Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to St. Greta: Go to college and study economics before lecturing us.

Guest post by Davos David Middleton

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took time Thursday to advise Swedish climate worrier Greta Thunberg to attend college and study economics before telling others how to manage the planet’s resources.

The topic came up in Davos at the World Economic Forum (WEF) when Mnuchin was approached for comment about the 17-year-old’s warning that the world’s largest economy needed to completely and immediately divest from fossil fuels, AFP reports.

“Does Greta Thunberg’s call for an end to fossil fuel investment threaten U.S. economic growth?” a member of the press asked.

“Is she the chief economist or who is she? I’m confused,” Mnuchin said, before adding this was clearly “a joke. That was funny.”

“After she goes and studies economics in college she can come back and explain that to us,” was Mnuchin’s succinct summation as he elaborated further.


The Trump administration and Greta Thunberg have crossed ideological paths before at Davos.

In a speech on Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump castigated the “prophets of doom” and those that predicted a climate “apocalypse”, while Thunberg sat silently in the audience.


Thunberg left school in Sweden aged 16 to travel the world and deliver her message of impending climate catastrophe

Breitbart News

Greta… Go to college, study resource economics and watch National Lampoon’s Animal House

144 thoughts on “Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to St. Greta: Go to college and study economics before lecturing us.

  1. As AOC pointed out, she _has_ an economics degree, & I don’t see Steve Mnuchin being any more receptive to her proposals…

    • That’s why I wrote “Go to college, study resource economics”… Or, more aptly, economic geology.

      • AOC has a degree in International Studies with economics. I take that to mean the degree is in International studies… a degree without any objective and measurable outcomes. She fits perfectly in politics; she clearly has no understanding of economics.



        • ANY degree which ends in “…Studies” is one where there is no minimum standard of achievement. Pay your money, put in the time, get the degree.

          • Thank you sage!
            Gender Studies, Urban Studies, Film Studies…the list of Social Science degrees is long and tedious.
            They exist in most part to meet the objectives that Public Schools failed to perform i.e. read at grade level upon graduation, add, subtract, multiply and divide.
            Working with fractions and solving for X along with writing term papers requires post graduate work.
            But they are sure the Climate is doomed and only a one world government can fix it before they leave middle school. Ergo Greta Thunberg in all her scornful glory. In a few years they are going to teach her the multiplication table.

          • Bill, the idea is to get as many kids through university as possible. It’s likely that many of them won’t do particularly well even in their dumbed down courses but that’s not the point anyway. This is where they get the intensive, full curriculum leftist training. In Australia teachers get through on 50% pass mark, and special circumstances allow people to go through on lower marks than that!

            Education focus right through school now is leftist training.

        • I always those kinds of degrees/studies “qualifications” were well suited to “Sociologists” & experts in “Womens’ Studies”, whatever they are supposed to achieve, other than some kind of mental reinforcement of ones own biggotry & predjuices! Or Mysandry, as it’s much better known! 😉

        • And they learn Keynesian economics which serves only the one world government federal reserve direct tax system printers of the fake money that corrupts those eager to climb the political ladder. These are the people behind the unlimited funding of the climate hoax.

        • In the UK many of our politicians have a degree in PPE – politics Philosophy and economics. And yet when it comes to making decisions they show no understanding of economics. Makes you wonder if they all skip the E lectures.

        • and she was a barmaid in a winebar? if I remember her bio
          looks like the eduataion wasnt good ..or SHE wasnt good at it?
          stringing a sentence sure isnt her forte either umm err like youknow

          • and she was a barmaid in a winebar?

            Yes although you might want to consider the context. She moved back to the Bronx to help her mother deal with legal issues related to her father’s death such as potential foreclosure on family home.

        • In the past having a qualification was treated as interesting and a good starting point. Gaining experience is where the real learning starts and then after some years.

      • David, or do you prefer Davos, I think she may have a career in music. The Swedish Death Metal video has over 3 million views now; I had watch it again after reading this post. And think how apt the “Death Metal” descriptor is for her desired policies! Maybe she can play Thanos?

    • Econ degree gets you in the door…doesn’t mean your proposals are ready from prime-time.

      • They reach you Macro Economics 1st before Micro Economics, because if you understand Micro Economics you would know Macro Economics theory is BS.
        Adding money to the Economy steals from those that have saved by diluting the resources of those who have saved

        • +100

          Macro Economics is just statistics applied to groups of people who are following Micro Economics

    • Yeah, Mnuchin’s wrong. Education is just theory unless you can successfully apply it.

      What does President Trump have that 99.99999% of economists lack. Taleb would call it skin-in-the-game. He’s made money and he’s lost money. He has run a company and made payroll. He has negotiated with folks who make most mortal humans look like babbling idiots.

      Trump understands the pain of the forgotten people. There are so many things Trump understands that Greta does not. IMHO, Trump even makes Mnuchin look pretty run-of-the-mill.

      My advice to Greta. Read Twelve Rules for Life. link Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world. Do something useful. Once you’ve got your PhD from the school of hard knocks you can come back and talk to us. Until then, you’re just a puppet on a string.

      • It’s the PhD from the school of hard knocks that prepares you to move forward and make a difference Bob. They make you do the same class over and over if you don’t learn the first time around.

        • I used to work with a guy who admitted that he had one year of experience 35 times. He was good at the specific tasks he worked on.

          • “Megs January 24, 2020 at 1:11 pm”

            While working in the electrical/electronics/computer industries years ago I met many summer university electronics students who didn’t understand back electrical systems and didn’t know what an AVO was and what AVO stood for! These students were, apparently, smart because they were at university.

      • Wow! Two great citations. One to N. N. Taleb’s Doxastic commitment from his ‘Black Swan’(?), and the other to Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules fo Life: An Antidote to Chaos..

        Has JBP directly addressed St. Greta, the topic, not the person?

        As to the School of Hard Knocks, Bigotry and Prejudice are Certificates of Accomplishment earned after hard years of practice.

    • “Myself when young did eagerly frequent
      Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
      About it and about: but evermore
      Came out by the same Door as in I went.

      Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, rendered into English verse by Edward Fitzgerald, Number XXVII.

      • A wise man was ‘ol Omar Khayyám, I have a lovely leather-bound copy of the Rubáiyát that belonged to my Fathers’ Father, which he bought secondhand in the late 1930s.

        • First Sennacherib by Byron, then The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, two poems I can hear my mother reciting as I write. More happy memories triggered By WUWT.

          Alike for those who for To-day prepare,
          And those that after some To-morrow stare,
          A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
          “Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There.”

    • AOC also thinks her party is called the Democratic Party. She also thinks it’s conservative, just because some extreme left legislation didn’t go through.

      She’s not too bright.

      • Oh contraire, I think Miss Cortez is brighter than you think, & very dangerously so, she’d have been right at home in 1930s Germany! I get rather tired of listening to “experts” on the political left drone on about anti-Semitism being from the Far-Right, when it came from the opposite direction all along!

    • Indoctrination in socialism and central planning is what economics education has become today in far too many institutions.

    • I was about to say the same thing – what good would going to college do her? Total indoctrination? AOC is a perfect example of a patently-dishonest, pseudo-educated idiot.

    • “Ken Haylock January 23, 2020 at 6:04 pm
      As AOC pointed out, she _has_ an economics degree, & I don’t see Steve Mnuchin being any more receptive to her proposals… ”

      “study resource economics”

      The operative word is “study”.
      Based upon AOC’s utterances, she has failed to exhibit “study” at any point on any topic.

      Besides, AOC’s partner who put together the “Green New Deal” has already acknowledged that the GND has nothing to do with environment or climate. GND is all about restructuring government into a socialist government, where tyranny is the operative method of leadership.

    • Most climate skeptics have more common sense about economics and climate science in the tip of their little finger than AOC and Greta have in their entire body. Even if I had only had a grade school education, I’d still know more than they do about economics and especially climate – because CO2 does not determine climate. It’s basic grade school science and they apparently didn’t even get that. Having a degree doesn’t mean anything any more.

    • I agree. But both Gretta and AOC has comprehension issues and would rather feel than think. It would take a real retard to take economic advice from either of them and Mnuchin does not seem to be that far gone.

    • The joke is that AOC submitted her test to determine her IQ and the results came back negative!

      Considering the damage Greta’s recommendations would do to the world, there would probably be no difference if we nuked the whole friggin’ planet–the results would be about the same!

    • She had numerous “special” tutoring sessions with her professors until she came up to the mark!

  2. The interesting question is how does a 16year child keep who was not elected or voted by anyone keep getting invites to go up on these stages?

    I am sure there are millions of layman around the world who would love to have a 10min rant to politicians but they can’t get invites.

    My suggestion to the politicians is refuse to attend events she has been invited because clearly the meeting has been hijacked at that point.

    • LdB
      January 23, 2020 at 6:40 pm

      Yes, it’s just amazing that they feel the need to invite her…to an economic summit no less! More amazing is that they even listen to a 16 year old.

    • She’s a puppet. She was recruited by a Swedish climate activist to do the school climate strike, it wasn’t her idea. It’s the environmental organization puppet masters who arrange all her travels, all her appearances and meetings, who write all her speeches and pay the shot. She doesn’t even write her own facebook postings, that’s done by her father and a greenie activist in India.

      That’s how she gets all the invites.

    • LdB, thank you for your astute question.

      It’s time that we take Lord Christopher Monckton’s words seriously:

      “Given the brutal consequences for life, health and well-being driven by this cruel, hate-filled cult’s dishonest promotion of the central falsehood that small warming will do large damage, the truth being that even large warming would do much good, perhaps it is time to begin considering whether every dishonesty and fraud calculated to increase public support for, or to profiteer from, climate extremism should be prosecuted as an indictable criminal offense akin to conspiracy to commit murder, or perhaps even genocide. Enough is enough.”

  3. Mnuchin is an investment banker, with personal vested interests of over $300m, $300m of insulation from the real world.

    Back on Earth, Greta is 100% correct.

    …the gold standard of climate policy continues to be the idea of taxing carbon dioxide emissions. That was the point of a January 2019 letter signed by thousands of PhD-wielding economists, including more than two dozen Nobel laureates, all four living former Federal Reserve chairs, and Treasury secretaries and Council of Economic Advisers chairs from both parties.

    That letter called for a four-fold program:

    – A carbon tax of $40 per ton, rising at 5 percentage points more than the rate of economy-wide inflation per
    – Cash rebates financed by the tax revenues
    – Relief from certain emissions-related regulatory mandates
    – A “border adjustment” so that carbon-intensive imports would also be taxed

    • “Loydo January 23, 2020 at 6:51 pm

      Back on Earth, Greta is 100% correct.”

      Can you document where Great is 100% correct about any aspect of Earth?

      • She has been insulated from the realities of life. Because of her unwarranted notoriety, she didn’t have to come up with $71,000 to attend Davos. She is quite naive! She doesn’t know what she doesn’t know, nor does she have a clue.

    • It will be fun watching the Elites try to impose a Carbon Dioxide Tax on Trump and the U.S.

      And “cash rebates”! That’s funny. A carbon dioxide tax would increase the price of everything in the economy. The Carbon Dioxide Tax promoters say they will pay the poor back for the increase in price of their gasoline, but nobody is going to pay the poor or anyone else back for the cost of all the other things in the economy that increased in price.

      A Carbon Dioxide Tax is no different from any other tax in that it decreases economic activity and makes everyone poorer.

      And it will take a “New World Order” to impose a Carbon Dioxide Tax internationally.

      Instead, how about this: Let’s have proof that CO2 is bad for us before we go destroying our economies over it. First things first.

      • So you don’t categorize a billionaire president and his multi-millionaire, investment banker Treasury Secretary as elite? lol.

        • So you don’t categorize a billionaire president and his multi-millionaire, investment banker Treasury Secretary as elite? lol.
          More irrelevance from Loydo. Nobody said Trump wasn’t part of the elite.

        • “So you don’t categorize a billionaire president and his multi-millionaire, investment banker Treasury Secretary as elite?”

          Well, maybe I should have used “authoritarians” instead of “elites”. That’s closer to what I meant.

          You’re not going to claim Trump is an authoritarian, are you?

      • California did that, with heavy advertising for the “rebate” part. Then the state legislator took the money intended for “rebates” and spent the crap out of it just like it did all the other tax money. Because the people of California are presumptively too stupid to spend the “rebate” money wisely if they’d gotten their hands on it.

    • Fascinating.
      Having enough money protects one from the death of all life on this planet.
      I didn’t know that.

      That’s fools gold. Taxing carbon is yet another left wing plan that doesn’t work, to solve a problem that never existed.
      CO2 in the atmosphere is net positive. We should be subsidizing it, not taxing it.

      • His “border adjustment” is funnier.

        Even most layman understand how the trade war between USA and China started and what would happen to any country applying a “border adjustment”.

      • ‘Taxing carbon is yet another left wing plan that doesn’t work’

        Unless you look at the plan as implementation of totalitarian control and fleecing the public of their wealth and rights.

    • Loydo and the typical lefties solution to any problem is put a tax on it and give the money away 🙂

      1.) Cash rebates financed by the tax revenues
      Typical left wet dream, free money to give away.
      It’s one down from the other normal solution just print more money.

      2.) Relief from certain emissions-related regulatory mandates
      Oh so now we are paying polluters to not pollute.
      That worked so well for Montreal Protocol companies setup just to be paid not to pollute.

      3.) A “border adjustment” so that carbon-intensive imports would also be taxed
      That is called an import tariff and will lead to immediate new round of trade wars.
      Do you understand how the trade war between USA and China started?

      • Many leftists believe that you should only eat and use products created locally.
        A world wide trade war that shut down most trade would be a wet dream for them.

        • I’d welcome it. Being from Canada, we’d be farked in about 2 seconds flat. The first state of confusion would be when they realize they can’t get their morning Starbucks or Timmies. As a non-coffee drinker I’d enjoy this very much.

        • Yes he is a delusional Australian. Delusional because all the junk he posts has such little support in Australia it could never happen and about all it is good for is “comedy of the absurd”.

          • Patrick MJD January 24, 2020 at 1:59 am

            If you look up the name “Loydo” you don’t find a “he”.


            May be right, Patrick.

            But a “she” Loydo newer would make fun about elder people dying by starving or dehydration during “heat waves” in the Ile de France.

    • Loydo, what is the ideal price on carbon to completely stop the climate from changing?
      Please be specific.

    • Loydo, have every respect for you however, can you back up what you claim?

      “Back on Earth, Greta is 100% correct.”

    • Perhaps all of these esteemed and learned persons could tell us what the ‘ideal’ value of CO2 should be and the ‘ideal’ global average temperature so that we know when they can remove the onerous taxes they are proposing.

      Or do you have these answers, Loydo???

    • Haven’t you died yet Loydo?
      Seriously – you haven’t got much time left. I don’t even know how you can sleep.

      What do you think it’s going be, Loydo?
      Burning heat? Thirst? Starvation? Suffocation? Maybe you’ll even be torn apart by the zombie-like hordes.
      You really ought to drop acid and go watch Day After Tomorrow.
      You know if you think about it, your heart will stop.

      But remember, whatever excruciating death the future has in store for you – the white man did it to you on purpose – and they’re glad.

  4. Bad advice; plenty of kooky ideas come from people who have studied economics.

    If all the economists in the world were placed end to end, they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion

  5. Give the poor girl a break:

    “If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain”

    • No! She’s the one making claims and demanding everyone obey. You get a by on that just because you’re 16 (when she started) or 17 (as now).

      She’s a school dropout with no knowledge and no skills. If she doesn’t know a thing, she should keep her mouth shut.

      My fear is that she might be in the headlines for the next 60 years. Oh the Pain!

      • Sadly Greta is a child with severe Asperger’s who has also been diagnosed with a mental illness (OCD). Those who are exploiting her rather than arranging treatment for her should be charged with child cruelty.


    “Keeping the laugh track going, Mnuchin later claimed to CNBC’s Joe Kernen that, actually, the Trump administration is all about tacking climate change. “Our environmental policies are misunderstood,” the secretary insisted. “The president absolutely believes in clean air and clean water. He supports a clean environment.”

    end excerpt

    That must be the standard reply of the Trump administration. Whenever the subject of climate change is raised, they say they are in favor of clean air and water. They don’t really address climate change. It sounds like a dodge even to me. It’s probably not a good idea to give the impression you are avoiding answering a question. But they have gotten away with it so far. Probably because climate change is not a big deal with the American public.

    Maybe once Trump gets past the 2020 elections he will say what he really feels about climate change. Probably the same thing he said about climate change before he got elected, that it was a Hoax.

    • Tom Abbott January 23, 2020 at 7:40 pm

      They don’t really address climate change.

      There’s nothing to address.

      We all know the climate has changed and will continue to change.

      We all know throughout the history of mankind people have adapted to their changing climate and will continue to adapt.

      We all know the wet dreams of the climate worriers are just that, wet dreams.

      Dreams of controlling every aspect of our lives, whilst having complete freedom for themselves.

      Dreams of serfdom for the majority, whilst the minority of elites continue to plunder the earth’s resources for their own benefit.

      Dreams of culling the majority to “sustainable” levels, whilst letting their progeny populate the earth.

      Any climate worrier who really believes in all the crap they spout should lead by example. They should immediately stop using anything produced using fossil fuels (i.e. pretty much everything in one way or another), stop flying, stop driving, stop using trains, stop having children, and stop eating meat, fish or anything that isn’t a plant. In fact, they should stop eating altogether because “plants have feelings too you know?”.



  7. Greta says Mnuchin and Trump are sad, out of touch, old men. Her momma probably told her to say that. Or, I suppose she could have come up with that on her own. Who knows?

    • Tom Abbott,
      And what does Greta say about Charles of Windsor?
      Young, of colour, sprightly, happy, relevant?

      • I don’t follow Greta much but I assume she has a more favorable view of Charles since he is a True Believer like she is.

    • Greta: We must not be low carbon, we must be NO carbon.

      Average person: But, aren’t we carbon-based life forms?

      Greta: Kill all humans!

      Weren’t The Terminator and The Matrix just supposed to be movies? 😲

    • 17 is more than old enough to know everything and blame everything you think is wrong with the world on your parents’ generation.

  8. Mnuchin is of course 100% right, the story reminded me of a comment I once saw on the internet, ‘On the island of the irrational the rational man does not get to be King, he gets lynched’

  9. Poor Greta is the embodiment of that wonderful statement.
    Which I can never remember the source of.
    “The average environmental activist will do anything,absolutely anything to save the planet,except go to school and get an education in the sciences needed to understand the ecosystem.”
    Greta assures us,one does not need any Science Education,grade 10 social studies are all you need to rule the world?

    Poor kid is being cruelly used by some rather pathetic adults.

    • Re: source of quote:

      P. J. O’Roruke, but I don’t recall which book. Most of his books are collections of essays he wrote for Rolling Stone.

      Try “Holidays in Hell”, or perhaps “Give War a Chance”.

      • Thanks,I tried to Google it.
        By writing as much of the quote as I could remember,that was “educational”.

      • Thanks again Alan .
        ““The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it.”

        ― P.J. O’Rourke, Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government”

        Except poor Greta will never get to college.

        • One of O’Rourke’s best books! The best one was “The Bachelor’s Home Companion”… Hilarious!

  10. Great post again, David! St. Greta and the Princess of Entitlement, AOC, are, like most Progressives; ignorant, idiotic or insane! Both are little more than sock puppets for the people promoting them; I doubt that either of them could even run a small business like a lemonade stand. Can you imagine what St. Greta’s lemonade would taste like? Makes me pucker just thinking about it!
    The best part about being a Progressive is that you can ignore history, reality and human nature yet never have to apologize for being wrong or killing off millions of your fellow citizens. Right, Loydo? Maybe our educators should throw out Marx and Howard Zinn and require Solzhenitsyn instead. Actually, Marx isn’t so bad; I really like Groucho, Harpo and Zeppo! They make a lot more sense than a lot of our so-called elites!

  11. She doesn’t have an economics degree? You know what the response to that will be.
    Universities will be falling all over themselves to offer her one. No class attendance required.

  12. Historian Slams Greta Thunberg: “I Don’t See Her in Beijing or Delhi”

    “Why are the biggest polluters being ignored?”

    “Even if you believe wholeheartedly in the decidedly shaky science behind man-made global warming, the west is more than doing its part.

    But we’re the ones being lectured to not travel, not eat meat and not have children despite already being in massive demographic decline.

    Meanwhile, Africa, India and China continue to wantonly pollute and none of Greta Thunberg’s fury or the attention of the media is ever directed their way.”

    The reason, is that this is entirely about global socialism. This is why its entirely focused on the Western world because thats where all the rich countries are. It not focused on the biggest polluting countries because they are not the richest countries.

    The climate accord does not require China, the biggest polluter by far to cut CO2 emissions. In fact, they state that they will max out with their increase in CO2 emissions by 2030. India is also increasing emissions and does not have to commit to cuts because these 2 countries are considered poor/undeveloped countries The rich countries also are the ones that give all the money and it all goes to the poor/undeveloped countries……like China and India.

    CO2 is well mixed in the global atmosphere. Why would huge CO2 emitter China be allowed to increase emissions for the next decade and get our money if this was about anything other than spreading and balancing the wealth and nothing to do about climate?

    Global socialism. It’s the entire reason……100% certain……..not even considering the fact that we are having a climate optimum and the climate crisis/emergency on this greening planet is fake…….as we experience the best weather/climate for most life in the last 1,000 years.

    Greta is a complete anti science, no nothing fraud, pushing propaganda that was fed to her by her parents/handlers as she represents a high priestess/climate change guru in their climate religion cult.

    The UN hijacked climate science for this political agenda…… socialism in the biggest hoax in history.

    Yes, there has been, mostly beneficial global warming and massively beneficial increases in atmospheric CO2.

    If you’d asked scientists 60 years ago, what the optimal temperature of the planet was/would be, 97% of them would likely had said warmer………because life has always done better when global temps were up to 4 degrees warmer than this and ALWAYS, not sometimes but ALWAYS did worse when it was as cold as the earth was before global warming.

    • Great article, thanks, Mike.

      Skepticism of human-caused climate change seems to be picking up. More regular people are speaking out.

  13. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has already shown herself to be an economic illiterate. She thought that when Amazon declined to build a campus in New York that the tax relief offered to Amazon could be spent on other programs. She didn’t understand that the money didn’t exist, absent Amazon’s participation in the economy. I really can’t see how anyone who had earned a legitimate C in any freshman college Economics course could possibly have failed to understand that very simple point. Her degree has got to be a phony.

    And what is wrong with adults who humour Greta Thunberg? All of these people must know that Greta can’t possibly know what she’s talking about. All of them. Listening uncritically to Greta Thunberg is just political posturing. At least Great sincerely believes that she knows what she’s talking about. The politicians who hear her out and praise her are all faking.

    Like Justin Trudeau. Our prime minister had his picture taken earnestly listening to Greta Thunberg. Granting Greta credit for some mystical powers of understanding based on her age, sincerity and passion is the very obverse of the regard for reason that Pierre Trudeau always extolled. Justin takes after his mom.

    • “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has already shown herself to be an economic illiterate.”

      I have a hard time making sense of just about anything AOC says. She has an unusual worldview. She called the radical Democrat House of Representatives “centrist to conservative” the other day. I guess from her out-in-left-field position, they are.

  14. There can be no real economy under a federal reserve system because there is no freedom in a direct tax system. Since December 23, 1913 we live in a Big Brother system.

  15. Cudos to all here.On Breitbart, I was the first to point that out. How could Munchkin not know that? And I’m still waiting for a “Economists got it right.” headline.

    • Richard, I understand you have invested a lot of time and effort evaluating the @social cost of carbon”. However, do you consider the rationality in putting a value to CO₂ in the first place? Carbon dioxide only has rel value to the echo system. The value you put on it, is a fictive value. This is precisely why President Trump does not like the idea of carbon trading, it does not benefit the real economy, only the virtual economy. Carbon dioxide trading is probably mostly bad for the commercial real economy for every nation on the planet.

      If Trump and Mnuchin are so wrong, could you please point out the main issue?

      • Carl:
        The reason is given in Pigou’s 1920 book: Externalities distort the market. Negative externalities should be taxed.

        There have been well over a 1000 estimates of the social cost of carbon (i.e., the value of the negative externality of carbon dioxide emissions), showing that Mnuchin and Trump are well out of step with the literature.

        Should Ms Thunberg indeed chose to study economics, she would learn that Mnuchin is wrong (and not just about this, by the way, the Trump Administration is wrong on taxes and trade too).

    • The real world uses a 7% discount rate. At a 5% discount rate, the social cost of carbon is zero-point-zero.

  16. Loydo posts a high regard for economists.
    No way1
    In the 1970s I became interested in how the financial markets really worked.
    For about 6 months I read a lot of economics from Keynes to Mises. Then finally realized I was reading the history of ideas.
    Then started researching market history which is the real world.
    Most of economics compares to Non-Euclidian Geometry, where one assumes some basic conditions and builds a whole logical world out of it.
    But it does not apply to the real world, as Euclidian Geometry does.
    So, Loydo to accept the endorsement of economists on climate is just plain stupid.

  17. Kudos to Secretary Mnuchin in putting the high-school dropout Greta Thunberg in her place. He forgot to tell her to finish high school first.

    To those worried about the “social cost of carbon (dioxide)”, what about the cost of NOT burning 227 kg of carbon in fuels and NOT producing a tonne of CO2? For example, a gallon of gasoline weighs about 3 kg, of which about 84 wt% is carbon atoms, so that a gallon of gasoline contains about 2.5 kg of carbon atoms. So a tonne of CO2 would be emitted by burning about 227 / 2.5 = 90 gallons of gasoline, or enough to transport a car about 1,800 miles (at 20 miles per gallon).

    If an average person commutes 15 miles each way to work, this person could make 60 round trips and emit one tonne of CO2. If the car averages 40 mph on the way to work, a 30-mile round trip takes 45 minutes a day. If this person decides to ride a bicycle to work and back at an average speed of 10 mph, this same person spends 3 hours per day biking to work. If the value of this person’s work is $30 per hour (a very low estimate), the value lost to his employer for 1 tonne of CO2 not emitted is 60 round trips * 2.25 hr/trip * $30 per hour = $4,050 per tonne of CO2.

    Not to mention that the employee shows up to work sweaty and exhausted, and his work performance may suffer, and riding a bicycle in the dark in winter (short days at mid-latitudes) can be rather dangerous. Your mileage may vary, but the point should be obvious.

    So the “social cost of carbon” advocates should subtract about $4,000 per tonne CO2 from their estimates, and re-do their calculations, which just might lead to them changing their minds. Another good reason why Greta needs to study economics.

  18. Well. Mr. Mnuchin’s claim is that Greta Thunberg doesn’t understand economic theory. This seems like a reasonable accusation, and Greta hasn’t tried to refute it. Her response was essentially, nyah, nyah, I don’t care. When you’re seventeen, that is a reasonable counterargument.

    Let us say for the purposes of argument that carbon dioxide emissions really are a negative externality. (Personally I flinch from conceding even that much, but let’s do it anyway.) The positive internalities (if that is a real term) of the production, sale and consumption of fossil fuels are millions of times more valuable.

    My dad was born and raised in rural Saskatchewan in 1919. He lived in a house with no electricity or running water. Heat came from a wood-burning stove. Draft horses were used to work the family farm. By 1954 he lived in a house with electricity, modern plumbing and a coal furnace, and he owned a Chevy Belair. His life had been completely transformed for the better to a degree that is now impossible for any living Canadian.; improvements in our standard of living can now only be marginal. If you were to tell my dad, when he was in mid-thirties, that he had been living in an economic Eden (with a perfect climate) when he was a boy he would have been speechless at your stupidity.

  19. You don’t need a degree (economics or enginnerring) to work out the world can’t live without fossil fuel just go a farm or see a freight operation. The corrct response to Greta is tell her to tell her parents to live without any fossil fuel and its use in any way. We never fro m her ever again. Because pointing t he fact that her parents are total hyprocrites will knock her mouth off or she will have screaming matches with her parents – good chance of a split then Greta phenomen will disaappear given it is driven her parents and their funders.

  20. It is truly a dystopian world when it hangs onto every word of a child afflicted by mental illness and elevates her to figure like Joan of Arc. This is a person who, when 8 years old, was struck by anxiety about climate change. She stopped talking and eating and lost ten kilograms in two months and urged her parents to give up meat and flying to “save the world”. They resisted, but she accused them of “stealing her future”. Eventually, her parents gave up meat and flying to, as they put it, “save Greta rather than save the world”. Her mother had to sacrifice her career as an international opera singer in order to humour Greta.
    There is a guy by the name of Rex Nutting of MarketWatch, who has come out swinging in defence of Greta in an article titled “Who knows more about economics: Steven Mnuchin or Greta Thunberg?”
    Excerpts from the article”
    “Mnuchin and his ilk are betting everything that we’ll survive climate change without breaking a sweat
    A guy who still insists that the 2017 tax cut “will pay for itself” should not be lecturing anyone about economics, but there’s something about being in Davos that brings out the arrogance in people who think money and power confer wisdom.
    …I suppose that if Mnuchin were answering the 911 phones, he’d demand an advanced degree in chemistry from anyone reporting a fire.
    ….Greta Thunberg may not have a Ph.D., or a job on Wall Street waiting for her, but she does have common sense: “I’m here to tell you that, unlike you, my generation will not give up without a fight.””

    One flaw in his argument – The evidence of a fire is clear, the consequences immediate, and the remedy clearcut. The evidence for catastrophic climate change is neither clear nor immediate and the remedy suggested by Greta and her ilk quixotic and catastrophic.

    Then where does Greta get her “common sense” from? Her anxiety disorder?

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