Friedman: Gov't Should Attach 'Green' Strings to $700 Billion Bailout

Nationalization has its consequences. Just note the rhetoric coming from some prominent voices on the left.

The government's foray into offering services normally provided by the private sector by bailing out aging mortgage giants gives it the power to implement "green" building requirements, according to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

He suggested Sept. 23 that any construction financed by government-funded mortgages should be certified "green" according to the standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

"If we're going to be in the mortgage business as a government, then every government-funded mortgage - at least for a new building - means that building has to be at least Silver LEED certified, okay?" Friedman said at the Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, D.C. He appeared to promote his new book, "Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America."

"This is critical," Friedman said. "The IT revolution was a bubble. But that bubble, through amazing innovation, left us with the Internet superhighway. The railroad revolution was a bubble and it left us with a country knit together by railroads. This financial revolution is a bubble and is leaving us with dead derivatives. We cannot afford to use this $700 billion for anything other than a full-blown transformation."

Friedman also brought up the possibility of compelling big three automakers currently seeking a bailout - Ford (NYSE:F), General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Chrysler (NYSE:DAI) - to build cars that suit the green agenda.

But Friedman's recommendations don't always benefit society. On ABC's "Good Morning America" on March 9, 2006, he boldly announced his preference for the future of U.S. energy policy. But once his scenario came to fruition, it had severe negative consequences.