Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Climate Change Black Death Surrounds Us: "The Truth Is Out There" but it needs to be dramatized


It is a most depressing thing to know that...
  • truth,
  • justice, and 
  • the American way 
                                                        ...inherently conflict.

For instance, at the end of WWI Americans could have faced some truths and applied some justice at the expense of its own economy to prevent the inevitability of WWII. But that isn't the American way. And that second war could have been averted by Americans at any time over the next 15 years if the truth had been presented. But it wasn't.

In the 21st Century, the inevitability appears to be catastrophic climate change.

Two books have been published recently - The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, by David Wallace-Wells released on February 19, 2019 and Losing Earth: A Climate History, by Nathaniel Rich released on April 9, 2019.

Neither is a scientist.

Wallace-Wells is a journalist whose book was previewed as "The Uninhabitable Earth: Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think" in the July 10, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.

Rich is a novelist whose book was previewed as "Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change" in the August 1, 2018, issue of The New York Times Magazine.

Every American who has and cares about their descendants should read these two books, or at least the preview articles. But they likely won't. That is unfortunate as Wallace-Wells' book, definitely the one to read if you are thinking of having children, bluntly begins:

It is, I promise, worse than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. And yet the swelling seas — and the cities they will drown — have so dominated the picture of global warming, and so overwhelmed our capacity for climate panic, that they have occluded our perception of other threats, many much closer at hand. Rising oceans are bad, in fact very bad; but fleeing the coastline will not be enough.

Indeed, absent a significant adjustment to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.

The next two dozen paragraphs are equally blunt with the truth that is out there, albeit more confusingly. 

As noted in posts here, scientists keep providing us with more and more data such as Greenland is melting even faster than experts thought, study finds. At the end of global warming, if the last human to die is a climate scientist, she will gather the final data that proves out the cumulative, though earlier data, presented confusingly by the science community. One reviewer of Wallace-Wells' book says it clearly:

    Here is a modest proposal: Climate scientists should shut up about global warming. The gatekeepers for what we know and think about climate change should take a vow of silence and let some other people get a word in edgeways. Because, important though the science is, we need to stop defining the great issue of the 21st century in scientific terms.
    If climate change is, as this book successfully argues, a game-changer for everyone, everywhere, all the time, then let’s reflect that in the discourse. We’ve got the science. Let’s bring on the philosophers and playwrights, lawyers and priests, economists and comedians. Society’s response depends on it.
    David Wallace-Wells offers a good starting point. His book, “The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming,” scares us with tales from a future climate-changed world that transcend climate science. Not since Bill McKibben’s “The End of Nature” 30 years ago have we been told what climate change will mean in such vivid terms. “It is worse, much worse, than you think,” Wallace-Wells begins the book. Not least because, in those 30 years, we have doubled our cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels.
    Climate change upends the certainties of 10,000 years of post-ice-age climate stability, an era that allowed human civilization to evolve to our current crossroads. But to move forward, to make sense of what we are learning to call the Anthropocene, requires new perceptions that probably lie far beyond the imaginings of climate modelers. “It is not a subject that can sustain only one narrative, one perspective, one metaphor, one mood,” Wallace-Wells concludes. Step aside, scientists. Please.

Which leads to the high level of frustration reflected in this article Ordinary people want radical climate policies so why do we not have policies that mirror that? which reports:

    The reluctance of politicians to propose real environmental action might seem bizarre, given a context where that action would be not only right but also popular.
    Addressing the environmental crisis isn’t as easy as beating up on defenceless asylum seekers. A meaningful response entails challenging powerful vested interests.
    In particular, you can’t decarbonise an economy without defeating the corporations whose business practices depend on the despoliation of the planet.
    A recent study noted that just a hundred companies were responsible for more than 70% of greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. But those companies include some of the most significant corporate entities in the world – and mainstream politicians regard going toe to toe with multinational capital as “courageous” in the Humphrey Appleby sense of the word.
    To put it another way, in our system, the wishes of the voters don’t necessarily prevail.

The sad reality of that expressed frustration is that it could be about the U.S. but it is about Australia with additional reference to the British Extinction Rebellion.

The concern this writer has is that even Wallace-Wells book offers slim hope that somehow the Paris Accords goal of limiting global warming to 1.5-2.0°C is possible. That simply is not going to happen, as explained here in the post As the midterm election approaches we should be in great fear of Climate Change. Why aren't we?.

As pointed out there, unfortunately in 2018 in both the U.S. and China formal findings have been made that we have "locked in warming" of 4°± Celsius most likely within 60 years.

Under the direction of the Trump Administration the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with the cooperation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Year 2021–2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks proposing reduced average fuel economy standards for those vehicles.

The DEIS has determined that the draft official policy of the United States government will be acceptance of a near worst case scenario, a 4.387°C (7.876°F) global temperature rise since 1880 by 2100. That is because any lesser scenario would require deep cuts in carbon emissions to avoid this drastic warming. A lesser scenario “would require substantial increases in technology innovation and adoption compared to today’s levels...which is not currently technologically feasible or economically feasible.”

In China, home to the world's second largest (and sooner or later, largest) economy, the same conclusion was reached.

In May a collaborative research team from China published a new analysis that shows the Earth's climate would increase by 4 °C, compared to pre-industrial levels, most likely by 2084. They found that most of the models projected an increase of 4°C as early as 2064 and as late as 2095, with 2084 appearing as the median year.

"Our ultimate goal is to provide a comprehensive picture of the mean and extreme climate changes associated with higher levels of global warming based on state-of-the art climate models, which is of high interest to the decision-makers and the public," said Dabang Jiang, a senior researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Perhaps some would want to dismiss both governments as being too pessimistic. But the reality is much worse, so much worse.

For Climate Change will not stop "as early as 2064 and as late as 2095." In fact if an increase of 4°C is reality by 2100, the impacts will continue to expand and worsen for the next two centuries and as of today an increase of 4°C is not the maximum increase likely.

There are projections of an increase of 7°C which would eliminate life on almost all of the Earth.

The problem is in 1995, now 23 years ago,  then Vice-President Gore reflected on his experienced reality in a 1995 New York Times article:

"We are in an unusual predicament as a global civilization," Al Gore said when I interviewed him early in his Vice Presidency. "The maximum that is politically feasible, even the maximum that is politically imaginable right now, still falls short of the minimum that is scientifically and ecologically necessary."
It is the lack of response to Gore's early efforts to stimulate action that is the subject of Rich's book along with the reviewing the successful efforts of the petroleum industry to assure that no serious action would be taken at the federal level.

Al Gore was, of course, the first Presidential candidate of the 21st Century to win a majority vote in the election but lose in the Electoral College, and then only after the intervention of the Supreme Court.

In the end, just as between the two World Wars, the American way will always override truth and justice. And as usual we are condemning our grandchildren and their descendants to suffering. Then those human family trees will literally stop sometime in the late 22nd Century.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

War with China? Hardly! Instead, you need to know about the Belt and Road Initiative gains in Europe

For reasons unclear to this writer, the President of The Deplorables is engaged in a trade war with both Europe and China. One political cartoonist offered this explanation about the Trump Administration view of Europe:


Trump has a more respectful view of China, but he is advocating a war against both. In fact he has launched an American trade war against both. And members of his Administration have threatened China with military action.

On occasion one must puzzle over the aggressive approach taken towards China by Neocons in the Trump Administration. As the world's preeminent nuclear power, the United States technically could win a war against China. But Americans would still lose, even if China never launched one nuclear weapon in response.


At some point, even those who pretend there is no world climate have to acknowledge the wind that would bury everyone east of China in radioactivity - oh, and that includes the U.S. It is as if Trump has gotten his Deplorables to now chant "Death to America."

And let's not get confused about a non-nuclear war. China has 1.4 billion patriotic  people, we have 0.3 billion. Does anyone seriously think we could win a "land war" against 1.4 billion people who live in a country that at it's closest is about 6,000 miles away across an ocean?

The U.S. may be the largest naval power, but in contrast to China we need it just to get raw materials and other imports from, and goods exported to, Africa, Asia and Europe. China has road access to Africa, Asia and Europe.

The American establishment would have us believe that the European Union is obviously much closer to the U.S. than China. Really? Consider these two images:

Between Germany and the near Atlantic Coast of the United States, manufacturers and wholesalers can fly a load of raw materials or goods in a day, or ship a load by ship in 17 days.

Between Germany and the far Pacific Coast of China you can fly a load of raw materials or goods in a day, or ship a load by train in 6 days.

Americans don't talk about the geography that way, that Eurasia is a single continent - one big stretch of land, attached to Africa.

On the other hand, North America, Central America, and South America are one big stretch of land not attached to Eurasia or Africa. Movement between Eurasia/Africa and the Americas can be accomplished only by aircraft or ship.

Of course we can walk or drive the length of the Americas. Yet we consistently alienate our fellow Americans who are doing so. It is almost if some detest and many deny the fact that the U.S. is in the Americas and not Europe.

In the 21st Century the physical isolation of the Americas, particularly North America, will have consequences. 

Then there is the idea that we're in a competition with China to remain the world's economic leader. China and the U.S. already share the status of having the world's largest economy. There are two accepted methods used to compare the size of economies.

The first method uses the traditional nominal gross domestic product (GDP),  the market value of all final goods and services from a nation in a given year estimated by financial and statistical institutions, which are calculated at market or government official exchange rates. The United States has the largest such economy. You know that because every American is wealthy - we must be as we have the largest economy.

The second uses a gross domestic product based on purchasing power parity, created using an international dollar, a standardized unit used by economists, which takes into account the relative cost of local goods, services and inflation rates of the country, rather than using international market exchange rates which may distort the real differences in per capita income. As experienced in the lives of ordinary people everywhere, China has the largest economy in the world.


Apparently this makes some American competitive-Type-A personalities nervous. It shouldn't. Let's just say for argument's sake that that the U.S. and China were to have the same size economy - GDP measured in money. China has four times the population as the United States. So in our hypothetical situation of same size economies, China's economy on a per-capita basis is one-fourth that of the U.S. China has a long ways to go to be competitive with the United States, unless of course we make our own economy collapse...which is possible.

Still, by the end of the 21st Century not only will Climate Change have altered the world significantly, the physical isolation of the Americas will continue to leave the United States dependent on commercial aircraft and ships at the very moment crossing oceans is becoming a different experience, as ports and airports are struggling because of sea level rise and unpredictable storm conditions. Our military has already started to adapt to those facts. But American civilians and their economy, not so much, unlike the Chinese.

If you follow the news ...no, not "that news" that reports the daily antics of Trump which are really unimportant relative to future of the 21st Century world....  Anyway, if you follow the real news of the world you may be aware of Italy’s decision to join China’s $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). You actually may have seen the story in "that news" because the Trump folks complained.

What "that news" most definitely did not tell you about was the November 2017 launch of the Kouvola-Xi’an rail route. If you had read some European newspapers or The China Daily that November you would have seen stories based on this news release and associated map:


China launched a first-of-its-kind cargo train connecting it all the way to Finland — the Kouvola-Xi’an Route is part of the BRI (which again is the Belt and Road Initiative).

China has so far launched similar routes to 42 cities in 14 European countries, with most of them passing through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland to destinations in western and southern Europe. Now they are connected to northern Europe.

Although rail freight still accounts for a fraction of the total China-Europe trade, it is growing fast thanks to subsidies offered by China under its Belt and Road initiative. Last year, a total of 350,000 containers were transported between China and Europe on the main route through Poland and Belarus and that number is expected increase to one million by 2020.

With plans up to 2030 and beyond, the Finnish city has reserved a 300-hectare area for distribution centers storing products made in China, final-assembly factories, logistics companies and other related businesses. The expanded logistics area will also enable to load cargo on trains longer than 1,000 metres.

And now a 60-mile undersea tunnel — it would be the world’s longest undersea rail crossing — is planned with funding from China which would dramatically shorten travel time between Finland and Estonia providing connections to northern Europe.

On the date of that November 2017 news release Trump was at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam. You would have been distracted by stories about that. Plus the Washington Post offered a story The many ways President Trump would benefit from the GOP’s tax plan.

If you ever wonder what the machines of a trade war look like, they look like this:


   The first direct cargo train route between Finland and China was launched on November 10, 2017. Kouvola Innovation


Except, of course, China doesn't see it primarily as a trade war, just their continuing effort to make life better for a couple billion people by 2049.

European economic leaders are puzzled and put off by the accession of a Deplorable to the leadership position of the U.S. economy.  And since January 2017 when Trump took office, they are both angry and fearful. And they are responding accordingly. Here are headlines you may have missed:
It's not hard to understand why Europeans have opened the door to the expansion of China's rail system.

And it should not be hard for Americans to understand from their own history what it means for a government to facilitate the construction of thousands of miles of railroad tracks to link to the West. Well...that only applies to Americans who understand their own history, particularly those that building railroads to the West began as a Union economic Civil war initiative to block the Confederacy.

That pretty much currently means that The Deplorables of the southern states wouldn't have a clue.

But along with "climate denial" this international trade failure could condemn future American generations to a life of real struggle, not the peculiar challenge of a generation that can afford opioids.

As explained in the last article listed above, Trump is threatening to make roquefort and stilton cheese, wine and aircraft parts less affordable to Americans. Once that cheese and wine is regularly loaded on a train to China, the trade war with Eurasia will have been lost for decades to come.

For more about this subject click this link Belt and Road Initiative.

More of what you need to know about the Trump Administration's U.S. versus Eurasia Trade War

The Belt and Road Initiative gains in Europe (continued):


For more about this subject click this link Belt and Road Initiative.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

My version of "Medicare for All" is not Bernie's nor apparently any other Democrat's health care plan

When "ObamaCare" was being created, I said to anyone around me who would listen that all we need to do is remove the age 65 limitation from Medicare and then tweak the law and regulations ... and increase the employer-employee Medicare tax and apply it to all gross income.

In my view, it would have worked out.

But for those who don't know anything about the current Medicare only for folks over 65, you should know that
  1. ...it has annual deductibles and co-pays...
  2. ...and you have to pay premiums for Part B which covers doctors office visits and other costs not related to hospitalization with co-pays...
  3. ...and you have to pay premiums for prescription coverage which has co-pays...
  4. ...although if you enroll in Medicare-approved private insurance plans you might be able to save money on some of this coverage...
  5. ...and it doesn't cover routine dental or vision or hearing or long term care for which you have to buy coverage elsewhere...
  6. ...and one-third of the costs of Medicare is paid for by a payroll tax of 1.45% for the employer and 1.45% for the employee or 2.9% of total payroll but there is an additional 0.9% Medicare Tax paid when an individual’s combined wages, compensation, or self-employment income (together with that of his or her spouse if filing a joint return) exceed $125,000, or $250,000 if filing jointly,...
  7. ...and the other two-thirds is covered by the budget deficit (no, it is not like Social Security in that no one ever said it would be funded), meaning theoretically some future generation will pay for it but realistically nobody is going to pay for it...
  8. ...and, again, it only covers that portion of the population that is over 65.
In other words, to fully pay for the current Medicare costs that only covers people over 65 - coverage that has deductibles, co-pays, and premiums - the Medicare payroll taxes would have to be tripled.

I always thought that putting everyone under the current Medicare provisions with obvious additions for maternity coverage and a few other age-related things could be pretty much paid for by increasing the employer Medicare tax enough to total what employers now pay for insurance, increasing the employee Medicare tax enough to total what employees now pay, triple the current Medicare tax and apply it to all gross income, plus taxing all gross income to equal current expenditures by states and territories for such things a Medicaid, would pretty much cover the costs...if Medicare negotiated all drug prices.

I've read Bernie's new Medicare for All proposal. Maybe it represents the health care a truly moral nation would want to provide. But given that people will still going to get very ill and people will still die, its far more complicated particularly for progressives who also want to raise taxes to eliminate world-wide child hunger and homelessness and unemployment.

We look at what Canada does, and Britain, and European countries. But none of those have even one-third the population we do, and most have a genetically narrower population base. Then there is China - you know, the Communists about whom we are paranoid - which has significant problems with their health care system in which about 95% of the population has at least basic health insurance coverage...oh golly, that sounds like the U.S. They too struggle, something with which Bernie and AOC ought to become more familiar.

Though I will rattle on about my version of Medicare for All, no version has any chance for serious consideration by Congress between now and 2021. And look, we couldn't even get a "public option" added to "ObamaCare" during the last effort at a time Democrats controlled all three branches of the federal government.

So are the Democrats going to vigorously march into the 2020 election advocating replacing The Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare") with something not particularly well defined? Trump intends to without any proposal in hand? Are we going to advocate replacing it with Bernie's unaffordable Medicare for All proposal?

Or what the heck. Maybe we should just do it. Two-thirds of our current Medicare system is funded with debt. Isn't that the American way? As the graphic to the right indicates, the people like it! Maybe that is the way to go. At least until we can't and by then it will be a problem for the Millennials and Gen Z....

Climate Change Black Death surrounds us
It is not true that as new EPA Administrator asserts "most of the threats from climate change are 50 to 75 years out" for millions of vulnerable Americans

In a series of posts here grouped under climate change black death surrounds us both news and context regarding Climate Change have been offered. One particular recent news story deserves its own post.

    "Most of the threats from climate change are 50 to 75 years out," said Andrew Wheeler, EPA Administrator and former coal industry lobbyist indicating to viewers that in his opinion the subject of Climate Change is just too distant in time compared to immediate issues such as lack of potable drinking water around the world which should be addressed, though not by the United States.

From the Trump Reelection Committee's viewpoint, Wheeler is correct mostly because of that distant time frame. They paint as alarmist wild-eyed Climate Change oriented Democrats and news media who need to do the math. And it is true that Wheeler's math nor the constantly qualified science are going to get those Democrats elected in 2020.

In 2020 elections will be held in the United States for (listed in order of importance):
  1. thousands of state legislative positions, 
  2. numerous miscellaneous executive offices in states, 
  3. 11 of 50 state governors,
  4.  all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, 
  5. 33 of 100 seats in the U.S. Senate, and 
  6. the President.
Pew Research recently offered the following chart on the demographics of all potential voters in the U.S. in 2020 (click on the chart to read the full story from Pew):


From a generational standpoint, if Wheeler's 50 "years out" is the year 2070 the following chart provides background for his views:

What Republican strategists understand is that 99.99% of Gen X'ers and older voters in 2020 will be dead in 2070. Further half the Millennials will be dead and the youngest Gen Z 2020 voter will be 68. And if you do his 75 "years out" the youngest of the 2020 voters left alive will be 93.

Hmmm. Could Wheeler be right? When you take his observation in context it seems reasonable.

    "We have 1,000 children die everyday worldwide because they don't have safe drinking water," Wheeler told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett. "That's a crisis that I think we can solve. We know what goes into solving a crisis like that. It takes resources, it takes infrastructure and and the United States is working on that. But I really would like to see maybe the United Nations, the World Bank focus more on those problems today to try to save those children. Those thousand children each day, they have names, we know who they are."

That does seem to place the importance of Climate Change in a lower tier. Or does it?

If Wheeler were to ask the folks who died in the Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise, California, about climate change ...oh, wait, he can't ask them. But most of the victims lost their homes and town understand the "threats" from Climate Change aren't 50 or 75 years out - the threats killed their friends and neighbors last year.

They aren't even "threats", they are impacts - cumulative impacts.

Yes, someone will be able to compare 1970 to 2070 photographs of numerous areas in the U.S. to see the cumulative impacts 50 years from now. But in Paradise you can do that today. In parts of Florida you can do that today. They aren't the only places in the U.S. you can do that today. And nothing in the U.S. compares in size to already severely impacted other parts of the world.

In fact, there are places where cumulative Climate Change impacts are the cause of the lack of safe drinking water; that lack kills many of the 1,000 children Wheeler tells us are dying daily around the world.

A Los Angeles Times story after Wheeler made his comments says it all in its headline Why the next decade will be critical in the fight against climate change. But a story the following week from the same writer From ruined bridges to dirty air, EPA scientists price out the cost of climate change gives us access to an economic impact projection that will startle some capitalists who muse about what riches they are leaving their descendants. They will, of course, begin to position their financial interests to avoid those costs.

But the question remains: Should Democrats, in an election too important to lose, lock themselves into advocating for policies addressing a problem the full impact of which will never be seen by any eligible voter alive on election day 2020? Does it leave Democrat vulnerable to propose policies which over the next decades address the gradual accumulation of impacts will affect relatively small groups of first world residents at any one period of time?

As noted in this blog previously over 40 years ago in 1976, after joining the United States House of Representatives, Al Gore held the "first congressional hearings on the climate change, and co-sponsored hearings on toxic waste and global warming."

About 25 years ago and 20 years after those first hearings, then Vice-President Gore reflected on his experienced reality in a 1995 New York Times article:

    "We are in an unusual predicament as a global civilization," Al Gore said when I interviewed him early in his Vice Presidency. "The maximum that is politically feasible, even the maximum that is politically imaginable right now, still falls short of the minimum that is scientifically and ecologically necessary."

In 2013 in a TIME article The Battle Over Global Warming Is All in Your Head we read:

    If it’s not a data deficit that’s preventing people from doing more on global warming, what is it? Blame our brains. Renee Lertzman, an applied researcher who focuses on the psychological dimensions of sustainability, explains that the kind of systemic threat that climate change poses to humans is “unique both psychologically and socially.” We face a minefield of mental barriers and issues that prevent us from confronting the threat.

    For some, the answer lies in cognitive science. Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard, has written about why our inability to deal with climate change is due in part to the way our mind is wired. Gilbert describes four key reasons ranging from the fact that global warming doesn’t take a human form — making it difficult for us to think of it as an enemy — to our brains’ failure to accurately perceive gradual change as opposed to rapid shifts. Climate change has occurred slowly enough for our minds to normalize it, which is precisely what makes it a deadly threat, as Gilbert writes, “because it fails to trip the brain’s alarm, leaving us soundly asleep in a burning bed.”

But in truth the "us" in Gilbert's burning bed is relatively few of us at any one time. And it will be a really dangerous gamble to assume that things are different from 2013 or 2016 if you want to defeat Trump with all his Wheelers out there explaining that while the danger is out there, but just really way, way out there.

Monday, April 8, 2019

To defend morality, he's gone to El Salvador!
Governor Newsom pays respect to a martyred saint, a lesson in humility that Trump cannot understand



In February 1980 Salvadorean Archbishop Óscar Romero published an open letter to US President Jimmy Carter in which he pleaded with him to suspend the United States' ongoing program of military aid to the Salvadoran regime. He advised Carter that "Political power is in the hands of the armed forces. They know only how to repress the people and defend the interests of the Salvadoran oligarchy." Romero warned that US support would only "sharpen the injustice and repression against the organizations of the people which repeatedly have been struggling to gain respect for their fundamental human rights."

On 24 March 1980, the Archbishop was assassinated while celebrating Mass in the chapel of the Hospital of Divine Providence, the day after he called upon Salvadoran soldiers and security force members to not follow their orders to kill Salvadoran civilians.

At the Archbishop's funeral a week later, government-sponsored snipers in the National Palace and on the periphery of the Gerardo Barrios Plaza were responsible for the shooting of 42 mourners.

As explained in the previous post the Salvadoran Civil War brutality was funded and managed by the United States during the Carter and Reagan Administrations. Investigations by the UN-created Truth Commission for El Salvador concluded that the extreme right-wing politician, founder of ARENA and death squad leader General Roberto D'Aubuisson had given the order. Human rights organizations judged the U.S. funded and directed Salvadoran government of that time to have among the worst human rights records in the hemisphere.

After the January 1992 Chapultepec Peace Accords ending the Salvadoran Civil War, the Clinton Administration cut off all aid and deported back to El Salvador thousands of Salvadorans with criminal records, all resulting in powerful criminal gangs dominating a country with extremely limited economic resources in which farms and businesses had been destroyed.

The resulting situation in El Salvador is the cause of the recent increase in immigration. It is the direct result of American intervention in the 1980's and '90's.

Over the past six months, events related to all of this included:
  1. On Sunday, October 14, 2018, Pope Francis canonized Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez.
     
  2. On Friday, April 5, 2019, President Donald Trump visited the California/Mexico border to view some recently replaced border fence and further "explained" the immigration emergency that forced him to cut off all humanitarian U.S. aid to the people Saint Oscar Romero in 1980 pleaded to President Carter to save from violence and oppression.
     

  3. Gov. Gavin Newsom with his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom,
    visit the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero at Metropolitan
    Cathedral in San Salvador, El Salvador.
                                - AP Photo/Salvador Melendez, Pool
    On Sunday, April 7, 2019, as the Los Angeles Times explained to its readers,  California Governor Gavin Newsom "knelt on a pew Sunday in the lower level of the Catedral Metropolitana, quietly saying a prayer before the tomb of Saint Oscar Romero at the start of a trip to better understand the history of violence and oppression the country’s hero for the poor died trying to end.

    "In a book filled with messages from dignitaries who toured the site before him — former President Obama made a symbolic visit in 2011 — Newsom said he wrote that when he was a young Catholic, he never imagined he would visit the martyr’s resting place as a governor of California trying to 'modestly live out some of the values that Saint Romero practiced.'

    "'I think right now you have a president that talks down to people in this country, talks past them, demoralizing folks living here and their relatives in the United States,' Newsom said of President Trump. 'I think it’s important to let folks know that’s not our country, that’s an individual in our country, who happens at this moment to be president.'”
Newsom also said: "I don’t like people [from Central America] being called invaders. I don’t like the language coming from the Trump administration, I don’t like the rhetoric coming out of the administration. I want to understand. The rhetoric is so toxic coming out of the White House and it impacts people here in a very real way. I think having a counter-narrative, which is one of respect of the human condition and talks about the morality and ethics of calling people invaders.”

Trump, some California Republicans, and some in the news have attacked Newsom for advancing Progressive Pacific beliefs. His passion for "a counter-narrative...of respect of the human condition and talks about... morality and ethics" in this situation is strongly reminiscent of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Perhaps no mid-20th Century Progressive worked harder to achieve the ideal of securing human rights than "The First Lady of the World" Eleanor Roosevelt.

After the end of WWII she led the international process that resulted in the adoption of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December 1948. At the time of her death on November 7, 1962, she was the first Chair of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women.

Progressives in the Progressive Pacific States of Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, and California have picked up her sword-of-persuasion hoping to restore Progressive polices within all the states of these United States.

California Governor Newsom is offering leadership-by-example in that effort by filling the U.S. political leadership vacuum. Working with a Democratic Legislature, with a strong sense of humane morality and ethics, he is continuing to advance a Progressive policy implementation agenda in California
  • the State that has the world's 5th largest economy, 
  • the U.S. state with the largest population - having 38.6% more people than the next largest state and more people than the 20 smallest states combined, 
  • the state that is home to more Salvadoran immigrants than the total population of either Wyoming or Vermont.

According to a CALmatters report:

    Newsom says he intends to help steer U.S. immigration policy just as former Gov. Jerry Brown influenced climate change policy—because California’s size, robust economy, diversity and political clout allow the state to “punch above our weight.”
    “The one area that California should do more is on immigration policy,” he said today, the second of his three days on an official visit to El Salvador. He added that in the last decade, the state ceded that role to governors from more conservative border states. “That’s why I’m down here. That’s what I want to bring back in terms of the leadership that we want to advance for our state.”
    Newsom said he’s relying on the powerful California congressional delegation—which includes Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield—and local leaders to work from the bottom up to compel changes in the Trump administration’s hostile approach to immigration from places such as Central America.
    “We have a unique responsibility and an opportunity to advance a different conversation,” he said after a session with humanitarian, LBGT and women’s rights advocates in the small town of Panchimalco, about an hour outside of San Salvador.



NOTE: For more on Newsom's trip to El Salvador see the previous post Horrors! He's going to El Salvador??? California Governor Gavin Newsom under attack again for seeking to be an informed public official

Friday, April 5, 2019

Horrors! He's going to El Salvador???
California Governor Gavin Newsom under attack again for seeking to be an informed public official


El Salvador. When an American such as Donald Trump talks about stopping aid to El Salvador and decrying Salvadorean immigration, he/she is likely to be unaware of the fact that as far back as 1931 U.S. government policy has ranged from tacitly-accepting-to-actively-supporting brutal dictatorships and the slaughtering of tens of thousands of Salvadoreans.

Whether it
  • was La Matanza (The Massacre) of 1932 in which tens of thousands of peasants died in the ensuing chaos on the orders of former General President Maximiliano Hernández Martínez who led a coup d'état in December 1931; or
     
  • was the Salvadoran Civil War (1979–1992) that killed more than 75,000 people financed by the U.S. through military aid ($1–2 million per day to the government of El Salvador during the Carter and Reagan administrations) and directly managed (in 1983, US officers took over positions in the top levels of the Salvadoran military making critical decisions and running the war on the "rebels") that killed more than 75,000 people and included the deliberate terrorizing and targeting of civilians by death squads, the recruitment of child soldiers and other human rights violations (the Salvadoran Army's US-trained Atlacatl Battalion was responsible for the El Mozote massacre where more than 800 civilians were murdered, over half of them children, the El Calabozo massacre, and the murder of Jesuit scholars on the campus of José Simeón Cañas Central American University; or
     
  • is the current situation resulting in large numbers of migrants Trump is using as political pawns in his reelection campaign, a situation which is the direct result of the Clinton Administration cutting off all aid and deporting back to El Salvador thousands of Salvadorans with criminal records after the January 1992 Chapultepec Peace Accords, all resulting in powerful criminal gangs dominating a country with extremely limited economic resources in which farms and businesses had been destroyed.

It is Trump's Deplorables attitude that represents a good reason to support the idea of Calexit. But then Californian's let you down.

Recently Los Angeles Times political columnist George Skelton wrote a story with this headline - Forget the trip to El Salvador, Newsom needs to focus on California’s problems.

Too frequently it's just potential political suicide for a U.S. politician to want to have adequate information to formulate intelligent policy to address a problem. It seems 21st Century Americans want their politicians to be as ignorant and uninformed as Donald Trump, which is as ignorant and uninformed as they are.

So let's get the facts straight. If you missed the significant story this past week relevant to El Salvador, it is represented by this headline - Trump plans to cut U.S. aid to 3 Central American countries in fight over U.S.-bound migrants. The "3 Central American countries" are Guatemala, Honduras and, of course, El Salvador.

If you examine the chart on the right you'll learn that there are 5.6 millions folks in the U.S. including the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, who identify their heritage as Puerto Rican - Hispanic but not even close to Central American.

You'll also might be surprised to learn that there are 5.6 million folks in the U.S. who identify their heritage as Central American and no part of Central America is in the U.S.

Of those Central Americans, 2.3 million identify their heritage as Salvadoran, 680,000 of whom live in California. The total population of El Salvador is 6.4 million, so the U.S. Salvadoran heritage population is equal to 36% of the population of El Salvador, and California's is 11%.

You can, of course, choose to be as ignorant as you want about the "immigrant crisis" but you do end up looking as dumb as Fox News. As you can see Trump's favorite network indicated that Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are "Mexican Countries" apparently unaware that each of them and Mexico are separate countries. Trump's Deplorables think that stupidity is fine.

 On November 6, 2018, California voters selected Gavin Newsom to become their next Governor. A few weeks later, as Governor-elect, Newsom was in Mexico for the inauguration of newly-elected Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrado (known as AMLO).

Among other subjects, they discussed the immigration problems, the caravans, their significant impacts on California, and Trump’s approach. According to the Governor's chief spokesman and Director of Public Affairs Nathan Click:

    [AMLO} said, you should actually go to Central America and see what’s happening to get a bigger sense of the issues that all of us are facing,
    At the suggestion of the incoming Mexican presidency, Newsom concluded that the beleaguered nation — ground zero for many of key immigration concerns — would be a good place to start.
    ...Nearly half of the Salvadorean immigrants in the U.S. live in California, and their story is essential to our state story.
    California is proudly a state of refuge ... and he is offering assistance to those at the border.
    It would be a failure of our leadership not to seek a bigger picture of what’s happening there.

Newsom leaves for San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, on April 7, returning on April 10. He will meet with top officials of the country, U.N. experts, and immigration experts.

He will be accompanied by Deputy Press Secretary Jesse Melgar.

    The twist: Melgar’s dad arrived in the U.S. in 1980 as a young undocumented immigrant and refugee from the civil war in El Salvador. He applied for citizenship under Ronald Reagan’s amnesty program, became a naturalized citizen — and “today, his son is working for the governor of California,’’ Melgar says.

In the article linked above Los Angeles Times political columnist George Skelton said the trip made Newsom look like “an ambitious rookie governor trying to play world leader.” John Cox, the Republican candidate for Governor who lost to Newsom, called Newsom "Governor Grandstand."

Of course, former Governor's Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jerry Brown also traveled to Mexico. Schwarzenegger visited troops at the U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan, South Korea, and traveled to Japan, China, and Russia and Brown traveled to China and Europe, both pursuing California's trade and climate policies.

It's understandable folks in the Rust Belt might not be aware that in California there are Californios (descended from the Spanish-speaking community which has existed in California since 1542) plus the remainder of the Hispanic population - the state's largest population group - whose ancestors are from Mexico and the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua ( Los Angeles has the United States' largest Central American community, as well as the largest Mexican American community since the 1910s and 1920s).

We also have a border with Mexico. Plus California and all those countries have Pacific Ocean beaches.

As AMLO recommended it is a good idea for our Governor to get a personal feel for the basis for the immigration surge so that our state, at least, can develop humane policies to deal with the problems it creates.

But, of course, critics think Newsom should spend those four days, so very early in his four-year term, doing something else.

Sometimes it's hard to remember this chart:

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Embracing Inclusive Capitalism Plus within The California Green & Gold Deal as Newsom leads



Economics and politics.

As noted in our Progressive Pacific Message website:

The late George Wallace, Alabama Governor and 1968 Presidential candidate pictured at the left, gained notoriety for tapping into an anti-intellectual bias that many politicians have used (though the quote shown is somewhat inaccurate as he said: "Pointy-head college professors who can't even park a bicycle straight ....").

That anti-intellectual bias, particularly when coupled with racial prejudice and/or class distrust, makes it is difficult to explain to far too many Americans the complex history that created the 21st Century United States....

In understanding both economics and politics, and more particularly how through human behavior they interface and interact, we run headlong into the different views of those "intellectual" types Wallace called "pointy-head" who inhabit the halls of universities and think tanks.

In the series of posts here The lack of comprehensive political economy goals will create concurrent pecuniary and environmental disasters for U.S. Gen X and all future generations the subject of economics and politics in the context of human behavior has already been explored. In this post we're going to look at an evolving ideology among Democrats that could effectively challenge the dominant right-wing ideology of Neoliberalism.

Gavin Newsom  proffered a robust vision of what is needed to address California's problems:
“Guaranteed health care for all. A ‘Marshall Plan’ for affordable housing. A master plan for aging with dignity. A middle-class workforce strategy. A cradle-to-college promise for the next generation. An all-hands approach to ending child poverty.”
And yet, Newsom is facing a complex struggle to alter how we think, even in California. To give you some insight into this, the following extensive quote from A Crowd of Computer Scientists Lined Up for Bill Gates—But It Was Gavin Newsom That Got Them Buzzing: California governor Gavin Newsom wows a crowd of distinguished computer scientists, educators, and other Silicon Valley luminaries at Stanford Human-Centered AI symposium:

    And then, after a few more rounds of research presentations, came California governor Gavin Newsom. Newsom took the podium to give a 5 p.m. speech—a last minute addition to the agenda—after sitting in the audience listening to at least half of the afternoon’s presentations.
    I’m not sure the attendees expected anything more from California’s new governor than a repackaged stump speech; they stayed out of curiosity, politeness, and, perhaps, because the reception wouldn’t begin until Newsom finished.
    But Newsom, speaking with no notes, had them at hello. Or, if not exactly hello, close: Newsom kicked off his remarks by bluntly stating what most Silicon Valley denizens think about the state government.
    “California,” Newsom said, “is at the cutting edge of technology of 1973,” pointing out that the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles can’t even figure out how to access credit cards.
    “I heard a conversation here talking about the technical illiteracy of people in my profession,” he said. “It is true.”
    At that point, the crowd went silent. The usual rustles—of people shifting in their chairs, reaching for water bottles, pulling out cellphones, or opening laptops to check email—stopped cold. Newsom had their attention and kept it. He didn’t seem like an alarmist—although he did say the word “anxiety” over and over. He didn’t seem like a tech hater—he came off as someone who personally loves technology but can understand why it is freaking some people out. His talk focused on technology’s dark side, yet came off as hopeful.
    “There is a lot of anxiety out there,” Newsom said, “and fear out there, and it’s real.”
    Newsom began rattling off statistics, speaking rapidly without notes. “I read [PricewaterhouseCoopers]: 38 percent of jobs will be automated in the next 15 years. Then I relax because Bain comes out and says just 25 percent of the jobs in the next 20 years. Then Oxford says, that’s an old study, that 47 percent is only in 702 job categories, not all job categories. Then I got James [Manikya], which says it’s just 60 percent of current jobs that will be just 30 percent augmented.”
    With that kind of conflicting information flying around, Newsom asked rhetorically, “what do you want me to do as a policymaker?”
    Turning from statistics to recent anecdotal evidence about the disruption caused by AI, Newsom said, “I remember how excited we all were when we read about a company named Otto that drove those 46,000 cans of Budweiser in Colorado in a driverless truck. Then I met with Teamsters—they didn’t think it was that exciting.”
    “I remember reading about Knightscope,” he continued. “One of the folks that work there said about the technology, these are robotic units that replace security guards. He said, ‘no pensions, no workers comp, no complaining.’ Whoa.”
    And, Newsom said, consider robotic hamburger-maker Momentum Machines (now called Creator). “It’s going after 3.5 or 3.6 million fast-food workers…and the CEO of that company said our job is not to make employees more efficient, it’s to ‘obviate the need for them.’ Oh.”
    “I was excited, finally went to Amazon Go. They have one in San Francisco. Fascinating. But there are 3.4 million cashiers who don’t think it’s that fascinating. What the hell do we do with them?”
    How to address the workforce disruption AI is bringing? Retraining is part of it, but it will take bigger investments than those proposed so far, and it’s not just about retraining. “It’s not enough to teach you to code at 60 years old,” he said.
    The state of California is not yet prepared to deal with the kinds of changes AI will bring, Newsom said, but he indicated that he’s hopeful that some of the people assembled through this newest Stanford organization will be able to help figure it out.
    “We can’t play small ball anymore, we can’t play on the margins. [This] requires an order-of-magnitude change. We need your guidance, your counsel, and your empathy as well. We need to be educated on the world we are living in, on how real this change is, what machine learning is, what deep learning is…this language is new to us.
    “The world we invented,” Newsom said, “is competing against us; we have to invest in maintaining our lead.”
    All these changes, these new technologies, he indicated, are what is producing anxiety, and a mounting techlash.
    “The techlash is real, in ways I shudder to even communicate,” Newsom said. “When I have people who embrace technology talking about data frackers, that’s a pejorative; it’s not just about privacy, or about some version of GDPR, it’s about real animus that’s being created in this winner-take-all world.”
    Afterwards, the normal postconference chatter converged onto a single path. “What did you think of the event?” I heard person after person say. “Well-organized, the tech talks were pretty good, a bit arm-wavy, but what can you expect at the beginning of something like this,” were the general answers. And then there would be a pause, followed by someone saying, “But what about Gavin?”
    “Gavin. Yes. Wow,” was the typical response, or something along those lines.
    “He pulled out statistics that he clearly really understood, hadn’t just memorized, faster than I could, and it’s my field!” said one attendee. “And he had no notes!”
    “He listened to the panels, and then synthesized it all into a coherent speech on the fly. How does he do that?” said another.
    “The guy is just really, really smart,” I heard over and over, often with a note of surprise.
    “He was optimistic,” one attendee told me, “but he also warned us. And he was right to do that.”

Because of technology, you can watch his 30 minute speech:


There were several conferences at Standford that day and Newsom spoke at more than one. And he offered insight into his thoughts on economic ideology:

    Gov. Gavin Newsom is taking a different path from those progressive 2020 Democrats who are tacking left and steering clear of the “capitalist“ label. On Monday, where he spoke at back-to-back Stanford business conferences, Newsom urged his party, as well as the business and investment community, to embrace “inclusive capitalism” — one that boosts development, housing and infrastructure that, he argues, will benefit state residents at every income level.
    “I’m an entrepreneur. I believe in innovation. ... I believe in putting private capital to work. I believe in the entrepreneurial spirit that defines the best of this nation,’’ Newsom said in an interview with POLITICO. And Newsom said there was no doubt he was a fan of capitalism. “I think in an aspirational framework. So I believe very, very much in that camp,’’ he said. “And of course, it defines much of my life as well, someone who has the privilege of creating a lot of jobs in this state.”
    Asked about the recent progressive Democratic push that has some in his party shying away from defining themselves as “capitalist” in the 2020 presidential contest, Newsom — who, with partners, owns the PlumpJack wine and entertainment empire — said his party should not avoid the term. “I think, frankly, the Democratic party could do well to reenergize that debate ... having an entrepreneurial mind to solve problems, and engaging the private sector in solving those problems.”
    “Frankly it surprises me that it’s even controversial,’’ he told POLITICO. “Inclusive capitalism,” he said, means “we’re all in this together. It’s not just growth for growth’s sake. It means bringing a number of people along ... that we were going to have an economic growth and inclusion agenda.”

But Newsom isn't adhering to the existing pointy-headed intellectual version of "Inclusive Capitalism" in which as explained in Wikipedia (emphasis added:)"...Companies and non-governmental organizations can sell goods and services to low-income people, which may lead to targeted poverty alleviation strategies, including improving people’s nutrition, health care, education, employment and environment, but not their political power."

Rather, Newsom is the face of what we will term here as Inclusive Capitalism Plus, to borrow the "plus" from Bill Maher:

    [Maher] was referring to the countries ranked highest in the 2019 World Happiness Report including Finland, Denmark, and Norway, which are all "socialism-friendly." The United States was ranked 19th, despite low unemployment and crime rates.
    Instead of socialism replacing capitalism, Maher said socialism's influence in addition to capitalism could ease crushing economic pressures like healthcare.
    "The right has a hard time understanding the concept that we don't want 'long lines for bread' socialism," Maher said. "We want 'you don't have to win the lotto to afford brain surgery' socialism."
    "Happiness isn't only about what you have, it's also what you don't have to worry about," he added. "Turns out, freedom from the fear of ending up in a tent below the overpass is a really great freedom. It's called peace of mind."

Sometimes people forget that as explained by Wikipedia: "Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them." That is contrary to the entrepreneurial spirit Newsom discussed. But government taking steps to make healthcare affordable, even "single payer", is not socialism. If all the hospitals and clinics were government owned and run, that would be socialism.

Inclusive Capitalism Plus means first to not get too distracted in the philosophical questions and debate presented in the Wikipedia entry on Inclusive Capitalism. The real problem within the capitalist world is identifying the long-term value associated with a business engaging in society and the environment where no short-term income or asset growth can be identified. In fact, one of the problems with the current view of success is that all the measurements used to evaluate a company are short-term and don't quantify damage done to society and the environment.

The Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism is engaged in an effort titled the Embankment Project for Inclusive Capitalism (EPIC) which has produced and initial report worth reviewing. But that doesn't deal with the "Plus" meaning governmental intervention which the State of California under Newsom will be working on.

In the 21st Century, the Plus is complicated. The Democrats under Jerry Brown in 2012 did the most obvious thing - have the voters raise the income tax on high earners. That was/is controversial.

We saw headlines like Millionaires Flee California After Tax Hike from Forbes.  But the article just tells us that "California lost an estimated 138 high-income individuals following passage of the Proposition 30." Well, maybe that's true.  But as the Los Angeles Times told us more recently High taxes be damned, the rich keep moving to California.

The thing is both articles can reflect facts. But the Los Angeles Times article contains the facts about the tax that underlie the choices people make. If you were a millionaire earning certain kinds of income from out-of-state sources, selecting another state to be your primary residence might have been the logical choice. But if the bulk of your earnings come from California sources - like Silicon Valley tech companies - the state will tax that income and will go after you to get the taxes. In that case moving won't help.

On the other hand, tax policy can be used to achieve public policy purposes. Examples include the following California tax credits among available targeted credits:
  • California Competes Tax credit, which is allocated and certified by the California Competes Tax Credit Committee, is available for businesses that want to come to California or to stay and grow in California;
     
  • College Access Tax credit, which is allocated and certified by the California Educational Facilities Authority, is available for taxpayers who contribute to the College Access Tax Credit Fund;
     
  • Donated Agricultural Products Transportation tax credit, offers 50% of the costs paid or incurred for the transportation of agricultural products donated to nonprofit charitable organizations;
     
  • New Donated Fresh Fruits or Vegetables tax credit offers 15% of the qualified value of the donated fresh fruits or vegetables made to California food banks, based on weighted average wholesale price;
     
  • Enterprise Zone Hiring tax creidt which is a hiring credit for employeres in an enterprise zone;
    New Employment tax credit, a credit available for a taxpayer that hires a full-time employee and pays or incurs wages in a designated census tract or economic development area, and receives a tentative credit reservation for that full-time employee.
As quoted above, Newsom intends to have the State develop programs on the following broad subject areas, addressing issues as the Plus :
  • Guaranteed health care for all. 
  • A ‘Marshall Plan’ for affordable housing. 
  • A master plan for aging with dignity. 
  • A middle-class workforce strategy. 
  • A cradle-to-college promise for the next generation. 
  • An all-hands approach to ending child poverty.
Which brings us back to the idea of  Inclusive Capitalism Plus  as a key component of  The California Green & Gold Deal . In California one focus is going to be on impacts of technology - both beneficial and detrimental.

Let's back up to the Newsom speech at the AI symposium quoted above which included the following:

    Newsom kicked off his remarks by bluntly stating what most Silicon Valley denizens think about the state government.
    “California,” Newsom said, “is at the cutting edge of technology of 1973,” pointing out that the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles can’t even figure out how to access credit cards.
    “I heard a conversation here talking about the technical illiteracy of people in my profession,” he said. “It is true.”

What he didn't say is that most of those in his profession in Congress have the technical literacy of typical voters who first put them in office. (Yes, that "typical voter" likely includes you. Being able to use a "device" and its "Apps" well is similar to driving a car well - in the latter case you're not an auto mechanic and in the former case you're not technology literate.) And so this headline appears No longer a political winner: Silicon Valley is a minefield for 2020 hopefuls. The writer notes:

    Even as tech entrepreneurs say the hearings lawmakers are holding in Washington to berate companies like Facebook and Google have done little more than highlight how ill-prepared Capitol Hill is to regulate the sector, they are chastened by the problems that have been exposed. Their posture toward regulation is no longer resisting it at all cost. Many are eager to see the giant firms that have generated the most unwanted attention forced to improve their business practices.
    “It displays a total lack of intellectual curiosity about the digital revolution,” said Khanna, a progressive who has championed an “internet bill of rights” and antitrust rules opposed by some of the big firms in his district. Candidates should be focused on spreading the innovation economy to struggling parts of the country, rather than attacking it, he said. The companies, unlike Wall Street firms, remain extremely popular with voters, he added.
    “It’s a mistake in the candidate messaging,” Khanna said. “They are disconnected from what people in Middle America want. Those voters want to partner with tech leaders to create economic opportunity. I have been with them in these places. Often, the tech leaders are treated like rock stars.”

Fortunately we in California have Newsom to lead us into the next decade even as we benefit from policies put in place in the last two decades - green energy and internet regulation.

For instance, using an Inclusive Capitalism Plus  approach has allowed California to lead on Climate Change policy issues such as significantly shifting the electrical consumption in the worlds 5th largest economy to renewable energy sources. Yes, some problems have resulted, not the least of which is too much green energy at certain times. But that's what happens as we experiment with innovative technology.

And California is providing leadership in the process of regulating the internet which in a Union controlled by the reactionary right of Trump's Deplorables has led to such headlines as New California Internet Neutrality Law Triggers US Lawsuit.

Another headline from 2018 was California just became the first state with an Internet of Things cybersecurity law which includes, among other things, those chatty little devices with microphones, speakers, and even video screens and cameras we have around the house for convenience. As noted in that article: "While the rule is only state-wide, any device-makers who sell products in California would pass the benefits on to customers elsewhere. Several Internet of Things-related bills have been introduced in Congress, but none have made it to a vote."

Probably because California is both a Progressive Pacific State and home to Silicon Valley it can offer a long list of regulations designed to address 21st Century problems including, but not limited to:
  • Anti-Phishing Act of 2005 This law prohibits “phishing,” the act of posing as a legitimate company or government agency in an email, Web page, or other Internet communication in order to trick a recipient into revealing his or her personal information.
  • Computer Spyware This law prohibits an unauthorized person from knowingly installing or providing software that performs certain functions, such as taking control of the computer or collecting personally identifiable information, on or to another user’s computer located in California.
  • Cyberbullying This law defines bullying as one or more acts of sexual harassment, hate violence, or intentional harassment, threats, or intimidation, directed against school district personnel or pupils, committed by a pupil or group of pupils. Bullying, including bullying committed by means of an electronic act, as defined, including a post on a social network Internet Web site, is a ground on which suspension or expulsion may be based.
  • Library Patron Privacy Protects a library patron’s use records, such as written records or electronic transaction that identifies a patron’s borrowing information or use of library information resources, including, but not limited to, database search records, borrowing records, class records, and any other personally identifiable uses of library resources information requests, or inquiries.
  • California Online Privacy Protection Act  This law requires operators of commercial web sites or online services that collect personal information on California residents through a web site to conspicuously post a privacy policy on the site and to comply with its policy. The privacy policy must, among other things, identify the categories of personally identifiable information collected about site visitors and the categories of third parties with whom the operator may share the information. An operator is in violation for failure to post a policy within 30 days of being notified of noncompliance, or if the operator either knowingly and willfully or negligently and materially fails to comply with the provisions of its policy.
  • Personal Information Collected on Internet This law applies to state government agencies. When collecting personal information electronically, agencies must provide certain notices. Before sharing an individual’s information with third parties, agencies must obtain the individual’s written consent.
  • Privacy of Personal Information Held by ISPs Although not specifically targeted to on-line businesses, this law requires all nonfinancial businesses to disclose to customers, in writing or by electronic mail, the types of personal information the business shares with or sells to a third party for direct marketing purposes or for compensation. Businesses may post a privacy statement that gives customers the opportunity to choose not to share information at no cost.
  • Reader Privacy Act Protects information about the books Californians browse, read or purchase from electronic services and online booksellers, who may have access to detailed information about readers, such as specific pages browsed. Requires a search warrant, court order, or the user’s affirmative consent before such a business can disclose the personal information of its users related to their use of a book, with specified exceptions, including an imminent danger of death or serious injury.
  • Reproductive Health Care, Online Privacy This law protects the personal safety of reproductive health care providers, employees, volunteers, and patients by prohibiting the posting of any such person’s home address, phone number, or image on the Internet, under specified circumstances.
  • Safe at Home Participants, Online Privacy This law provides participants in the Secretary of State’s confidential address program, Safe at Home (for victims of domestic violence or stalking and reproductive health care providers, employees, and volunteers) with the right to demand the removal if their personal information, including home address and phone number, from online search engines or databases, and imposes related obligations on the operators of such search engines and databases.

A few other states have adopted laws regulating technology. But few former slave states have done anything and the Red State members of Congress have pretty much prevented any meaningful regulation of the tech industry. The concept of "Inclusive Capitalism" confuses these folks and the "Plus" is an anathema.

The point here is that Californi since the beginning of the 21st Centurya has had a policy orientation similar to that more recently offered by the European Union: "As the EU relies on science, technology and innovation to secure its present and develop its future, reflecting on and anticipating societal impacts arising from current narratives embodied in EU policy is essential to ensure trust among citizens."

Unfortunately, California will have to battle the Union Army of the Red States as explained in the New York Times (emphasis added):

    In Silicon Valley, Google, Facebook and other tech companies have been working for months to comply with the new [European Union] rules, known as the General Data Protection Regulation. The law, which lets people request their online data and restricts how businesses obtain and handle the information, has set off a panic among small businesses and local organizations that have an internet presence.
    Brazil, Japan and South Korea are set to follow Europe’s lead, with some having already passed similar data protection laws. European officials are encouraging copycats by tying data protection to some trade deals and arguing that a unified global approach is the only way to crimp Silicon Valley’s power.
    Europe is determined to cement its role as the world’s foremost tech watchdog — and the region is only getting started. Authorities in Brussels and in the European Union’s 28 member countries are also setting the bar for stricter enforcement of antitrust laws against tech behemoths and are paving the way for tougher tax policies on the companies.
    The region’s proactive stance is a sharp divergence from the United States, which has taken little action over the years in regulating the tech industry. Most recently, the Trump administration has sought to cut taxes and roll back regulation, while pursuing an increasingly protectionist tack to shield tech companies from competition from China.

Another Times article noted:

    California has passed a digital privacy law granting consumers more control over and insight into the spread of their personal information online, creating one of the most significant regulations overseeing the data-collection practices of technology companies in the United States.
    The new law grants consumers the right to know what information companies are collecting about them, why they are collecting that data and with whom they are sharing it. It gives consumers the right to tell companies to delete their information as well as to not sell or share their data. Businesses must still give consumers who opt out the same quality of service.
    The legislation, which goes into effect in January 2020, makes it easier for consumers to sue companies after a data breach. And it gives the state’s attorney general more authority to fine companies that don’t adhere to the new regulations.
    The California law is not as expansive as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, or G.D.P.R., a new set of laws restricting how tech companies collect, store and use personal data.
    But Aleecia M. McDonald, an incoming assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University who specializes in privacy policy, said California’s privacy measure was one of the most comprehensive in the United States, since most existing laws — and there are not many — do little to limit what companies can do with consumer information.

This is how using  Inclusive Capitalism Plus  will expand  The California Green & Gold Deal  to benefit future generations.