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« Europeans: You Don’t Get It, Do You? | Main | The Integrity of College Teaching »

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Fred,

There are major issues with all national income statistics, even those that try to account for other issues, which if pursued consistently and persistently would lead to the rejection of the use of national income statistics in economic analysis of well-behing.

See my earlier post on this entitled "The Datea of Development" ... http://austrianeconomists.typepad.com/weblog/2005/08/the_data_of_dev.html

I was going to say something ysterday about the pitfalls of GDP as a measure of prosperity, you can boost GDP by driving your car with the handbrake on to increase petrol consumption, with a bonus when it has to be repaired.

The EU services directive was approved today. That means that there will now be more cross-national-border competition within the EU. Although it is a watered-down version of what was originally on the table, its approval is another sign that Europeans "get it" - something you suggested in your previous post that they don't. Sure, attitudes are still generally not very market-friendly in Europe. But the idea that things are going to be allowed to deteriorate until Europeans can no longer afford any leisure time or activities just isn't realistic--Europeans are surely cleverer than that!

Pete and Rafe, agreed. I have no doubt that GDP is not a good measure of the sum of all the psychic profit generated by the actions of everyone. My point was that even using the GDP-improved argument, one doesn't escape the problem Europe (or at least some of its countries) is facing.
CMB. Policy change is taking place for sure, but I don't think this is enough to be sure that Europeans 'get it'. What is needed is a change of paradigm rather than tinkering about within the same paradigm.

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