WebStamp April 21, 2021
Return To Normalcy
US presidential candidate Warren G. Harding's campaign promise for the 1920 election was to restore the United States' to pre-war and 1918 influenza pandemic conditions. “Return to normalcy" was his slogan to bring the country out of a deep recession from a collapsed wartime economic boom and widespread social activism and political reform. Over a century later the world is almost in the same situation being in the middle of a pandemic and surviving an economic downturn.
The 2020 presidential campaign of Joe Biden also used the phrase "return to normalcy" promising to end the divisiveness of the Trump years as well as tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic effects of the 1918 influenza pandemic were actually short-lived lasting less than 5 years. Many businesses did suffer double-digit losses in revenue. Those businesses in the service and entertainment industries were hit the hardest while businesses that specialized in health care products experienced an increase in revenues.
Between 1919 and 1921 real income per capita in Canada fell nearly 15%, however, academic research suggested that higher wages resulted when the economy bounced back quickly. By 1923 per capita incomes were almost back to pre-recession levels and the country experienced an improvement of the standard of living, technological advancement, and economic expansion until 1929.
This time, even with 6 billion more people in the world, we have better control over the devastating effects with better communication, economic support, and health care, none of which were present in 1918. In 1919 the government founded the Department of Health, the Public Health Act was amended on October 16th, courts closed October 18th, facemasks were required on trains and streetcars and on October 25th masks, became mandatory outside.
On October 30 in Alberta, all non-essential stores were ordered to close while some still operated offering telephone-ordered goods for front door pick up. The community responded with free food kitchens popping up and spirited volunteers checking on neighbours bringing them food and water. After all the hardships a century ago, the world recovered with a new normal. Everything became better than it was before with better social support such as healthcare and economic support.
The economic collapse is due to inequality, the mismanagement of money, and greed. Even in a time of crisis, it is all About The Money in this capitalistic economic system where profit over sustainability is the rule. The creation of a system where everyone has enough and no has too much wealth would help bring about the Equalizing The Income Catastrophe. Developing a Universal Basic Income system has the potential to make a difference. Instead of relying on outside sources to provide for our needs, Establishing Self-Sustaining Communities would minimize and reduce the recovery from a disaster.
After this disaster let us not only “Return To Normal”, but a better normal where we work towards Building A Better Economy that is resilient against disasters. Join the M.A.D. Movement and Make A Difference towards improving our future to a more utopian world. It is up to you.
Articles in this Issue
WebStamp April 21, 2021
Return to normalcy -Wikipedia
The Spanish flu (1918-20): The global impact of the largest influenza pandemic in history -Max Roser, Our World Data
Economic Effects of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic -Thomas A. Garrett
The 1918-19 Spanish Flu in Alberta -J. Roberts Lampard, MD, Alberta Doctor's Digest