The coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, has resulted in a pandemic that is ravaging countries around the world. The infection rates and death rates are rising at alarming rates. In response, countries have ordered their citizens to “shelter-in-place,” which has crippled their economies. And if these problems were not bad enough, COVID-19 carries with it a more insidious problem. While the COVID-19 is often characterized as an “equal opportunity assailant” regarding infection and death, its ramifications hit some populations harder than others. There is an insidious nexus between COVID-19 and inequality. In the real world, the propensity to contract COVID-19 and die from it is positively correlated with the degree of inequality in a society. The elderly, the disabled, the incarcerated, congregate workers (e.g., meat and poultry workers), those living in congregate circumstances, get infected and die at a higher rate than others. Those with underlying (preexisting) health conditions such as pulmonary problems (asthma), diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, the immunocompromised, etc. are more likely to get infected with COVID-19 and die from it. Minority communities suffer from these conditions to a disproportionate degree than their fellow citizens, which accounts for the fact that people of color are at higher risk for developing more severe cases of COVID-19, including hospitalizations, the need for ventilation, or death.
Chapter One of the book, Ensuring Justice, Fairness, and Inclusion in America: Managing Equity in the 21st Century, explores the major causes of inequality in America and worldwide. COVID-19 did not cause inequality, but the two maladies seem to be mutually reinforcing. COVID-19 must now be added to the array of existential problems facing the human race (along with climate change, the crisis of liberal democracy, and the crisis of capitalism). The causes of these inequalities are rooted in the 413-year history of disparate treatment of minorities in America rooted in racism, sexism, and xenophobia, etc. which has circumscribed their livelihood and life chances. This unfortunate history has resulted in inequality of various types: income, wealth, racial, gender, educational, and representational.
Inequality and its ramifications have been with us for centuries. Many have been in denial about the existence of inequality. Many are willing to acknowledge its existence but are unwilling to fix it. The latter group typically fall back on blaming the victims of inequality for their plight or asserting that it is the natural order of things, a corruption of Matthew 26:11 – “The poor will always be among us…” COVID-19 has revealed the underlying inequality in ways that all can see. Denial is no longer an option, nor is blaming the victim. Going back to the pre-COVID-19 status quo will be impossible. No one is to blame for COVID-19; it is a natural occurrence. At some point, we will put the COVID-19 crisis behind us or learn to live with it. However, we chose to create the circumstances that have created inequality, and inequality could still be with us when COVID-19 is gone, or we have learned to live with it. When COVID-19 is under control or gone, inequality could still be with us for the next pandemic to exploit unless we choose to dismantle the machinery of inequality. We have to forge a more equitable post-COVID-19 new normal. EM-P is purpose-designed to dismantle that machinery and create just, fair and inclusive societies (“new normal”). See white paper 006 for more on this topic.
The pre-COVID-19 world is not coming back. We will have to create a “new normal.” We cannot remain in a reactionary posture and have that “new normal” foisted upon us by time and circumstance. So, how do we solve these underlying crises of inequality that the coronavirus exploits so aggressively? We must break the nexus between coronavirus and inequality. In the wake of COVID-19, the attractiveness of populism will grow. Even now, countries are struggling to deal with populism. Coming out of the health and economic crises being caused by the coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease, there will be no going back pre-coronavirus status quo for America nor the rest of the world. Globally, populist pressures have been growing for decades as more people have come to believe that social, political, and economic systems are rigged” in favor of the rich and against the people. Authoritarians have used these populist sentiments to undermine liberal democracy, but COVID-19 is revealing the failings in authoritarian systems as well. There is a populist tsunami coming. It will be ubiquitous, and it will be beyond the ability of any nation-state to constrain.
No nation-state will be immune to the resultant super-populist pressures. Nation-states all along the political and ideological continuum from monarchies to dictatorships will feel the brunt of the rise in populist demands for system-wide changes. A post-COVID-19 new international order is coming; the changes will be inexorable. No amount of repression will be able to tamp it down. Monarchies, liberal democracies, dictatorships alike will have to succumb to the need to modify their systems to make them more responsive to the needs and demands of the people. There is no way to forestall the coming “super-populist age.” If the establishment moves to squash the populist uprising, they will only hasten the day when the people say, “enough is enough.” The more the establishment tries to suppress the populist tsunami, the more the situation will slip through their fingers. The nature of the “new normal” is up for grabs. Whether it will be defined by “positive populism” or “negative populism” is yet to be determined, but it will be populist in any event. See white paper 005 for more on this topic.
It is an axiom in business and government that the primary reason for the failure of initiatives great and small, indeed, of organizations and institutions generally lies in their failure to plan for success adequately. With these things in mind, it is necessary to develop an understanding of the relationship between COVID-19 and inequality. Then it is essential to be bold and imaginative in developing a solution to mitigate the relationship. Finally, it is necessary to create a strategic plan to develop the solution, implements that solution, evaluates the performance of the implementation, and eventually adjust when and where required. So, what would comprise a strategic plan to break the link between COVID-19 and inequality.
The Equity Management-Plato Strategic Plan is comprised of a book, Ensuring Justice, Fairness, and Inclusion in America, seven white papers, the EM-P Blog, and the EM-P promotional gear. Collectively, they are meant to be a “how-to” book and process, and a democratic (small “d”) manifesto designed to save liberal democracy worldwide and to create a new normal in the wake of COVID-19. Collectively, they are meant to be a user’s manual for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in America and similar founding documents in liberal democracies worldwide.
Thus, the only way to break the nexus between COVID-19 and inequality is to mitigate the forces that create inequality in the first place. We must begin to shape that new normal in ways that resolve all of the underlying issues laid bare and exacerbated by COVID-19. If we can muster the courage and the political will to do these things, then we can create a better America and a better world. The strategic objective of the Equity Management-Plato Strategic Plan is to “help create a better America and a better world.” The tactical objectives of the Equity Management-Plato Strategic Plan are as follows:
Help fix broken social, political, and economic systems
Help create just, fair, and inclusive societies
Help create a more equitable “new normal” in the wake of COVID-19
Help save liberal democracy in America and worldwide
This list of objectives is daunting. Trying to accomplish any one of them requires bold and imaginative strategies that would be equivalent to re-imagining and reinventing liberal democracy itself. The Equity Management-Plato Strategic Plan is THE only bold, original, robust, comprehensive, pragmatic, and cost-effective plan capable of achieving all of these objectives (strategic and tactical). Equity Management-Plato comes with an added benefit; it can accomplish all of the tactical objectives at once because the underlying issues of all of these objectives are the same. Therefore, by implementing Equity Management-Plato to achieve any one of the tactical objectives would put us well on the way to achieving them all, and ultimately to achieving the strategic objectives.
The relationship between the strategic and tactical elements of the Equity Management-Plato Strategic Plan are shown in the schematic below. The strategic objective of EM-P is to create a “better America and a better world.” The tactical level objectives of EM-P are as follows:
Fix broken social, political, and economic systems
Create just, fair, and inclusive societies
Create a more equitable “new normal” in the wake of COVID-19
Save liberal democracy in America and worldwide
The relationships between the strategic objectives, the tactical objectives of EM-P are shown in the figure below. By implementing Equity Management-Plato, broken social, political, and economic systems are fixed. By fixing broken social, political, and economic systems, just, fair, and inclusive societies are created; a more equitable new normal in the wake of COVID-19 is created; and liberal democracy is saved in America and worldwide. The creation of just, fair, and inclusive societies; the creation of a more equitable new normal in the wake of COVID-19; and saving liberal democracy in America and worldwide will create a better America and a better world. Implementing Equity Management-Plato to fix broken social, political, and economic systems are purposeful acts. The remaining benefits (both tactical and strategic) are positive externalities emanating from implementing Equity Management-Plato.
With the completion of the Equity Management-Plato Strategic Plan, W&A is reaching out to like-minded organizations, groups, and individuals seeking to establish partnerships with those willing to help implement it. Implementing the EM-P Strategic Plan requires the broadest possible dissemination of knowledge about it. Therefore, W&A recommends that everyone interested in saving liberal democracy does the following: buy the book, buy the gear, download the white papers, subscribe to the blog. Educate yourself on the nature of the problem and the nature of this solution. Join us. Together we can save liberal democracy in America and worldwide.
Washington & Associates, Inc. is a privately held S corporation located in Solon, Ohio. In terms of its mission, it is the successor of a line of corporations. In 1988, Dr. Charles A. Washington, the current President of W&A, had the prescience to see the eventual need for a solution to the crisis of liberal democracy. After thirty-two years of research and development, in several predecessors of W&A, he engaged in developing that solution. Today, W&A is announcing the completion of a mature solution to the problem of fixing broken social, political, and economic systems; creating just, fair, and inclusive societies; saving liberal democracy in America, and worldwide; and developing a more equitable “new normal” in the Wake of COVID-19.
WW I was the galvanizing event that shaped the lives and psyches of that generation. The Great Depression and WW II were the galvanizing events that defined the “greatest generation.” In each of these cases, humanity moved from trying to maintain the status quo to trying to establish a new world order, and better America and a better world. The assault on liberal democracy, a global pandemic, and an economic recession bordering on depression could be the galvanizing events for this generation, and we can finally create a lasting better America and a better world. The coronavirus pandemic can be the galvanizing event (the catalyst) for the active pursuit of that better America and a better world. If it is to be so, then the time to move is “now,” or it may be “too late.” We have time, but very little time to move on to these problems. Failure to move will mean that all we hold dear will die.