A group of U.S. economists, academics and policymakers say the Covid-19 pandemic is an opportunity to fix the economy — and the planet — for the long term.
If we’re going to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, then let’s do it in a way that shakes up the status quo. This is the message that a group of U.S. economists, professors, and veterans of the last financial crisis sent in a letter to Congress yesterday asking for “green stimulus” legislation to jump-start the economy in a way that controls for climate change and poverty.
They are asking for a $2 trillion commitment for programs that will create living-wage jobs, amped-up public health and housing sectors, and a pivot away from a fossil-fuels-based energy frame. Under their plan, the stimulus would automatically renew every year at 4 percent of GDP, or $850 billion annually, as well as give the public more of a voice in whether — and how — large-scale corporations would get bailouts. For now, the coalition recognizes that the focus should be on stopping the spread of coronavirus and mitigating all related health risks.
“However, we can do all the preparatory work now to make green projects are ‘shovel ready,’” the group said in its open letter. Legislative action and planning work now “can ensure that physical projects can commence as soon as it is feasible to restart major in-person work across the economy.”