Greening up the New Deal
Historically, the “New Deal” was a social and economic stimulus package undertaken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. As a modern day extension of this, the Green New Deal is a term used to describe a stimulus package that simultaneously addresses the national financial crisis and international climate change. As such, one who supports the Green New Deal advocates a combination of Roosevelt’s fiscal ideals with contemporary approaches like that of promoting greater resource efficiency and investments in renewable energies.
Just as the New Deal helped us out of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Green New Deal of America is meant to provide similar relief by creating an economy that makes our communities far more sustainable in a very short time. This is a four part program that would rapidly move the country out of crisis, beginning with an economic bill of rights and finishing off with a functioning democracy as it passes through a green transition leading to real financial reform.
Following is the paraphrased proposal of the party:
“THE ECONOMIC BILL OF RIGHTS”
1. The right to employment will ensure that programs create millions of jobs by implementing a nationally funded, but locally controlled, direct employment initiative replacing unemployment offices with that of employment offices.
2. Worker’s rights will include the right to a living wage, to a safe workplace, to fair trade, and to organize a union.
3. The right to quality health care will be achieved through a single-payer Medicare system, ensuring that everyone will always get the medical treatment they need not what they can afford.
4. The right to a tuition-free, quality public education system from pre-school through college will forgive student loan debt from the current era of unaffordable costs of learning.
5. The right to decent affordable housing, including an immediate halt to all foreclosures and evictions will create a federal bank with local branches to take over homes with distressed mortgages and either restructure the mortgages to affordable levels, or if the occupants cannot afford a mortgage, rent homes to the occupants.
6. The right to accessible and affordable utilities through democratically run, publicly owned utilities that operate at cost, not for profit to provide heat, electricity, phone, internet, and public transportation to every citizen.
7. The right to fair taxation that’s distributed in proportion to one’s ability to pay will make sure that corporate tax subsidies are made transparent by detailing them in public budgets where they can be scrutinized, not hidden as tax breaks.
“A GREEN TRANSITION”
1. Invest in green business by providing grants and low-interest loans to grow green businesses and cooperatives that keep the wealth created by local labor circulating in the community rather than being drained off to enrich absentee investors.
2. Redirect research funds from fossil fuels and other outdated industries toward research in wind, solar and geothermal sources, as well as invest in research in sustainable, nontoxic materials, closed-loop cycles that eliminate waste and pollution, in addition to organic agriculture, permaculture and sustainable forestry.
3. Provide millions of green jobs in sustainable energy and energy efficiency retrofitting, mass transit and streets that promote safe bike and pedestrian traffic, regional food systems based on sustainable organic agriculture, and clean manufacturing.
“REAL FINANCIAL REFORM”
1. Relieve the debt overhang holding back the economy by reducing homeowner and student debt burdens.
2. Democratize monetary policy to bring about public control of the money supply and credit creation.
3. Break up the oversized banks.
4. End taxpayer-funded bailouts for banks, insurers, and other financial companies.
5. Regulate all financial derivatives and require them to be traded on open exchanges.
6. Restore the Glass-Steagall separation of depository commercial banks from speculative investment banks.
7. Establish a 90% tax on bonuses for bailed out bankers.
8. Support the formation of federal, state, and municipal public-owned banks that function as non-profit utilities.
“A FUNCTIONING DEMOCRACY”
1. Revoke corporate personhood by amending our Constitution to make clear that corporations are not persons and money is not speech.
2. Protect our right to vote by ending election tampering and voter suppression.
3. Enact the Voter Bill of Rights to guarantee us a voter-marked paper ballot for all voting, require that all votes are counted before election results are released, replace partisan oversight of elections with non-partisan election commissions and so much more.
4. Protect local democracy and democratic rights by commissioning a thorough review of federal preemption law and its impact on the practice of local democracy.
5. Create a new federal corporation to provide publicity, training, education, and direct financing for cooperative development and for democratic reforms to make government agencies, private associations, and business enterprises more participatory.
6. Strengthen media democracy by expanding federal support for locally-owned broadcast media and local print media.
7. Protect our personal liberty and freedoms by repealing the Patriot Act and those parts of the National Defense Authorization Act that violate our civil liberties, prohibiting the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI from conspiring with local police forces to suppress our freedoms of assembly and of speech, as well as ending the war on immigrants.
8. Rein in the military-industrial complex by reducing military spending by 50% and closing U.S. military bases around the world, restoring the National Guard as the centerpiece of our system of national defense, and creating a new round of nuclear disarmament initiatives.
Ultimately, the point that I’m getting at is that our planet and our country are dying and the Green New Deal is the only chance that we have to save them. The Green Party is the only political group with the desire and the understanding that will be necessary to bring us back from the brink of destruction. America can’t afford to waste anymore time on this…