Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/11/15/how-green-new-deal-can-save-joe-biden-and-america
Awesomely well-informed analysis! Should be read by educators and politicians (well, at least those that can read) throughout the nation.
To me, the whole article feels like more progressive wish-casting. This sentence sort of gives away the game:
“Fortunately, the Green New Deal, or something equivalent, can revive Democratic chances in the next election and over future decades.”
Something equivalent is going to be the question. The Green New Deal is just marketing spiel that FOX News, am radio, and OANN have successfully counter-marketed against. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, we aren’t going to get one big bill that does everything, it’s going to be changes to the Interior Department funding and Highway bills that will make the difference. It’s sad to say, but at some point, we have to face up to the fact that lots of people don’t think the way we do.
I don’t see it that way. Summers of 2017-2019, I took my hound all over the US and southern Canada (or Canuckdada, as I like to call it). There were extensive wind farms where they made sense and a lot of other energy/lifestyle-rethinking projects that I saw. I don’t see these reported as much as I would like from the internet and don’t watch the glowbox, but Progress is being made and the economics are looking favorable. Still the human race must quit procreating at current levels and find peaceful paths toward reducing the population. The powers that be do not like the thought of being able to sell fewer gizmos and therein lies much of the resistance to true Progress. Peace.
It completely ignores the fact that the democrats have been the partners of the republicans all this time. And pretends that democrats would want to make this change.
That’s my point though, we are not getting a GND. We are going to get those slow changes that occur when the federal transportation bill is updated to increase federal funding for the installation of electric charging stations at park-and-rides, solar roofs at said park-and-rides, and the like. It’s going to be improved tax credits for solar and wind installation. We are not a getting some society-wide remake of our country, but the incremental steps to move markets toward greener endeavors, a continuation of programs inaugurated or enhanced by the proto-GND the Obama administration did with the stimulus bill in 2009. The whole point then was to create sustainable markets for renewable power, which appears to have been a success.
It is entirely irrelevant whether “the democrats have been the partners of the republicans all this time.” We are where we are, now. And the article precisely does NOT “pretend that Democrats would want to make this change.” Indeed, it suggests that if they do not, they will be obliterated. Imminent death is a powerful motivator. Let’s hope it works here.
The anti-GND party just won down ballot by partly running against progressives and progressive issues. To claim otherwise feels like Republicans in the late 1880s thinking their problems in the south had to do with a lack of commitment to gold-backed currency. The one Democrat who outran down ballot Democrats, including in many progressive districts (AOC’s for example), was Biden. Is there a time we look reality squarely in the face and recognize slogans we really badly believe in don’t make the sale? Now I’m not saying that’s the only reason for down ballot woes—Trump really did get a great turnout—but it’s something to consider.
No. I simply point out the fact that putting all the blame on republicans is stupid. The democrats are also the enemy of the people, and that reality must be acknowledged before we can hope to improve anything.
It seems to me that we should address hunger and dare I say it, the large scale looting of the planet by oligarchs who want to spend taxpayers money on things that make themselves rich, first. I say this because we live under a state of capture that is well beyond most peoples wildest imagination, judging by the proposals I hear people making here. We’re living under a delusional cloud. Especially when we consider that Coronavirus may have ended a long period of economic overexuberance, not just here but all around the world, a shift which may by itself greatly reduce carbon emissions. Also the shift to telecommuting will remove a unknown but likely substantial number of cars and daily commutes from the roads. More than most people realize.
Its been many many moths since I last saw a traffic jam, anywhere, and I live in an area where until recently they were the norm.
But, especially, Consider this. Even as the original New Deal and everything that it did to address a huge depression and innumerable problems which are now returning today, likely permanently, because we’re just so good at saving labor now, and also the globalization makes it easier to import large numbers of workers paying them a fraction -sincve its easy, they intend to do just that.
Don’t kid yourselves.
While we have been sleeping, the original New Deal has been systematically made FTA illegal-
And the little thats left has been put on very thin ice, because its too good of a deal. The underlying root reason is the global marketplace where labor kidneys, human lives are cheap.
Businesses are not charitable instiutions and they seek out the lowest labor they can find that does the job. Throwing tax money at the perceived probplems is not going to create $15 an hour jobs in the US of today because that violates all sorts of trade agreements and ideology and the other countries we have partnered with would call foul if those jobs didnt go to them, after all, we’ve been holding them out as ait for decades while our billionaires got richer and richer.
As they put it those jobs are the payback for the world trade agenda.
I have news for all of us, politicians lied.
All of them.
The kinds of smart policies (from the voters perspectives) we should enact will never happen because they fly in the face of core changes that have occurred behind the scenes.
For exxample, funneling good above market rate jobs to our young people seems to me like an explicit violation of WTO laws we ourselves had a huge hand in writing. Where have people beem the last 30 years? Oh, thats right, the US! Of course.
New good jobs for young people without advanced degrees is exactoly what I mean when I say things that are too0 good to be true are never true.
Just like the kinds of changes in healthcare that we need, its most likely already been taken off the table long ago. Instead, areas like that are being used to effectuate an economic integration of despotic Third World countries we dont want to become democratic, as in really democratic.
Most of them today are basically patronage systems and those jobs will go to give the well connected and educated children of their elites entry into the world of employment.
Remember CETA, where unemployed workers werte paid engage in training progrsms? What happened to it? the WTO is what happened to it. Commitments in adult and higher education have turned things like that into a global industry that governments cant just give away for free.
What countries are behind that the most? the UK and the US.
But at least in the UK there is a lot of writing about. Not so here. People have to look for it elsewhere, the UK and India and Australia. Here there is practically nothing, keeping the entire country in the dark.
Change has been made impossible silently, including make work programs like the ones many are hoping for in GND, I strongly suspect what p[eople want is now either on the verge of being FTA illegal due to deals like the AGP (or GPA) on government procurtement and of course also GATS, as well as regional trade deals like NAFTA (now USMCA) and CAFTA, the soon to be pending TISA and of course the GATS.
illegal by means of creating procurement obligations that channel jobs involving tax money to the lowest bidding international firms,
Visas have been all thats holding it back and that obstacle may soon be gone. This depends on a case now pending before the WTO.
There are innumerable misrepresentations being made about this so called “New Deal” one of them is that it will reduce carbon emissions. It will not, because the fossil fuels are still being mined, sold off to other countries and burned. At the same time, the cost of heating most of the nation’s housing, particularly urban housing will skyrocket if things remain as they are today, the result will be a LOT of currently affordable rental housing in cities being lost. In fact almost all of the affordable rental housing in cities is likely to come under pressure for redevelopment because its old. Although its fairly easy and affordable to retrofit in order to increase its energy efficiency that wont happen. It will be redeveloped, it will be torn down en masse and replaced with unaffordable new market rate housing with a tiny number of allegedly affordable units which will in fact not be affordable to anybody living there today. Hundreds of thousands of families, perhaps more will be pushed out of cities, where they have lived for generations, to areas far away from their jobs, (the nearest places they can afford on their wages. Most of them dont evenh drive so they wont be able to make this transition. They will become homeless. ) This will mean that many people will also lose their jobs. Why will this happen? Because instead of increasing wages we’ve used rent stabilization laws to keep people in their apartments. The going rate for new renters has been rising steadily though. According to neoliberals this is an impossibly ineficient situation. Whats really happening is greed. Lots of new housing thats affordable needs to be built but the international nature of real estate investment and trade agreements has made it so ne public housing cannot be built. Its similar to the situation with healthcare and its so shameful that politicians have hidden it. But this time its likely to blow up in their faces, when they all lose their constituencies to large scale redevelopment. How stupid we are. How naiive. Or is it something worse, corruption?
Why are we sellinjg off our natural gas when thats going to be a disaster for the nation? Because its very profitable, fetching much more elsewhere than it does here. This will also kill a LOT of jobs though. It will also make it economically difficulot to deal with the effects of climate variability. If we look at the tree rings and the fact that ancient forests are still to be found - still standing hundreds of feet underwater on the bottoms of Sierra Nevada lakes, we now have to realize that extended droughts have occurred in the Southwest severe enough to make wate4r evels in lakes much much lower than they are today. To do that it takes extended periods of very very low rainfall. Selling off our natural gas is very unwise and its being done in order to literally loot the nations natural respurces, not for any altruistic or strategic reason whatsoever.
Also, that natural gas will likely go to Asia, not Europe. Europeans energy poveryty problems will remain, with Americans energy poverty problems added to them. When combined with large scale loss of jobs due to large increases in automation and outsourcing/offshoring/guest workers, the result will be a huge decline in homeownership- and renting and a large and sudden increase in homelesness.
When somebody proposes changes these days, you can bet that its going to be bad for people, because like it or not our government and many others are captured by a timy number of very rich people and they are experts at manipulating and stealing from the public.
Natural structural changes, declines in driving and consumption will naturally reduce the amout of carbon used in the US, which is all we can do. Every few decades/centuries there is a large volcanic eruption somewhere that throws the Earth’s climate into a period of abnormal coolness. A year without a summer. We should do our best to not sell off our natural gas, we should leave it in the ground. But that idea is anathema to EXTRACTIVE industries.
We should not do anything that is likely to radically change anything, but thats going to be very had to stop because our billionaires are already counting their momney. Note also that the allegedly huge amounts of natural gas which exist in shale formations are almost certain to be greatly overestimated and much more difficult to extract than most think. (See shalebubble dot org for more info) This is being used as yet another excuse to globalize another industry cutting off yet another source of decent jobs for the millions of us who live here today. many have called these low wage guest worker systems modern day slavery. And one it starts in another service sector it cant be stopped except at huge cost, it becomes a corporate entitlement. A case pending now in the WTO may remove the visa limits, thrusting millions of US workers into direct competition with billions of other would be workers in a race to the bottom. People think it cant possibly happen. Well, this issue has been looming large for several decades, however great pains have been taken by our “servants” in Washington to keep us all in the dark.
People are being manipulated into a trap.
We’d been gavaged, “something equivalent” Friday, here? BS: Geo-engineering, GE monoculture agriculture, carbon sequestration, bio-mass; bailing-out 96 old nuclear plants (I’m wondering just who’s been operating, inspecting and maintaining them, during COVID?) Autonomous OTR trucks (some CNG hybrid/ EV) YOOJ, rentier-operated show piece pyramids, atop all-of-the-above “bridge fuels” an old Enron euphemism for FRACKING, tar-sands/ dilbit, “clean coal” that’s now unleashed the Kraken, “so we’d best grow up and do the pragmatic thing.” Long and short of it: this is why we’ve two right wing parties & NO say? OK, trolls, your turn!
All I’m saying is how can you look at this election and pretend there is a massive upwelling for a GND or that politicians will lose if they don’t push it? There are a lot of Trumpists in this country. They don’t care about this stuff, they vote against it. The one person who did well, better than AOC and Omar did in their districts, was Biden. To me, that suggests repackaging some progressive initiatives in a center way would be better than talking about revolution and some such. Otherwise, the real revolution appears to be a rightwing one. Those are always possible too and currently, there are millions of people who seem perched and ready for one.
Where do I say ANYTHING remotely like that? The “fracking” party (those who’ll profit without repurcussion) WON, again. Revolution’s over, back to your 1099 gig, citizen! I’m in NYC, surrounded by the folks who’ve spent a few minutes a week, checking our portfolios burst at the seams, on these stocks, since April. We’re virtually all life-long Keynesian Democrats.
I guess I misunderstood your comment, apologies.
“Green New Deal” is not progressive, its a means of kicking today’s urban residents (by making their rental homes heating dramatically more expensive) Since their affordability is not permanent, its tied to that specific apartment, and no other, if those apartments are redeveloped, millions of working people, as much as 95% of those living in many cities will have to move, buyt there is no place they can afford if they have to rent new, plus with Coronavirus, many have lost their jobs, they don’t have perfect credit. They cnt pay an extra three or four thousand dollars to the landlord under the table.
So they will have to sell everything they own (or more likely give it away) and move out of their rented homes and a remaking the electoral map, one larger than any in history, will occur.
For what? Something we didnt even need to do because so many fewer people will be working and driving/commuting anyway. I can tell just by the reduction of the DIN in the AIR where I live.
The kinds of spending that went on in the past will also shrink. The money just wont be there.
Also it wont (cant) create any good jobs for young people because those jobs have already been traded off or we’re close to it. Thanks to globalization jobs have become poker chips in a global game.
American workers expect American wages. So trade deals forbid what they call local content requirements. When a big project exists to be done in the US, the labor exporting countries will get those jobs.
Otherwise the oligarch’s unity in fighting the tyranny of majoritarianism would collapse. The cost of money is higher due to money seeking the highest yields, this is putting huge pressure on companies to be more and more profitable which means less and less for workers everywhere. A race to the bottom, as it were.
Similarly, when a real high end project occurs elsewhere, US companies, employing local workforces (since they are cheaper) may get those jobs, if we bid the cheapest.
Automation is also rising rapidly allowing many US companies to bring production home. You may have huge buildings filled with machines, that used to employ thousands, now maybe 25 people work there. they may go the whole day only seeing one or two other workers in these huge spaces. Using electric carts to drive around tending to machinery, that needs very little maintenance.
Internet data centers are like that. Third world countries are pinning their hopes on the digital economy, but nobody has had the heart to tell them, it creates very few jobs!
get the picture? We cant all be You Tube content creators.
These trade deals are what makes it possible for US companies to invest where the yields and profits are highest. The high perceived jobs here are in a sense a sacrifice we’re making for those high yields. This also applies to drugs and drug prices. See the film “Fire in the Blood” you’ll see what I mean.
A global tit for tat is whats displacing our work-force. Of course weve been the last to be told, they don’t want to hgurt profits for foreignb investors. Or they could be sued if they regulated something that had been deregulated, as every deregulation locks in. So basically politicians hands are tied.
Zed, You write, “…the labor exporting countries will get those jobs.”
Please explain how workers in China are going to insulate millions of American homes, renovate the national electrical power grid, install millions of wind turbines and solar collectors in rural America… I fear your pessimism is born more of cynicism than realism.
The WTO and similar agreements have changed everything. Now the remaining red tape - the long-existing obstacles are likely to be disposed of quickly, and the largest transfer of wealth in history, as former DG of the WTO Micheal Moore put it, can commence in earnest. 34 years (or more) in the making…
A historic change, likely to make a great many very large and already quite profitable businesses much more profitable.
According to them temporary movement of natural persons is the future of work.
Excellent piece, easy to understand, job creation well paying jobs, economic growth for all the people and helping to curb global warming. Hurricanes and flooding across the midwest and south and east. Freezing temperatures on East Coast, Wild fires and droughts in the west and midwest and really all over. Bringing normalcy back to our weather patterns.
Are you familiar with the General Agreement on Trade in Services?
This is a good read on this extremely important issue:
Magnitude and possible consequences of labour migration under GATS
by Gintare Kemekliene
ETUI-REHS, European Trade Union Institute
for Research, Education and Health and Safety
One also needs to be aware of the implications of our losing the present case in Geneva.
Which is a relatively recent development.
It simply does not matter, what any of us say. The truth of our honest, actual, stated concerns; or any care and nuance we exhibit, citing or posting substantiating data, by way of verification? There are ever more obvious cherry-picking, repetitious strawmen or red-herrings and ad hominem if we don’t march in lock-step, pretending, “everything is back to NORMAL!” So our demonstrably essential interests, being blantantly crushed by a corporation that used to be our sole defense AGAINST the Republicans, is not permitted on a progressive website (I’d thought it an astute observation on the author’s part) wholly pertinent to this informative article.