A Golden Opportunity for a Green Stimulus
New polling finds support for big, earth-friendly spending—fighting both the coronavirus-fueled recession and climate change at once.
Read the full article from The New Republic, here.
Providing both Democratic and Republican talking points—about government waste and excess, for instance—Data for Progress found at least 60 percent of respondents supported the idea of green industrial policy to boost a number of concrete technologies: smart grids, electric buses, renewable energy, battery technology, and building retrofits with a focus on low-income housing. Investments toward underground high-voltage transmission lines and electric minivans and pickup trucks also polled well. The only technology for which poll respondents seemed to dislike the idea of federal backing was meat alternatives like Beyond Meat. Report authors Daniel Aldana Cohen, Thea Riofrancos, Billy Fleming, and Jason Ganz also found strong support for federal funding of graduate programs in fields linked to green technology, such as engineering.
“Americans seem fine with a mixed economy. If anything, they’re excited about it,” said brief co-author Aldana Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania. “The Republican Party and the mainstream media will tell you that Americans want markets to be the leaders. Respondents were excited for the government to support things that feel even minimally like a public good, even when they’re told the private sector would do a better job.” Riofrancos, a Providence College political scientist, argued that the results show an appetite for the state to be something more than a “handmaiden to capital.”