It is All about the Ripple…

When we drop a rock in a pond it causes a far reaching ripple.  Our actions also cause a ripple that spreads and has a far reaching ripple or impact.  Drawdown is the by-Product of a better tomorrow. By drawdown, in the book edited by Paul Hawken, they are talking about how to drawdown the carbon emissions that are causing problems.

The actions discussed in the book, “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming“, make a better today and a better tomorrow.  Drawdown is the ripple, not the only impact.  A way to make a better tomorrow, starting today, has been outlined by Paul Hawken and a great group of colleagues. The book itemizes 100 examples of how to start to make this happen.

Chad Frischmans TED Talk below provides a summary of the 100 solutions provided in the book.

I always thought my work and focus has been about how to create a better tomorrow by discovering the most effective, efficient and sustainable way to get what we want that also benefits the future.  The concept is similar to how Rory Vader explains how to multiply time.  As he explains, take action today to make a better tomorrow (see Be Fruitful and Multiply – Time That is…).

As I continue to learn, I realized it is “All about the Ripple”.  To feel good for doing good, the ripple, or long term impact, must also be beneficial.  In other words, to add to Vaden’s goal, to focus actions that can be taken today, that will make a better tomorrow…For Everyone and Everything.”

It is possible to create a better today that also makes a better tomorrow more likely, however traditional ways must be improved.  Drawdown is the “Moneyball (also a Movie of the same name)” or better way for the environment, like Upcycle. Better ways have also been found for education, business, industry, health and policy (see Concept: Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad and Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad (described in video). We can ask ourselves, what ripple happens because of the actions taken?

We are not using the ideas outlined by Hawken and Frischman as commonly as we should because skeptics let us doubt ourselves. To instill doubt they focus on the unknown since we can’t answer ever question. Skeptics have been using the idea of doubt to distort our reality for a corporate agenda.

Krugman recently has gotten so frustrated by this he calls the climate deniers depravers.  That is he is accusing them of moral corruption. I encourage you read his 11-26-2018 article, The Depravity of Climate-Change Denial: Risking civilization for profit, ideology and ego.  I am confused by this approach because doing this means they do not get as many benefits either. These shortsighted approaches leave a lot “on the table”.  More benefits will transpire when the aim is to have a positive ripple beyond the initial impact.

What can be done? Dr. Pinillos, a professor at Arizona State University suggests using  probability in his article, Knowledge, Ignorance and Climate Change.  As he explains, because we can’t know everything and we also know that we don’t know everything, he recommends we “…to stop talking about “knowledge” and switch to talking about probabilities”.  As he explains, “…people in the grips of skepticism are often still willing to accept the objective probabilities…”

Plans are not perfect and no matter how smart or educated we are, what we don’t know far surpasses anything we know. Socrates taught us the virtue of recognizing our limitations. The ideas presented by Paul Hawken and Chris Frischman are ones we should already be using so lets get started using them and continue to collect data about those actions and improve as needed. In other words, plot our progress and if it is not happening, we must optimize the process again ( see Improve when Predict, Observe, Get Feedback, and Adjust.

Doing this isn’t always easy.  It is easy to be against something, fight against a perceived injustice or what seems wrong. Although doing this is morally correct and necessary, it is mostly action to stop something.  Then what?  Being for something takes more effort to persistently develop, design and implement and continually improve a better way that not only is initially good, but also has A POSITIVE RIPPLE.

So what am I doing, I am going on offense by working toward renewing, rebuilding, restoring, and building  a better life.  Not just a less bad life, but a better life than where we are.  This isn’t about putting out fires to get us back where we were, it is about redesign to create a new and better reality that makes life better today and tomorrow. We must exceed expectations!

Joining these efforts, not only means you get to experience the benefits a better world, you get the intrinsic rush of knowing you contributed toward everyone and everything doing better. Please share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing about the how you practice paneugenesis so you will generate all good by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

If you want to contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

 

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Do we need an Independent Referee for Life?

For some time I have been thinking about the importance of perceived fairness.  Evidence suggests fairness is innate because we see it in very young children.  I also believe I have seen the concept of fairness in my dogs.  Is it a law such that even dogs want fairness?

As I had been thinking about it, I learned about Michael Lewis’s new Podcast, Against the Rules. This podcast promotes itself by explaining how it will “…look at what’s happened to fairness.  The podcasts look in financial markets, newsrooms, basketball games, courts of laws and much more.  He asks, what happens to a world where everyone hate the referee?”  I have only listened to a few, however what I have heard have been great!

To me, fairness is a basic necessity or a precursor to being able to do better than what is expected or what have been called best practices. For me fairness is the 0 I emphasize in my exceeding expectations video (below).

Please share your thoughts about how we can build fairness into our daily lives so people don’t feel cheated.  When things aren’t fair, everybody loses something because the cumulative benefits, though tilted toward one party, will still be less for all.  I will continue to work at generating comprehensive improvements beyond just being fair through the creation of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or by practicing paneugenesis.  I look forward to hearing about the how you help generate all good for everyone and everything.

If you want to contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Update: Evidence that Culture Beats Strategy – A Story…

As of May 6, 2019, I learned about a wrinkle to this story.  The wrinkle appeared when I listened to Michael Lewis’s Against The Rules Podcast, “The Alex Kogan Experience”  on Against the Rules with Michael Lewis and it puts into doubt some of the claims.  I encourage you to listen to this podcast to go along with this post.  Enjoy!

Original Post:
Once again, in my continual quest to learn, it seemed all was connected and a story was formed.  In the morning I listened to the NYT’s Daily broadcast: The Whistle-Blowers at Boeing from The Daily in Podcasts. The story made clear, despite quality managers, the culture did not make it possible for them to do their job.

Evidence between culture and strategy relates to short and long-term results.  Strategy’s can work for a short time, but in the end, culture determines what happens. This Daily episode resonated with so many other things I had been reviewing and hearing, it indicated to me there was a story being told.  This is the story I heard being told…

Although I am late reading Jeremy Rifkin’s 2000 book, “Age of Access: The New culture of hyper capitalism where all of life is a paid for experience“, it is currently relevant.  Now, because I have the ability to use hindsight, I am amazed by his prescience or foreknowledge about how technology would impact our world.   He accurately  predicted the changes that have taken place because of the Internet, FaceBook, and our almost constant reliance to our online world.  Throughout the book he talks about how it will, and now has, impacted and changed our culture.

Most importantly, near the end, he explains that culture is the precursor or necessary prerequisite to commerce or a market economy.  He points out that trust and empathy, something developed from face to face contact, is necessary for a caring society.  He was concerned that having only an online relationship could cause harm.

I then heard an example of how the harm he predicted may be attributed to online interactions in Carole Cadwalladr’s TED Talk, Facebook’s role in Brexit — and the threat to democracy. Through this presentation she outlines how an online culture was the instigator for Brexit and Trump.  Of course, all of this was possible because of our innate gullibility and our brain biases or the mental illusions we face as humans.

Then I heard another TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,The danger of a single story.  In her presentation she explained how all these things in very simple terms. She explained how it all relates to when we rely on a single story.  Kahneman and Tversky’s work backs up her presentation when they talked about the representativeness heuristic.  The representative heuristic happens when people ignore base rates or likely outcomes and become biased by a story that seems representative, this therefore becomes The danger of a single story.

People are easily manipulated.  The original research on representativeness heuristic explained how i a situation where there were 100 people, 70 of which were lawyers and 30 engineers.  Despite knowing this, after a description was given of a random member of that group that was representative of a lawyer or an engineer, those initial 70-30 base rate probabilities were ignored if they were asked to pick the likely profession of a member of the group.  Instead of using the 70-30 base rate, the participant instead used the description or story to predict which profession, lawyer or engineer, the random participant held. If no description of a random participant was provided, people correctly used the base rates provided to make their prediction.  In other words, people were manipulated by the story.

If this summary is not clear due to its brevity, I encourage you to watch either or both of the short YouTube video’s below about the representative heuristic.  I also encourage you to read MIchael Lewis’s book, The Undoing Project or the many examples of these studies provided online.  Overall these studies demonstrated an innate mental bias we have related to stories.

 

To finish the story, I read a January 19, 2019 column, More Schools and Fewer Tanks for the Mideast, from my favorite columnist, Thomas Friedman.  In this column he drove home the point of developing and creating a CULTURE for a better tomorrow is the most important and effective way.  The story suggests that we need to take action to help others become all they can so we can live and help develop a better world, instead of destroying what could be.

Below is Friedman’s column:

The U.S. should send more soft power and less hard power to the region.

Tunisians last week celebrated the anniversary of their 2011 revolution.Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images

Tunisians last week celebrated the anniversary of their 2011 revolution.Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images

President Trump’s sudden announcement that he’s pulling U.S. troops out of Syria and shrinking their number in Afghanistan has prompted a new debate about American ground forces in the Middle East and whether keeping them there is vital or not. I’m asking myself the same question. To answer that question, though, I need to start with another question:

Why is it that the one Arab Spring country that managed to make a relatively peaceful transition from dictatorship to a constitutional democracy — with full empowerment for its women — is the country we’ve had the least to do with and where we’ve never sent soldiers to fight and die? It’s called Tunisia.

Yes, Tunisia, the only Middle East country to achieve the ends that we so badly desired for Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan, did so after having hosted more U.S. Peace Corps workers over the last 50 years than U.S. military advisers and after having received only about $1 billion in U.S. aid (and three loan guarantees) since its 2010-11 democracy revolution.

By comparison, the U.S. is now spending about $45 billion a year in Afghanistan — after 17 years of trying to transform it into a pluralistic democracy. That is an insane contrast. Especially when you consider that Tunisia’s self-propelled democracy is such an important model for the region, but an increasingly frail one.

American service members arriving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2017.Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

American service members arriving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2017.Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

It’s threatened by labor strikes, the spillover of instability from Libya, a slowing economy that can’t produce enough jobs or income for its educated young people, a 2016 International Monetary Fund loan that restricts the government from hiring, all causing stresses among the key players in its power-sharing deal involving trade unionists, Islamists, old-regime types and new democrats. For now, Tunisia is holding together, but it could sure use one week’s worth of what we spend in Afghanistan.

Why could Tunisia transition to democracy when others couldn’t? It starts with its founding father, Habib Bourguiba, Tunisia’s leader from independence, in 1956, to 1987.

Though he was a president-for-life like other Arab autocrats, Bourguiba was unique in other ways: He kept his army very small and did not waste four decades trying to destroy Israel; he was actually a lonely voice calling for coexistence.

He educated and empowered Tunisian women and allowed relatively strong civil society groups to emerge — trade unions, lawyers’ syndicates, women’s groups, who were vital to toppling Bourguiba’s tyrannical successor and forging a new Constitution with Tunisia’s Islamic movement. Tunisia was also blessed by having little oil, so it had to invest in its people’s education.

Tunisia, in short, had the cultural underpinnings to sustain a democratic revolution. But political and cultural transformations move at different speeds. The U.S. (myself included) wanted to rush the necessary cultural transformation of Afghanistan and Iraq, but as Peter Drucker once noted, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That fact — plus our own incompetence and their corruption — has eaten alive the U.S. democracy efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

All of this shapes how I think about Trump’s abrupt order to withdraw from Syria and desire to get out of Afghanistan. I think he is right on Afghanistan. We’ve defeated Al Qaeda there; it’s time for us to negotiate with the Taliban and Pakistan the best phased exit we can — and take as many people who worked for us as we can. Afghanistan has hard countries around it — Russia, Pakistan, India, China and Iran — and they have the ability to contain and manage the disorder there. We gave at the office.

I’d keep our special forces in Syria, though, but not because we’ve yet to defeat ISIS. ISIS is a direct byproduct of the wider regional struggle between Sunnis and Shiites, led by Saudi Arabia and Iran. ISIS arose as an extreme Sunni response to the extreme efforts by Iran and pro-Iranian Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria to ethnically cleanse and strip power from Sunnis in Iraq and Syria. As long as Iran pursues that strategy, there will be an ISIS in some form or other.

That’s why the only peace process that could have a stabilizing effect across the Middle East today is not between Israelis and Palestinians — but between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

What the small, not-all-that-costly U.S. force in Syria does that is most important is prevent the awful there from becoming the truly disastrous in a couple ways. It does so in part by protecting the Kurds and moderate Sunnis from the murderous Syrian government and Turkey. The mainstream Syrian and Iraqi Kurds have been, for the most part, forces for decency and Western values in that corner of the world. One day we might build on their islands of decency; they’re worth preserving.

Our forces also help stabilize northeastern Syria, making it less likely that another huge wave of refugees will emerge from there that could further destabilize Lebanon and Jordan and create nativist backlashes in the European Union like the earlier wave did. To me, the European Union is the other United States of the world, and we and NATO have a vital interest in protecting the E.U. from being fractured over a fight over the influx of Mideast refugees.

Finally, I’d take $2 billion of the $45 billion we’d save from getting out of Afghanistan and invest it regionally in all the cultural changes that made Tunisia unique — across the whole Arab world. I’d give huge aid to the American University in Cairo, the American University in Beirut, the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, and the American University of Afghanistan.

And I’d massively expand the scholarship program we once ran by which top Arab public school students were eligible for a U.S.-funded scholarship to any U.S.-style liberal arts college in Lebanon or anywhere else in the region.

I’d also massively expand student visas and scholarships — especially for Arab women — for study in America. And I’d offer 5,000 scholarships for Iranians to come to America to get graduate degrees in science, engineering or medicine, with visas available in Dubai. That line would be so long! Nothing would embarrass the Iranian regime more.

And I’d give Tunisia a $1 billion interest-free loan and quadruple the size of the Tunisian American Enterprise Fund that promotes start-ups there.

The other $43 billion I’d spend on new infrastructure in America.

Since 9/11, we’ve relied almost entirely on hard power. Some was needed, some is still needed, but most of it failed. It’s time we tried more soft power. It’s time we focused on giving more Arabs and Iranians access to the ingredients that enabled Tunisia to transform itself by itself into a democracy without a single U.S. war fighter.

Yes, it will take a long time. But there was never a shortcut, and the approach we tried with the Pentagon in the lead has only led to multiple dead ends.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

Thomas L. Friedman is the foreign affairs Op-Ed columnist. He joined the paper in 1981, and has won three Pulitzer Prizes. He is the author of seven books, including “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” which won the National Book Award. @tomfriedman • Facebook

 

Please share your thoughts.  I will continue to work at generating comprehensive improvements through the creation of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or by practicing paneugenesis.  I look forward to hearing about the how you help generate all good for everyone and everything.

If you want to contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Science, Beauty, Evolution, and Progress

This post was inspired and improved by information provided by Kerry Sewell. Thank you Kerry.

I am constantly reading and listening to presentations to learn new things.  As I learn I am awed by what I learn and how everyone and everything is interconnected.  Recently I listened to an interesting RadioLab presentation and 2 TED Talks and they all seemed to tell an interconnected story.

To start the story,  Phil Plait ‘s TED talk, The secret to scientific discoveries? Making mistakes,(see below) provided a fresh perspective on science.  He reminds us that mistakes are part of the scientific process.  He also suggests that many people misunderstand science because they  think that “…science is just a big pile of facts.” He emphasizes the problem with this belief is not only that it is wrong, but that collected facts are not even a goal of science.  He then explains how the process of science provides humans with the best chance to learn about our reality, objectively.  Next he explains what most of us know, but fail to admit, “…people are flawed” and easily fooled. Science is valuable because it provides a method to be objective  (for more about our difficulty seeing things accurately see, Innate Gullibility Highlights the Value of Predictability)

Science helps because it gives us a process that minimizes our biases so we can see reality more clearly. I encourage you to listen to his presentation below.

Next, an interesting RadioLab discussion about The Beauty Puzzle (show linked) challenged the evolutionary scientific idea of fitness as the determining factor.  In other words, it suggests we may have made a mistake.  This hypothesis suggests beauty or aesthetics, not survival of the fittest, is the determining factor, and that the ’survival of the fittest’ paradigm was a deliberate perversion of Darwin’s original theory..

 

 

The evidence providedfor this hypothesis,, while it has some merit, for me, provides an unconvincing alternative.  The discussion did not factor in the idea of mental illusions or mistakes in the scientific process as discussed by Phil Plait.  Nor did it take into account mental illusions as outlined by Kahneman and Tversky. (see Undoing Needed because Mental Illusions Impact Us)   As I understand it, evolution is an ongoing big experiment and not all experiments are successful.  Their examples may represent some experiments that may contribute but may not be successful. Possibly, or maybe…

Then I heard Marjan van Aubel‘s TED Presentation about solar energy, The beautiful future of solar power.  She suggest beauty may in fact be the determining factor for OUR survival.  In his presentation she explains the importance of aesthetics or beauty and suggests it as necessity if we are to adopt and use the power of the sun.

All together these interesting presentations seem to recommend for us to progress toward a better tomorrow using study, science, experiments, and mistakes to learn how to contribute to a more beautiful tomorrow.

Please share your thoughts.  I will continue to attempt to push evolution with science by creating more beauty through the generation of comprehensive improvements from the creation of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or by practicing paneugenesis.  I look forward to hearing about the how you help generate all good for everyone and everything.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

If you want to contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Creating Abundance Better than Poverty Elimination

Information from a recent (3/7/2019) NYT’s column “How to Think About Taxing and Spending Like a Swede” by Monica Prasad, a professor of sociology at Northwestern, linked and  below, indicates the Concept: Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad promoted here and many other posts on this blog works.  This is the idea of paneugenesis, which is generating comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

As noted, using tax money to make it better for improves society for all.  As she notes, “…Sweden has very low poverty and inequality, and economic mobility is significantly higher than it is in the United States; a poor Swede is much more likely to become middle class than a poor American is.”  Sweden’s program is not a Robin Hood, take from the rich and give to the poor strategy or even a way to use taxes to create programs for the poor. “… Sweden does not target much of its spending specifically to the poor.Tax revenue is spent on universal programs, like health care, which benefit most those who live longest; free college tuition takes from those who do not go to college and gives to those who do. Many aspects of welfare state spending in Sweden — as in other European countries — are linked to income, so that the more you earn, the more you receive in benefits. This is enormously effective, because it gives an incentive to Swedes to work hard and earn more.”

To me this seems like a tax policy that can facilitate progress for all.

As you know, I will work for progress by generating comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or by practicing paneugenesis.  I look forward to hearing about the progress you help generate.

For more information about this I encourage you to read Monica Prasad’s column below:

 

How to Think About Taxing and Spending Like a Swede

Europe has less inequality and more social mobility because its taxation schemes reach deeper into society and do more for everyone.

By Monica Prasad

Ms. Prasad is a professor of sociology at Northwestern.

George Wylesol

In the recent rush of proposals to tax the rich, Democrats have forgotten — or never really cared to learn — an important lesson: The countries that have been most successful at reducing poverty and inequality have not done it by taxing the wealthy and giving to the poor.

Take Sweden, a country often cited by progressives for its extensive social programs. Sweden has very low poverty and inequality, and economic mobility is significantly higher than it is in the United States; a poor Swede is much more likely to become middle class than a poor American is.

We can learn from Sweden, but the lesson is not what many people think. Rich Swedes do get taxed at high rates, but so does everyone else: The average American worker’s total tax burden is 31.7 percent of earnings, compared with 42.9 percent for the average Swede. The Swedes actually tax corporations less: 19.8 percent, compared with 34.2 percent in the United States in 2017, the last year for which we have comparative data — and yes, that’s after all the loopholes and deductions have been accounted for. The American rate will be lower after the 2017 tax bill, but it’s still unlikely to be as low as Sweden’s.

Estate tax? In the United States the average effective rate is 16.5 percent. In Sweden, it’s zero. Swedish national sales taxes, which fall disproportionately on the middle classes, are much higher than sales taxes in the United States. In France, another country held up as an exemplar by progressives, the economist Thomas Piketty and his collaborators found the overall tax structure was actually a bit regressive, meaning the wealthiest pay slightly lower rates of tax than the less wealthy. Throughout Europe, since World War II, the rule has been high taxes on labor and low taxes on capital.

On the spending side, Sweden does not target much of its spending specifically to the poor.Tax revenue is spent on universal programs, like health care, which benefit most those who live longest; free college tuition takes from those who do not go to college and gives to those who do. Many aspects of welfare state spending in Sweden — as in other European countries — are linked to income, so that the more you earn, the more you receive in benefits. This is enormously effective, because it gives an incentive to Swedes to work hard and earn more.

Poverty and inequality do get reduced, though not by redistribution from rich to poor, but rather by redistribution within classes — as the American sociologist Arthur Stinchcombe once put it, from the healthy to the unhealthy, from the young to the old and from the lucky to the unlucky.

These patterns go back to the early 20th century, when many European countries were trying to figure out how to compete with the rising American economic behemoth and decided that they had to nurture their capitalists to do so.

European welfare states have many origin points and many causes, but they took their modern forms around the Second World War, when in countries like France and Germany there simply wasn’t much capital to tax, because the capital stock had been destroyed by war. Higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy in the United States also have their origins in the early 20th century, when politicians representing Midwestern and Southern farmers ganged up against Northeastern industrialists.

Some scholars have drawn on this history to argue that the United States needs to give up its fixation with progressive taxation and adopt a national sales tax as every other advanced industrial country has done.

But this is too literal an interpretation of the lessons of history. It’s hard to make a case for a big new tax in America on the middle classes and the poor after decades when most of the economic benefits have flowed to the wealthy. European countries adopted their tax policies at times when economic growth was desperately needed and capital needed to be built up. Much has changed since then, and European tax systems could at this point stand a bit of reform in a more progressive direction, as the Yellow Vest protesters in France have been trying to tell us.

In Sweden, tax revenue is spent on universal programs like health care.Jonathan Nackstrand/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In Sweden, tax revenue is spent on universal programs like health care.Jonathan Nackstrand/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The real lesson to take away from Europe is that progressive social programs are most popular, most effective and most durable when they are carried out in ways that do not damage business prosperity. European social reformers didn’t just reduce poverty and inequality. They created a new reality. When conservatives come into power in European countries, they find they cannot take away the progressive policies.

European reformers managed this by embedding progressive policies in business-oriented arrangements. Low taxes on capital are just one example. We don’t need to enact exactly the same policies now — given how much wealthy Americans have benefited over the last several decades, progressive taxation still has a role to play in the United States — but we do need to learn the larger lesson that the secret of the European welfare states is that they are surprisingly business-friendly.

What would a policy that takes these lessons to heart look like in the United States today? It would look a lot like a business-oriented version of the Green New Deal. The recent proposal by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Edward Markey needs a great deal of work, but it is far from a pipe dream — indeed, it’s the only proposal we have that is trying to face difficult truths.

For the plan to reduce carbon emissions, however, it has to get started now, and stay in place a long time, including through the next few conservative backlashes. The only way to do that — the only way to make it the new reality of the American economy, rather than a temporary attempt swept away by conservative populism — is to get business on board. This isn’t just because businesses will otherwise fight it, it’s because the American people will otherwise fight it.

To move from vision to reality, the Green New Deal coalition must include business groups, manufacturers, farmers and unions, and reformers need to genuinely listen to and respond to their concerns. They need to focus on solving problems such as the decline in productivity and work force participation, by using the revenue from a carbon tax to create jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and by using higher taxes on capital gains to fund infrastructure, education, and research and development.

Green reformers also need to explain the enormous business opportunity that this historic shift to a zero carbon economy presents. Get businesses to make investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and you make your policies not only more feasible, but also irreversible.

None of this would create a European-style welfare state. But if done right, it would create something even more extraordinary: a new model of capitalism that European progressives themselves would, someday, try to imitate.

Monica Prasad, a professor of sociology and a faculty fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, is the author, most recently, of “Starving the Beast: Ronald Reagan and the Tax Cut Revolution.”

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

If you want to contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

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