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It’s Still the Economy, Stupid

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/21/its-still-economy-stupid

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The youth are energized and for the most part peaceful. Very good signs. They are gravitating to the Progressive Voices. This terrifies old money, as it should.

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James Carville: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Me: “It’s the stupid economy.”

The necessities of life–water, food, health care and shelter chief among them–having been commodified, the capitalist system guarantees that there will be winners and losers, and the “two-party” system guarantees that the winners will never allow the losers to change this.

We will never rise to our full human potential until the necessities of life are freely available to all as a birthright.

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Anybody who objectively seeks to “address the basic issues of a structurally failing economy for all races” will conclude that the only meaningful first step response is to restore all New Deal regulations and programs that have been dismantled since 1978, AND reverse all IRS income tax revisions put in place since 1986. The second step is to enhance those regulations, programs, and taxation to adapt to the current environment.

Short of those actions…we are just putting a band aid on a severed leg.

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The author raises some excellent points.

One area that he did not highlight when speaking of the “economy” is overconsumption and endless growth on a finite planet. It would be nice if all articles on the economy were prefaced with: #1you can’t push for infinite growth on a finite planet. And technology will not save us.

Any progressive voice (and that includes Dean Baker) speaking of the “economy”----imo----should never leave out nonhuman life forms on this planet that are affected by human behavior/beliefs including the suicidal, omnicidal, ecocidal belief that we can continue to consume and “grow” on a finite and now very ill (due to humans) planet.

What is written in this recent piece below cannot be overstated:

h-ttps://phys.org/news/2020-06-overconsumption-growth-economy-key-drivers.html"Recent scientists’ warnings have done a great job at describing the many perils our natural world is facing through crises in climate, biodiversity and food systems, to name but a few," says lead author Professor Tommy Wiedmann from UNSW Engineering.

"However, none of these warnings has explicitly considered the role of growth-oriented economies and the pursuit of affluence. In our scientists’ warning, we identify the underlying forces of overconsumption and spell out the measures that are needed to tackle the overwhelming ‘power’ of consumption and the economic growth paradigm—that’s the gap we fill.

"The key conclusion from our review is that we cannot rely on technology alone to solve existential environmental problems—like climate change,biodiversity loss and pollution—but that we also have to change our affluent lifestyles and reduce overconsumption, in combination with structural change.

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Don’t you really mean “it’s the people, stupid!”? Sort of opposite of “the economy”.

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Actually, the Carville did become a popular maxim. That’s why we remember it.

What Boccardy addresses here is the hierarchy though, isn’t it? Maybe that is not all so different. What does money measure besides iniquity? Surely it does not measure wealth or production or value, let alone justice or merit. But it does more or less measure what resources and services a person will be allowed to access.

The rich kick the poor. Then the poor kick the poor, trying to be rich. It’s not as though there weren’t a better way.