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View Diary: Dean Baker: How much unemployment was caused by Reinhart & Rogoff (74 comments)

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  •  Government spending doesn't 'really'... (0+ / 0-)

    ...contribute, though.

    Police officer guns and uniforms count as 'GDP'. But they don't contribute to any standard of living improvement for any real person.

    If you break your arm and a doctor fixes it, that's GDP. If you never break your arm in the first place, that isn't GDP despite being a superior state of affairs.

    So while your statement is true by definition, the loss of government 'GDP' is often no real loss to anyone. We need better measures of these things.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:04:58 PM PDT

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    •  I am sorry but your understanding of economics (6+ / 0-)

      is off.  The police officer gets a salary that he then uses to buy goods and services which provide others with income.  The guns that taxpayers provide him or her are probably manufactured here in the US so the employees of the guns are working and making money.  The people who produced the steel that goes into making the guns are being employed and earning income.  The truck drivers that transport all the goods are working.  And on and on.....the same chain of events applies to the police uniforms (although its more likely that textiles are made out of the country).

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with using GDP to measure the amount of money and commerce in an economy......but indeed its not the holy grail....there isn't really any one piece of economic data that qualifies as such.  They all have to be understood in the proper context.  Right now, too much of our GDP is comprised of the F.I.R.E. sectors which generate a lot of money but not many jobs (not too mention financial institutions being too large and risky etc etc etc)

      "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens

      by Auburn Parks on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:58:08 PM PDT

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      •  Ah (0+ / 0-)

        The Broken Window Fallacy!

        You either produce something of value, or not. We don't need extra non-value-add activity.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 10:12:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The entire health insurance industry (0+ / 0-)

          is extra non-value added activity - simply an additional profit making administrative layer siphoning off health dollars. They make money if the goods and services AREN'T provided. How screwed up is that?

          “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

          by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 02:43:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  GDP doesnt care (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ginny in CO

      you can argue the multiplier for a police officer affects other parts of the GDP less than, say, a bridge.  But then you would open the argument that 100k more police officers has a much better effect on the economy than a tax cut to a billionaire.

      These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel. Abraham Lincoln

      by Nailbanger on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:21:37 PM PDT

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      •  I have yet to be... (0+ / 0-)

        ...convinced there is any such thing as a multiplier.

        And even if there is a multiplier for deficit spending, there must be a reverse multiplier when you pay the debt down, right?

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 10:15:19 PM PDT

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        •  Surely you understand the police officer (0+ / 0-)

          takes his pay and purchases housing, food, entertainment, and donuts.   The donut shop takes the money and buys equipment, lights, flour and sprinkles.  The sprinkles company buys labor, and then union busting thugs.  The thugs go out and buy baseball bats and chains and late model american sedans and braces for the kids teeth.......
          Money moves through the economy in this way.  Unless it hits the top of the pyramid, the 1% of the 1%, who generally hoarde it.  But the cop, the cop spends .

          These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel. Abraham Lincoln

          by Nailbanger on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 10:29:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nextstep

            Look at the other link I posted about the Broken Window fallacy. That's all you're suggesting here.

            It's not that I don't think what cops do is valuable. I'd just prefer to hire as few of them as I reasonably can. Any more than that is a waste.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 10:34:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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