Huge Potential for Rural and Small Town America in the Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is a middle class jobs and small business framework designed to help grow the Rural Economy with jobs and business opportunities that fit our small towns and wide open counties.

At the moment GND is the umbrella concept for a series of proposals that incorporate good wages in a sustainable economy that exists in a clean, safe and healthy community. The framework recognizes we have smart skilled labor, good natural resources and plenty of drive in Rural and Small Town America to invest in for the long haul.

Under the GND, Rural and Small Town America can be home to new or expanding jobs including:

  • Manufacturing electric cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles; parts assembly and building the infrastructure to support the new fleet of vehicles
  • Constructing a 21st century smart power grid and broadband communications networks that finally equals the speed and capacity of urban and suburban networks
  •  Building and expanding wind farms, solar power fields and energy storage facilities, as well as manufacturing the technologies and equipment for this limitless new industry
  •  Enhanced opportunities for operating competitive, productive and safe Family Farms that are paid a fair price for crops and livestock, while employing skilled workers who can earn a livable wage
  •  Contractors to upgrade, renovate and rewire buildings and facilities with economical energy and water efficient systems
  • Rebuilding outdated roads, bridges and commercial waterways with a Rural and Small Town infrastructure upgrade not seen on a large scale since the 1950s and 1960s
  • Improving existing rail systems, and expanding regional commuter rail systems to accommodate more Americans where feasible and practical
  • Maintaining and modernizing Rural and Small Town Hospitals and critical care centers
  • Empowering community and regional colleges and universities with the resources to provide practical technical, mechanical and agricultural programs suited to their areas and marketplace, and take aim at the Rural Brain Drain

“This is going to be a mission to save all of creation by engaging in massive job creation,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) said of the plan he co-authored with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Since the rollout, there has been predicable and somewhat pedestrian politically motivated criticism and false claims that GND calls for an end to oil, gas and coal extraction (if you read the resolution closely, it really doesn’t call for that). Detractors are striving to paint GND as a radical concept, but really it’s more about giving the United States a competitive edge in global markets that countries like China are hoping to dominate.

As Ken Silverstein writes in Forbes, “The Green New Deal is not radical idea — just one that aims to accelerate an existing trend.”

For now, at least, lets put aside all the talk of doom and gloom from those who reject the GND without even seeing its actual forthcoming proposals. Lets study just what opportunities exist in the strategy for Rural and Small Town America before we buy into the hysteria. What we first must understand is the GND is set up to work like a cafeteria. We can pick and choose what appeals to us and skip the rest. It is not an “all of nothing” idea.

“In fact, one can imagine a Green New Deal that would modernize energy networks, boost growth, create good jobs, reduce inequality, and improve the quality of life while letting the U.S. do its part to restrain global warming. But this enticing prospect will demand pragmatism as well as ambition,” writes the pro-business Bloomberg News editorial board.

For those who are asking, “Why a GND now?” We are faced at the very moment with a government functioning without a long-range plan and concerned mainly with short-term profits. The lack on vision in Washington is creating the potential for an irreversible long-term economic, health and safety crisis.We’ve had similar piece meal legislative proposals in the past, but at this moment we have a sea of energized younger voters who want smart jobs, significant wage increases, clean air and water, and affordable quality healthcare to be a priority for the world they are inheriting.

We will keep a close watch on the Green New Deal. For now the GND is only a “resolution” of intent on behalf of its co-sponsors and supporters in Congress, and not a bill that calls for specific programs. As individual legislation is crafted in Congress we must demand that the interests and well being of Rural and Small Town America are front and center. If we ensure the Green New Deal will work for Rural and Small Town America the way Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s original New Deal has for more than half a century, we have a lot to gain.


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