“The Green New Deal”

This is an earlier version of the plan taken from AOC’s government website

This version was eventually corrected by people with some common sense. Wow, does she have her head up her ass.

“Economic security to all who are unwilling to work”

Good luck selling that to the American public. Except of course for those who are unwilling to work.

“The Green New Deal sets a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, at the end of this 10-year plan because we aren’t sure that we will be able to fully get rid of, for example, emissions from cows or air travel before then.”

Oh, really. You’re not sure? You MIGHT not be able to completely eliminate cows and planes in ten years? Ya think?

Also, maybe she needs to put a pencil to some of her proposals, figure out how much they will cost and then how we will pay for them.

Of course you already knew she was a serious airhead when she said she could pay for universal health care by eliminating Pentagon accounting errors, which amounted to 21 trillion over 8 years. ($21 trillion is more than the cumulative spending on national defense since America was founded!)

And then there was her suggestion that the $3 billion in tax credits to Amazon could be spent on other things. Here’s how Amazon would have qualified for those:

1. New York state taxpayers would be on the hook for up to $1.525 billion should Amazon meet its 25,000-job pledge, pay an average salary of $150,000 and occupy at least 4 million square feet of space within the next 10 years, as promised. That number would increase to $1.7 billion if Amazon exceeds its goal and gets to 40,000 jobs by 2032.

2. Up to $1.2 billion would be in the form of state tax breaks under the state’s Excelsior Jobs Program, which are awarded to the company on a rolling basis only after jobs are created over 10 years.

3. New York City, meanwhile, would provide business income-tax credits worth $897 million and a property-tax break worth $386 million over 25 years.

In other words, Amazon would have to provide (according to New York’s calculations) something approaching $30 billion to the economy in order to get those breaks! And if Amazon never shows up – no tax breaks because there’s nothing to tax, but the city and state are about $20 billion poorer, not three billion richer.

38 thoughts on ““The Green New Deal”

  1. I am sorry to hear this about AOC. I am glad there are people like Scoopy who can analyse proposals like this in a fair and realistic manner.

  2. Just commenting on the cows part.
    Eating cows as part of human consumption is much worse for the environment than eating bison, as cows need much fodder in the winter that bison don’t, as bison are much more cold tolerant and can graze the shortgrass prairie even under the snow.
    This would free up a lot of farmland that is currently used to produce items for cattle feed. Some of these crops are much more water intensive than the short grass prairie, like alfalfa.
    The biggest problem? Bison meat is much leaner, and the prime cuts of meat in a bison are much smaller than in cows.

  3. The thing about socialism, the idea of from each according to his ability to each according to his needs, is that it just sounds so right, particularly to young people who don’t know any better. The reality is that socialism only works on a small scale for highly motivated self-selected people (e.g. a kibbutz). That’s because Karl Marx really didn’t understand human nature, i.e. that most people only work hard if they see a benefit to themselves or their family. If they don’t see a personal benefit, they do the least work they can get away with. That leads to shortages and famine, EVERY time it is tried. If you asked a socialist ten years ago, they would have said that Venezuela was a shining example of socialism done right. Today they’ll tell you that it has never really been tried.

    When AOC won her primary, I learned two things that proved to me she was either extremely dumb or extremely cynical. The first was her talking about her economics degree and the second was her self identification as a socialist. If you study economics in depth and still believe socialism is a good idea you are either dumb or are so stubborn you refuse to consider evidence contrary to your world view no matter how compelling it may be. Then again it could be cynical brilliance because every time she gives a ridiculous answer such as taking the $3 Billion in tax breaks and spending the money on other things the Republicans go overboard in attacking her. If they are overly focused on her, it may make it easier for the Democrats to defeat Trump. It may well work out that way, but I just don’t believe she could be THAT cynical.

    1. Ironic, since I’ve always thought that if you study law in depth and still believe there is anything to the phony concepts of originialism/original intent or textualism you are either dumb or stubborn.

      1. Can’t I be dumb AND stubborn? I must at least be dumb because I think originalism and textualism make the most sense. That simply means that the meaning of the words written in a statute (or constitutional provision) should be the meaning generally understood when it was enacted. Language evolves and meanings change. The phrase: “Isn’t he a gay fellow” has a radically different meaning today then it did a century ago. If a law or constitutional provision are going to be changed, I believe that change should be approved by the legislature and signed by the president/governor (or enacted via the amendment process).

        The alternative is to say that a judge or justice can simply assign whatever meaning they want to the text in front of them. That may be an attractive idea if you align ideologically with the majority of the Supreme Court. But eventually the ideological balance will shift. Perhaps you are quite happy that the Supreme Court for all intents and purposes invented a right to abortion on demand. Today, there is a not insignificant chance the Court may rule that the right is not in the Constitution. But if a conservative majority felt no particular need to follow the original meaning of the text, they could go further and find that abortion is prohibited by the Constitution. If a fetus is a human life and is therefore entitled to the equal protection of the law, abortion is either illegal or murder is legal. Now, I don’t believe any of the justices currently on the Court would rule that way, but that is due at least in part to their respect for the text. Giving complete authority to a Court majority you agree with ideologically may seem like a good idea, in the same way that rule by a benevolent dictator may seem like a good idea. But it has the same flaw, eventually you end up with a much less benevolent dictator. Sometimes the new dictator might resemble a cheeto.

        1. The problem with this is twofold:
          1.I don’t know of any lawyer or judge who doesn’t look to the meaning of the words at the time a law (or the Constitution) was written. This is nothing but a straw-man to claim that liberal judges are making up meanings of words to arrive at the judgement they want.

          2.In many cases, reading the Consitutition as it was written only goes so far. The Constitution is deliberately vague and sometimes contradictory. The idea that understanding the Constitution as it was written means how to apply it in a specific case will suddenly become abundantly clear is mostly nonsense.

          3.I and many others do believe that the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses do mean that abortion, at least for the first 20 weeks or so, should be legal. The majority ruling, if I haven’t confused it with Canada, was not based on the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses, however it was related.

          4.If science determines that a fetus is a separate life from its first week, I personally have no idea how abortion could not be outlawed. It would then be literally murder. However, this is not what the science says.

          1. The Constitution may be vague in places, but where specifically is it contradictory?

            If your argument is that conservative jurists use the pretext of original intent in order to reach their preferred ruling, I am sure that is true at least in some cases. But I think that most “conservative” judges are trying to apply the law as they understand it.

            I agree “that understanding the Constitution as it was written means how to apply it in a specific case will suddenly become abundantly clear” is not the case. But just because it isn’t abundantly clear doesn’t mean a judge shouldn’t start with the Constitution as originally written.

            As for Roe v. Wade, the right to abortion was found in a general right of privacy that was found in “the penumbras and emanations” of the Bill of Rights. Few legal scholars still defend the reasoning in Roe. Instead they argue that it has been in place so long it shouldn’t be overturned because of the importance of precedent. To be honest, I haven’t conducted a survey of legal scholars. It is just that the only defenses of Roe I hear about anymore are based on precedent.

            As for what science can prove, I wasn’t arguing in favor of the Supreme Court outlawing abortion. What I was arguing is that an argument to do so could be made if Supreme Court Justices wanted that outcome and didn’t feel constrained to follow the Constitution’s original intent. As for what science has determined, I am pretty sure it depends on what you mean by a seperate life. Roe ruled that a state could intervene to protect the life of a fetus once that fetus was viable outside the womb, defined in the ruling as the 3rd trimester. But as a fetus is alive and has DNA distinct from its mother, I think it has to be considered a seperate life, if not an independent one.

            But the real question isn’t scientific. It’s moral. At what point should a fetus be endowed with “human rights.” Most would agree that it should be protected in it’s 9th month. Most would not agree it should be in its first week. But eventually science will push fetal viability outside the womb all the way back to conception. Could scientific advancement turn abortion into murder?

  4. As long as morons like Falwell use her as red meat for the Base (a very appropriate word for those cretins) she’ll keep her standing on the Left, hallucinogenic plans or not.
    My current long range nightmare is AOC vs. Diaper Don in 24.
    Of course that factors in the Democrats blowing it in 20 but they are looking perfectly capable of doing just that.

  5. Like most politicians, Cortez has said some goofy things, however she is clearly highly intelligent.

    1.Her ‘Green New Deal’ proposal has clearly helped push the ‘Overton Window.’ A number of Congressional Republicans who had been climate change deniers until recently, like Mark Meadows, are now acknowledging that ‘I don’t believe in global warming, but clearly something needs to be done about the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.’

    He and they have acknowledged they are now willing to find some sort of compromise in order to forestall any Green New Deal. Some of the details in the GND may be goofy, but given other things AOC has already done, it’s clear that one of her goals, and maybe her primary goal, was to shift discussion on global warming away from the nonsensical debate of ‘is it real?’ to ‘how can we best address it before it’s too late.’ She seems to have done that.

    2.AOC is showing signs of being both a show-horse and a work-horse. In regards to her work-horse, she actually shows up to lower profile committee assignments that most of her colleagues skip and, as a result, seems to be mastering certain issues. Also, her detailed questioning of Michael Cohen opened up several lines of inquiry that her colleagues had over-looked.

    3.Supposed Republican intellectuals like Newt Gingrich and Paul Ryan repeatedly came up with goofy ideas, outright lied (which AOC does not seem to have done) or made bizarre comments like AOC’s Pentagon math. Yet, the mainstream media continuously referred to them as ‘intellectuals’ despite these things and never once questioned their intelligence.

    I have previously shown how AOC’s and Paul Ryan’s economic theories are two sides of the same Modern Monetary Theory coin. I don’t support MMT economics, but AOC is far from an ‘airhead.’

    1. AOC clearly did the best job questioning Cohen on Wednesday. Suspect a staffer is responsible for the no work entry.

    2. To the point whether she is an airhead, I let her $21 trillion comment speak for itself. Anyone with the vaguest grasp of numbers would know how ridiculous that was. It’s tantamount to saying she spent a billion dollars for peanut butter.

      I know you liberal types like her, but it’s pretty obvious that she is not going to be any more comfortable in the world of facts than Donnie Two-Scoops (although her message is compassionate and forward-looking, which already puts her two steps ahead of the President).

      1. It was a bizarre and stupid comment, but I don’t think it proves anything by itself. There are any numbers of reasons a person can say something clearly stupid, so, the thing is to find a pattern of similar behavior and I don’t think that can be done with AOC.

        1. Pretty sure I already did that:

          “We aren’t sure that we will be able to fully get rid of, for example, emissions from cows or air travel before then.” (Speaking of ten years)

  6. A moderately intelligent person whose uncritical and worshipful following seems to be convincing her that she is a genius.

    1. AOC graduated cum laude from Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2011, majoring in international relations and economics. BU is ranked number 42 for what it’s worth.

      1. As I said above, I let her words speak for themselves. ($21 trillion? She didn’t know that was an absurd number?)

        As for cum laude.

        Grades no longer mean what they did when we went to the University. When I went to Fordham, the professors were given a general guideline that 10% of the people in non-elective courses should get an A. The most common grades were C and C+.

        That has been replaced by the Oprah Guideline. “You get an A. You get an A. Everyone gets an A.”

        Now I don’t have the specifics on BU, but across the town, the AVERAGE grade at Harvard is an A-, and the most common grade is an A. (And Harvard is ranked much higher than BU, probably top three.)

        It is entirely possible that a Harvard grad graduating cum laude could be perilously close to last in the class. (91% of Harvard grads finish at least cum laude, so a minimum-level cum laude graduate at Harvard could be in the 9th percentile of his or her class)

        Again, I don’t have the grade distribution for BU, but the general rule is that grades are now meaningless, thanks to the new world ruled by the Oprah Guideline.

      2. It’s a degree in International Relations with about 4 or 5 courses in topical economics. She took macro-, but not microeconomics. Which is not surprising, micro is the harder of the two.

        A reporter had researched the course work she would have took at the time and she neither took microeconomics nor business statistics, both of which are required for even a minor in economics.

        1. I would presume she took first year (or first level) microeconomics. Depending on the courses she took, macroeconomics doesn’t make a lot of sense without taking first year micro.

    2. It’s possible. I think she knows what she’s doing and she’s marshalling her profile and her support to highlight various issues that right wing extremists have dominated for a number of years in order to provide a counter-balance.

      These include global warming, tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy and deregulation/lobbying.

    3. Moderately intelligent people don’t come in 2nd in the Intel competition.
      She came in 2nd n 2007, which you can find by googling it. Look at the winner’s list of that competition. Those are some of the smartest people on the planet.
      Calling her moderately intelligent is a joke.

      1. Again, I let her words speak for themselves. The $21 trillion tweet was utterly clueless, the work of a total lame-brain, roughly the equivalent of claiming she paid a billion dollars for a pack of Twizzlers.

        1. For Democrats presently in the news, I would argue that AOC is much more intelligent than Joe Biden.

          1. That is very possibly true. Joe Biden is a very decent human being, and I admire that about him, because we need those, and don’t have many in national politics, but his thoughts are not going to be mistaken for Steven Hawking’s any time soon.

  7. In regards to Amazon/New York City. I don’t know much about the specifics on this since Vancouver was dropped from consideration a long time ago. I tend to think this is a good deal for New York State and New York City, however there are reasons to believe the actual costs would be higher and the benefits would be lower.

    First, there is always the concern about gentrification and rising property values. I don’t know how much of a genuine issue those are, or whether some parts of New York, as rough as the dislocation would be for the people negatively effected, would be a bad thing.

    In regards to the claims though of the costs being greater and the benefits being lower:

    1.I don’t know about New York Excelsior Jobs Program, but I think this is obviously the biggest thing it would have funded. It wouldn’t surprise me if the previous subsidies were for either smaller job creation or went to distressed areas. The problem with these sorts of subsidies is that once you start giving them out, every business makes the same demand. Whether a business would actually not relocate to New York or not expand an existing business if they didn’t receive the subsidy, I don’t know, but it strikes me as being a rational concern when considering the job creation policy of corporate subsidies.

    2.It’s unlikely that Amazon would hire 25,000 workers who are presently unemployed or just coming out of college. So, there is good reason to believe that a good number of these 25,000 would be ‘cannibalized’ from other businesses in the New York City/State area. Of course, that’s the nature of free enterprise, but it does put a serious question mark to the idea that Amazon would generate up to $30 billion of NEW economic activity to New York City/State.

    I can understand that a business owner in New York City/State who can’t compete with the Amazon average wage of $150,000 would be unhappy with both their tax dollars going to Amazon and that Amazon would be receiving subsidies that they wouldn’t.

  8. Just to put Amazon’s number in context.
    New York city’s GDP is 1.15 Trillion.
    Amazon locating the jobs there isn’t even a rounding error.
    Amazon needs NYC way more than NYC needs Amazon.
    Only a handful of cities have the tech talent already living there and well developed mass transit that could absorb 30,000 workers without even a hiccup.

    1. The benefits to Long Island City would have been enormous. Of course everything around Amazon HQ2 would have gentrified. That is not a bad thing. All existing home owners would be able to sell their homes at massive profits. The new valuation would add to the property tax base. (This is not like the usual gentrification where people get in cheaply and gradually). All the existing businesses would either experience massive upticks or sell out to new upscale businesses who wished to move in.

      It doesn’t matter who needs whom the most. What matters is that NYC threw away $20-$30 billion and 25,000 jobs that it will not now have. Instead, they have nothing. They don’t get to spend the three billion on other things, as AOC ludicrously suggested, because there is no three billion until Amazon generates all those jobs and brings in all that revenue.

      There are other cities that will be happy to accommodate Amazon if they get the chance. In fact, New Yorkers will still be happy to accommodate Amazon if the matter is a put to a referendum.

      Moreover, while Amazon is fairly small in comparison to the GMP of NYC, Amazon is not locating in Manhattan! Manhattan truly would not give a shit – but Queens? About 1/10th of NYC’s wages, so let’s assume that same percentage of GMP. Amazon’s 30 billion looks pretty sweet to an economy of 100 billion.

      1. As someone who has lived in the Bronx the majority of my 51 years, I would love it if they chose the Bronx over LIC. Keep up the gentrification I say!!!

        1. Amen to that.

          They can come to our crappy area any time. It doesn’t even matter whether they employ any locals. They can bring in all 25,000 people from outside the area. We’ll be happy with our new property values and all of the revenue generated by those 25,000 people in our local businesses, not to mention all that money for our schools.

          Of course there would be downsides. I would essentially have to sell my house, because the property taxes would skyrocket. But that’s a problem I am happy to deal with. The cost of a “for sale” sign is minimal.

      2. I don’t know who is living in that area of Long Island City. If it’s renters, they would lose out (although the property owners would benefit.) If it’s homeowners they would benefit.

        On to the broader point, while it is true that economics is not a zero-sum game, it is also true that the teaching anyway of economics at the first year level is based too much on simplified assumptions. Assumptions here are that ‘if Amazon wants to hire 25,000 high tech workers it can simply assume these workers into existence.’

        At least for the first number of years, Amazon will have to get many of these workers from cannibalizing other New York City based high tech businesses. As these workers are obviously already being paid, their earnings have to be reduced from the $25-30 billion claimed economic benefits.

        Higher levels of economics go into areas where the simple assumptions break down. I had a discussion on twitter on this recently. People who take a number of courses, such as business, have to take first year micro and macro economics and the professor argued that as far as she could tell, many people who take first year economics then believe they are experts in economics and make judgments or political decisions accordingly and have no idea how simplified first year economics actually is.

        1. The one place where New York was delusional was the nature of Amazon’s impact on the jobs market. It would be my guess that the only jobs for locals, at least in the short term, would be in lower-level support personnel. I think that almost all of the executive and high-tech jobs would go at first to people moved there, either transfers with Amazon already or specialists hired from a nationwide job search.

          That’s pretty much the way Shell used to do it when they moved into a new country. They’d start with a bunch of Europeans who knew what they were doing, hiring locals only for lower-level jobs at first. But there’s nothing wrong with that. After five years or so, the specialists had trained local replacements, and had moved on to their next assignment. So it was with me in several convenience store operations I started for them: show the locals how to do it, then move on.

          (Truth be told, I don’t know exactly the sort of execs and specialists Amazon needs, so I don’t know whether their situation is analogous.)

          But as I noted. We will take Amazon here any day. Let them bring in all 25,000 people from somewhere else, and we’ll be thrilled with just the ancillary benefits.

          1. The way these high-tech firms go is that they’re all situated in ‘clusters.’ (High tech hubs.) Silicon Valley I gather was the first cluster and they’ve spread out from there.

            Northern Virginia and New York City are two other ‘cluster regions.’ The North Carolina ‘Research Triangle’ is a good idea of how these clusters work.

            So, for the high tech jobs anyway, almost certainly Amazon would have cannibalized other New York City high tech firms, at least initially. Amazon never did make public what jobs would go there or even what the proposed New York City Amazon headquarters would do, but it did say that around half of the 25,000 jobs would be high tech. Of course, it’s unlikely that they would have hired all 12,500 or so over a single year. So, they could have hired those coming out of university for the future jobs, and, presumably, this expansion would have encouraged more students to study high tech.

            However, for those who would have been cannibalized as I previously wrote, I can understand the attitude of the owners of those firms being poached “not only am I’m losing workers, my taxes are being used to do it (for the subsidies.)”

            The track record of government subsidies to corporations to create jobs tends not to be very good (the jobs created would have been created anyway, the promised jobs don’t come through, or the subsidy costs up to $1 million per job), but this Amazon case probably would have been different.

            So, in this case, I probably would support it, but in general, direct government subsides to business are a loser’s game that do nothing more than allow politicians to get their picture in the paper with the headline ‘new jobs.’

            Of course I recognize that nobody asked me my opinion either way.

  9. I think a good last word on the Amazon part of this is the Brookings Institute. Brookings is the leading Think Tank for mainstream Neo-Classical Economics.

    The article mentions the problem of cities competing in an ‘arms race’ to offer corporate subsidies, but also goes into the problem that nearly all of the bids that were made public were from individual cities rather than regions. Even the winning Northern Virginia bid did not include Baltimore or Washington D.C (though it did seem to include Richmond and Virginia Beach.)

    The final problem it highlights which brings up the New York City bid, is that the various governments only sought input from Chamber of Commerces, businesses and colleges. Input from the broader civil society (workers/unions, affected neighborhoods, environmental activists) was never sought.

    I can see a problem of ‘too many cooks’ with doing that, but a buy-in like that would have prevented the complaints in New York City.

    I’m also not sure if a referendum were held in New York City on this Amazon bid that it would pass.

    1. It would pass by a landslide in NYC city-wide (the two polls I have seen say 58-35 and 57-26). Low income people support it at the same rate. I have not seen specific data for Queens or Long Island City.

      HOWEVER

      It is not that popular in upstate NY, where voters are evenly divided, given that they have to pony up state tax cuts, but derive minimal revenue.

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