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Since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey introduced
their resolution for a Green New Deal, a number of people and institutions have
tried to put a price tag on it.
The prices they come up with seem to reflect their political
orientation more than an objective evaluation of the costs, with conservatives
who would naturally oppose the Green New Deal saying it would cost a lot, while
progressive Democrats who favor some or all of the elements of a Green New Deal
insisting it would not cost very much at all. Before we provide our own
estimates, here are some of the costs put forward by others.
Let’s start at the high end. Mises Wire, named in honor of
the Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises, says it would cost $93 trillion—and
they say that their estimate is conservative. The estimate relies on other work
done by the American Action Forum (whose founder actually estimates a range
from $52 trillion to $93 trillion)
and does not analyze the whole of the Green New Deal in great detail—from the
article accompanying the estimate it would seem they threw up their hands in
despair after arriving at such a high figure. They do note that some elements
of the Green New Deal are redundant—for example, if the energy grid is powered
by 100% renewable sources, why does the Green New Deal call for improving the
energy efficiency of every building in America? That’s potentially helpful
criticism. But in other places, they estimate a range of costs for elements of
the Green New Deal and present the highest end of the range for each.
Defenders of the Green New Deal have been much fuzzier about
costs, with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez merely remarking that it would probably
cost at least $10 trillion,
with other vague estimates from various sources at ‘around $2 trillion.’
Somewhere in between lies the real number—or numbers, as many elements must be estimated within a range.
Continue reading “Rough Look at Overall Costs of the Green New Deal”