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View Diary: The Guardian is Acting Like a Cheap Rag (76 comments)

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  •  I love you man! (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for picking GDP as an example. I don't want to write page-fulls in reply but just a quick few thoughts:
    (a) The GDP(i) or the GDP(e) measure are all idiot speak - the equivalent of Bush's "they hate us for our freedoms". Meaningless.
    (b) It's like Bill Gates walking into this conversation - suddenly: On an average, all three of us are now millionaires. Congratulations.
    (C) A true measure would be to check if the number of poor in the country have gone up or down. Our GDP has been doing well, but the number of poor in America has shot up like crazy so we're doing very badly as a country irrespective of what that false measure, the GDP, says.
    (d) Wealth is manufactured by produce - agricultural or manufacturing. I do not consider people getting rich on Wall Street as part of the wealth produced in the country because that was not wealth produced - it was a mere transfer of wealth from the many to the few.

    It's such a huge subject but that's where the net can help you can the MSM will not. Just start with a search for "GDP" or "What is GDP" on YouTube and be prepared to be blown away even before you've reached the heavy economic papers on the subject.

    By picking GDP, you may have picked the ideal subject that proves my point.

    •  Err... I'm very aware what GDP is and I (0+ / 0-)

      strongly disagree with that position. Doesn't, say, a hairdresser increase value (if not accumulated wealth) in society? Doesn't a lawyer? A doctor? They're all "service" jobs without a material product, but I don't think you can call them meaningless or guilty simply of a transfer of wealth (mental experiment: what would happen to wealth if those two professions were to disappear?).

      And yes, GDP is an imperfect measure because it doesn't evaluate the need for services and goods, just the demand for them and the value based on that. As for the number of the poor, well, that's related to GDP - how that value is distributed.

      Besides, the question was aimed in a very specific direction, not at generalised tripe. A common claim is that the US' manufacturing base is too small, but Germany's (and Germany is one of the world's foremost exporters) isn't that much different (a couple of percentage points). If the US' manufaturing base were hollowed out and if that were a cause of the deficit, then the same would have to apply to Germany (which has had trade surplusses).

      Finally, why should we obsess over the ratio of manufacturing? As long as it can supply the necessary goods, it's sufficient. The same with agriculture. With mass production the ratio of both has declined, since it takes less and less people to produce the necessary goods while people do like to be pampered and advised, hence services.

      Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

      by Dauphin on Fri May 07, 2010 at 12:06:40 PM PDT

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      •  C'mon (1+ / 0-)
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        You KNOW I did not knock services. Of course they are an essential part of the GDP.

        What I knocked was share-trading profits which are pure transfer of wealth from the many investors to the few. I was knocking that kind of profit-taking being considered as a part of the county's GDP and how doing that renders the GDP as a meaningless measure of the country's economy.

    •  As an interesting tidbit, (0+ / 0-)

      Krugman calculated that if the US were autarkic - producing all manufactured goods and importing nothing, the share of manufacturing would be just 2.9% higher.

      Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

      by Dauphin on Fri May 07, 2010 at 12:08:23 PM PDT

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