Re the March 6 op-ed by Thomas L. Knapp, “The Green New Deal promises every feel-good fantasy except free ice cream.”
As the expression goes, “There are lies, damned lies and statistics.”
Knapp attacks the Green New Deal by knocking Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s original New Deal as a failure. His argument fits into the “statistics” category.
He states that unemployment in 1940 was higher than it was in 1930 at the start of the Great Depression. Apparently, libertarian history books show FDR becoming president three years before he was actually sworn in, in March 1933.
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By the time FDR entered office, the unemployment rate was 24.7 percent. During the next eight years, unemployment dropped every single year, to 14.6 percent. Had FDR not had a reactionary Supreme Court, which overturned many of his programs, it is likely that the Depression would have ended before World War II.
Of course, Knapp’s biggest fear is that the Green New Deal will apply Medicare to all and bankrupt the country with inferior medicine and a bloated bureaucracy.
If all this is so obvious, why has every single Western country implemented a national health plan and not one has repealed it? (That includes right-wing governments like Margaret Thatcher’s in England, 1979-1990.)
While Medicare has a 1.4 percent administrative cost, private insurers’ overhead is between 15 and 20 percent. That’s $400 billion to $500 billion a year to cover sales agents, waste, fraud, and profits for the shareholders!
If he thinks the quality of care is bad, consider the following anecdote: When Rand Paul, the No. 1 libertarian in the Senate, needed a hernia operation in January, he went to Canada.