The Green New Deal is a terrible idea

Unfortunately, as ambitious as it sounds, the proposal is a completely impossible task and would bankrupt our already deeply-indebted country.

by Miles Streicek, Staff Writer

On Feb. 7, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Bronx and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts submitted a resolution to Congress calling for the creation of the Green New Deal.

The proposal is an extreme 10-year plan to restructure American society to completely eliminate fossil fuels as well as greatly expand public assistance, including Medicare for all.

Unfortunately, as ambitious as it sounds, the proposal is a completely impossible task and would bankrupt our already deeply-indebted country.

Ocasio-Cortez and her allies are framing this plan as the ultimate solution to climate change and our planet’s increasingly deteriorating condition.

But the methods and details of the proposal would be disastrous and counterproductive.

It calls for the banning of all air travel, tearing down all airports and renovating or rebuilding every building in the entire country to be more environmentally-friendly. Given that almost all international travel is done via air travel, who could possibly be in favor of this?

Although I support expanding green energy, the idea of powering the entire country exclusively on zero-emission renewables in ten years seems far fetched.

Especially considering the fact that technology just isn’t there yet, and all that’s proposed to aid companies in developing said technologies is low-interest loans.

We don’t quite yet have the ability to meet our power needs with only renewables.

That can’t just be willed into existence and the attempt to do so represents an emotional response to looming environmental problems that need to be looked at logically.

Simply cutting off fossil fuels would result in everyone losing power and that isn’t a serious option.

So the best thing to do would be to expand green energy and reduce the carbon footprint of fossil fuels outgoing into the future.

But the Green New Deal ignores this basic fact and is therefore doomed to fail.

One might think that based on the title, the Green New Deal is a plan for tackling the worsening state of the global environment, but it’s much more than that.

It also includes various economic reforms that generally would destabilize finances around the country.

This includes nationalizing utility companies so that they will be under full control of the government, forgiving home loans and student debt in the hundreds of billions.

This deal calls for the decarbonization of all U.S. industries.

According to a June 2018 study from McKinsey and Company, decarbonizing steel, ammonia, concrete, and cement alone would cost between $11 trillion and $21 trillion.

That would all only be the tip of the iceberg. It includes establishing Medicare for all, estimated by George Mason University at $32.6 trillion for the first ten years, and “Economic security for all those unable or unwilling to work.”

This coupled with a federal jobs guarantee, is completely ambiguous in total cost, but likely in the hundreds of billions.

When you consider that the buying power of the entire U.S., according to the International Monetary Fund, is $20.4 trillion.

Ask yourself, is this idea even possible? No, it isn’t, in fact, it would destroy our economy beyond hope of return.

The reality of the Green New Deal proposal is that it is extreme, impossible and Soviet-like in scope.

It’s more similar to Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward than the original New Deal.

Its environmental plans, such as banning air travel, would bankrupt the country and do absolutely nothing to actually improve our air.

That coupled with almost a dozen major programs, such as Medicare for all or debt forgiveness mounts to a combined cost that is way too expensive for the world’s largest economy to pay for.

Don’t be fooled by this Green New Deal in your desperation to find an answer to climate change.

It will not save our planet, it will only take our society back decades.

Miles Streicek is a sophomore studying economics.

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