Normal may not be coming back for a while

I woke up this morning and saw this thread on Twitter:

Essentially, the argument goes is that what life was like pre-COVID-19 is never coming back. Governments around the world are banking on a vaccine roll out to be completed by the end of this year at the most extreme timeline. Based on current trends I find that to be dubious at best. However, it is still highly inconsistent on a global level.

The difference in capabilities of first and third world countries to vaccinated their populations sufficiently is staggering. This becomes an issue in terms of globalisation as the first world often relies on the third world to manufacture it’s goods. Global logistic supply chains will be drastically affected, if not suspended indefinitely due to possible flare ups in the future, of COVID-19. Not to mention the risk of passing the virus to travellers returning from said hotspots to first world communities.

Expecting that in 2022, world travel and life will return to pre 2020 norms is a fantasy. Most likely heavy restrictions will exist for travellers to the point that travel will be for only the very necessary of functions. More impactful will be manufacturing. If supply chains can no longer rely on cheap labour overseas to build car parts or other materials, manufacturing will need to be done domestically. The trade off for that is of course higher labour costs here at home.

Does that mean higher costs for automobiles and TVs? I doubt it, what it’ll mean is increased automation in the manufacturing process. Money is the driver of innovation after all, and if a company can claim to say a product is made domestically but still sell it for low prices, it will be done. Of course the disruption in the labour market is going to be felt hard. This is where the notion of UBI comes into play. An effective and comprehensive strategy to help off set the coming disruptions to the labour market and the economy in the years to come.

This isn’t prophecy, but it is a thought experiment that is plausible. And it is something that we should all start to consider in 2021.


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