Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Green New Deal’

Common Sense: An Endangered Species?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Perhaps it’s been said before – “common sense isn’t so common anymore.”

Maybe even, at one time, or another, you’ve said as much.

Common sense, of course, is a thought process that implies a.) one is thinking, and b.) one is using process of reasoning.

And, without exception, EVERYONE thinks. Not everyone exercises good judgment.

Some take common sense for granted, while others do not.

Common sense may arise from experience, and/or education, and sometimes, experience is a harsh taskmaster – lessons learned aren’t always learned the easiest, or best way. But, it’s education nevertheless.

Point being, is that when we think, we use our highest and best faculties, which separates us and makes us unique in the animal kingdom.

So let’s quickly talk about common sense and politics – an area in which many seem to disagree, some even vehemently, and unfortunately, sometimes violently.

When we fight, we often “lose our mind,” and are motivated and actuated by feelings… which can often betray us. Yet, even in structured fighting, such as war, we employ our faculties of reason to win the victory. War, its strategies and tactics, is studied, and taught. So that very act itself demonstrates that our thinking faculties are a higher order than feeling.

Note that instead of saying “I think,” many people say, “I feel.”

That, I think, is a mistake to say that one “feels” rather than “thinks” when expressing an opinion, for it – the feeling – is something which rationally, one cannot argue against. Feelings may be pleasant, or unpleasant. And if one feels this way, or that way, it is a merely a feeling – and may be, and often is, fleeting, or passing – it is temporal, and lasts only briefly. Consider the feeling of being sad, bloated, or even gassy.

This too, shall pass.

But let’s not delve too deeply into the matter, not to become too philosophical or analytical, per se, and suffice it to say that we want to share some common sensical thoughts – ones that many, if not most, or, even all, could agree upon – in the realm of politics.

It is, after all, political season, and we human beings are political animals. Read the rest of this entry »

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To Reboot the Economy, $pend on Economic Infrastructure!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 7, 2020

This is nothing new, per se.

The American Society of Civil Engineers has been saying this for quite some time, as well, which is that throughout America – coast-to-coast – we need to repair, enhance, and expand American economic infrastructure.

And, I’ve been saying that what we TRULY need to reinvigorate the economy since the onset of economic woes via the novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19, began to take its toll on our nation’s economy, is a wholesale reinvestment – top to bottom – in a repair, and expansion of our nation’s economic infrastructure.

While the “bailouts” for the individual citizens was good, and some of the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses was also good, we STILL need to do MUCH, MUCH MORE!

And there’s something else which – of necessity – must be done. And that is, to CHANGE the Income Tax structure for ALL Americans, to expand and increase the Personal and Corporate Income Tax brackets (which since about 1980 has been compressed and reduced, so that now, the net effect is a flat tax), and to increase the rates upon the rich, wealthy, and well-to-do, and to lower, or eliminate them upon the impoverished, and disabled. And that includes ELIMINATING the Income Taxes Reagan imposed upon Social Security, and the “Paris Hilton Tax Cuts.”

Such a measure WILL “pay for itself” through enhanced, and expanded economic capability and capacity, and will prepare America for the next 50 or more years.

Oh!

And one more thing.

In 2016, the ASCE published a document titled “Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future,” which stated in part the following:

“The cost of deteriorating infrastructure takes a toll on families’ disposable household income and impacts the quality and quantity of jobs in the U.S. economy. With deteriorating infrastructure, higher business costs will be incurred in terms of charges for services and efficiency, which will lead to higher costs incurred by households for goods and services due to the rising prices passed on by businesses.

“As a consequence, U.S. businesses will be more inefficient. As costs rise, business productivity falls, causing GDP to drop, cutting employment, and ultimately reducing personal income.

“From 2016 to 2025, each household will lose $3,400 each year in disposable income due to infrastructure deficiencies; and if not addressed, the loss will grow to an average of $5,100 annually from 2026 to 2040, resulting in cumulative losses up to almost $34,000 per household from 2016 to 2025 and almost $111,000 from 2016 to 2040 (all dollars in 2015 value).

“Over time, these impacts will also affect businesses’ ability to provide well-paying jobs, further reducing incomes. If this investment gap is not addressed throughout the nation’s infrastructure sectors by 2025, the economy is expected to lose almost $4 trillion in GDP, resulting in a loss of 2.5 million jobs in 2025.

“Moreover, workers who are employed will earn lower wages, and in the long term, many higher paying jobs in technology and other leading sectors will be replaced by jobs that fulfill needs brought on by the inefficiencies of deteriorating infrastructure.

“Closing each infrastructure investment gap is possible, and the economic consequences caused by these gaps are avoidable with investment.”

You can read that, and other entries associated with economic infrastructure, on this site by searching for the term “economic infrastructure.”

A final, parting thought:

We aren’t out of the woods yet… not by a long shot. Such economic prognostication is shared by many within, and without various universities, educational institutions, economic think-tanks, governmental, and non-governmental agencies throughout this, and other nations. And economic infrastructure spending would be like putting the country on a defibrillator, and giving it steroids, all at the same time.

The Chinese have.


Rebuild the Stalled Economy With Infrastructure Investment

By Scott Paul
Scott Paul is president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

There are two discussion topics that federal policymakers should be having right now: relief and recovery. Relief, for the estimated 40 million people this pandemic has put out of work as well as the millions of others impacted by the steps taken to slow its spread. Recovery, for the day when it’s safe to return to work but the demand for goods and services is still missing.

Some economists predict many jobs will simply disappear as industries use this moment to reorganize, compounding the economic crisis our nation faces.

But, as we all know, this isn’t the first time we’ve faced an economic crisis. In the 1932 presidential election, Franklin D. Roosevelt decisively beat President Hoover because of the latter’s inability to revive the economy in the early years of the Great Depression. Democrats eschewed Hoover’s volunteerism and leveraged the power of government to spur an economic revival, passing a landmark domestic preference bill that the lame duck president signed – the Buy American Act of 1933 – and then cleared the way as FDR expanded the federal response to the crisis.

The banking system was reorganized. Labor protections were established in exchange for regulating industrial production levels and price coordination. Farms were Read the rest of this entry »

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Green New Deal? How about Economic Infrastructure New Deal, instead?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Whether one “believes” Climate Change is “real,” or not, is totally a specious argument.

Specious means “superficially plausible, but actually wrong.”

Why is it specious?

Arguing about what causes rain while your roof is leaking is pretty stupid, don’t you think?

And yet, that’s exactly what’s happening.

This map shows federal flood damage claims from 2008 to 2018. Flood risk in many parts of the U.S. is on the rise, in part because climate change is driving more frequent and intense storms, higher seas and extreme rain. Extreme rain in 2013 caused catastrophic flooding in Boulder County, CO, including dangerous flash floods. Similar storms in 2011, 2014 and 2019 flooded much of Holt County, MO. –– Flood Insurance Claims Per 1,000 People, 2010-2018

Some people (Climate Change Science deniers) are arguing about the causes, while the devastation it wreaks continues UNABATED.

Instead, what we NEED TO DO is REBUILD -and- EXPAND our crumbling national Economic Infrastructure to – as much as possible – reduce the influence these events have upon us.

Even BIG INSURANCE companies all agree that the economic losses our nation is suffering CANNOT be sustained without serious lasting damage to our national economy.

The Geneva Association (properly, The “International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics”) is a leading international think tank of the insurance industry, which detects early ideas and emerging debates on political, economic and societal issues concerning the insurance industry.

In November 2018, they published a research paper titled “Global Weather Catastrophes, Trends, Losses, Insurance Costs Source: Managing Physical Climate Risk—Leveraging Innovations in Catastrophe Risk Modelling,” and in it, wrote in part that,

“Over the last three and a half decades, we have observed a trend of rising economic losses from extreme events globally. Between 1980 and 2017, Munich Re’s NatCatSERVICE reported 17,320 disaster loss events. Of those, 91.2% were caused by weather-related extremes (meteorological, hydrological and climatological events), accounting for 49.2% of the total of 1,723,738 lives lost, 79.8% of the total USD 4,615 billion in reported economic losses and 90.1% of total insured losses of USD 1,269 bn.

“In 2017, weather-related extremes accounted for 97% of total reported economic losses and 98.2% of Read the rest of this entry »

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Try and stop the rain? How about building infrastructure, instead?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, July 27, 2019

Extensive flooding in Muscle Shoals, AL in the NW corner of the state, in the spring of 2019

The news article which flows from the NASA story (I know… bad pun) appears below.

But either way, as usual, I’m eager to know your thoughts.

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/145101/record-setting-precipitation-leaves-us-soils-soggy/

Small Towns Fear They Are Unprepared For Future Climate-Driven Flooding

https://www.npr.org/744203716

—//—

Tennessee River flooding (bottom) contrasted with normal conditions (top) under O’Neal Bridge which joins Colbert (in the south) and Lauderdale (to the north) counties in the Shoals area of NW AL

Some folks talk about a “Green New Deal” as a prospective course of action to remedy (ameliorate) the effects of Climate Change, and to provide economic impetus.

While there may be some merit to some aspects of that now-nebulous idea, there is a much more immediate and concrete need we have in response to Climate Change.

And that is, to build, expand, and repair our Economic Infrastructure in order to reduce – as much as humanly possible – the costly continual damages that are now occurring, and which will continue to occur, because of Climate Change.

When faced with flooding, a proper response is not to try and stop the rain;

it is to build levees, dams, waterways, sluices, ponds, and other hydrological management resources – including pipelines, and other such mechanisms – to prevent the damage that would otherwise occur without implementation of such measures.

Here’s a very real case in point to illustrate that very matter – the North Sea Flood of 1953.

Buid Zeeland, Netherlands 1953 North Sea Flood
Image made by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from a U.S. Army helicopter of the 1953 North Sea Flood in the Netherlands.

Described as the worst natural disaster in Europe in modern times, the flooding occurred over a two-day period January 31 – February 1, and affected Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scotland, with a total of 2551 lives lost, and 1836 in the Netherlands alone.

Dutch losses were particularly enormous, principally because Read the rest of this entry »

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Economic Infrastructure Strained By Severe Weather And Climate Change

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, February 10, 2019

Increasingly, there’s a political tie-in to almost every news story published these days. And frankly, I’d much rather write about other, more benign, or even pleasant topics. But, these matters affect us all, and our very lives and livelihoods are at stake. So, because these are pressing matters, I give heed to them, as I hope you do also.

Recently, NPR News published a story while our nation was in the throes of the “Polar Vortex,” which is the name now given to a severe “cold snap” which plunged much of the Midwest and East into literally Arctic temperatures. In fact, as we we’re told by numerous meteorologists and other weather / climate scientists and researchers, the Arctic was actually warmer than many places affected, most notably including Chicago, the Twin Cities (Minneapolis–Saint Paul), Iowa, Pennsylvania, and other states up through the area, with some locales suffering from temperatures which dipped down into the -23ºF range, or lower. Many Low Temperature records were surpassed, and when combined with Wind Chill Factors, temperatures feel like at least double that (-40ºF), and more.

A Minnesotan is extremely bundled up protecting every square inch of exposed skin while awaiting public transportation outdoors during extremely dangerous cold conditions which occurred during the 2019 Polar Vortex.

By all estimates, it was one of the most severe such events in recorded history, and was also the cause of numerous deaths of people of all ages and sexes (21 at last count, not all who were homeless), due of course, to cold temperature extremes. Homeless shelters throughout the affected areas were literally accepting anyone and everyone, and numerous other organizations and agencies created emergency shelters for others to avoid the deadly conditions. Area residents were severely warned to avoid going outdoors at all costs, simply because inadequate dressing, or any exposed skin would certainly suffer frostbite, or worse.

But there was another, largely overlooked problem which was only given cursory attention. And that was the effects and strains the severe climatic conditions placed upon infrastructure, which is often called economic infrastructure.

Essentially, infrastructure describes a nation’s internal facilities that enable business activity, which are fundamental requirements for economic development, which is vital to improvements in a country’s standard of living, and consists of facilities, activities and services that assist to increase overall economic productivity at a national level.

Infrastructure has two broad component parts: 1.) Social Infrastructure, consisting of basic services such as education, training, including health, sanitation, potable water supply, housing, sewerage, etc., while; 2.) Physical Infrastructure directly supports economic production, and consists primarily of supporting the production and distribution of products and services including agriculture, industry, and trade, supports, and directly increases productivity.

An example of Physical Infrastructure would be the production of hydroelectric dams by the Tennessee Valley Authority, creation of electrical power, communication, and natural gas delivery grids, roads, waterways, airports and railways for transportation, and potable water and waste treatment plants and their related delivery mechanisms and systems.

All those components must not only be created and developed, but they must be continually maintained, and improved as necessary, to continue to provide services vital to the economy. And it is maintenance which proves frequently to be the Read the rest of this entry »

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