Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Thursday visited a coal plant near Morgantown, West Virginia, where he made an incorrect assertion about economic laws of supply and demand.
“Here’s a little economics lesson: supply and demand,” Perry said, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence reporter Taylor Kuykendall. “You put the supply out there and the demand will follow.”
In fact, simply creating supply is not enough to generate demand on its own, especially if rival industries are supplying substitute goods at lower prices, which is what has happened as cheap natural gas has put downward pressure on the coal industry for the past several years.
The internet predictably reacted with derision to Perry’s statement, as anyone who has taken Economics 101 immediately knew that his description of how supply and demand works was completely false.
Check out some of the top reactions below.
Nice to know Soviet economic theory is thriving somewhere. Now just order everyone to use that coal and the command economy will take off! https://t.co/iHlFHzR1JB
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) July 6, 2017
Tell that to my warehouse filled with fidget spinners in 12 months.
— Jeremy Repanich (@racefortheprize) July 6, 2017
So weird then that no one will buy all these boxer shorts for dogs I made. I guess I’ll just keep kitting them.
— Doug Gerr (@DoogerDoug) July 6, 2017
That’s what I said at the opening of my buggy whip factory. Put out supply and demand will follow. Right, Secretary Perry?
— DanaBlankenhorn (@danablankenhorn) July 6, 2017
once people knew exactly how many homemade toilet mushrooms I had to sell, I couldn’t keep ’em in stock!
— Marty Quinn! (@Marty_Quinn) July 6, 2017
Perry must have taken his Econ class at Trump U.
— Jon Goldstein (@Jgoldie2393) July 6, 2017
Tell that to my Mini-Disc player.
— Karl Friedhoff (@KarlFriedhoff) July 6, 2017
— Jeff 📎🇺🇸 (@jjhparker) July 6, 2017
“If simply packaged more attractively and made available by vending machine, demand for coal will soar” – Rick Perry pic.twitter.com/q73jLpBaSK
— JKRamon (@jkramon1313) July 6, 2017
Don’t be so hard on him. He probably wasn’t wearing his “I’m Smart” glasses when he said it.
— Ellis Weiner (@EllisWeiner) July 6, 2017