Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.”
The words of Milton Friedman still ring true today. To preserve our futures and protect ourselves, we must work to make the politically impossible the politically inevitable.
Having lived in Missoula my entire life, it has been extremely hard watching our country, and specifically the community I have grown so close to, suffer on such an unprecedented scale. However, it is imperative that we recognize that the vast majority of this suffering is preventable, and that it is crucial to strive to that end.
Due to the pandemic, our economy is in shambles, and our working class is taking the fall. Millions of workers are losing their jobs, while bearing the next month of bills on their shoulders. Dozens of my friends may not be able to pay rent next month, much less for other necessities.
While this is happening, the climate crisis continues to loom over the futures of young folks like myself, making all of us wonder if paying bills is even worthwhile in the face of our seemingly imminent demise. Thankfully, however, Congress has recently introduced a resolution with a series of bills that would address both of these crises simultaneously, by revamping our economy, revitalizing the working class, and stopping the impending climate crisis.
The Green New Deal (GND) would significantly accelerate an energy transition to renewables, while providing a federal job guarantee, medicare for all, homes for all, and a just transition for workers in the fossil fuel industry. In my eyes, along with millions of young people, this is our last shot at a livable future.
To deal with these twin crises, we as citizens should do everything within our power to support the Green New Deal, and the candidates who champion this bold plan to save our planet, economy, and working class.
The last time our country faced a recession of this magnitude was during the Great Depression, where unemployment rose as high as 24.9%, and GDP dropped 15%. Already, experts estimate that unemployment could skyrocket as high as 30%, and GDP could drop by as much as 50%.
To reverse this trend, and lift ourselves out of the all but inevitable recession, we must begin work now to implement tried and true policy reforms that have worked in the past. Queue the GND. Just as FDR’s New Deal pulled us out of the Great Depression, the GND will pull us out of this recession, and, as a bonus, save the planet in the process.
In my mind, the GND is the only choice that makes sense as both climate change and the pandemic continue to worsen, and the sooner we see these changes begin to take place, the better for everyone.
One of the easiest ways we can all ensure that we win a Green New Deal, is to vote for candidates who support this policy, speak to it powerfully, and who have been fighting for these issues since day one.
This is why I will be voting for Daniel Carlino for Public Service Commission and Bernie Sanders for President of the United States. For the future of our failing economy, and our dying planet, I urge all of you to do the same.
Devin Jacaruso – Missoula