Criticism Wins Too Often Over Thoughtful Response

Representative Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez’s radical Green New
Deal
aims, among other things, to eliminate air travel. She envisions that
by replacing air travel with high-speed rail. A number of Democratic
presidential candidates endorsed her position.

Critics and media
instantly danced-the-dance of criticism by headlines such as “2020 Democrats jump to endorse Green New
Deal despite spending hundreds of thousands on air travel – including private
jets
.”

And the race was on to discredit.

Lost in the feeding frenzy of knee-jerk
judgment was the fact that high-speed rail is a goal of the Green New Deal
and private jets are the present reality.
Another win for criticism over thoughtful response.

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing
nothing, and being nothing
.”– Aristotle

Not to put to fine a
point on it, it seems to me that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is saying a great deal, doing much and being a catalyst for progressive thinking.

If progress holds any interest for you in these
times of lightning-fast advancement in all fields of endeavor (except for
politics), a brief rundown of her Green New Deal may be of interest.

The Green New Deal is any of several proposed economic
stimulus programs in the United States that aim to address both economic
inequality and climate change. The name refers to the New Deal, a combination
of social and economic reforms and public works projects undertaken by
President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. Supporters
of a Green New Deal advocate a combination of Roosevelt’s economic approach
with modern ideas such as renewable energy and resource efficiency
—Wikipedia

Aside from politicians, the program boasts such
proponents as economists James
Galbraith, Stephanie Kelton, Marianna Mazzucato, Yanis Varoufakis and Paul
Krugman. 

Organizations such as The
Climate Mobilization agree, including Data for Progress, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the New
Economics Foundation, Sierra Club, the United Nations Economic and Social
Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the United Nations Environment Programme
and the Global Marshall Plan Initiative.

The business and
corporate communities are yet to be heard from in force, but one can expect
push-back from those affected. Those may include fossil fuel dependent
companies, airlines, electric infrastructure components and various investor
groups. They will, for sure, include a wide range of politicians who feed off contributions
from those dudes.

In a tongue-not-too-much-in-cheek comment, it
has been suggested that those in Congress be required to wear sponsor-logos on
their jackets, as do sports professionals. Thus we might more easily identify
the cash behind their votes.

But the push-back is based upon pretty thin
soup.

President Eisenhower’s
Interstate Highway System took ten years to build and for every dollar invested, it returned six dollars of economic return. As an unexpected return on that
investment, should the medians of those highways be used for modern high-speed
rail, there would arise no costs for
land, no liability for unprotected
crossings and minimal costs for
passenger terminals, as most city centers are already served by interstate
highways.

On the energy side, a
major effort to go green would provide up to 15 million jobs in solar, wind,
thermal and related infrastructure. Additionally (and largely ignored in the
debate) the sole energy costs for the nation would be related to initial
construction, infrastructure and the ongoing maintenance costs of both. 

These energy sources are all free and will remain so forever. Imagine
the impact upon costs to both
industrial and private use.

In his State
of the Union
speech, Mr. Trump celebrated America’s energy independence.
But that independence has a substantial and ongoing cost in barrels of oil, cubic meters of gas and the dangers of
drilling, fracking and transport pipelines. 

Solar, wind and thermal have no source costs.

We can do
it
.
Eisenhower’s road program took ten years to build. In ten years, we as a nation
could have in place high-speed rail,
true energy independence, job creation and environmental standards that set the
pace for the world.

Where would we get the
money? That’s always the deal-breaker. There are two ways in which public funds
are spent; for disposables (such as military arms and social programs) and
assets (such as infrastructure, research and education). Those are short-lists,
but they suffice as explanations.

Disposables must be watched closely, as they add to the national debt. Assets may be spent as necessary, even
by expanding the money supply, as they create
wealth.

We once had
that reputation for setting the pace for the world and can achieve it once again.

All that stands in our way is Criticism Winning Too Often Over Thoughtful
Response.

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