Can coronavirus bring economics back down to reality?

A lesson in the importance of real resources

An expensive steak.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

The coronavirus is going to teach — or, to be more precise, reteach — some hard economic lessons. One of them is probably going to be the need for policymakers to focus on money a bit less and real resources a bit more.

The most obvious example here is the sudden retreat of "how will you pay for that" rhetoric in the face of the crisis: Though the austerity hawks are trying to get their voices heard, Congress has dumped trillions in aid on the economy in a short time, with little debate — either internally, or in the media or the public — about "where the money will come from." Instead, the focus has been on practical concerns and material needs, like masks, gloves, and ventilators.

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