Coronavirus has revealed deep flaws in our economic system


By Phil Smith

The past few weeks have seen an increase in calls for the lockdown to be lifted from celebrities, politicians and the public. President Bolsonaro of Brazil has openly stated that the “side effects” of fighting COVID-19 are more damaging than taking action to prevent its spread. With very dense urban populations, Brazil is expected to claim nearly 100,000 victims in the coming months due to the virus and is not alone in its weak approach to the situation.

The United States is another example of how a slow response put thousands of lives at risk, as reported by Columbia University which concluded that 36,000 lives could have been saved had lockdown restrictions been imposed. been implemented earlier. While clearly not so destructive, the UK’s lethargic response has also undoubtedly put countless lives at risk, and Johnson’s “gradual return” heightens that danger, with the likelihood of a “second. wave “imminent.

Why was the response so slow?

There are a host of competing factors that have contributed to a global failure in the face of the virus. Yet the nervousness of politicians to harm their economies and their concern to harm the stocks and stocks of international companies appear to have played a major role. This is unfortunately a common theme in all Western countries with leaders desperate not to make unpopular decisions, whether or not they are the right thing to do.

The coronavirus is not only a reflection of the inability of politicians to cope with calamities, but an indication of the deep flaws in our global economic system. Growth and output seem to be the only numbers that matter and companies are set to lay off nearly 6 million workers in the UK; once again, it is the working class that will undoubtedly be the loser.

The global economic system clearly prioritizes the health of the wallet of the rich over the health of the working class. If our political systems are unable to effectively manage crises, then its very structure must be questioned. Ultimately, our governments should take any threat to the well-being of their citizens very seriously, not dismiss and minimize its threat to life.

How can this be disputed?

The international failure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been fueled by skepticism, greed and ideology. How do you balance the value of human life against the production of consumer goods or the success of business actions in the market? There should be no return to work until experts can ensure that the risk to those at risk from the virus can be mitigated to an extremely low extent or until a vaccine can be made and distributed. I highly doubt those who claim to ‘jumpstart the economy’ would be so impatient if they had high-risk relatives whose lives could be on the line if infections were to rise again due to an early easing of lockdown restrictions. .

The global community needs to rethink how, as a species, we can respond to a crisis like this. By focusing our policy on producing consumer goods and protecting the rich, further health crises will only result in more deaths. If a positive is from the virus, it has shown that we humans, whether we like it or not, all share the same risks and are all equally susceptible to the disease. Small changes need to be made to reduce working hours, allow flexible working from home, but in the long run questions should be raised about the damage global capitalism can and does to public health. Over 90 years ago, Che Guevara said in a speech on health care: “The life of one human being is worth a million times more than all the possessions of the richest man on earth” . A feeling that seems to have been lost over the decades.

Related: Timpson: A Lesson In How To Do It Right

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