The Roots Of The Evil!
Thomas Loren Friedman, the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Author, Columnist and American Political Commentator, recently said that we should adopt a new historical divide – BC (the World Before Corona) and AC (the World After Corona), instead of BCE (Before Christian Era) and AD (Anno Domini)! In an article published in New York Times on March 17, 2020, Friedman mentioned that the outbreak of the Coronavirus changed the world, and one should accept the reality. He is right, as the COVID-19 has changed the global political and social landscape. The economists have opined that the GDP of different countries will decrease by 8-10%, or more in the coming years! According to experts, the conventional concept of globalisation will also be changed, along with the model of international trade and global supply chain. At the same time, the trend of localisation of production and supply will be strengthened; while there will be a change in the definitions of protection, or well-being. Moreover, thousands of people will become jobless!
Some experts believe that the post-COVID world may find a shelter in Socialism. In contemporary world, majority of the countries follow the path of Capitalism… and, they are against the concept of Socialism. Interestingly, everyone is trying to be, more or less, a socialist in the COVID-affected world. The Republican Government of President Donald Trump has sanctioned USD 2000 per people to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, apart from implementing the ‘Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme’ to feed the poor people and providing loans to Small Scale Businesses. All these initiatives are different forms of ‘Universal Badic Income’ (UBI)! So far, Democrat leaders, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have been in favour of the UBI. However, Republican Trump has partially implemented such a programme in the election year.
In Canada, the Justin Trudeau Administration is following the same path. The Canadian Government has announced CAD 107 billion to fight COVID-19 outbreak, and the amount is more than 3% of the country’s GDP. Apart from providing direct assistance to workers and businesses, the Government has decided provide 10% of workers’ salaries in order to protect the job market. Britain and France, too, have announced financial packages for the service sector. The British Government will pay 80% of the salaries to those who earn GBP 2,500 per month. It’s an interesting decision made by the Government of Conservative Leader Boris Johnson.
In case any Danish company plans to sack its 30% or 50 employees, the Government of Denmark will provide three-quarters of their salaries at least for three months. The Australian Government has sanctioned AUD 6.7 billion to protect 7.8 million people engaged in 690,000 small businesses. Meanwhile, Germany has hinted that it will provide the businesses with “unlimited” loans. Spain, too, has announced a social security package of EUR 200 billion, which is about one-fifth of its GDP. The Social Security Package has become a shield, and one can easily find the yellow feathers of Socialism in this move…
The US is popularly known as the land of Capitalism. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak has claimed the maximum lives in the US. President Trump is well aware of the fact that it would become difficult for him to win the upcoming Presidential Elections, if the pandemic rocked the national economy. Hence, the Trump Administration is concentrating on economy, instead of safety and security of the people in Corona-affected US. The Trump Administration is providing more than USD 1 trillion to big businesses… big hotels, restaurants, aircraft-manufacturing companies, cruise liners, oil and natural gas companies, etc. The Republicans have urged the elderly people to join their works in order to keep the economy steady. As expected, such a call has attracted criticism from the Democrats. Although COVID-19 is yet to change the structure of American society, the country may take some Socialist policies if the Democrats manage to win the November polls.
There is a possibility that the post-COVID world, including or the world in the AC, as described by Friedman, will see the rise of Socialism, yet again. Or, may be, the world will find a new ‘reference point’ in the context of the eternal conflict between Capitalism and Socialism. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has already prompted the worshipers of Capitalism to adopt some ‘Socialist remedies’ in order to save the world. Will Bunch, the National Opinion Columnist for the ‘Philadelphia Inquire’, has called it ‘Disaster Socialism’, saying that it would throw a strong challenge to Capitalism in the coming days, and remind the latter of future disasters.
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