top of page

Unpopular Opinion: Lockdowns NEED To End NOW, Medicine Is WORSE Than Disease

Updated: Feb 7

This might be Money Maverick's most controversial piece, yet.

I get a message on Saturday, the 16th of May. 6 unread messages on LINE.

I'm scrambling, I almost drop my phone.

The last message received was on the 9th, a good 7 days. It reads: 'I should have electricity soon, on Tuesday.'

That was 5 days ago.

7 days without contact with my girlfriend. Not a message, a phone call - nothing.

Manow lives in a rural village where electricity is powered by manual generators. The village has a history of flooding, reported cases of gun violence and pretty exposed to significantly higher wildlife-nature risks. But that's not the worst of it. It started slow. The markets started to close earlier. Then, they were forced to close entirely.

The people get really pissed.

Every person in my girlfriend's household makes money through the market, literally. Not the stock market. They drive to the nearby towns and sell goods there, to each other for the most part, and then they go home.

Typical market scenario.

Not anymore.

I don't blame the landlords because they have their own problems. But when better prospects come up and you're not getting paid your rightful rent, you do what you have to do.

So there was no electricity. Then, water.

And then, eviction.

My girlfriend and her family were homeless.

I ignore the messages completely and call her. She picks up, making a face and looking surprised. Like I wouldn't be worried out of my mind.

"You okay?" I ask.

A stupid question. I know she's okay. I'm looking at her right now and she's smiling and she's beautiful and she's okay but I still don't think so.

"I'm ok." She pinches her cheek. "Fat a bit."

I laugh. Try to, anyway.

"You sure?"

I know she's being strong. Every week for her gets worse. But she just smiles.

"If have you, I'm ok always."

She does. Have me, I mean. She means emotionally, but its not just that. Her family moved to a house which I essentially funded (for us). It's a two room place and it was cheap, nothing remarkable to speak about.

Cozy, but home. Hopefully for us, in the future too.

There should have been enough of my money left over to get by - but when I heard there wasn't water and electricity and for the longest time - even a door...

I wave bye to her and close my screen. My Facebook pops up, the last thing I was reading before her messages came in.

It's another person, moral flexing about staying home, keeping people safe.

How people are morally bad for wanting to go back to work - not people who are forced in any way, but would love to work to make a living. To provide for their families.

If you believe otherwise, you're a bad person. If you believe otherwise, people will die if you decide to act carelessly without the better regard for the group.

I was very comfortable with such messages before.

I'm wildly uncomfortable now.

As the greedy capitalist-type who profited greatly when people thought Trump would crash the market in 2016, I might be more inclined to feel this way and say these things. And it's true.

But hopefully you'll still listen.

1) Wrong Perception of The Economy

What likely kicked off this article was how irritated I got as a Finance person with privileged Singaporeans being critical of the Economy.

"Oh, look at these idiots protesting in other countries, violently fighting the lockdown measures in other countries. Just to protect the Economy. DOn't they CARE about oTHer pEOple getting sick?" ...And yes, the fact that I, one of the least PC people I know, used a buzzword like 'privilege' - should tell you exactly how irritating and wrong it is. Ironically, its PC people who tend to be like this the most, but that's a story for another time.

The Economy is not a large scale entity or conspiracy where Employers are able to magically force employees to work (at least, most of the time). People want to work for an income. In the emerging market countries, this is especially pronounced. Most of them are:

1) Self Employed [between 70 -85%], where mobility and selling to others is of vital importance.

2) They live in slums or close quarters in large underdeveloped cities, where measures such as Lockdowns or Circuit Breakers would be completely redundant from a practical perspective


3) They live in wide sparse areas where social distancing measures are more than sufficient.

The economy is not a nameless entity where people even think about stocks and shares or company profits. To them, the circulation of money and its existence is vital for their existence where a prolonged failure can result in literal starvation.

In those contexts, Lockdowns are completely useless, unnecessary or redundant.

And if left leaning LA times thinks so as well, that's when you're really in trouble. 2) Wrong Perception of Spending...and Government Spending, Generally

In efficient countries, such as the US or Europe, there are some differences - which presents entirely different problems.

The unemployment numbers in the US keep shooting up, for example. According to a report the 1980s (which is where the Big Short Movie gets its quotation), 40,000 people die for every 1% of additional unemployment.

But the 1980s isn't like how it is now.

'In Georgia, the median worker on unemployment now makes 160% of what they did in their job. And that’s the median, which means half of all workers make MORE than 160% of their salary by staying on unemployment.

The median earners in fields like medical assistants, sales and retail, transportation, construction, and teachers all make more on unemployment than they do in their jobs.

And it’s not just Georgia. In EVERY state, the median earner makes more by NOT working than by going back to work.'

Statistics are verified with the other sources below.

People are mocking the US now, but other countries may as well be pots, based on their respective political histories.

There are consequences for government spending, whether you look at the governments role in the 2008 Financial Crisis or in the dilapidated states of living for other countries where money seems to go down an endless black hole of unproductivity.

And while we still see positive results in Indices like the SNP500 (also suggesting Americans are still spending what money is being doled out to them on the economy), most of us are probably still asking - how long will it go up?

For Singapore's case, as I write this on the 26th of May it seems they will announce another package. While we may have muffed up the Dorm Worker side, for the most part we might be a bit less awful on Government Spending.