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Paying for a Green New Deal and a maximum effort to minimize climate change is not really the problem. The world is teetering on the edge of recession at present in no small part due to the economic orthodoxy of tight money and austerity in Europe and the USA. Aggressively pursuing a Green New Deal would change that dynamic and put the economies of those following such a plan into a growth mode. Growth will provide additional resources to support the endeavor. That growth largely needs to be channeled into social overhead capital rather than personal consumption.

The renewable energy investments would be self liquidating and profitable due to the reduction in cost of energy they would bring. To quell deficit hysteria it might be wise to form a federal agency tasked with issuing bonds at rates around 2% with interest returning to the US Treasury. Injection of more than $1Trillion per year in GND projects would boost GDP and employment growth as it would be investment in real assets, vs. money supplied simply for stock buy backs and asset speculation. With broader understanding of economic possibilities these investments could simply be deficit financed.

The challenge then would be to encourage the additional income derived from this activity to go into buying new products that have low carbon emissions, such as electric vehicles, energy efficient housing, education and cultural activities. We would want to see longer design lives for durable consumer goods so as to amortize the carbon costs of their manufacturing over a longer time period. And we need to reduce the waste involved in the sale, distribution and consumption of food and clothing.

But all of the above is conditional on wresting control of the US Government from Republicans and diluting the influence of 'centrists' in the Democratic Party. When we can start such programs depends on how much political power changes and how quickly. We may not be able to pursue the most ambitions aspects of such a program until 2022, if Republicans and centrist Democrats retain too much control after 2020. Even with a Democratic Senate in 2020, unless the Senate majority is in the mid to high 50s pushing through a bill to end fossil fuel subsidies will likely be a non starter. That is not to say we should not do so at the earliest real opportunity.

But just having control of the House and the Presidency allows significant progress. Regulations and regulators that Trump has changed can be changed back and some aspects of a GND could be started. The fact that the climate won't wait just increases the extent to which our efforts have to go when we do get the chance.

Politics is the art of the possible. That does not well comport with the urgent needs of the ecosystem.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jul 8th, 2019 at 05:59:10 PM EST
Reading The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis now, an examination of the Trmp transition to government.  The first thing, the FIRST thing Trmp's transition people asked the Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture about was the names of people doing climate change work in order to stop them.  Trmp is supporting the carbon bubble with the help and probably at the behest of both Putin and Mohammed bin Salman, leaders of two countries which depend upon fossil foolishness in order to survive.  Getting rid of Trmp will not get rid of either Putin or MSB, both of whom are committed fossil fools and keeping the carbon bubble floating.

Transferring a trillion a year (in the USA) from burning fuels to building renewables would be a very good thing but not likely.  However, that is the scale of the problem and my little exercise has enabled me to measure it, something I haven't seen from any of the "experts" I've watched over the decadess while attending public lectures on these subjects at Harvard and MIT.

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Mon Jul 8th, 2019 at 07:16:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump doesn't have to be the stooge of international conspirators to be pro-oil. The US has been the biggest oil producer in the world since oil production became a thing, it is the home of the biggest multinational oil conglomerates, and whole areas of the country are devoted to oil and oil infrastructure support. Add the coal legacy to that, and tribal conservatives who will oppose anything the "libs" suggest on principle, and there is a large and important home-grown fossil fuel lobby just itching to shut down climate science. Climate denialism was born in the US, after all.
by Zwackus on Tue Jul 9th, 2019 at 07:47:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BLOOMBERG | The U.S. Just Became a Net Oil Exporter for the First Time in 75 Years, Dec 2018
market share gain by sanction against competitive exporters

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jul 13th, 2019 at 03:22:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Transferring a trillion a year (in the USA) from burning fuels to building renewables...is the scale of the problem and my little exercise has enabled me to measure it, something I haven't seen from any of the "experts" I've watched over the decades...

To paraphrase Upton Sinclair: "It is hard for a man to measure something if his livelihood depends on him not being able to measure it." Trump's >$1Trillion tax gift to the 0'1% has done one good thing. It has clearly demonstrated that the USA CAN make expenditures on that scale. The task then becomes convincing the electorate that making that scale of expenditure, but on a Green New Deal, is a much better use of the money.

The first argument is that our descendants are doomed if we do not. 'How would you like your great grandchildren? Baked, broiled, boiled or fried?' The next argument is that a Green New Deal instead of fossil fuel subsidies will be vastly more beneficial to the average citizen as mobilization for such a project will end austerity and bring prosperity back to ordinary people by offering them well paying jobs to perform needed tasks. The third argument is to ask them where they suppose their great grandchildren are going to live? Is where they currently live more than 230 feet above sea level?

A fourth argument is subversive of our current understanding of economics. We do not have to choose between abandoning fossil fuels immediately or losing the climate for future generations because of affordability. How did we afford to fight WW II?

Our economy has been limping along because we have allowed economics to be defined by academics who have been bought by billionaires. Money clearly does not work the way it is described by Mainstream Economics. Trump's tax cut for the rich is about the same size as are the needs to finance a Green New Deal, and we have not yet seen high inflation; so do both until we start to see inflation, and then cut the tax break and the subsidies to fossil fuel. What do you fear - prosperity?

And the fifth argument is that the abundant oil from fracking is not now sustainable. Fracking has destroyed capital since the boom started. Wells don't last long enough after being drilled to pay for the cost of drilling. They need to be re-drilled after a few years with new capital. And every reasonable prospect is that this will get worse and that the US will cease to be either an exporter of fossil fuel or even self sufficient in fossil fuel at any price, monetary and environmental, we are able to pay. So it is vastly better to transition to renewable energy while we still can.

Carrots and sticks.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jul 9th, 2019 at 03:41:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How did we afford to fight WWII?

JM Keynes wrote a book about that back in 1940.  It was one of the references mentioned at that Harvard Law School conference and suggested as a method of funding the Green New Deal.

Wikipedia article on the book:
https:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_Pay_for_the_War:_A_Radical_Plan_for_the_Chancellor_of_the_Exche quer

Full text:
https:
/archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.499597

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Tue Jul 9th, 2019 at 07:00:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The consensus view in US Mainstream Economics is that the Stagflation of the '70s discredited Keynes. That is a lie that has been promoted by propaganda spread by media owned by conservative billionaires and taught in countless universities, but it is the common view of those who have even taken introductory economics.

Keynes' discussion in The General Theory about the 'euthanasia of the rentier class' was taken very seriously by the wealthy. Stanford economist Laurie Tarshis sat in on lectures by Keynes in the '30s in England. After WW II he wrote Elements of Economics, an excellent introduction to economics based on Keynes' thinking. William Buckley led the charge against him and stirred up Joe McCarthy who further denounced Tarshis. Elements of Economics became radioactive.

Samuelson introduced some analytical techniques devised by followers of Keynes, Hick, Hanson and Phillips, as what became known as the Samuelson Synthesis in his introductory text 'Economics' in 1948. It was that version, especially the Phillips Curve, that was demolished by stagflation. The Phillips curve was based on assumptions of relatively closed national economies.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jul 9th, 2019 at 07:33:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
we have here is a failure to communicate.

What is a subsidy? It is a gift from government treasury to an individual or corporate person. It is a grant. The meaning of grant and subsidy are identical.

A fossil fuel producer which receives a subsidy does not repay any amount of the subsidy. Accordingly, no one pays interest in return receipt for the subsidy received.

A renewable fuel producer which receives a subsidy does not repay any amount of the subsidy. Accordingly, no one pays interest in return receipt for the subsidy received.

Is a subsidy payment to a fossil or renewable fuel producer a financial investment?
No.

How do fossil and renewable producers spend their subsidies?
That is an excellent question. The answers pertain to merits of subsidy for either venture and may or may not be ascertained from information provided by recipients in financial statements, as required by SEC regulations or statute governing subsidy disbursement, for relevant reporting periods. Guessing might be more entertaining.

Who pays for a subsidy received by a fossil or renewable fuel producer?
The amount is drawn from current accounts of government income collected from foreign and domestic persons --individual and corporate tax returns, interest income from (un)marketable securities in custody of the FRB, penalties and fees, and proceeds of treasury bonds sales by government-- in the fiscal year budget(s) for which legislators itemize payment of the subsidy.

Is "growth" a transaction entry recognized by GAAP or GASB rules anywhere?
No.

"Growth" is a euphemism for the rate of earned income (sales, revenue) and unearned income (interest income) collected over time (reporting period) by a commercial firms.

Is a government a commercial enterprise?
Some people might believe, the most important purpose of government is financing commercial and war adventures. Legislators do appropriate funds for executive agencies to lend money to commercial firms operating in selected industries. Borrowers repay loan principal plus interest at a rate less than prevailing interest demanded by commercial lenders. Every subdivision of a government relies on subsidy to provide numerous, local public benefits.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Jul 9th, 2019 at 03:31:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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