Thursday, December 6, 2018

Sandwichman — Is the "Green New Deal" a Marxist Plot

I would add that economic growth is window dressing for what used to be referred to much more aggressively as "man's triumph over nature" or the "control of nature." Climate change deniers are more forthright about this connection between aggression and so-called growth: "Is “Strive on -- the control of nature is won, not given” a controversial statement? What does it mean for science if it is?" asks Linnea Lueken at the Heartland Institute website.…
But I digress. What does all this have to do with economic growth? Again, as Winnicott explained, "aggression that is not denied, and for which personal responsibility can be accepted, is available to give strength to the work of reparation and restitution." However, "[i]n sentimentality there is repressed or unconscious hate, and this repression is unhealthy. Sooner or later the hate turns up." Indeed, the hate does turn up at the Heartland Institute, where the "Green New Deal" is exposed as the "Old Socialist Despotism."
If it fails to acknowledge the primitive aggression of "man's triumph over nature" that lies beneath the reparation of adopting environmentally-friendly policies, the debate between degrowth and green growth risks descending into sentimental bickering about the window dressing in the hotel on the edge of the abyss.
Sandwichman explores the psychological dimension of the green economics debate. What he doesn't go into is the religious dimension. Many oppose environmentalism, whether degrowth, green economics, or steady state economics, based on their interpretation of the Bible.
Then God said, “Let us make humankind[a] in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth,[b] and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” — Genesis 1:26-28 (NRSV)
Is the "Green New Deal" a Marxist Plot

See also
The phenomenon here seems related to the evidence of "income targeting" among some groups of workers; see, for example, the classic study of New York taxi drivers by Camerer, Babock, Lowenstein and Thaler (QJE May, 1997). Evidently, inexperienced taxi drivers tend to work less when the return to working is high, and work more when the return to working is low. This behavior doesn't quite square with the phenomenon reported by my colleague. The effect there appeared to be asymmetric: students reported willing working more at a lower wage, but also reported willing working more at a higher wage. In both cases, however, it seems that the existence of some fixed obligation (e.g., monthly food and rent payments) plus no ready access to credit could explain why workers might be willing to work longer hours when the return to work declines.
I'm not sure if these findings shed any light on the state of the labor market today. But it is interesting to speculate. Conventional supply/demand analysis isn't always the best guide.
Elementary. Most working people have a monthly nut. They have to target that or face loan default and risk their credit rating, if they have one.  Everything above that is discretionary and the choice is between higher income or more leisure.

Working More for Less
David Andolfatto | Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

See also
The real problem is that available solutions go against the economic logic and the corresponding value system that have dominated the world economy for the last half decade—a logic aimed at scaling back (environmental) regulations, pampering the oligopolies of big fossil-fuel corporations, powering companies and the automotive industry, giving free rein to financial markets and prioritizing short-run shareholder returns (Speth 2008; Klein 2014; Storm 2017). Hence, as Steffen et al. (2018) write, the biggest barrier to averting going down the path to “Hothouse Earth” is the present dominant socioeconomic system, based as it is on high-carbon economic growth and exploitative resource use. We will only be able to phase out greenhouse gas emissions before mid-century if we shift our societies and economies to a “wartime footing,” suggests Will Steffen, one of the authors of the “Hothouse Earth” paper in an interview with Kate Aronoff (Aronoff 2018). 
Why “Green Growth” Is an Illusion
Enno Schröder and Servaas Storm

No comments: