Green New Deal is a start to addressing U.S. issues

I see two pivotal issues confronting our dear country. We face extreme wealth inequality that has produced widespread poverty (over 40 percent of working families in Baker County cannot make ends meet) and a withering infrastructure. We face global warming that has gone from scientific prediction to in-your-face disasters. Additionally, we are afflicted by a dysfunctional, topsy-turvy health insurance “system.”

There are rational, straightforward answers to these major challenges, but they have been largely papered over. Anti-government dogma and unlimited campaign contributions have stifled our Constitution’s promise to “promote the general welfare.”

Thank goodness that I’m now finding hope and optimism from a new generation of intelligent, articulate leaders who are determined to overcome the hurdles, face our major challenges, and meet the real needs of everyday Americans in a meaningful way.

Foremost, I’m so impressed by the presence of U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Two facets of her aspirational Green New Deal framework are already being spelled out in newly introduced congressional legislation. One makes major increases in federal income supplements to counter 45 years of stagnant wages. Another creates enhanced Medicare for All.

In addition, the many candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination promise to enliven a wide-ranging discussion and debate on our national purpose and policies. For one remarkable example, entrepreneur and educator Andrew Yang offers 90 policy proposals (including a $1,000 per month Universal Basic Income) at

And the older generation is contributing, as well. In January, 45 eminent economists — including three former chairs of the Federal Reserve and numerous Nobel laureates — called for a refundable carbon tax with a substantial rebate as “the simple and straightforward solution to global warming.”

Yes, there will be many attacks on this spirited drive for relevancy and real answers. (The absurd political cartoon and “Green New Deal: Be serious” op-ed in the Herald on April 8 are examples.)

I urge my fellow readers to get involved in the vigorous debate we deserve, and support a sustained effort by “we the people” to craft a government that works for all of us.

Marshall McComb

Baker City

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