Flat White

Greta grates, so why can’t capitalism sell itself

1 October 2019

5:00 AM

1 October 2019

5:00 AM

Yawn. The whinging is as reliable as clockwork. Just the packaging changes:

The UN has called for a global “green new deal” and overhaul of the world’s financial order to tackle climate change and deliver on its Agenda 2030 sustainable development goals.

New measures are needed to raise and distribute $US2.5 trillion ($3.7 trillion) a year to developing countries, says a UN report, released alongside this week’s climate meeting in New York. The measures include new controls on the movement of money, demanding more from developed nations, targeting sovereign wealth funds and setting a global minimum tax rate for multi­nationals.

Meeting the demands of the UN’s sustainable development agenda for 2030 would require rebuilding multilateralism and “pursuing a financial future very different from the recent past”, UN trade and development secretary-general Mukhisa Kituyi said. The UN’s sustainable development agenda was supported by all governments in 2015…

Under the proposals, the US could be expected to provide up to half the funds to be redistributed.

Of course it would.

We have seen some great developments in the history of humanity in the past 50-100 years – with the trend lines very much continuing in the positive direction – to pick just three charts from Our Word in Data:


It gets a bit tiresome to keep adding that none of these — or any other trends showing people in all parts of the world live longer, healthier, better educated and wealthier lives — have much to do with redistribution, controls and regulation but, instead, virtually everything to do with capitalism and international trade and the overall progress (including in science and technology) they foster.

Where capitalism falls down is, ironically, in selling itself and its achievements to the public:

When people are ignorant about what’s really going on, they become prey to manipulation. No wonder that increasing numbers of supposedly intelligent people living in the most successful human societies ever in existence in human history somehow think that “the system is broken” and we need a radical social, economic and political transformation.

Hysteria about the end of the world brought by a catastrophic man-made climate change spread by the Greta Thunbergs of this world (and many, many other activists and their svengalis) further works to shift the public sentiment from what has worked and continues to work to wild schemes that borrow from socialism, Luddism and millennial religion.

Now the UN is proposing a $2.5 trillion a year wealth transfer from the developed to the developing world. No doubt this would work as well as all the previous wealth transfers to the developing world (foreign aid or development assistance); that is, not at all. And no doubt the biggest winners would-be politicians, bureaucrats and the international multilateral crowd of vultures, spivs and rent-seekers.

Don’t be fooled again. No matter how the UN dresses it up it’s still the same old statist and collectivist claptrap.

Arthur Chrenkoff blogs at The Daily Chrenk, where this piece also appears.

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