COVID-19 gives us chance at new economic model

COVID-19 gives us chance at new economic model

The lie that through globalization and the free market we will see prosperity for all

COVID-19 gives us chance at new economic model

In looking through letters to the editor sections of Black Press papers, I am encouraged to see many people wanting to talk about how we can change things for the better, from the environment to society itself, as a result of this pandemic. We must move towards a far more equitable and sustainable world then what we now live in.

All over the world, the environment is bouncing back from the canals in Venice running clear, to orcas returning to Vancouver Harbour, to the thick layers of perpetual smog over many cities in Asia and in India which have dissipated. As factories start up again, yes, these gains will be temporary, but it is my hope that people will see what the world could be like if we move even faster towards a sustainable economy.

I reject the current economic model based on the lie that through globalization and the free market we will see prosperity for all. That is simply not true. What is true is that in sending our jobs overseas, we reduced our own standards of living and surrender our democracies to foreign corporations and their CEOs.

Not that I am blaming just the corporations looking out for the bottom line for the shareholders. I’m blaming short-sighted people who have bought into another lie, the lie that through the lowest possible price we can have a good life. That is nothing more then a race to the bottom. It is what has given us the part-time employment with no benefits and low wages.

I was taught at university about the Keynesian economic model which was far more equitable with its emphasis on the common good as opposed to the current model of predatory capitalism. The year after I graduated, the false promise of free trade with the U.S. was just beginning to be heard.

It cannot be underestimated how damaging it was for Ronald Reagan to have read Ayn Rand who believed — as did her protégé, Alan Greenspan — that anyone who was not the wealthiest in the land were parasites trying to steal money from the one per cent. And the parasites applauded the move away from the common good and condemned themselves in the process.

Let’s bring back the study of Keynesian economics in university and start the push to reverse the race to the bottom. Let’s end globalization which has robbed us of self-sufficiency which has been especially damaging to our security during this pandemic.

And let’s understand that obsessing over a nation’s GNP needs to change. As someone said quite rightly, the GNP measures everything except what is important.

If anything positive can come out of the pandemic it will be a shift in our thinking towards what is important in the quality of our lives, a cleaner and more sustainable world will be the result. It will compound the damage that this pandemic has caused if we just slide back into the old routines once it has run its course. We can do better; we must do better.

Robert T. Rock

Mission City

Letters

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sahtlam Volunteer Firefighters Association has stepped up, in spite of COVID, for a number of charities. (Submitted)
Sahtlam firefighters step up

Sahtlam Volunteer Firefighters Association has a long history of supporting charities

A mobile home fire prompted a quick response from firefighters Saturday around 3:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Mobile home up in flames at Duncan RV Park

One patient burned, EHS on scene

Phaecelia used as a cover crop attracts bees and provides them with high quality nectar. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Cover crops keep soil healthy and productive

We don’t harvest a cover crop and instead dig the tops under when they’re immature and soft

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson Column: Home is where you know your neighbours

My mom has lived at that address for 43 years.

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ in Metchosin

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Most Read