Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Joe Biden’s German Green Deal

Michael Lind really is one of the very best political analysts and social scientists out there today. Here, he thoroughly exposes both Biden and the Green New Deal as statist-capitalist, corporatist-plutocratic scams that will have a negligible impact on carbon emissions.

By Michael Lind, Tablet

The Biden administration’s much-debated infrastructure program, the American Jobs Plan, consisting of about $2 trillion in federal spending spread over eight years, is like most large-scale programs: a patchwork of policies put together to please influential partisan constituencies. The plan is a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

First, the good. The administration’s infrastructure plan includes provisions for increased spending for research and development in science and technology, following the 2019-2020 bipartisan Endless Frontier Act. Money for long-overdue repair and maintenance of existing roads and highways, and the elimination of toxic lead pipes, would also be well spent.

Now the bad. If we disregard these sensible public works projects, and also disregard social spending disguised as “infrastructure” like increased funding for home-based health care, the core of the Biden infrastructure plan is inspired by Germany’s recent and controversial Energiewende, or “energy transition”—a rapid, government-forced phaseout of fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy. Talk of a Green New Deal to the contrary, President Joe Biden’s model is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, not President Franklin Roosevelt.

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