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Ann and the Giant Credit Card

“The beauty of a Green New Deal is that it would pay for itself”, writes Ann Pettifor.

To raise the money for a green deal, governments would have to draw on their equivalent of a giant credit card, but would also be able to take advantage of investment by savers. Thankfully, the creation of millions of jobs will generate the income and tax revenues needed to repay any borrowing.

I loved the line about the giant credit card. It reads like a weird mutant “Guardian X CBeebies Story Timecrossover fic.

The trouble is that these days, so do both the Guardian and CBeebies Story Time.

15 comments to Ann and the Giant Credit Card

  • DP

    Dear Miss Solent

    Ann and the Giant Credit Card

    Is this a recently discovered story by Roald Dahl?


  • William H. Stoddard

    That sounds like the theory that Henry Ford made his auto factory succeed by paying workers so well that they could all afford to buy cars. Obvious nonsense: Not all the workers would buy cars, not all those who did would buy Fords, and even those who did would spend only a fraction of their pay in doing so—and Ford had expenses other than labor costs.

    In this case, if the government raises funds by borrowing, and spends them all on environmental projects, and taxes the people who make money working on those projects—that’s not going to pay back the loans, not unless that tax rate is 100%.

  • staghounds

    You missed “take advantage of investment by savers”.

    Pay for everything with those chumps’ money, then water the currency until it’s worthless.

    Everybody wins.

  • Stonyground

    These green jobs are the equivalent of digging a hole using a hundred men equipped with spoons instead of using a JCB.

  • Rob

    take advantage of investment by savers

    “steal savings” would have taken less space in the print version.

  • chip

    Good grief, this fallacy about green jobs will not die.

    It takes over 70 solar energy workers to produce the same unit of energy that an oil and gas worker produces.

    That’s like having over 70 people screw in a light bulb.

    You can’t reason with these people. It’s just another religion.

  • Runcie Balspune

    One of the biggest blocks facing any government investment program is it relies on the interest rate returning a value to the investors, due to the whopping great public debt the government has to repay on, the government has already artificially set the interest rate to a stupidly low amount that makes stuffing banknotes under a mattress seem like the best option, so it has effectively stymied any further public investment opportunity, raise the interest rate and any taxes raised by any program will be just spent on the debt repayment, so it can never “pay for itself” whilst this situation exists.

    The government has already maxed out its giant credit card limit several times over, a more secure policy would be to repay the debt and then invoke public investment, and if they did this then private industry would resolve the “green” problem by itself.

    As our own Mr Worstall is fond of pointing out, the basic fallacy that jobs are a _cost_, you need less of them not more.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Thankfully, the creation of millions of jobs will generate the income and tax revenues needed to repay any borrowing.”

    The worst bit (for me) is the repetition of the fallacy that jobs represent wealth and so can be used to pay for things. Jobs are a cost. They’re what you pay to get wealth in exchange. It’s like saying that going green being more expensive will mean bigger bills, and thus we can use those bills to pay for the extra expense. It’s nonsense!

    The idea of progress is that you get more stuff in exchange for less work. The “more stuff” bit is increased wealth. The “less work” bit is fewer jobs. But going green means you get less stuff by doing more work. The “more work” bit is the job creation she’s talking about.

    The problem is that people are thinking in terms of “If you do more work, you get more stuff”, which is true for any given method of making stuff, and so identify more jobs with greater wealth. (The bigger the bills you pay, the more goods you get in return.) But when you’re talking about a choice of less efficient methods for making stuff, “more jobs” makes you poorer. The fallacy in its many forms can be avoided if you always identify wealth with the “stuff” made, not the “jobs” or “work” making them.

    I think the little lady has just staggered back from a shopping expedition, loaded down with bags of shoes and hats and dresses and shoes and shoes (you can never have too many shoes, can you?), and told her hubby “Look how rich we are now that we’re using our Giant Credit Card! It’s a good job we can use the millions of Credit Card Bills created to pay for it all!”

  • John B

    Giant Money Tree.

    ‘Thankfully, the creation of millions of jobs will generate the income and tax revenues needed to repay any borrowing.’

    Jobs are a cost born by consumers as the cost of labour is built into the selling price. So consumers will have less money to spend causing economic recession and reduced tax revenue and reduced savings, and probably create a credit bubble… big thumbs up for that.

    And those millions of jobs will destroy millions of other jobs currently in providing goods and services derived from ‘non-Green’ activity, and destroy billions of capital (aka savings and investments) in those replaced ‘non-Green’ activities.

    Once the economy has collapsed as a result, nobody would have any jobs, being preoccupied with trying to grow some food to survive.

    Of course the Planet would be saved, so poverty, general misery for most and lots of dead people is a small price to pay.

  • Surellin

    If it made money, the private sector would have don it already.

  • Sigivald

    They always promise a “Green Boom”.

    It doesn’t happen.

    And won’t.

    Because “jobs” don’t make wealth to skim a tax off of to repay.

    Wealth creation does. Jobs are something the former usually makes, not something that comes from jobs-qua-jobs.

    Green Jobs are a less-obvious form of paying people to dig ditches and fill them in, or to manually do an easily automated job very inefficiently.

    (One can say that this is worthwhile because of environmental externalities; it is possible that is even true.

    But one cannot say it is a net-wealth-creating reallocation of resources and labor.)

  • Phil B

    I’ll leave this article here to see if the stupidity of the “green is GOOD!” can be side tracked, if not derailed:


    SURE it’ll work … and the King of the Potato people made me say that …

  • NickM

    I have never heard such utter drivel. It is not even wrong.

    These people are engaged not just in a war against humanity but reality itself.

    This is the foul anti-materialistic idealism that produces fascism and communism.

  • Paul Marks

    Watermelon thinking – Green on the outside, Red on the inside.

    The left (including “Woke” Big Business) have not given up their age old faith that government can “plan” the economy and society – not even the failure of places such as California have convinced them otherwise.

    Under President Elizabeth Warren (this lady will most likely win in November 2020) this “planning” by government and “Woke” Big Business (working hand in hand – Green Fascism committed to “Social Justice”) will be carried to its logical conclusion – and it will FAIL.

    There will no prosperity from the “Green New Deal” it will be a disaster – and the Harvard intellectuals and Fortune 500 Corporate Executives will be astonished. The more they try and control society (to make everyone live the way they want them to live) the more everything will decay and, eventually, collapse.

    And the environment will suffer – not “just” the economy.

    The collectivist madness that goes all the way back to Plato will fail – as it always fails.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Paul, I hope to heaven your prediction is wrong.

    You are in good form today (I am not shocked). :>)



    “These people are engaged not just in a war against humanity but reality itself. “

    Clear, concise, complete, correct, and short. Kudos for nailing it. All three sentences in fact.