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Memo to ‘Green New Deal’ critics: The original New Deal worked

Memo to ‘Green New Deal’ critics: The original New Deal worked
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is seen with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) outside the U.S. Capitol. (Andrew Harnik / AP)

To the editor: In his dismissal of the “Green New Deal” proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), columnist Jonah Goldberg missed the big points for trivial ones.

The large spending programs in Western economies following the Great Depression vindicated the proponents of an expanded role for government over conservatives who advocated a minimal role. Evidence abounds that economies fail and abuses of the environment expand in societies where government’s role as a watchdog and spender is excessively curtailed.

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Green spending is as effective a boost to incomes and quality of life as war spending, and without the negative consequences of armed conflict. The art of politics is to take ideas that work and place them in a contemporary context, as Ocasio-Cortez has done in discussing the Green New Deal.

More than just a coat of new paint, the Green New Deal is a compelling reassertion that environmental initiatives create jobs and boost the economy just as well as war spending, but with far more desirable results.

S. Craig Justice, Tujunga

The writer is a retired professor of economics.

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To the editor: Goldberg complains that the Green New Deal just recycles the “old” ideas of a movement that prefers an authoritarian organization of domestic affairs. He ignores the fact that a basic goal of the Green New Deal and of progressives in general is greater participation of everyday Americans in deciding the issues that shape their lives.

We see our society moving toward domination by wealth and power. Job and retirement security are things of the past. Looming above all is the threat of climate change and the imperative to get off fossil fuels as soon as possible.

We are dealing poorly with these challenges. Why not take an unbiased look at a Green New Deal?

Grace Bertalot, Anaheim

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To the editor: Goldberg is more interested in pedantry than punditry. His column avoids any relevant context with regard to Ocasio-Cortez’s actual proposal.

It is on a level equivalent to that of the grammar police that plague social media.

Gary Gegan, Culver City

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