Since the month of March 2021 suddenly the cases of Covid-19 are increasing in India. So far close to 2 crore people have contracted this mysterious disease out of which 99% have recovered and 1% have sadly died (Data source). World over media is portraying this situation as a disaster because of the fact of hospitals running out of oxygen, medical supplies and beds and pictures are splashed in media where crematoriums are having queue of dead bodies supposedly of Covid patients; I am sure many of those dead are non Covid patients who died because of lack of healthcare for them in the frenzied time of Covid where all already scarce resources are unduly monopolised by the Covid-19 disease.
However looking at the data one can hardly say that Covid-19 is ravaging India. Out of population of 140 crore people, close to 2 crore people have so far contracted this disease, and that if we believe the incredibly flawed testing regimen of RT PCR etc. In relative terms, some 1% Indians have contracted this mysterious virus in last one and a half years. This is hardly ravaging or alarming.
The real problem actually is government and its centrally planned management of Covid in India which has made things worse. The situation looks alarming because of the awfully inadequate and horribly inefficient Indian public health and centrally planned system not able to cope with the given situation of 1% people contracting this virus. The problem here is not Covid per se but the heavily monopolised centrally planned statist response to this disease in India. Government has taken over complete management of this so-called pandemic and that is why we see the artificial scarcity of oxygen supply and hospitals running out of beds etc., problems. These are all results of government management of this disease. Anyone familiar with the science of economics knows that socialist central planning never works whether that is planning of the economy or the health system. Government is an institution which can only create artificial scarcity when there exist no actual scarcity. As Milton Friedman so rightly said,
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.
And exactly that is what is happening in India right now. Modi government has put itself in charge of the whole Covid 19 pandemic and their management has created artificial scarcity of oxygen and other medical supplies. Under the excuse of phony idea of public health central and various state governments have monopolised covid-19 disease management. And we know such socialist central planning can’t economically calculate where resources are needed to be allocated. In the absence of market price and profit and loss system, efficient allocation of resources is impossible. Government is also a giant machinery of wastage of resources. Whatever oxygen and medical supply is available is being squandered in the process of allocating them. Public health officials and politicians are involved in black marketing the scarce oxygen and drug supplies. Another way in which Modi government is creating scarcity of medical resources is their totally irrational insistence of their pet policy of Make in India. Indian scientists are complaining about this to Modi government. In their appeal to Modi government, they said,
It added that restrictions on importing scientific raw materials ” to make India ‘self reliant’ is a key goal for Modi and his government ” was an obstacle.
“Such restrictions, at this time, only serve to impede our ability to deal with COVID-19,” it said.
Not only this, central government is arrogantly declining offers of help from neighbouring countries like China. And that is adding in the scarcity problem.
In such artificial scarcity environment, corruption is thriving, which is a natural response of the market. Remember such corruption is a natural outcome of government monopoly of the whole health system. In the absence of efficient market system for allocating resources, now corruption is doing that work at a higher price and with much less efficiency. Sadly that is the only alternative available in such heavily centrally planned Indian economy. And as is happens, a black market has opened up to supply these scarce resources to the needy. Now because government controls have created artificial scarcity of oxygen supply, in black market prices have naturally sky rocketed. Prices only reflect the underlying scarcity of the given good. In a free market this temporary higher price will be necessary to attract fresh higher supplies of oxygen. We know the law of supply dictates that higher prices will prompt suppliers to supply more oxygen in India, and that will solve the problem of lack of oxygen and other medical supply. If we had a free market system in India then higher prices of oxygen and other medical supply would have prompted domestic and foreign suppliers to bring their supplies in India to make profit. And that would have removed the scarcity quickly saving many lives. But such market adjustments are not possible because government is in charge of the whole affair and they won’t allow price system to work freely. Also there is no profit and loss system working in the absence of truly free market in health sector in India and so suppliers have no incentive to ramp up their production of these scarce medical goods.
All in all, the on-going Covid disaster in India is a complete making of the governmental central planning of this disease. Government involvement and monopoly has exaggerated this diseases beyond all proportions. You remove the government from the scene and Covid poses no big danger as market system responds adequately to fulfil needs of the patients. If government didn’t monopolise the management of this disease then I am sure many of those who died because of lack of oxygen and other medical supplies would have been alive today. As usual, government has blood on its hands. They not only bungled up everything, but exaggerated this problem by their horrible lack of response and insensitivity to the plight of people. Central and state governments were busy conducting elections when there was a need to ramp up their horribly inadequate public health system. In last one year when cases were not very high, they did nothing to prepare for any adverse situation. The whole affair is a clear example of the fact that the state aka government doesn’t care for people. They exist only for their own benefit of exploiting us for their parasitical living.