Todd N. Tucker Profile picture
Aug 24 19 tweets 5 min read
This🧵 includes some important historical institutionalist-type points about the setting of when a bunch of stuff got built during the New Deal era versus the (early) postindustrial timing of the post 1970s environmental movement.

Some random reflections...
Another HI point: the China trade shock and those that preceded it, contributing to much of capital, labor, and communities seeing less of a stake in material production. Goods show up on shelves, they're cheap, which is a lifesaver since wages are kept low + there aren't unions.
There is no pre-distribution game rooted in a productive economy, it's all post-distribution in a post-modern economy - trying to use a tenuous influence on the state to wrest money for social programs from the oligarchs and rentiers enriching themselves off of Ponzi schemes.
It's vital to ask what the costs are, and who is being asked to bear them, as the US reindustrializes. These construction/production costs are likely to be concentrated, while the decarbonization benefits diffuse.
But, for folks born since the decline of manufacturing jobs and unions, it's hard to see any of the *concentrated benefit* side from constructing and producing, which was what the Apollo Project tried to center in the 2000s.…
That's a shame, because there *are* concentrated benefits - including for racial justice and equity - some of which I explore here.
If we want processes to speed up, and we don't want to repeat the never-compensated dislocations from globalization that have wrecked our democracy, front-loading and making visible the material benefits to communities is necessary.…
Want a shorter permitting process? Show communities the money upfront (through union jobs, free heat pumps, community development $$, etc), and create ruinous penalty defaults for companies that cut corners on safety and pollution.…
Humility is key. Shaming communities with few weapons at their disposal is counterproductive. Many- esp young activists -have never seen (even partly) functioning industrial economies. Asking them to take the leap of faith blindly and without guarantees does not show good faith.
Many of us 90s activist kids came of age when (industrial) unions were still strong, and actually funded a lot of student activism, whether the anti-sweatshop movement, Justice for Janitors, the Battle in Seattle, etc.
This gave us an early education in the importance of organizing + material production.

And awareness that, just bc the downsides of industrial production weren't felt in the US, that did not mean that some other community was not bearing them overseas.…
For many that came of age after, there was less organic way to have those values + experiences seep in. And for those that entered the labor market after the Global Financial Crisis, low wages and higher debt rightly were more salient.
Back to the HI point: what excites me about the present moment is that - unlike the 19th century or the 1930s - we have a chance to reindustrialize while doing the things right from an equity and worker power standpoint that the US got wrong before. & w/ an administrative state!
None of that happens automatically. It is only through daily struggle that the good + inclusive version of reindustrialization happens. That will take place in communities, on shop floors, in churches, in legislatures. IRA needs IRL to work!
One of the (many) nice things about the Inflation Reduction Act passing is that it opens an opportunity to reset politics away from - what will the 50-50 Senate give us - to what we demand/secure in specific projects in specific places in implementation. Real organizing is key.
Another nice thing is that the IRA promotes real organizing through feedback loops like more generous tax credits for green investors that follow high road labor strategies. Unions are already plotting out organizing plans to make use of these openings.
That gives capital a stake in land and labor - exactly what was severed in the neoliberal era post-1970s, and liberal era pre-WWII (but also never existed w/r/t many communities). An oldie but goodie.👇…
Tl;dr - the IRA opens up the potential for a win set for all. But no guarantee, just as compensation from globalization never happened in the absence of serious industrial and community development policy. That comes next. END.
A bit more context for the thread in the convo with @JesseJenkins here:

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More from @toddntucker

Aug 26
Democrats Might Get Exceptionally Lucky This Fall, and They Should Be Ready for That- another great piece by @jbouie

GOP has lost generic congressional ballot lead & has flawed Senate candidates, while House Dems chances are about what Trump's were in '16…
Bouie suggests we pivot from industrial policy to social policy, highlighting the child tax credit, reproductive rights, labor rights, and voting rights as priorities.

Yet, with the exception of voting, these could all be also conceived of as industrial policy, or related to IP. Image
As @stephsterlingdc and I wrote last year, industrial policy is any government policy that encourages resources to shift from one industry or sector into another, by changing input costs, output prices, or other regulatory treatment.…
Read 11 tweets
Aug 24
When society runs harmful experiments on humans, society should repair the damage to those humans.

It's pretty simple, and it should be the bare minimum of living in a civil society and democracy.
Biden's student debt cancellation is a win and sets a precedent for broader reparative policies of the kind @FeliciaWongRI and @kstrickland_ discuss here @DemJournal in their piece on moving past neoliberalism and racial liberalism.…
This was also a theme of my first ever report for @rooseveltinst after Trump won in part by coopting the progressive Dem message on trade: those communities that globalized capital abandoned also merit reparative justice.…
Read 16 tweets
Aug 11
It's not every (any previous?) USTR that gets invited to give a keynote at a major labor convention. Here's @AmbassadorTai at the @steelworkers convention in Nevada.
Full remarks here:…
The identification of the "national interest" with that of "workers' interest" - at home and abroad - is unprecedented for a USTR. Image
Read 7 tweets
Aug 9
"the Inflation Reduction Act would sweeten the pot, with the government extending the full $7,500 tax credit through 2032 while scrapping the 200,000 unit ceiling, which has already affected Tesla, GM and Toyota..."…
"For more modest income earners, the tax credit will be refundable, meaning that regardless of the buyer’s income, the purchase price reflects the full tax credit..."
"That won’t matter for buying Teslas, which generally sell in the $65,000 range, but GM is offering the Bolt for less than $30,000."
Read 4 tweets
Aug 9
Political lanes post-Dobbs (from smallest to largest?):

1. Forced labor, with modest increases in the social safety net. 👇
2. Forced labor, with a palpable lust for rolling back the existing safety net:

"This is not a new idea. This is a dumb old idea,” anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, said of family support — adding that it keeps showing up “like herpes or shingles.”
3. Forced labor, with no expansion of the existing safety net (the McConnell- Keep America Last lane):…
Read 9 tweets
Aug 8
Absolutely bizarre editorial decision to cap off 1.5 years of coverage of dinging Dems for not passing their agenda with an above the fold opinion piece by a retired columnist whose piece is less about IRA and more about how the right economic policy is... quietism? Image
So children, the moral of the story is not that lack of party discipline or corruption - you know, the angles we've covered extensively - were the problem, it was trying to do anything at all. Why do you care so much? Sit back and let class discipline work its magic. ImageImage
The piece has no substantive engagement with climate, doesn't mention words Paris, emissions, carbon once. No historical context of 30 years of Senate inaction

You don't need to shill for the party in power, but this types of bothsideism is fatal to a liveable planet and country
Read 5 tweets

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