Are you really non-essential?

Lucas Nunes
January 22, 2021
Governments refer to all the services they are forcing to be shutdown as non-essential services to the economy. But for whom these services and workers are not essential?

Politicians and ‘experts’, from the top of their ivory towers, decided that a large percentage of the population is not essential and that these people should be simply locked inside their houses indefinitely. In their authoritarian perspective, they are enlightened enough to determine who is useful and who is useless and what we, the people, need and we don’t need. They are making choices for us, infantilizing millions of individuals, while forcing many into poverty, removing several of our freedoms, including the freedom to work and to trade.

From one day to another we shifted from a relatively free market to a sort of centrally planned economy and model of society. Thanks to this new autocratic new normal, controlled by an elite that disregards constitutions and that produces nothing (politicians and the experts counselling them), millions of productive individuals suddenly became unproductive.

The ruling class has been asking us to sacrifice everything. Small and medium businesses, the backbone of this country (Ireland), are forced into bankruptcy and while many families, of workers and entrepreneurs, have had their incomes reduced due to the restrictions. But what sacrifices is our ruling class doing? In fact, in 2020, in Ireland, the TD’s wages jumped to over than €96,000 and their salaries are set to rise to even closer to €100,000 in 2021. That doesn’t seem like a sacrifice, on the contrary, they were rewarded at the costs of the taxpayer during times of hardship.

What of essential are the government members doing, as they live from the taxpayers without creating any services or goods? Perhaps having a pint at the Dail’s bar (Irish Parliament’s bar)  while, ironically, forcing the Irish Pubs and several other companies into bankruptcy? Clearly, legislating like that certainly doesn’t count as something essential, in fact, it is the contrary. Wealth destruction is absolutely unessential and those high wages that are milked out of the taxpayers are also non-essential. Especially after destroying a large part of their own revenue.

Part of the damage the lockdown policies, imposed by the authorities, can be seen on the retail market. Irish retails have fallen more than anywhere else in Europe, according to Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector. The study excluded grocery and pharmacy, as these areas are not considered as ‘non-essential’ by the government.

In fact, these elites determining every aspect of our lives do not have any skin in the game. It does not matter for them if our livelihoods, lifetime projects and dreams are destroyed. There is no sympathy from them if we cannot afford to pay your mortgages at the end of the month, if businesses are permanently shutdown, if we are losing everything we have, as their big wages and privileges are always granted.

Why should people that are so disconnected from the daily struggles of the citizens have so much power to determine that the people need to sacrifice everything? Most of those people taking decisions for us never created a job, nor a useful service, nor a good, yet they are audacious enough to tell to millions of us that we are not essential, that everything we did in our whole lives is not essential.

Workers and entrepreneurs, shall not accept this kind of treatment from a class that does nothing but to leech the fruits of our labour. We are essential. All the people that are creating goods and providing services in demand in exchange of some remuneration are essential. Every trade that is voluntary is essential. Essential for someone else who wants what you are offering and also essential for your own self to put the food on the table.

Eventually, this situation will pass, but the taxpayers who are now labelled non-essential will foot the bill for the incompetence, not the politicians, not the experts. Businesses that went bankrupt, will be gone for good. There will be no restitution from all the harm caused by the the ruling class to individuals, because they wouldn’t ever be able even afford any reparation. The government has no money. Everything it gives is taken from someone else.

The short sighted politicians and experts fail to see that the people they are calling non-essential, in fact, are those paying their big wages, funding the healthcare and every other government expense as well. The expenses, so far, continue, but the revenue, on the contrary, is being affected, as businesses and workers are halted for nearly a year.

What kind of world are they imagining for us? A world of subsistence? A place in which an elite determines what can be produced, done and consumed? This is a failed model. It has been put in practice before in countries like USSR, and it was a terrible place to live, full of shortages of products we have abundantly nowadays. This old fashioned model is still active in places like North Korea and Cuba, poor places, oppressive places. We need our freedoms back in order to have our prosperity back. It is very easy to destroy something, but to build back, it takes a long time. And honestly, so far, there are no signals that these exaggerated and senseless restrictions will go away anytime soon. According to some experts and authorities, these restrictions should all be part of the ‘New Normal’, even after this period is gone. It might be the case that many of us will be constantly treated as non-essential by those who produce nothing and who profit of the panic if we keep accepting that.