Interesting post from Ian Welsh.
The upside is that catastrophe brings out the best in people.
The downside is that it takes a catastrophe to bring out the best in people.
The great problem we have today in improving our society, in fixing our economy, is that so many people don’t want to give up what they have.
But what the past 40 years have proven is this: if you lose your job, you’re on your own. If you’re in your 40s and 50s and you lose a good job, you’ll probably never, ever, have a good job ever again. People who are displaced by economic change, good or bad, aren’t taken care of. We have reduced retraining, made welfare and unemployment insurance harder to get, increased university tuition, not made efforts to find or create new, good jobs. We hire foreigners to take over the job of older techies, since they cost too much.
So they grasp tightly to what they have, and everyone fights to make sure that nothing really changes. Each person, with their little or big piece of the pie, fights viciously to keep it whether it’s good for society or not.
…only in extremis,  people realize that everyone is in it together, will they be willing to take care of each other. And only in time of catastrophe, when so many have lost everything, will they be willing to change society.