The following is last night’s Thom Hartmann interview with 2012 Green Party candidate for President, Dr. Jill Stein.
In it, Stein breaks down her FDR-style Green New Deal, her reasons for transitioning from medical doctor to politics, and why America is now ripe for a third party, like the Green Party, whose policy positions, unlike the two major parties, offer real solutions to fix America’s problems.
For those who prefer to read (rather than watch), or for whom English is a second language, I transcribed the first part of the interview. The video interview, in its entirety, follows:
As you know, we’ve got about 25 million people now who need a full-time job. And of them, about five-and-a-half million, or so, have been unemployed for well over a year, or a year-and-a-half. So we have really got this ingrained, entrenched problem. We need a solution to actually rise to the magnitude and the seriousness — the emergency — of this jobs problem.
So the Green New Deal is exactly that. It is modeled after the New Deal that helped get us out of the Great Depression. So it would be basically 25 million jobs that would be created to put people back to work, to end unemployment, and thereby eliminate, put an end to, the recession — at the same time that we transition quickly to a secure green economy for the 21st Century; at the same time we create a secure energy supply.
What’s not to love about this? It’s sort of motherhood and apple pie.
Well, but that’s kind of broad brush strokes. What are the specifics?
Technically, there are four pieces to the Green New Deal. There is a full-employment program that also comes with an economic bill of rights, that also ensures that everyone has a right to, and will have, health care as a human right, education through college, etc, affordable housing …
Sounds like Franklin Roosevelt’s second bill of rights.
Exactly. The name ‘New Deal’ is not a coincidence. It is very much inspired by what FDR did. It had a dramatic impact on the economy, and we need that every bit as much now. The President’s plans have aimed for 2 million jobs, or 3 million jobs. And they’ve sort of come and gone, and those jobs packages have relied a lot on tax breaks which are non-specific. They don’t really get the job done.
So, this specifically would provide the funding to ensure that everyone is back to work. It is estimated to cost about what the stimulus package cost the first time around in 2008. About $700 billion, or thereabouts. But the impact would not be 2 million jobs, or 3 million jobs, but rather 25 million jobs. It would also include financial reform as well as a series of democracy reforms, which clearly we need, if we are going to be able to implement these economic reforms.
But getting to the jobs piece, because that is really what is, I think, front and center in most peoples’ minds. That’s really where the urgent need is. So focusing on that, what the Green New Deal would do would be able to basically create jobs in the areas of the new green economy; to create sustainable communities and thriving local economies.
So what does that mean? That means jobs in typically green areas, like in green renewable energy, in public transportation, in clean manufacturing, and also in local and sustainable agriculture.
So these are sort of the pillars of it. In addition, it would include also jobs that would make our communities socially sustainable. That ensures that we have teachers, and that we have child care, and senior care workers, and after school workers, and so on. It would begin to fill the critical needs. We have people who are willing and able to do the work.
We can redirect funds instead of to wars, Wall Street, and tax breaks for the wealthy. We can redirect that money. There is enough to put, basically invest in our economy to be able to solve the economic problem at the same time that we solve our environmental emergencies.
… Who is Jill Stein?
I am a Medical Doctor by training, that discovered that there were a lot of problems with our health care system, and actually with our health. But that we were neglecting the very simple cost-effective solutions up front. As well as neglecting a win-win Medicare-for-all, single-payer-type health care system that could actually provide the care that people need.
So, as a Medical Doctor, early in my practice, I saw the health care system really failing us. I thought, “Gee, I’m a doctor, I’ll be a public advocate, I will talk to my Legislators.” And, you know, you start doing that, and you learn pretty quickly that if we want to fix the things that are broken — the health care we need, the jobs we need, the healthy communities we need, the schools, you name it — if we want to fix those problems, we have to first fix the political system, which is terribly broken, and unfortunately is being run by the foxes in charge of the chicken coup, here.
And I’d say that over two decades, really, of advocacy, I’d only seen us backslide and backslide to where I began to feel that instead of being a doctor of health care, in the clinic, I needed to move up and be a doctor of politics, which is what I talk about now. Talking about political medicine, because it is sort of the mother of all illnesses at this point. You’ve got to fix that one in order to fix the other ones.
Originally published at AlterPolitics