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US News Books about the Corona crisis: In the crisis, the good, not the bad, comes to light

20:15  12 october  2020
20:15  12 october  2020 Source:   tagesspiegel.de

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Marcel Fratzscher's book makes a plea for optimism. Other economists are also assessing the current situation in the pandemic.

Marcel Fratzscher leitet das Deutsche Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung und ist Professor für Makroökonomie an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. © Photo: imago images / Christian Ditsch Marcel Fratzscher heads the German Institute for Economic Research and is Professor of Macroeconomics at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

The current crisis has exacerbated social inequality within society. Far too many people lose their jobs. Companies perish. The pandemic could block the big issues of this time: climate protection, the design of technological change. Marcel Fratzscher writes all of this in his book “The New Enlightenment. Economy and society after the corona crisis ”. It has become an optimistic one.

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Marcel Fratzscher heads the German Institute for Economic Research and is Professor of Macroeconomics at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In his opinion, there are several reasons to be pessimistic about the corona pandemic. And even more for the opposite. "The majority of society has made great economic sacrifices to protect its weakest and most vulnerable people," he says. The good, not the worst, in people has come to light.

In terms of politics, too, his judgment is largely positive. Mistakes had been made, but nobody had gone through a similar crisis. In addition, politicians have been open to admitting mistakes and adapting measures. This year even revealed that "in times of crisis the state is the only authority that can prevent economic, social and political chaos," writes Fratzscher. He hopes that it will be remembered how important a strong welfare state is.

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The state must invest despite debts

“What was neglected in the stabilization programs, however, is the perspective of the necessary transformation of the German economy in terms of sustainability, climate protection and digitization,” he writes. The blind spot of German economic policy is the great investment weakness. The transport infrastructure is ailing, schools are in ruins. “The German state has been living off its substance for twenty years,” criticizes the economist. Despite the enormous indebtedness of , the crisis should not lead to the state saving even more money.

So many lessons can be learned from the pandemic. You have created a new awareness of science, says Fratzscher. It has become clear that only global solutions can help with huge challenges. “During the crisis, we realize how dependent we are on one another,” he says. Neoliberalism, the belief that the market knows everything better, is being pushed back. Globalization could get more solid.

Robert Koch Institute reports more than 5,000 corona infections for the first time since April

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What will we learn from these days? Fratzscher is asking himself this question rather than giving answers now about what will be different in the long term. How will we look back on this time in 20 years and say: That has changed in our world because of Corona - and that not? “In many ways, this crisis is a wake-up call for us all to realize what is important to us,” says Fratzscher. In addition, with her home office and virtual doctor's office hours alone, she initiated a change that would otherwise have been a long time coming.

Other books are also devoted to the crisis

Writing a book about the consequences of the corona pandemic: Not only Marcel Fratzscher came up with this idea in recent weeks. "How we save our economy - the way out of the Corona crisis" is the new book by Clemens Fuest, head of the Ifo Institute. How does the welfare state manage to combat new inequalities? What danger does the immense debt pose? Will the Eurozone Remain Stable? What will happen to climate protection? That's what it's all about - and the description says: "In his fundamental book, which consistently brings economic and health policy together for the first time, Germany's leading economist Clemens Fuest shows us the way out of the crisis." to solve the euro crisis. ”

In the book“ Neustaat ”, 29 members of the Bundestag and 35 experts analyze how the state and its administration could function better. The entrepreneur

Verena Pausder designs in her book “Das neue Land” a Germany of the future, “which no longer relies on the prosperity of the past, but changes the lives of all of us with new technologies, new lifestyles - and above all new ideas will. ”Will it continue like this soon? Or are we experiencing a cultural change in which everything changes direction and a completely new future emerges? The futurologist Matthias Horx does not make a forecast about this. It makes the reader look backwards into the past that is the now.

Jens Spahn: "So far only developed cold symptoms" .
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