Here is a good explanation of why the NGD includes a plan to provide economic security to those who are “unwilling to work.” I mean, it’s clearly not going to do anything for the environment. And neither will high-quality education and healthcare, important as they might be in their own right.
Why would the left include a provision about subsidizing the lifestyle of lazy people in its climate change manifesto? Because that’s what intersectionality requires. An intersectional progressive recognizes that racism, and sexism, and homophobia, and transphobia, and age-ism, and classism, and so on, are separate-but-related phenomena. To ignore just one of these sources of oppression is to fail intersectionality; the seriously social-justice minded must treat all of these issues as equally important and confront them en masse.
This makes a lot of sense. I know from personal experience that an attempt to achieve absolutely anything in progressive circles is always smashed to pieces because you forgot to include the pet grievance of every minuscule identity group in your proposal. Saying, “but what we are discussing right now is our proposal to the administration on the approximate schedule of union bargaining. It’s not really about the gender-queer” produces so much angst and rage that the initial purpose of the meeting is soon forgotten.
Another reason these pie-in-the-sky promises are included while stuff that would actually do a lot of good for the environment is excluded is that the GND is not supposed to result in any action. The last thing its authors want is to see anything done to address climate change.
To give an example, if I say, “I’m going to write a book that would entirely transform the field of Hispanic Studies, sell 10 million copies, and bring about world peace,” it’s very clear that I’m not actually writing anything and have no real plan to do so. However, if I say, “I wrote 562 words for my first chapter yesterday. I need to write 400 words today to fulfill my weekly quota. I also need to read and annotate two more sources for the next chapter, so I’m on my way to the library to pick them up,” it’s clear that I’m working on a book that will be finished and will get published. It won’t change the world or bring about world peace but it will be more than the person who operates according to the first scenario will ever do.
The New Green Deal makes me so angry because we have an extremely serious issue that needs to be addressed urgently. Yet people who should be doing something about it because it’s their fucking job treat us like dumb little kids and promise us all a balloon and a big lollipop if we just shut the ef up and vote for them.
And Bernie signed it, too. It’s such a letdown. I always want to believe in Bernie and that he can stand up to the loony-tunes wing but he always fails.