Green Deal, Gone Girl


Ben Shapiro twitted yesterday that he is “increasingly convinced Trump created AOC in a laboratory to provide a comic foil.” Whether or not Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was created by Trump in a laboratory, she was certainly created by Trump in a sense that Trump was created by Obama and more broadly by the establishments of both major parties behaving as they did over the past twenty or thirty years. As I wrote not that long ago, “we are sadly in that place in history when the political battle of the titans for the body, heart and soul of the Western world takes place between an ageing real estate developer and a young waitress, both coincidentally from New York. In generational terms it’s the Boomers’ last gasp and the Millennials’ first hurrah… Trump versus Ocasio-Cortez is the politics we all deserve”. For our many political and other sins, that is.

The newcomer who is probably one of the Democrats’ (even if she technically comes through from the Democratic Socialists of America) most visible and most popular politicians certainly continues to deliver, both for her many fans and for her many detractors. The latest is the Green New Deal, an ambitious plan to tackle climate change and end capitalism as we know it, a blueprint for a unicorn-rich future to be achieved in the next 5-10 years, which coincidentally disappeared from AOC’s website as quickly as taxpayers’ money at a socialist party. Some of the highlights (because nothing disappears completely) include:

  • “Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers” through transitioning from fossil fuels and nuclear power to 100% renewables
  • “Upgrade or replace every building in US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency”
  • “Totally overhaul transportation by massively expanding electric vehicle manufacturing, build charging stations everywhere, build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary, create affordable public transit available to all, with goal to replace every combustion-engine vehicle”
  • “Provide job training and education to all”
  • “Guarantee a job with family-sustaining wages” (that’s “a job with a family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security” for everyone)
  • Government-guaranteed right to “high-quality education, including higher education and trade schools, clean air and water and access to nature, healthy food, high-quality health care, safe, affordable, adequate housing, economic environment free of monopolies” and best of all “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work” [emphasis added]

In case you are worried about how much this Gen Y socialist utopia will cost to achieve, don’t worry: “This is massive investment in our economy and society, not expenditure.” Oh, OK, that’s alright then. But how will we finance all this “massive investment”?

The same way we paid for the New Deal, the 2008 bank bailout and extended quantitative easing programs. The same way we paid for World War II and all our current wars. The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit. There is also space for the government to take an equity stake in projects to get a return on investment. At the end of the day, this is an investment in our economy that should grow our wealth as a nation, so the question isn’t how will we pay for it, but what will we do with our new shared prosperity.

In other words, print or borrow money or both. Lots of it. In part because all the extortionate tax plans by Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders put together would probably only (only!) raise somewhere south of $5 trillion over the next ten years, while AOC’s GND with its Oprah-like cornucopia of goodies to suit every taste (100% renewables, rebuilding every building in the land, high-speed rail everywhere, free everything for everyone) must have a price tag that would make God’s benevolent eye water.

The Ocasional-Cortex’s sense of politics seems to be as good as her take on economics. Among her other claims:

  •  “92 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans support the Green New Deal”
  • “It does require a massive government intervention”
  • But “one way that the right tries to mischaracterise what we’re doing as though it’s some kind of a massive government takeover”

Just remember, the question isn’t how will we pay for it, but what will we do with our new shared prosperity. The answer is easy: we’ll cherish and enjoy, before we wake up with a start, shivering in a dark cave, while Junior is chasing a skinny rat for the family dinner.

Oh, and “A new poll finds that 74 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning adults would consider throwing their vote behind Ocasio-Cortez for president if they could. Of course, they can’t.” That’s because she’s constitutionally too young, by the way, not because she’s insane.

Possibly the last word:

I sympathise with this view but I fear I won’t be able to control myself; I’m a blogger, after all.