Day: March 30, 2019

The left doesn’t agree that freedom and equality are better, free speech is better, democracy is better, freedom of religion is better


Not all GDP measurement errors are greater than zero!

Notes On Liberty

Bryan Caplan is an optimist. He thinks that economists do many errors in estimating GDP (overall well-being). He is right in the sense that we are missing many dimensions of welfare improvements in the last half-century (see here, here and here). These errors in measurements lead us to hold incorrectly pessimistic views (such as those of Robert Gordon). However, Prof. Caplan seems to argue (I may be wrong) that all measurements problems and errors are greater than zero. In other words, they all cut in favor of omitting things. There are no reasons to believe this. Many measurement problems with GDP  data cut the other way – in favor of adding too much (so that the true figures are lower than the reported ones).

Here are two errors of importance (which are in no way exhaustive): household output and adjustments for household size.

Household Output


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Pathetically Pointless: Massive Increase in German Wind Power Capacity Adds Nothing to Power Output


Adding wind power generating capacity is one occasion when ‘more’, truly means ‘less’. No matter how much of other people’s money gets spent spearing wind turbines all over the countryside, the result is the same: whether it’s 10,000 or 100,000 MW of available wind power capacity, when calm weather sets in, the combined output adds up to nothing.

Like pushing on string, eventually there is absolutely no return on the effort expended.

Germany is a case in point. No country went harder or faster, when it came to throwing its resources at heavily subsidised wind and solar.

Faced with rocketing power prices and a grid on the brink of collapse, instead of retreating, Germany has doubled down. However, as Pierre Gosselin explains, you wouldn’t know it from the paltry output being (occasionally) delivered.

Unreliable Power Source…Adding Capacity Does Little To Solve Germany’s Green Energy Power Gaps
No Tricks Zone

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