New Deal, Same as the Old Deal by Thomas Kendall
I read Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal“. It was a heck of an experience. I daresay I’ve characterized a brand new psychological phenomenon on the basis of same. Here, quick. Look at the image below.
Figure 1: A tale of two stupids.
Okay, now I know this will come as a huge shock, but believe it or not, both of the two words pictured above are the word “stupid”. I appreciate that one is green. Being green does not magically remove the fact that it is, in fact, the word “stupid”. It’s almost like associating something with the concept “green”, in general, in no way alters the fundamental nature of the thing in question. Are we good on this concept?
I have to conclude that this is all but a magical optical illusion to ¡Ocasio’s! supporters because wow, does their golden girl ever seem to enjoy sloshing ¡verde! over her 2-second thought seizures and calling it a policy proposal (BTW, did anyone else notice she cribbed Jeb! Bush’s schtick? Because she definitely did. I mean she took it South of the border—or maybe she just liked the kismet of starting even her logo with something that’s been arranged top-down— but it’s still the same damned thing.). This is so dumb, I’ve invented the Ocasio-Cortez drinking game. Every time she proposes something that would utterly destroy some fundamental part of the US—the economy, civil liberties, the well-being of the citizenry, whatever—take a shot. You’ll find it makes it easier to read her other policy proposals, since she, like ¡Bernie!, is something of a one-note person and she sings in the key of Bolshevik. Just don’t get too hammered to vote against her and anything like her, that’s all I ask.
Where to begin?
In the link above, parts 1-5 are mostly just the stuff to establish a committee to pursue this tragicomedy. I’d just call out from that portion that, A) just remember she wants all this crap in 10 years, and B) that’s starting from March 2020. If the timing seems suspicious, the Washington Free Beacon agrees. “It is entirely possible that Ocasio-Cortez knows her proposal is both light on details and pie-in-the-sky; recent reporting indicates that the real goal of the committee would be to produce a campaign document for Democrats, rather than an actual policy proposal.” Remember that. It’s totally possible they’re going to want to hang their campaign against Trump on this. This is the strong card in their deck, they think.
Part 6 is where the meat is. And I am going to quote some highlights of this. Right away, ¡Ocasio! isn’t screwing around. 6-A lists the policy objectives.
“i-Dramatically expand existing renewable power sources and deploy new production capacity with the goal of meeting 100% of national power demand through renewable sources”
Ha ha! How reasonable! Take a shot.
First, as the Washington Free Beacon points out above, this isn’t even remotely feasible. No, not even with a lot of ¡dineros!, because money (please sit down as I reveal this shocking message) does not magically turn the impossible into the possible. That’s why Trump hasn’t been giving addresses from the back of a golden dragon for the last two years, metal though that would be. And why no Uncle Sam of Oz can possibly give ¡Ocasio! the brain she so desperately needs, but I digress. Second, as The American Thinker points out, first, this would destroy millions of jobs. We’re not even talking oil and gas jobs. We’re talking “jobs that require electricity”, so unless we’re planning to power to global victory on the back of the Amish population, we’ve got a problem. Second, since our global competitors would not be following us down this particular path to perdition, we’d pretty much instantly fall so far behind economically if we tried to do this it wouldn’t even be funny. That’s assuming we even make it to the end of this green-tinted acid trip. My guess is we’d get invaded by one or more of our opponents while we were busy giving them a hand-engraved opportunity by shooting ourselves in the foot. But hey, maybe that’s the point. How long has the bug-eyed Bolshy been colluding with ¡Russia!? That’s what we really need to know right now. Oh, and by the way, in case you missed this part of it: last I checked, “renewable” sources means exclusively things there’s basically an infinite supply of. So this doesn’t just nix coal, gas, and oil. It nixes nuclear too. In case you felt it wasn’t impossible enough.
“ii. building a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid;”
Take a shot. This would be stupidly expensive, of course, but hey, clearly we’re in the land of play money. And as the Washington free beacon points out above, it’s also incompatible with (i), since 100% renewable energy sources wouldn’t make any production peaks to level the supply troughs anywhere else. But more to the point, the problem with a national system that dynamically reroutes power to where it’s most needed is that it’s A) almost certainly run by a computer, and B) since it functions at the interstate level by definition, it’s in the jurisdiction of the federal government. So beyond the fact that we can’t afford it, and it wouldn’t work, there’s this nice cherry on top—it would likely give the feds the ability to shut down power to any area of the country they felt was, ahem, uncooperative. Whee!
“iii. upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety”
¡Aye caramba! Just so we understand how retarded that is, I had to look this up for scale. In 2017 the United States had about 136 million housing units. The mean square footage of a house in 2017 was about 2500 square feet (rounding down). I’ll tell you why I’m telling you that in a moment. In 2012 there were a mere 5.6 million commercial buildings. Since the same site goes on to note that these had 87 billion square feet of floor space, my Windows calculator shows that the average floor space of a commercial building is about 15,500 square feet. So, in those terms, since we know the square footage of a house, we can infer that a commercial building is a little over 6 times larger. Which means that, yes, to make our math easier, we’re just gonna assume that museums, warehouses, and factories, have the same ceiling height as your house. If some helpful in the comments wants to explain how much I underestimated by, fine. Speaking of fudge, being totally fair, about 5% of that 5.6 million was noted to be in lodging, which would overlap the housing units. But also being fair, in 2012 the report showed a “14% increase in the number of buildings and a 21% increase in floorspace since 2003”. Given that we gave Obama the boot two years ago— to the relief of the average businessman, I would bet— we’ve probably kept on growing. So we’ll take the number as is. I’ll update if someone can give solid evidence we’ve grown less than that in 6 years.
So—how much do you think upgrading every residential and industrial building would cost? Just from an order of magnitude perspective, I’m thinking $1,000 is probably a bit conservative. $100,000 might be too high—might, though it depends on how you define “state of the art” energy efficiency. Heck, it depends on how you define “state of the art” comfort. Maybe she wants to make every house in the projects look like a penthouse in Dubai. Who the Hell knows? Trying to make sense out of her “plans” is like discussing philosophy with a schizophrenic. I’m just doing my best, here. And therefore I’m assuming she’s taken the more “realistic” path, and defined “comfort” the way socialists usually do—tiresome discomfort compensated by the smug knowledge that you, personally, are saving the planet. So let’s say that this costs about 10,000 bucks for an average home. That estimate— which, frankly, for a full remodel of an average 2,500 square foot home to state-of-the-art anything is still probably small— would put the cost of this project at 1.36 trillion dollars. Oh, plus another 336 billion dollars if we assume renovating commercial buildings costs only about 6 times as much, per building, as private homes. Or, for convenient reference, a bit more than the 1.688 trillion the government is expected to make in personal income taxes. Again, by fairly conservative estimates. This could be way higher.
That’s ignoring that this is going to essentially force on you the lifestyle those “green” friends of yours always have. You know. The glamorous world of appliances that don’t work. And heating and air conditioning that neither effectively heat, nor condition the air, so that they’re constantly adding and removing layers like mutant onions. And rooftop solar panels that can charge a whole D-Cell battery on a sunny day and cost as much as a family car to replace if you get a hailstorm. Not that you’ll pay for that, you loyal party member, you. Well, not directly. We’ll take the money, take it for an office tour amongst the bureaucrats who will nab a bunch of it, then give it back to you in a smaller quantity, and require you to purchase a specific thing with it. ¡Arriba!
All that—and that’s one bullet point. Jesus.
Take a shot.
“iv. eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing, agricultural and other industries, including by investing in local-scale agriculture in communities across the country;
- eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from, repairing and improving transportation and other infrastructure, and upgrading water infrastructure to ensure universal access to clean water;”
Oh, my dear and fluffy lord.
Okay, um. Take—I dunno, 5 or 6 shots. She didn’t even say “balancing”, remember. This isn’t even about net carbon. She said “eliminating”. That means factories largely get the nix, but we knew that anyway because we haven’t had the power for them since (i). Interpreted literally, this also essentially means no livestock. Certainly no cows, those being a big source of greenhouse emissions, but probably no animals at all since pretty much all carbon-based things with digestive tracts emit greenhouse gases. And her “solution”—is the most Millennial thing I have ever read in my life, and I appreciate the irony of my saying that (I know, I know. A Millennial appreciate irony? It’ll never ‘appen!). “Local-scale agriculture” is a phrase used by someone who drinks hydroponically farmed wheatgrass in her smoothie in the morning and wonders why the world can’t share her ecstasy. So, at best, she wants to break up giant agriculture conglomerates, which means the efficiency of these mass farming operations, and the R and D they invest in improving crop yield, go out the window. Which actually might lead to starvation if we really did that, but damn it, it’s organic, locally grown starvation. At worst—and it fits the wording just as well—she wants us to roll over to subsistence farming. Which we’ll do by ourselves, actually, if she gets a crack at running the economy, methinks. But I doubt that the people in Chicago and Brooklyn will find that lifestyle change as convenient. Self correcting problem?
Oh, but shit, son. I forgot all about bullet point 2, electric boogaloo. Now, it’s difficult to tell from the wording whether she means to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from transportation infrastructure, plus other infrastructure, or whether she means to include transportation in general in the infrastructure from which we will eliminate greenhouse gases. Socialists have a funny idea about ownership—see: defining tax cuts as “tax expenditures”— and that makes it tricky when we talk about transportation, since most transportation is privately owned. The things that come to mind immediately when I think “transportation infrastructure”—highways, airports—don’t really release a lot of greenhouse gasses. You might have noticed how concrete is very green in that respect. She may also mean Tesla buses, and all-electric trains. Since pretty much all the places where that’s economically feasible are already using that technology, you can guess the implications. “♪ socialist choo-choo, won’t you choo choo me—nowhere at all because of union strikes, leading ultimately to me to having to walk—home! ♫”. I’ll work on making it scan. If it actually becomes law I’ll have lots of time while I’m waiting. But then again—in the same document that wants us to meet “100% of the national power demand through renewable sources”— I cannot bring myself to rule out that this falls in the same area as turning the housing projects into mini-millionaire’s row. So this could also mean electric cars for everybody. Oh. And basically no airplanes. The battery-pack-weight-to-power-produced ratio is ¡muy grande!. Dagny Taggart, call your office.
“vi. funding massive investment in the drawdown of greenhouse gases”
I’m just going to say this. None of the multi-trillion dollar bullet points up until now warranted the disclaimer that they would take massive investment.
Just let that sink in.
Invest in a massive shot.
“Vii. making “green” technology, industry, expertise, products and services a major export of the United States, with the aim of becoming the undisputed international leader in helping other countries transition to completely greenhouse gas neutral economies and bringing about a global Green New Deal.”
Apart from being roughly as coherent a plan as this, it’s hard to even guess the expense or impact of this because neither I, nor anybody else, has any idea what it looks like. I can say that if Solyndra taught us anything, it’s that putting tons of taxpayer money into green companies that couldn’t get private investment because they weren’t economically feasible otherwise is really great. Just the best. But that’s just because my personal fetish is messy corporate bankruptcy. I have a bespoke bootleg blueray of “Big Beautiful Bankrupt Boondoggle Booties” in my sock drawer. I also enjoy alliteration.
Look, the issue here is that government doesn’t make things. It directs, it controls, and it makes stuff that facilitates things being made. In the second category, the public usually invents it, and the government facilitates making it on a grand scale if—like roads or electricity—we can generally agree that pretty much everyone needs and wants it (that’s assuming certain basic preconditions, like that the project doesn’t involve nationalizing the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of private workers, reducing them to effective slavery, but oh, we’ll get to that). Almost by definition, massive “investments” into things that aren’t profitable right now means using money inefficiently (which is why I use quote marks—it’s just hard for me to call something we basically know will lose money an investment. It’s like how using a flamethrower on my lawn is hard to define as watering.). Ask Trabant owners what it’s like when the government decides it’s going to invent things instead of wait for the market to figure out what’s efficient and economically feasible. You get a 2-stroke car with 26 horsepower, cotton body panels, and a 10 year waiting list because they can’t even produce it reliably. Or, at the more successful end of the scale, you get the Apollo program. Which may look photogenic, but as public transport goes, the average Joe may as well plan to swim to the moon—and that may explain why the moon has so few job offers.
Also, not to rain on her parade, but isn’t “bringing about a global Green New Deal” cultural imperialism? What if other countries don’t want to be green? No, better yet, look at the Paris Accord. China and India don’t want to be green. Sounds like she needs to check her privilege.
“B. The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall recognize that a national, industrial, economic mobilization of this scope and scale is a historic opportunity to virtually eliminate poverty in the United States and to make prosperity, wealth and economic security available to everyone participating in the transformation.”
We’ve gotten as far as section 6 B! B stands for bullshit, as you’ll soon see. “Historic” is certainly a good choice of words. A country actually trying this would be history. Also, try this fun experiment at home—substitute “Great Leap Forward” for “Green New Deal”, and “China” for “the United States”. Spooky, no? So, which eggs will be going into the societal omelet at ¡Ocasio’s! Marxist Diner?
“i. provide all members of our society, across all regions and all communities, the opportunity, training and education to be a full and equal participant in the transition, including through a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one
- diversify local and regional economies, with a particular focus on communities where the fossil fuel industry holds significant control over the labor market, to ensure workers have the necessary tools, opportunities, and economic assistance to succeed during the energy transition; “
Ooh. The 370 million egg omelet comes with jobs. Jobs ¡con carne!. “Diversify” is Spanish for “destroy”, I assume. So sorry, but you’re not “diversifying” a market you committed to removing in its entirety in your first bullet point in section A. Take a diverse shot. Also, we’re using monopoly money again. In 2015 about 1,390,000 people were working in oil and gas. All of them would be unemployed now. She’s up front about that. Add that to the roughly 6 million unemployed people now. At a 15 dollar minimum wage, assuming 8 hour workdays, 5 days a week, 50 weeks of the year (2 weeks of vacation), that’s 30 K per job. So at minimum, call that, oh, a mere 221 billion dollars of expenses per year. This is assuming that the fact that we no longer have sufficient electricity for anything, and are living under a government that has precipitously increased its power to that of the USSR in its heyday, does not increase unemployment relative to the best-performing US economy in decades, which is what we currently have under Trump. Of course, if you don’t want a living wage, I guess you don’t have to be a full and equal participant in the transition. Not that that sounds like a veiled threat of any kind. Nosiree.
We’re going to have to skip ahead a bit, because at this point things become dense and almost content-free at the same time. Let me give you some Cliff’s notes on the next few.
B-iv— “low-income communities, communities of color, indigenous communities, rural and urban communities” need some sweet greenifying before the big bad oil pisses off the sea goddess and she eats whole coastlines in her rage.
B-vi— Oh, crap, okay, this one I can’t just gloss.
“vi. mitigate deeply entrenched racial, regional and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth (including, without limitation, ensuring that federal and other investment will be equitably distributed to historically impoverished, low income, deindustrialized or other marginalized communities in such a way that builds wealth and ownership at the community level);”
Huh. So, she wants to “mitigate” “inequalities in income and wealth”, by “equitably” distributing federal and “other investment” (I’m gonna say, if the investment doesn’t get to distribute itself, it’s all federal investment), to the “historically impoverished”. Given that by this point in the document the federal government is the pre-eminent master and funder of basically everything, I think that’s just communism at this point. No, seriously. If the government has all-but-intentionally destroyed the whole support structure of its current economy down to the roots, and is replacing said collapsed economy with massive dump-trucks of money from one big central garage, which it is using to “mitigate” “inequalities”— really that’s just her using a thesaurus to sell us on redistributing the wealth. She either steals the money from rich people or she runs it up on the credit card, devalues the currency into worthlessness, and steals it from everybody. Although in that case, poor people are more likely to starve. Partially because it’s harder for them to run away.
Take a shot. From your neighbor’s liquor cabinet.
“vii. include additional measures such as basic income programs, universal health care programs and any others as the select committee may deem appropriate to promote economic security, labor market flexibility and entrepreneurism”
¡Muy caliente! I’m sorry, apparently the legislation wasn’t bloated enough. You know what I love about basic income programs? How green they are. They’re environmentally friendly! Certainly not a flimsy excuse for cramming maximum quantities of socialism down our throats. Reason being, if, as many Soviet citizens found, you disagree with them too loudly, the government composts you. Or enslaves you. Hi, doctors! I’m sorry, did you feel you had a right to practice your skills for a fair amount of money? Oh, you poor dears. Uncle Sam owns you now. You will treat any and all for as long as we tell you! Greenly! And ah, what is a little government pork without a blank check to the pig farm thrown in for good measure? Because in ten seconds, she couldn’t think of every pony she wants daddy to buy her, but damn it, she knows she’s going to want a diversified set of indigenous gender-equitable free-range LGBTQRSUVOMGWTFBBQ ponies at some unspecified date. Given that the nation was founded explicitly on hard limits on government power, apart from anything else, this effectively writes the 9th and 10th amendment out of existence. Making it—let me look up the technical legal terms, here— “illegal as balls”. Take two shots, and any others as you may deem appropriate to promote not choking socialists.
“viii—deeply involve national and local labor unions to take a leadership role in the process of job training and worker deployment.”
Unionize ¡todo!. Take a shot, but only if your union boss approved it.
And finally—because by now there might be a single vertebrae somewhere at the base of your spine that hasn’t had a chill through it, may I present section C, which I assume was Ocasio-Cortez’s grade in macroeconomics (I kid, of course. Her teacher was probably a communist. Most of them are, these days. She got an A, which was immediately divided up and redistributed to someone who was failing. Unless they were Republican, of course, because otherwise it wouldn’t be equitable.).
“The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall recognize that innovative public and other financing structures are a crucial component in achieving and furthering the goals and guidelines relating to social, economic, racial, regional and gender-based justice and equality and cooperative and public ownership set forth in paragraphs (2)(A)(i) and (6)(B).”
“Innovative”. “Innovative” financing structures. She literally wrote this. This isn’t me pulling your leg. So at this point I’m sure you want to know, what kind of innovation? Because when I think of innovative financing, for some reason the image of burly Italian men in pinstriped suits and sunglasses begins forming in my mind. Well, I’m glad you asked. Here’s your outline:
“The Plan (and the draft legislation) shall, accordingly, ensure that the majority of financing of the Plan shall be accomplished by the federal government, using a combination of”—
A- “the Federal Reserve” – because the Fed hasn’t caused enough problems already.
B-“A new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks” – Well, that certainly is innovative. Who needs one giant institution causing economic roller coasters when you can put it through mitosis? Double, double, money bubble. Because realistically, the Fed might not print money quickly or conveniently enough for ¡Ocasio!-Cortez’s tastes.
C-“Public venture funds” – which we wish to emphasize will be totally voluntary and in no way coerced from people at gunpoint.
D-“Such other vehicles or structures that the select committee deems appropriate”— love me some blank checks. What other vehicles or structures? Doth the “T” word wait in the wings? Ah, damn, I forgot. If Obamacare taught us anything, it’s that there are no taxes unless it’s convenient. Or I should say, perhaps you’ll have to pay your green “penalty” for being insufficiently environmentally friendly.
Whew. ¡Aye aye aye! Well, that was fun!
Now, I want you to remember what I said at the start. On the basis of the timing, there’s even odds they plan to use this as a campaign document in 2020. Just look back over that, and really take that in. There are even odds that this is the future of the Democratic party. You like what you see? This is why we need to pay more attention to ¡Ocasio!. You’re wrong if you think of her as a lone nut. She’s not. She’s version 2.0 of what I personally think the Democrats barely knew they had market for until Bernie almost de-throned the queen at her own coronation. If you think the fact that she is laughably extremist is a check against her getting shunted into the fast lane, you’re dead wrong. The Democrats took exactly the wrong lessons from 2016, and worse, they’re applying them. They want extremists. We may not all be socialists now, but the Democrats? Don’t be so sure.
And she’s just their type. She’s certifiably ethnic, and female, and young. Basically, if she starts identifying as a man, she’ll be their wet-dream. She’s also stupider than a hammer full of nitroglycerine, which party elders may flatter themselves makes her easier to direct, though I think she may even be too dumb to take direction. She’s already butting heads with Pelosi. Our best-case scenario is that Pelosi, out of self-interest, takes her down a peg or ninety. But don’t bet that it will be so simple. Some feel, like PJ O’Rourke, that “Age and Guile Beat Youth, Ignorance, and a Bad Haircut”. I usually agree, but I don’t have that kind of faith on this. I think people miss that true believers like her are exactly what the Left grooms Millennials to be. They’ve asked for this in spades. What went around is coming around.
And being more serious for a moment, that’s the bad news I’m really here to deliver. I’m sorry, but ¡Ocasio! isn’t an anomaly. It’s true what people say—if only Millenials voted, Hillary still wouldn’t be president, but Bernie Sanders would be. ¡Ocasio! is the leading wave of a group of people who have been pissing me off all my life because I’ve had to go to school with them. And the only thing that’s different about her versus them is that she’s more famous. They’re true believers. They’ve never heard anything different, and now, thanks to social media and extremely stilted mainstream media, they’re still not hearing anything more meaningful than #OrangeManBad. They’re either shielded from the economy by their parents or in at the bottom, so economic improvements mean little to them. And Pelosi can politic all she likes, but she’d best make the most of it. Unless she takes the Clinton-esque step of actually killing the idiot, ¡Ocasio! is only going to become a bigger problem, because she’s the vanguard. I would guess that the reinforcements will start arriving probably by the end of Trump’s second term, assuming we can stop the cheating enough to get one. And if we don’t have a good head start on picking ¡Ocasio! apart by then, she’s going to be the elder statesman of the (H/T to a friend) “kindercaucus”, and being used as a punching bag by her party’s seniors will be a badge of honor. And dumb as she is, trust me, she knows it. Hell, she’s almost counting on it, I think.
So pay attention. And take some friendly advice— stop her before she grows.