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Econo-what?

OK, drop what you're doing (if you possibly can) and look at this Metafilter thread. The referenced article is just stunning. It gives voice to the fears I've always had about that vague notion of The Economy, and what it really means to humans, but could not express myself for lack of education.

If anyone has solid contrary arguments, I would be very happy to hear them indeed. This seems so solid to me, but I am no economist, so perhaps I'm missing something?

Comments

jgcr
Aug. 12th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
there's been a growing movement among some economists to move to alternative measures -- see the "National income and welfare" section here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measures_of_national_income_and_output

there's a gap here between what folks in the field of economics having been saying to each other (increasingly talking about alternative measures of welfare, relationship of economics to the environment, fundamental irrationality of human behaviour, etc.) and the base level of public discourse on the economy, which is still stuck in a very simplistic invisible hand, markets always good, GDP-is-all mentality. some of that is because of ideology (see: republicans), but i think a lot of it is laziness.

good news is a lot of recent books and articles and conversations seem to be moving in better directions ...

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