stated in part one,
the Democratic Party has substantially changed. Capitalist elements of the
party are taking a back seat to a new breed much farther to the left of them.
To the whole country’s dismay, this new element is socialistic to a European
degree. Democrats have been trending leftward for a very long time, but only
recently have they embraced the socialist image openly. What started that was,
of course, the candidacy of Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders in the last
presidential election cycle. He was defeated, but the energy he mobilized lived
on. Sanders tapped into a dormant socialist bloc that had been building on the
left and activated it. In the 2018 midterms, the aforementioned socialist
energy was enough to elect a number of hard-left congressmen and women most
notably Ocasio-Cortez. Emboldened by their capture of the House of
Representatives, new policy proposals for 2020 are being advanced which have
little coherence. In the article previous, the Medicare for all plan advanced
by Bernie Sanders was examined and it was found that multiple estimates
placed its 10 year budget at over $30 trillion
This article will focus on the impracticality of the Green New Deal advanced by
representative Ocasio-Cortez. The third and final entry in this series will
focus on the plans to pay for these central planning schemes. Get ready for
frustration, because this article is about to enter the leftist Twilight Zone.
Green New Deal styled after the 1930s programs of Franklin Roosevelt is a plan
to systematically destroy the US economy and rebuild it in the image of a
centrally planned green party paradise. Greens are elated at the idea and their
website is plastered with its utopianism. To get an idea of what their
it is (there indeed have been multiple versions), a few excerpts will be
provided from its platform.
- Initiate a WWII-scale national mobilization to
halt climate change, the greatest threat to humanity in our history. Create 20
million jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, and
investing in public transit, sustainable (regenerative) agriculture,
conservation and restoration of critical infrastructure, including ecosystems.
- [The Green New Deal includes an] “Economic
Bill of Rights” – the right to single-payer healthcare, a guaranteed job at a
living wage, affordable housing and free college education.
- Enact energy democracy based on public,
community and worker ownership of our energy system. Treat energy as a human
right. (Presumably they will wish to rewrite the Declaration of
Independence to read “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are
created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights
among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of solar energy.”)
- Redirect research funds from fossil fuels into
renewable energy and conservation. Build a nationwide smart electricity grid
that can pool and store power from a diversity of renewable sources, giving the
nation clean, democratically-controlled, energy.
- End destructive energy extraction and
associated infrastructure: fracking, tar sands, offshore drilling, oil trains,
mountaintop removal, natural gas pipelines, and uranium mines. Halt any
investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, including natural gas, and phase out
all fossil fuel power plants. Phase out nuclear power and end nuclear
subsidies. End all subsidies for fossil fuels and impose a greenhouse gas
fee/tax to charge polluters for the damage they have created.”
- The implementation of the Green New Deal will
revive the economy, turn the tide on climate change and make wars for oil
obsolete. This latter result, in turn, enables a 50% cut in the military
budget, since maintaining bases all over the world to safeguard fossil fuel
supplies and routes of transportation could no longer be justified.
Congratulations for getting through the
highlights of the Green New Deal for anyone who hasn’t closed the page yet. It
is not difficult to see that this plan is off-the-rails insane without even
going into the numbers but for due prudence, the numbers are ahead. The only
question is where to start?
No, there won’t be an economic boom
Displayed loudly and proudly on the Green New Deal platform page is the claim that it will produce “20 million new jobs” but that is not true. Since the plan is so expansive and incorporates the entire economy, it is impossible to measure all its effects. Undeterred, the Heritage Foundation tried to model part of it and reached telling results. Though not mentioned in this version of the GND, the way it is most likely to be done is via a carbon tax as mentioned in Ocasio-Cortez’s version’s FAQ that has since been taken down. The actual carbon reducing portion of the plan is going to cost massive amounts of jobs. Where the 20 million figure originally came from is suspect and its reasoning is even more so.
Did I mention it could cost $90 trillion
The last article exposing the outlandish
proposals of the socialists focused heavily on the price tag of the Medicare
for all plan. It is only necessary then to discuss at brief the price tag of
the GND at least for the sake of consistency. A report by the American Action
Forum peered at the pricier portions of the program and proclaimed that it would at least $50 trillion and could cost a
whopping $90 trillion
($90,000,000,000,000) dollars. The aspects analyzed were: redoing the
electrical grid, redoing the transportation infrastructure, jobs for everyone,
healthcare for everyone, housing for everyone and food security for everyone.
With all these other things that seem to have little to do with the environment
it looks almost like an attempt to impose central planning on the whole economy
cloaked in the rhetoric of saving the
planet. The electrical grid will cost at least $5.4 trillion ($5,400,000,000,000)
to go green and earlier estimates have even put it at $13 trillion
($13,000,000,000,000). The transportation angle of it wishes to replace air
travel with high speed rail lines which will cost $1.3 trillion ($1,300,000,000,000)
to $2.7 trillion ($2,700,000,000,000) and hundreds of billions more for the
trains themselves. The jobs guarantee will cost $6.762 trillion ($6,762,000,000,000)
over the next decade and if workers making less than the wage of the new
government guaranteed jobs switched over, the price tag could rise to $44.6
trillion ($44,600,000,000,000). Again, healthcare is a big ticket item and
costs a pretty penny. This report gave the number to be $36 trillion ($36,000,000,000,000)
over the next decade (this report is all about costs over the next decade).
Housing will cost another $12 billion, but if GND building standards are
applied to government subsidized buildings, the cost of compliance to that will
bring the total to around $4.2 trillion ($4,200,000,000,000). The food program isn’t
that bad when looking at these numbers coming in at less than two billion.
runs into a strange situation: the leaders of the country that is the vanguard
of freedom and the bureaucrats under them are running into the problems of
Soviet-style central planning. That is what the GND represents, a massive
effort of central planning in which various levels of the state will direct
massive swaths of the economy. There are references to government control of
the energy sector, but by and large this plan is not about government ownership,
but rather control. Advocates of this plan gleefully tell of how they will shut
down the fossil fuels industry, invest untold billions or trillions into
windfarms and move around tens of millions of living, breathing, thinking and
free human beings like they were so many inanimate chess pieces. That is
central planning whether advocates like that term or not. It is socialistic
whether the advocates like that term or not. Parts of it –especially references
to “public, community and worker
ownership of the energy system” approach being communistic whether they
like the term or not. This plan is unworkable, utopian and utterly Soviet in spirit.
If the socialists try to sell this plan, they either do not understand its
economics or they don’t care about the same. Stated another way, socialist
green new deal advocates either don’t understand its economics or are lying
about the same.
Photo credit: “The unserious face of an unserious movement” via the National Review
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