Critically Important News & Analysis, June 8, 2019

The employment situation is pretty stagnant. The Green New Deal (GND) will take care of that.

I called for a GND plank-by-blank but not by that name shortly after the first Earth Day in 1970, when I was 16, long before the Greens (in Europe) announced their GND platform in 2006. I read Rachel Carson’s, New York Times bestseller, Silent Spring. The "conservatives" hated it.

It's interesting to note that conservation is exactly what Rachel was about: being conservative but also restorative and protective. The "conservatives" who hated Rachel's book were the radicals: radically dangerous. Look at all the destructive "prosperity" they've wrought.

It hasn't been creative destruction in the positive but negative. Their externalities aren't external to anything. We're living with them, those "externalities" and often right within us, in our bodies as toxins damaging and killing us prematurely.

We can take care of the planet, ourselves, our loved ones, our entire race, the Human Race, and our entire planet's economy all at the same time and rather quickly. It requires vision and bringing that to fruition.

It's been a very long slog because of the selfish forces arrayed against us. However, the time to break through and win has come. Things had to get much worse before enough people woke up. That's a shame, but it's better late than never.

People had the right vision in 1970 and before, but they were ignored and then fought against by laissez-faire capitalists, who always put their shortsighted, selfish goals before everyone and everything else.

Envision a world without unemployment, poverty, pollution, global warming, war, etc. Envision the "Employment Situation" being reported as perfect rather than the stagnant situation we hear about over and over for decades.

We shouldn't have been living with systemic unemployment now since the 1970's. We have been living with it because the wrong people have been in power bringing forth the wrong policies and practices. Many of them have wrongly called themselves liberals and progressives and conservatives.

We need a hugely liberal fiscal policy where our government creates and doesn't borrow money. We need progressive policies and practices to restore us back to what should have been conserved in the first place: a clean and healthy planet.

The stagnant Employment Situation Summary.

We can easily pay for it all: The Monetary-and-Banking-Democratization Platform for The United States of America.

How about building a receiving room into the housing? There was an experimental company that delivered groceries to a refrigerator with two doors, one on the outside of the house and one on the inside for the residents. I'd rather have the deliveries dropped off in a portion of the house or apartment that doesn't allow the delivery personnel to have access to anywhere else.

Walmart Will Put the Groceries in the Fridge While You’re Out

Federal Crews Begin Assessing Ohio Tornado Damage

The survey crews will tally up the damage to determine if Ohio qualifies for federal disaster assistance.

10 Democratic Candidates Support Fracking Ban. Biden Stays Mum.

Candidates Bernie Sanders, Jay Inslee, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard, Peter Buttigieg, Bill de Blasio, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Messam and Eric Swalwell all support a ban on hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” according to a survey updated Monday by The Washington Post. Several other candidates, including Kirsten Gillibrand and Beto O’Rourke, would not ban fracking but support tougher environmental regulation of the oil and gas industry. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris did not respond to the survey.

Biden released his much-anticipated climate plan on Tuesday, but it says nothing about fracking. ...
The anti-fracking positions taken by a number of prominent Democrats stand in sharp contrast to the Trump administration, which has declared itself the oil and gas industry’s “best friend” and feverishly rolled back environmental protections and federal efforts to respond to the climate crisis.
Widespread fracking and the disposal of fracking wastewater has been linked to water contamination, air pollution and even earthquakes. The industry has rapidly expanded its infrastructure as a result of the fracking boom and a glut of cheap natural gas, forcing communities to contend with new pipelines, oil and gas storage depots, petrochemical refineries, plastics plants and other potential sources of pollution.
It is still early in the primary season, and many Democrats have yet to solidify their energy and climate agendas. Senator Booker, for example, supports a fracking ban but also supports expanding nuclear power plants as a source of carbon-neutral energy, a position that puts him at odds with many environmentalists. Biden has taken heat from opponents on his left for approaching climate change with a “middle ground” energy policy that would likely embrace fracking. The debate is expected to center around the term “net-zero emissions,” because carbon offset programs, cap-and-trade schemes, carbon capture and other forms of climate mitigation would allow the fossil fuel industry to continue fracking and drilling for decades.

For the record, I opposed fracking before it even came on line. I had said it will cause earthquakes and damage property, not to mention contaminate ground water. It's also increased air pollution.

Scathing attack on the US healthcare system:

The Neoliberal Disaster of US Healthcare

In 2018 the UK spent 18% (£145.8 billion) of the total government budget in order to provide free universal health care.

By contrast, in 2018 the US spent 28% ($1.5 trillion) of the total government budget in order to apparently subsidise a woefully inefficient private health care sector.

The US government spends 55% more than the UK government on health care: yet somehow fails to be able to offer free universal health care for all its citizens.

It would appear that in relying upon private sector health care provision the US taxpayer is getting spectacularly bad value for their tax dollars.

Indeed anyone looking at this spending difference would assume that the country spending 28% of its budget was the one providing free health care and the country spending 18% was more likely using the private sector model.

The whole article is well worth reading. Just because I'm in the insurance industry doesn't mean I support the private health-insurance portion of the sector. I'd rather everyone be fully covered and have zero out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare than for anyone in the private health-insurance industry to be rich by keeping the US from having a National Health Service (NHS) even better than the one in Britain.

Don't get me wrong. I'm completely for private insurance in this mixed economy. What I mean is that I'm for private coverage over none. Plenty of people providing private coverage are fine people, ethical people who fully empathize with those needing care. I'm not disparaging the insurance industry, per se, though I'm far from saying it's perfect. What I am saying is that we can, should, and, frankly, must provide quality healthcare to everyone at no out-of-pocket costs to them and do so without pulling the financial rug out from under those in health insurance.

By the way, the "horror" stories you might hear or read about the NHS in England are due to privatizers undercutting funding and not due to anything inherently bad about the program.

I'm always against the greedy under funding or taking away from the poor what's working. The NHS works very well and should be receiving more funding, not less.

Fed uses Chicago conference to signal it will use quantitative easing aggressively to fight next recession

“The next time policy rates hit the effective lower bound [i.e. zero] — and there will be a next time — it will not be a surprise. We are now well aware of the challenges the ELB presents, and we have the painful experience of the global financial crisis and its aftermath to guide us,” Powell said in a speech opening the conference.

“Our obligation to the public we serve is to take those measures now that will put us in the best position deal with our next encounter with the ELB,” he said.

He better start talking up fiscal stimulus. The ground needs to be prepared for a stimulus that will make the last one look like a drop in the bucket.

Gas surges globally as green groups cry foul

The IEA told AFP that gas consumption in 2018 prevented the burning of around 60 million tonnes of coal, which produces around 40 percent greater emissions.
"In a world where millions of lives and livelihoods are already being destroyed by rising global temperatures, there is no future in fossil fuel growth."

Jo Michell didn't like Richard Murphy's article on James Meadway's anti-MMT campaign for the Labour Party.

Jo Michell is missing the point. Richard's point is that Labour's "fiscal rule" is a self-inflicted (neoclassical/neoliberal) wound that will severely hamper Labour's ability to deliver. Richard is completely correct. I think John McDonnell knows it too and that Labour will not retain its "fiscal rule" once it gets in the way of Labour delivering. Perhaps the US will have to beat Labour to it via MMT so Labour can have cover by pointing to how well the US is doing bringing forth the Green New Deal.

California Senate Shelves Bill Tying Affordable Housing to Climate Crisis, Public Transit

Senate Democrats have removed SB 50 from the docket for the 2019 legislative session. Aiming to tackle housing, public transit and wildfires, it came under fire for loopholes and weak mandates, but policy conversation now proceeds in other venues.

‘Grenfell inquiry taking too long’ - North Kensington resident

“With the inquiry, everything is taking so long, that when we look at the Hackitt Report and we look at recommendations… It’s too long" - Melanie Wolfe, North Kensington resident, Campaigner, as the second anniversary of the Grenfell fire approaches.