Open Thinkering


10 ways to Build Back Better

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.

  1. Distribute wealth by mercilessly taxing people who profit from the labour of others (and/or surveillance capitalism)
  2. Distribute power by providing worker ownership of businesses and public ownership of public goods
  3. Reform our democratic systems by introducing proportional representation to safeguard against authoritarian tendencies
  4. Take steps to integrate marginalised groups within society, and generously fund programmes to ensure this happens
  5. Reimagine education to focus on more on collaboration than competition
  6. Heavily tax organisations that make profits by exploiting scarce natural resources
  7. Ban facial recognition in all but a very narrow range of cases, and regulate it well
  8. Invest in mental health services, especially for young people and those hit hardest by the pandemic
  9. Engage in land (ownership) reform to ensure that the few do not constrain the many
  10. 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?

This post is Day 56 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 

3 thoughts on “10 ways to Build Back Better

  1. 1. This is very tricky. Very small companies already have really hard time to keep one or other people employed. But I totally agree that for large companies. The bigger the company, more taxes to help the very small/poor ones.

    5. That is also a tricky one. Competition can extract the best of the students or the worse of them. Collaboration works, but usually keep people on low profile/small effort. On the other side, it would be great to not have much pressure at all.

    9. Also tricky depending where you live. There are some places that people take advantage of this. It is a culture of asking for land, then selling/giving it to other people and going to other place to ask for land.

    For the rest, I totally agree with you.

    1. Thanks for the comment! My replies:

      1. There’s nothing in the laws of nature to say that we must have companies (of any size) who exist solely to make money.

      5. As an educator, I see competition as a short-term motivator that only really serves long-term to prop up the ideology of capitalism.

      9. There’s the problem of buy/selling land, but also (in the UK) of producing a rentier economy by *never* selling the land. Where I live, the family of the major landowner in our county has owned the land for hundreds of years…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *