The coming carnage of the base economy of the United States is not imaginable. Today’s common estimate of about forty percent never reopening after the early 2020 shut down will be the opening gambit. Huge swaths of big business retail have already declared bankruptcy and shut down. Retail names are owned by hedge funds which own shopping malls. Shopping mall owners bidding for other retail names as they become available scrambles the future for brick and mortar destinations.
There are so many small businesses which are either closed or on the death bed. Small business is a rough game to play in a good economy, it is not worth putting money into when the word depression is tossed about as often as recession.
Think of the local food store or truck or convenience store next to an office building. Security guards may have showed up for coffee or something at the start of the shutdown. But no more as the office building is still closed and plans are to sell it. All the souvenir stores around the baseball stadium have no business. No more are there services that support office workers. How many taxis have sold their tags, if they could have sold them. I see cars with every gig driver company there are in the windows.
What will we see in the future? Even if a vaccine becomes available and the world vaccinated by 2022, what will remain? Consider that the U.S. and Western Europe economies were already moving towards and even away from being service economies.
Finland has been experimenting with a population which is paid a wage and were not expected to work, they were being paid to be consumers by the government. It is better paying than welfare, and they were not putting pressure on other jobs. What will be next? Perhaps twenty hour weeks with pay for forty, there by sharing one full time job with two people?
Republicans go into screaming fits when anyone mentions helping people eat by using SNAP (food stamps). They lose it all into their diapers when you bring up Finland. But, at some point we have to consider what to do when we have machines that are hyper-productive that do not need humans to oil the joints.