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Commentary on the Green New Deal – Publications – AEI

Summary:
AEI Commentary on the Green New Deal Some good commentary on the Green New Deal from Steve Horwitz on Facebook: As with every other major spending program like this one, including the original New Deal, this is not about what it claims to be about on the surface. The “green” part of this is just rhetorical cover for the long-standing progressive wish list of ways to remake the economic order in the ways they see fit. Just as the New Deal was not about “recovery” but about “reform” and a supposed third way between socialism and capitalism, the GND is more of the same. And like the original, it is the product of disconnected intellectuals who think they know better than the combined, decentralized, and market-coordinated efforts of billions of ordinary people how best to serve the needs of

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AEI
Commentary on the Green New Deal

Some good commentary on the Green New Deal from Steve Horwitz on Facebook:

As with every other major spending program like this one, including the original New Deal, this is not about what it claims to be about on the surface. The “green” part of this is just rhetorical cover for the long-standing progressive wish list of ways to remake the economic order in the ways they see fit. Just as the New Deal was not about “recovery” but about “reform” and a supposed third way between socialism and capitalism, the GND is more of the same.

And like the original, it is the product of disconnected intellectuals who think they know better than the combined, decentralized, and market-coordinated efforts of billions of ordinary people how best to serve the needs of all of those billions. It is intellectual elitism at its worst. And despite its claims to be about “the people,” it shows profound disrespect for the ability of ordinary Americans to meet their economic wants and solve their economic problems themselves through the invisible hand of market institutions rather than the visible fist of their supposed betters at the helm of the state.

Throw on to that the dozens of fallacies underlying the monetary theory being used to hand wave about how to fund it and you have one of the great intellectual and economic messes of the last 50 years.

It’s yet another Lyle Lanley monorail. Walk away and walk away quickly.

Noah Smith also had some good commentary in his Bloomberg article “The Green New Deal Would Spend the U.S. Into Oblivion“:

But these environmental policies, as sweeping as they would be, wouldn’t be the most costly items on the list. Among other things, the now-removed FAQ stipulates that every American would be guaranteed the following:

1. “a job with family-sustaining wages, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security”
2. “high-quality education, including higher education and trade schools”
3. “high-quality health care”
4. “safe, affordable, adequate housing”
5. “economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work”

The plan thus appears to combine a federal job guarantee, free college and single-payer health care. Depending on how one interprets the guarantee of “economic security” to all those who are “unwilling to work,” it might also include a universal basic income — something that was mentioned in an earlier Green New Deal proposal. The guarantee of universal affordable housing is, to my knowledge, new.

…..

So this quick, rough cost estimate — which doesn’t include all of the promises listed in the FAQ — adds up to about $6.6 trillion a year. That’s more than three times as much as the federal government collects in tax revenue, and equal to about 34 percent of the U.S.’s entire gross domestic product. And that’s assuming no cost overruns — infrastructure projects, especially in the U.S., are subject to cost bloat. Total government spending already accounts for about 38 percent of the economy, so if no other programs were cut to pay for the Green New Deal, it could mean that almost three-quarters of the economy would be spent via the government.

And all this is assuming that repurposing essentially all of the nation’s economic resources doesn’t cause any loss in economic efficiency. History and the experiences of other countries suggest that this wouldn’t be the case.

Commentary on the Green New Deal
Mark Perry

Mark Perry
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

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