Before you cash that $1,200 stimulus check Congress may send to you over the next few weeks, read this first. A briefing from Futurist Chet W. Sisk.
When the Great Depression hit the US with the force of a series of nuclear bombs in 1929, Herbert Hoover was the US President. He will forever be remembered as the creator of "Hoovervilles"....giant swaths of shanty towns with poor people in DC and across the country. They were created because of Hoover's inaction in the face of economic crisis. The great myth, however, is that the next president, Franklin Delanor Roosevelt (FDR) swooped in to save the day, enacting a series of "save the worker" measures and legislation that brought the economy roaring back from crash.
That would be an inaccurate telling of the story.
10 years into FDR's tenure as US President, the US still had massive unemployment (over 14%) and still was in the middle of the Great Depression. What changed was World War II. The US expanded it's capacity for a war-time effort and immediate put people to work, while building out infrastructure, companies and neighborhoods. This is an extremely important comparison to make right now as the US and the rest of the world stands at the edge of the abyss, thanks to the providence of COVID-19. The lesson from then for us now is to recognize that providing $1,200 measures to people who may be out of work for 6 months or longer will not save the economy.
That's a gesture. A meaningful one for those who have nothing, but not enough to deal with the enormity of the crisis.
But just like back in 1940, we too have a World War II crisis unfolding in front of us. It's called Climate Crisis. Instead of putting tons and tons of government spending and investments in defeating Nazis, that energy must now go into making sure the world doesn't collapse due to our CO2 emissions. No matter how incomplete the Green New Deal may be, COVID-19 has now made the GND a viable and serious answer to the crisis in front of us. This is where infrastructure development, job creation, neighborhood reinvestment and business innovation takes place. The Green New Deal platform has the triple duty opportunity of keeping us from completely imploding economically, saving the planet from the worst ravages of climate change, but also to help us re-imagine the immediate future into something greater, better, and more profound.
So before you cash that check, make sure you ask yourself the most important questions --- are you getting your money's worth for all of the time and sweat equity you put into this economy? Is $1,200 per person going to be enough to get us out of this mess over the next year? My personal belief is that, we can do better than that. Get your check. You deserve it. But it should be a note of promise of something bigger and braver in the works.
If we're big enough, we can thrive and succeed at a time that requires us to become our greatest selves.
Chet W. Sisk
Chet W. Sisk is an author and one of the world's leading Social Futurists. He is also expert on the current world paradigm shift. Find out more about him and the LEAD Global Team at www.leadtheshift.com or you can write him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org