Advisor and Former Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
February 18, 2019
Climate change is real and deserves our attention. But not every policy to address it can be taken seriously. Take, for example, the Green New Deal – a sweeping proposal to “save our planet” that reads more like a parody of the progressive agenda. No laughing matter, however, is the proposal’s ultimate objective: to give government unprecedented power over people’s lives and our entire economy.
Among other modest goals, authors of the Green New Deal intend to eliminate fossil fuels altogether. Good luck to the 3.4 million Americans who would lose their jobs as a result – not to mention anyone who drives a car. But the dream of making fossil fuel go the way of the dinosaur is hardly the most absurd element of this program. While not in the legislation, early background documents outlined plans to eliminate air travel and even get rid of flatulating cows.
Other aspects of the Green New Deal seem wildly out of place for an environmental resolution. Consider the promise of massive new entitlement programs that could only be achieved through a radical redistribution of wealth. Here, the proposal shows its true colors. This is not some run-of-the-mill progressive policy – it is a Trojan Horse for socialism.
The Green New Deal aims to upend our entire economic system, wresting consumer choice from everyday Americans and putting personal decisions – from the food we eat to the cars we drive – in the hands of an unelected elite. A program like this would be the death knell of innovation. Our small business owners and entrepreneurs would be crushed under the enormous costs and bureaucratic inefficiencies of a socialized economy.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. There is another path – a better path – the path of free enterprise. It is the path we have walked since our nation’s founding and the path that has led to the greatest technological achievements in all of human history. While socialism stifles creativity and genius, free enterprise draws upon these very gifts to address our most pressing problems – including climate change. Already, businesses are investing billions to make our environment cleaner, and they plan to invest much more. Now is the time to foster research and development, not squelch it.
At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, we believe that human ingenuity is the best renewable resource – and we believe in using that resource to power the next century of American innovation. Join us today in walking the better path and choosing free enterprise.