As long as we’re shut in, with time on our hands, let’s have a go at this thing, record our thoughts as they occur, a sort of rolling diary of predictions. Please join in and once we bust outta here, we’ll see how much holds up over time.
Today, St. Patrick’s Day, 17 March, 2020, a few ideas to start:
• The Johnson/Cummings U.K. Tories coopted Labour and Lib Dem anti-austerity (at least as campaign rhetoric) to resounding electoral effect. Democratic candidates Biden and Sanders, in being tentative, leave an opening for President Trump to embrace the Universal Basic Income proposal of Andrew Yang and many others on the left.
• As an unexpected side effect, the virus will hasten the eventual adoption of UBI.
• The virus undermines the commercial real estate market. When it becomes apparent how many more functions can be carried out remotely, companies will wonder why they need all those buildings.
• It’s notable how, so far, only our physical selves are constrained. Our online world continues to flourish.
• Suddenly Amazon acts almost as a utility, prioritizing sales of items for the public good over the discretionary. Probably not a position they’d have chosen.
• This is more of a milepost than 9/11. As time goes on we’ll measure everything as B.C. and A.C. Before Coronavirus and After Coronavirus.
• A strong, skillful domestic response, still a possibility, could arrest American decline.
If you have any thoughts, please contribute.
Update, 18 March: Nice to see Tom Friedman is a CS&W reader, even if he is an idea thief. His column the day after my original post.