Friday, February 24, 2012

Should Undocumented Get Driver's licences?

The question has been posed whether we should or should not let undocumented people get driver's licences.
Uhh, are there any other multiple choices for this question besides 'yes' or 'no'? File Under: False Dilemma ;-) But seriously, this question is divisive and of little relevance when what we need are so many green jobs that we wouldn't care whether some were worked by an undocumented person. We need these green jobs for several reasons: 1) Environmental protection, including a) stopping climate change from ruining our food production system, and b) shifting from eliminating labor usage to eliminating resource usage, as we have more than enough labor, which is lost when not worked, and not enough resources, like energy and rare earth ores, and 2) Building equality of opportunity for workers by uniting across national boundaries and co-operating globally, as corporations do, as well as 3) dodging the stranglehold Capital has on the mechanisms of production, by reducing some of our 'needs' and meeting them via appropriate technology, so we are in a better negotiating position with Capital, so we can get them to finally 'internalize externalized costs', i.e. pay for and clean up their environmental and social messes. The Good News is that not only can we get these green jobs, we can get them despite the scary fat cats monopolizing the milk bowls - we've got the power! These are 'Long-Spoon'type problems: We just need some of those 'checklist manufesto'/open source type co-ordinating solutions so we can work well as a co-operating group and bypass the middleman while we bypass the gas pump, the gun, the bottle and the needle. There's still enough for all our needs, if not all our greeds, even with the sadly-burgeoning world population. This is an opportunity to reframe the debate by naming this question as purposely politically divisive, in that it either divides US workers from each other, or divides US workers from an environmentally sustainable, socially just and plentiful future, which IS within reach of all of us, together.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Neat interactive book review site

Brian's books

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

4 of 5 stars

Traces, through many decades of various political struggles, the actions of a small cadre dedicated to sowing confusion about science despite the data. Names names and follows the money through its laundering and back. An important history ...

World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse

5 of 5 stars

This book is very important because of it's first two parts; 1) A Deteriorating Foundation, and 2) the Consequences These first seven chapters are essential to understanding and planning for the near future. I thought I was aware, but this ...

The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better

4 of 5 stars

Unique information on the correlation between state's and nation's financial inequality and a bundle of social well-being indices.

Progress and Poverty

5 of 5 stars

Still insightful today, Henry George's economic classic starts with a central puzzle; why, when unemployment increases, do interest rates drop?
He startlingly sees a natural alliance between the Wage-earner and the Capitalist, and makes...

Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered: 25 Years Later...With Commentaries

5 of 5 stars

Still insightful, and wonderfully complemented by leading disciple's commentaries in the margins.
traces the limits of utility of logic and numeracy in planning, and emphasizes the role of common sense and systems thinking in maintaini...