Will Some Good Come out of Coronavirus?

Ever the optimist, I have been thinking about long-term positive changes that might come about from the challenges coronavirus has brought us.  Focusing on practicality, I will disregard the opportunities it gave people to think about work-life balance and other potential benefits that are hard to measure.  Here are a few comments/predictions/wishes of things that I hope change due to coronavirus.

  1. Our healthcare system.  It should be known as our “sick care system.”  Do you remember when we were told the shutdowns were going to cause untold numbers of deaths because people stopped going to their doctors and stopped “elective” procedures?  That has yet to happen and I certainly hope it doesn’t happen.  Maybe it will but I am skeptical. We spend way too much money on sick care.  Let’s change the system.  Let’s stop building the palaces we call hospitals.  Let’s focus on keeping people healthy rather than treating ailments.
  2. State and local governments realize there is not an endless pot of money.  They have been largely immune from the competitive forces the private sector faces.  I don’t like it when anyone takes a pay cut or loses a job, but it has been happening in the private sector for years.  A company must adapt or die.  It is about time that our government entities start to feel revenue pressure and cannot respond by increasing taxes or fees.  While the data below represents federal government workers vs. private sector workers, the trend is similar for state and municipal workers.  Private sector wages have stagnated while government workers have enjoyed significant increases in overall compensation.  That is not sustainable. 


3. The dignity of “real work” returns.  Our society looks down upon people who work with their hands.  Without those people processing food, stocking shelves, and delivering food (also making labels!), where would we be?  Let’s start treating them with the respect they deserve.

Out of every crisis comes opportunities for change.  I hope we take advantage. 

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