We must reduce all the emissions that are destroying the planet. However, that requires a change in lifestyle, a change in the economic model: We must go from capitalism to socialism. —Hugo Chavez
In February 2019, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced a bill known as the “Green New Deal” (GND), which proposes many sweeping legislative changes, including:
- “Providing all people of the United States with high-quality health care; affordable, safe, and adequate housing; economic security; and access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.”
- “Spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing in the United States and removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and industry as much as is technologically feasible, including by expanding renewable energy manufacturing and investing in existing manufacturing and industry.”
- “Guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.”
- “Providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States, with a focus on frontline and vulnerable communities, so those communities may be full and equal participants in the Green New Deal mobilization.”
If your boss came to you and said he was giving everyone at your company a Mercedes and an extra eight weeks of paid vacation, the momentary elation would likely be followed by questions such as, “How can the company afford that?” and “Will I still have a job in six months?” After all, your boss isn’t Santa Claus, and you can’t exactly pick luxury sedans off trees. So where will all of that value come from? Who’s going to pay for it?
High on the notion of “free stuff,” many have forgotten to ask this question about the GND, yet its potential consequences are far scarier than the bankruptcy of a single company. If the bill is passed, those consequences will reverberate throughout the U.S. economy, impacting the careers, aspirations, and even psychological health of every American. That’s because the answer to the question “Who will pay for all of this?” is: We, the people. We’ll pay with increased taxes and exponentially ballooning debt. But even as staggering as the financial cost would be, it should be the least of our concerns. More important, we’ll pay with fewer choices, more difficult lives, and far less freedom. . . .
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