"For the past year Australians have heard politicians, business leaders
and conservative commentators argue that we need to balance the benefits
of protecting Australians from Covid-19 with the costs of those
protections to “the economy”. Should we close down risky venues or keep
them open? Should we worry about the elderly who might get sick and die
or the young people who might lose their jobs?
How do we choose between my money and your life? Or your mum’s life? In
a society where conservatives frequently argue that all life is sacred,
that unborn babies have more rights than their mothers, and that those
dying in pain must be denied the mercy of voluntary euthanasia, it is
hard to imagine that we could even have such a debate. But we do, and
the debate is led by conservatives.
The fact that you probably haven’t noticed is simply proof of how
powerful the language of economics is. It allows people to make the
obscene seem responsible.
While it’s not polite to put it this way, what these questions are
really asking is: are all lives worth saving? Or, more bluntly, are the
incomes of some groups more important than the lives of other groups?
You can see why conservatives like to talk about abstractions like “the
Via Muse, who wrote "BINGO!!!"
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics