A playbook that should govern America’s short-term reaction to the health crisis.
Derek ThompsonI wrote about the 4 new rules of pandemic economics.
Pandemics turn all economic logic on its head. Outdoor activity becomes viral pollution. Deep recessions are necessary evils. Willing workers must be paid to stop working.
Are we winning the war against the coronavirus? The answer to that question right now is simple but infuriating: We don’t know.
Derek ThompsonWe're in a eerie, early phase of the pandemic where the sheer number of statistics gives the illusion of total information.
But most of our data is still flawed or incomplete in critical ways, which makes it easy for bad-faith actors to mislead us.
Derek ThompsonWe'll learn more about this disease's human and economic impact soon.
But in the short run, we are waging war in the fog of pandemic. We have to be patient and careful about interpreting the flood of incoming data.
Derek ThompsonOne of the huge benefits of Denmark's plan to tell firms and families "you're covered through June"...
You cut through the BS straw-man argument emerging on the right that we can't afford to ~indefinitely~ sacrifice the economy to save a few lives.
Derek ThompsonDenmark's plan to save the economy:
1. Discourage layoffs: Offer to pay employers 75% of furloughed workers' wages.
2. Extend living-wage jobless benefits.
3. Guarantee 70% of new bank loans.
4. Compensate some firms for fixed expenses.
If we fail to help them immediately, their crisis will be the entire economy’s crisis.
Derek ThompsonI wrote about the restaurant apocalypse—and how we can avert it.
Restaurants and their workers will be devastated by the pandemic at a time when they have never been more important to the US economy or city life.
We have to save them—and now.
Many businesses, local governments, and individuals are doing what is necessary to beat back the coronavirus—with little help from the White House.
Derek ThompsonThis week was a kind of grotesque caricature of American federalism at its worst.
Many local governments, business leaders, and individuals stepped up and took on quasi-state functions at a time when the executive branch behaved like a failed state.
Derek ThompsonThe most common variable in Singapore/Taiwan/Hong Kong's success in containing the virus seems to be having a public familiar with social distancing tactics and health workers who are very fast+diligent about identifying and isolating symptomatic ppl
Even before the pandemic struck, remote work was accelerating in the U.S.
Derek ThompsonPeople imagining the next few weeks as a potent inflection point for remote work and WFH should think less about Zoom's stock price and more about human experience.
It's a pandemic quarantine. Workers are going to be miserable.
Derek ThompsonI wrote about White Collar America's mandatory work-from-home experiment.
People who said the pandemic might be a useful trial run for WFH will find that for most it is the opposite—a crush of disconnection and desolation during a national quarantine.
Americans need to shift from an individual-first to a community-centered mindset in order to fight the coronavirus.
Derek ThompsonThis is beautifully written and profound essay, which also happens to be extremely good public health guidance.
Social distancing is NOT MOSTLY ABOUT YOU. It is about interrupting the flow of a disease thru social networks.
Derek ThompsonWho can work from home:
29% of all workers
- 10% or less in leisure, hospitality, and transportation
- 10-20% in construction and local government
- 20-50% in manufacturing and education
- 50% or more in information, management, and finance
Derek ThompsonThis new @jameshamblin essay on how to think about our individual contributions to public health and the landscape of coronavirus responses is so clear, so informative, so well-written. You have to read it.
The mayhem wrought by the coronavirus is unique and complex. But there is at least one simple and necessary economic response: stimulus.
Derek ThompsonThe U.S. urgently needs a coronavirus stimulus. I wrote about what it should look like:
- checks to households (NOT payroll tax cuts)
- national paid sick leave
- vastly expanded unemployment insurance
- emergency funds for states
Social distancing is the only way to stop the coronavirus. We must start immediately.
Derek ThompsonThis piece by @Yascha_Mounk seems responsibly radical.
Americans are socialized to respond to crises by snapping back to normal and displaying a kind of consumerist resiliency.
But in the current crisis, "normal" is our adversary.