With Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent announcement of a local “Green New Deal,” he’s shown he wants to do for New York City what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her “woke” leftist friends who now control the Democrat Party want to do for the rest of America. De Blasio and his radical allies want socialism and the permanent underclass that comes with it.
Why? Because those totally dependent on the “free stuff” Democrats give them will be reliable votes for their continued political power — the bigger the underclass, the better. And nothing creates a huge number of permanently poor people like socialist economics.
De Blasio insists, “The biggest source of emissions in New York City is buildings […] We are putting clear, strong mandates […] Clean up your act, retrofit, clean up.” And if they don’t, he’ll fine building owners $1 million or more.
But it’s not the buildings themselves that are the greatest source of carbon emission — it’s the people who use them; and the electricity-generating power plants that heat and cool the people and equipment in them.
The Mayor’s plan? Ban glass and steel buildings that he says are the worst offenders. But it’s the coated, tinted, and double-glazed windows in these buildings that allow less electric lighting year-round, and extra sun for heating during the winter. In fact, the new skyscrapers in Hudson Yards which the Mayor denounced specifically are among the most sustainable and energy efficient ever built according to the U.S. Green Building Council.
But the Mayor isn’t about to let facts get in the way of his staking out a position farther to the left than the other Democrat candidates for President. So economy be damned, he’s insisting every commercial building in NYC be inspected and overhauled.
Another part of de Blasio’s “Green New Deal” is his intent to purchase electricity from a hydro energy plant in Quebec. But the plant he will contract with occupies an enormous piece of land, blocks water flows, causes pollution, and kills many tens of thousands of fish. What’s more, his plan will require a 400 mile ditch be dug through the Hudson Valley for the laying of a cable that will cost many times the amount New Yorkers pay now. It means NYC utility users— already paying the highest utility rates in the country — can expect huge increases in their electric bills.
Another priceless gem in Hizzoner’s plan is a total ban on all processed meats in schools, jails, and government buildings; and a 50% reduction in the purchase of all meat products within 10 years.
The estimated $45 billion price tag for de Blasio’s plan will hit New York’s commercial sector for a devastating loop. The hot dog industry aside, New York City’s economic wellbeing is tied directly to the tech centers, fashion outlets, traders, hotels, hospitals, and huge variety of other professionals who work in the commercial sector de Blasio’s plan will ultimately hobble.
So how serious is de Blasio about his Green New Deal?
It’s hard to distinguish between the sincerity of his climate hysteria and the treachery inherent in his political calculations.
First, is his hypocrisy. To wit, the Mayor’s zeal for reduced carbon emissions does not extend to his own carbon footprint. “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough asked de Blasio if he intended to eliminate the daily motorcade he takes to exercise at a gym far from his home. De Blasio defended his own excessive cross town emissions, however, by saying it was needed to keep him “connected” to his roots. He further suggested that imposing restrictions on everyone else in town would offset his own carbon discharge.
Second, de Blasio raises millions in campaign cash from commercial interests in the city. And, as we’ve seen with other political demagogues and autocrats here and around the world, one reason to pass punishing regulations is so you can extort money to provide exemptions. Given the corruption in New York politics, the Mayor’s plan could be a ploy to swell his campaign coffers with contributions from those seeking waivers.
Third, de Blasio, like every New York City mayor before him, sees himself as President in the near future. But being a leftist mayor from America’s most liberal city won’t be enough to assure him the nomination, making a grand gesture he can later point back to is just the thing. Taking concrete action to meet the threat of climate change - even if the concrete is firmly set around the ankles of New York’s economy - will be an appealing talking point to his leftist fans in future primary debates.
Despite his climate hyperbole, de Blasio must certainly understand his plan will make a negligible impact on climate change. Slapping the hot dog out of a school child’s hand will hardly stem the climate catastrophe he foresees coming in only 10 or 12 years.
What’s clear is that his Green New Deal includes more than enough regulation and cost to choke all the carriage horses in Central Park. Or, more appropriately enough, to destroy a city.
Why in the world would business stay in this tax sucking, over regulated, business hating city? Public shareholders are likely to demand an account of why good profits are going to obscene socialist policies. If you’re a private company, then you are either a masochist who enjoys over-taxation and over-regulation, or are now making immediate plans for relocation.
Businesses aren’t the only ones leaving. Far more people moved out of New York City than moved in last year. And the rate of those leaving has increased 7 fold so far this decade. Last year, half the homes put up for sale didn’t sell. And among those homes that did, more than half sold well below the asking price.
My question is this: What does it say about the Mayor that for the sake of his own political ambition, he’s willing to drive a stake through the heart of the very system that’s made his city one of the wealthiest in the world? Whatever else it says, I believe it quite clearly says he’s an idiot. It says something about those who voted for him as well. But they’ll have to live with their decision — and his.
Whatever ultimately comes of it, what’s clear is that the socialist left doesn’t care how much pain or economic destruction they bring on their fellow Americans so long as they’re the ones standing on top of the rubble after it all falls down.