Opinion: Can’t blame virus alone for failed businesses, colleges, food supply chain - Tom Evslin, Fractals of Change

The institutions that have collapsed as a result of Covid-19 were already well on their way to failure. The virus just gave them the final shove. What can be learned from this?

“The novel coronavirus didn’t kill J Crew, Nieman Marcus, or J C Penney; it only gave them a little shove. Their business models were broken and failing before C19 came out of the bat cave. Neither recovery energy nor recovery money should be aimed at resurrecting them as zombies or protecting others like them who will likely fail soon. Their demise makes room for new businesses and new business models just as winter clears the deadwood to make room for spring growth.

Four colleges closed last year in Vermont before anyone here even knew where Wuhan was; they were done in by a lethal combination of demographics, over-pricing and over-building spurred on by government loan program, and their failure to prepare their graduates for even the best job market in decades. The virus will probably give other colleges the final push into oblivion, but it won’t deserve the blame for their demise. Higher education (in fact all education) badly needs to be reinvented in the US. That reinvention will be retarded by any attempt to go back to the old normal. We may have learned some of the ways education can change from our forced response to the virus."


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  • wm Nails
    commented 2020-05-28 11:47:08 -0400
    The “virus” didn’t lock down the economy, the politicians and experts made those bad decisions.