by Walden Bello
In response to the cataclysm occasioned by the coronavirus, three lines of thinking are emerging, corresponding to three GTI scenarios: Market Forces, Policy Reform, and Great Transition.
One line of thinking holds that, although the emergency necessitates extraordinary measures, the basic structure of production and consumption is sound and the problem lies in determining the moment when things can return to “normal.” This is the dominant opinion among political and business elites.
Another response is that we are now in the “new normal,” and while the global economic system is not significantly off-kilter, important changes must be made to some of its elements, such as redesigning the workplace to accommodate the need for social distancing, strengthening public health systems, and even moving towards a “universal basic income.”
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