01 May 2020

Gales of Creative Destruction and the Need for Aggressive Investment post-Pandemic

In the 3Q of 2018, the economy created 67,000 jobs.
In the 3Q of 2019, it created 11,000 jobs.
In the three quarters between, it created 811,000, 525,000 and 182,000 jobs.
That sounds innocuous enough but those are net.

In the 3Q 2019, the economy destroyed 7.3 million jobs and created 7.3 million jobs and the difference between them was this tiny sum of 11,000 jobs. This is what gales of creative destruction look like.

In the last six weeks, 30 million people have filed for unemployment. This quarter the economy is likely to destroy closer to 50 million jobs than it's typical 7-ish million.

What does this mean? To counter this unprecedented level of destruction we will need unprecedented levels of creation. One tactic is to preserve businesses that will hire back once this is over. The other - complementary - tactic is to launch a tsunami of startups, turn cheap money (interest rates are absurdly low) into precious jobs. A third tactic is to literally create new infrastructure, knowledge and industries.

We should stop having infrastructure weeks and start an infrastructure decade - included in that the creation of green energy solutions that hasten the obsolescence of oil. Also, start spending as much research and development for federal departments like Housing, Transportation, Energy, Interior, and Education as we do on Defense.

We have a huge economic problem that will only get more complicated. Like any problem, we'll have to create our way out of it. When you have more destruction, the solution is more creation.

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