COVID-19 Exposes How Vulnerable Our Economy Is

COVID-19 is exposing vulnerabilities and forcing the world to reexamine truths that have been ignored. For example, scientists are discovering strong evidence that deforestation and development are linked to many of the global virus outbreaks.

COVID-19 is exposing vulnerabilities and forcing the world to reexamine truths that have been ignored. For example, scientists are discovering strong evidence that deforestation and development are linked to many of the global virus outbreaks. How? Zoonotic diseases (infections transmitted from animals to humans) are increasing as people encroach on habitats occupied by animals.

COVID-19 is also dispelling this idea of what is considered a strong economy. Prior to the pandemic, Americans were led to believe that the U.S. had a strong economy based off how well the financial markets were doing. Politicians also used GDP that measures economic output as another indicator of a robust economy.

Americans were heading into the national elections with this notion of economic strength. But in reality, financial markets and GDP, are old benchmarks and ignore how really vulnerable most Americans are financially.

How can we truly say that just three months ago before COVID-19 we had a booming economy as millions of Americans have been living paycheck to paycheck, with very little savings that are putting millions of Americans at financial risk this very moment?

How can we truly say that just three months ago we had a booming economy as millions of Americans were not able to afford health insurance and health care, and now this set of our population must rely on government assistance should they need it during this crisis, or face financial ruin?

How can we say that just three months ago we had a booming economy as millions of Americans faced housing and food insecurity? Most people are locked in debt and struggle just to be able to access basic securities like a roof over their head and food to provide for themselves and their families.


Real economic fundamentals
Financial markets and GDP are only partial signs of a working economy – but they do not address fundamentals like gross inequality, individual savings, ability to afford health care, health wellness, mortgage debt, low wages, housing unaffordability, child care, college debt, inability to retire, rising inflation affecting cost of food and clothes, underemployment, job insecurity.

The reality is the economy was not booming prior to COVID-19.

It was working for a select group of Americans who have the luxury to not worry about their financial situation during this crisis.

Now COVID-19 is bringing all these urgencies to surface.


Other economic revelations exposed by COVID-19
COVID-19 is also revealing how valuable workers are – that workers are the true driving force of the economy. In workers’ absence, the economy comes to a standstill as we are now seeing. How odd, then, that workers are paid grossly disproportionate to CEOs and top management, to a degree that workers are unable to have enough financially to get them through just a month through this crisis.

COVID-19 reveals the shortcomings of economic globalism and how valuable manufacturing was to our economy. In their absence – government has done little to keep manufacturing alive and to encourage them to stay in the U.S. — now we must rely on China to meet our needs of massive shortages in medical equipment and supplies from respirators to medical-grade protective gear.

COVID-19 shows us how dependent our economy is on small businesses, how they employ millions of Americans and contribute to capital flow – but our tax laws disproportionately favor big corporations, many of which helped to push out of the marketplace tens of thousands of small businesses.

Like workers, small businesses are just getting by and feeling the blunt force of the crisis. Historically, in each modern recession we’ve had, small businesses have been most harmed and first to close. And still, yet again, the coronavirus stimulus packages disproportionately aids big corporations over small businesses.


Caught flat-footed
Besides the scientific and medical communities – who have been warning us of the possibilities of a pandemic outbreak – the world has been caught flat-footed by COVID-19.

But the fundamentals of what make an economy truly robust were never sound to begin with.

The COVID-19 happen to expose these vulnerabilities that were already there.

To say that COVID-19 is a temporary, stumbling block, and that the economy will fully recover is to be blind of the needs we must work on. What would an economic recovery look like to those who were so confident in our economy before COVID-19? To go back to where we were, to where only a small, select few benefited while others remain dependent on safety nets?

COVID-19, however disastrous it is, can at the very least, bring about a new awareness of how we see our economy and what it should look like.

There’s a lot of talk about the “new normal” beyond COVID-19. We have the power, but only through awareness, to fashion a “new normal” with truly strong economic fundamentals.

We must not, and cannot fall for the same smoke-and-mirrors trick of those at the highest levels of government and corporations (including corporate media that’s more wrapped up in political intrigue than providing in-depth coverage of struggling Americans), telling us that the economy is “fine” when it really hasn’t been for a very long time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.