Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Climate Change, the New Green Deal, and the Resurrection of Social Democracy and the Welfare State (links)

We did this before (New Deal). We can do it again (Green New Deal). The article shows why the ND and GND are similar as responses to environmental degradation. Most have forgotten what a paroblem this became in the US in the 30s. Kevin Baker refreshes our memory. The present threat is potentially much graver and presents a greater challenge than the Great Depression did, as bad as it was.

Where Our New World Begins
Kevin Baker
ht Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism
Several leading Democratic candidates in the 2020 US presidential race favor introducing elements of a modern welfare state in health care, childcare, and education. Whether a Democrat wins or loses in 2020, social democracy has re-emerged in American politics for the first time since the 1930s.
Castañeda is curiously quiet about Bernie Sanders, AOC, and the Green New Deal. No mention of MMT either. Focuses most on Elizabeth Warren.

Project Syndicate
Is America Ready for a Welfare State?
Jorge G. Castañeda
Human beings are more prosperous and numerous than we’ve ever been, while the Earth’s other species are dying off faster than at any time in human history.
These two conditions are related. But if the second one persists long enough, we will be following our fellow organisms into the dustbin of geological history.
This is the primary takeaway from a new United Nations report on our planet’s rapidly diminishing biodiversity.
It's pretty easy to see the way this is going. First, people think that everything is going so well that the brouhaha over climate change is unnecessary alarmism. No need to react. Then, things start to go downhill. People think that if they cut back, they will lose their lifestyle. Heaven help that. Finally, the vise closes and it is too late to escape its jaws.

New Yorker Magazine — Intelligencer
Humanity Is About to Kill 1 Million Species in a Globe-Spanning Murder-Suicide
Eric Levitz

  • 'Big' government is here to stay - we must make sure it contributes to freedom and dynamism
  • Some of the most open and freest markets also have some of the largest welfare states
  • Social insurance helps the essential free market process of creative destruction remain a positive-sum game
May not be as simple as that, but it would be a step in the right direction anyway. What we are doing now is not working for a large swath of the population, and impending climate change is putting all at risk. That is to say, challenges are emergent and require a fresh approach to addressing them.

1 comment:

Kaivey said...

'Social insurance helps the essential free market process of creative destruction remain a positive-sum game'

I believe this is true. Libertarians believe the boom and bust cycle should run its course and the government should never step in, but then why save, or put money in a pension, when a bust is sure to wipe it all out out? Why invest in anything if it's guaranteed to be wiped out in a bust?