Trump the Destroyer: Trump has stuffed his cabinet with tyrants, zealots and imbeciles—all bent on destroying our government from within by Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone. Highly recommended.
Archive for the ‘Public Policy’ Category
Here is something Donald Trump said during the Presidential campaign:
“We have spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that, frankly, … if we could have spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges and all of the other problems, our airports and all of the other problems we have, we would have been a lot better off — I can tell you that right now,” Trump said. “We have done a tremendous disservice not only to the Middle East — we’ve done a tremendous disservice to humanity. The people that have been killed, the people that have been wiped away, and for what? It’s not like we had victory. It’s a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized, a total and complete mess.”
Source: The Huffington Post
What he said then was true. But his current policy reflects just the opposite philosophy. His infrastructure program consists of providing tax breaks for contractors, and giving control of public assets to public companies. And it’s not as if he intends to pull back on military intervention in the Middle East.
Trump’s Infrastructure Boondoggle by Mike Whitney for Counterpunch.
Alluring Infrastructure Income by Michael Hudson.
President Trump’s budget calls for tax reductions for the rich, increased spending for the military and police and austerity for everybody else except veterans.
There isn’t enough money for programs of material benefit to the American public (except veterans programs, which I favor), but there is plenty of money for the military and police if the people rise up against the government.
These would be the priorities of an unpopular Third World dictator. It reminds me of something the SF writer Charles Stross once wrote about preemptive counter-revolution.
White House Says Cutting Meals on Wheels Is ‘Compassionate’ by Eric Levitz for New York magazine.
Putting Trump’s Budget in Perspective by Ruth Cuniff for The Progressive. (Hat tip to Bill Harvey)
Here’s How Donald Trump’s Budget Screws Over the People Who Elected Him by Tim Murphy for Mother Jones.
Why Trump’s budget may be ‘devastating’ to his supporters by Peter Grier and Francine Kiefer for the Christian Science Monitor.
Trump’s budget would cut funding for Appalachia – and his allies in coal country are livid by Brad Plumer for Vox [Added 3/21/2017]
Most Wall Street activity is devoted to diverting money from one person’s pockets to another person’s pockets. Most minimum wage workers do things that are directly beneficial to people.
The past financial crash was worse because Wall Street bankers and financiers took risks with other people’s’ money. The coming financial crash will be worse for the same reason.
The Wall Street bonus system is an incentive to take risks, because the managers get to keep the bonuses when they win and they do not have to give them back when they lose.
Rolling Stone had a good article on how Donald Trump’s policies are go against not only the wishes of a majority of the American public, but also many (not all) of the wishes of a majority of Republican voters.
I think this is interesting, but the fact is that leaders of both political parties have gone against the wishes of the American public for a long time without suffering fatal consequences.
The American public didn’t want the government to bail out Wall Street, but it happened just the same.
Many Americans are so disillusioned with American politics that they no longer are indignant about politicians who break their promises. In the 2016 election, more voters stayed home than voted either Democratic or Republican.
Steve Bannon, the chief adviser to President Donald Trump, is probably the most influential person in the Trump administration besides Trump himself.
But I find it hard to get a handle on Bannon’s thinking, since he shuns the limelight, and hasn’t written any books or magazine articles I could get hold of,
His 2010 documentary film, Generation Zero, is probably as good a guide to his thinking as anything else.
It is well done and, despite being 90 minutes long, held my interest—at least until the last 10 minutes of so, which consists of restatements of the main points.
Generation Zero is an analysis of the roots and consequences of the 2008 financial crisis, which Bannon rightly blames on crony capitalism, the unholy alliance of Wall Street and Washington that began in the 1990s.
But if you look at the film’s action items, what he really does—knowingly or unknowingly—is to protect Wall Street by diverting the public’s attention from what’s really needed, which is criminal prosecution of financial fraud and the break-up of “too big to fail” institutions.
Bannon presents himself as an enemy of corrupt politicians and financiers. But there is nothing he advocates in the film or otherwise that threatens the power of either.
Generation Zero draws on a book, The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe, who claim there is a cycle in American politics based on the succession of generations. Each cycle consists of four turnings—(1) a heroic response to a crisis, (2) a new cultural or religious awakening, (3) an unraveling and (4) a crisis.
President Donald Trump, in his first day in office, issued an executive order to cripple the administration of the Affordable Care Act.
The order (1) forbids administrators to issue any new order or regulation that imposes new costs on states and (2) authorizes administrators to suspend any order or regulation that imposes undue costs on individuals or states.
The limitations are that the change has to be permitted by law and that there have to be advance note and public comment on the changes if the law requires it.
That may sound relatively harmless, but the ACA is so complicated that it is hard to make it work and easy to make it cease functioning—like removing a couple of bolts from a highly complex machine.
Here are some of the things reporters said could happen under Trump’s executive order:
- Delay indefinitely enforcement of all the individual and state mandates to buy or provide health insurance.
- Expand hardship exemptions under the individual requirement to buy health insurance so that they cover virtually everybody.
- Extend the option of state governments to approve health insurance plans that don’t meet all the requirements of the ACA, including refusal to refuse insurance to people with pre-existing conditions.
Another thing the Trump administration could do is to stop defending a lawsuit by the House of Representatives challenging the legality of a program to reimburse insurers for providing subsidies for low-income patients. The program was authorized by law, but no money was ever specifically appropriated for it. The U.S. District Court agreed the program is illegal; the case is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
President Donald Trump made specific promises in his inaugural address. He should be judged on whether or not he keeps these promises. Here are the promises:
We will bring back our jobs.
We will bring back our borders.
We will bring back our wealth, and we will bring back our dreams.
We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation.
We will get our people off of welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.
We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.
We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.
We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example.
We will shine for everyone to follow.
We will re-enforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.
At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.
Source: Ian Welsh
If Donald Trump could accomplish these goals, he would go down in history as one of the great Presidents.
I will store this away and re-post it in 2020 if he runs again, and if this blog still exists. I don’t think he will keep these promises and I don’t think he can keep them, but I would be pleased to be proved wrong.
Grant that extreme economic inequality is a bad thing. Grant that ever-increasing economic inequality is a bad thing.
Grant that complete equality of incomes is not feasible and maybe not desirable. How much equality is enough?
The economist Friedrich Hayek wrote in The Road to Serfdom (as I recall) that it is impossible that people could reach a consensus on what each and every person deserves. Once you reject complete equality, he wrote, the only acceptable distribution of income is what results from the impersonal working of the free market.
A democratic government could never determine a distribution of income that is satisfactory to everyone, or even a majority, Hayek thought; if it tries, the result can only be gridlock and a breakdown of democracy.
But there are ways to reduce inequality that neither set limits on any individual’s aspirations nor give some group of bureaucrats the power to decide who gets what. Some that come to mind immediately are:
- Prosecute those who get rich by lawbreaking.
- Set limits on unearned income.
- Break up monopolies.
- Empower labor unions and cooperatives.
- Provide good public services to all, regardless of income.
- Provide decent jobs for all who are willing and able to work.
What are your ideas?
I’m not a good predictor of the future, but I’ll risk some predictions about the Trump administration.
I don’t think Donald Trump is a new Hitler, despite his manifest contempt for legal and Constitutional limitations. Rather I see a Trump administration as another step downward on a path the USA already is on.
In terms of policy, I don’t see a great difference between him and Vice-President Mike Pence, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or House Speaker Paul Ryan. The objection of mainstream Republicans to Trump was more an objection to his vulgarity and offensive behavior rather than to his policy positions.
Nor, for that matter, do I see any great difference between establishment Republicans and establishment Democrats on the issues that concern me most—war and peace, civil liberties and Wall Street dominance.
I do think the working-class and middle-class people who voted for Trump will be disappointed.
Specifically, I am willing to bet anybody a reasonable amount that the following will be true four years after Trump is sworn in on January 20, 2017.
- There will be fewer American manufacturing jobs.
- The annual trade deficit will be greater than it is now.
- The federal budget deficit will be greater than it is now.
- The upper 1 percent, upper 0.1 percent and upper 0.01 percent will have a greater share of the national income than they do now.
- The wages of American workers, measured in inflation-adjusted terms, will be less.
I think there will be fewer unauthorized immigrants in the United States than there are now, but this is part of a trend that has already begun.
Winners during a Trump administration will include:
- The Trump Organization.
- Creditors of The Trump Organization.
- Wall Street.
- The CIA, NSA and other intelligence organizations.
- The Pentagon
- Government contractors, especially military contractors.
- The fossil fuel industry
- The National Rifle Association
- Torturers and war criminals
- Abusive police officers.
Losers during a Trump administration will include:
- Public schools
- Higher education
- Protesters (except for armed right-wing militias)
- Dissident journalists
- Labor unions and wage-earners generally
- Climate scientists and researchers of all kinds
- Planned Parenthood and its clients
- Welfare recipients
The main good thing I hope to see in a Trump administration is a less confrontational policy toward Russia. My great fear of a Clinton administration was the increased and very real possibility of nuclear war. This possibility will not be zero under Trump, but I think it will be less than it would have been under Clinton.
Other good things I hope to see in a Trump administration is a refusal to sign bad trade treaties and an effort to renegotiate existing trade treaties. NAFTA, the TPP and the like are not free trade treaties; they are corporate wish lists enacted into international law. In today’s world, believers in democracy need to defend national sovereignty, because none of the international institutions are democratic.
Leaders of organized labor in the United States face in Donald Trump what may be the most anti-union administration since before Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The New Deal gave labor unions a legal right to bargain collectively and enter into binding contracts. Subsequently so-called “right to work” laws imposed on unions the obligation to bargain collectively even for workers who choose not to join the union.
Many observers expect the Trump administration and Republican Congress to enact a national right to work law. Under such a law, workers could join a company with a union contract, refuse to join the union or pay dues and enjoy all the benefits of the contract. Why, union leaders ask, would anybody join a union if they could enjoy all the benefits of union membership without any of the obligations?
Trump’s likely choice for Secretary of Labor is said to be Andrew Puzder, head of the parent company of the Hardee’s and Carl Jr. restaurant chains. He is an outspoken opponent of minimum wage increases and of Obamacare.
Other contenders who’ve been mentioned in the press are Victoria Lipnic, one of two Republican members of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and Scott Walker, the fiercely anti-union Governor of Wisconsin.
Donald Trump in his campaign promised to reverse the decline of American manufacturing.
Can he do it? I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised, but I don’t think so.
President-elect Trump’s proposed economic policies are the same as what most Republicans and many Democrats have been advocating for 30 years or more—lower taxes, less regulation, fewer public services.
None of these things has stopped the increase in U.S. trade deficits or the increase in economic insecurity of American workers.
Trump did speak against the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, promised to renegotiate other trade agreements and threatened to impose punishing tariffs on China and Mexico in retaliation for their unfair trade policies.
I myself am in favor of rejecting the TPP and renegotiating trade treaties. This would be a step forward. But it would take more than this to rebuild the hollowed-out U.S. manufacturing economy.
China, Japan, South Korea and most nations with flourishing industrial economies use trade policy as a means of strengthening their economies.
Their leaders, like Alexander Hamilton in the early days of the United States, seek to build up their nations’ “infant industries” under those industries are strong enough to stand on their own feet.
When foreign companies seek to sell these nations their products, their governments demand that the foreign companies not only set up factories in their countries, but that they employ native workers and transfer their industrial know-how to the host countries. The USA does nothing like this.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will try again to privatize Medicare.
President-elect Donald Trump said during the campaign that he will protect Medicare as it is.
But Ryan doesn’t seem to expect a fight with Trump. Why not? Does he have reason to believe that Trump didn’t mean what he said? Reporters need to press Trump to declare where he stands.
Grass-roots advocates should not stand by idly and assume the Democrats in Congress will defend Medicare. They should be letting their congressional representatives and Senators know that tampering with Medicare is unacceptable.
I give Ryan and the Tea Party Republicans credit. They never give up pushing for their goals. They take ideas that seem radical and make them mainstream.
And they strike when the iron is hot! They never hesitate to use whatever power they have to advance their agenda.
Liberals and progressives can learn from their example. Instead of just passively trying to preserve Medicare and also Obamacare as they are, they should be demanding a Medicare-for-all system to replace Obamacare.
The defeat of the odious Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement shows that the people can win against entrenched corporate and political power. The way the TPP was defeated shows how the people can win against entrenched power.
A couple of years ago, the passage of the odious Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement seemed inevitable.
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Republican leaders in Congress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and most big newspapers and broadcasters were in favor of it. The public knew little about it because it was literally classified as secret. Congress passed fast-track authority, so that it could be pushed through without time for discussion.
Today it is a dead letter. President Obama has given up his plan to join with Republicans and push it through a lame-duck session of Congress. Leaders of both parties say there is no chance of getting it through the new Congress.
If you don’t know what the TPP is or why a lot of people think it is odious, don’t feel bad. If you depend for your information on the largest-circulation daily newspapers or the largest broadcasting networks, you have no way of knowing.
It is in theory a free-trade agreement among the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan and seven other countries. It is actually a corporate wish list in the form of international law, giving corporations new privileges in the form of patent and copyright protection and new powers to challenge environmental, health and labor laws and regulations.
I think there is a strong possibility that Donald Trump will be a one-term President—provided there are still free and fair elections in 2020.
I think that for the same reasons I thought Hillary Clinton might be a one-term President. I believe there will be another recession, as serious as the last, during the next four years, and I think Trump will be even less able to cope with it than Clinton.
He campaigned as a populist champion of the common people against the elite. But he spent his life among the elite, and his business history shows that he is only tough with those with less wealth and power than he has.
Trump kicks downward. He doesn’t punch upward.
His transition team is drawn from K street lobbyists. His preference is to appoint from the private sector, not from government or academia.
His likely choice for Secretary of the Treasury is Steven Mnuchin, his campaign finance chairman. Mnuchin is CEO of an investment firm called Dune Capital Management, but, according to POLITICO, he worked 17 years for Goldman Sachs, whose subprime mortgage manipulations were a big contributor to the last recession.
The problem is that, in a recession, what makes sense for a business owner doesn’t make sense for a President. A business owner’s instinct in tough times is to cut back. That is rational behavior for the individual, but cutting back means less money in circulation, less economic activity and a worse recession.
There are two kinds of revolving doors between business and government. The first is when people come from the world of business, usually temporarily, to make policy in government.
I don’t think this is necessarily wrong. If you are making policy on a complicated field, such as finance, you want people who know something about the subject, and often as not that will that will be people who earn a living in that field.
Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. was a stock market speculator in the 1920s, trading on inside information and manipulating the market. But when he became the first chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (1932-1935), he outlawed this practices. His experience made him a better regulator.
The second is when government regulators and policy-makers plan to move on to jobs in the industries they regulate and make policy for.
Neil Barofsky, who was special inspector general in charge of the oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) from 2008 through 2011, wrote about how he was warned that he would make himself unemployable by being too zealous about doing his job, but that he might have a good post-government career if he toned town his reports.
He said he always realizing that doing his job was incompatible with a future job in finance or a higher federal appointment. He is now a law school professor. He is an exception.
I’m coming to realize Donald Trump has a good chance of being elected President. He at least promises to make things better. Even though his ideas are mostly bad, a majority of voters may prefer him to the status quo.
If elected, he would face the opposition of Congress, the courts, the federal bureaucracy and the establishment press. But precedents set by Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and their predecessors give the President considerable power to wage war, selectively enforce the law and suspend Constitutional rights in the name of fighting terror.
President Trump would have unilateral authority to put the USA on nuclear alert, ban immigration from majority-Muslim countries and order the Justice Department to give priority to certain offenses, and certain targets.
The Iran nuclear agreement was an agreement to suspend United Nations sanctions against Iran, and that is a done deal. But President Trump would have authority to step up American sanctions against Iran, giving Iranian hard-liners an excuse to resume development of nuclear weapons capability.
Trump proposes tax cuts tilted toward the upper brackets, to which a Republican Congress probably would be sympathetic.
He proposes abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration, which they might not go along with. But as President, he would have the power to render the EPA and FDA ineffective through policy and appointments.
Kevin Kelly is a smart and influential thinker who has good insight into the potential of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and data tracking.
He has written popular books on technology with titles such as Out of Control, What Technology Wants and his latest, The Inevitable. I haven’t read them; they’re no doubt worth reading. I quarrel with the assumptions reflected in the titles of the books.
His mistake, in my opinion, is in treating technology as an autonomous force to which human beings must adapt, whether they like it or not.
Technology is not out of control. The fact that we the public don’t control it doesn’t mean that nobody does. Technology didn’t develop itself. It developed they way it did because it served the needs of corporations, governments and other institutions.
Technology doesn’t want anything because it isn’t sentient. Only human beings want things. Technology ought to exist to the wants and needs of people. People do not exist in order to serve the requirements of technology
There is nothing inevitable about the path of technological change. Which technologies are developed is a matter of choice—by somebody. Devices such as the steam engine existed for centuries before they were put into us.
Ned Ludd would not have destroyed weaving machines if the weavers had owned the machines. As a Marxist would say, it all depends on who owns the means of production. Technology works to the benefit of those who own it.
These linked articles provide worthwhile information and food for thought. I don’t necessarily agree with the writers in all respects.
If Libertarian Gary Johnson Was President, Here’s What Would Happen to the U.S. Economy by Emily Stewart for The Street.
If Donald Trump Was President, Here’s What Would Happen to the U.S. Economy by Emily Stewart for The Street.
If Hillary Clinton Is Elected President, Here’s What Will Happen to the U.S. Economy by Leon Lazaroff for The Street.
What Jill Stein, the Green presidential candidate, wants to do to America by Max Ehrenfreund for the Washington Post’s Wonkblog.
What Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee for president, wants to do to America by Max Ehrenfreund for the Washington Post’s Wonkblog.
What Donald Trump wants to do to America by Max Ehrenfrend and Jim Tankersley for the Washington Post’s Wonkblog.
What Hillary Clinton would do to America by Max Ehrenfreund and Jim Tankersley for the Washington Post’s Wonkblog.
Is Jill Stein Worth Voting For? by Robert Nielsen for Whistling in the Wind.
Could Gary Johnson Be Relevant in 2016? by Robert Nielsen for Whistling in the Wind.
Economics professor David Ruccio points out that, since the previous recession, the American middle class has been cutting back on spending—on everything except medical care.
The Affordable Care Act was supposed to not only make medical care more widely available, but to make it affordable. This hasn’t happened. I think this is partly due to opposition by Republican governors and congressional representatives, but largely due to flaws in the law itself.
It’s a well-known fact that we Americans pay more for medical care and get less benefit than citizens of any other industrial nation.
The U.S. Justice Department yesterday ordered the Federal Bureau of Prisons to end or “substantially reduce” all of its contracts with private prison operators.
Abuses in privately-operated prisons are widespread because the economic incentive is to spend as little as possible on salaries, food, upkeep and other expenses.
This decision by the Obama administration is good news, despite the ambiguity of the phrase “substantially reduce.” Unfortunately most private prison operations are for state governments.
Justice Department says it will end use of private prisons by Mark Zapotosky and Chico Harlan for the Washington Post.
Federal Officials Ignored Years of Internal Warnings About Deaths at Private Prisons by Seth Freed Wessler for The Nation.
My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard by Shane Bauer for Mother Jones.
The Justice Department Is Done With Private Prisons | Will ICE Drop Them Too? by Alice Speri for The Intercept.
Many Americans are suffering because of the loss of good jobs during the last 20 years.
This is largely due to bi-partisan government policies that began in the late 1990s. The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement and later trade agreements, in the name of free trade, limited the power of national governments to regulate banks in the public interest.
Repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 allowed banks to engage in risky investments, but retained the U.S. government’s guarantee of individual deposits. This was part of an overall economic policy, which continued under the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, of deregulating financial institutions, bailing them out when they failed, refusing to enforce the anti-trust laws and refusing to prosecute financial fraud.
Concentration of wealth destroys the mass consumer market, which was the source of American prosperity during most of the 20th century. It means that what economic activity there is goes to serve the needs and wishes of the upper 10 percent or upper 1 percent of the population, which can be done without high wages or full employment.
These were the conditions that led to the 2008 financial crash and probably will lead to a worse financial crash to come.
Eventually someone — either a great statesman or a great demagogue — will emerge to change all this. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump is that leader.
Hillary Clinton, whose personal income and campaign contributions depend on these powerful institutions, cannot be expected to fix the problem. Neither can Donald Trump. While Trump has criticized corporate trade agreements, the rest of his economic program is lower taxes on the rich, deregulation of business and economic austerity, which will make conditions even worse.
The Day After Election Day by Rob Urie for Counterpunch.
Small American cities and rural communities are developing high-speed Internet service for themselves, following failures of President Obama’s plan to finance such service under his stimulus plan.
I read two articles on-line this morning—an old one in POLITICO about the mismanagement of the stimulus plan by the Rural Utilities Service (successor to the Rural Electrification Administration) and a recent one in YES! magazine about how local governments are acting on their own initiative to provide these services for themselves.
The two articles fit in with a long-held belief of mine—that role of government is to provide public services, such as public roads, public schools and law enforcement, under neutral rules, and not to divide up the public into worthy claimants and unworthy claimants.
I’m sure federal grants have made possible some worthy local projects that otherwise wouldn’t have taken place. Certainly the original Rural Electrification Administration did a lot to improve the lives of American farm families.
But very often grantsmanship becomes disconnected from actual needs. There is a cost in going through the grant approval process, maybe with the help of a professional grant application writer, and in documenting compliance with the requirements for the grant, which may have nothing to do with local priorities.
Wired to fail by Tony Romm for POLTICO (2015)
Tired of Waiting for Corporate High-Speed Internet, Minnesota Farm Towns Build Them on Their Own by Ben DeJarnette for YES! magazine.
President Obama was elected in 2008 based on promises to, among other things, do something about global warming. My e-mail pen pal Bill Harvey called my attention to an article highlighting his refusal to act. Here’s an excerpt:
Obama has sufficient scientific resources at his command to know exactly what we are doing and failing to do. He came into office with control of both houses of Congress and a clear mandate to act on the climate crisis, with scientists the world over sounding all the necessary alarms.
But in pursuing an “all-of-the-above” energy policy, highlighted by the figurative explosion of fracking and the literal explosions of oil trains and deep sea drilling rigs, Obama has turned the US into the No. 1 producer of fossil fuels in the world.
The value of federal government subsidies for fossil-fuel exploration and production increased by 45 percent under his watch, even as he turned what were once climate “treaty” talks into a subterfuge for global inaction. This, from the guy who ran against “Drill, Baby Drill!”
True, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency has enacted regulations classifying greenhouse gasses as pollutants, which are intended to close down aging coal-fired electric power plants. He has obtained subsidies to promote renewable energy. And he has set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to be accomplished by future administrations.
But this has been offset by his promotion of the domestic oil and gas industry and his opposition to enforceable international climate treaties.
The problem is that there is no immediate political payoff from trying to slow down global warming. The climate change that is manifesting itself right now—record-breaking temperatures, floods and droughts—is the result of decisions made or not made 30 or 40 years ago.
What is done—or not done—today about climate change will not change the present situation. It will only help people 30 or 40 years from now. There is little political incentive to do that.
Neither democratic government nor free-enterprise economic systems, assuming that this is what we have, would respond to the immediate concerns and wishes of the public, but not to warnings about future problems. Not that socialist dictatorships have a better record!
The only answer, as I see it, is for climate change activists to do what Naomi Klein describes in her book, This Changes Everything, which is to join up with those who are fighting fossil fuel companies on other grounds—protection of property rights, Indian treaties, public health and the environment, and the authority of local government.
President Obama’s Lethal Climate Legacy by Zhiwa Woodbury for Truthout.