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The Green New Deal

By Katherine Olsen


The Green New Deal (GND) is a proposed two to six trillion dollar project from Data for Progress to move America out of environmental crisis, through efforts such as reducing the carbon footprint of the nation, restoring the American landscape, and strengthening sustainability and resilience in urban and rural areas. America needs a way out of the hole of environmental ruin it has dug itself into, and plugging the hole with trash won’t get us anywhere. We need to focus on fortifying our future by fixing the problems we’ve created. However, the GND is an egregious waste of time and resources. The policy report on the GND does not specify how these results will occur, only that they will. The GND is expensive at best and ruinous at worst, and the organization behind it is hardly any more prepared to help anyone.

The Green New Deal comes in four parts. First, there is an Economic Bill of Rights, that will “end unemployment in America once and for all.” This Bill of Rights is supposed to create free public colleges, a federal bank, and affordable housing, but does not so much as hint as to how this will be accomplished. This complete lack of any explanation is suspicious. The second part of the GND is a transition to clean energy -- a necessary action in the modern world -- which will create jobs in these clean energy fields and green businesses. That sounds positive, but how will we make this transition? What will happen to the millions of Americans working in fields that are “unsustainable?” While we need to go green, we need to find a way that won’t greatly upset the lives of our citizens. Financial reform is the third step. The GND wants to reduce the national debt by reducing homeowner and student debt. They also want to place the private Federal Reserve banks under government authority and “Regulate all financial derivatives and require them to be traded on open exchanges.” Again, how will any of this be accomplished, and what will they do for the country? Of course, reducing debt is self-explanatory, but what will the other proposed actions do? The final proposal of the Green New Deal is to make America a “Functioning Democracy.”¹ This is going to create a Voter Bill of Rights, stop Homeland Security and the FBI from “conspiring” against us, and greatly reduce (i.e. remove) American military influence around the world. None of this is remotely related to an environmentally focused overhaul of American policy and stretches the idea of a Green Deal too thin. Is this the real result the Data for Progress organization is pushing for? It seems odd to tack it on the back end of an environmentally fueled program, but the entire policy is poorly constructed and, to be frank, half-baked. There’s not much more to be said for the organization lobbying for it.

The Data for Progress website is laid out rather simply and has links to pages such as “What the Hell Happened?” which describes itself as “provid[ing] reliable sub-national opinion estimates on progressive issues.” They poll exclusively on left-leaning issues. Instead of appealing to liberal audiences with this behavior, the Data for Progress organization doesn’t provide either transparency or two sides of the argument, which is a tactic their target audience condemns. They seem blind to the ideals of the body of people that they claim to support. Who will side with an organization as close-minded as their opposition, with a flimsy, expensive, and to be frank, impossible proposal?

The Green New Deal stems from a good idea. We need to restore the depletion of natural resources humans have created, and switch to renewable energy. Stopping unemployment would be nice, and affordable college is a dream come true. Unfortunately, the GND cannot accomplish any of this and will only result in an increase in the nations already rising debt. The GND is sloppy and is from an establishment that is just as haphazardly pulled together, and will not be the solution to our environmental and fiscal crisis.

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