I’ve seen plenty of talk about ‘Building Back Better’ over the last few weeks.
Unfortunately, most of the rhetoric has come from people whose ideological and political beliefs conflict with mine, which makes me concerned that ‘Building Back Better’ is going to be used as a friendly front-end for an attack on anyone lacking privilege.
As a small way to counter that impending narrative, then, here are some suggestions on how we can make post-pandemic better than pre-pandemic for most of us.
- Distribute wealth by mercilessly taxing people who profit from the labour of others (and/or surveillance capitalism)
- Distribute power by providing worker ownership of businesses and public ownership of public goods
- Reform our democratic systems by introducing proportional representation to safeguard against authoritarian tendencies
- Take steps to integrate marginalised groups within society, and generously fund programmes to ensure this happens
- Reimagine education to focus on more on collaboration than competition
- Heavily tax organisations that make profits by exploiting scarce natural resources
- Ban facial recognition in all but a very narrow range of cases, and regulate it well
- Invest in mental health services, especially for young people and those hit hardest by the pandemic
- Engage in land (ownership) reform to ensure that the few do not constrain the many
- Ban pension funds from investing in ethically-dubious companies (e.g. conflict minerals, arms manufacturers)
It’s a mixed bag, and comes off the top of my head this morning. Nevertheless, the above is probably quite uncontroversial for the kind of people who read this blog.
What would your list look like?