Instigator / Con

On balance, AOC's 2019 Green New Deal should have been implemented


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics

After 3 votes and with 3 points ahead, the winner is...

PREZ-HILTON's avatar
18 debates / 22 votes
YouFound_Lxam's avatar
32 debates / 7 votes
DavidAZ's avatar
8 debates / 34 votes
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Two days
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One week
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Contender / Pro

The burden of proof is shared. PRO argues that AOC's 2019 Green New Deal should have been implemented. CON argues that rejecting it was the right call.

Round 1
The Green New Deal (GND) was a resolution proposed in 2019 by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 57 senators voted against the resolution, and none voted in favor. Rejecting the GND was the right call, as it had a number of issues that would have inevitably led to serious problems. Its negative impact on the economy, restrictions on individual freedom, and negative impact on the environment are strong evidence that the senate made the right decision.

1. Negative Impact on the Economy:
The GND would cost households thousands of dollars a year in lost income, and even more in expenditures and higher energy costs.

Heritage Foundation Report
An assessment from the Heritage foundation found that the GND would have cost the average American family an estimated $8000 every year in lost income and yielded no meaningful climate benefit. We would have also seen an average decrease in employment of 1.2 million jobs every year, with over 5.3 million jobs lost in 2023. With the onset of covid and associated economic restrictions, we would expect these results to have been even worse than shown in this prediction.

American Action Forum Report
A report from the American Action Forum found that the GND would cost a minimum of $52.6 trillion (or as much as $93 trillion). To put that in perspective, the US annual budget is less than $3 trillion, and the current national debt is $31.5 trillion. The GND also involves a number of redundant steps, as well as policies that would have little impact on emissions.

Competitive Enterprise Institute Report
An analysis from the Competitive Enterprise Institute found that the GND would cost households in 10 states over $70,000 in the first year when accounting for economic trade offs, slowly declining to $40,000 in each following year. Expenses would be highest in Alaska, where the economy relies heavily on fossil fuels.

2. Restrictions on Individual Freedom:
Retrofitting Requirements
The GND would require the renovation or replacement of around 100 million residential structures (as well as millions of public buildings). Property owners would inevitably face significant financial burdens, and the deal does not account for differences in climate, energy needs, or available building materials (or allow property owners to decide how their buildings are best maintained under unique circumstances). In short, the GND is a one-size-fits-all proposal that would most strongly hurt the poor. If zoning requirements fail in some cities, the GND offers little in the way of a solution. The GND is a federal proposal that does not account for the different needs and desires in different areas.

Restrictions on the Energy Market
Electric vehicles are often too costly for the poor, and public transport is much less feasible in areas with low population density. The idea that trains and buses can effectively replace cars in rural towns is simply unrealistic. The effects on consumers here are clear. Gas stoves are more efficient than electric stoves. 81% of US energy comes from fossil fuels, and coal continually helps to mitigate energy shortages. Renewables simply can’t meet that kind of demand, and consumers will be forced to buy inferior products at a higher cost.

Regulatory Burdens on Businesses
Small businesses will suffer most strongly with a minimum wage increase—heavily increased payroll costs will inevitably lead to layoffs. Guaranteeing government jobs to anyone, regardless of their skills or effort, will crowd out productive private sector activity. This isn’t just a problem for small businesses, it’s a problem for consumers who will be forced to buy products from the only companies left standing—likely large corporate monopolies.

3. Negative Impact on the Environment:
Despite the title of the bill, the GND would likely do more harm than good where the environment is concerned.

Inefficient Use of Resources
The GND tries to accomplish things through the public sector, which is notoriously inefficient. If switching to clean energy is worth the cost, much more efficient alternatives exist. If the GND is the face of the clean energy movement, we shouldn’t expect to see clean energy any time soon.

Poor Policy Goals
As opposed to a serious environmental proposal, the GND reads more like a progressive wish list of disconnected policies. Instead of meaningfully addressing any of these issues, the policy would likely fail to address any of them and cause more reasonable proposals to be taken less seriously.

Helping the environment wasn’t even the original goal of the proposal. As a result, the GND costs much more than similar environmental policies with much less of an impact on the environment. If an unaffordable progressive wish list disguised as an environmental policy had somehow been pushed through congress, voters wouldn’t be too enthusiastic about the next “environmental fix-all” that was presented to them.

Like making continuous failed predictions, ridiculous and unrealistic policy goals cause the public to take environmentalists less seriously.

Opportunity Costs of Implementation
Even if public support was not an issue, we simply can’t afford to divert unlimited funds toward helping the environment. Because the GND would barely reduce global temperatures, trillions of dollars would be spent on an unworkable policy rather than on feasible solutions.
Round 2
Round 3