The Green New Deal
Here at Peak Prosperity we talk about “solutions” and work-arounds regarding the Three E’s problems and predicaments. In fact, we can get impatient with people who don’t have something positive to offer by way of solutions. So, with that in mind, I have to give at least a little credit to whoever has taken a stab at a solution when they came up with the so-called “Green New Deal.” I give them credit for trying and putting their plan out there where it (and they) could be criticized. But that’s pretty much all I can say in the way of praise.
So much of the Green New Deal is built on socialist/communist political thinking that I am seriously frightened those parts at least might become policy. So much of the plan is, from my perspective, totally unhinged from mathematical and logical thinking, not to mention facts on the ground.
Anyway, I was hoping the Green New Deal would just wither up and blow away, but it’s looking like more and more people are taking it seriously. Since the Green New Deal addresses the Three E’s I suppose we should have a forum to discuss it. Here we go.
Here’s a link to the actual document being circulated by its proponents:
Here’s today’s latest zerohedge piece savaging parts of the Green New Deal:
Having been mocked by her own leadership (and much of social media) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) – the little socialist that could – faces the final condemnation tonight as The Wall Street Journal surveyed the Bronx Congresswoman’s “Green New Deal” resolution… and was left in hysterics, with Kimberley Strassel tweeting:
“By the end of the Green New Deal resolution (and accompanying fact sheet) I was laughing so hard I nearly cried. If a bunch of GOPers plotted to forge a fake Democratic bill showing how bonkers the party is, they could not have done a better job. It is beautiful. “
Leaving the outspoken reporter with only one conclusion:
” The Republican Party has a secret weapon for 2020. It’s especially effective because it’s stealthy: The Democrats seem oblivious to its power. And the GOP needn’t lift a finger for it to work.
All Republicans have to do is sit back and watch 29-year-old Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez . . . exist.“
Here’s AOC acknowledging that achieving the Green New Deal will absolutely require a “massive government intervention” into private life and businesses.
Here are some of the key debatable goals of the Green New Deal:
This morning, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released an overview of her “Green New Deal” which threatens “a massive transformation of our society.”
Below are the details of the proposal.
Rebuild every single building in the U.S.
“Upgrade or replace every building in US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency.”
Will end all traditional forms of energy in the next ten years.
The Green New Deal is “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”
Plans to ban nuclear energy within 10 years if possible.
“It’s unclear if we will be able to decommission every nuclear plant within 10 years, but the plan is to transition off of nuclear and all fossil fuels as soon as possible.”
Build trains across oceans and end all air travel!
“Build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary”.
Don’t invest in new technology of Carbon Capture and Storage, just plant trees instead!
“We believe the right way to capture carbon is to plant trees and restore our natural ecosystems. CCUS technology to date has not proven effective.”
Mandates all new jobs be unionized.
“Ensure that all GND jobs are union jobs that pay prevailing wages and hire local.”
May include a carbon tax.
“We’re not ruling a carbon tax out, but a carbon tax would be a tiny part of a Green New Deal.”
May include cap and trade.
“…Cap and trade may be a tiny part of the larger Green New Deal plan.”
How much will it cost?
No estimate of the total cost of implementing the Green New deal is offered by Ocasio-Cortez.
However, as Ocasio-Cortez admits, “even if every billionaire and company came together and were willing to pour all the resources at their disposal into this investment, the aggregate value of the investments they could make would not be sufficient.”
She does provide one estimate that the cost to “repair and upgrade infrastructure U.S. infrastructure” alone will cost “$4.6 trillion at minimum.”
How will it be paid for? Don’t worry about that.
Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t provide any insight into how the trillions of dollars in spending will be paid for other than claiming, “The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit”.
Bus as Ocasio-Cortez says, “the question isn’t how will we pay for it, but what will we do with our new shared prosperity”.
And it seems the Green New Deal promises economic security, free health care, and other benefits for not only those UNABLE to work, but even to those UNWILLING to work.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a self-described Democratic Socialist, introduced the Green New Deal on Thursday. It outlines a plan to abandon the economic system that has dominated American society since its inception, fundamentally changing the patterns of industry output, employment, consumption, and the relation of government to the market.
One of its most radical proposals is issued almost in passing: a guarantee of “Economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.”
The U.S. has long had programs, private and public, to assist those unable to work. But it has never embraced the idea that the role of the government included guaranteeing economic security for those who are unwilling to work.
In fact, traditional American liberalism regarded full employment as its goal because of the importance of work to society and the individual.
Senator Eugene McCarthy wrote in his 1964 book A Liberal Answer to the Conservative Challenge:
The full consideration of unemployment must take into account the nature of work and its meaning to the human being. Neither unrelieved leisure activities nor idleness is the road to happiness. Man by nature needs more than satisfaction of his capacity to consume. He needs also to produce, to construct, to add some degree of perfection to goods or to provide services to other men.
This is not the Job Guarantee popularized by the recently trendy Modern Monetary theory crowd as a solution to mass unemployment. Neither is it the sort of Income Guarantee advocated by Silicon Valley executives who envision a future economy with very low employment but abundant consumption of technology products funded through government handouts, which critics have described as “serfdom without the work.”
This is far more radical. It a guarantee that the government will provide economic security to those who are unwilling to work. Presumably, this includes not just income but also healthcare, childcare, higher education, housing, transportation, and retirement benefits.
The economic effects are easily apparent. Workforce participation would fall as payments for not working would bid workers away from private and public sector jobs. Productivity would decline and economic growth slow. Many Americans, particularly younger Americans, would become dependent on the government for income and would not develop skills needed in the workforce.
Prominent Modern Monetary Theory economist Bill Mitchell, one of the most thoughtful advocates of a job guarantee, has written that income-without-work guarantees “signify a further withdrawal by the State from its responsibility to manage economic affairs and care for its citizens. Young people must be encouraged to develop skills and engage in paid work, rather than be the passive recipients of social security benefit.”
Even Karl Marx thought the economic system should require each of the comrades to supply labor “according to his ability” rather than according to his willingness to work.
Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal envisions a society in which anyone can choose to go without paid employment while still having income to consume the food and products of working citizens.
We might as well get to know this proposal as we’re going to being hearing it discussed in Congress, the media, our neighborhoods and water coolers at work.
Those who don’t “believe” in rapid climate change can have their big laugh, especially so called Liberal Democratic but the truth will be experienced by us all, in this life-time, and it will test our “faith”. At least there’s some semblance of flailing from AOC.
Lets have some fun and imagine a solution that allows for individual freedom and capitalism, LOL!
Did you catch Bernie’s responce? he took a swig from a plastic water bottle in the middle. N’uff said.
Agree with everything in her plan, but I’m stupid happy that this kind of stuff is finally being talked about. I’m tired of “business as usual” talk in DC, the media, and friends and family.
At least she’s getting people talking about the 3Es. Beats anything the mainstream right OR left have been doing!
If we replaced the words “climate change” with “peak oil”, how would we feel about the less-socialistic parts of the plan, its expense, and urgency?
Chris – and the Hirsch report – both talk about a crash program to replace oil use in society. Pretending its about climate change to get everyone on board, well, I’d say that’s just genius. “Save the planet” is so much nicer than “we’re RUNNING OUT OF OIL YOU IDIOTS.” The one (save the planet) is about a competition to act virtuous, while the alternative (oil is vanishing!) virtually demands that everyone immediately run out and seize as much oil for themselves as possible.
If you were in charge of the place, which narrative would you put forth? And fund? And if the positive narrative happened to have elements of truth to it, so much the better.
As for socialism in general, I believe it is increasing in appeal because capitalism itself has disappeared, and all we have left is fake-capitalism which has centralized profits and utterly seized control over government. And so more and more people have lost agency, and they know things are unfair at some level, and socialism promises redress of this unfairness through force. Same deal with communism. If capitalism works, nobody gives two shits about communism. Its only when things get overwhelmingly corrupt and unfair that communism has a door to enter.
“Medicare for all” is only interesting because sickcare costs 20% of GDP, and it is bankrupting people right and left. When the corruption becomes too great, people demand a revolution in one form or another.
Socialism (and these ridiculous “citizen income” programs) is also all about addressing the deep-seated unfairness that is built into the structure of today’s society. People have been reduced to being cogs in someone else’s profit machine, and this is their way of fighting back against this.
One simple example of the government helping to centralize profits: impose a regulation making street vendors illegal. At a stroke you deprive millions of people agency and profits, while creating a whole new group of people willing to be low-wage workers in your profit machine, at the same time removing competition for the profit-centralizing chain stores.
Winners and losers, and as always, the little guy isn’t the winner, with the government acting as the strong right arm.
That’s how a country full of millions of small business owners becomes a country willing to look at socialism as an answer. It isn’t an answer, of course, but I totally understand the motivation, and the attraction.
I too am ecstatic that there is a large, ambitious, provocative proposal coming from within the political system that starts to acknowledge the problems of climate change and inequality with appropriate levels of alarm.
I also have no confidence that what is proposed by AOC will work. As usual, I find Richard Heinberg’s writings on the topic almost spot-on. He covers almost all the pertinent issues here:
If I have to fault Heinberg, its that I think he’s a little too lenient on MMT. Even if MMT was viable, I have to ask myself whether all that unlimited cash would really go into addressing energy descent, climate change, inequality, etc – more likely would beneficiaries would be the military industrial complex, police state, fracking, plutocrats etc etc.
I most definitely do not feel that anything good will come from a Republican vs Democrat (or pro-Trump anti-Trump) discussion.
But, I really admire this young woman and the role playing explanation she gave the congressional ethics committee on the process of regulatory capture and the way that Big Money can control society to the detriment of the common people. Very well done.
I will add one more example of regulatory capture: The CDC Vaccine Committee.
Vaccine expert scientists sit on the CDC vaccine committee that vote on which vaccinations will be recommended for children. This committee is The Standard Setter for this topic. Yet these same experts are simultaneously employed by vaccine manufacturers and in many cases are the very individuals that lead the development and testing of these vaccines.
A revolving door between the CDC and vaccine manufacturers exists.
There is abundant room for, and evidence of, conflict of interest.
I actually know a Ph.D. immunologist who was on the Department of Healths National Vaccine Advisory Committee Vaccine Safety Writing Group back in the early 2000s. She also had a nonvoting seat on the CDC panel that actually made the vaccine choices. If I remember correctly, she was the only immunologist on that CDC panel. She described it as mostly vaccine industry professionals and a few MDs. She was politely asked to step down from the nonvoting seat because she, and i think one other MD, were voicing concerns about introducing so many vaccines in the first year of life and how that might adversely tweak immune response and tolerance. She left in disgust and is now involved in Parkinsons research. She said there was no room for anyone who raised legitimate, credible concerns for health and safety.
A quick look behind the curtain of the GND, has been abruptly covered over. For the good of the children, of course.
“economic security” even for those unwilling to work has been removed from the GND language, but not before many saw it.
Stupid happy sounds about right