Do You Like Jobs AND Not Dying In A Firenado? Elizabeth Warren Has ... You Know What She Has
Hey! You know what's great for our economy? Jobs! More specifically, jobs that allow people to earn a living wage! And you know what is great for everyone? Doing what we can to not murder the planet so we don't all drown or die in fires! Because that would be unpleasant.
On Friday morning, the lefty think tank Data for Progress released a study showing that Elizabeth Warren's plan for a Green New Deal would create a whole shitload of jobs while saving the environment, because multitasking is awesome.
- 5,400,000 jobs over a ten year mobilization as a result of direct federal investment in new and existing clean industries and implementation of green technologies.
-10,600,000 likely new jobs over a ten year mobilization due to strategic support for U.S. renewable manufacturing and export-oriented economic policy, assuming each federal dollar invested yields an additional 1.5 in exports and induced private-sector activity.
Check it out!
Warren's plan includes a tenfold increase in the $200 million a year we currently spend on job training and apprentice programs, focused on jobs related to clean energy. More importantly, she plans to partner with unions to work out these training and apprentice programs to ensure that those who go through them come out with a solid union job. The only reason manufacturing jobs started paying a living wage was because of unions and the labor movement and you can't just "bring manufacturing back to the United States" and expect it to pay much more than minimum wage without them.
She also plans to invest heavily in green public transportation, making current public transportation systems more efficient and offering grants to areas lacking in public transportation options. Not only does this help reduce pollution, but it also makes it a whole lot easier to not even own a car — which, let me tell you, saves a whole lot of money.
And, naturally, she's got all kinds of plans for infrastructure: roads, water, construction of homes, buildings and schools. She's got plans to create a Green Bank and a Green Victory Bond program. She's got plans on top of plans!
Now, if you are the sort of practical person who hears about idealistic plans like this and wants to know "But can we afford it?" while literally never asking the same question about war or bailouts for rich folks, you're gonna want to know what the price tag is on this. It is $3 trillion, in total. But it's also expected to generate $10.7 trillion. And those people generating that money are going to pay more in taxes than they would otherwise and they're going to be able to have disposable income with which to spend money on goods and services, and then the people offering those goods and services are going to also pay taxes and have more money to spend on goods and services they need, and so on and so on and so on. The fact is, we can't afford not to.
In the study's summary, Data For Progress senior fellow Kira McDonald explains how similar programs, particularly those focused on manufacturing jobs, have been known to result in economic "miracles":
Economists such as Ha-Joon Chang and Alice Amsden have shown how active industrial policy, including export promotion, has as a rule been associated with economic success stories and development "miracles" historically. The effects of export promotion built into these policies aren't directly captured in the input-output multipliers used to calculate new jobs estimates, but have dramatic potential to position U.S. manufacturing in the center of a new global industry for renewables and green technology, just as the original Marshall Plan played no small part in the US position in the postwar era as a heavy manufactured commodity exporter. The extension of the input-output model to roughly estimate new exports and induced activity calls attention to this likelihood.
A really important side effect of this could also be the revitalization of cities that were decimated by NAFTA and trends that moved manufacturing overseas. The thing a lot of people don't get unless they've been to these areas is that it's not just the manufacturing plants that shut down. Other businesses, businesses that relied on those people having money, also went away. The kinds of small businesses that increased everyone's quality of life, contributed to a city's character, and made other people actually want to move there and contribute to that city's economy themselves. It's depressing to drive down a once bustling street now filled with empty storefronts and like, one lonely mattress store. Plans like this don't exist in a vacuum. Eventually, they help everybody.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse