Now that governments are “reopening the economy,” we think that things will go back to normal. This will not happen. Even if businesses open, the volume of activity will not return to what it was prior to the lockdown since people understand that many of the things they thought they needed were actually redundant. Governments may give incentives to individuals and businesses to reignite consumerism, but many people are losing the pleasure in shopping.
Now governments need to mobilize business owners whose businesses will not be sustainable after the lockdown. Instead of their businesses, governments need to “occupy” them in learning how to correct society and make it more connected. During the training, they will receive a livable allowance, and eventually they too will become teachers. The ultimate goal of governments should be to create sustainable societies whose people provide for everyone’s staples while individuals occupy themselves mainly in strengthening social solidarity.
We are moving from a paradigm of measuring success in terms of wealth, to measuring it in terms of happiness and satisfaction, and these will come from social cohesion, not from money. The faster we transition, the easier and more pleasant it will be on all of us.
[Pedestrians wearing masks walk past shuttered businesses on Broadway as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., April 25, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson]
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