Friday, February 08, 2019

A Fish Called Alexandria

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.” Ă€ 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.


Unknown said...

You laugh now...

Mr. D said...

You laugh now...

Mocking and laughing are not synonymous. AOC and her ilk are not a laughing matter.

Gino said...

AOC and her ilk are the future of the Democrat Party, and fellow travelers of those who guide our media and decide our culture. In a democracy, politics follows culture, not the other way around.

some of this scares me.

and then again, I wonder if AOC is a secret plant by that evil-genius Trump, to be the Face of the Opposition that the media cant help but place front/center...

2020 will give us a choice: Make America Venezuela... Or Not.

I'm pretty sure David French, Wm Kristol, and George Will won't resist opting for Venezuela... because they're all like conservative and hate Trump.

jerrye92002 said...

It used to be that the way to destroy a politician was to make jokes about them. AOC may in fact be useful as the clown-face of the Democrat party. But on the other hand we should be ever mindful of the Will Rogers theorem: "When Congress makes a joke it's a law, and when they make a law, it's a joke." and As someone else observed, it is dangerous to make jokes about public policy, because sure enough some damn fool will try to make a Law of it!

R.A. Crankbait said...

"Don't call me stupid."

And, "AOC doesn't read Milton Friedman."
"Yes, she does, she just doesn't understand it."

All those high-speed rail lines, no doubt, will be built with Riordan Steel.

Hey, remember how much fun the media had with Trump in 2015? How their breathless reporting and laughter kept everyone in stitches and sucked all the air out of the Republican primaries, suffocating the other candidates, because what the media and their handlers wanted most of all was a Trump presidential run?

No, I don't remember, either.

Bike Bubba said...

The inability of progressive Democrats to remember previous attempts at socialism, and why they failed, just boggles the mind. For that matter, even without history, you have chemistry and physics to show you why these things cannot work. I guess this is why progressives love their "studies" majors. Learning optional, but they "studied" something, so they say.

jerrye92002 said...

Leftists have an unshakeable belief in their own intellectual and moral superiority over everybody, including everybody that tried socialism before. Not only that, but reality has no meaning for them; wishing makes it so. Universal health care that's better and costs less and covers everybody? Obamacare did it! Nuclear-free Iran? Obama did it and now that stupid Trump wants to undo it. Economic recovery? Obama gets the credit, for sure.