The Green New Deal

https://www.dataforprogress.org/green-new-deal

Someone go ahead and defend this idiocy. I dare you.

23 thoughts on “The Green New Deal

    1. OK, here’s just one item.

      California just gave up on its high speed train from LA to San Francisco after spending over $6Billion (of the $77Billion total cost) on it as it proved to be unviable in spite of being on one of the most heavily traveled routes in the country.

      The Green New Deal proposes expanding high speed rail nationwide to replace nearly all air travel.with high speed rail in just 20 years in spite of the collapse of the California demonstration project.

      The nationwide cost would go to Trillions and the rail routes themselves would be an environmental catastrophe.

      But it sounds cool.

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      1. Another good example of the Can’t Do mindset of the reactionary. Japan, France and Germany can connect their major cities with very high speed rail service, but we can’t? Our “nationwide cost” of the F-35 program is now forecast to be in the Trillions but somehow the funds are available even though it will NEVER provide any actual benefit to ANYBODY. Now, that is “idiocy.”

        Sure, expanding high speed rail service or building a network of Hyperloop systems will be a challenge but such a goal is “idiocy” only in the minds of people with values and priorities from days gone by.

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      2. Addendum : I should have known and should have checked before responding. Your example of “idiocy” is a straw man – a gross oversimplification of what is actually in the Green New Deal. Here is the actual proposal from the House Resolution that defines the Green New Deal . . .

        (H) overhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in—
        (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing;
        (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transit; and
        (iii) high-speed rail;

        That is the ONLY mention of “rail” in the document. There is no mention of aviation in any context, much less replacing it. And, I would point out the qualifier of “as much is technologically feasible.”

        https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/sites/ocasio-cortez.house.gov/files/Resolution%20on%20a%20Green%20New%20Deal.pdf

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          1. It is not clear from the link the source of the document but I suppose it is one put out by AOC to provide her take on the actual resolution that I linked to. And, it does state the logical result of a greatly expanded high speed rail service – less air travel. So, how is that “idiocy” and not a worthy goal?

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  1. I’m expecting the Green New Deal to die on the vine.

    It seems to be generating a lot of interest at the moment, but it is so easy to ridicule that any substantial popularity it might gain is almost certain to be short-lived.

    It’s central weakness is the simplicity of the global-warming problem itself. If you really believe the Earth is warming in some dangerous way, the question then becomes, How do we cool the Earth? Unfortunately for Green New Dealers, there are many “easy” engineering answers to that, if we’re willing to take the risks associated with implementing them.

    In other words, we don’t necessarily or even obviously need a Green New Deal. As time goes by I think most people will choose to avoid the fuss and bother it would cause.

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    1. The Green New Deal is not so much about the environment as it is about packaging the progressive vision for a stronger, healthier, safer country and a plan to address BOTH climate change and the growing economic inequality that is tearing our country apart. A new New Deal if you will.

      For example, it includes Medicare-for-all and a new approach to financing higher education neither of which addresses global warming.

      Here is the official text of the resolution before the House

      https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/sites/ocasio-cortez.house.gov/files/Resolution%20on%20a%20Green%20New%20Deal.pdf

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      1. RE: “The Green New Deal is not so much about the environment as it is about packaging the progressive vision for a stronger, healthier, safer country and a plan to address BOTH climate change and the growing economic inequality that is tearing our country apart.”

        Understood, but the same argument applies. So-called “comprehensive solutions” almost always guarantee inaction. Once people begin to see how they will be affected, or what will be demanded of them, the fix begins to look worse than the problem. I’m predicting that will happen here.

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        1. Okay. Fair enough. Your prediction may be accurate. We will see. But, I suggest you go out of your way to mix with some younger people to get a better understanding of where the center-of-gravity of public opinion now stands. Just for an example, in spite of GOP cries of “Socialism!” the idea of a Single Payer healthcare system – Medicare-for-all – enjoys very broad support.

          https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/403248-poll-seventy-percent-of-americans-support-medicare-for-all

          Another “Socialist!” idea, returning to higher taxes on top incomes, also is very popular.

          https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/8/18171932/tax-public-opinion-alexandria-ocasio-cortez

          etc. etc.

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          1. I had millenials specifically in mind when I framed my original comment as a choice between an engineering project (doable and interesting) and a vast socio-political movement. Perhaps you have not encountered millenials’ loathing of Baby Boomers and everything we stand for. I expect the younger generation will eventually recognize the Green New Deal as just another warmed-over remnant of Hippiedom.

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          2. “Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.” :Leo Tolstoy

            Taking from those who produce and invest to give benefits to those who do not is wrong and popular support for it does not change that.

            Justifying a wrong by claiming you can find the votes to do it anyway is mob rule.

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          3. Makers versus takers again?

            But, who are the makers and who are the takers? It is not as obvious as you seem to think. In my opinion, anyone who has no realistic choice but to accept full time employment for compensation that leaves them in poverty is a victim of a broken system.

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          4. It’s not as important who owns capital as it is that it is used effectively.

            If capital is invested effectively, even those who don’t own it benefit.

            If a skilled craftsman can make 1 widget per day, but an investor provides a machine, that in the hands of a merely competent worker will make 10, we all benefit in a number of ways. The skilled craftsman is freed to work on something that actually requires his skills and the price of widgets plummets, making them more affordable. The competent but unskilled worker gets a job. And, of course, the investor gets a profit which he will invest in some other efficiency lever.

            This principle applies throughout the economy, making everything we buy cheaper and creating more jobs to fill. Prosperity is really nothing more than the overall efficiency of the economy.

            The way to raise the wage of the low skilled worker is to create a labor shortage, which will increase the demand for all labor.

            The worst thing you can do is to take capital out of the hands of those, who, by being successful, have shown they can put capital to effective use and give it ti those who have shown they can only consume but will not invest.

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  2. The “new” green deal is not that new. It has been bandied about for over a decade.

    I think what needs to be noticed, however, is that this has been brought to the forefront by young people. The people who are going to be around for decades after we are all gone.

    They see problems with regards to the environment, including global warming, the pooling of almost all wealth here and in the world among a relative handful of families, and the economic problems regarding future employment and living standards.

    More importantly, they don’t see that the older folks don’t seem concerned and would rather do business as usual.

    Details need to be worked out. Some of the time frames are probably unrealistic. But the apocalypse that a founder of Greenpeace talks about is pure nonsense.

    Personally, I see the enthusiasm of people like AOC as refreshing. It tells me that the supposed malaise of the millennials might be overblown. That unbridled consumerism, endless personal debt, out of reach healthcare and education costs, and dirty air are not where we need to go in the future.

    The new tax proposals are merely addressing the 40 or more years of “pre-distribution” from the bottom to the top.
    Laws that trashed unions and pensions but highly favored wealthy funds with tax breaks no one else gets need to be rectified. No big deal. The money is there and the rich will still be rich.

    Don, you have often said that the laws of economics are immutable, like physics. Perhaps, but the laws of physics, like gravity, can be softened with parachutes.

    And physics is not a human construct. But economics is. And economics is very much a part of our political structure no matter the type of political arrangement we have. And politics is also a human invention.

    So I would not panic when AOC and the new green deal think outside the box. Politics in our country will inevitably temper excesses or radical ideas. Almost to the point of strangulation, unfortunately.

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    1. “I think what needs to be noticed, however, is that this has been brought to the forefront by young people. The people who are going to be around for decades after we are all gone.”

      Yes, they will be around to see how this comes out.

      And my prediction is that they will look on catastrophic global warming in much the same way our generation looks at Paul Erlich’s POPULATION BOMB, which we are all embarrassed we fell for back then but found we really had little to worry about. Remember that mass famine was supposed to have wiped out Asia and Africa and reduced the US to abject poverty by 2000.

      “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” H L Mencken

      I just hope they don’t have to learn the very painful lesson taught by socialism.

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      1. Jeez, Mencken’s quote is exactly what Trump is doing from the day he started campaigning.

        “Only I can fix it.”

        The difference with the new green deal is it is based on optimism and a can do spirit.

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        1. Politicians on all sides are guilty of creating boogeymen to frighten the voters. Trump chooses immigrants, Democrats choose anyone perceived as having a dollar more in their wallet.

          But there is nothing can-do in the new green deal, it’s can-take.

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          1. Bogeymen?

            Unlike immigrants, growing and egregious income inequality IS a real problem with the potential to destroy our country. In fact, it is fair to say that Trump himself is a bellwether of the dysfunction to come if something is not done along the lines of a new New Deal.

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          2. Absent cronyism the inequality would probably not be nearly what it is. The destruction of unions, demise of pensions to fund corporate ventures, carried interest, healthcare prices (not costs mind you), ridiculous military ventures and weapons systems, the housing bubble and the financial fallout paid by middle class tax money, etc., etc, These were not designed and created by middle Americans.

            Crony capitalism. Keep wages low but bring in cheap goods from China to take the immediate sting out of it.

            Almost like the old “company store” scam of early mining towns.

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          3. It does not matter what growing income inequality is caused by. It is a problem not because of how it has come about but because of what it leads to. It is eroding and will eventually destroy the social compact that is an absolutely necessary condition for wealth of any kind to exist. We are on a road that leads to violent revolution and/or fascism just as it has done in other societies where all the wealth was in too few hands.

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