A contradiction in left-wing politics for decades has been the professed support of community, diversity, localism, and democracy on the one hand with the advocacy of federal power to address society’s ills on the other. The Green New Deal (GND) issued by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and co-sponsors illustrates the contradiction in spades.
The proposed scope of new federal authority under the GND is remarkable. The plan demands a “national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II” and a “10-year national mobilization.’’ The use of the war-like “mobilization” is particularly aggressive when talking about peacetime domestic policymaking.
The plan would push the nation to reach zero greenhouse gases, upgrade all buildings, generate all power with zero emissions, overhaul transportation, and generate “massive growth” in clean manufacturing. It would supposedly provide all people education, training, a good job, high-quality health care, affordable and safe housing, economic security, clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and access to nature.
It would do all this with spending, regulations, and government “ownership stakes.” […]
However, long experience shows that when the federal government subsidizes and regulates local activities, decisionmaking moves from local elected officials to unknown and inaccessible federal bureaucrats. The GND would replace local and voluntary interactions with top-down coercion.
The exercise of vast federal power under the GND would steamroll collaboration, partnership, diversity, localism, and participatory processes.
[Chris Edwards, “Green New Deal Would Crush Liberal Values,” Cato Institute, February 8]