The Next Administration: Using Presidential Power for Good
September 24, 2019 6:14 AM   Subscribe

The Day One Agenda - "Without signing a single new law, the next president can lower prescription drug prices, cancel student debt, break up the big banks, give everybody who wants one a bank account, counteract the dominance of monopoly power, protect farmers from price discrimination and unfair dealing, force divestment from fossil fuel projects, close a slew of tax loopholes, hold crooked CEOs accountable, mandate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, allow the effective legalization of marijuana, make it easier for 800,000 workers to join a union, and much, much more. We have compiled a series of essays to explain precisely how, and under what authority, the next president can accomplish all this."[1] (via)
posted by kliuless (57 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
Call it the "Make America Great AGAIN, the Second Loathsome Crooked Lyin' Donald Is Gone Initiative."
posted by WinstonJulia at 7:19 AM on September 24 [4 favorites]


Suddenly, it looks possible for someone to sweep in and save the nation in 100 days, or perhaps 100 hours.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:54 AM on September 24 [2 favorites]


This administration is probably undersaw one of the greatest expansions of presidential powers in the past fifty years aided by Congress and the Judiciary. The GOP playbook is pretty obvious here - it's fine when it's our guy doing it, but if it's the other side it's time to complain and cry endlessly about how it is in fact Congress that passes laws and executive orders are the tools of monarchs. Trump spent the entirety of Obama's term complaining about his executive actions - but by this point has taken more unilateral executive actions and with quicker speed than Obama ever did.
posted by Karaage at 7:58 AM on September 24 [9 favorites]


Wait, what, you really expect Pence to do any of that?
posted by sammyo at 8:00 AM on September 24 [8 favorites]


They forgot to account for the obligatory fifteen years of Democrats fidgeting and worrying about what neo-wannabe-Himmler would think of their proposed actions.
posted by aramaic at 8:23 AM on September 24 [11 favorites]


Wait, what, you really expect Pence to do any of that?

That's defeatist - fuck that
posted by thelonius at 8:25 AM on September 24 [5 favorites]


Abolish the presidency, imo.
posted by Reyturner at 8:26 AM on September 24 [6 favorites]


Re: force divestment from fossil fuel projects -- Ireland to be among first countries to phase out oil and gas exploration -- Republic’s decision to cease fossil fuel exploration revealed by Taoiseach (the prime minister and head of government of Ireland; Wikipedia) at UN climate summit (Irish Times, Sept. 23, 2019)
Existing licences and options for oil and gas will remain valid but Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton will bring a memo to Government within a month to set out how the change will be implemented.
...
No new licensing round for the Atlantic “closed” area – 80 per cent of our waters – will be brought forward by the Government. This is the area where most of the exploration is now focused.

“Licence applications will still be accepted for [the] Celtic and Irish Sea on an ongoing basis,” [spokeswoman for the Taoiseach] added.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:40 AM on September 24 [2 favorites]


That's defeatist - fuck that

I think it's suggesting that Trump isn't likely to last the term. Which is now something I think is... quite possibly not wrong? It feels like actual, proven attempts to use a foreign power to attack a political enemy might well be an actual "this"? But not surely, by no means surely.

I hear the smart money for next president is all going on Tom DeLonge. {/}
posted by howfar at 9:10 AM on September 24 [7 favorites]


I bet Elizabeth Warren already has a plan for that! Seriously, she built the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau single-handed, so just think of what she could do with the Presidency! Reading this makes me even more excited to vote for her.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:11 AM on September 24 [13 favorites]


Joe Biden: too centrist
Bernie Sanders: too socialist
Elizabeth Warren: juuuust right
posted by kirkaracha at 9:21 AM on September 24 [18 favorites]


The GOP playbook is pretty obvious here - it's fine when it's our guy doing it, but if it's the other side it's time to complain and cry endlessly about how it is in fact Congress that passes laws and executive orders are the tools of monarchs.

They'll go running to the stacked Court, the executive expansionists will suddenly discover their appetite for limited government once again reaches beyond the Congress to the Oval, and will all be for Kavanaught.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:23 AM on September 24 [4 favorites]


This ambitious use of Presidential power by a Democrat would not stand up to review by the current Supreme Court. If it did I shudder for the implications that it would fall away at the whim of a single person’s pen. That isn’t the way to run a democracy.
posted by interogative mood at 9:46 AM on September 24 [5 favorites]


Reyturner: "Abolish the presidency, imo."

That's Trump's plan, methinks.
posted by chavenet at 9:51 AM on September 24 [2 favorites]


Wielding the Imperial Presidency: From climate change to criminal justice and student debt: here's what Bernie Sanders could do if he had executive office and mass popular support, but faced a hostile Congress.

I'm at once opposed to the expansion of the executive power in the last 40 years and "well if it exists we should use it" about , you know, trying to prevent mass human extinction.
posted by The Whelk at 9:51 AM on September 24 [11 favorites]


There is great danger of perceiving the presidency as some kind of all-powerful kingly figure.

The beauty of our system of checks and balances is that it is quarrelsome, requires immense inertia to enact legislation, and as such puts limits on what can be done. There's a reason why so often the party that gets full (or near full) control over the federal government remains in power for a limited period of time: they often over-reach and get tossed in the subsequent election cycles.

The executive as superhero is horribly dangerous, no matter the good intent. I will take our ineffective, often contradictory, and frequently hapless form of government over someone who "knows better" any day of the week.
posted by tgrundke at 9:54 AM on September 24 [6 favorites]


The beauty of our system of checks and balances

I don't see any checks and or balances being used. Like at all. One party can just stonewall a Supreme Court nomination that was a compromise to begin with to get what they want. The US system was not designed for ideological lockstep parties with no dissent. We are at a very real turning point. Something very critical has to change in how we do things or we're going to gridlock our way into literal actual mass die-off.
posted by The Whelk at 9:58 AM on September 24 [34 favorites]


There is great danger of perceiving the presidency as some kind of all-powerful kingly figure.

Humanity is like that in general. Humanity is also good at pulling down those it elevates.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:13 AM on September 24 [1 favorite]


Joe Biden: too centrist
Bernie Sanders: too socialist
Elizabeth Warren: juuuust right


From Nathan Robinson's recent piece on Warren's center-left positioning:

Will Elizabeth Warren try to overthrow Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and remake the Democratic Party entirely? I do not think she will. Will she fight until her very last breath for single-payer healthcare and a Green New Deal? I do not think she will. Will she travel the country as president helping organize labor unions? I do not think she will. Will she shun corporate money and tell the ruling class to go screw itself? Since half the ruling class have been in her law school classroom, and since she has already wavered on taking corporate money, I do not think she will. Will she learn the critical lesson from the Obama years: You don’t open a negotiation with your final offer, but with something ambitious? She has already showed us the answer, by declining to support national rent control. Does she have a lifelong track record of protest and activism? No. Can she be relied upon never to sell us out? I have no idea, but I don’t want to take the risk.

I love watching Elizabeth Warren grill people in the Senate. I love the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She’s quite clearly one of the best people in the government, and I am impressed with many of her plans and much of what she’s accomplished already. But there are many signs that she will prove to be disappointing in the same way Barack Obama was, and will not build the kind of powerful left movement that we so urgently need if we are to begin to actually transform the political and economic system.

posted by One Second Before Awakening at 10:13 AM on September 24 [14 favorites]


My fear is that during the transition period Trump will salt the earth and torch the crops. Why the fuck not, he has nothing that he cares for that is not him. He has the Sore Loser vibe to a pixel. Whomever the new President is will need a lot of help, and a lot of support.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 10:19 AM on September 24 [8 favorites]


"The US system was not designed for ideological lockstep parties with no dissent."

And the truth is, that does happen from time to time, but if you go back to 2008/2009 there was immense dissent within the Republican party over the financial bailouts, and if you look now, there is a great deal of intra-party fighting amongst the Democrat party.

There are plenty of checks and balances - they're working right now. There is an extremely good chance that Trump has overstepped and will be punished for it in the 2020 election. The Republicans took a drumming in the 2018 election cycle.

Rinse, wash, repeat. We'll be okay.
posted by tgrundke at 10:21 AM on September 24 [1 favorite]


My fear is that during the transition period Trump will salt the earth and torch the crops.

He's not a king who has divine right to do as he pleases. He may act like it, and in terms of executive authority he can definitely cause problems, but he ain't Shiva the Destroyer.

If the opposition is upset, they have the power to change the laws and limit the power of the executive.
posted by tgrundke at 10:23 AM on September 24 [1 favorite]


There are plenty of checks and balances - they're working right now. There is an extremely good chance that Trump has overstepped and will be punished for it in the 2020 election.

This is a recent cartoon for those who are ok with what's happening
posted by turkeybrain at 10:28 AM on September 24 [2 favorites]


they're working right now

Mitch McConnell's plan to kill progressivism in the crib

Our so called system is being tested right now and found wanting, the only thing keeping even more tyrannical horrors from happening isn’t checks and balances it’s that our president is a rapidly decaying toddler who doesn’t care about anything except being on TV and surrounds himself with feckless morons who are somehow even less able to effect change then the scandal ridden corpses theybreplaces.

Need I remind you we don’t actually have a head of the CDC? Or how many major cabinet positions are basically empty? Or that the head of HUD is running it for personal profit? Or our still existing child concentration camps with a double digit body count? Or any number of the myriad preventions of government that should be administration ending scandals except no one in government seems to care and we’re all just in shell shock cause the awful things just keep happening except this time stupider and faster.

This country is being pumped and dumped and everyone in power is just hoping they get out before the crash.
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 AM on September 24 [27 favorites]


From Nathan Robinson's recent piece on Warren's center-left positioning

Will Nathan Robinson realize that not everyone is as progressive as him? I do not think he will. Will Nathan Robinson recognize that a candidate has to be acceptable to a majority of Democratic primary voters and a majority of general election voters to win? I do not think he will. Will Nathan Robinson set up a series of straw men and knock them down without presenting any evidence? I think he will.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:49 AM on September 24 [25 favorites]


It's OK, you and Nathan just don't share the same goals. I wish our current system allowed for viable third parties so you and I wouldn't have to cram together into one.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 10:52 AM on September 24 [6 favorites]


Hell fucking yes to this article and all of the great posts on Prospect today. Been getting very tired of the I-Am-Very-Smart takes from technocrats and wannabe pundits who think that any meaningful change can only come from from navigating the complex beautiful system of checks and balances and involves negotiation and compromise and "well this proposal to do xyz with is making these promises but it's actuallyyyyy more nuanced than that and let me explain why" and blah fucking blah.

Funny how only when a democrat is in power must we discuss the potential for gridlock and failure to execute, and the more left leaning they are the more GRAVELY CONCERNING it is that "nothing will actually get done". "The president can't just wave their magic wand and make things happen, you know!" Fuck all that! Read the articles and it explains how, yes, there are some things they can actually do to enact significant change right the hell now.

And even still - why not go as radically far left as possible, and when we get dragged back rightward at least it will be from the 90 yard line and not the 70 or the 60.

This post is energizing, thank you for sharing.

Will Nathan Robinson realize that not everyone is as progressive as him?

“I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for." - Elizabeth Warren
posted by windbox at 10:54 AM on September 24 [23 favorites]


The one really surprising, out of left field, encouraging tidbit I heard briefly on the radio was, take a beat, selfies. Could it be the non-patriarchy equivalent to "guy I'd like to have a beer with". The commentator was enthusiastic that it showed a development of Warrens persona. Retweet those selfies like crazy folks.

(selfies, omg I hate selfies, but anything that gets the vote out)

(anything to reduce the hilsmell)
posted by sammyo at 11:09 AM on September 24 [4 favorites]


too socialist

No such thing. Either workers own the means of production, or they don't and capitalists own them.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:40 AM on September 24 [15 favorites]


I really don't want an unchecked executive willy-nilly doing shit, even if I support it (especially if I support it?) but I guess that's where we're at. Until we can call a Constitutional Convention and throw the thing out and replace it with a proportionally-representative unicameral parliament selected by ranked choice voting administered at the federal level, that is.
posted by Automocar at 11:52 AM on September 24 [2 favorites]


Yes, this is where we're at. Right now, to exercise power means to cut through a completely ossified and dysfunctional government thoroughly captured by moneyed interests. If you want a president who will be willing to exercise power in the way this FPP's article details, you want a socialist. Here's why.

Today, the primary philosophical difference between the liberal and the radical leftist is this: Socialism (and Communism, and Anarchism) are animated by a coherent, fixed set of ethical principles and goals, the foremost of which is to remove unjust hierarchies of domination and coercion from human society.

In contrast, contemporary liberalism is not animated by any fixed ethical principals or goals, but rather focuses on trying to improve the current circumstances of human society in whatever pragmatic ways might seem possible in the moment. As anarchist Murray Bookchin put it in The Ecology of Freedom, Liberalism preaches "a strictly opportunistic message of expediency rather than ethics, of meliorism rather than emancipation, of adaptation rather than change."

We see this clearly in the rhetoric and actions of the Democratic party, who always talk about the "art of the possible" and rarely fight very hard for any real changes to society. You are not going to see a liberal politician use the powers of the presidency to make radical, sweeping, progressive changes, because the liberal politician still believes in the institutions of our government, and believes that it's important to preserve their current balance and integrity. The liberal politician wants to make things better incrementally using the existing tools without rocking the boat, because the liberal is not following a guiding light that hangs above and beyond our present circumstances.

If you want to see a president who's willing to use executive orders and other tricks in order to push a progressive agenda, you want a socialist (or communist, or anarchist), who is committed to a vision of a better world, and who wants to use all powers at their disposal to push us in that direction.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 12:12 PM on September 24 [11 favorites]


One Second Before Awakening: I guess I am a liberal, then. I know the world I want to live in, but I support gradual steps to get there. It's all too easy to make grand, sweeping changes in the pursuit of some noble goal, only for an unexpected consequence to mess things up. A gradualist approach to societal changes lets us adapt the approach when issues arise. To me, politics—like American Football—is a game of inches, not yards. A little progress is better than stasis, stasis is better than falling back. This doesn't mean we can't go for big, sweeping changes when the opportunity arises, but banking on them is a dangerous strategy.
posted by SansPoint at 12:58 PM on September 24 [4 favorites]


To me, politics—like American Football—is a game of inches, not yards. A little progress is better than stasis, stasis is better than falling back. This doesn't mean we can't go for big, sweeping changes when the opportunity arises, but banking on them is a dangerous strategy.

Tentative incrementalism was Obama's strategy, and here we are. Turning the great ship one degree to the left only led to us hitting the left-middle of the iceberg.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:03 PM on September 24 [16 favorites]


Indeed, while gradualism has its virtues in certain historical moments, now is a time when the oncoming climate apocalypse demands radical, sweeping change, AND a time when great masses of people seem hungry, positively starving for a new kind of society.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 1:09 PM on September 24 [5 favorites]


Give the status quo another thirty years and the planet will be literally uninhabitable and/or a place where nobody would want to live except for members of the fascist overclass. Incrementalism is an unaffordable luxury.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:14 PM on September 24 [9 favorites]


I'm not defending the status quo. I want progress, and I want it to happen ASAP, but I want it done right, and doing things fast is typically the enemy of doing things right.
posted by SansPoint at 1:41 PM on September 24 [5 favorites]


To me, politics—like American Football—is a game of inches, not yards

To torture the analogy, there are definitely times in football where you're down by 6 points, it's 4th and long, and there's precious little time on the clock. You can't make the short play, you can't punt, you have to go for the Hail Mary.

The "game of inches" works when you're on an even playing field and can work toward advantageous position. Right now, we're not, and we can't. The options right now are "big plays" or "concede defeat."
posted by explosion at 1:55 PM on September 24 [8 favorites]


It's all too easy to make grand, sweeping changes in the pursuit of some noble goal, only for an unexpected consequence to mess things up.

What are you thinking of here? Canada introduced socialized medicine in 1961, a fairly sweeping change according to some lights - not sure how it 'messed things up'.

I can think of other examples but not of any that support your thesis with the exception of full on, blood in the streets revolution (which is typically pretty messed up).
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 3:47 PM on September 24 [5 favorites]


Will Elizabeth Warren try to overthrow Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and remake the Democratic Party entirely? I do not think she will. Will she fight until her very last breath for single-payer healthcare and a Green New Deal? I do not think she will. Will she travel the country as president helping organize labor unions? I do not think she will.

Setting aside whether I and Nathan Robinson share entirely the same goals, I feel like this is inventing a fanfic Bernie Sanders when we can look at the actual Sen. Sanders who has been in the Senate for 12 years and the House for 16 years before that. Why is the past 28 years of his career not the best guide to understanding what he'd do as President? Has he tried to overthrow the leadership? Does he have a long track record of endorsing primary challengers against sitting moderate Democratic incumbents? I don't subscribe to the theory that he's been playing a waiting game for the past three decades but will turn into the Incredible Hulk as President.

I think its fair to say that Sanders has a different approach, and it's perfectly legitimate to prefer his framing and fight, but I'm not sure his record backs the idea that he's going to become President and suddenly remake the party he's sat at the sideline of for decades.
posted by zachlipton at 4:02 PM on September 24 [22 favorites]


Regarding Nathan Robinson, Matt Yglesias points out how amusing it is that a Yale Law School graduate who teaches at Harvard argues that the left should not trust Elizabeth Warren because she was a professor at Harvard Law School.
posted by JackFlash at 4:18 PM on September 24 [9 favorites]


Nathan’s a number one fancy lad, but he’s also a genuine class traitor with deep knowledge and commitments to the left, as well as a fun magazine. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t even know if he’s “upper class” enough to call a class traitor. He and I come from the same suburban, predominantly middle class Florida town, and he never struck me as particularly wealthy.

His educational background doesn’t mean we should discount his words. And he’s not a Harvard professor, he’s just studying there.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 4:42 PM on September 24 [6 favorites]


aside from the sweeping projects the Sanders campaigns has been spinning out (the criminal justice reform alone would be world changing, let alone debt cancellation, the workplace democracy act, etc) the thing that tips me over is the types of people a Sanders administration would be bring on. Less Georgetown grads and former administration people or policy shop lifers and more activists and community organizers and academics and people who are the first person in their family to go to college or who never even thought they’d be in any kind of power. The idea of administration with Brianna Joy Grey involves is exciting, but more exciting is the potential to actually change D.C culture by just not employing the same 350 odd people on a loop.

I don’t want to put my hopes into one person, I want to put my hope in a process that makes more people like that person, with those politics and goals. A movement, not a man.

As for class traitors *shines a big RIASE MY TAXES pin* I’m recruiting.
posted by The Whelk at 4:52 PM on September 24 [12 favorites]


The drug rescheduling sounds totally reasonable and cromulent. Deciding on the scheduling is not congress / law job, right? Let those executive management people do their jobs, drug war over at a stroke of pen.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:55 PM on September 24




On his first day as president, (Andrew) Yang said, he would walk down to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and say, “Hey, guys. GDP is almost 100 years old. It’s time for an upgrade.”

The gross domestic product could be high, Yang said, “but you know what else is at a record high? Suicides. Drug overdoses. So what does high GDP do for you if your people are dying?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Andrew Yang: "I’m for full legalization of marijuana. I would go a step further and on 4/20, 2021... I would pardon everyone who’s in jail for a low-level, non-violent marijuana offense and I would high five them on their way out of jail."
posted by otherchaz at 7:54 PM on September 24 [1 favorite]


Andrew Yang's UBI problem - "In principal, a universal basic income (UBI) is an excellent idea. Unfortunately, Yang's version throws in three unforced and unnecessary errors that are arguably fatal to the project."[2] (via)

oh and...
  • thread: "The challenge for policy econ[omist]s is to improve fiscal and monetary policy. The best policies are a) not obviously partisan, b) simple, c) highly effective d) likely to be popular. @Claudia_Sahm's proposal is the best (only) improvement I've seen to fiscal auto-stabilisers. Econs, the world over, back it. It's a no brainier..."[3]
  • Direct Stimulus Payments to Individuals - "This chapter proposes a direct payment to individuals that would automatically be paid out early in a recession and then continue annually when the recession is severe. Research shows that stimulus payments that were broadly disbursed on an ad hoc (or discretionary) basis in the 2001 and 2008–9 recessions raised consumer spending and helped counteract weak demand. Making the payments automatic by tying their disbursement to recent changes in the unemployment rate would ensure that the stimulus reaches the economy as quickly as possible. A rapid, vigorous response to the next recession in the form of direct payments to individuals would help limit employment losses and the economic damage from the recession."[4]
  • A long-despised and risky economic doctrine is now a hot idea - "An emerging consensus says the next downturn may need to be fought with direct and permanent injections of cash –- often called 'helicopter money' -– and that central banks can't deliver it alone... Via their budgets, governments don't have to push the string –- they can open the taps, spending directly into the economy or boosting the purchasing power of consumers or companies by cutting taxes... Where to draw those boundaries is the preoccupation of a recent paper published by BlackRock Inc. and co-written by Fischer, the Fed's former vice-chair. It argues that monetary stimulus has run out of road as a way to boost economies, while fiscal policy hasn't been 'pulling its weight.' One solution is to combine them –- for example, by letting central banks create money to finance government budget deficits."[5]
  • America has two economies—and they're diverging fast - "Not only are red and blue America experiencing two different economies, but those economies are diverging fast. In fact, radical change is transforming the two parties' economies in real time. Which is a key takeaway of a new data analysis... the two parties have in just 10 years gone from near-parity on prosperity and income measures to stark, fast-moving divergence."[6] (via)
> I bet Elizabeth Warren already has a plan for that!

Elizabeth Warren has just one plan - "She wants to finish what she started when she first came to Washington. And she will bring with her a cadre of energetic, ideologically committed regulators who will go after the bad guys of corporate America who she believes have crippled the national economy. If Warren wins the presidency, she, like any Democrat, will face steep odds of getting an ambitious legislative agenda through Congress. The real action in any administration is executive in nature: knowing what regulatory buttons to push, which enforcers can really go for blood, who to put where, and how to manage them."[7,8,9,10]

also btw :P
  • Why a wealth tax is capitalism's handmaiden - "Taxing capital holdings boosts rewards for investing well."[11]
  • [A] working paper just released by Fatih Guvenen and a team of co-authors... makes a very different argument: that a wealth tax is good for economic productivity because it increases the rewards for productive investments relative to unproductive ones. One might say the wealth tax acts as capitalism’s handmaiden by rewarding good entrepreneurs and punishing bad ones... Put simply, “wealth taxation can increase efficiency, grow the economy, and reduce inequality all at once”... It does, therefore, strike a direct blow at the rentier economy (on which do read Martin Wolf’s sweeping indictment), just like the wealth tax proposals of Piketty, Saez and Zucman... For Guvenen and his colleagues, however, the problem with such wealth is that it is wasted, and a wealth tax would put capital in more productive hands. Both arguments can of course be valid. But Guvenen’s deserves greater attention — partly because it is newer and lesser known than the other, but also because it will resonate with quite a different part of the political spectrum.[12]
  • Martin Wolf: why rigged capitalism is damaging liberal democracy - "Economies are not delivering for most citizens because of weak competition, feeble productivity growth and tax loopholes."[13,14]
> Indeed, while gradualism has its virtues in certain historical moments, now is a time when the oncoming climate apocalypse demands radical, sweeping change, AND a time when great masses of people seem hungry, positively starving for a new kind of society.

> Give the status quo another thirty years and the planet will be literally uninhabitable and/or a place where nobody would want to live except for members of the fascist overclass. Incrementalism is an unaffordable luxury.

maybe not even (all of) the fascist overclass?
  • How to Make Tech Companies Actually Fight Climate Change - "On Thursday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced several ways that his company will try to be a better environmental citizen. He pledged that Amazon would meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early, going completely carbon neutral by 2040. To do that, it will try to change the way it ferries boxes to every home in America, deploying a fleet of 100,000 electric vans by 2024."[15]
  • More from Less - "So what IS causing us to dematerialize our consumption and let us get more (prosperity) from less (of the earth)? The one-two punch of capitalism and tech progress... the nasty competition inherent in true capitalism gives companies ample incentive to save money on materials (a penny saved is a penny earned, after all), and modern tech progress gives firms all kinds of ways to substitute bits for atoms... But capitalism and tech progress aren't sufficient to let us take better care of our planet. They don't automatically deal with the externality of pollution, nor do they inherently protect our fellow creatures... so we need another pair of forces. These are public awareness (that air pollution is harmful, that we should save the whales, etc.) and responsive governments that act on the desires of their people."[16,17,18,19,20]
posted by kliuless at 10:45 PM on September 24 [4 favorites]


just to note state and local action is also meaningful!

California ex-governor launches climate partnership with China
Brown cast the partnership as a way for the United States and China, the world’s two biggest emitters of heat-trapping gases, to work together even as President Donald Trump steps back from global cooperation on climate change and engages in a trade war with Beijing.

“The climate threat doesn’t respect borders and it doesn’t pause for politics,” Brown said in an interview. “This will be the open channel between America and China on the number one topic our countries share – not trade but climate change.”

The two-time Democratic California governor announced the California-China Climate Institute alongside China’s top climate change official Xie Zhenhua. The institute, chaired by Brown, will focus on advancing research on electric and hydrogen cars, other low-carbon transportation technology, climate-smart agriculture, and policy proposals, they said.
individual too :P

Is the Green New Deal Realistic? Two Sympathetic Authors Weigh In - "In new books, Naomi Klein and Jeremy Rifkin take very different approaches to AOC's progressive climate proposal."
posted by kliuless at 11:19 PM on September 24


I have to take serious issue with your links on climate change and oligarchs from your previous post. Global warming is a direct consequence of capitalism, and no matter what brilliant edifices of justifications the court magicians of capital construct, Jeff Bezos and the power of the free market are not going to help us solve the problem.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 11:28 PM on September 24 [5 favorites]


what about amazon's workers? (which was the premise of the article)
posted by kliuless at 12:06 AM on September 25


Maybe quote the part about big workers' strikes instead of the part glorifying Bezos then? And don't link to weirdo think tank shills who identify as center right neoliberal nevertrumpers? Here's a tip, if someone actually identifies as neoliberal, they're really not somebody you need to listen to.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:05 AM on September 25 [1 favorite]






Joe Biden: too centrist
Bernie Sanders: too socialist
Elizabeth Warren: juuuust right


What exactly does "too socialist" mean? He's not preferred because his positions are...too good to poor people, people of color, workers, and everyone concerned about climate change?
posted by Ouverture at 5:57 AM on September 26 [4 favorites]


Hello, I’m Chloë Sevigny, and it’s recently come to my attention that I love Socialism.
posted by The Whelk at 6:13 PM on September 26 [1 favorite]


Man, I do like Bernie. I do. I supported him in 2016. I just don't think he'll be as successful as Warren at transforming the way the U.S. operates, not in the first 100 days or the entire term. Coalition building is a big part of that. Do you notice how practically the entire field gets along with Warren? She connects very well with people. She really cares about and has studied these issues all her life. And her transformation from apolitical conservative to highly engaged progressive is a story that I think her campaign should amplify in the general as an example of what our electorate should aspire to be: dynamic, engaged participants who are not afraid to change their minds when we find new information. Foolish consistencies being hobgoblins and all that. I would love to inspire that sort of self-reflection to as many people are willing to listen.

At the risk of sounding like a substantial number of others that have already expressed this, I have to say that I absolutely loathe the internet Bernie 'fandom' and the culture of misinformation in many of those circles, and the frankly Trump-like conspiracy theories that that are allowed to propagate on online forums and twitter threads bearing his name. I also hate to imagine where we might end up if that kind of politics is accepted as the way to win future elections in the U.S. Warren's first town hall was with Bernie. They are cut from the same progressive cloth. They have great mutual respect for one another. Warren's approach seems to be trying to change the system from within the Democratic party rather than without. She understands the economic drivers of the situation we find ourselves in, in a way the rest of the field can only conjecture about.

Finally, I hate the way Nathan Robinson and pseudo-intellectuals at Jacobin have this almost religious belief in Sanders being anything other than he has been his whole life. I think this has a lot to do with labels and his campaign's strategy to weaponize them. It's been said before, but Sanders is not a socialist. Those 'punk' and 'revolutionary' credentials do play well with a lot of his supporters (and with members of my extended Venezuelan family if you can believe it), but he's a social democrat, same as Warren. Bernie believes in reforming and reining in the flaws in capitalism, not seizing the means of production. And yet, they seem to be trying to paint Warren as a 'square' corporatist who is lying about her progressive ideas (and conspiring with Hillary, somehow), even while Wall Street (CNBC article) and Mark Zuckerberg (The Verge article) are beginning to to reveal how uncomfortable the idea of a Warren presidency is to them. It's just so frustrating.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, Bernie and his campaign seems to be relying on, at times, the very same anti-intellectual streak which appeals to much of his base. This is why you end up with Bernie-Trump voters (like some of my Venezuelan family) and conspiracy theories. They are absoulutely silent on the conspiracy theories which benefit them, conspiracies that destroyed friendships I've had for a decade. (How can I engage in honest political debate with poeple who believe the 'Dems' are running global prostitution and human trafficking rings which Trump is trying to shut down?) Warren seems to be running the opposite campaign, betting that the electorate will understand that mechanisms of corruption and greed on behalf of the rich and powerful have broken the American experiment, and that this at the root of virtually all our problems in the U.S. and in much of the world. If we approach the electorate as students, and honestly explain this thing they already feel, and we aggressively pursue the dismantling of these corrupt mechanisms, we can begin to fight back for what's left of our planet, our human rights, and our democracy, regardless if Wall Street, or the Zucks and Bezoses (?) might think they have a right to their billions and their monopolies. I want to believe we can succeed with this message.
posted by donttouchmymustache at 7:03 PM on October 1 [7 favorites]


Just to add, while there are many ways to accomplish many of the goals we need to make sure we never end up on this dark road again, ending the filibuster in the Senate needs to be a tool we are willing to employ. The GOP will stop at nothing. Nothing. We know this intimately without being reminded of the Garland nomination or the end of the filibuster with regard to the SCOTUS justices.

Warren gets this. I don't get why Bernie refuses to acknowledge this, but I have to assume it comes from the same place his refusal and hesitation to impeach comes from, which I believe is an attempt to reach out to those very same anti-intellectual Trump-Bernie voters (of which I've known a few).
posted by donttouchmymustache at 7:14 PM on October 1 [3 favorites]


We're looking at the same sort of mentality that lead to Caesar. Remember, he came to be a dictator to cheering and applause because the Roman Senate had become a broken institution that couldn't govern.

We're seeing a similar problem in the USA and it's entirely the fault of the Republican Party. Congress has structural problems, but it's the Republicans who have taken advantage of them to basically bring the entire US government grinding to a halt.

And now we're crying out for a Democratic Caesar to do the needful and get shit done despite the Senate being broken. We're doing that because, frankly, there isn't an alternative. Fixing the Senate is all but impossible, even a Constitutional Amendment can't do it. The basic structure of the Senate is the problem, and that's locked in by the Constitution as the only thing that can be altered only by **UNANIMOUS** vote of all state governments rather than mere amendment.

Having a Caesar is a bad thing. But what else can we do, just submit and give the Republicans total power forever with no opposition?
posted by sotonohito at 1:08 PM on October 4 [3 favorites]


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