Book recommendation: Emerald Cities
Posts tagged with politics
Leaders in civic society must also place a political and social price on the dishonest distribution of false information about this existential crisis by cynical global warming deniers, many of whom know better but are trying to preserve destructive yet highly profitable business models by sowing confusion, false doubt, and political discord to delay the recognition of reality and to prevent the congealing of a consensus.
“There is no plausible story whereby private demand would increase if the deficit were to shrink. Over a longer term, we can look to have net exports fill this hole in demand as the trade deficit moves closer to balance. But that will not happen tomorrow, and the process will not be hastened to any substantial degree by a lower budget deficit.
This means the people who want to reduce current deficits want slower growth and higher unemployment. They may not know it, but that is the implication of their position taken to its logical conclusion. This makes it indefensible; if someone spreads gasoline all over a barn and tosses a lit match on it without understanding the implications, it hardly affects the outcome.
There are more grounds for concern over projected budget deficits in the longer term, but these are the product of our broken healthcare system. We pay more than twice as much per person for healthcare as other wealthy countries, with little to show for it. If our healthcare costs were at all comparable, we would be looking at long-term projections of massive budget surpluses, not deficits. This is why truly serious people talk about fixing our healthcare system, not budget deficits and “entitlements.”
But the agenda of Fix the Debt is not really about the deficit and the economy. It’s about gutting Social Security, Medicare and other essential social programs. Pete Peterson and his fellow deficit hawks want to provoke irrational fears of large numbers. The good news is that the sky is not falling. The bad news is that, with the help of a massive PR budget and a compliant media, they could succeed in making people believe it is.”
- Dean Baker, Fix the Debt’s Fuzzy Math
This is the task of right-wing populism: to appeal to the mass without disrupting the power of the elites or, more precisely, to harness the energy of the mass in order to reinforce or restore the power of the elites. Far from being a recent innovation of the Christian Right or the Tea Party movement, reactionary populism runs like a red thread throughout conservative discourse from the very beginning.
No one will care in 30 years, I guarantee you, what the deficit was in 2013. Quick pop quiz: what was the deficit in 1953? or 1923? or, heck, 1883? The correct answer is ‘you don’t know’ because it doesn’t matter. What does matter are the molecules in the air, much, much more than numbers on a balance sheet. …Washington will never make climate a priority until the Left makes it a priority.
Republicans maintained a strong majority in the House, losing only eight seats total and hanging on to most of their 2010 additions who will now play wizened sophomore mentors to a new class of freshmen. One of the most striking aspects of the 113th Congress is its inexperience: a full 38 percent of House members have served for fewer than three years. That’s the largest percentage of rookies since the Gingrich Revolution of 1994—which, of course, resulted in a catastrophic government shutdown.
Please and thank you!
Politics: The Reactionary Mind by Corey Robin
Economy: The Price of Civilization by Jeffrey Sachs
Philosophy: Declaration (by Michael Hardt) (Political Philosophy)
Cornel West, on Al Jazeera English, reproaches the U.S. vis-à-vis our recent paltry presidential debates (and choices) and national conversations which were noticeably absent of discussion on poverty, TPP, Africa, capitalism, etc. in this election cycle.
Professor West in 5 minutes shreds apart our shallow and paper kingdom.
Personal goal: I literally hope to work for Citizen Radio.
The counterrevolutionary books, tirades, and who-knows-what-else, are sure to be on the rise in the next decade.
This is an important time in U.S. history.
Let’s keep this train moving forward (on alternative energy)!
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.