Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Green Buildup

One of my great hopes for the upcoming Obama presidency, coupled with the Democratic majority in both house of Congress, is a final turn away from the concept of "trickle-down" economics. Even Alan Greenspan admitted that he had underestimated the greed inherent in our economic system, a greed that has for decades prevented funds pumped into the top from actually reaching the bottom.

My in-laws are convinced that such a change in economic policy philosophy will mean the bankruptcy of their business, which has been in the family for 60+ years. Yet they provided to my mind the quintessential example of why trickle-down doesn't work the day they were showing us the photos and plans of a second house they were building on the sunny, dry side of our state while, without hint of irony, explaining to us how they had just cut the hours of all of their employees so as to avoid paying for health care benefits.

Anyway, the plan that turns away from trickle-down economics and make the most sense to me is the Green Buildup, a generic term I'm applying to the calls by Thomas Friedman and Al Gore among others for the government to dump massive cash into developing new clean-energy technology and infrastructure, and retro-fitting exitsting systems to mitigate current energy usage.

This just makes sense to me. It puts people to work, which can only help the economy as those people spend their earnings back into the system, creates opportunities for businesses, and works to solve our energy problems in a way that both addresses environmental concerns and strengthens our security position by decreasing dependence on a finite resource largely concentrated in some of the most politically unstable regions in the world.

What's the downside? That isn't a rhetorical question - I actually want to know what potential downsides or stumbling blocks could undermine this plan. Because, in absence of serious concerns, I'd put this on the agenda for day one of the Obama administration.


Joe said...

There is no downside.

Viva la Green Build-Up!

Anonymous said...

Some people might not be able to afford 7 or 8 homes. Terrible.

Anonymous said...

Haven't read this yet, but so far Gore & Pelosi seem to have good things to say about it: The Green Collar Economy by Van Jones

Has anyone else read it? It proposes exactly what you are talking about JJ.