Green New Deal

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 14/01/2019 - 8:13pm in



The idea of a “Green New Deal” seems to be everywhere, quite suddenly, although Wikipedia suggests it has been around for quite a while and that the phrase was coined by the ubiquitous Tom Friedman. There’s quite a good summary of the various versions by David Roberts at Vox (for those who don’t know him, an excellent source on climate issues in general).

The fuzziness of the term is, in a sense, unsurprising. It seems obvious that any progressive policy for the US must fit this description in broad terms. That is, it must be a modernized version of the New Deal and it must imply a shift to an environmentally sustainable economy. So, I’m going to put up my own version, without claiming that it is the One True GND.

As far as the “Green” part is concerned, it’s urgently necessary to decarbonize the economy, shifting to a fully renewable electricity system and electrifying the transport system. The time when this could be achieved by a price-based policy (carbon tax or emissions permits alone) has passed. A carbon price is needed, but so is systematic regulatory intervention.

Compared to politics as usual, this is a big deal, involving trillions of dollars in investment a complete restructuring of the energy sector, and radical changes to transport systems. It also has the potential for substantial net gains in employment – solar energy already employs three times as many US workers as coal.

But relative to the US or world economy as a whole, a transformation of the energy and transport sectors is not a big enough deal to form the basis of a New Deal. Energy and transport together account for around 10 per cent of the economy, and replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy in this 10 per cent is not going to make a fundamental difference to the operation of capitalism.

Quite a few ideas involving more radical economic changes have been proposed, including a Job Guarantee and Universal Basic Income. I’ve argued for a combination of these. In the specific context of a Green New Deal, the most important demand should be a reduction in working hours, with no offsetting change in wages. That amounts to taking the benefits of increased productivity, and progressive redistribution, in the form of increased leisure rather than increased consumption. It goes along with research findings suggesting that experiences, rather than material goods, are a better source of lasting happiness. To make the argument work completely, we need the further proviso that experiences arising from participation in family and community activities are more genuine than those offered by commercial providers such as tourism operators. I’d be interested to know if there is evidence on this point.

I’m at an early stage on this, so I’ll stop here and leave it open for discussion.

Worrying about Money

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/01/2019 - 10:06am in



I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck. I’ve waited to buy food, worried about rent, and delayed bills. I've worried about money. And that can be a problem.

United States: Harvard Economist Argues for Replacement of the EITC with a Basic Income

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 21/12/2018 - 11:46am in

Associate Professor of Economics at Harvard, Dr. Maximilian Kasy contends that the Earned Income Tax Credit in the United States, carries several economic, moral, and political disadvantages in comparison to a universal basic income.

The post United States: Harvard Economist Argues for Replacement of the EITC with a Basic Income appeared first on BIEN.

Compliments: How to Get Happy and Make a Better World

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 20/12/2018 - 4:33am in



How many compliments do you give out? Most of us could give more. Here's why you should.

Holiday Hangover

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 18/12/2018 - 7:00pm in

Oversharing drunk coworkers...must be Christmas!

’21 Lessons for the 21st Century’ shows humanity’s challenges

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/12/2018 - 6:50pm in

What does the future hold, an unemployment ridden wasteland or a leisure based post-work society?

The post ’21 Lessons for the 21st Century’ shows humanity’s challenges appeared first on BIEN.

How to Avoid “Death by Meeting” in the Workplace

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 30/11/2018 - 10:53pm in



Meetings are a dreaded part of almost any job. But when they’re done well, meetings can build team spirit and motivate members to work toward common goals.

Multitasking in the Mind's Eye

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 24/11/2018 - 12:29am in


neuroscience, work

While multitasking is a demonstrably inefficient way of getting things done, the illusion that we are multitasking can actually improve rather than impede our efficiency.

Costly Mistakes?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 17/10/2018 - 2:10am in


fear, work

A football quarterback throws an interception that has zero bearing on the game and gets blamed for making a "costly" mistake—showing the stupidity of our fear of errors.

How Do You Develop a Work Routine That's Not Routine?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 22/09/2018 - 4:00am in



Most productivity gurus recommend developing and sticking to a routine, but how do we prevent that routine from becoming. . .routine?