It could be argued that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a challenge of which lies an opportunity. The conventional system of free market capitalism found established under consecutive neoliberal regimes in the UK has fared badly due to its ineptitude to plan contingency, and factor impact for events such as these. It is reflective of a great deal of short termism, particularly in the private sector with its fundamental driver of profit maximisation. The pandemic has laid bare the inadequacies within the free market, and the consequences of austerity in the provision of public services. The substantial interventions of government, anti-thesis to a neoliberal system, signifies the need for a return to government involvement. Government has been needed to facilitate moral action, to offer stability and drive our recovery. The free market is unable to achieve this on its own.
Though here lies the opportunity. Government must do what it can to steer how the recovery is conducted. Allowing business and industry alike that may not have survived such a pandemic to end would allow rebirth in new forms which government can incentivise with support of sustainable and socially responsible objective: a reallocation of capital if you will. COVID-19 has allowed us time to reflect on our practices and how we conduct ourselves, it has shed light on our apparent lack of long-term planning, of our reaping of the now without thought of the future, it has shown a great inequality in society, in particular extremes in wealth. It has brought the reality of the likes of climate change to our doorstep and provides us a great opportunity to change this modus operandi.
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