The end of the pandemic that led to an unprecedented global crisis enables countries’ governments to restart their economies by learning from what they experienced through the crisis, always taking into account the potential of each economy they manage.
The changes can be neither immediate nor excessive. The aim is to change the direction of politics with the expectation that in a few years the traffic of the economy will have changed. Determinants are the flexibility of citizens to adopt the new and adapt to new data, the willingness of the business world to align its profitability with the public interest and the readiness of the public sector to modernize its operations at the right time.
There are two options available after the end of the pandemic. In the first case, the economy comes out of the intensive. The supply of “oxygen” in the form of subsidies is gradually withdrawn. However, the economy is recovering, having to face budget deficits and high debt, two conditions that are holding back growth and modernization. The result is the re-opening of the previous model together with the existing economic pathogens in the case of a country. This means low productivity, tax evasion practices, wasteful and inefficient state, lack of social services and once again the old prevails over the new.
The second option leads to a new development model and more specifically the digital age has already come and been installed. Digital communication through interpersonal media that was now covers a wide range of communication between citizens and retail and wholesale market services and all kinds of activities, such as online teaching, financial and banking transactions, and even telemedicine.
New technologies provide transparency and efficiency while saving productive time. This is just the beginning. Used properly, they provide a complete operating system that analyzes data, reconnects information, streamlines decision-making, and creates archiving systems that are the foundation of all advanced economies and societies. The digital economy and management function is what is needed and not digital communication.
The new EU budget aims for a green, digital, competitive economy that promises a quality distributed prosperity. This is an opportunity for the less developed European economies without this meaning that it is not an opportunity for the advanced European economies either. At the same time, new forms of work arrived faster than expected.
We are heading to a wonderful new world with new digital technologies and automation reducing the demand for work in many areas. A restructured public sector will be more efficient with far fewer employees. The production units will drastically reduce their workforce. The labor force in the services and retail sectors will shrink, reducing their operating costs as a survival mechanism.
Upcoming changes lead to new forms of work that require new skills with new earnings. The orientation of the school system should be non-academic at all levels of education. There should be a strong link between education and the workplace. A standard education system should be created where in the near future it will be the skills that guarantee income and not a university degree in general knowledge.
Even the minimum wage should be linked to the acquisition of skills leading to certification and professional protection. At the same time, the legal protection of distance work as a regular job must be strengthened, which will guarantee all insurance and pension rights. This is where the dangers of undeclared work come in.
Other opportunities emerging through the pandemic are the expectation that we will see the growth of domestic productive activity in all countries, as protection against supply chain operations and the rising transport costs brought to the fore by the pandemic. These perspectives call for a review of craft and perhaps industrial production projects, especially at European level of cooperation.
But there are other expectations that are prohibitive and should not be met. The fact that interest rates will remain low will motivate governments to borrow beyond their means. The dangers are known. Maintaining a large inefficient and wasteful state should cease to exist.
A modern policy mix based on the principle that the wealth you produce before you distribute it and not the other way around, should be applied in all countries. We must also realize that the economies before the pandemic were not really viable, nor were their societies inclusive. The societies of the future must abolish these two conditions. Citizens need to realize that the convergence of all economies must be an example of a viable alternative policy. we must say that it is not bad to implement things and policies that have proved successful in other countries.