Alliance Board Members Offer Concerns and Solutions in the COVID-19 World

Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Francis Fukuyama, Antonio Weiss, and Richard Ravitch

In three recent op-eds, Volcker Alliance board members Francis FukuyamaAntonio Weiss , and Richard Ravitch share their perspectives on and solutions to challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Read excerpts below, or find the full articles in Foreign AffairsCNN Business, and the Wall Street Journal.

The Pandemic and Political Order: It Takes a State

By Francis Fukuyama

Major crises have major consequences, usually unforeseen. The Great Depression spurred isolationism, nationalism, fascism, and World War II—but also led to the New Deal, the rise of the United States as a global superpower, and eventually decolonization. The 9/11 attacks produced two failed American interventions, the rise of Iran, and new forms of Islamic radicalism. The 2008 financial crisis generated a surge in antiestablishment populism that replaced leaders across the globe. Future historians will trace comparably large effects to the current coronavirus pandemic; the challenge is figuring them out ahead of time.

It is already clear why some countries have done better than others in dealing with the crisis so far, and there is every reason to think those trends will continue. It is not a matter of regime type. Some democracies have performed well, but others have not, and the same is true for autocracies.

Read the full article in Foreign Affairs.

 


To save the US economy, we need to save jobs. This program could do that.

By Antonio Weiss, Mark Zandi, and Jared Bernstein

Nearly one-third of American workers have taken direct financial hits from the Covid-19 pandemic through lost jobs, lost hours or pay cuts. And the resurgence of infections is causing businesses to shut down again in many parts of the country. It seems likely the job losses will resume, unless Congress and the administration act quickly to provide substantially more financial support to businesses and households.

Lawmakers must rethink how they provide this help to address a critical element missing from the policy response thus far: restoring and preserving jobs.

Fortunately, there have been several proposals from both Democrats and Republicans that could do just that. These employee retention policies would provide hard-pressed businesses with funds to rehire and keep workers on their payrolls. They would also defray a portion of operating costs, so businesses are ready to snap back into action once demand for their goods and services revives.

Read the full article in CNN Business.

 


Blue States Deserve Money From Washington

By Richard Ravitch
 
They’ve long subsidized red states, and they can’t afford to bail themselves out.
 
The public hears a lot about the spread of Covid-19, massive unemployment, and risks of reopening the economy—but not nearly enough is being written about the staggering revenue loss that cities and states are now experiencing. This shortfall is estimated at $600 billion to $1 trillion between now and 2022. That will have a dire effect on the 22 million state and local government employees who work in health care, education, police and fire protection and other essential services.
 

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