[DEBATE] : A sneaky attack on prosperity
grinker at mweb.co.za
Wed Jul 11 08:39:52 BST 2007
Ben-Ami responds to Patrick:
Bond is of course right that you could give a long list of "negative
externalities" or other modifications to GDP. In my article I give pollution
(which, contrary to him, I do mention) as just one example.
But I notice he fails to mention or understand the main point of the
article: the assault on GDP stats is in reality an attack on economic growth
itself. Despite appearances it's not really about the stats.
Patrick Bond wrote:
Russell, I've occasionally found useful things in Ben Ami's material.
But what a dolt:
> ... It is simply a measure of the amount
> of goods and services produced in an economy in one year.
No it's not. It's a measure of (some not all) goods and services
'produced' for the market. When a woman does unpaid work, which she
'produces in an economy' that superexploits her, does GDP pick it up?
When the cost of a good's production includes pollution, does GDP
Here are some other things Redefiningprogress.org does to correct GDP in
ways Ben Ami should learn about:
Subtract crime and family breakdown;
Add household and volunteer work;
Correct for income distribution (rewarding equality);
Subtract resource depletion;
Subtract long-term environmental damage (climate change, nuclear waste
Add opportunities for increased leisure time;
Factor in lifespan of consumer durables and public infrastructure;
Subtract vulnerability upon foreign assets.
And here's more elementary material about flaws in economic growth logic
and measurement that Ben Ami would do well to consider before lowering
the tone of sp!ked...
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