Mar 30, 2019                     home

Basic Economics and the Green New Deal

Money is what it can buy — be it gold, paper or cowry shells. If disaster across our country ruins our agriculture (drought, flooding, plant disease) the dollar would buy less food. Food prices would rise — inflation. Conversely, with increased productivity the dollar would buy more.

If money is spent on matters that produce economic benefits it's called investment — value emerges greater than the wealth that has been spent. Money invested iby private enterprise is supposed to increase a company's income. Government investments have also served economic advancement and well-being. Government contributed to the creation of our railways, our dams, roads and highways.

With President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal in mind and concern about the environment, some Democrats are advocating what they call a Green New Deal. Rather than specific legislation, it's a goal, a guideline for legislation that addresses economic well-being and the kind of social and wealth distribution problems that engaged the Roosevelt administration.

In his book The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells writes about global warming:

It is worse, much worse, than you think. The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn't happening at all, and comes to us bundled with several others in an anthology of comforting delusions: that global warming is an Arctic saga, unfolding remotely; that it is a crisis of the "natural" world, not the human one.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raises her voice and says "We need to do something — something!" Speaking to thousands of marchers at the Brandenberg Gate, in Berlin, Sweden's Greta Thunberg (age 16) complains that “The older generations have failed tackling the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced.”

Those opposed to the Green New Deal present themselves as more mature and wise while holding to analogies with the socialism, Venezuela and the Soviet Union's Stalin. Vice President Mike Pence criticizes Democrats who have "embraced socialism," and he says “The only thing green about the so-called Green New Deal is how much green it’s going to cost taxpayers if these people ever pass it into law."

Republicans believe in investments by private enterprise. Proponents of a Green New Deal believe that good investments, quickly, might save us from catastrophe.

CONTINUE READING: Cohen, Trump, and the Capacity to Rationalize

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Copyright © 2019 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.