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Steve Mnuchin, not Greta Thunberg, needs to go back to school

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 am, January 27th, 2020 - 11 comments
Categories: class war, climate change, debt / deficit, Economy, Environment, global warming, making shit up, science, spin, tax, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Another case has appeared involving a grown male lecturing Greta Thunberg and at the same time showing how limited his understanding of reality is.

This time it was US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin who showed how big a douchebag he is by saying that Thunberg should go back to school and learn economics and only then come back and lecture the free world.

Her responses were exquisite.

The attack was gratuitous.  Thunberg is relying on what is an overwhelming scientific consensus about climate change.  Attacking her and refusing to address that consensus, let alone what is happening in the world real time, is an insult to conscious bipedals everywhere.

And Greta did well at Davos. Even the Wall Street Journal agrees that climate change discussions dominated Davos discussions. And it should do. If our world pulls itself out of this climate change quagmire in the future Greta will deserve special praise.

Even Mnuchin’s wife Louise Linton thought he was being a douche. From CNN:

“I stand with Greta on this issue. (I don’t have a degree in economics either),” actress Louise Linton wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post after Mnuchin chided the 17-year-old’s call for governments to end their support of fossil fuels at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, saying she should attend college and study economics.

Paul Krugman had the perfect response. He noted Mnuchin believes tax cuts improve trickle down and pay for themselves even though this theory has been tried time and time again and has always failed. He describes this as a “zombie idea”.

Of course we have had that argument locally for many years.  Remember Key’s fiscally neutral tax cuts?  How National added in a line “adjustment for macroeconomic effects” to calculations to justify the claim?  And the adjustments did not actually occur?

This sums up the right well.  Surrounded by apocalyptic events foretold by climate scientists they attack a young woman who is pointing this out to them rather than acknowledge they are destroying our world.  Yet they cling to weird zombie ideas that have been disproved time and time again, basically because these ideas allow them to feed the greed of their supporters.

11 comments on “Steve Mnuchin, not Greta Thunberg, needs to go back to school ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Economists are really the last people who should open their mouths on CC. It's a science and engineering issue they have very little competency in, and they're bound to make fools of themselves. And of course in the modern world, for a older white male to be seen attacking a young woman in any fashion is entirely taboo. It's the sort of social minefield anyone with a modicum of sense steers clear of.

    Having said that it's still not clear to me what Thunberg's constructive plan really is. If she's aligning herself with the Green fundamentalists, then politely count me out.

    • aom 1.1

      Thunberg's plan seems very obvious – get the world to acknowledge there is a problem, then have those with the power and control to do something about it. Why should she be expected to align with anyone or do all the heavy lifting with the body of a 17 year old.

    • Climaction 1.2

      And yet tax is the thing that’ll fix human behaviour apparently.

      seems a very economic solution. One perhaps that engineers and scientists aren’t as trusted on as economists?

      i think you should be making the tent bigger, not excluding another homer from your ice cream shop

  2. Andre 2

    It really bunches my undies when people argue against taking action to reduce climate change on the grounds of cost.

    First, they never ever have the balls to try address the point that climate change is going to cost us big in the very near future. In future, it's already costing us. So reducing climate change isn't a cost, it's an investment against incurring much larger future costs.

    When it comes to reducing climate change by going off fossil fuels, those "costs" are an investment that will deliver us cheaper energy, and will create jobs and economic growth on the way to getting there.

    The only losers are those holding the stranded assets of fossil fuel reserves and infrastructure. And considering the harm they have already caused, they are undeserving of any assistance or even sympathy.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    "Who is she?" he said in Davos. "After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us." https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/louise-linton-steve-mnuchin-s-wife-deletes-tweet-support-greta-n1123151

    She doesn't need to study economics to explain who she is. She can just point out that she is a concerned citizen.

    "Mnuchin worked for investment bank Goldman Sachs for 17 years, eventually becoming its chief information officer. After he left Goldman Sachs in 2002, he worked for and founded several hedge funds." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Mnuchin

    Top capitalist, banker, the guy has to defend the system against barbarians. Denying that the system is changing the climate is essential for defenders of the system. Where would the jobs come from if suit-wearers stopped defending their system??

  4. Gosman 4

    Umm… they were designed to be fiscally neutral. The problem was GST revenues at the time were much lower than anticipated. However once the economy recovered this no longer was an issue. The Government is not getting less in tax as a result of the Tax changes. That is why the current Government has not reversed them

    • woodart 4.1

      bollocks. the PROBLEM, is that economists DONT live in the real world, and dont make allowances for cash, and transactions that miss gst(second hand goods etc), because economists exclusively use cards for all transactions and dont buy anything used. gst is always trying to catch up, and after thirty years,still hasnt. witness the attempts to get overseas retailers to collect gst for nz ird. will only work with big retailers so still will be in catch up mode.greedy fools will still carp on about income tax cuts, and will expect the gst system to balance them out, and it still wont. how many times do you have to be proven wrong gosboy?

  5. Macro 5

    Actually some economists – notably Lord Stern – former chief economist at the World Bank have tried to address the problem. Indeed he wrote a book in 2009 on this very topic " A Blueprint For A Safer Planet". How to manage Climate Change and create a New Era of Progress and Prosperity.

    Of course like all such publications and sound advise at the time the overwhelming chorus from the denial camp drowned out any hope of substantial change. The UK have adopted some measures – but all too little, all too late.

  6. peterlepaysan 6

    Why do economists still exist?

    They rely on suspect statistics not on rational objectivity.

    "one could lay all the economists in the world end to end and they still ewould not reach a conclusion". (My aologies to GB Shaw.).

  7. Justice Kumslate 7

    Just a thought on cost …

    How much is Australia going to have to pay for infrastructure, loans and recovery efforts post wildfire? How much has America been paying after every annual Once in a Hundred years storm, or to farmers suffering droughts that shouldn't be happening …

    you can pay tax ahead of time to fix a problem, or pay it later to a different account to pay for damages and continue to do so over and over again because you were too cheap to fix the problem in the first place.

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