Opinion: Like the first New Deal, the Green New Deal defies American capitalism

When Franklin Roosevelt introduced The New Deal in 1933, it brought economic reform and created jobs that combatted the Great Depression. Eighty-six years later, on Feb. 7, 2019, freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey introduced their new resolution “The Green New Deal,” modeled after the New Deal. 

Unlike the New Deal, this new document functions more as a policy springboard than a policy proposal because it offers resolutions without actual programs to implement. While it is impossible to know the direction the Democratic Party plans to take with this resolution, what is evident is that The Green New Deal functions out of a socialistic economic framework and could only be implemented in America through socialistic economic ideologies.

 The deal has been highly praised by prominent Democrats because it looks to cut down on energy consumption and offer answers to the problem of climate change. Since its release, many Democrats have supported The Green New Deal, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, who made it part of her platform in her run for president in the 2020 elections, according to
Paste Magazine. 

Other Democratic primary candidates have backed this resolution. Sen. Corey Booker stated on the campaign trail that the resolution is “bold,” then likened it to achievements such as the moon landing in 1969 or defeating the Nazis in
World War II. 

However, the backlash from conservatives has been just as strong. The Green New Deal has been highly ridiculed by the right because of the power it gives to government in the economy. 

President Trump compared the document to a “high school term paper,” while New York Times columnist David Brooks commented that it is “simply the government taking control of large swaths of the American economy, and that’s something I don’t think the government is capable
of doing.”

The Green New Deal is flowered by idealistic notions and phrases that have caught the eye of the public because of its appealing nature. The Green New Deal has five primary goals: to eliminate pollution, create millions of good, high waged jobs, invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States, provide quality health care for all and promote justice and equality.

These concepts are popular with millennials and because of that, this legislation has done well with public opinion. Although these concepts seem to be reasonable in themselves, scholars have struggled with their implementation. 

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FRESHMAN DEMOCRATS — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the representative who proposed the Green New Deal, is one of 64 new Democratic representatives who took office in 2019.

In the details of the document, there is no concrete evidence of how these ideals will be achieved other than that America will move into a “10-year national mobilization” that will address the goals. However, they are ultimately unachievable and would require the American government to reform substantial amounts of its policy by 2030. Harvard Post-Doctoral Environmental fellow Jesse Jenkins believes that is an unreachable goal. He later suggested to the World Economic Forum that “what we need to be targeting really is a net-zero carbon economy by about 2050, which itself is an
enormous challenge.”

The Green New Deal also touches on several socialistic policies that do not directly address climate change. The bill includes a universal health plan, education spending and a basic income to support those who are “unwilling” to work, according to the Boston Herald. The total cost of The Green New Deal has been estimated by the Manhattan Institute to be between $46 and $81 trillion dollars in the next
10 years.

The bill does not specify where that money will come from. Ocasio-Cortez has proposed a 70 percent tax on wealthy Americans, but even that would not come close to financing the entirety of The Green New Deal. The Manhattan Institute report proffers that a value-added tax of 87 percent on everything consumers buy would be able to pay for the low-end estimate of the total cost.

While the desire of the bill’s sponsors is to better the lives of Americans through the implementation of The Green New Deal, at its core it is an unworkable, unsustainable model engineered to get electoral support, not to generate real results. The undeveloped concepts within the resolution would have enormous repercussions, harming America’s economic stability more than it would help.

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