Over the years, I have always thought that the left’s obsession with global warming was really just an excuse to push through a fully socialist economic agenda. After all, the radical changes that would be required for businesses and consumers to rapidly reduce our carbon footprint could only come about through government mandates and force. But for the most part, climate change activists, at least those who occasionally tucked in their shirts, were careful to present their plans in environmental rather than economic terms. But earlier this month, when newly-elected Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced her “Green New Deal” legislation, that veil was not just lifted but completely shredded. By making a plan that is far more “red” than “green” the centerpiece of its agenda, the Democratic Party has laid bare its plans to take over virtually every aspect of our economy.
It would be nearly impossible to characterize the depth, breadth and sheer insanity of the Green New Deal (GND) in just a few paragraphs. I tried to do it in a recent podcast, and I could barely scratch the surface or contain my incredulity. Suffice it to say that Ms. Cortez, whose only preparation for engineering a top to bottom reorganization of our economy was gained by serving drinks in The Bronx, has big dreams. She wants to completely eliminate carbon emissions, guarantee high-quality unionized jobs, education, housing, health care, and vacations to all Americans (whether or not they are willing to work or possess any skills), provide environmental upgrades to every building and structure in the United States, build high-speed rail and electric vehicle charging stations “everywhere” with the goal of eliminating internal combustion vehicles and air travel and, of course, to bring social and economic “justice” for all “marginalized” and “frontline” citizens, who could be defined roughly as anyone who is not white and male. Oh…and to accomplish all of this in 10 years. In other words, it’s all rainbows, unicorns, and candy canes. Or more accurately: Venezuela.
If even a small portion of the plan were ever enacted, the U.S. economy would likely go into free fall. Up to tens of trillions of dollars would be spent on programs that would have questionable chances of creating economic benefits. (The failed California high-speed train provides a clear and recent cautionary tale). Entire industries would cease to exist, production would plunge, distribution networks would freeze, prices would skyrocket, capital will flee the country, government deficits would rise exponentially, inflation would spike, and business would flee the country. Other than that, everything would be fine.
While it’s not surprising that a 29-year old former bartender would propose a plan that is wholly untethered to reality, the reaction of the broader Democratic Party, and its groupies in the media, is more troubling. Not a single prominent national democrat has openly criticized the plan and every Democrat 2020 presidential candidate immediately endorsed it, possibly without even reviewing its laundry list of proposals.