Two things that can rescue the world when the COVID-19 pandemic is over

Tempo de leitura: 2 minutos

It is difficult to know what the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis is going to be, especially since the toll in human life is, at this point, unknowable. The response has generally been to quarantine people at home and bring their daily lives, including work, to a dead stop. To mitigate the economic pain this will cause, the US government has passed a relief bill with a price tag of war-like proportions. However, ceasing economic activity has dire consequences.

Economic activity is what allows us all to live: to take our families on vacation, to buy a house, to save for retirement, to eat. It has nothing really to do with money in the sense that the government can’t just give us all a million dollars and make us rich. It has everything to do with the production itself. A rich nation like the US can weather the storm of taking a month or two off work. It will have serious consequences—but it can be done. It will decrease wealth and increase poverty. A poor nation that takes a month off work means people go without shoes, schooling for their children, clean water, and enough food to eat. It means more people will die from poverty.

Poverty is the great enemy with which mankind has had to contend since the beginning. Most people throughout history have lived in poverty and endured so that we, especially in the post-industrial west, could enjoy a life free from real poverty. Some of the world still contends with real poverty, and for the first time in generations, it is about to get worse. The US is the great economic engine of the world. Our productivity lifts millions out of poverty, and right now the world is watching.

For better or worse our immediate course is already set. We are taking a month or two off and borrowing the money to do it. What we need to be talking about is what to do next. We need to be serious about this. Our children need us to be serious about this. The world needs us to be serious about this. So, we must be completely honest and acknowledge that, without a doubt, only the creative forces of entrepreneurial capitalism can rescue the world. This is going to require two things: the expansion of Special Economic Zones, and a New Entrepreneurial Mindset.

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