New Deal Lessons for the Transition to a Green Economy

More than eighty years ago, the original New Deal put forward an ambitious plan to mobilize the country’s people and resources to bring the country back from the brink of economic calamity. Today, as millions of Americans find themselves excluded from participating in the country’s economic recovery, the Green New Deal has provided a much-needed vision to put America back to work in service of the public good. There is much work to do. Transitioning to a green economy, creating equitable growth, restoring damaged ecosystems are just some of the goals of the Green New Deal. At the Living New Deal, we have drawn from the lessons of the original New Deal to argue that the Green New Deal could do even more. We believe that a large-scale plan focused on climate alone, and absent a plan to tackle the country’s massive inequality, will fail to bring economic recovery. In order to succeed, the Green New Deal must resonate with the vast majority of Americans in a polarized political environment. That’s just what the Roosevelt administration accomplished.

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