Upon retiring yesterday evening, after a long work week, I mused that I would awaken to a new Age of Enlightenment. While this dreamed Age didn’t quite materialize, I have been enjoying my morning coffee while reflecting on the days passed and collecting my thoughts to share with you.
We have recently seen increased efforts to relax restrictions and begin the process of re-opening economies here and abroad. In these trials, we are lacking clear guidance from medical experts, and the risks of re-opening are being seen around the world. I am hoping that this is a two-step forward, one-step backward moment in time, where we will emerge stronger and more united, with new and better solutions for leadership, health care, industry, and international relations.
Let’s have a look at each of these topics:
Leadership. Former President Barack Obama said it best this week, “The folks in charge don’t always know what they are doing.” This is both a rational and intelligent observation. The coupling of ignorance and misinformation is a recipe for disaster. We sincerely appreciate all of our public servants, whose efforts will be far more effective when our leadership admits what they don’t know and unites around an empathic message of truth to provide comfort to our nation.
Health Care. Medicare, Obamacare, and basic universal health care have been amongst the most controversial issues debated in America. There are 32 countries in the world that offer universal health coverage. We have the finest medical facilities in the world, the best and most advanced medical schools, and some of the most talented doctors in the world. COVID-19, as well as all disease and illness, will be more effectively treated when the existing federal, state, and local programs are unified to provide the best healthcare for all Americans. We have the means, the money, and the vision to make this happen, and COVID-19 has heightened this imperative.
Industry. There is now a general realization that companies are able to manufacture goods and provide services with fewer people, leading to a compounding increase of unemployment and underemployment. We witnessed it first with Technology – remember that letter “T” from last week – and have seen it further emphasized in this pandemic. Solution? Companies, in partnership with the federal government, will need to invest in the re-education of the work force. With 36.5 million Americans unemployed, this process of re-education is paramount.
International Relations. The world is more connected now than ever before. It may not be apparent to everyone, but cooperation amongst world leaders is the reality and it is working. The pandemic has brought us together to solve and resolve. But in the face of what is clearly a global meltdown, some Americans are shifting their attitudes away from globalization and towards protectionism. The “don’t buy from China” and “only buy made in America” cries are troubling to me, as history shows time and time-again that this messaging is flawed. We all know that history is our greatest teacher, and we must choose to learn rather than repeat the mistakes of the past. One, interconnected world is our reality, and there is no going back. Collaboration is the way forward, and signs of this are readily apparent to those who are willing to open their eyes and see its positives.
My general sentiment this beautiful Sunday morning is this – by joining together and embracing our shared existence, the opportunities to heal our planet and explore new worlds will accelerate like never before.
As for the current state of the economy and in particular, the real estate industry, we are being buffeted by extreme winds of change. Stressful? You bet. But with change comes opportunity, and for those who are savvy, informed, and confident, the potential for success is unlimited. A new age is coming, and I can’t wait.