Saturday, February 16, 2019

“Green New Deal” - And Planes, Trains and Automobiles - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

Ocasio-Cortez and her comrades travel backward toward “Year Zero”.

Democrats led by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey have rolled out their “Green New Deal,”  a 14-page House Resolution that would replace air travel with trains, eliminate gasoline-powered cars and get rid of “farting cows” that emit methane.

“Almost everything about Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal is wrong,” explained Ed Ring in American Greatness, with accompanying detail. He also called Ocasio-Cortez and company the “watermelon people,” because they are green outside and red inside. That comparison has been around for a while, but the red is deeper than ever before. The left has always been at odds with Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, but the Green New Deal Democrats also have a beef with Orville and Wilbur Wright.

On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers took flight in the first successful power-driven airplane. The brothers gained fame as the “fathers of modern aviation,” which grew at a rapid pace. In 1927, Charles Lindberg became the first to fly across the Atlantic, and soon airplanes were transporting passengers across the oceans. Propeller aircraft gave way to jetliners such as the Boeing 707, which made its first flight on July 15, 1954, only six years after Orville Wright passed away, and went on to “popularize jet travel.”

From the 1960s onward jetliners whisked people around the globe, at prices the American middle class could afford, and reduced delivery times for goods and emergency services. If that is not progress, it is hard to imagine what might be. Now the Green New Deal reactionaries want to ground the airliners, which as Sen. Mazie Hirono noted, “would be pretty hard for Hawaii.” The Green New Dealers want to replace air travel with rail, an essentially nineteenth-century form of transportation.

California’s vaunted “bullet train,” for example, would likely cost many times more than its current estimate of nearly $100 billion.  As in Blazing Saddles, one thing stands between the project and the agricultural land they need: the rightful owners. Even if completed, the “high-speed rail” project would be slower and more expensive than air travel, and would not take passengers where they need to go. That is the key to the left’s enthusiasm for railway transportation, and the Green New Deal Democrats also have a beef with Henry Ford.

Ford did not invent the automobile but his production techniques lowered costs and made cars accessible to the masses. Workers could purchase the products they made, and Ford sold some 15 million Model T automobiles. After World War II, automobile travel opened up the country on the interstate highway system. As Dinah Shore sang, “see the USA in your Chevrolet,” and  millions still do.

In the automobile, unlike rail, you can go pretty much wherever you want. That’s why the Democrat Luddite leftists have made the automobile their primary target. A cinematic back story may help those of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s age to appreciate their wheels.

The Grapes of Wrath, based on the John Steinbeck novel, showcased the hardships of the Depression and for many served as a powerful critique of American capitalism, at a time when admiration for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was running high. The movie hit theatres in 1940, when the Stalin-Hitler Pact prevailed, and Stalin didn’t allow it to be shown in the USSR until 1948. The Soviet dictator thought an American-made movie would serve as effective anti-capitalist propaganda, but as Nicola Budanovic recalls, this gambit backfired.

As the film showed, in America “even the poorest owned an automobile ― a luxury that was off limits to an ordinary Soviet citizen at the time.” The poverty-stricken Joads could drive wherever they wanted and “were perceived as well-off members of the middle-class who have nothing to complain about.”

Stalin quickly yanked the film but the episode openly revealed “the flaws of a central-planned economy.” And eventually, “this crippled economy and a great shortage of goods would be one of the main causes for that system to collapse.”

The United States of America would certainly collapse under the Democrats’ version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles, a sure-fire tragedy.  On the left, “from each” comes first, and the deal takes away the people’s mobility. “To each” comes last, and the people get only the health care the government wants them to have. Promoters such as Kamala Harris don’t even bother to lie about it.

Those farting cows have to go, so the deal limits what the people can eat. Other deprivations would be sure to follow, as they did in the USSR, China, Cuba, and most recently Venezuela. The Green New Deal, in effect, is the Democrats’ version of the Khmer Rouge’s “Year Zero,” a suicide note for the freest, most prosperous nation in human history.

The Green New Deal would also take away a lot of money from the people and give it to those unwilling to work. For that crowd, as Dire Straits said, it will be money for nothing. Meanwhile, whatever happens to the House resolution, the ideas of the Green New Deal will not go away any time soon.

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation, recently updated, and Hollywood Party: Stalinist Adventures in the American Movie IndustryBill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield, is a collection of his journalism.


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