Market and Social Collateral Damage of Wuhan Coronavirus
When millions of people in China and abroad are confining themselves at home because of the coronavirus epidemic, they are taking time off the rat race and thinking about the real meaning of life. But can the free market deal with such an epidemic when it calls for minimal government? And when there is huge disagreement over what to do in a panic, can a fully democratic government deal with new crises that are unprecedented in recent history? The recent debate in the West whether democracy is failing stems from increasing disillusionment with what the neoliberal order promised and what was delivered. In Social Contract in the 21st Century, McKinsey Global Institute has just published an excellent survey on what has happened to workers, consumers and savers in 22 advanced economies covering 57 percent of world gross domestic product. The neoliberal order preached free markets, individual freedom, human rights, rule of law and electoral democracy-essentially government of the people, by the people and for the people.