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Marc Coleman

Unleash Your Potential In the final part of our new Economic Series we speak with world-leading economist Mark Blyth about the future of company benefits and his predictions for 2021.

CEO Marc Coleman presents the UNLEASH Giants quarterly Economic Series, which looks to reveal unique insights and analysis on the latest work and economic trends happening over the next twelve months.

World-leading global economist Mark Blyth is our special guest for a four-part series this month. Blyth, who predicted Trump, Brexit and Biden is also a professor of international economics at Brown University.

In this new episode, Blyth talks us through his thoughts on the future of the company benefits system, and how he believes the economy and the world of work will change in 2021 and beyond.


You’ll want to keep your competitive edge in 2021″

No matter where in the world you’re based, healthcare has been at the forefront of the coronavirus fight. But no more so than in the United States, where the battle has been highly politicized.

“At the start of the pandemic one of the first things I said was, don’t blame Trump for the state for the American healthcare system,” Blyth says. “It was crap long before he arrived. What is remarkable is how well it has held up.

“It has held up in part because of cancelling all the elective surgeries they normally make, and because payments normally coming out of the system from insurance for those things can be focused on COVID as well. It’s also because there’s actually more resilience in the system than we thought.

“But the key thing,” Blyth stresses, “becomes those payments.”

“For employers, and the conversation I’ve always had with CEOs and received mixed responses from, is — why do I need to pay an extra third for all this, and can’t we just pay for it through general taxation?”

Blyth believes the cost structure of healthcare benefits is harming enterprise.

“Why aren’t American businesses, and particularly small businesses, because this is a huge cost and it’s a third of your total cost of labor… why are they not just lobbying for this to become medicare? I do think there’s an inevitability that it is coming down the pipe.”

Big tech is one thing all politicians in America agree on because they give the US a strategic edge over everyone else. Why sink your own battleship.”

Also set to make waves in 2021 is the continuing global battle for regulations for Silicon Valley owned technology, with the likes of Facebook, Apple, and Google continuing to hold the spotlight in spite of their global wins amid the pandemic.

“Big tech is one thing all politicians in America agree on,” Blyth says. “It’s these big firms which give the US a strategic advantage over everyone else. So when it comes to regulation, why would you want to sink your own battleship? That makes no sense. So they need to figure out what they want to do with it.”

Even with vaccines on the way, is 2021 going to look just like 2020?

“I think we’re looking at a better 2022. The light at the end of the tunnel is there and it kept moving away from us — and now with two vaccines, it’s getting closer. But the serious thing is how do we move all the vaccines around? Airlines. There are loads of sectors that are about to come bouncing back.

“We were supposed to be doing this interview in person in Las Vegas. And maybe by 2022 we will be in Las Vegas. Because do you know what? Everybody wants to be in Las Vegas because we’re all sick of this. So a lot of the sectors people thought were done will come rocketing back.

“But certain things are going to change dramatically. There are, I think, big questions over very expensive commercial real estate in global cities. Do companies need to pay for that anymore? The world of work has changed.”

For more on what this new world looks like and how we get there, watch part four of Mark Blyth’s exclusive interview at the top of this article, or recap on parts one, two and three below.

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