A striking new consensus has emerged in the past weeks from numerous central banks and establishment economic institutions like the International Monetary Fund: deficits should not be governments’ main focus right now. The focus needs to be on spending "whatever it takes" to get the pandemic under control. That’s what the grassroots has been saying and organizing around all along: paid sick days, income supports, child care and so much more.
Not holding back on spending has developed a twin idea: if you are going to spend that kind of money, use it to "build back better" (inclusive growth, as per the likes of the IMF, World Bank, OECD, and our very own federal government).
Only a few days ago, this was the mainstream message. But -- no surprise -- within days we saw a consistent well-organized counter-message: fury about “The Great Reset”, with right-wing governments, political parties, and interests groups claiming it’s a power grab by governments, and will take power away from you, the individual citizen.
The question I’m asking is: whose interests are being served by this backlash?
These meta-narratives will be the subtext of our public discussions for the next while, with the fed-prov debates as the battlegrounds in Canada. (What else is new?)
Take care of yourself, and help others as often as you can.
The Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers is supported by the Atkinson Foundation. Find more information here.