Most readers of this feature are old enough to recall a late 80s comedy, "A Fish Called Wanda." In a crucial scene, the titular character Wanda (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) explains to her dim compatriot Otto (played by Kevin Kline) that many of the things he believes are stupid (clip is NSFW):
Wanda Gerschwitz: Let me correct you on a couple of things, okay? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not every man for himself.
Otto West: You read...
Wanda Gerschwitz: The London Underground is not a political movement. Those are mistakes. I looked 'em up.
We're now 30 years on. We now have an Otto West-like character stalking Capitol Hill. Her name is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is known far and wide as AOC. She would like to offer (but would ultimately like to force) America to take on a Greeen New Deal. And she needs to be corrected on a couple of things, so Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal gets to be Wanda:
It is for starters, a massive plan for the government to take over and micromanage much of the economy. Take the central plank, its diktat of producing 100% of U.S. electricity “through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources” by 2030. As Ron Bailey at Reason has noted, a 2015 plan from Stanford envisioning the goal called for the installation of 154,000 offshore wind turbines, 335,000 onshore wind turbines, 75 million residential photovoltaic (solar) systems, 2.75 million commercial solar systems, and 46,000 utility-scale solar facilities. AOC has been clear it will be government building all this, not the private sector.
Neither Aristotle, nor even the technocrat Belgians, would go for that. But there's more:
And that might be the easy part. According to an accompanying fact sheet, the Green New Deal would also get rid of combustion engines, “build charging stations everywhere,” “upgrade or replace every building in U.S.,” do the same with all “infrastructure,” and crisscross the nation with “high-speed rail.”
Buried in the details, the Green New Deal also promises government control of the most fundamental aspects of private life. The fact sheet explains why the resolution doesn’t call for “banning fossil fuels” or for “zero” emissions across the entire economy—at least at first. It’s because “we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast” (emphasis mine).
This is an acknowledgment that planes don’t run on anything but fossil fuel. No jet fuel, no trips to see granny. It’s also an acknowledgment that livestock produce methane, which has led climate alarmists to engage in “meatless Mondays.” AOC may not prove able to eradicate “fully” every family Christmas or strip of bacon in a decade, but that’s the goal.
There's nothing green about any of this, of course. It's straight up feudalism shot through with Luddite nonsense. And one can guess that AOC won't be giving up her air travel, even as she demands we all queue up for the Underground. Back to Strassel:
Finally, the resolution is Democratic math at its best. It leaves out a price tag, and is equally vague on what kind of taxes would be needed to cover the cost. But it would run to tens of trillions of dollars. The fact sheet asserts the cost shouldn’t worry anyone, since the Federal Reserve can just “extend credit” to these projects! And “new public banks can be created to extend credit,” too! And Americans will get lots of “shared prosperity” from their “investments.” À la Solyndra.
Solyndra worked quite well, of course. Writing for the Federalist, David Harsanyi provides a few more details:
A government-guaranteed job. The bill promises the United States government will provide every single American with a job that includes a “family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and a pension.” You can imagine that those left in the private sector would be funding these through some unspecified “massive” taxation. On the bright side, when you’re foraging for food, your savings will be worthless.
Free education for life. GND promises free college or trade schools for every American.
A salubrious diet. The GND promises the government will provide “healthy food” to every American (because there are no beans or lettuce in your local supermarket, I guess).
A house. The GND promises that the government will provide, “safe, affordable, adequate housing” for every American citizen. I call dibs on an affordable Adams Morgan townhouse. Thank you, Ocasio-Cortez.
Free money. The GND aims to provide, and I am not making this up, “economic security” for all who are “unable or unwilling” to work. Just to reiterate: if you’re unwilling to work, the rest of us will have your back.
None of this can work. Nor will it go anywhere, because we're not about to turn over the country to a woman who was a bartender a few months ago. But it's frankly alarming that she hasn't been laughed off the stage. Don't call her stupid, apparently.