Thoughts on economics and liberty

Email I’ve sent out regarding Gigi Foster’s cost benefit analysis of Australia’s lockdowns

Sent this out a short while ago:

Finally, a detailed cost-benefit analysis of the lockdowns and border closures in Australia

Dear all

Over the past 8-9 months, I’ve assisted Prof. Gigi Foster in preparing a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of lockdowns and border closures in Australia. I put in over 200 hours into this effort.

Prof. Foster has now finalised the CBA and published a PDF of its Exec Summary yesterday at: Direct link to the PDF:

For 15 years in the Treasury in Victoria I  reviewed, assessed and advised the Treasurers of Victoria on a wide range of CBAs. Prior to that, in WorkSafe Victoria, I contributed to a CBA on noise regulations. I’ve never come across a more comprehensive CBA than this.


From my experience, even a much smaller CBA than this would cost the government well over $200k. This particular CBA would easily cost the taxpayer at least $500,000. But this has been a labour of love for Gigi Foster – and for me (Gigi was kind enough to provide me with a small fee as a research assistant – my only earning since I resigned my job in September 2020, apart from a tiny amount of royalty from my book).


It was the duty of the government to conduct such a CBA. Even if a CBA was very sketchy at the outset, it would have been sufficient to prove that lockdowns – taken STRAIGHT FROM COMMUNIST CHINA’S PLAYBOOK – were a harmful policy that must never be adopted in Australia.

In April-August 2020, many economists within the Treasury department in Victoria asked for a cost-benefit analysis of these draconian policies (I was not the only one – there are written emails inside DTF and these should be preserved – for a future Royal Commission). Our request was denied. The fact that Australia’s governments have not commissioned a CBA even till now confirms they are determined to hide the truth about their actions.


  1. The government has massively lied about the magnitude of the COVID pandemic. It is 50-500 times less lethal than the Spanish flu, and once we factor in the fact that it kills mainly the elderly, its effective lethality is far lower.
  2. Lockdowns prevented around 10,000 covid deaths over 2020 and 2021 in Australia (this is the maximum),not the 40,000 lives Mr Morrison claims he has saved.
  3. There were at least 7,940 additional non-COVID deaths from lockdowns in the first two years of the pandemic (in fact, there were far more: just in 2021 ABS data show over 3,000 excess cancer deaths – of people who were terrorised by the lockdowns and hysteria in 2020 and did not get their cancer identified and treated in time.
  4. But immediate deaths are not the only thing that matters. Every policy-driven harm that reduces our lifespan or earning power, every harm to our children, every harm through reduced capacity of the government to pay for health in the future, adds up. Economics is about the welfare of the entire society and ALL harms and all benefits of a policy must be added up – and they are, in this CBA. Gigi Foster estimates that the harms from lockdowns exceed any benefits by at least THIRTY SIX times. 

This estimate is not an outlier. It is consistent with innumerable CBAs that have by now been published across the world which show similar (or even greater) orders of magnitude of harm from lockdowns. While this full CBA will perhaps be published in a book form – the Exec Summary is sufficient to destroy the innumerable falsehoods people have been told over the past two years.

Would the Australian government want to pay Prof. Foster for this work? You bet not! I think they should. They should buy it and publish it in the public domain.

Will the media of Australia even acknowledge this huge piece of work? Will the media read it and write about this CBA? I can bet that they won’t – since they were a comprehensive accomplice to the government’s policy failures.

But I can also say that it won’t matter what the government does or doesn’t. Satyameva Jayate – the truth always triumphs. The forces of evil and corruption cannot stop the truth from becoming widely known.

Sadly for those who want to hide the truth, there are many people in this world who seem to believe, like I do, in Nishkama Karma: doing the right thing without regard to any reward. Many people in this country (and across the world) will KEEP FIGHTING and will not stop until (a) the truth is established, and (b) there is accountability for those who caused mayhem across the world by adopting China’s policies.

I gave a speech in the Doncaster Church of Christ yesterday as a candidate for the seat of Menzies – in which I mentioned this CBA and the lies of the government: The truth will spread. Let’s return to the values which made the Western civilisation what it was (till before COVID hysteria hit). We are NOT totalitarian China. And NOT corrupt India. We must commit as a nation standing for the truth.




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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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