COVID-19 Broke the Economy. What If We Don’t Fix It? – VICE

Instead of reopening society for the sake of the economy, what if we continued to work less, buy less, make less—for the sake of the planet? By Shayla Love Jun 16 2020, 3:00pmShareTweetSnap

At the end of March, Donald Trump tweeted, in all capital letters, “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF.” 

He was referring to the economic ramifications of shutting down the country in order to protect the public from the novel coronavirus, which has now killed over 100,000 Americans. 

Many Republican lawmakers have echoed the need to reopen businesses and get people back to work. In March, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said on Fox News that the economy must be salvaged, even if it meant that older people would “take a chance” with their lives to do so. 

The economy is in trouble. In the first quarter of the year, gross domestic product, or GDP, contracted 5 percent, the “largest quarterly rate of decline since last recession,” reported the Wall Street Journal. One week in May, over 2.1 million unemployment claims were filed, bringing the total to over 40 million—or about one of every four workers in the United States. 

Proposed recovery and stimulus packages aim to get the economy and employment back to where they were before the pandemic. But with everything closed or ramped down, what if instead of putting it all back, we kept certain industries closed? What if, instead of going back to work full-time, we decided to work less, buy less, make less, and not fight to raise GDP at any cost? 

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