Most of what has been said about the proposed Green New Deal (GND) has been pretty vague and very hyperbolic, but there are some specifics available. One of the holy texts at this point is a 36 page proposal from the Dataforprogress.org think tank. This report provides hundreds of specific goals, tasks and needs that might make up a potential GND.
The proposed GND has two basic components. First is a great wish list of green goals for America, none of which is surprising. This is the Green part. Then comes the idea that the huge amount of work to be done will be with new federal jobs. This is the New Deal part.
Mind you the real New Deal was done when a great number of people were out of work, which is not the case today, but that issue is not addressed. The GND would be more like mobilization for war, with many existing jobs being abandoned to do the new green stuff.
In addition to this vast mobilization, there would be great array of federal payments and tax incentives, so the cost of the GND is probably staggering. Not surprisingly, no cost estimate is given. They just say it is all worth it.
Decarbonization is one of the central green goals, although there are many others. The list is familiar. For example it includes attainment with all national air quality standards and replacing all lead water pipes, plus a lot of other stuff.
To take one example, consider electric cars. The impossible goal is “100% Zero Emission Passenger Vehicles by 2030.” So in just eleven years we would have everyone driving electrics, with all of the existing gas burners either off the road or converted to electric.
The tasks and costs are stupendous. These start with building and installing the national system of vehicle charging stations, on the highways, in the homes, at work, etc. Not mentioned, but also necessary, are building the factories and plants to make all these cars and light trucks. (Heavy trucks, trains, busses, ships and planes are a separate case.)
Then there are massive tax incentives to get people to buy this electric iron, plus a big program to buy up all the gas burners. These are apparently either converted to electric or scrapped. The plan is vague here, but the internal combustion engine is no more.
There is no doubt that all of this will require a huge amount of labor, which certainly translates into a lot of new jobs. Apparently they are all government jobs, this being a New Deal model.
But the GND actually goes farther than mandating laborious effort and hiring the workers needed to do it. One of the great goals is that everybody who wants to work for the government will get a good job, needed or not. I am not making this up.
It is called the “Green Job Guarantee.” Here is the specification:
“A job guarantee is more than just the direct hiring of workers by the federal or state governments, and more than an entitlement program like unemployment insurance. A job guarantee is a legal right that obligates the federal government to provide a job for anyone who asks for one and to pay them a livable wage. The more states and communities that participate in a federal job guarantee the more public works projects can be completed across the country. A Green New Deal requires a massive workforce for the construction, operations, and administration of projects, and a federal job guarantee program can ensure there are enough workers to meet that need.” (Emphasis in original.)
Who is going to do the real work that America depends on is unclear. If the GND sucked up enough workers the economy would collapse. Or they might just nationalize everything and put the now Feds back in their old jobs. This is one of the socialist features.
In any case we have here a relatively clear explanation of what a proposed Green New Deal looks like. All things considered it is ridiculous, but that does not make it harmless, quite the contrary. It remains to be seen how seriously the Democrats take this nonsense.