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‘Cum Laude’

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Cum Laude

If one is to believe the Wikipedia description of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she graduated from Boston University with a degree in International Relations and Economics. Her Baccalaureate robes showed off Cum Laude cords. Obviously, she is qualified to comment on issues impacting the economy.

As the Quora thread on the subject notes, the study of economics at BU is “not a program that lets you off easy.” This is understandable, since it includes courses in “Economic Statistics,” “Macroeconomic Analysis,” “Statistical and Economic Decision Making,” and “Statistics and Probability.” Not for the faint of heart.

The mathematical basis for this course of study is not trivial. Statistical and probability analysis is based in calculus, a discipline I studied as part of my mathematics major in my premedical studies. Indeed, the requirements for AOC’s economics program include studies in calculus (and more). But let us assume a lesser standard. For while a proper understanding of economics requires foundations in higher math, our analysis today only needs to involve simple arithmetic. And surely AOC can understand basic math. We should hope so, since she has a seat on the House Financial Services Committee.

The “Green New Deal” resolution is AOC’s first major legislative effort, co-sponsored with several Leftists in both houses of Congress. The segment that has brought the most guffaws from sober thinkers is the proposal that all of our energy production should be “carbon-neutral” and 100% renewables within ten years. Remember that time window.

I’ll let others dispel this pipe dream. Put simply, the $7 trillion price tag has to come from somewhere. The Modern Monetary Theory that allows for this spending is better described as “Voodoo Economics.” By pronouncing certain spells over the economy, the massive currency inflation that would turn the US into a Brave New Venezuela somehow would turn into a public good. But those sixteen examples listed by Wikipedia should show any rational person that this isn’t possible. Of course, we’re ignoring the $32.6 trillion price tag of her Medicare for All proposal and all her other “socialist” feel-good insanity. We should propose that her name is misspelled. It’s really Alexandria Airhead-Cortez, since that’s as substantial as her “thinking” gets.

Airhead-Cortez has blithely declared that, “the world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” Curious. That’s what the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said. And we know how accurate they’ve been. Andy May has documented how far from reality the IPCC has been. Dr. Roy Spencer, the keeper of the satellite data on temperature, shows that there has been no net warming in 20 years. But Airhead-Cortez’ “Green New Deal” calls for rebuilding every building in the United States over the next ten years to stave off the ClimApocalypse by making them all “energy efficient,” whatever that means.

Now we have an easily testable proposition. Airhead-Cortez grew up in the internet age, so she should be at least as facile with internet searches as this 66 year-old geezer. And I was able to find the salient facts in less time than it took to locate all the proper citations in the paragraphs you’ve just read. Here’s what we know.

There are about 327 million people in the US. At roughly 4 people per household, that means that there are about 82 million households. Yes, many are in apartments, but this is irrelevant to our analysis. Please note that we aren’t using the calculus that Airhead-Cortez supposedly understands. We’re only using arithmetic that any seventh-grader is supposed to be able to do. And we’re ignoring every non-residential building in the country. All those businesses, police stations, and hospitals will just have to wait.

Next, we find that there are 10.7 million construction workers and 8.4 million production workers in the housing industry in the US. These workers contribute to about 1.25 million housing starts per year. To replace the 82 million homes in ten years, we’d have to tear down and rebuild 8.2 million homes a year. That is 6.56 times as many as we build now. That means that instead of 19.1 million workers, we’d need 125.3 million. And that doesn’t include the people needed to tear down all those homes. Or the people to work in the hotels that would house the people who are waiting to have their homes rebuilt.

The total US labor force is about 161 million, with 154 million actually working. (This assumes that the 2.8 million Federal employees actually work.) If we devote 125 million to construction, that leaves about 26 million people in the private work force to run our power grid (I forgot! There won’t be one.), fly our airliners (Oops, those will be eliminated.), do the work involved in Universal Single Payer Health Care, grow our food, run our grocery stores, and so on.

Of course, Airhead-Cortez and her space cadet friends (including Kamala Harris) haven’t bothered to look at even this simple exercise in arithmetic. They’ve been happy to let the conversation revolve around exotic exercises in cost analysis. Most people listening aren’t. Analytics are too long for a millennial’s 8 second attention span. “Green” alliterates with “good,” so it must be good. And that is about as deep as the analytics on the Left

Perhaps we should change our conversation from dollars to the number of workers needed for the Green New Deal. Of course, that would lead us to wonder about why the Left wants so many unskilled people to cross the border.

And to think that supposedly rational people voted to put Airhead-Cortez in Congress…

 


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