-goal on the scale of the 2008 dismantlement of the already successful Keating/Howard immigration mandatory detention policies, which, re-igniting people-smuggling, led to colossal unnecessary expenditures, around 1200 ‘deaths at sea’ and other massive Unnecessary Suffering that still lingers in the minds and bodies of those living who were directly and indirectly affected.
Regarding the history of Australia’s Covid-19 response, at the beginning, we wanted to flatten the curve so that our health professionals and facilities weren’t overwhelmed.
At that time, when we didn’t know what was possible, that goal made a great deal of sense.
[Having said that, Jacinda Ardern — who should be this year’s ‘Time Person of the Year’ (except that this award is not about who has done the best internationally-projected job but about who’s had the greatest affect whether good or bad) — stated, right at the beginning, New Zealand was going to eradicate Covid-19 and, at the time of writing and without wishing to give them the kiss of death, it seems they have.]
The point is, as is common knowledge, it’s much easier to achieve a goal when it’s clearly stated and repeated so that it’s clear in mind and everyone is on the same page.
After all, ‘it’s up to all of us’, ‘we’re all in this together’ and ‘Society Before Self’.
So, thanks to the tremendous work of the Federal, State and Territory governments, our health professionals, our non-health essential services and the wider Australian resident community, we achieved our stated goal when other previously comparable countries in Europe and North America have, in comparison, abjectly failed.
However, having endured real cost in successfully driving our infections almost to zero, when so close, why not finish the job?
That is, why wasn’t, prior to May 4 (two months ago), a new goal of ‘eradication’ adopted?
Instead, we have had the Federal Government counterproductively telling states and territories — some of which appear to have already eradicated it — to open their borders.
Obviously, amongst other things, if this occurs, some in hotspots will seek to ‘escape’ to places where it’s eradicated, which increases the chance of the ‘clean’ locations being reinfected.
And, even when States/Territories rightly refused to open their borders, the Federal Government’s comments still sent a message to the Australian people that it was all but post-lockdown party time.
We also had the Federal Government encouraging our phenomenal scientific advisors — whom, however, are not elected leaders (and, no offence to them but, typically, don’t necessarily have the needed breadth of logistics and other experience) — to make heavily-loaded comments such as, ‘we never advocated closing state borders’.
Yet, if the borders hadn’t been closed, it’s a fair bet that no state or territory in Australia would be free of Covid-19.
Hence, the Federal Government appeared to be attempting to avoid its responsibility and cover its butt just in case something went wrong, which is a classic case of the fear of failure ensuring failure.
Alternatively, if, back in late April, instead of pussy-footing, the Federal Government had adopted the eradication goal, Australia — like New Zealand — would likely now be Covid-19 free.
Moreover, because there isn’t a clearly stated eradication goal, the government had little credibility insisting people not attend BLM protests, which also relate to an extremely important goal — namely, ‘Closing the Gap’.
And, because they had no credibility in banning the protests, this led others to rationally think, if it’s alright for 10,000 to get together then it’s alright for my 20.
The word ‘eradication’ oft-repeated would have made matters clear.
A sub-point is that we must consciously diverge from whatever it is the Europeans and the US are, hitherto incompetently, attempting to achieve.
That is, whereas the most they are attempting to do is keep the curve below the point where their hospitals and health staff collapse, we should be clear in our delineation from them — i.e. we should be clear that we are intent on eradicating Covid-19.
If we eradicate it then, once again, we will have a single Australia instead of a dual one (we should also be very concerned about this) — i.e. those Australian States and Territories that have eradicated the virus and those that haven’t.
States/Territories should open to each other — and should only open to each other — once there has been two weeks of zero community transmission in both locations.
As for the Trans-Tasman bubble of Australia and New Zealand, given New Zealand’s stated eradication goal, this was always a pipe-dream unless (and until) Australia eradicated the virus — so, if we want a trans-Tasman balloon or whatever, we must obviously, ‘e it’.
Currently, there are two worlds:
1. Those that never had Covid-19, those who have eradicated it (most notably New Zealand) and those who are on the verge of eradicating it; and,
2. Most of the world, who have probably lost — pre-vaccine — the chance to eradicate it.
Regarding this two-world paradigm, in the prior-to-a-vaccine future, there will be a slight simplification — i.e. on the one hand, there will be that handful of countries that don’t have Covid-19 and, on the other, there will be those forced to live with it.
So, we have the gold-standard example — the one set by New Zealand’s Prime Minister.
We have the template — what we’ve already done minus prematurely taking our foot off the brake.
And, we have the success — NZ.
Thus, there is nothing — except our leaders and ourselves — stopping us from implementing the ‘e it’ goal to a NZ-equivalent success.
The second half of Australia’s ‘Year of the Covid’ is beginning, The CDO particularly begs the Federal Government to adopt the ‘e it’ goal so residents are clear on how to, regarding this issue, do their part in putting ‘Society Before Self’.
The Society Before Self Organisation (SBSO) Australia
The Citizen’s Dividend Organisation (CDO) Australia
Humanity is being confronted by a perfect storm of Socio-Econo-Environment Catastrophes including:
a. Internal: mental illness, domestic violence, drug & alcohol abuse etc.
b. External: our weaknesses boost Democracy’s enemies, which is currently enhancing international rivalry such as with China, Russia, North Korea and Iran;
2. Econo: absolute poverty, relative income inequality, unemployment, homelessness etc.; and,
3. Environmental: ecosystem destruction, species extinction, human population explosion, plastic islands, climate change etc.
Hypothesis: This is due to a single foundational ‘Society-Individual Interface’ contradiction whose deleterious effects are cascading through every facet of society.
The relevant contradiction is the partial absence of the natural-morality-derived ‘Universal Opportunity Infrastructure’ (UOI), which consists of the four cornerstones:
1. Universal Liberal Democracy — [In Australia] Yes;
2. Universal Healthcare — Yes;
3. Universal Education — Yes;
4. Universal Basic/Survival Income (UBI/USI) — No, not yet.
The Socio-Econo-Environment-Harmonising Universal Survival Income (USI):
It’s not that it is the solution;
It’s that its absence is the problem.
The Taxpayer-to-Citizen-Transfer [Note: Unlike the Current System, this is not a ‘cost’ but a ‘transfer’.]
Around $20,000 per year x 18 million (non-incarcerated in-country adult Australian citizens) + $5,000 x 4.5 million (children) = $386 billion (2018 figures).
This may be achieved by:
1. Reallocating $150 billion of the $175 billion Social Services budget (yes, we are already spending half of what we need), which still leaves $25 billion to top up pensions and disability payments;
2. Abolishment of the Tax-Free Threshold ($35 billion); and,
3. Insertion of a 20% full-breadth GST (no — it’s not regressive if the disempowered are net beneficiaries; also, the wealthy and multinationals’ capacity to avoid a GST is particularly limited), which results in $200 billion minus $60 billion (from the current 10% gap-ridden GST) equaling an additional $140 billion.
In addition to this $325 billion total, there will be massive human-capital, efficiency, societal-involvement and trust gains, which means, not only is the USI easily afforded, we will be, at least, twice as prosperous such that it will amount to a win-win-win in which all community segments — the wealthy; the middle-class; and, the currently disempowered — all win.
In the process, the economy will also be transformed from an ‘environment-destroying jobs-for-jobs’-sake’ ‘own-goal’ one to ‘an efficient production of goods and services we desire’ one.
Then, there is the massive permeating benefit of achieving full-employment.
That is, with everyone both taken care of and invested with the freedom to say ‘no’ to an employer plus the rectification of the present social-status premium on paid-work over unpaid-work, which will dissipate the stigma of not having paid-work, this means there will be a massive flow of power to the disempowered and working classes, which will result in a workers’ paradise.
Yet, this workers’ paradise will enable significant labour-market deregulation (i.e. everyone is already being looked after so, while we may continue to feel an emotional attachment to, for instance, economy-wide minimum-wages, in practice, there will no longer be a need for them).
And, this means our (pre-Covid-19) 5.7 million volunteers can get paid something and our young, elderly, relatively unskilled, disabled, unpaid-carers, 600,000+ unemployed and 1.1 million+ underemployed can, if they desire, get paid-work (or, more work) and, generally, there is full-employment such that ‘anyone who, at the going rate, wants a job, can get one’.
In addition, the USI will eradicate the current welfare-to-paid-work distortion where there is a disincentive to acquire paid-work because, in doing so, one loses one’s welfare.
Furthermore, full-employment will result in wages and conditions being bid-up.
And yet, business, as well as benefiting from deregulation, rather than having to tolerate the current crop of unhappy conscripts, will benefit from an army of volunteer workers, which given, with regard to morale and productivity, ‘one bad apple spoils the barrel’, will deliver massive productivity efficiencies.
This means our tradables’ sector — especially manufacturing — will roar back to life.
The Citizen’s Dividend Organisation’s Commitment:
1. Short-term (interim) — At the 2022 Australian Federal Election (unlike in 2019), at least one registered political party will have the USI as its signature policy such that the USI is an election issue; and,
2. Medium-term (end) — At the 2025 Australian Federal Election, the winner has a mandate for the implementation of a USI, which it then prosecutes.
Without The Universal Survival Income (USI),
It’s Impossible to Save the Environment.