By now just about everyone has heard about U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. Its professed purpose is to address environmental concerns, but it quickly became apparent that its primary focus is a sweeping reorganization of just about every aspect of life in the United States.
Its highlight is a 10-year goal for generating 100 percent of the country’s power from renewables such as wind and solar energy. In addition, however, the federal government is to guarantee everyone a job with good pay, health care, housing, high quality education, paid vacations, retirement security… and more.
The Green New Deal wants fewer cattle (too much methane) and fewer airplanes (too much fossil fuel). Passenger trains are to be brought back … even though most Americans long ago abandoned them for more convenient modes of transportation.
Finally, there is the goal of retrofitting all buildings to be energy efficient (100 percent clean and renewable energy). If where you live or work has an old furnace, it has to go. Just how this is to be done or who would pay for it is left unsaid.
Not surprisingly, the Green New Deal was greeted by many concerns, such as its astronomical costs and the massive government intervention into everyone’s lives that would be required. In response, its supporters quickly stated that no one should be alarmed because it is only “aspirational.” Why this should soothe anyone is beyond us.
The Green New Deal’s proponents have an extraordinary faith in the power of government to organize an ideal world. In the process, government should tell people how they must live their lives. Not should, must.
This would be a radical departure from the history of the United States. Americans accept the need for reasonable laws and regulations for an ordered society, but they are also wary of a central government’s authority to dictate choices and outcomes.
The Green New Deal admits it requires a “massive transformation of our society,” and calls for a vast expansion of power by the federal government at the expense of states and individuals. We doubt most citizens would embrace such an occurrence.
The Green New Deal’s concern about the environment is legitimate, and everyone should embrace goals such as good jobs, good educations and good medical care. But the Green New Deal believes the best path toward such goals is through overwhelming government control.
This belief is not just naive … it is dangerous.