The Green New Deal and the Poor

No area of policy is more prone to panaceas than energy policy. President Jimmy Carter thought if Congress passed his energy program, it would not only solve America’s energy problems, but its economic and moral ones as well. Yet even Carter never thought of a panacea like the Green New Deal (GND). Its main promoter Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), known popularly by her initials (just like her program) as AOC, has said the multi-trillion-dollar GND would: forestall looming climate catastrophe; forcibly transition the entire $20 trillion U.S. economy from one largely based on the utilization of morally suspect fossil fuels to one using only (100 percent) immaculate carbon-dioxide-free renewables; lead to full employment (which the US has anyway); and “promote justice and equity… repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth.” And it would be largely accomplished in ten years—completely finished in 30.... Read More

Thinking About Things: Questions for Presidential Candidates

As an interested voter, it has been depressing to see the debate moderators continue to skim the surface of policy questions without coming close to addressing the implications of the answers to those questions. The moderators have also failed to challenge candidates on matters on which, in more normal times, one hopes the candidates would want to be challenged. Not in any divinely inspired order, here are questions that I would like to see each of the Democratic (and Republican where applicable) candidates answer. Few candidates will answer these questions but their manner of avoiding answering would itself be informative. 1. On unifying the country. The country is now seemingly more divided than at any time over the last 100 years. Some 63 million voters voted for President Trump, a great many of whom still apparently support him. Can you address them now and tell them why they should vote for you in the general election, and how it is that you will try to address their concerns and also seek to unify the country? 2. On Foreign Policy. Virtually all of you have decried the way President Trump has carried out foreign policy in this country, whether it be with respect to China, North Korea, Europe, or more recently, Turkey/Syria/the Kurds. Putting to one side, if you can, your distaste for Mr. Trump and the manner in which he uses twitter and other media to announce and effectuate policy changes, do you believe that: ... Read More