The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘economic justice

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Magazine

As DYB said on Saturday, everything is terrible. But if we elect the right people in November, we may finally get some action on issues the U.S. has recently been lagging behind on – even when Democrats were entirely in charge from 2008-2010.

My complaints as a liberal with regard to elected Democrats in those days:

  1. Our actions on climate change were not aggressive enough – even the Paris Accords were weak sauce given the state of emergency.
  2. We failed to address economic and social justice with the urgency they required. Indeed, under Obama, economic inequality soared, and deportation and cruelty towards immigrants grew. (As we know, the main differences between Hillary and Obama were domestic issues, not foreign policy issues.)

The problem I always had with Obama was that he did not differentiate, policy-wise, between Republicans and Democrats. His messaging was great for campaigning, but not for governing. “We’re all one” doesn’t win the liberal arguments that government solutions are required for complex problems  like the environment; taxation to solve those problems can be reasonably accomplished without pain to the middle and lower classes; and that economic justice and social justice are intertwined.

There are many things we can do to drive these three liberal messages home. The coronavirus, as horrific as it is, may provide an opportunity to do so.

“A crisis like this brings to people’s minds that maybe the risk we’ve been talking about with climate change is not so far fetched; that actually all these extreme weather episodes of the last five years add up to something,” he says. “So we may see an expectation that government should respond accordingly.”

That, says Barbara Buchner, is one reason why efforts at rebuilding in the wake of the pandemic must take into account longer-term strategies, and incorporate sustainability at their core.

“Obviously the first priority here must be to protect the public health,” Buchner says. But there is no greater second priority than using this crisis to really accelerate the low-carbon transition that is already ongoing, because climate change is threatening our very civilization.”

Buchner believes that any economic stimulus plan ought to be geared not only to jump-start the global economy but to invest further in post-hydrocarbon infrastructure.

“This in turn will create new economic opportunities and also address a set of challenges—including making businesses more sustainable,” she says. “I think ultimately the real question is: do we lock ourselves into the use of fossil fuels in our infrastructure choices today, or do we instead use this crisis as a moment to accelerate the transition that is already on its way?”

In my heart, I truly do understand where some people who vote for Bernie Sanders are coming from – but it’s what they choose to do about it that makes me crazy. Why would they waste their passion on a destructive, do-nothing old crank like Bernie? And why don’t they understand that, as imperfect as the Democrats are, they get us further than Republicans, who hurtle us into fascism and war, and tank the economy,!!!?!?!?!?!

Whatever happens, one thing is clear: we must, MUST vote blue all the way down the ballot in November. A true draining of the swamp is needed before any forward progress can be made.

Open thread, bien sur. (Oldie but goodie below…)

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2020 Presidential Election

Election DayNovember 3rd, 2020
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