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Flunking economics the Green New Deal Group way

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One exquisitely revealing sentence is this: "Capital controls will preserve domestic savings for domestic use."

They seem rather to have missed the point that the savings belong to individuals, to use as they wish, rather than to the nation to be used as the nation insists. At the risk of someone screaming "Godwin's" at me, they're not just socialists they're nationalists as well. You and yours will be put to the service of the nation (as they define "use" and "nation" of course) rather than as you desire.

Let's choke off overseas investment!

One final point on their economic analysis. The aim of all of this is that huge amounts of savings will be created which can then be deployed to create the green energy infrastructure that they deem is necessary. So, they're going to impose capital controls: anyone know whether we export or import capital at the moment? Yes? You at the back? Good, you've noted that we've been running a trade deficit for the last however many years it is. You're also aware that the balance of payments must indeed balance... so that if we have a trade deficit then we must have a capital surplus. So we have been importing capital for the last however many years it is then, yes? Good, you now know more about this part of economics that the above mentioned Guardianista, the former head of Greenpeace International's economics unit, two former Directors of Friends of the Earth and the Policy Director of the New Economics Foundation. For those worthies (no one expected Caroline Lucas to understand this sort of stuff anyway) all seem to think that if we have capital controls then, by Johnny Foreigner not sending us any more capital, we'll somehow have more capital to invest in the UK.

Further, they think that if you lower interest rates, thus lowering the amount that people earn from their savings, that people will save more, again creating that lovely pot of money to be splurged on their pet projects.

The rest of the report varies from the similarly illogical to the amusingly insane: Cuban agriculture for example is held up as something to emulate. While it's entirely possible to grow cabbages in Hyde Park and indeed we've done it in time of need, doing so is a reflection of staggering poverty, not actually a course of action we would follow by choice. Comparing the ability of a Caribbean island to grow its own vegetables with that of a cold rainy island off NW Europe also seems to ignore the necessarily turnip-based diet that would result for some months of each winter. They're still deep in the grip of the delusion that the creation of jobs is a benefit of such schemes rather than a cost. They want a windfall tax on the oil and gas companies (as the Guardian reported, the last one actually reduced the amount of exploration going on).

And on it goes. "Drawing our inspiration from Franklin D. Roosevelt's courageous programme launched in the wake of the Great Crash of 1929, we believe that a positive course of action can pull the world back from economic and environmental meltdown," they tell us. Trouble is if it's this positive course of action, we're all doomed. ®

Tim Worstall knows more about rare metals than most might think wise, and writes for himself at timworstall.com, and for The Business, among others. He is a Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute.

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