virus: Economics, wasTobacco meme's...

Tony Hindle (
Fri, 1 Aug 1997 05:12:27 +0100

In message <>, Neco and Jeff=20
<> writes
>Tony Hindle wrote:
>> =1B$B!!!!!!!!!!!!!!=1B(J How do you answer their
>> fundamental criticism. That calculations
>> of GDP count all interactions as positive (e.g
>> the more car crashes the
>> better GDP)
>> =1B$B!!=1B(J
>The original quote from the article was from Ralph
>Nader and was, "Every time there is a car
>accident, the GNP goes up." You used the very
>subjective word 'better' in your paraphrase

I didnt do this deliberately.

Anyway their point generalises to this. Any new hardship on=20
society (eg increased crime, need to visit Mars, impending comet to be=20
deflected, need to store rare earth metals in secure vaults, need to=20
cure disease, need to stabilise environment.) causes an increase in GDP.
> but
>the reason that I point this out is the
>misparaphrasing is a good example of the
>fundamental problem.=1B$B!!=1B(J I think that the author of
>the article has goods and services confused with
>'good' things and 'service' to your fellow man or
I think he has rejected your notions because they have no=20
validity outside of a self serving faith in traditional, favoured=20

> GDP (which is more common today than GNP)

I dont know the difference.

>is simply a measure and it is not meant to pass
>judgement on what it measures. If you weigh 80
>kilos and you eat a kilo of tofu you will weigh 81
>kilos. If you eat a kilo of potato chips you will
>also weigh 81 kilos. Which is better?

Remember I accidently used better, greater was what I meant to=20

> Economics is a
>science which, like many of the natural sciences,
>is our best attempt at trying to measure something
>that exists naturally.

I think you are mistaken here. Economics is not a science. It is=20
mysticism that the wealthy use to keep the poor down.

> As soon as people began
>living in groups, the economy meme was born. It
>would still exist even if we threw out all of the
>text books and killed all of the economists.

I want experimental verification of this.

>> there is no demand for food in India because
>> people haven't the money
>> to buy it. That's crazy! But in traditional
>> economic jargon, that makes
>> sense."
>> --- Hunter Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute
>> =1B$B!!=1B(J
>This is another tongue in cheek comment that is
>trying to imply the ridiculous notion that
>economists believe that peole in India have no
>need of food.

No. It simply says that there is no demand for food in india.=20
That is why no comercial enterprises are setting up to feed india, no=20
demand. Of course there is a more blindingly obvious interpretation of=20
this fallacy that economists fail to see.

> Come on. Demand in the economic
>sense is simply used to express the very real
>relationship between the price of a good, the
>amount of good that is being produced and the rate
>at which the good is being consumed. The also very
>real problem of hunger in India will not be solved
>by throwing out this mathematical realtionship
>(which, by the way, exists whether or not we have
>named it or have understood it) or even by
>renaming what the economist means when he says

In classical economics terms there is a strong long term demand=20
to fuck up the planet, shall we do it?

Tony Hindle.