The pandemic has revealed the danger of prizing ‘efficiency’ above all else. The recent slowdown in our lives points to another way of doing things. There’s been a lot of argument about how best to handle the coronavirus pandemic, but if there are two things on which most people currently agree, it’s that governments should have been better prepared, and that everyone should get back to work as soon as it is safe to do so. After all, it seems more or less self-evident that you need to be ready for unexpected contingencies – and that it is better for the economy to function at full capacity. More PPE would have saved doctors’ and nurses’ lives; more work means less unemployment and more growth. But there is a catch to this, and it has been at the heart of political debate since Machiavelli. It is impossible to achieve both goals at once. Contingency planning requires unused capacity, whereas exploiting every opportunity to the full means losing the flexibility needed to respond to sudden changes of fortune.
Leia o artigo de Malcolm Bull em https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/31/coronavirus-economy-change-pandemic