The need to reinvent our economy
From Metrowest Daily News:
This, too, shall pass.
And when it does – when the pandemic passes, and we’re back to some semblance of our normal lives – we will need to build a different relationship between the government and the economy. The Great Depression once heralded the onset of a much deeper system of protections against market failures. The coronavirus, too, demands a thorough restructuring of the relationship between government and markets – one that leaves us much better prepared for a set of challenges that tend to recur but that somehow always surprise us. . . .
What drives the needs for these changes? One factor is our highly interconnected, globalized economy. Global trade and human flows provide both great opportunities (such as the “supply side” benefits of increased dispersion of goods, services, capital and workers) and great costs (such as job displacements, refuge crises, credit bubbles and xenophobic politics, not to mention fast-spreading diseases). Global production, as currently managed – or rather, unmanaged – is responsible for unsustainable environmental degradation.
Another factor is our country’s unsustainable degree of inequality. History is clear: At some point, the have-nots revolt against the haves. For now, pitchforks have been dulled by the sharing of crumbs from the table and the false promises of fake populism. But this fast, deep recession is exacerbating the long-forming fissures in our economy. The stark differences between the pain and dislocation facing those living paycheck-to-paycheck relative to the rest of us are only beginning to surface. While some of us experience a long, weird, unsettling, working vacation, others face devastating economic insecurity, characterized by zero income, possible eviction and the inability to meet basic needs.