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Posted: April 26, 2020

Time for banks to take a quarantine holiday

Kootenay Crust

By Ian Cobb

Op-Ed Commentary

As we chug and glug into Day 46 of the COVID-19 pandemic, plot lines continue to evolve in this real-life, slow motion, epic disaster film.

Canada appears to be mostly sane and rational, sea-to-sea-to-sea, during this ‘soft lockdown,’ as senior levels of governments defer to their medical experts, who have been doing a fairly remarkable job. Canadians as a whole have been doing as asked; stay home and apart as much as possible and be hyper-hygienic.

This strategy appears to be working, as it has elsewhere in the world to varying degrees.

The Canadian government is spending a couple of generations’ fiscal futures in attempts to do the right thing and help as many people as possible. The political strategizing occurring at the same time is up for debate now, but Ottawa being Ottawa, there is no doubt lots of that greasy stuff going on.

While now is not the time to be argumentative or finger pointing, because we must keep doing what we’re doing and fight this thing to a standstill so the totally not normal of our old world can resume with lives being spared and millions of businesses dodging ruin, I believe Ottawa can do better.

The recent announcement of a business rent bail-out to the tune of 50% being paid by the feds, 25% by the provinces and the rest by the business owners is a helluva gesture, and I hope many business owners can benefit from it, but it’s time for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to call a gathering of the fat-cats who really run the show – the banks – for a chat.

Mr. Prime Minister, how about rather than spending so much of our money during these unprecedented times, why not just advise the banks to provide blanket shutdowns on all accounts, sparing EVERYONE from the panic of whether they can pay their rent or whether the landlords can pay their mortgages when rents aren’t being covered.

It seems to me the only fair way to help everyone is to keep things even and the only way that can happen is for our perma-profit-raking big banks to do the right thing. They can do it; they just don’t want to. Boards of directors who probably have all their personal finances tied up offshore, have gotta be fed. Daddy needs profits!

The game of the old days is over. The jig is up. We taxation machines have been getting fleeced since the fat-cats of the time plunged the globe into the First World War. A temporary income tax was enacted to help the war cause and we all know how that temporary thing worked out.

The military industrial complex was completed by the end of the Second World War, with debt slaves locked in place by banks and big governments.

And it’s been a dog and pony show since – globally, not just in Canada.

I mean, check out those poor bastards down in the U.S.

Whereas Canada seems to be sane and rational, with all sides in Ottawa and Victoria working together (for the most part), America is imploding like a giant tamped down sneeze, led vigorously and passionately by a president who recently advised his 370 million constituents to commit mass suicide.

I wish to all gods who ever stubbed toes and caused 9.0 earthquakes that I was making that up.

The Mayor of Las Vegas, who claims to not gamble, wishes to gamble the lives of her 2.7 million constituents by opening Sin City back up while America continues to poop the proverbial bed in its response to COVID-19.

Other states are vowing to open back up as America’s well-established privilegocrisy protest, demanding their liberty, hair cuts, massages and the right to infect anyone they want.

And now nurses are having to stand in front of protests to stop them from messing with operations at hospitals, as people scream in their faces that they’re fake nurses and crisis actors.

If these recent events in America aren’t enough to convince people that commercial maniacs like Snake Oil Alex Jones or any evangelical pastor trying to squeeze more millions from frightened and pliable people, need to be placed in the dustbin of history along with slave owners and kings and queens, then I feel sorrow for America.

The most frightening aspect of this pandemic is the variety of scenarios that can be painted as to how the world emerges from this.

The dirty ‘30s led to an explosion of extremism – left and right – and a plethora of societal breakdowns and wars. Let your imagination go and frighten yourself.

We are there again, but this time with nuclear arsenals, and if this pandemic lingers much longer, another great depression will follow.

Considering the voluminous animosity and complete lack of respect people now showcase for others’ opinions – hating them for it rather than disagreeing, the way we used to before the petty, devious and naughty social media circus came to town and infiltrated our lives – the level of collective concern must be kept to a minimum.

The last thing any nation needs is a runaway population at this time.

The most wide-reaching way our government can help everyone in that regard is to remove the collective terror that everyone from the poorest to the wealthiest is feeling right now – and it’s not just COVID-19. It’s financial uncertainty, which leads to thoughts of ruin and despair and creates mass depression, which probably isn’t a good thing to create during a quarantine.

That means make the banks take a break and make the credit card companies sit down and put their hands in their own pockets for a few months. They’ll be fine, especially when the big bail outs start happening.

It’s great that Trudeau and company are throwing cash around right now but that is our cash. Just like it is our cash in the banks. As the old saying goes, there is only one taxpayer so why should we taxpayers continue to allow the double-dipping game with our limited resources?

We shouldn’t; but we need Ottawa to take that lead. If you’re going to shut the system down, start at the so-called top.

If we citizens are expected to take lengthy breaks from earning livings, all in order to do the right thing, then the entire game should be postponed, including banks taking a complete quarantine holiday.

– Ian Cobb is owner/editor of e-KNOW.

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