Seven Ways to Boost the Economy
It has now become apparent that the prospects for the economy are dire. We could have a recession that will lead to mass unemployment as well as large numbers of people who are forced into social isolation to slow the rate of infection. The economy will have to go through a period of adjustment to new circumstances so we at Flow Media have come up with some suggestions to keep the economy ticking over.
1. Rent a Granny
The major supermarket chains are introducing special shopping times for people over 60 to have access to their shelves before the general public is allowed in. The oldies will be able to do their shopping early in the morning when the shelves are fully stocked. We think an Uber style app that will enable people to hire a granny to do their shopping for them early in the morning would give the over sixties an opportunity to supplement their retirement incomes while reducing pressure on families
2. High Fashion Hazmat Suits
One way to fix the spread of the disease would be to issue everyone with their own hazmat suits. This would enable people to go about their daily business without fear of infection. They could go to work, school, sports events, and the movies. People will obviously want individual styling for their suits. This could create a new manufacturing industry and create jobs for out of work artists designing and marketing the suits.
3. Mobile Baristas
There is a chance that cafes may have to close to stop disease spreading. This will cause stress and tension among caffeine addicts. To avoid queueing and crowding we suggest that a collection of mobile coffee vans, like the old Mr Whippy vans, be deployed to circulate around the cities so that people ca get their fix and protect their mental health.
4. Redeploying airline staff
The British Government has said that people over 70 may have to spend 4 months in social isolation for their own protection. This will make it difficult for them to sustain themselves.
In Australia the airlines have announced that they are cutting international flights by 90% and domestic flights by 60%, which will mean that many airline staff will be stood down. We think that airline caterers should be used to prepare meals for isolated oldies and cabin crews used to deliver them as this is one of their core skills.
5. Online fitness classes
Sportspeople are at a loose end because their sporting events have been cancelled. At the same time people with the disease will be confined to isolation and will be unable to go outside. It will be important they stay fit. The sportspeople could conduct regular fitness classes using Zoom for groups of up to 20 isolatees.
6. Using boarding schools
Private schools are beginning to close their boarding houses and to send students home. Many students are shifting to online learning so the schools are emptying out. At the same time, as more people contract the disease there will be pressure on hospital beds.
Research by the Doherty Institute shows that people who are healthy have low level responses to the disease and are well after 3 to 5 days. In the circumstances the Government could use private school boarding house as infirmaries.
7. Short the Global Economy
Stock markets around the world are falling although there was a rebound on Tuesday. At the moment it is vulnerable stocks like travel and energy that are crashing but as the recession takes hold it is likely that stronger stocks will fall.
Australia should use the Future Fund to short the global market, particularly US stocks. It is possible that $200 billion worth of options could realise enough to pay off the national public debt before the crisis is over.
Flow doesn’t think that these suggestions will be taken up as part of the Government’s stimulus package but we do think that now is the time for innovative thinking.