Introduced yesterday in both the House and Senate (identical text, so far as I can tell), the self-proclaimed “Green New Deal” is the sort of red meat that is designed to freak out the Republicans, energize and rally the neo-socialist and progressive Democrats, and send a shot across the bow of the establishment Democrats who are not on board with the Dem’s flirtation with the socialist agenda.
It’s also profoundly stupid.
What it isn’t is any kind of legislation. These are ‘Sense of the Chamber’ resolutions, a type of bill used to express an opinion, but which is not binding in any way. These have been used to make political statements, and to express thanks. I think it is important to put this in the correct box – it isn’t pending law, it is puffery and opinion without any regard to how it would be implemented.
It’s also profoundly stupid.
Reading the proposal, we see a bunch of ‘Whereas’ statements that are dubious. For example:
- More predictions of imminent climate collapse & disaster – the same thing we have been hearing for over 20 years, with the same ‘we only have a decade to save the world’ mentality.
- They claim US life expectancy is declining, which is not inaccurate, but is also not connected to the environment. The CDC identified unintentional overdoses, suicide, and chronic liver disease (drinking related?) as the drivers for a down tick of a tenth of a percent. Nothing in the GND would address that.
- The usual pablum about the rich being richer, the poor poorer (but never about the poor being richer than at any previous time in history), and so on.
This leads to the ‘so FDR had the New Deal’. Which they forget didn’t work. It took WWII for the Depression to end and “…created the greatest middle class that the United States has ever seen…” And yes, in 1941 ” indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth” didn’t see the same benefits as whites. That was then, this is now. I would point out that factory jobs and serving in combat were things that the elderly, disabled, and youth were not allowed to do (and still aren’t, depending on the disability).
Then comes the fun part, the Resolved section. And the stupidity.
Not much here to complain about – this isn’t bad. Except for 1E (emphasis mine):
to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this resolution as “frontline and vulnerable communities”);https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-resolution/109/text?format=xml&r=1&s=1
Huh? Repairing it how? By forcing people now to pay for the sins of maybe their ancestors? Good luck with that. I am not even sure how that would work, and absent a time machine won’t undo what was done. Punishing people today for actions before their birth is insane.
Here we go!
- “accomplished through a 10-year national mobilization”. Not a great beginning, very Soviet in tone. But let’s see where it goes…
- Sections A & B are ok, nothing too wacky here. Look, climate change is a thing, even if ‘global warming’ isn’t. Not convinced we are the sole cause, but it is still something to be aware of, and compensate for. That is all A & B are calling for.
- C is interesting, because it calls for things that don’t exist, and have never been shown to function at the scale demanded. Which is fine, but you have to accept that if so-called green energy was a valid alternative, it would be in greater use. After all, if it worked, and eliminated the need to buy fuel, what utility wouldn’t jump on that as a way to increase profits? They aren’t, because it doesn’t scale.
- What does work are nuclear plants, which are never part of these proposals. Pebble Bed Modular Reactors would provide power without the (minimal) risks of other reactor designs, and without the insane pollution from coal.
- E is where it goes so far off the rails, the bill might as well be called Green Plan 9 From Outer Space. E reads “upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification;”. Dafaq? All buildings. WSO estimates 120 million buildings in the US. As of 2015. Let’s be stupid, and assume an average cost to replace of $1M per (less on houses, far more on commercial buildings, but this is to prove a point). That is $120,000,000,000,000 – 120 trillion dollars. At the $1/second, that would take something like 3.8 million years to spend. it is more than 6,000 times the 2017 US GDP. Statista estimates the GWP – the gross world product in 2017 at about $80 trillion dollars…so this would cost 1.5 times the world’s gross production in 2017. I believe the term ‘economically infeasible’ was coined specifically for this. And remember, that is at an average of $1M per building, which is probably far below the actual costs.
- I actually like G – cleaning up farming to remove pollution and increase soil health – this is important to the continued feeding of the world, and should be looked at seriously (by which I mean no one supporting this nonsense should be anywhere near it)
- H is probably were the remove cars bit was, but it is not there now. I don’t support this in the least. Limiting mobility is among the first act of tyrants, and the ability to relocate is crucial to a free people.
- Further, this Sunday I plan to drive to Michigan City, about a 2 hour round trip, costing $10 in gas or so. On public transportation, it would take at least 2 hours each way, cost at least double, and with Greyhound require an overnight stay. This is not better, and anyone who thinks it is is insane.
- I is vague puffery designed to make people think their overlords care. Seriously. This is such a central-control document that a bit about community-driven projects is almost insulting.
- J through N isn’t bad either – more about cleaning up polluted sites and reducing pollution. I can’t see anyone not liking that.
Um, this is an interesting part. Section 3 reads, in whole:
a Green New Deal must be developed through transparent and inclusive consultation, collaboration, and partnership with frontline and vulnerable communities, labor unions, worker cooperatives, civil society groups, academia, and businesses; andhttps://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-resolution/109/text?format=xml&r=1&s=1
With that many ‘cooks’, there is exactly zero chance of anything being done. Zero. So, yes, let’s make this happen!
Goals and projects!
And this is all Dem talking points in written form. Worth noting that as currently on the congress.gov site, there is nothing about paying people to not work. That was likely in a draft version, and removed before introduction. Basically, this is all saying ‘we want to make high-status and high-pay jobs for everyone’. Which is nice. Impossible, but nice. Universal employment is only a reality in command economies, and those always fail.
The whole thing just stops here – there is no wrap up or conclusion statement, it just ends. That seems fitting, since it is so absurdist that any conclusion would be laughable.
But here is the problem. This is a roadmap to what they want. Thinking people look at it and see insanity and a massive lack of comprehension of costs and economics, but they don’t. They see an aspirational document, and a set of goals to be forced on the nation, for their own good. A lot of us saw Hillary Clinton as a threat because she is a true believer – someone who would aspire to tyranny for our own good. Unfortunately, we have a collection of people in the Congress who are just as bad. And their branch of the government is tasked with passing laws, unlike the President.
Finally, if you think this isn’t going to matter, isn’t going to be the goal for the statists and overlords in the Democratic party…remember that President Trump’s candidacy was also considered a joke. Yes, you should be worried.