Wednesday, March 02, 2022

My thoughts after Joe Biden's first state of the union speech

I listened to Biden's state of the union address last night. Some good points and some obvious omissions. It was good to hear him cheer on Ukraine and criticize the wealthy Russian oligarchs. This brought applause from both sides of the aisle.

Missing from the speech was much mention of climate change. That is an inconvenient truth. Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth was well named. Too much discussion of that wouldn't play well as the president uses the speech, in part, to bolster his sagging poll numbers.

On climate change, he has put much of his eggs in the basket of the "Build Back Better" legislation now stuck in Congress.

I'm still voting for Democrats, however.

Climate change needs to be dealt with by the people. It's not something politicians can take a real bold lead on if they fear being voted out. I hope Democrats can weather the inevitable storm of rising gas prices.

As for rallying people against oligarchs, that plays well politically. The obvious problems of putting greed ahead of human dignity. I'm onboard with that.

I remember a conversation, I had a few years back, with someone who had recently lived in New York City. He said, of the housing market, "one is competing with Russian oligarchs and others in the mix as everything is bid up and up in price."

I gather that this is a big problem in major cities around the world; for instance London, UK. Investment money flooding in buying up homes and condos; in some cases just holding the homes empty as a way to "park" money. Money from Russian Oligarchs and others. Vancouver, BC has the problem and now has something called "the empty condos tax" to try and discourage that.

Wealth can often be the enemy of a reasonable community. It can be a stumbling block on the path of a more sustainable climate; for instance pricing people out of cities and into the longer commute radius from work.

Wealth can also be a friend if it is applied to innovations for reducing carbon footprint. Technological innovations as well as helping people live more sustainably. These days, a lot of people need to have things subsidized for life to work. If one isn't wealthy, one is likely to need subsidized housing, public transit, childcare, healthcare and so forth.

It's almost like most people need charity, or government spending, to survive in the shark tank. The world has become, too much, like the shark tank.

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