The Coronavirus, according to some experts, is going to be with us for years. This means that the way we live our lives will have to change. We may have to maintain social distancing, or at least be cautious about interacting with others, for a long time.
How will this affect people in cities?
Many people who live in cities, especially large cities, are extroverts. They like to hang around with other people, party, go to public events like baseball and football games, hang out in bars and clubs, go to concerts and cultural events, and generally be around other people. However, if this activity is restricted, the benefit of living in a city will diminish. Of course many people will still like to live in cities because of public transportation and the close proximity of grocery stores, hardware stores, and other places where the necessities of life can be bought. However, property taxes, city income taxes, and state taxes are higher in states with large cities such as New York and California. High taxes will also depress the benefits of living in a city, especially if the feeling of community brought about by association with others is restricted by social distancing.
Therefore, more and more people may be leaving cities and ruralizing. This will benefit city dwellers in densely populated areas as the population density decreases. Moreover, dystopian futures where millions of people are crowded into high rises and apartment buildings, ruled over by totalitarian regimes, will become less probable. We are seeing this now as the ruthless dictatorship of the CCP in China is beginning to meet with resistance from the Chinese people.
Here in the US, I look for a more decentralized country, with some power moving out of DC and into the hands of states. This is already happening as state governors are deciding when and how to open their states back up for business. Trump has had to concede the issue even though he has broad executive powers during the coronavirus emergency. This will become a political trend of the future.
This development fits in perfectly with our Federal system of government where the 10th Amendment to the Constitution says that all powers not specifically delineated to the federal government are reserved to the states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” States are sovereign entities. The Articles of Confederation, which preceded the Constitution, states that “each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”
We have a flexible system here in the US that can easily adjust to changing circumstances.
Social distancing is easier out in rural areas, where people are spread out more. If some social distancing must be maintained, it’s a lot easier to do it not cooped up in an apartment building, or in close-packed houses in large cities.
I live in a rural area where everyone has an acre of land, and walking is easy. I often meet my neighbors on the street and say hi. It’s a nice way to live.
Look for at least some decentralization during the next several years as the putrid stench of corruption in Washington DC is exposed, and people become more aware of how centralization has led to stagnation, political bribery, and economic power handed to sociopathic elites who have used the system to monetize their own lives at the expense of the people. Look also for populist parties to arise on both left and right, independent of the corrupt establishment parties.
All in all, coronavirus will be looked upon by future generations as the beginning of the end of the old, corrupt, political and economic systems throughout the world.
Decentralization and Coworking Spaces
Coworking spaces are facilities that provide office space to professionals who may not even work for the same company. These spaces are for independent professionals who prefer not to work at home. Before COVID, coworking spaces such as WeWork, The Wing, and Soho Work, were becoming more popular. As the economy opens up the question will be: should professionals work from home, or in a traditional office environment? The folks at Reviews.com have written an intelligent article that describes the pros and cons for these different work environments.