It is difficult to watch the news without seeing the current media darling, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She seems to be everywhere. Full of the exuberance of youth, with supposed wisdom to match, she is announcing her “Green New Deal.”
The Old New Deal
For Democrats, the term “New Deal” is powerful. It was a catch-all term for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s program to end the Great Depression. The first three months of FDR’s presidency brought relief to the unemployed, new jobs programs, new conservation initiatives, construction of dams on the Tennessee River, as well as regulation of banking and the stock market. There was also a radical restructuring of the whole system of production and consumption called the NRA that was declared unconstitutional in 1935.
It was rumoured at the time that Congress passed laws before they were completely written. Given an employment rate that hovered at roughly twenty-five per cent, maybe haste was required to save the 1933 economy before it got even worse. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez appears to be building a similar fire under her proposal, predicting the end of the world (literally) in twelve years if nothing is done.
The Green Agenda…Without the Funding
The representative from New York is long on goals and short on specifics. Michelle Romero and Van Jones from the sympathetic CNN say that “She is in fact championing the smartest, most practical idea in US politics to address two urgent problems: climate change and poverty.” However, even they seem to find it difficult to pinpoint the specific laws that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez would have the nation adopt to bring about such a Utopia.
On the CNN list are the following:
- Cut carbon emissions in half
- Solar panels
- Wind turbines
- Smart batteries
- New forests
- Highly paid green jobs
- Modernising the energy grid
- Investing in renewable resources
- Modern heating and cooling for existing buildings
- Energy-efficient appliances
- Electric cars, trucks, and busses
- Mass transit for rural communities
- Subsidise the green businesses that come to replace local industries (like coal mining)
- Paid job training
Left unmentioned are the costs of all of that government action.
The Price of Progressive “Progress”
If asked how the government can pay for all of this, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez would likely say something about taxing the “one per cent.” However, confiscating all their wealth would not even make a dent in the price tag for this wish list.
The price in terms of freedom would be far greater. As a self-proclaimed “Democratic socialist,” she forgets that economic freedom even exists, much less that it is an essential goal of many who are not already wealthy.
Everyone will need to make hundreds of daily adjustments if her plans should miraculously pass through Congress and be signed by the president.
If you enjoy warming your house to seventy-two degrees (22°C) in the winter or cooling it to sixty-eight degrees (20°C) in the summer, forget about it. Those extra degrees will consume too much fuel and increase your “carbon footprint” to unacceptable levels. Who needs a private, detached home anyway? It is a far more efficient use of resources to group people in apartment blocks. That twenty-foot ceiling in the “great room” of your dream home is grossly inefficient; eight feet is more than enough. While the subject has come up, do you really need a separate dining room when that great room has more than enough space to fit your table and chairs? The inefficiently used space in your home would adequately house another family. They will arrive tomorrow at ten a.m.
Part of the space that they will use is half of your ridiculous two car garage. Why do you need two cars? Mass transit will get you to work and back home. Both of your cars have two seats for passengers, but there is never more than one passenger in the one that you drive to work. If mass transit does not work, you should be driving an electric car that only has front seats. The lighter car will use less fuel, and your carbon footprint will once again be reduced. It is your environmental duty to make these small sacrifices. If you will not make them voluntarily, a meter can be placed on your car so that you can pay the appropriate tax for all of that excess mileage.
A Real Life Example from the Great White North
If this sounds extreme, look at Canada. An article by Sheila Zilinsky describes her experience in Vancouver, British Columbia:
This past weekend I was in Vancouver, BC with my 17-year-old son. I agreed to pick him up in front of our hotel…. After idling for several minutes…, the carbon-neutral cult descended on me like a swarm of mad locusts. I was vociferously anathematised as a polluting pariah as I was after-all, killing the ‘great goddess.’
After the incident …, I came to find out that idling is ILLEGAL in Vancouver and comes with a healthy fine. (Emphasis in the original.)
Anyone who is willing to fine you for keeping your car warm by idling the motor in a city in which the average low temperature in February is nine degrees Fahrenheit (minus 12°C) is more than willing to tax you for the excess miles that it takes to carry your family to Florida.
Don’t worry. The people at CNN believe that you will like it. They say the success of the Green New Deal is imminent. When that happens, they promise that “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be looking even smarter, and her critics will be looking even more foolish.”
At the risk of bringing down the wrath of the “great goddesses” minions, don’t hold your breath, even though exhaling will create excess carbon dioxide.
– By Edwin Benson