Planning in a Disaster

We appear to be entering a new and terrible phase of this nightmare, where access to adequate health care becomes impossible in an overloaded system.  Our dread and anxiety become compounded by uncertainty about how long this phase could continue–hopefully just weeks, and not (many) months.

Many of our friends, neighbors and our clients have the resources to withstand the loss of work, business, and income.  The sadness we feel for those who do not is a hard burden to bear, and we hope you all find ways to help and support those whose families are truly upended and ruined.  It is difficult to think that beyond our own communities, lay even more vulnerable populations, in dense Brazilian Favelas, slums in India, or overcrowded refugee camps where basic necessities were already lacking.

As the news rightly focuses on the unfolding disaster, we thought to list some concepts and ideas that are worth disseminating, which relate to our job–which is to help families protect, manage and dispose of their hard earned assets in a secure and tax wise way:

  • Huge government intervention (whether timely, or untimely) seems likely and will greatly help business and the economy to recover more quickly, but:
  • The spending will have to be repaid, and even with the return of a less debt phobic policy environment the economy will have to rebound under the burden of higher taxes.
  • These include income taxes, and estate and gift taxes, and the increases will be meaningful

A disaster of this magnitude, like wars and great economic depressions, will foster significant change.  We will assume that such change will be overwhelmingly beneficial, but we cannot rule out societal breakdowns or the rise of extremism in all it’s political and social forms.  It seems likely that:

  • Although it seems naive, our technology and continuing related breakthroughs offer wonderful tools that (used correctly) can help us quickly achieve new levels of human achievement, harmony and security.  Check out Peter Diamondis on
  • There are many young and brilliant women and men around the world who will make contributions like Elon Musk
  • The exponential explosion of knowledge and the capabilities of mankind through new discoveries and applications of technology (in the right hands) cannot be overlooked
  • The real lesson of the pandemic is that closer collaboration and cooperation across cultures and national and geographic boundaries is necessary for the continued success of our species, but the nationalist and isolationist tendencies which are a normal reaction will have to be (and can be) overcome
  • Our political and economic systems are little changed during recent decades, and even centuries, when the world’s population and general level of well being increased drastically (and mostly for the better)=see Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now (2018).  This disaster could foster healthy change and evolution of those systems.
  • New ways will be found to deliver health care and education to more of our needy citizens, and to enable our creaky political institutions to be more capable of providing the governance and security we deserve
  • Our environment can be made healthy again, and our infrastructure rebuilt, if we reorganize our priorities, experiment, and take risks-as FDR did during the Great Depression.  Many approaches were tried, and some of them worked.
Posted in Perspectives, WillPlan Blog.