September 29, 2020

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Hawkins demands full-strength Green New Deal

Blasts Trump’s lies about manufacturing revival

Columbus, Ohio – Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for president, said today that his Green New Deal would create a manufacturing revival and full employment in Ohio and across the nation.

He presented his Ecosocialist Green New Deal as an emergency economic and climate recovery program that puts unemployed people to work caring for the people and the planet.

His plan projects the creation of 38 million jobs rebuilding all productive systems in the economy for zero greenhouse gas emissions and 100% clean energy by 2030. In order to rapidly complete the economic transformation, the plan features public enterprise and planning in the energy, transportation, and manufacturing sectors.

“We will build Green New Deal factories in every city. Ohio will be an engine of the Green New Deal,” Hawkins said. “We want to do what the federal government did during the first New Deal when it directly employed millions of people building the infrastructure that powered the postwar recovery and that we still use today. This time it will power the sustainable green economy of the 21st century.”

An Economic Bill of Rights is included in Hawkins’ Green New Deal. It is a set of federal guarantees of living-wage jobs, incomes above poverty, affordable housing, universal health care, lifelong tuition-free public education, and secure retirements.

“The climate is melting down. Working class life expectancies are in decline due to growing economic hardship after 45 years of stagnant wages and exploding housing, healthcare, and college costs. During the World War II emergency the federal government took over and planned a quarter of US manufacturing in order to turn industry on a dime into the Arsenal of Democracy to defeat the Nazis and fascists. We need to do nothing less through the public sector to defeat climate change and poverty,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins slammed President Trump for lying that his “manufacturing miracle” has increased jobs in rust belt states like Ohio. “In fact, Ohio lost 2,200 manufacturing jobs in 2019 and another 48,000 jobs since his total failure responding to the pandemic blew up the economy,” Hawkins said.

“Trump doesn’t care about working people anymore than he cares about facts. In his first year as president, Trump twice told us in rust belt upstate New York to move if we can’t find a decent job in our communities. He told us that again last year. Trump’s got nothing for working people,” said Hawkins, a retired Teamster who lives in Syracuse, New York, which has been devastated by factory closings.

Hawkins said that Biden’s “Build Back Better” program of tax breaks and subsidies for corporations is the same trickle-down economics approach as Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy.

“Their theory is that the government gives rich people and corporations more money and they will invest in new production that creates jobs. But working class consumer demand is depressed due to growing economic inequality and the high unemployment of the covid depression. So the rich invest in financial assets like stocks, bonds, commodities, and real estate instead of new productive assets like factories. These financial investments just rearrange and further concentrate ownership of the real productive assets the economy already has. The tax cuts and subsidies never trickle-down to working people as more jobs and income,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins said the direct government employment of people in public enterprises in his Green New Deal would revive manufacturing and the whole economy.

“The two-corporate-party system has moved so far to the right that even its progressive wing on the left of the Democratic Party cannot fathom the idea that the government should build things like it did during the New Deal and World War II, instead of giving tax breaks and subsidies to the corporations that got us into this economic and climate emergency in the first place,” Hawkins said.

Standing front of the statehouse in Columbus, Hawkins called for the repeal of HB 6, which provides subsidies for nuclear and coal power plants while gutting renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. The move to repeal this legislation has gained momentum since July when Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four associates were arrested on federal charges of taking $60 million in bribes to get HB 6 passed.

“The nuclear and hydrocarbon industries are so dirty, dangerous, and economically unviable that they have to resort to bribes for government bailouts. It’s time for democratic public enterprises instead of subsidized private corporate tyrannies if we are going to build a clean energy economy,” Hawkins said.

Howie Hawkins, 67, is a retired Teamster construction and warehouse worker who has been active in movements for civil rights, peace, unions, and the environment since the 1960s.

He was the first US politician to campaign for a Green New Deal in 2010, in the first of three consecutive runs for New York governor. New York enacted several policies that only Hawkins had campaigned for after he received 5% of the vote in 2014, including a ban on fracking, a $15 minimum wage, and paid family leave.

Hawkins’ vice-presidential running mate is Angela Walker, 46, a truck driver in Florence, South Carolina who is a veteran union and racial justice activist.

The Green presidential ticket is on the ballot in 30 states representing 73% of voters and 381 electoral votes. Including the other states where they are qualified write-in candidates, 96% of Americans representing 514 of the total of 538 electoral votes will be able to vote for the Hawkins/Walker Green Party ticket.

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