Daniel J. Cohen, President of Indivisible Houston and well-known Houston activist discusses the realities of reopening the economy and the false narrative.
Daniel Cohen: The economy was never closed
Daniel J. Cohen visited with Politics Done Right virtually after writing a prescient, “We can’t just “turn the economy back on”. We must adapt.” where he explained,
Economies don’t operate via light switch, and this is not a semantic quibble. Saying you want to “turn the economy back on” makes it seem as though economic activity is in a zero sum relationship with medical mitigation; it’s not. Some economic activity is happening now an will continue. An economy is “on” if there is trade. Trade = an economy. It’s what it is. People want stuff, other people have it, they trade.
In spite of the failure of that metaphor and the fair warning of both economists and health experts about the damage bringing us all physically together could do, the idea of turning something that is already “on” back “on” still persists. It’s a line of thinking that hurts us now and in the future and prolongs our misery. We don’t need to think of the economy as it was before COVID; we need to think of it as it is now and in years to come.
nstead of saying we want to “turn on” the economy, we should *adapt* it. There are ways to create work that is reasonable, and new ways to look at social programs and spending that are reasonable, too. Some of the most obvious elements of the new economy are in the delivery and healthcare space.
Daniel said that we are playing on the turf of the right by allowing them to create a narrative of economies being opened or closed. The reality is we must define the narrative of adjusting them to a reality that ensures all are safe.