A Better Regulated Capitalism

DATE: 2022-01-22

By Philippe Aghion

La Revue Européenne du Droit Vol. 4, Issue 1 (Jan 2022): pp. 170-172.

Date Published: Jan 2022

Covid-19 has pointed to a number of existing dysfunctions that affect capitalism as it is practised around the world. In particular, the crisis has highlighted the failure of the US social model to protect the most vulnerable of its members. Many Americans lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, lost their health insurance at a critical time and fell into poverty. In Europe, and in France in particular, the pandemic highlighted a cruel innovation deficit: the country of Pasteur, François Jacob and messenger-RNA proved unable to produce a vaccine against Covid-19, the only way out of the crisis, and the vulnerability of an economy that had gone too far in delocalising its value chains, including in strategic sectors such as health. In China, Covid-19 showed the limits of a capitalism without freedom of expression, where the withholding of information and self-censorship delayed awareness of the danger of the new virus, which greatly contributed to its proliferation. These limits have thus brutally reminded us of the need to define the features of a more innovative, protective and inclusive policy by combining the strengths of American and European capitalism without accepting the necessity of a dichotomy.

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