So… I’ve been thinking…
This morning I read on the news about calls from one of our city’s most prominent commercial property owners for the Government to step in and support hospitality businesses by way of rent subsidies.
Apart from the very obvious self-interest here (this chap specializes in developing large-scale hospitality precincts), it seems like his point misses the mark somewhat.
The economic impact from Covid-19 could very well be existential in nature, the biggest thing since The Depression a century ago. Anyone who has read anything about The Depression will know that having a wide selection of dining-out options wasn’t anyone’s priority. Rather, basic food, shelter and clothing were.
While I understand the desire to keep life the way it was pre-Covid, that desire is potentially completely unrealistic. It is a desire which makes the very dangerous assumption that the fundamental economic models will be the same in six months as they were previously. And that is by no means a given.
Surely it is more prudent for money to be spent supporting truly essential business – those involved with housing, clothing and providing the ability for us to feed ourselves?