Monday, March 01, 2004


More on "Freeware does not contribute to GDP"

Russ Nelson responds to Jorge Ortiz. He writes:
Problem! Economists aren't using the GDP to represent the wealth of a society! Only non-economists think the GDP represents the wealth of a society. [Non-economists are] misled by news reporters who report changes in the GDP as if that number means anything to a working stiff. It doesn't.

[Economists use GDP to] measure trade, not value. Its only use is in comparing the size of one country's trading against the size of another country's trading.

I'd really, really like to see non-economists completely forget about the GDP.
Two comments:
1. GDP doesn't even measure trade very well -- and it is easy to see how freeware could be a significant factor in (or at least displace a lot of) international trade.
2. So is there one reasonably simple, unified measure of a country's wealth?

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