Measuring the 21st Century – about our eyes on the economy

Fabius Maximus website

Summary: The government’s statistics provide the eyes by which we see the US economy. This NBER article explains how they’re working to keep the numbers accurate as the world changes, and reminds us why we shouldn’t listen to the those on the Right who question their skill and integrity.

The bad news: we lost a trillion dollars/year of GDP since the crash (figure 1)

Long-term graph of US real GDP

Our world is steered by governments and corporations who see the world in terms of economic statistics. We have two problems with these. First, we are hosed with a stream of misinformation from the Right, fanciful stories of incompetent and corrupt government statisticians circulated as part of their campaign to discredit the government (Zero Hedge runs these almost weekly). Second, they have to change as the world changes. Economists constantly work to update them, but it’s a Red Queen race (running as fast as they can…

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This entry was posted in economics on by .

About Jim Rose

Utopia - you are standing in it promotes a classical liberal view of the world and champion the mass flourishing of humanity through capitalism and the rule of law. The origin of the blog is explained in the first blog post at

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