The Green Deal

The Green New Deal.

For the past week, every media pundit has focused on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 70% tax rate. To most, when she floated a 70% marginal tax rate, many were thankful that she only represents one vote in Congress. However, she is bringing attention to the single most important issue — climate change. Without a stable ecosystem, we cannot have a functioning government and nation-states will fight for vital resources. There will be no winners.

“…transition of the United States economy to become greenhouse gas emissions neutral and to significantly draw down greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and oceans and to promote economic and environmental justice and equality.”

Google Document Draft by Ocasio-Cortez’s Team

Ocasio-Cortez and her team have an ambitious plan. That’s a good thing. Society ought to have lawmakers who want to make a difference. That’s why we elect them into office to serve as our voice.

Unfortunately, even if Ocasio-Cortez has the requisite political will for a “Green New Deal”, there are lots of logistical uncertainties that can make a bill dead on arrival. Like everything, there is always an economic trade off. In this particular case, by shifting from a society that uses fossil fuel in tons of products to none, a lot of people will not be able to afford the cost of living adjustments.

Logically, one may ask, who is responsible for taking care of those who will be left behind? Is it the role of the government to subsidize the transition by providing favorable incentives to businesses? Is it the role of individuals in society to help those who have less make the transition?

Traditional Republicans — who favor small government — may not get behind such a monumental shift that requires such a large-scale shift. Remember, the tax reform bill lowered corporate taxation from a top level of 35% to 21% across the board. A Green New Deal would likely mean more government spending.

Traditional Democrats — who favor larger government — ought to get behind legislation that is more expansive than Senator Markey’s 2009 ‘Cap and Trade’ Bill. However, the background noise that unemployment is fairly high is not true. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in December 2018 was a shockingly low 3.9%.

We, at Counter Current, want radical change. We want an environment that is protected. We hope Ocasio-Cortez is able to get actual change accomplished — the same standard we want out of all our law makers — but a lot of the necessary logistical questions remained unanswered.

We need Republicans as much as we need Democrats. There is an existential threat to society that can only be solved through compromise and real solutions. Let’s stop demonizing each other.