2021/Week 5

January is over. Capitol Hill got stormed but America has a new president now. Back home, some said that the protesting farmers rampaging Red Fort on Republic Day was a repeat of the Capitol Hill siege. Well. The good news is that the pandemic is over in India – it may well be one of the first places to get herd immunity – while it rages across the rest of the world. This includes the UK whose government keeps topping itself in its response to the pandemic: a monument to failure.

Covid-19 and the Social Contract

Governments across the world have been grappling with ways to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on economies. Many of whom have resorted to injecting cash into the economy – either into businesses, or individuals, or through increased spending on welfare schemes. Even countries which have traditionally not been high spenders have not had much of a choice but to resort to this behaviour. A recent McKinsey report highlights this behaviour and the ways in which different countries are spending this money. While the report is primarily based on data from developed Western economies, the observations and recommendations are broad and can be applied to other parts of the world as well. 

Debate around universal basic income has been ongoing since the pandemic began, although it remains to be seen how much of this translates into anything meaningful by the end of it, whatever “end” means in this case. The report quite rightly points out that government spending has been reactive – “like a bazooka firing in all directions without the fine targeting needed to address key underlying issues that are driving inequality, particularly among vulnerable groups”. It has been a year now since the pandemic began, and if governments are still not thinking about the systemic issues which haven’t only been made “more visible” but egregiously exacerbated, the chances of anything changing simply don’t exist. 

COVID-19 has revived the social contract in advanced economies—for now. What will stick once the crisis abates? (McKinsey & Co., 2020)               

Other stuff worth reading

Why All the Warby Parker Clones Are Now Imploding

If, like me, you feel there’s something a little not right with chasing after that elusive single horn on the forehead on the back of VC investment, you will find this interesting

Websites? Yep, they’re bad for the planet too.

It wouldn’t have occurred until someone asked if websites are polluting too. Yes, they are although the extent to which they do make an impact isn’t known. Yet. 

Stress is real, my friend

Yes, you have heard this a million times before. But trust me when I say this from experience that stress doesn’t show itself only as elevated blood pressure or an impending heart attack. There are many other ways in which it can end up affecting you physiologically. Some of which can be as harmless as allergic reactions, but there are others which may not be as benign. It’s a tough time to be living through, managing (or finding and developing, if you’re like me) work, getting food on the table for your family…just getting by each day is a challenge for so many of us. For the sake of your loved ones, for the sake of what you love, try to find that thing which helps you let go of some of that stress. Whatever you are working for won’t mean anything if you aren’t fit enough to do it, or worse, if you aren’t around any more.