Millions of employees have lost their jobs or have been furloughed over the past two months, which led to massive government support in funding the unemployed and furloughed in addition to financing large and small companies. In the US unemployment benefits as well as pandemic related support created income that for a significant portion of recipients in better shape than when they were employed. In Europe, governments are financing the lost income or paying companies to keep employees on the payroll.
What is certain is that some businesses and industries may never get back to their previous state following the pandemic, due to forever changed consumer behavior or redesigned supply chains and business models. Governments have a very important mission to ensure that they are supporting the people and industries that had no chance of survival in these days. However, the question will remain if who should survive in the long run should be decided by these interventions or market forces?
What we learned from many examples in human history is that the less free people and businesses are coupled with lack of a strong centralized state and professionally and unpolitically managed institutions, the less economic growth and innovation becomes available to the society. The best way to handled the aftermath of the crisis will be to keep on strengthening social security and health care systems, but letting market forces decide the winners in the new world of post-pandemic.