Here we are in Summer 2020 in a coronavirus pandemic with an accompanying severe recession as well as nationwide protests about racism. In other words, we are at a low point in terms of social cohesion and optimism for the future.
What we can do to return to a more normal trajectory of progress:
- Reopen our economy as quickly as possible, with the governors in charge. Of course, the most vulnerable, those with underlying health conditions, need to be protected. But livelihoods are critically important for the average citizen, who will most likely recover if he or she gets sick. The vulnerable simply need to wear a mask when they go out!
- Racism still exists in the U.S. even though it is gradually decreasing. The best way to speed up racial progress is for minorities to develop a greater sense of personal agency. In other words, stop blaming white cultural supremacy and instead take more personal responsibility for one’s own status in life.
- Income and wealth inequality are an inevitable result of technological progress and globalization of commerce, both of which are beneficial to society as a whole. Address the victims of this progress through better education and training in order to create broader economic opportunity.
- In general, adopt economic policies that maintain a low unemployment rate, ideally under 4%, as was the case as recently as February 2020, before the pandemic hit. This is highly effective in providing more job opportunities and higher pay for people with low incomes.
Conclusion. Widespread economic prosperity, accompanied by individual freedom in a democratic society, is the American ideal and has made us the envy of the world. Getting the economy back on track, after being hit hard by a pandemic, will restore the upward trajectory of social progress that we are used to enjoying.