Perhaps you were one of those children who feared the night monster hiding under your bed or in your closet. Perhaps you thought you could hear the night monster sneaking around you while you pulled the covers over your head.
Today, as an adult, perhaps you now fear the Green New Deal (GND) socialism monster. The GND socialism monster and the night monster have much in common.
Both scare you. Both are commonly believed in by the unknowing. And both are imaginary.
SOCIALISM: “A theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.”
The words ownership and control are bolded because they are key. When the government owns and controls something, for instance, a Veterans Administration hospital, that is an element of socialism.
But when the government merely provides funds, as when Medicare pays your hospital and doctor bills, that may be progressivism, but it is not socialism.
The abject failures of Russia’s and Venezuela’s socialist and criminal governments often are given as examples of why socialism “doesn’t work.” But do we give the examples of Greece and Brazil to demonstrate why capitalism “doesn’t work.”
It isn’t socialism that has injured Russia and Venezuela; it’s criminal dictatorships — closer to Donald Trump’s administration of criminals than to real socialism.
We Americans wisely accept some elements of socialism, i.e. government ownership and control, in our capitalistic nation. For example:
- The U.S. military
- The national highway system
- The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
- Public schools, parks, lands
- National research laboratories
- The federal court system
- NSA, FBI, CIA, and hundreds of other federal agencies
The list goes on and on. In fact, a capitalistic government could not survive without many socialist elements.
So when pundits complain that this benefit or that program is “socialist,” they merely are using a word that has become a pejorative to the ears of Americans — and that’s why they use it: For psychological impact when facts don’t matter.
Socialism, in of itself, is not a bad thing. Unless you wish to get rid of the military, the national highway system, et al, we always will, always must, have some socialism to protect us.
In fact, when Trump derides “Medicare for All” as “socialism,” he conveniently forgets that his demand for $6 billion dollars to extend the border wall, also is socialism.
The GND monster is not socialism. It is not even a law. It is a set of goals and directions toward preventing the collapse of our ecology and our economy, due to global warming.
If, like Trump, you claim global warming is a Chinese hoax (and that Trump University was a real university, and that Trump never would cheat on his wives, his taxes, or his employees), you are fact-averse, and you now have permission to return to the cult.
Otherwise, you understand that human-caused global warming is a real threat to our grandchildren, a threat we are causing, a threat we cannot ignore as it gets worse and worse.
This is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, and Sen. Ed Markey’s, framework defining what they call a “Green New Deal”:
- upgrading all existing buildings in the country for energy efficiency;
- working with farmers “to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions … as much as is technologically feasible” (while supporting family farms and promoting “universal access to healthy food”);
- Overhauling transportation systems to reduce emissions — including expanding electric car manufacturing, building charging stations everywhere, and expanding high-speed rail to a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary;
- A guaranteed job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security for every American;
- High-quality health care for all Americans.
Contrary to what Trump’s pundits want you to believe, Ocasio-Cortez and Markey are not stupid. They do not propose killing cows to prevent cow-farts. They do not propose taking away your cars and tractors.
(An otherwise intelligent friend of mine confided in me that he was worried about the Democrats taking away airplane travel.) Such is the power of rumor and conspiracy-mongering.
Trump’s conservatives, predictably, denounced the GND. After all, conservatism wishes to “preserve or restore what is established and traditional and to limit change.”
Conservatives tend especially to embrace strict interpretations of religion because religion does not easily change. Religion does not create any new thing. Religion did not create modern medicine, or electronics, today’s machinery. Though most religions preach kindness to the poor, a left-wing notion, religion itself is conservative. The “Word” does not change and those who try to change it are derided as “blasphemous.”
Conservatives tend to be anti-science, because science creates change. So when the vast majority of professional climatologists say that the world is warming, humans are contributing to it, and this will be to our detriment, conservatives try to dig up nay-sayers, who say, in essence, “Do nothing and all will be well.”
(That also is why the anti-vaccination movement is fundamentally conservative. If those folks had their way, smallpox still would be killing millions.)
And just as anti-science conservatives do not want us to understand the science of climatology, they also misrepresent the science of economics by threatening us with the “Green New Deal” socialism monster.
It’s so easy to claim that the government is incompetent, wasteful, and less able to accomplish good things than the private sector, and in many cases that is true.
But there are some things the federal government is able to do better than the private sector, the most prominent of which is: Create and spend dollars.
This is especially true of big projects or projects that have no profit motive, like free national highways, armies, space exploration, free libraries, free public schools, et al. Left to the private sector, these things would not exist in America.
The federal government has the unlimited ability to pay for anything. It can pay to upgrade existing buildings, though upgrading “all” existing buildings within a short time period would be functionally impossible.
It could pay farmers to “eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions … as much as is technologically feasible”
It could pay for “expanding electric car manufacturing, building ‘charging stations everywhere,'” and expanding high-speed rail, reducing the use of air travel. It also could pay for research to make air travel less carbon intensive.
And those government dollars will stimulate economic growth for more than have Trump’s tax cuts for the rich.
The federal government has the ability to pay for all the things the GND proposes. And while accomplishing these things in the goal of ten years may not be feasible, as Laozi said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”
That journey also begins with a goal. The Green New Deal provides us with the goal — a goal of saving the world for our children. If we allow the conservatives to do nothing, our children will suffer, and they will know it was we who did this.
They will look upon us in the same way as we look upon the religious fanatics who tortured and murdered those who claimed the sun circled the earth — as ignorant savages who refused the truth.
Now, we must convince the Democrats to have courage, and not to fear the Green New Deal (GND) socialism monster. It is a friendly monster that can save the world.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.
Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
2. Federally funded medicare — parts a, b & d, plus long-term care — for everyone
3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
5. Salary for attending school
6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
9. Federal ownership of all banks
10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9%
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.