Unfortunately, in our time on Twitter, it takes a single sentence fragment to reduce a visionary document like Green New Deal Bill introduced in the House by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the line of striking a late-night comic.
In the case of the Green New Deal, this is not even one of the words of the legislation that has become viral and has placed the boosters of the Green New Deal on the defensive and in damage control mode.
The fragment of sentence that inspired the mockery and mockery of the right wing 24 hours a day was actually found in the Frequently asked question document created by the ambitious bill. He added that the GND would provide "economic security to anyone who can not or will not work."
Red meat for defenders of late-development vulture capitalism resided in this "refusal to work" expression that fitted so well into their caricature of idealistic millennials whose worldview was shaped by leftist professors. just as ignorant.
For tens of millions of households, who continue to struggle week by week and have multiple jobs to support their families, the idea that society pays people who do not want to work is contrary to the principle organizer of their life. They need some sort of practical respite right now and they are conditioned to want to work for it, maybe not as hard as they have been since the 1970s, when the productivity of the workers has gone up, but wages have fallen and stagnated.
And for those who are struggling to pay the rent or mortgage this month, worrying about global warming and climate change may seem far – even if it should not be – when the cataclysm that the worry is foreclosure or foreclosure.
My impression is that to build mass movements that lead to meaningful political change, you have to meet people where they are – in the struggles in which they are immediately trapped. In fact, it is precisely this type of appeal that helped the Ocasio-Cortez representative to put together longtime Democratic MP Joe Crowley.
For the detractors of GND, it did not matter that "work-shy" people simply promised to "rely on the second declaration of rights of FDR" by guaranteeing "a minimum wage job". . . safe and affordable housing "and an" economic environment without monopolies ".
Unfortunately, Green New Dealers' historical reference in the FAQ to FDR's second bill of rights is relatively obscure to most Americans. In his speech on the state of the Union of 1944 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt has put forward a radical vision for inclusive and permanent national prosperity, which Michael Moore poignantly evoked in his 2009 documentary "Capitalism: a story of love. "
In this speech, the President, who led the country out of the Great Depression and during most of the Second World War, challenged the country with a vision as radical as that of the Green New Deal. 39; aujourd & # 39; hui. FDR urged Americans, no matter how comfortable their standard of living was, never to be "satisfied". . . . if a fraction of our population – be it a third, a fifth or a tenth – is malnourished, poorly dressed, poorly housed and unsafe. "
And this, according to Roosevelt, required going beyond the "inalienable political rights" of the country, because our country had "grown in size and stature … as our industrial economy grew, these political rights have proved insufficient to ensure equality in the pursuit of happiness. "
"We are well aware that true individual freedom can not exist without economic security and independence," the FDR proclaimed 168 years after 1776, noting that men in need were "not free men." and that people who were hungry for a job were "the stuff of which dictatorships are made."
FDR has refined itself, proposing that the Second Bill of Rights be "a new base of security and prosperity that includes the guarantee of" meaningful and rewarding work "providing" adequate food, clothing and recreation "to each American.
The new rights enumerated, which never became law, include the "right of every businessman, big or small, to trade in a climate of absence of unfair competition and domination of national and foreign monopolies" .
The Green New Deal contains a bit of the same wording, which also accurately describes the steady deterioration of the US situation since the Second World War, including the decline of ourIf current expectation and basic needs, such as clean air, clean water, healthy food, adequate health care, housing, transportation and education, are inaccessible to a significant part of the population of the United States.
While the Green New Deal correctly lists the debilitating side effects of capitalism, it does not look directly at killing and does not explain why, in its current form, capitalism threatens the viability of the planet and its inhabitants. This virulent vulture capitalism that uses fossil fuels puts our planet at risk because it privatizes profits and leaves us the smog and toxic waste it generates.
This is what bosses call an "externality", it's not their problem.
Similarly, we are at a time when huge companies are taking their capital and investing it in a "labor-saving technology" that automates entire industry sectors. And even though much of the technology was created by taxpayer-funded research, these masters of the universe, who often avoid taxes, pocket the profits and leave us, society, to know what to do with them. the millions of people their innovations have left behind. idle.
An Oxford University in 2013 analysis over 700 different job titles have concluded that 47% of the jobs they surveyed could lose computerization over the next 20 years.
For John Samuelsen, International President of the Transport Workers Union, representing transit workers across the country, this new world is already here with driverless bus.
Samuelsen was one of the speakers at the Vatican conference on climate change, technology and transport on 4 and 5 March. He said driverless buses would undermine public safety and result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the United States.
The three-day conference, which included dozens of transport union leaders and manufacturers from around the world, followed that of Pope Francis Encyclical 2015 calling for "a rapid and unified global action" to combat climate change while advancing economic and social justice.
"What I really want to say is that these driverless technologies were evolving very quickly without worrying too much about the impact on public safety and the transportation workforce." Samuelsen said during a phone interview. The union engaged in the fight against automatisms in Ohio and recently dominated in Columbus, where it concluded a contract under which bus drivers were to keep the wheel of the bus fleet of that city.
"We have fought successfully against what some people see as an inevitable massive loss of jobs in the transport sector," he said. In his favorable speech to the drivers, Mr. Samuelsen worked in real-world accounts where the presence of a human bus driver saved a life, averted serious injury or "took a very pregnant young mother to the hospital." # 39; hospital. "
Regarding the Green New Deal, Samuelsen says boosters increase their chances of winning the workforce if GND advocates not only insist on "greening" the economy, but also for the creation of "societal structures protecting families of workers".
"It's just not enough to talk about protecting workers in an abstract way, almost after the fact," he said. "FDR recognized that in order to drive societal change, legislative structures were needed to entrench and consolidate New Deal worker protection programs such as social security and the 40-hour work week with the Fair Labor Standards Act. . "
He continued, "The amount of wealth that companies and billionaires will generate in this new, scary future is unfathomable, immeasurable. They will succeed in eliminating workers in some areas of our economic system, if not in many. There is currently no substantive policy discussion of this negative impact on workers, nor any discussion of the worker protection structures that will accompany the advancement of technology. "
The legislative preamble of the Green New Deal may need to explicitly refer to the second statement of rights of the FDR, so that the Americans clearly understand that a truly sustainable green economy depends on the need to ensure that any meaningful work is respected as a human right.
After all, saving the planet is ALL about work, not avoiding it.