Last week, I wrote about the need for a public infrastructure banking system for renovation of libraries, roads, schools, roads, bridges and any other public projects. The beauty of this public banking system was bypassing the need for short term profits, stock buybacks, and stockholder’s patience.
Today’s Part 2 will attempt to connect transitioning from a 20th century carbon-based economy to a 21st century Green New Deal.
In Article I, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, Congress has a responsibility to create and manage the nation’s money supply. We need to restore economic sovereignty back to the People and to reclaim the power to issue money.
Commercial banks seem to have NO accountability to the public because their job is to maximize profits for their stockholders. (See Crash of 2009, no CEOs of the major banks went to prison for multiple violations of federal banking laws.)
We also need to acknowledge that externalities in our economic system must be paid for. An externality is a positive or negative consequence of an economic activity on a third party. For example, pollution from a factory negatively impacts the health of residents, or a well-educated workforce increases the productivity of workers. When externalities like floods, fires, hurricanes, sea rise, droughts, blizzards, and tornadoes occur, the taxpayer is on the hook to pay for it. Many of these have a direct link to climate change.
When increasing greenhouse gases, carbon and chlorofluorocarbons, and climate change are added to the equation, the above externalities are compounded, and we need to act NOW. The clock is ticking.
We cannot leave our future in the hands of the mythological “3 Sisters of Fate” who spin the threads of human destiny, allotment of misery, and the span of our lives. Many citizens are taking a fatalistic approach and ignore or hide from obvious signs of danger.
We have been told by Republican politicians, right wing talk-radio hosts, and gas/oil lobbyists that the private sector and markets can fix it. According to the Republican party line, this is a natural occurrence that will be “fixed” by Mother Nature. No need to worry!
But science tells us that a “Tipping Point” is close at hand.
Last week, Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, Massachusetts and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY introduced a Green New Deal resolution.
The goals are:
1) Net zero greenhouse gas emissions
2) Creating Green jobs guarantee (electric vehicles, solar, wind, conservation, biofuels, sustainable forests, geothermal energy, recycling, water conservation, and sustainability in general)
3) Clean air and water legislation incentives
4) Decarbonizing electric power*
5) Decarbonizing transportation and industry*
6) Restoration of ecosystems
7) Upgrading buildings and utility grids
8) Transition plan for incremental change
*Decarbonizing is the removal of carbon-based fuels from the process. An example is electricity by solar.
Polls show that there is a growing concern and acceptance of the climate science that links increased greenhouse gasses and climate change.
64 percent of Republicans believe there is a problem up from 15 percent just three years ago.
51 percent of Republicans believe that the government should address the causes of climate change.
But the Republican Corporate Lobbying and Election Money Machine has been spouting the following assumptions:
1) Federal budgets must be balanced;
2) Taxes are too high and raising revenue is bad
3) Government is incompetent and wasteful
4) America is broke.
“We can’t afford these programs,” say Republican leaders.
These assumptions are FALSE. We can afford whatever we decide to afford.
Congress has found trillions of dollars to fund the military and fight wars and trillions of dollars in tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.
The New Green Deal will cost less than the cost of floods, droughts, fires and storms which will increase in number and intensity, if we don’t act now.
We should “declare war” on the man-made contributions to rapid climate change: deploy resources, ensure a fair transition so the poor and working middle classes will be rewarded for their sacrifice.
As President Kennedy profoundly said in 1962, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and the other things … not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
Our New Frontier awaits us!
Marshall Ward is a Murray resident who is a member of the Democratic Party. n