Regardless of the GND architects’ intentions, this paper examines the some of the major tradeoffs associated with taking significant portions of the GND seriously. What would it mean to actually implement significant portions of the proposal? Can we understand the effects at a household level in different regions of the country?
To that end, the following analysis examines the transformation of electricity production, transportation, elements of shipping, and construction in 11 representative states that implementation of the GND would necessitate. It requires a considerable number of assumptions that we share in order to allow readers to come to their own conclusions about the merits of the GND compared to alternative uses of scarce societal resources.
The sum of our analysis is not favorable for the GND’s advocates—or for the typical household budget. At best, it can be described as an overwhelmingly expensive proposal reliant on technologies that have not yet been invented. More likely, the GND would drive the American economy into a steep economic depression, while putting off-limits affordable energy necessary for basic social institutions like hospitals, schools, clean water and sanitation, cargo shipments, and the production and transport of the majority of America’s food supply.