Response to :
Time to Turn the American Economic Model Upside Down? Consider alternatives to consumption and growth
Tax the internet? I don't find that a promising proposal. The freedom of information has been the greatest boom to the modern era that we can name. Making it less free is a step in the wrong direction.
That said, I do agree with the sustainability model, and our crucial, desperate need to transform society past the dinosaur technologies and structures of the past and into something that might actually stand a chance of survival.
The word "transportation" came up, without elaboration. What we need is a drastic slashing of transportation. Less transportation, less forced transportation (to/from work and school) and increased use of internet work and education from home. People are basically sitting in cubicles doing what they could be doing in their own dens.
Every morning America's roadways become clogged with millions of cars all going the same direction at the same time, and being reduced to inefficient wasters of gasoline as they idle in stop and go traffic. This carries a psychological and an environmental cost to all involved as well. Then they get out at 5pm, most of the workforce for some idiotic scheduling reason, and they do it all again in the opposite direction.
This is a tremendously inefficient waste of resources that could easily be changed if businesses got on board and wanted to change it.
We are also going to have to broach the subject of population control if we desire "sustainability" beyond lip service. It's people consuming the planet in a ravenous orgiastic frenzy. There's too many of them. They refuse to take responsibility for reproducing too many offspring. They need disincentives for bringing more and more mouths into the world. By 2050 the oceans may be completely out of the popular food fish species. Gone forever, extinct. Arable farmland could be next, and drinkable water. Sustainability is already untenable at the current 7 billion world population levels. This is serious.
Next energy needs to go completely renewable, none of these half measures, none of this radioactive nightmare nonsense. Concentrated solar, wind, tide and the very promising Geothermal Heat Mining need to be exploited to their fullest potential, right now, all in, massive investment and infrastructure.
Laws should be rewritten to encourage individual homeowners and small businesses to build local rooftop power generators, and to PROFIT from their investments just like large utilities. No caps, no hobbling of the small energy investor class.
Next, the media need immediate reform. It's time we took back -- say half the bandwith for public use. Open up airwaves to include non-profit voices. Make TV stations give large blocks of prime time to non-profit institutions like colleges and universities. Get alternative voices a place to be heard and compete head on with the frothing fascists of Murdoch's evil empire.
In terms of taxes and spending it's pretty much moot until the rogues in Congress are booted out, en masse. "Progressive" taxation is the primary signpost on what "progressives" stand for and believe in. Rich opportunists should pay more for their reaping of more profit from the nation. They don't exist in a vacuum. We let them exist, with restrictions, with limitations. It's time they paid more taxes, a lot more. They've been let off the hook for the last decade to increase their war chests in this class war, and to buy influence in government and media. They need to be cut back down to size, and the quicker the better. As Warren Buffett said, in the NY Times:
"There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."
Wake up sheeple. He wasn't using hyperbole. This is deadly serious. As they destroy Medicare, Social Security, the schools, and everything that either doesn't make billionaires giggle with delight or kill unnamed people half a world away, you all better get a clue.
If there was ever a wrong path the nation was headed down, we're on it. We're nearly at the end. Perhaps turning back is not in the cards.
Sustainability is hard. It's not what the nation is used to. It's not even the concern of 95%+ of people. So distracted by utter trivial bullshit as they tap on their handheld tap boxes about nothing most of the day -- the modern equivalent of "circuses" -- it's an uphill struggle to even get the message through that a problem exists.
The media will spin any problem in the preferred direction of their owners. Black is white, and failing a convincing direct negation of reality: the out group is to blame. It's all their fault. Point the finger and never at the corrupt despicable tyrants who run the show.