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The Pandemic Demands an Economic Reset

Mar 25, 2020

In the GFC, the government bailed out the banks to save mortgages on homes. Now, the government must bail out businesses to save employee incomes. First a financial meltdown and now a health hazard, both dire enough to threaten global economic collapse.

The central issue that has been exposed a second time is that the economic system does not provide for society’s need to thrive and flourish. The structure of capitalism within which we live today, something that is created and strengthened by governments and therefore their responsibility, has led to:

  • Increasing poverty, the rich get richer while the poor get poorer
  • Most people live from pay-check to pay-check
  • The gender pay-gap and systemic bias leading to women being significantly worse off
  • Houses are not affordable even when you are paid a ‘living’ wage
  • The food chain is so toxic as a result of giving priority to profit rather than physical health that most people are now obese
  • This puts more pressure on the health system which is really a hospital system
  • Both parents need to work full-time to cover the costs of raising a family emptying the community of resources and love

It is right that government must bail out businesses because they are the architects of the economic system. I also venture to add that the economy is a matter of agency, masculine of character, and society is a matter of community, feminine of character. It is no accident that the overriding governance by men over centuries has led to an economic system that is so out of balance that it is very easily toppled. Only the very rich have money, a security cushion. The rest of the world is in dire straits.

The political parties of the day should not be vying within the economic context of those with power i.e. business owners, senior executives and the wealthy, and those without i.e. most employees, freelancers and beneficiaries. Liberal and Labour, Republican and Democrat. They are each just two ends of the spectrum of self-interest that is the outcome of our current Keynesian capitalist economic system. They compete for the middle votes to win office and then uphold the current system making incremental changes.

The central issue is that the structure of the economy itself must change fundamentally to meet society’s needs to lead a more sustainable, healthy and equitable life on earth. This demands a more balanced, community oriented, dare I say it, feminine character, to integrate the needs for security and belonging. If people cannot thrive and flourish, surely the system within which we live needs to be redesigned. Options are:

  • A universal basic income for everyone – this will also reduce crime
  • A 30-hour work week to enable flexibility from 3 long to 5 short working days
  • Non-transferable maternity and paternity leave of at least 3-months each
  • Working from home or in a community hub to alleviate transport to urban centres
  • Government can build affordable housing across outer regions as work decentralises
  • Limit the strong hold that the stock exchange has on investment funds
  • Governments invest in land and housing instead to realise long term returns
  • A blended free digital/community stage-based student-led educational system that ensures equitable opportunities for all regardless of location
  • Much higher food regulations and a resurgence of farmers’ markets offering fresh produce to support vegetarianism and regain our health
  • Stewardship of the environment so that water and air are clean and clear for all of life
  • Much greater respect for animal life so that viruses are not incidentally created

These types of policies would bring a sense of security back to society, a sense of community back to outer regions and enable families to thrive and flourish. The environment becomes healthier, and if we also shift towards local fresh produce for our nutrition and revere animals rather than farm and test with them, we will become a more sustainable, healthier and more equitable civilisation where everyone is able to thrive and flourish.

The leadership required to redesign the economy so that society can flourish can only be exercised by leaders at the mature fourth person perspective of 4.5/Synergist, They integrate the masculine and feminine, economy and society, and are able to lead bold transformation of the interconnected systems within which we live. Synergists make up less than 10% of the executive population and they have only been increasing at the rate of 1% a decade. Most leadership development programs are also stalled in the current systemic paradigm.

Time for your own reset? Actions to consider:

  • Vote for a party and leader who promises to bring in transformative change
  • Transform the way you live to balance home and work with your partner, work digitally and live in an outer region to enjoy a more prosperous, healthy, community-oriented lifestyle
  • Put health first, become a vegetarian (even a flexible one) and only buy local fresh produce, not processed packaged goods
  • Take time for exercise, fun activities, holidays and perhaps even build your own small sustainable business to provide you with long term economic security
  • Invest in your vertical leadership development to 4.5/Synergist so you can exercise a greater leadership role in your workplace, community and nation

In my experience, the universe does things in threes to send the point home if we don’t listen the first two times. If we don’t make systemic changes, what will the third calamity be, and will the governments still have the wherewithal to bail us out a third time?

Antoinette Braks


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