Note: The first draft of this article was competed in September, but I held off publishing it until after the election. The green text was copied verbatim from the official green party platform page in September, and may have changed since then.
The Green Party, which is already popular in other parts of the world, is gaining momentum in the US. They claim to offer something new and different, an alternative to our current political party, the Republicrats. That's half true they are an alternative but their policies and politics are hardly new. We've seen them all before, practiced extensively and worked out meticulously for decades in some of the most dour countries of the last century. They resulted in widespread poverty and misery, productivity too low to measure, deep depression (both financially and emotionally), high rates of alcoholism, and entire countries that actually looked dingy and gray. The Green Party platform is nothing more than the bitter pill of socialism covered with a new, minty-fresh shell, and the gullible are eagerly swallowing it. The only thing that keeps them from being pure socialists is their occasional meanderings into Marxist territory.
The Greens vehemently deny this, and anyone making this observation is accused of red-baiting. (The claim infuriates Socialists too, but then, everything infuriates Socialists.) Since few things are as despicable as McCarthyism, and no one wants to be lumped in with the well-armed rednecks who see commies behind every tree, we've got to be very careful when making such accusations. So we will be. We'll rely on the official US Green Party web site for our information. We'll display the text we copied directly from that site a nice shade of green. Most of the information in this article comes from their presidential platform page.
(At this point, some of you are saying "An entire article to tell us the Greens are socialists? Well thank you, Captain Obvious. What's next, an article telling us that Martha Stewart is annoying and Richard Simmons is effeminate?" After reading their platform, I thought their socialist tendencies were pretty obvious too, but after a few conversations realized the general public was ignorant of that fact. You reply, "The general public is ignorant? Once again, thank you Captain Obvious." "Knock off the Captain Obvious crap," I say. "It's getting annoying." )
The Greens would guarantee a minimum income of $26,000 a year for everyone, working or not, and an additional $3,250 a year for every kid they pop out. Everyone would be guaranteed a job, regardless of their talent or skill. This guarantee would be enforced by providing government jobs for those unable to find work in the private sector. This would be nearly everyone, as they intend to pretty much eliminate the private sector.
The next time you're at the supermarket and the pimply faced bagger drops a frozen turkey on top of your Doritos®, console yourself with the knowledge that, according to the Greens, he deserves to be earning $12.50 an hour. That's the new minimum wage they'll mandate, with cost of living increases indexed to inflation. An employer's payroll expenses will double overnight, prices will soar very quickly, which will result in another minimum wage increase, which will result in higher prices again, and on and in an amazing inflation death spiral. And this is before employers have to deal with the 30-Hour Work Week: A 6-hour day with no cut in pay for the bottom 80% of the pay scale, which will raise the baggers effective pay to $16.66 an hour.
National bankruptcy would be almost guaranteed with a combination of Universal Health Care: A single-payer National Health Program to provide free medical and dental care for all, with freedom of choice for consumers among both conventional and alternative health care providers, (i.e. homeopaths, ear candlers and other quacks), federally financed and controlled by democratically elected local boards, and Free Child Care: Available voluntarily and free for all who need it, modeled after Head Start, federally financed, and community controlled. And though we'll all be impoverished, at least we'll be able to use big words to complain about it with Lifelong Public Education: Free, quality public education from pre-school through graduate school at public institutions. (Although, once you see what the intend to do to the schools, that won't seem like such a great perk.)
The government will not only be our employer, doctor, and educator, they'll be our landlord too, with their plan for Affordable Housing: Expand rental and home ownership assistance, fair housing enforcement, public housing, (after all, housing projects have been such a resounding success) and capital grants to non-profit developers of affordable housing until all people can obtain decent housing at no more than 25% of their income. Democratic community control of publicly funded housing programs.
The New York State Green party takes government interference with property rights to an even higher level. Landlords will be forbidden to sell their property at a profit. Someone who bought an apartment building twenty years ago, and has maintained it while providing housing to people, will find themselves with a white elephant they can't afford to unload. Rent control under these miscreants is a given, so the only way an owner will be able to get back any of their investment is by refusing to do any maintenance. Just add water (via a leak in the roof or the plumbing) and you've got an instant slum.
How will we power this brave new world? Not with the conventional energy sources we've invested billions in. Instead we'll use Renewable Energy: Invest non-renewable energy sources in the creation of self-reproducing, renewable energy systems. Use federal investments, purchasing, mandates, and incentives to:
- Shut down nuclear power plants. There goes 10% of the nations power supply.
- Phase out fossil fuels and phase in clean renewable energy sources. There goes another 70%.
- Reduce auto-based transportation and expand pedestrian, bicycle, and rail transportation. Sure, you'll be forced to give up your car, but you'll get a few nice new bicycle paths. Won't that be fun in the rain? And the snow?
At least we'll have plenty to eat, right? Well, no. It comes as no surprise that the Greens would outlaw genetically modified food, the most promising development in agriculture since irrigation. Instead they'll Subsidize farmers' transition to organic agriculture while natural systems of soil fertility and pest control are being restored. Good plan, as long as we can figure out which 50% of the population is going to return to farming.
Next Page: Say Good-Bye to Big Business
(Page 3: The Green's Plans for Small Businesses.)
© 2000 Dave Hitt