The Power Of A Story: Immigration In Maine

The Power Of A Story: Immigration In Maine

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LEWISTON, Maine - In the heart of Lewiston, Maine’s business district, tucked away in the back of an elegant business building sits a cozy, two-roomed office. Pictures of farmers, smiling kids in matching shirts and people dancing cover the walls while a warm murmur dances from the radiator in the corner.

Behind a desk in the smaller room sits Muhidin Libah, who types away tirelessly on his computer while glancing back and forth at a piece of paper lying on his desk. Since 2005, Libah has run the Somali Bantu Community Mutual Assistance Association (SBCMALA) to assist the refugee community transitioning to their new lives in Maine.

One of the greatest transitions for refugees is adapting to a new community.

“Sometimes someone will yell at you ‘go back home’ and you yell back...that is not okay,” expressed Libah. “Instead, tell a story. Tell a story of where you come from and why you are here. It really helps.”

Maine is no stranger to immigration. In a country with the largest official resettlement program in the world, that should come with no surprise. But the face of immigration in the state has changed throughout history, from pale-shaded foreigners to people whose appearance and cultures have moved further to the other side the spectrum of color. Somalis, like Libah, and other West African immigrants have made their way to Maine with hopes to start a new life. As time has passed, Maine — one of the least racially diverse states in the U.S. — has slowly opened it’s doors, and its hearts, to those who are owed a place to call home

New in town

Irish and Québécois (also known as ‘Franco’) immigrants were some of the first to relocate to Maine after the general population of English Colonials and Native Americans had long been established. They came because of agricultural disasters and the need for a new life, and they took on most of the dirty work that Mainers didn’t like to do — such as digging canals for mill construction and working in the wool and cotton mills.

They came “by foot, by train and they didn’t have passports. There was no legal or illegal — they just showed up,” said Jim Tierney, former Attorney General, in a talk at Bates College entitled "Immigration in Maine: Past and Future."

They worked hard for their place in Maine, despite the wages being low. They remained to help build a piece of Maine and to continue their own story.

However, in the 1920s, an anti-Franco movement arose as Maine became a center for the Klu Klux Klan. In her piece Maine's Gone Mad: The Rising of the Klan, Raney Bench wrote that “Maine’s relationship with the Klan was short lived, but surprisingly intense.” At its height, members represented 23% of Maine’s population and were active in places such as Portland, Lewiston and Mount Desert Island.

Much after the 1920s, the hate that was brought upon by the Anti-Franco movement was then translated over to the Somali immigrants. Klan members went to the lengths of setting off bombs in Lewiston to let them know they were not welcome, and a majority of legislators mirrored this hate.

“They tried to make it as rough as they could to send the Francos back where they came from,” recalled Tierney.

But several Maine leaders — such as senatorial candidate Percival Baxter — worked to make sure the hate did not consume Maine residents while these new groups of immigrants made their way into the state.

According to Phil Nadeau’s case study, many Somalis began their journey in Atlanta, Georgia, Nashville, Tennessee and Louisville, Kentucky and then later resettled to places like Maine because the quality of life was said to be better.

And it was.

“Refugees want to live here for the same reason you want to live here,” said Hannah DeAngelis, 25, Assistant Program Director at Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services. “They are fleeing violence and war, so they’re looking for the comfort of a community.”

Somalis were able to find employment in the Steel Mills, the merchant marine industry as well as education in the universities. But where they found opportunity, they continued to be met by the similar hate of that of their predecessors.

An article in the New Yorker entitled “Letter from Maine: New in Town” recalls an open letter that Raymond Laurier, former Mayor of Lewiston, wrote to the Somali community in 2002. He asked them to stop bringing their families and friends to Lewiston, and to “exercise discipline” so as to reduce stress on the resources and generosity of the city. In short, he wasn’t a fan.

This letter became a national news story that attracted white supremacist organizations such as the World Church of the Creator. They organized a rally against the “Somali invasion,” that was then met with a counter-rally organized by state officials at Bates College that attracted thousands of more people — 4,500 people to be exact.

Somali immigrants began to see a paradigm shift. The hate was beginning to be replaced with compassion and acceptance.

Somalis widely became involved across the city — acting as interpreters as well as serving on local social service agency boards — and other parts of the city became widely involved within the Somali Community.

They now make up 10% of the Lewiston population, while populations of Congolese, Angolan, and Burundian follow closely behind.

Transitioning to acceptance

One notable piece of Maine’s immigrant story is the Lewiston Adult Education center. Providing services such as enrichment classes, workforce training, and English for speakers of other languages, students there are able to work towards high school and college diplomas as well as receive help to secure jobs.

“The center is bursting at the seams,” exclaimed Poland. People are always coming and going — at least ten new people a week and the demand is so large that the center has a waiting list of about thirty people.

“At one point there was a couple on the waiting list and the husband came in asking that his wife be moved off the waiting list because their kids were coming home from school every day wanting to speak English...and the mom just couldn’t understand,” recalled Poland.

The transition to a new life is hard, but places like the Lewiston Adult Education Center are truly helping the refugee and migrant communities.

Around 300 students are currently accessing the services — mostly refugees that come referred to by Catholic Charities, but also a lot of asylum seekers that find the center on their own.

“The same supports [that exist for refugees] don’t exist for asylum seekers...there is a large amount of time where they have nothing and can’t work,” said Poland.

Poland speaks of a student who spends all his days at the center because he simply has nothing else to do. In her words, he soaks up as much as he can while he waits for asylum. The process is very long and difficult, and those who are seeking it cannot work during that time.

“Most are in limbo, so the center is a go-to place,” said Poland.

Another go-to place is with Muhidin at the Somali Bantu Community Association. Offering transition services such as email help, conflict resolution, women empowerment, medical reconciliation and a community farming program, the association exists to help whoever shows up at the door.

The community farming program has been especially successful and is gaining momentum. In 2015, Jan and Carl Wilcox of Yarmouth, Maine began leasing their land to the organization and this has helped Somali Bantus get back to their traditional farming lifestyle and become more independent and comfortable in their new community.

“We don’t like to depend on anything...no one wants to go to the store for tomatoes,” laughed Libah.


This project has also helped the community with the difficulty of exercise. Libah remembered back home in Somalia that everyone had to walk two miles to get water and they were farming every day under the hot sun. Nothing was within walking distance like in Lewiston, so part of the efforts of the organization is convincing people to do small things everyday to maintain the lifestyle they had back home.

The story of immigration will continue to be comprised of mostly Somalis, like Libah, as well as many Iraqis. Because Maine does mostly family reunification, there isn’t much of a projection in shift of countries where people are coming from.

Nonetheless, “there has been an enormous amount of support [from Mainers] for Syrian refugees...because they are wanting to do the work the Pope wants them to do,” said DeAngelis.

But the attacks in Paris last year really changed that initial support. Catholic Charities received calls threatening the organization if they began helping out Syrians.

Governor LePage shared the same sentiments. An article in the Bangor Daily News quoted, “I adamantly oppose any attempt by the federal government to place Syrian refugees in Maine…and will take every lawful measure in my power to prevent it from happening.” This chimed into the cacophony of Republican Governors across the nation demanding that the U.S. stop accepting Syrians right after the Paris attacks.

DeAngelis says the acceptance is possible in the future, but because resettlements are backed up nationally, there is a much stronger focus on reuniting families. Maine will welcome more Congolese families this year and so far has already granted asylum to many Burundi and Angolan families.

Understanding it all

The introduction of this African community that is neither white nor Catholic in a state where 96% of people identify as such has been tough.

“There are people who write ‘go back home’ on your car or on a note… but it’s a fraction of the population,” recalled Libah.

That fraction might want to reconsider their thoughts. Poland from Lewiston Adult Education made a point that many basic services would not be possible without refugees. Somalis are the ones baking the donuts at Dunkin Donuts, the ones working the 2pm to midnight shift and the ones cleaning the bathrooms in Wal-Mart.

“They’re doing jobs most people turn their nose up to,” stressed Poland.


And this is a reality all across Maine. The New Yorker recalls migrant workers as an important pillar of Maine’s economy. We have apples because Jamaicans and Haitians pick them, we have blueberries and fish-processing factories thanks to Mexicans, and our logging industry exists because of the hard work of Guatemalans and Hondurans.

“Lobstering is practically the only traditional Maine occupation still performed exclusively by local whites,” reads the New Yorker.

But while most of those migrant workers depart at the end of the season, the Somalis and other West African migrants don’t leave. They continue their story.

“We forget that they’re here because something is happening in their home...they are amazing people who want to make a life in a positive way,” reflected Poland.

Additionally, “no one moves because they want to live in a new home. They love their homes as much as we love ours. But they have to go and it’s traumatizing,” said Tierney in his Bates College talk.

Despite setbacks from many state officials and local communities, Maine eventually succeeded in accepting and welcoming the Francos and the Irish. The success of our state has been built on the backs of those immigrants, but the future of our state will be built alongside and with our newest neighbors. Because as Poland recalls, they’re “movers and shakers” and have already created organizations and businesses within the cities, truly helping an economy in need. They’re here to stay and they’re ready to live fully.

“I did not want to die and I’m here for that reason. I do not want to grab money or get somebody’s welfare — I’m here because the two options I had was leave or get killed. So I chose to leave,” expressed Libah.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Farineau

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Why Your Grandma Is Your Biggest Blessing In Life

Because nobody loves you more than she does.
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There are many people in your life you are thankful for: Mom, Dad, siblings, cousins, best friends, teachers, neighbors, you name it. You are grateful to have people who constantly support you, who pick you up when you're down and love you unconditionally. But the one person who stands out among the rest of them is your grandma.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Why Your Grandma Is The Best Person In Your Life

Ever since you were little, you and your grandma have always had a special connection. Going over to Grandma's house for the night was something you looked forward to. She knew how to entertain you at your best and worst moments. No matter what you did together, you loved it. Being with your grandma wasn't like being at home or with your parents – it was better. You went to the park, made cookies, went out to dinner, got a “sweet treat" at the mall, played Go Fish, took a bubble bath for as long as you wanted and got way too much dessert than you should have. You did things you weren't supposed to do, but Grandma didn't stop you. Because at Grandma's house there were no rules, and you didn't have to worry about a single thing. Being with Grandma was the true epitome of childhood. She let you be you. She always made sure you had the best time when you were with her, and she loved watching you grow up with a smile on your face.

The older you got, your weekend excursions with your grandma weren't as frequent, and you didn't get to see her as much. You became more and more busy with school, homework, clubs, sports, and friends. You made the most out of your time to see her, and you wished you could be with her more. Although you were in the prime of your life, she mattered even more to you the older you both became. You were with your friends 24/7, but you missed being with your grandma. When the time rolled around, and you got the chance to spend time with her, she told you never to apologize. She wanted you to go out, have fun and enjoy life the way it makes you happy.

Reflecting back on these moments with your grandma, you realize how truly special she is to you. There is no one who could ever compare to her nor will there ever be. All your life, there is no one who will be as sweet, as caring, as sincere or as genuine as her. Even though you're all grown up now, there are things about your grandma that never changed from when you were a kid. She still takes you out for your favorite meal because she knows how important eating out means to you. She writes you letters and sends you a $5 bill every now and then because she knows you're a hard-working college student with no money. She still helps you with all of your Christmas shopping because she knows it's your tradition. She still asks what's new with your young life because hearing about it makes her day and she still loves you to no end. Your grandma is your biggest blessing (whether you knew it or not), and she always will be no matter what.

Cover Image Credit: Erin Kron

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The Green New Deal: Our Death Bells Are Ringing

I hate the Green New Deal, so I've analyzed how it would spell ruin for America.

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The Green New Deal - originally the brainchild of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (Socialist from New York) has been making the news recently. Before we begin, I would just like to thank my brother for helping me to find some statistics and images for this report as well as helping me write some aspects of it. I am personally very much against the notion that our country should mobilize behind this cause due to several unfeasible financial demands, and several innovations that would absolutely devastate the American economy. Should our country get behind this; I absolutely do not think that we should. This would spell absolute economic and social ruin for the world's greatest nation: The United States of America

So, let's break this 'Green New Deal' down, shall we? I put my opinion within each section as to why I believe this would be like sounding the death bell for the United States of America.

Objective #1: "Meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources"

Meeting 100% of America's power demand through renewable energy presents a whole host of problems that, quite frankly, make this objective impossible to reach within any reasonable time frame. For starters, the cost of replacing America's entire energy grid with renewable energy is estimated to cost somewhere in the ballpark of 5 trillion dollars. This does not account for the cost of maintenance (though it should be minimal) and more importantly the cost of storing all the energy generated by renewable sources (which should be astronomically expensive and environmentally unfriendly).

The cost of storing power from peak energy producing times would wipe out any benefits there may be from the cheaper production costs of renewable energy because the batteries which would be used to store the energy are both expensive and temporary (they must be replaced). Initially, a system with the ability to store enough energy to cover only 80% of America's electricity demand for 12 hours would cost nearly 2.5 trillion dollars. At 100% the cost would rise sharply.

One illustration of this phenomena is shown by a graph of California's projected energy costs as renewable energy implementation rises:

Storage is also vital to the implementation of renewable energy because renewable energy cannot continuously provide a constant source of power to meet America's constant demand for energy throughout the year. Again, I present you a graph of California's seasonal renewable energy production:

I use California as an example not to bash liberals but to show the effects of moving to renewable energy (they are a leader in RE).

In my opinion Objective #1 is doomed to fail from the start because there are too many obstacles for it to be implemented in a cost-effective manner. But anyway, moving onto Objective #2.

Objective #2: Building or upgrading to energy-efficient, distributed, and 'smart' power grids, and working to ensure affordable access to electricity

If I'm being honest, I didn't know what a smart power grid was until I looked it up. This is what I found.

The smart grid has the potential to bring the United States a more stable, economical, and environmentally friendly electrical system. Unfortunately, it is far from the unalloyed plus portrayed to the public. The cost will be high: Although the economic stimulus program approved by Congress last year included $4.5 billion to help create the smart grid, the full build-out will cost at least a couple of hundred billion dollars more. The potential savings will justify the cost only if the smart grid brings sweeping changes in the way consumers use and pay for electricity. But these changes have the potential to saddle them with unnecessarily high prices, force them to bear unnecessary risks, and make their local utility company an uninvited participant in the intimate details of their everyday lives.

Is the Smart Grid Really a Smart Idea? | Issues in Science and Technology

As I understand it, the smart grid comes with many bells and whistles that mostly have to do with monitoring and providing data on energy usage. I'm no expert on the smart grid so if anyone wants to chime in that would be much appreciated, but initially, I'm left with the question: are the benefits worth the cost? That remains to be answered.

Objective #3: Upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification.

As of 2012, the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey estimates that there are 5.6 million commercial buildings in the United States. No one knows what the cost of making each one of those buildings "green" would be. We don't even know what criteria a building must meet in order to be considered "green" is. With the different standards and regulations, the government is bound to impose, Objective #3 seems like a bureaucratic nightmare. I'd say it's a big fat NOPE from me.


And here is a nice photo of Chicago's lovely skyline to cheer you all up. https://www.redbubble.com/people/vidin2005/works/6306129-chicago-skyline?p=poster

Objective #4: Overhauling transportation systems in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transportation; and (iii) high-speed rail.

Let's dissect this one by one.

First, funding zero-emission vehicle infrastructure should not necessarily be too difficult. The question is of whether or not it is necessary. If people aren't using green modes of transportation then there is no need for green infrastructure to support them. This brings us to our next point. Increasing zero-emission vehicle manufacturing will be nearly impossible to achieve if nobody wants to buy eco-friendly vehicles in the first place. Subsidies provided to eco-friendly car producers and tax breaks given to eco-friendly car customers have proven relatively ineffective in the past so it remains to be seen how zero-emission vehicle manufacturing can be boosted.

Second, replacing our nation's current transportation vehicles with environmentally friendly ones will take a substantial initial investment on the part of the government. One of the chief benefits of doing this would be to reduce the costs associated with operating gas-powered transportation vehicles. On the flip side, gas prices have been kept relatively low in recent years negating some of the benefits that comes with operating environmentally friendly vehicles.

Third, well, we all know what happened to California's high-speed rail. Why would one that is built by the Federal government fare any better? In the words of Gavin Newsom (California's governor) it "would cost too much and, respectfully, would take too long to complete." Essentially, he's saying the project just isn't worth it.

Objective #5: Removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and reducing pollution, including by restoring natural ecosystems through proven low-tech solutions that increase soil carbon storage, such as preservation and afforestation.

Hip hip hooray! We've found our first fully feasible part of the Green New Deal… plant some trees. I don't even think the government could screw this one up. But then again, they've proven me wrong before…

Next!

Objective #6: Working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible.

This objective essentially aims to cut down on… wait for it… animal farts. LOL

Of course, I should've seen this one coming. Right as the Green New Deal made it's first (and only?) sensible point, it had to turn around and make one of the most laughable proposals in the history of deal-making.

How do they think they can even combat cow farts anyway? Change cow's diets? Reduce the number of cows we raise? I don't know about that second idea. Us Americans are a bunch of red-blooded meat eating carnivores. Of all the proposals here, limiting America's access to meat might just be the most likely to cause a domestic uprising.


MMMMMM Trump Steaks. Yummyhttps://www.sharperimage.com/si/view/product/Trump+Steaks/888888

Objective #7: Guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.

SOCIALISM! SOCIALISM! SOCIALISM!

Ohhhh boy where do I even start?

Guaranteeing everyone a job with a family-sustaining wage… so does that mean one couple is going to earn enough to sustain two families? Where are you going to get all this money? Also, a "family-sustaining wage" will differ depending on where you live. Then there's the loss of incentive for people to work hard/do a good job when they know everything will be handed to them for nothing in return. I could go on and on about how many problems guaranteeing everyone a job would create, but in the interest of keeping paragraph concise, I'll just say it's a stupid idea.

Adequate family and medical leave: What counts for family/medical leave? How many days off will people get? How will this affect our economy and our workers? So many questions and so few answers.

With paid vacation, again the question remains: how many days off will people get? More importantly, though I think is how these paid days off will affect our workers. As with everything else in this world, there are tradeoffs to working less. Most notably workers will be paid less annually because companies don't want to pay more for people who spend less time on the job. Here is a graphic of the countries with the most paid leave.


MONEYhttps://www.statista.com/chart/15005/statutory-minimum-paid-leave-and-public-holidays/

Now here are the Average annual wages for the top 5 countries on that graph:

  • United Kingdom- $43,732
  • France- $43,755
  • Spain- $38,507
  • Germany- $47,585
  • Chile- $25,879

And here is the average annual wage for the United States:

  • United States: $60,558

Now we've got to ask ourselves: would we rather work less and get paid less or we happy with the way things are right now?

And finally, we have retirement security for all people of the United States. In case Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn't know, Social Security is now spending more cash than it is taking in. By 2034 Social Security is expected to spend up to the 2.9 trillion dollars worth of asset reserves we have saved to keep the program afloat. After those assets are depleted, Social Security is estimated to suffer a $13.2 trillion cash shortfall between 2034 and 2092. I don't think spending more on Social Security will fix our problem. We need to either cut benefits or raise revenue or Social Security is toast.

Objective #8: Strengthening and enforcing labor, workplace health and safety, anti-discrimination, and wage and hour standards across all employers, industries, and sectors.

This objective sounds like lots of paperwork, inefficiency, and bureaucracy with more affirmative action and a $15 minimum wage. Terrific, just what this country needs. Just kidding.

The solution to every problem isn't always more government. Last year the Federal Bureaucracy cost taxpayers $58 billion. I'd say we paid $58 billion too much for a bunch of paper pushers. Also, fun fact, the cost of Federal regulations reached $1.88 trillion as of 2014. So you tell me what part of expanding the bureaucracy and pushing more regulations through sounds good for our economy.

Discrimination in the workplace is already illegal so I won't touch that one. Affirmative action doesn't help minorities either and really only adds to worsening race relations. We need equal opportunity and not equal outcome. This ain't it.

Wage and hour standards will only end up hurting the people such standards aim to protect. Raising minimum wage to $15 dollars will force companies to lay off many low skilled workers because even if the minimum wage rises, a company's ability to pay its employees stays the same. Also, machines aren't paid and don't have to follow hour standards. This idea will only hasten automation in the workplace.

Here's a graph of the effects of the $15 minimum wage.

The source from above was taken from my AP Economics class last year.

Objective #9: Providing and leveraging, in a way that ensures that the public receives appropriate ownership stakes and returns on investment, adequate capital (including through community grants, public banks, and other public financing), technical expertise, supporting policies, and other forms of assistance to communities, organizations, Federal, State, and local government agencies, and businesses working on the Green New Deal mobilization.

Ah yes, seizing the means of production. How wonderful. I don't even feel the need to dispute this one. Public ownership is not compatible with our American economic system. Perhaps in Venezuela but not in America.

Objective #10: Providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States, with a focus on the frontline and vulnerable communities, so those communities may be full and equal participants in the Green New Deal mobilization.

Free college. Another well-intentioned terrible idea by our friends the benevolent socialists. The cost of providing free higher education to each student in America is estimated to sit at around $75 billion annually. That's no drop in the bucket, but really if it was it still wouldn't even be worth it. Graduating with a college degree isn't anything special when everyone else has one too. It'll just become like a high school diploma: a certificate that you made it through the next stage in your educational journey.

Objective #11: Strengthening and protecting the right of all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain free of coercion, intimidation, and harassment.

Want more unions? Look at Detroit, where labor unions all but killed the automotive industry by demanding ever-increasing wages and benefits thus forcing companies to shut down domestic manufacturing plants and send production overseas. Look at Chicago where teacher unions are sucking the city's budget dry with demands for higher pay and lavish pensions. For that matter look at most any city around America and see how the grip that unions hold over politicians corrupts and dismantles the political process.


Run Down Detroit neighborhoodhttps://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/07/11/hud-secretary-announces-cities-plan-in-detroit/

What a beautiful day to take a stroll through Motor City.

Objective #12: Obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous people for all decisions that affect indigenous people and their traditional territories, honoring all treaties and agreements with indigenous people and protecting and enforcing the sovereignty and land rights of indigenous people.

Sounds about right. We should honor any and all agreements made with indigenous people, or any people for that matter.

Objective #13: Enacting and enforcing trade rules, procurement standards, and border adjustments with strong labor and environmental protections.

So from what I understand this part of the Green New Deal seeks to keep jobs from moving overseas where there are less stringent environmental protection laws. I'm not sure how this could be achieved. Maybe by giving more subsidies to companies who choose to stay in the USA while placing tariffs on imports from countries that don't have environmentally friendly laws? Democrats seem to hate both of those right now though. That probably won't work. I think what is most likely to happen is the rentry of the United States into the Paris Climate Agreement (which was not a good deal but that's an entirely different post) with strict enforcement of the deal.

Objective #14: Providing all people of the United States with — (i) high-quality healthcare; (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (iii) economic security; and (iv) access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.

All of the above have already been tried here and have failed miserably (except iv?).

Providing every person in the USA with high-quality healthcare is impossible to achieve at a reasonable cost. Canada's single-payer healthcare system cost $230 billion in 2016, and they have only 1/10th of the population of the United States. Additionally, the average wait time to see a doctor in Canada is 20 weeks and dental, ambulance and many other services, as well as prescription medications, must be paid for out of pocket. Furthermore, many Canadians come to America to receive treatment for their illnesses because we oftentimes have shorter wait periods and better results for the same procedures. Single payer healthcare doesn't sound so great now, does it?

Creating affordable, safe (emphasis on safe), and adequate housing has already been tried and has, for the most part, been a failure. The nice looking high rise building the government constructs quickly become run down ghettos that are magnets for drugs, crime and gang activity. The government isn't doing the poor any favors by crowding them into unsafe and unsanitary housing projects where the cycle of poverty continues. Obviously, something should be done for the poor, but building more projects isn't that something.

Economic security: see objective #7.

Finally, providing access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature is complicated…

Obviously providing access to clean water is essential to the health and well being of our nation. One study found that nearly 63 million Americans either currently are or have been exposed to unclean drinking water. That's nearly 1/5 of our population so I suppose that of all the initiatives proposed in objective #14, clean water should take priority. Next, we want clean air which essentially means less pollution. I've already covered pollution so I'll skip over clean air here.

Access to healthy and affordable food is more complicated. In the USA, cheap food is often times synonymous with junk food. If the government wants to encourage more people to eat healthily then they will need to find a way to make healthy food more affordable, especially for low-income people.

Lastly, nature. I'm not sure how the government plans on providing free access to nature for city dwellers. It's not like they can just bulldoze a couple of buildings and replace them with trees. The idea seems kind of silly to me but if they can find a way to incorporate nature into city life at a relatively cheap price then go for it.

Ah, FINALLY this post comes to an end. It's been a long and tedious journey, and if you made it all the way through it, thanks for reading.

So to answer the question, do I agree that our economy needs to mobilize behind the 'Green New Deal'?

TL;DR- No

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