CME: IS LOCKDOWN THE NEW SOCIALISM?
Monday, 10 May 2021 – The Center for Market Education (CME) expresses concerns over the latest Malaysian government announcement about the Movement Control Order extension in space (to the whole Malaysia) and time (until 7 June). This is a striking contradiction with Prime Minister Muhyiddin’s statement, dated 17 March, according to which blanket lockdown were not to be implemented again (https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2021/03/17/muhyiddin-no-more-blanket-mco-targeted-approach-best-way-forward-to-suppres/1958639).
The government’s stubbornness over the MCO as the only way to fight the spread Covid-19 is, unfortunately, is in open contradiction with all the researches produced after the infamous Imperial College study published more than one year ago. No study or empirical evidence supported what the Imperial College was claiming and lockdowns have been proved the wrong way to tackle the problem. One of the latest study showing that lockdowns are not effective was recently published by the University of Chicago (Working Paper No 2021-51 authored by Casey B. Mulligan).
The list of the countries where lockdowns managed to stop the spread of Covid-19 is long like the list of countries in which socialism was successful: 0 entries.
The suspicion arises that lockdown is the new socialism, which means the new way in which governments try to curb individual and social liberties. Why to impose policies that have been proved unsuccessful worldwide with 0 examples of success? At this point it is pretty obvious that it is no more a matter of Covid-19 but something else. Because if it was for Covid-19, to apply lockdowns would be the proof of having learned nothing over the past 15 months.
When you tell socialists that socialism never worked, they object that “that was not true socialism” and that “we need more socialism”. Similarly, when lockdowners are objected with the fact that lockdowns do not work, they reply that “that was not a real lockdown” and “we need more lockdown”.
A striking similarities, isn’t it?
Coming to the business situation, “I think this has been one of the craziest weeks ever: implemented policies have changed from day to day and from minister to minister. Businesses are frustrated by this lack of consistency and nothing like confusion is bad for businesses. To this you have to add the sense of exhaustion over an economy forced to work on a stop-and-go strategy”, explained Dr Carmelo Ferlito, CEO of the Center for Market Education.
The current situation will be devastating for hospitality and F&B. But not only for them. Businesses are all related… You are allowed to produce chicken, but restaurants, hotels and canteen are not there to buy your product. You are allowed to produce school desks, but school are not there to by your product. You are allowed to produce mechanic products for airplanes, but the aviation is not there to buy your product.
The economy, the market, is made of supply and demand. You cannot hope businesses will survive because you allow the supply side to operate if you shut down demand.
This is just basic economics and basic business experience. And yet here we are trying to do more of the same hoping for different results. The outcome is obvious.
In conclusion, the Center for Market Education believes that a different strategy is possible and needs to be based on mass testing for early detection. With early detection, severe cases and asymptomatic transmissions can be avoided, and Covid-19 cured with normally available medicines, as explained by the doctors of the Ippocrate Group.
For the detailed strategy advocated by CME, see our previous statement here: https://marketedu.org/media-statement/cme-dont-we-have-anything-better-than-questionable-mcos.
About CME: The Center for Market Education (CME) is a boutique think-tank based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As an academic and educational institution, CME aims to promote a more pluralistic and multidisciplinary approach to economics and to spread the knowledge of a sounder economics, grounded in the understanding of market forces. In order to do so, CME is not only involved in academic initiatives, but it organizes seminars, webinars and tailor-made economics classes for students, journalists, businesspeople and professionals who wish to better understand the relevance of economics for their daily lives and activities. Economics matters and needs to be presented in a fashion in which the link with reality is clearly visible. In this sense, we look not only at theoretical economics but also at policy making, with an emphasis on the unintended consequences generated by political actions.