Newly elected NY Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Ortez, 40 Democrats in DC, and many pop media “reporters” seem trapped in a Neverland of perpetual adolescence, an eternal twilight of collectivist “us-we” terminology, soothsaying economics, and mythological “history” foist on them by government-run schools.
In fact, many of them love collectivist mythology so much they are quivering with anticipation for newly elected Ocasio-Cortez’s so-called “Green New Deal.”
So get ready, everyone…
As Her Greatness, Ocasio-Cortez claims:
This is going to be the New Deal, the Great Society, the moon shot, the civil-rights movement of our generation.
Those goals include moving the U.S. to 100 percent green energy, federal job guarantees for workings forced out of their fossil fuel jobs, guaranteed minimum income and universal health care.
Because, ya know, rather than going into business themselves and offering their own energy alternatives, jobs, and health care to consumers who could freely choose those if they want them, Ocasio-Cortez and her pals would rather tell everyone else how to live, and they operate under the delusion that entering Congress gives them this Zeus-like power to coerce and threaten.
Bastach offers some choice analysis:
Since the “Green New Deal” lacks specifics, it’s hard to gauge the total cost, but similar climate and welfare policies are estimated to cost trillions of dollars. For starters, moving the U.S. to a 100-percent renewable electric grid could cost as much as $5.2 trillion over two decades, according to a 2010 study by the conservative Heritage Foundation. That’s about $218 billion to move the grid away from coal and natural gas.
And on the health care and “universal basic income” fronts?
The libertarian Mercatus Center released a study in July that found Sanders’s “Medicare for All” plan would cost $32.6 trillion over 10 years. That same month, hedge-fund manager Ray Dalio estimated the cost to taxpayers of a universal basic income policy would top $3.8 trillion a year — and that’s assuming every American citizen got just $12,000 a year.
For comparison, the Great Society policies pursued by the Johnson administration during the 1960s cost $22 trillion, according to estimates from the Heritage Foundation. Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” of the 1930s during the Great Depression cost $500 billion in today’s dollars, The Nation reported in 2008… Of course, both the New Deal and Great Society have left U.S. taxpayers on the hook for trillions in debt and unfunded liabilities — somewhere between $87 trillion and $222 trillion.
And from whence does the government’s cash come?
The productive capacity of American citizens and their progeny, due to current taxation, inflation of the money supply, and deficit spending funded by government bonds.
There’s no escape. There is no Neverland. Anything politicians want to do is, by definition, a redirection of useable capital away from where normally free individuals would choose to send it. It is, by definition, a loss of value, because only individuals can properly value their property, efforts, time, and opportunities.
The most ironic aspect of Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal is not that it purports to help the economy even while harming it. It’s not that she would likely continue to force minimum wage laws on businesses, which are, themselves, a form of “universal basic income” mandates that harm the lowest skilled workers and close doors of opportunity for them and for consumers to get products for less -- close doors that would free their capital to use on other things that would employ new hires.
No. The ironic thing about this is the name, “Green New Deal.”
As many economists note, FDR’s “New Deal” not only did nothing to help the economy, it prolonged and deepened the depression.
Lawrence Reed, the President of the Foundation for Economic Education has written a brilliant overview of this and other myths of the Great Depression, which I heartily suggest any teen – or adult – read. In it, he notes:
For example, Roosevelt’s public relief programs hired actors to give free shows and librarians to catalogue archives. The New Deal even paid researchers to study the history of the safety pin, hired 100 Washington workers to patrol the streets with balloons to frighten starlings away from public buildings, and put men on the public payroll to chase tumbleweeds on windy days.
And Reed adds:
But in 1935 the Works Progress Administration came along. It is known today as the very government program that gave rise to the new term, “boondoggle,” because it “produced” a lot more than the 77,000 bridges and 116,000 buildings to which its advocates loved to point as evidence of its efficacy. The stupefying roster of wasteful spending generated by these jobs programs represented a diversion of valuable resources to politically motivated and economically counterproductive purposes.
As I have written in my book, “Live Free or Die”, between 1933 and 1940 FDR and his gang in Congress passed 39 devastatingly unconstitutional bills that created new agencies, spent pork for political favors, or strangled private business. The situation was so bad that as economist Robert Higgs wrote for “The Independent Review” in 1997, it created what he called “regime uncertainty” among business owners and investors. They were so alarmed by the FDR “New Deal” policies, that they waited to start new businesses, to invest, to build, or to hire people.
All while FDR played with their tax cash by hiring people to chase tumbleweeds.
That’s the “New Deal” after which Ocasio-Cortez and her gang of forty would like to name their new proposal.
They could just as easily call it a “stone.” Because they’ll be tying it around the neck of the economy if they pass it.