Why is the Green New Deal Being Equated to Socialism?

The Green New Deal program which was launched by Alexandria Oscasio-Cortez is at the center of a massive debate between the Republicans and the Democrats. Many Democrats believe that the Green New Deal has the power to fight climate change. This is the reason that the deal already has the support of over 25% of the Democrats. However, some powerful Democrats have called the proposal as aspirational. For instance, Nancy Pelosi has called it the green dream! Republicans have constantly been arguing that the green new deal is actually a new way to introduce socialism into the United States.

In this article, we will have a closer look at what some of the provisions in the Green New Deal are and why is it being called socialist by the Republicans.

Thinly Veiled Socialism?

The Republicans have been arguing that climate change and unemployment are two separate issues. Both of them may be serious issues in their own right. However, in the history of economic thought, these two issues have never been linked together.

According to Republicans, the Democratic Party has just taken two of the issues which most disenfranchised Americans care about and have clubbed them together. The reality is that neither Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez nor anyone else in the Democratic Party has any interest in climate change. They just want to bring socialism inside America. However, a direct move towards socialism would be thwarted. This is the reason that the Democrats are using the guise of climate change.

Republicans also argue that the objectives related to climate change are so ambitious that they will be impossible to reach. For instance, Democrats want to stop the usage of fossil fuels in America. They want to replace fossil fuels with renewable sources. The problem is that renewable sources account for only about 15% of the total energy consumption in the United States. On the other hand, fossil fuels provide employment to millions of Americans. Replacing fossil fuels would be impossible in ten years since that would require technological advances. However, bringing in socialism is completely possible in ten years.

Promises Made In the Green New Deal

Republicans have claimed that the Green New Deal looks less like a political manifesto and more like the Christmas wish list of a socialist. Some of the provisions which have been included in the Green New Deal are as follows:

Guarantee of Jobs: As per the Democratic plan, the government of the United States must abandon its reliance on the market mechanism. Instead, it should move forward by greatly expanding the public sector. Since the government would be rebuilding the infrastructure of the entire country, it would be able to hire many more people. The Green New Deal wants to guarantee a job to every American man and woman in the labour force. This seems to be a pipe dream since 100% employment cannot really be sustained for a long period of time. Also, as per the principles of sound economics, projects should not be undertaken just because they create jobs. Job creation should be a side effect of a good economic policy.

Guaranteed Healthcare: Not only does the Green New Deal promise jobs for everyone, but it also promises guaranteed healthcare for everyone. Now, anyone who is in touch with reality already knows that healthcare in the United States is a complicated mess. America has the most expensive healthcare programs in the world. It is a known fact that the public sector ends up spending more than the private sector. Hence, if the costs are uncontrollable under the private sector, they will rise even further under the public sector. The Green New Deal is, therefore, a mechanism to make the government budget even more bloated. The likelihood of value addition is very less. The entire exercise will end up making the rich poorer.

Government Provided Free Education: Just like healthcare, higher education is also very expensive in the United States. Student debt is one of the biggest problems in the United States. The green new deal proposes to solve the problem by providing free education to all! The green new deal plan seems incoherent because, on the one hand, they are planning to guarantee jobs for all. As such, even universities will be forced to hire more people who will raise their costs. On the other hand, the source of revenue of the universities will be stopped. With increased costs and no revenue, the universities will be at the mercy of the government. Some of the most prestigious institutes that America has built over centuries will be destroyed in a few years.

Government Provided Affordable Housing: Lastly, the American government also wants to provide free, affordable housing for all of its citizens. The last government attempt to meddle in the markets ended with the subprime mortgage crisis. This could end up even worse.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her followers have just listed down the biggest expenses on a budget of every American. They are claiming that the government will take care of these expenses. If the government will pay for housing, education, healthcare, etc., it is paying for pretty much everything. A system where the government pays for everything and people are just expected to work is called socialism. This is the reason that many Republicans are rightly claiming that the Green New Deal is nothing but a mechanism to bring socialism to the United States.

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