A recent opinion piece by Reid Scott described the Green New Deal as something that has “really ambitious and, in reality, impossible goals for the country.” This argument is flawed and poorly researched. If anything, the Green New Deal is not ambitious enough and proposes entirely possible goals for the United States.
Scott’s claim that “the methods proposed to deal with climate change, unemployment and economic stability to all American citizens are quite shocking” shows a lack of understanding in what is possible when it comes to transformations of the industry.
Scott’s first claim is that the Green New Deal proposes “air travel, both domestic and international, need to be put to an end in order to cut emissions down to zero.” A rather quick google search shows, however, that this is not the case. , and a bunch of small-time no-name websites that no one bothers to read. , as well as a piece in the
If basing an opinion on shoddy journalism is how a person’s opinion is formed, there’s not much that can be done. But for the rest of us who base our opinions on research, this claim is nothing more than a chuckle or head-scratcher depending on the mood one is in.
Scott’s second claim is that the Green New Deal “calls for the banning of petrol engines, urging all automakers to switch over to electric-only cars in only 12 years” and that “this would more than likely cause a huge crash in the automotive industry, with such a dramatic change forced on them in a small amount of time.” This is similarly unfounded with a quick google search showing nothing talking about the Green New Deal trying to ban petrol engines, as well as showing a lack of knowledge on the automotive industry, which has started towards .
The third claim that Scott makes in the article is that “one of the most out-of-touch aspects of the bill is that any American unable or unwilling to work for any reason should be promised economic security by the federal government.” This is not out-of-touch at all, and in fact, a universal basic income has been , although for the reason that it would be cheaper to write everyone a check than spend money on entitlements.
Scott further claims that this would be an “insane strain” that “is mind boggling.” This is not mind boggling, given that Alaska actually that disperses their oil revenue, as well as having a similar fund.
Certainly, there is a point to be made that we should not put our economic future solely in oil for the sake of the environment, but the basic idea of the government creating revenue to disperse to their citizens is not “mind boggling.” If anything, it’s a model that the United States should strive after, and .
Scott goes on to make a point about how the United States federal government should not be in charge of healthcare due to the debt that the government has collected. But to the citizens of the United States, .
Currently, It is more economically viable to have the government take on the medical debt of citizens rather than leave the citizens to deal with themselves, as the government has more revenue sources than it knows what to do with.
There’s one point that Scott makes that I actually agree with. He says the United States “government doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to being honest and using tax dollars efficiently.” The government as it currently stands would not deliver the economic and healthcare justice that the citizens need and deserve, yet that should not be a reason to take a defeatist attitude and remove the government from these issues. If anything, the failure of the federal government should inspire citizens to create a government that operates in a way that citizens need it to.
It is not easy to imagine a government that actually works for the common citizen, but if we do not start to imagine what the world could look like with a just government, then we resign ourselves to the current system that clearly is broken, saying “this is the best we can do” while we watch countless people needlessly suffer as the few of us who are doing okay pat ourselves on the back.
We would resign ourselves to a destructive nihilistic worldview, where we wait for the ride to be over while most of us suffer and a few of us experience a barely comfortable life, and even fewer of us experience endless bliss as the cost of everyone else.
This is not the world I want to live in, and this is the world we’ll face if we do not take the Green New Deal seriously, as Scott has, and instead give uncritical treatment to our media and government.
I for one, have hope that a better world is possible as long as we organize and think about how that world will operate. I hope that Reid Scott, even with his different approach to politics, will join me there when it has come.