We’re All in This Together. But Not in the Way You Think.
We are all in this together. No, by that I do not mean what Andrew Horney calls “all those cloyingly saccharine, feel-good public service announcements being delivered by famous faces on television and social media platforms, telling us “we’re all in this together.” We are all interdependent through the production of goods and services that constitutes the market order. Some critics of the current crisis see it as yet another case of the rich getting one over on the rest of us. I will argue that this cannot be correct, because the rich as well as the poor (and the middle class) depend on the freedom to produce, and are all harmed by the lack of it.
Angelika Albaladejo writes, “The Rich Are Getting Richer,” citing a new report that “shows that some American billionaires are making substantial gains during the global health crisis.” Wilamette Week asks, “How Will the Rich Get Richer During the Pandemic-Fueled Economic Collapse?“
Israel Shamir in “Deep Pockets Love Lockdown” suggests that the rich do not like the widespread availability of travel:
No more travels for us. The very rich folks will regain their solitary possession of Venice, the Côte d’Azur, and all the other elite destinations so recently inundated by mass tourism. Once again they will have it as good as they had it in the 19th century. Travel is a luxury, and ordinary people do not deserve luxury. They tried to keep us away by making travel as unpleasant as possible with body searches, but it didn’t help. If this global pandemic doesn’t stop us, they are simply going to cut us off.
The greatest influence on everyone’s standard of living is the overall production of the society they live in. Under the current prohibitions, some businesses gain market share—a larger piece, but sliced from a much smaller pie. The rich, who enjoy and can afford luxury goods, depend on the productivity of all members of society for these goods. Those who can afford to fly first class, or perhaps in their own private planes, depend on the engineering advances from the mass production of airplanes that have reduced the cost and made private jets “affordable.” Time-shared private aviation costs in the low six figures.
High-end travelers rely on the proliferation of airports made possible by the masses of middle-class travel worldwide; on the sizable labor pool of skilled pilots with commercial air travel experience to fly their private planes; on the development of air traffic control through the management of millions of flights annually; and on the gradual improvements in air traffic control to improve air travel safety.
Fine hotels where the rich stay in suites exist nearly everywhere due to middle-class and business travel. International brands are able to bring quality hotels online and up to international standards quickly due to experience operating in many global markets, and they are able to staff new hotels with experienced managers from existing properties, where they have honed their skills.
The private chefs that the rich hire to cook for them emerged from a vast food service industry consisting of culinary schools and fine restaurants even in small- to mid-market cities, where chefs learn their craft. The ingredients are available because of demand to feed the milli
Article from Mises Wire