The Green New Deal: Mobilizing for a Just, Prosperous, and Sustainable Economy

15 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2019 Last revised: 19 Mar 2019

Date Written: January 1, 2019


This white paper lays out the guiding vision behind the Green New Deal Resolution proposed to the U.S. Congress by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bill Markey in February of 2019. It explains the senses in which the Green New Deal is 'green' on the one hand, and a new 'New Deal' on the other hand. It also 'makes the case' for a shamelessly ambitious, not a low-ball or slow-walked, Green New Deal agenda.

At the core of the paper's argument lies the observation that only a true national mobilization on the scale of those associated with the original New Deal and the Second World War will be up to the task of comprehensively revitalizing the nation's economy, justly growing our middle class, and expeditiously achieving carbon-neutrality within the twelve-year time-frame that climate science tells us we have before reaching an environmental 'tipping point.'

But this is actually good news, the paper argues. For, paradoxically, an ambitious Green New Deal also will be the most 'affordable' Green New Deal, in virtue of the enormous productivity, widespread prosperity, and attendant public revenue benefits that large-scale public investment will bring. In effect, the Green New Deal will amount to that very transformative stimulus which the nation has awaited since the crash of 2008 and its debt-deflationary sequel.

Keywords: Climate, Climate Change, Economic Renewal, Environment, Environmental Policy, Fiscal Policy, Green Energy, Green Infrastructure, Green Manufacturing, Green New Deal, Infrastructure, Investment, Manufacturing, New Deal, Ocasio-Cortez, Public Investment

Suggested Citation

Hockett, Robert C. and Gunn-Wright, Rhiana, The Green New Deal: Mobilizing for a Just, Prosperous, and Sustainable Economy (January 1, 2019). Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 19-09, Available at SSRN: or

Robert C. Hockett (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

Rhiana Gunn-Wright


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