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Do You Have the GDP Virus?
By Arshad M Khan
News Item: The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.5% recording to the quarterly report issued last week.
Unlike ebola, almost everyone suffers from the GDP virus: the economists, the news media, the politicians, etc. Everyone is happy the economy is growing at a brisk pace. So why is it that a report on Illinois' public schools also this week noted that for the first time a majority of children (52%) in school are from low-income families. The middle class seems to have imploded.
Here is something to think about: If A kills B, GDP grows -- think of the police working to track the killer; the lawyers prosecuting and defending him; the prison housing him and so on. Prisons, many corporate owned, are growing faster and faster ...
If you take an evening walk and return home safely, you are not doing much for the economy except for wearing out your shoes. Now if you fall and break something -- a hip, a wrist, a leg, an arm -- you are being patriotic because GDP grows.
If you are selling steak at $5 a pound and double your price, GDP grows. Yes, its inflation adjusted, but the guys doing it are expert number tweakers.