Theory & Struggle

Pandemic economics: The global response to Covid-19

Theory & Struggle (2021), 122, (1), 32–45.


The Covid pandemic has delivered the deepest economic slump since the 1930s and the widest global spread ever. Despite warnings, most governments were unprepared for the pandemic. No resources had been devoted to disease vaccine research and public health systems had been degraded for decades by spending cuts and privatisation. As a result, governments were forced into ‘lockdowns’ of various levels of imposition. Now the vaccines are being rolled out — at least in the major advanced economies — and the expectation is that the world economy can return to ‘normality’. But that normality was already, pre-pandemic, expressed in weak economic growth, trade and investment. And the impact of the Covid slump has left permanent ‘scarring’ of economies. The monetary and fiscal policy tools of governments will be inadequate to restore prosperity for all. We need to reset the economy through public control and ownership of the means of production with a global plan aimed at social objectives, not private profit.

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Further reading

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Author details

Roberts, Michael