Posts

You Can't Be Green Enough These Days

Image
Helpful as their contributions are, the efforts of most established agricultural literacy organizations do not extend to encouraging young people to take up farming. Aside from the Future Farmers of America (which I've always seen as geared to keeping the kids down on the farm) and 4-H, organizations like National Agriculture in the Classroom and the American Farm Bureau Foundation seem to be geared toward PR for agribusiness. The mission of FoodCorps is somewhat better because it involves children in gardening and appreciating healthy, fresh food that they help to grow.

Though all those organizations raise agricultural literacy, none of their programs will prepare the next generation of adults for what they are about to face. For that, permaculture education must be emphasized. Big Ag will go away with deindustrialization. Folks are going to have to know how to provide for themselves without relying on lengthy, automated supply chains.

Since the public school system does not appe…

Apprenticeship - a Short-Lived Remedy for a Dead End Economy

Image
Old Blowhard doubled the federal dollars to administer the apprenticeship advocacy program run by the Department of Labor. Secretary Acosta said the redoubled effort, "helps states expand apprenticeship, an evidence-based approach to preparing workers for jobs." A model program is found in South Carolina, yet Germany's program is the sine qua non that appears currently out of reach for the U.S.

In promoting apprenticeship, the Blowhard administration and the Green Party are agreed:

The Green Party views learning as a lifelong and life-affirming process to which all people should have access. We cannot state more forcefully our belief that in learning, and openness to learning, we find the foundation of our Platform...e.Promote a diverse set of educational opportunities, including bilingual education, continuing education, job retraining, distance learning, mentoring and apprenticeship programs. However, the budget cuts from other workforce development programs leave me w…

The Road to Reparations

Image
In the process of getting to know the Green Party, sooner or later you realize that we favor African Americans to the point of calling for reparations for over 200 years of discrimination. This is ultimately what it will take to heal race relations in our country, but rather than diving headfirst into what would quickly become a major bone of contention, we should practice the art of the possible by going for a series of small wins. Black women have it particularly hard, as detailed in a report put out this week by The National Domestic Workers Alliance. One of their priority recommendations is:
Policymakers and workforce development leaders should adopt strategies to promote gender and racial/ethnic equity in access to higher-paid career training opportunities. Workforce development programs that recruit and train Black women in specific skills can help them gain access to career ladders and upward mobility and can reduce their concentration in lower-paying jobs. The Green Party pri…

Giving Back

Image
Andrés Manuel López Obrador is planning to pay salaries to housewives in Mexico. After yesterday's election, in which his leftist party narrowly lost a key race, his prospects of next year becoming president of his country are still strong. The race for governor in Mexico State was so close that the results are being contested. Regardless of who won, López Obrador's chances of winning the Presidency in 2018 are gaining momentum.

Mexico is not seen as having much influence compared to economic behemoths like the U.S., however ideas can penetrate walls and a socialist revolution in Mexico could catch on among the disenfranchised classes in neighboring countries. The idea of paying people in some way for their time and labor spent in fulfilling socially beneficial roles is, in fact, already included in the Green Party key values.
6. Community-Based Economics We support redesigning our work structures to encourage employee ownership and workplace democracy. We support developing new…

Liberation Theology - The Stuff of Real Revolutions

Image
By reversing recent progress in civil rights enforcement, the Blowhard administration's budget runs counter to one of the fundamental ideals of the Green Party. The Green Party's Ten Key Values places Social Justice And Equal Opportunity second only to grass-roots democracy:
As a matter of right, all persons must have the opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, any discrimination by race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, religion, or physical or mental ability that denies fair treatment and equal justice under the law.
To confront is to stand up to another, to "meet (someone) face to face with hostile or argumentative intent." Confrontation places the parties on the verge of (but doesn't necessarily provoke) physical conflict. The intent can be hostile or merely argumentative. My advice is try to keep it argu…

The Fugger Factor

Image
Five hundred years ago, as the Reformation was brewing in Germany, the Fugger family soared to
heights of wealth never before attained by captains of industry. Though the Fuggers strove to monopolize all of their markets, other capitalists caught on to the possibilities and managed to join the conspicuous ranks of the aristocracy. On the brink of Europe's most sweeping cultural change in centuries, the wealth of the upper class brought about what Will Durant called "the greatest economic disparities as Europe had not known since the millionaires and slaves of Imperial Rome."

In commemoration of this quincentennial, I would like to offer a new metric for recognizing the potential for disparities in economic wealth to bring about radical societal disruption; introducing "the Fugger factor." I'll leave it to folks like Thomas Piketty to quantify this metric, but suffice it to say that today's Fugger factor in the U.S. is as high as it's been since the…

It Takes a Pillage

Image
The preliminary version of the Department of Education's budget proposal looks like they took the Green Party platform on education and came up with ways to do everything the opposite.


Green Party PositionBlowhard BudgetThe Green Party supports equal access to high-quality education, and sharp increases in financial aid for college students.The Blowhard administration supports unequal access to high-quality education by promoting private schools, and sharp decreases in financial aid for college students.The Green Party is strongly opposed to the dissolution of public schools and the privatization of education. We believe that the best educational experience is guaranteed by the democratic empowerment of organized students, their parents and communities along with organized teachers.While advocating local control, DeVos proposes to use federal dollars to entice districts to adopt school-choice policies, adding new investment in alternatives to public schools.We must stop disinvestme…