Updated: Aug 24, 2019
Written by Nate Thurston
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released his plan for a $16.3 trillion spending package dubbed the "Green New Deal," blatantly stealing the name of the massive plan laid out earlier in the year by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
I spent several hours running through this plan line by line today, and arrived at a pretty simple conclusion:
If you care about the environment, if you care about the poor, if you care about innovation, or the economic stability of the country, then you must consider the argument that the government is the worst possible entity to accomplish those goals.
How could this be worse than climate change?
Climate Change is a prediction of something that could potentially happen. The economic catastrophe created by this plan is a near certainty.
Bernie's plan calls for a complete replacement of:
The power grid
all fossil fuels
all school buses
all shipping vehicles (semis)
all gas stations
and nearly all roads
Just in case you were wondering, the plan calls for all of this to happen in 10 years.
It also promises to create 20 million new "high-paying" jobs, and eliminate unemployment. In the elimination of unemployment, it suggests that the need for a welfare state will dissipate, since everyone will have a high paying job. Of course, that's a high-paying job paid for with tax dollars, something that will first have to be stolen from the economy.
Let me be clear. It is probably a bad thing to remove carbon from the ground, and place it into the air. Im not refuting that suggestion, but I will question the idea that we are nearing a "climate catastrophe." I'll also question the idea that this is purely man-made (can we call sexism on that term?), and that anything the United States does can have any effect on the situation.
This plan seizes control of the entire energy sector, and promises to remove "greed" from the equation by leaving all power to be supplied by publicly owned companies. If Bernie has a room full of angels waiting to take the reins, I suggest he disperse them elsewhere immediately.
This comes down to one question: Who is more effective at innovation, and efficiency- private entities, or the government?
I could use the example of NASA vs. SpaceX. Through 60 years of innovation, NASA was able to get the cost of sending a satellite to space down to $600 million. To ad to that fact, they were producing new rockets with each launch. In 10 years, Elon Musk and SpaceX were able to reduce the cost of sending things into space down to $60 million. A tenth of the price if you don't have your calculator handy. In addition to that, they developed a way to fly the rockets back to the launch pad to save money. That wasn't enough.. They then produced a drone ship that would become a mobile landing pad for the rockets, since due to the arch of the launch and the rotation of the earth the rocket would be re-entering over water, and boat fuel is cheaper than rocket fuel.
Think what you may about profit, but the motive for profit saves us money. Take into consideration the fact that in the Russians heyday, an automobile cost 3x as much to produce in the Soviet Union, even though profit was illegal. Remember, Henry Ford didn't invent the automobile. He simply found a way to mass produce it in a way that reduced the cost and made it more affordable for the general public.
When you remove profit from the equation, you remove the incentive for efficiency, innovation, and investment. Under these circumstances, you'll end up using the same technology for decades, in the case of NASA vs. SpaceX.
What does this all have to do with Bernie's "Green New Deal?"
1. This plan places our planets future in the hands of government officials. Government officials who will not have the incentive for profit, but will instead have an incentive for power (no pun intended).
2. The increases in taxes alone are enough to send our economy into a depression, more than likely making the Great Depression look like a weekend at Disney World in comparison.
Who pays taxes? Corporations, or Consumers?
Corporations don't pay taxes. The people who buy their goods pay taxes. Taxes are included in the production price of everything you purchase on a daily basis.
If you tax "the rich," who are you really taxing?
Well, ask yourself this question.. Where do the rich get their money?
Liberals may lament "Trickle-Down Economics," but "Trickle-Down Taxation" is far worse, and it's an absolute certainty.
A move like this is exactly what Bernie's ideology predicts: complete communism. Yes, I broke out the "C-word."
The idea that the increases in taxes required to implement this plan will not affect the average consumer is complete foolishness. The part that won't get paid for by taxes, will be paid for by borrowing. I don't know if you've seen the debt clock lately, but it's over $22 trillion already.
I'm not opposed to a move towards cleaner energy, but I am opposed to government implementation of that move. Whatever move we make under this plan, it won't be as clean, and it won't be as effective, as what the free market would produce.