Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Reworking Paradigms

Perry Link writes about his disillusionment, as a convinced Marxist, with the China he actually saw. Pure ideology usually doesn't stand up to reality. I keep hoping that the Republicans will experience something like this, but I can't think just now of a country that practices pure whatever it is that they seem to believe in. One of the ways to hang on to an ideology is to make it abstract or changeable enough that you never face a related reality.

Although here's a small shred of hope: the California state controller is denying state legislators their pay until they come up with a balanced budget. No more lies about how each legislator's preferred ideologies will increase revenue later, even if it looks like a deficit now. No more Laffer Curve.

Speaking of realities, Michael Moyer crunches the numbers about that claim of a 35% spike in infant mortality on thw US west coast. Turns out that it was (surprise!) not only wrong, but dishonest. Or perhaps just part of a reality that keeps changing to prove that nuclear power is evil.

Stephen Lacey ponders how the power from a coal plant due to be shut down can be replaced. His analysis points to a number of potential problems, but it is the kind of thing that needs to be figured out if nuclear power plants are to be shut down. Replacing coal with natural gas (the major part of the proposal in Lacey's article) cuts down on acid-rain and other pollutants, but it only lessens the amount of carbon dioxide emitted. Replacing nuclear with natural gas would increase carbon dioxide emissions. There are no simple answers.

In another sort of tradeoff, Jared Bernstein shows how high unemployment damages workers' ability to negotiate better wages. Golly, do you think there was any relation to that 2008 blast from the financial community?

1 comment:

troutsky said...

The fact that the author puts socialism in scare quotes when referring to China is refreshing and the real meaning of the article in my opinion. ( as opposed to any ideology vs reality dichotomy)