SocraticGadfly: Political wish lists — looking at 2018 and beyond

February 23, 2017

Political wish lists — looking at 2018 and beyond

I've already blogged about how I think the Green Party needs to revamp for the future, and, in analyzing Mark Lause, mentioned specific organizational and other issues.

So, let's focus on what I want it to stand for on a positive side. Let me note that I am an ecosocialist or something similar.

So, let's dig in.

1. Guaranteed basic income. And, this must be a non-libertarian version of it — one that does not use GBI/UBI to replace unemployment benefits, SSI/SSDI, etc. No libertarian sheepdogging.

2. Three weeks paid vacation time, guaranteed. We may never get to Western Europe's time-off level, but we should at least emulate Canada. Three weeks paid, guaranteed, after five years on a job, or after age 40 and three years on the same job. Sounds like a baseline. If Greens wanted to really be a party of the "working class," they'd push for this one right away.

3. Eliminating the Bush tax cuts that Obama "made permanent," put more progressivity in the tax code, make all income subject to FICA taxation, tax hedge-fund income like ... well, like income, etc. Taxing hedge fund income as, well, "income," and explaining the fairness issue could be a way for Greens to selectively target disgruntled Trump supporters.

4. So as to not gut the military Keynesianism of the past 70 years all at once, a 5-year, 25 percent cut in defense spending. Yes, Congress cannot officially budget for the military for more than two years at a time, but the Green Party could still express aspirational targets. And we need to do this.

5. Eliminate the NSA and CIA, and force the government to start over.

6. Ban privatizing national-security jobs, even if we don't achieve No. 5.

7. Carbon tax and tariff, all at once, one bill.

8. Single-payer national health care. That includes a British-style NHS, as necessary, to rein in costs. I've blogged about that before. I do not think "plain old" national health care by itself is enough to control costs, and I no more want taxpayers going bankrupt over health care than I do individuals and employers.

9. Science-based stances on medicine and GMOs. One can still raise concerns about the business side of either Big Ag or Pharma while accepting the science on GMOs and vaccines. (I've addressed this in other GP-related posts, but needs to be mentioned again.)

As far as the resistance to Trump in this, while I love almost everything Massimo Pigliucci has to say on philosophy, and most of what he has to say on evolutionary biology, he's wearing the Democrats-only blinders on Trump resistance.

I don't have a problem working with Democrats, or even saying I agree with Trump on trade policy issues, even if that's not likely to help inequality a lot.

But, per the list above, Greens, or parties of the left in general, when working to oppose Trump, must say what we stand for, as well as stand against. As Ted Rall notes, the Women's March didn't do that. On Massimo's post, I invited the Dems-only folks to do the same — say what they stand for. If they even halfway agree with the list of mine, then they need to stop voting Democratic.

Not that they will.

It's the two-partyism, and voting for lesser evilism out of fear of greater evilism, even as both slouch toward Gomorrah.

And, as for Massimo asking what Ted has accomplished? Erm, what did John Podesta accomplish, beyond giving us his risotto recipe?

And, we leftists and left-liberals must not let conservaDems, classical liberals, or whomever claim that the Democratic Party caved into identity politics at the expense of the working class.

Democratic Party local leaders stress that's a false dichotomy. And they're right. At the same time, "we" mustn't let identity politics cover up socioeconomic class issues, or, for Greens, the "eco-" part of ecosocialism. (And, we must remember that somebody else will raise an "identity" issue that many others have not; Greens, as well as identity politics Democrats, are pretty quiet about, say, secularism.) And, at some point, again, per Mark, if that's not Greens, then it's somewhere else.

Beyond that, even The New Republic, of all centrist neoliberal places, says Dems haven't earned the right to sheepdog.

And, beyond the libertarian sheepdogging on UBI, there's plenty of Dem sheepdogging out there, whether sheepdogging on Trump resistance, or former Bernie staffers sheepdogging a Berniecrat third party.

Finally, people who vote left must also make sure the Greens do not offer up accommoGreens to the public. And people who claim to be Green but also libertarian in the full economic sense and claim the free market can solve climate change, stop polluters and address other environmental issues need to be weeded out of the party. Call it reverse sheepdogging or whatever.

1 comment:

dbcgreentx said...

Revamping process has officially begun at the Harris County GP. Just hope it can build momentum through 2018.