I’d like to explore variations on personal decisions that would activate the economy in alternate ways. I propose popularizing collective tactical actions to decentralize crisis management, (as a polar opposite to authoritarian execution, much like in China). Do this in order combat an incoming economic slump by reorganizing the productive capacity. A trully cooperative effort that could minimize the impending impact. Let’s explore the economic facet of cooperation and making decisions for the benefit of the group.
In short, we are in shock. Time to wake up. You, yes you. Time to hustle.
First things first. Health takes center stage. Taking care of ourselves, our loved ones and our peers is the prime directive. First thing to do is, inform yourself thoroughly from credible health authorities on the situation. When I say thoroughly, I mean meticulously. Avoid outside information. If you study and understand what is going on, you will be able to discern which activities are safe and which are not. This is crucial. You must learn how the virus spreads, its incubation period, what are the best practices, what are the current mandates. New measures are in effect. Comply.
The economy comes second, to most. Healthcare workers are busy. Do not get in the way. Follow their instructions and focus. They are under incredible stress and do not care about the economic situation. Nor should they. You can take on the economic aspect.
At the moment leadership is unavailable. We would benefit from a bottom up policy, this is a pseudo framework to develop one. Currently, there is no overarching strategy other than, see the current structure fumble another blip of neo-liberal casino economics.
Let’s make our own plan.
Let’s get not bogged in philosophy and jump to examples. Let’s talk about intelligent consumption. Actually in this moment, my truck needs to be fixed. The breaks are spongy and I am a bit troubled to take it to the highway in such conditions. Perhaps this would be a good time to send it to the shop. The shop will probably operate at a limited capacity but it should be able to continue working without exposing the workers to added risk taking new measures involving respirators, eye protection and a behavior protocol. We have an incentive to both operate the shop and consume its services at this moment.
A bad example of consumption would be freezing liquidity on toilet paper. There is clearly enough toilet paper to go around, we do not have an embargo nor are we facing a hurricane. If you bought ridiculous amounts of toilet paper, give it away for free. You are ridiculous, you live in America. Behave yourself.
Let’s do an example on economic contingency. If you practice a different economic activity for sustenance. Say a tattoo artist. This is an activity that I would recommend suspending. But lets say you happen to be a mechanic as well. Alas. You could do some mechanic work at home and avoid doing tattoos at the moment. I would love for someone to take my 92' 1500, I’ve heard they are a dream to work on. You can easily work by yourself on the car. The virus is spread by proximity, a tattoo is a dangerously interactive activity therefore must be avoided.
Example on passive cooperation. If you don’t have any mechanic skills but fir some obscure reason happen to have an automotive lift. This would be an ideal time to lend it. Think of the resources you have available. Many of those resources you cannot put to use. Hording resources is highly detrimental in a time of scarcity. Consider the benefit of the group. It is in your best interest, you can do the math and check yourself. I understand this is the hardest to sell but take it as a strong advise.
A more general example is to try and work around the situation. Massive quarantine tends to lower the demand for fuel. If you participate in an economic activity that is benefited from low traffic and theoretically lowered gas prices. Perhaps now is the time to catch up with re-arranging your warehouse or delivering those back orders. Some economic activities are safer to perform. Luckily logistics is one of them.
We have to use judgment, our leadership is lacking. Which is fine, expect no help. I guess what I am trying to say is some people choose not to loose. I believe it to be sound advise. Avoid being greedy, do not benefit by hurting others. Our personal decisions can help shape how this will impact us all.
Consider having an industrial spirit and take care.