Green New Deal

Democrats unveiled a major policy proposal, the Green New Deal. The title references FDR’s New Deal, and my understanding is that the plan is equally ambitious–addressing not only climate change, but also education, healthcare, among other things. In this thread, I want to analyze and discuss this proposal. Here’s a twitter thread that summarizes the deal:

1/Here’s a blog post detailing the specifics of the Green New Deal:— Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) February 7, 2019

There are also links to interesting articles. My sense is that Smith is a liberal, but he has problems with deal, especially the parts that don’t relate to addressing climate change. Those problems depend on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). I don’t have a good grasp of the concept, but the bottom line seems to be that we don’t have to worry about government spending (finding a way to pay for it). From what I understand the reason involves, i part, the amount of goods and services in the economy far exceeding the amount of printed money (?) in the economy. That doesn’t sound right. In any event, Smith seems to think MMT isn’t very sound. I’ll post a link to an article below that goes into this:

5/However, the plan makes clear that it will ultimately rely on deficits to pay for the Green New Deal. As justification, it points to this article, which describes the basic ideas of MMT:

In other words, MMT is absolutely a core part of the GND.— Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) February 7, 2019

By the way, the idea that we don’t have to worry about paying for all these things seems very unreasonable. I don’t buy it. It is the equivalent to the belief that cutting taxes will lead to an economy that will provide enough tax revenue to pay for the cuts. Here’s more of Smith’s feelings about this:

6/But this.

This is too much.

This is lunacy.

No.— Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) February 7, 2019

3 thoughts on “Green New Deal

  1. FAQ

    I’m only skimmed this, but here’s my reaction: Without more details and specifics, it’s hard to take a position on the proposal. At the same time there are red flags to me: 1) the plan is incredibly ambitious and therefore has a pie-in-the-sky quality; 2) the question about funding this is a too casual and cavalier for me.


    In the thread below, the suggestions to deal with climate change are interesting.

    1. WaPo editorial board agrees we need an ambitious plan to address climate change, but they disagree with the many aspects of the Green New Deal. To their credit, they offer their own suggestion:

      I haven’t completed Ramez Naam’s proposal right above, but develop technologies that reduce green house gases, including in industrial and agricultural sectors, and then importing those technologies to countries that emit the most green house gases (e.g., China and India) seems like one his main ideas. The idea makes sense, but the WaPo editorial board doesn’t really mention it.

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