Social rights aren't just morally just, they could save us from economic catastrophe.
The Coronavirus has triggered a stock market crash sharper and faster than the global financial crisis. It threatens a depression unless we move aggressively to protect social rights.
Companies with plummeting share prices, or evaporating customers, are prone to individually rational, but socially irrational, herd behaviour. They lose confidence and fire workers. Workers lose income, and spend less on goods and services. This means companies lose more customers. They fire more workers. This is the sinking spiral of every depression.
It requires social rights – social security, voice at work, job security, State aid – to halt this short-term herd behaviour, and spread losses to those who can best bear them. We know our health and emergency workers will do everything to save lives, and – with the right health response – the pandemic can be contained in around three months. But we must also stop the Corona crash becoming a depression, with social rights.
Here’s ten that we can boost right now, all without primary legislation.
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