The impracticality of the Green New Deal


US House of Representatives via Wikimedia Commons Page

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced the Green New Deal to the House floor on February 7, 2019.

Nathan Wong, Opinion Editor

On Feb. 7, newly elected representative for the 14th congressional district of New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, introduced an environmental and economic resolution called the Green New Deal.

The main goals of the bill are to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and lower the income inequity to provide every citizen with economic security and health care.

While these goals, on the surface, seem like wonderful ideas, they are impossible to achieve as outlined in the document and arguably, impossible to achieve at all.

The resolution calls for a “ten-year national mobilization” that will result in 100% of the United States’ energy to be from “clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.” Not only is this proposal radical, but it is also impossible to achieve within a ten-year deadline without stopping all means of production within the country.

In 2017, the United States Energy Information Administration reported saying just over 11% of the United States’ energy came from renewable sources such as biomass, hydroelectric, wind, solar, and geothermal. However, the bill specifically says “zero-emission energy sources”, and most biomass, such as wood and garbage, do release a high amount of carbon even though they are classified as renewable energy.

Even if biomass is an approved energy source, renewable energy must show a 788% increase from 2017 to 2029.

The other most significant goal of the Green New Deal is to provide everyone in the United States with economic security and health care along with adequate housing and clean air, water, and food.

The resolution states it will guarantee “a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.”

Even though jobs are provided for everyone, what about those who are unwilling to work? If a person is unmarried, they will not be able to achieve economic security like the bill promises unless the government will also be obligated to provide these people with adequate salaries. If so, that raises a multitude of other economic problems that will lead to the eventual collapse of the U.S. economy.

Everyone in the United States, including those unwilling to work, will also receive free health care under the Green New Deal. The most commonly asked question regarding universal health care is, “how much will it cost?”

Charles Blahous from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University stated in a study that universal Medicare will cost “approximately $32.6 trillion to federal budget commitments during the first 10 years of its implementation.”

The most abundantly proposed solution to this $32.6 trillion dollar problem is the government should impose a large tax on billionaires; however, like most of the propositions in the Green New Deal, it is not that simple.

Forbes’ analysis of the world’s billionaires says the world’s 2,208 billionaires are worth a total combined net worth of $9.1 trillion. If the U.S. government took every billionaires’ money, land, vehicles, etc., it could provide only two full years of universal health care.

The Green New Deal is filled with several other unfeasible projects that, if attempted to be implemented, will crush the United States’ economy and its citizens. If Ocasio-Cortez wants what is best for the American people, she, along with the other contributors, will revise the Green New Deal to contain less radical ideology without any impossible goals.

Do you think the Green New Deal, if signed into law, would be good for the country?

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