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Old 10-11-2012, 14:11   #1
Enoch Powell
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Default Thoughts on GDP and growth

These are my own thoughts, which may or may not be correct, but to me it makes sense. My opinions differ from mainstream economic thinking. Am I wrong, or are they?

In my opinion...

The focus on growth as the be-all and end-all is foolish yet few people seem to question it. Whenever you see politicians or economists give their analysis of the economy, growth is always mentioned. If we aren't 'growing', that must be bad. If we ARE 'growing', that is a good thing. Because presumably growth makes us all better off, right? Or at least maintains our standard of living. If we keep growing, we are progressing, we are getting somewhere, we aren't stagnating. This all sounds great in principle. Who could complain about progression and improvement?

Except growth beyond a certain point is not necessarily beneficial to anyone except a small percentage at the top of the pyramid. In practice, in highly developed and mature economies like in the UK, GDP growth means that although the pie may be bigger, the actual slice that WE get from it isn't any bigger, and may actually be smaller than in the past.

What good does it do most of us, if the economy grows yet GDP per capita does not grow? Or does not grow at the same rate? Or crucially, does not keep pace with the cost of living?

Why do all the talking heads we see on TV talk about GDP, but fail to put it in context? Why do they not talk about GDP per capita, or the cost of living, or better yet, ask whether we are getting better off in a real sense, including a social sense - the amount of hours we have to work, whether we are doing useful or fulfilling jobs, whether we are happy and whether we feel enriched by our employment. Why do they not talk about the population size versus the growth rate. If the growth rate of the economy does not keep pace with the rate of population increase then we are all worse off, on average. And vice versa. If the population falls faster than economic output does, then we are all better off.

I watch mainstream news and financial news channels and wonder if I am completely out of step with reality, or if most of the supposed experts are?
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Old 10-11-2012, 16:08   #2
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this is how i understand it also
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Old 10-11-2012, 16:23   #3
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Yes, pretty much spot on tbh.
Smoke and mirrors mate.
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Old 10-11-2012, 18:17   #4
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BUT PEOPLE NEED AN IPHONE5 TO FUNCTION

l
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Old 10-11-2012, 18:26   #5
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BUT PEOPLE NEED AN IPHONE5 TO FUNCTION

l
Have you bought your new phone yet?
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Old 10-11-2012, 18:34   #6
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Nope
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Old 10-11-2012, 18:43   #7
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20273727

This fits in roughly with your question. Absolutely zero economic understanding shown by the presenter, no economic analysis, a few interviews with some blokes who happened to be standing there WHO KNEW FOR DEFINITE ABOUT THIS PETROL PRICE LARK including one gentleman at a bus-stop who seemed unable to put forward a coherent argument.

Last edited by TheSultanOfShoeVomit; 10-11-2012 at 18:46.
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Old 10-11-2012, 18:47   #8
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I note the immigrant decorator/builder
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Old 10-11-2012, 18:48   #9
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And yes the man at the bus stop seemed to enjoy that motorists have to pay through the nose, because he doesn't have a car himself. The politics of envy is always a winner.
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Old 10-11-2012, 18:51   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoch Powell View Post
These are my own thoughts, which may or may not be correct, but to me it makes sense. My opinions differ from mainstream economic thinking. Am I wrong, or are they?

In my opinion...

The focus on growth as the be-all and end-all is foolish yet few people seem to question it. Whenever you see politicians or economists give their analysis of the economy, growth is always mentioned. If we aren't 'growing', that must be bad. If we ARE 'growing', that is a good thing. Because presumably growth makes us all better off, right? Or at least maintains our standard of living. If we keep growing, we are progressing, we are getting somewhere, we aren't stagnating. This all sounds great in principle. Who could complain about progression and improvement?

Except growth beyond a certain point is not necessarily beneficial to anyone except a small percentage at the top of the pyramid. In practice, in highly developed and mature economies like in the UK, GDP growth means that although the pie may be bigger, the actual slice that WE get from it isn't any bigger, and may actually be smaller than in the past.

What good does it do most of us, if the economy grows yet GDP per capita does not grow? Or does not grow at the same rate? Or crucially, does not keep pace with the cost of living?

Why do all the talking heads we see on TV talk about GDP, but fail to put it in context? Why do they not talk about GDP per capita, or the cost of living, or better yet, ask whether we are getting better off in a real sense, including a social sense - the amount of hours we have to work, whether we are doing useful or fulfilling jobs, whether we are happy and whether we feel enriched by our employment. Why do they not talk about the population size versus the growth rate. If the growth rate of the economy does not keep pace with the rate of population increase then we are all worse off, on average. And vice versa. If the population falls faster than economic output does, then we are all better off.

I watch mainstream news and financial news channels and wonder if I am completely out of step with reality, or if most of the supposed experts are?
A well reasoned and thought out post
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