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Environomics is the most fundamental principle of economics, yet the politicians and economists seem to pretend it doesn’t exist. Environomics is merely the realization that human economies exist within the constantly evolving ecologies of a 4.6 billion-year-old planet. It means that human economies, on local and global levels, must fit into the limits of nature which maintain the integrity and balances of all of Earth’s wild systems. It means a new take on Darwinism: Survival of the Fit-Ins.
Instead, if we Americans continue to let the corrupt, the psychopathic, and the feeble ruin our economies and ecologies for the sake of our corporate masters, the corporatist plutocrats, we are not only jeopardizing the security of our nation but of human civilization itself and most of the species on Earth.
The only way to truly build economies that fit within ecologies is to regenerate localized economic infrastructures that do not require fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas, and which produce as many of the things that people use, as close to home as possible. This principle is called bioregionalism. Andy’s economic plan does all of this.
He is calling for President Obama to declare a national climate or ecological emergency and develop plans, originated and refined by cities, counties, and states, to rebuild these localized post-fossil-fuel, post-nuclear power economic infrastructures in a focused and sustained effort similar to the nation’s response in World War II. This is the only plan that can also reduce fossil-fuel consumption the fastest and the most and prevent climate destabilization.
This is paid for in several ways: 1) taxing the super-rich with Eisenhower-level tax rates like those that paid off the great World War II war debt in ten years (which was a much higher percentage of U.S. GDP than the U.S. debt is now in this bogus and traitorous Republican Debt Crisis), 2) ending the War on Drugs and legalizing marijuana and hemp production, 3) retreating the American empire by reorienting American military planning to protection of Americans and their U.S. property instead of projection of an empire for the benefit of global corporate control of the global economy.
The bases we don’t need, domestically and abroad, become community Ecotopian centers to provide the resources and training necessary to make this conversion. This is how we shut down military bases without abandoning the communities that have serviced them and are dependent on them to this very day.
It also means a radically expanded social safety net because entire communities will need to be propped up as their fossil-fuel production enterprises shut down. We are all in this together. Everyone should be safe and economically secure through the transition. That means Medicare for all and free college tuition through Ph.D. and free trade schools. It means fully subsidizing the good and ending all subsidies for the bad, like tax breaks for oil and natural gas development.
The reason why there is no such thing as a free market, and never can be, is because those who benefit from purchases, don’t pay all of the costs of producing those products and delivering them to market. The rest of us pay those costs, such as through taxes to clean up air and water pollution. This is called cost externalization. The fastest way to change the market, without controlling it with some enormous superstructure trade bureaucracies, is to seriously internalize all of the costs of product production. The more something pollutes, the more we pay for it. This is how organic produce will become cheaper than petrochemical produce.
Traditional Republican and Democratic economic proposals are the problems. When a person is down-and-out, that is not the time when you make them pay off their debts; it’s when you should give those folks a helping hand up and ease their burdens even more until they are back on their feet financially. The faster we help people get back on their feet, the faster they can resume meeting their financial obligations without government assistance. Everyone wins!
The way to run a welfare system is to design the benefits so they meet the needs of getting people back into the economy. Then you raise the taxes you need to pay for those benefits. All discussions about how much welfare costs, must start with talking about what we want to accomplish and assuring that we pay to do that.
But Republicans and Democrats just start with a completely unsupported pronouncement that the total dollar amount the federal and state governments spend on welfare is just too much and they hack away at it, regardless of what it means to benefits paid out. Of course, the fact that the rich have become three times richer since Reagan started his tax-cutting welfare for the rich looting of America scam, and that workers make less now than they did then is ignored by the tyrants in power.
The fact that there are three people now looking for work for every one job opening is also ignored by the Republicans. Just since 2009, the top 1% have taken 95% of the nation’s total gains in wealth. What’s even more unconscionable is that as more people lose their jobs and so have to seek government relief because of Republican supply-side and deregulation economics, the Republicans whine that welfare costs have gone up and they further cut the unemployment and SNAP benefits to the workers whose lives they’ve destroyed!
Likewise with a national economy. When everyone but the super-rich is broke, that’s the worst time to make the government pay off more debt and to cut benefits for things like unemployment, the SNAP program, and aid to seniors. The Republicans even see public education as a welfare program. The only way to revive the basic structures of the economy and create jobs is to goose citizen spending. This time, however, all of our new economics has got to be Green. It’s got to be sustainable. All of it.
This is the only solution to the economic and climate crises that doesn’t lead to human extinction. It’s the only one that assures a future for your children and grandchildren.