James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Phony GDP and Unwanted Goods

My latest at the Partial Observer. Excerpt:

Lalor maintains that "[t]he more 'unwanted' goods purchased correlates with a worse-run economy." Or an ill-run society. A truly progressive society is one in which less and less energy, time, and money is consumed on security, safety, and health, and more is consumed in production of "wanted" goods. Medical care would, like computers, become both better AND less expensive over time. Likewise for law enforcement, defense, and private security. It's a question of efficiency, of continually getting more and better at less cost.

The justification for government's existence is precisely that is designed to make life more efficient. It provides the "unwanted goods" that maintain our personal and economic security. It is to provide services which, it is said, private initiative is not able to provide fairly or efficiently. We are forced to pay for government's services, whether or not we agree with them or use them. What the government takes for what it wants, the less we have to spend on what we want.

We must therefore insist that government services be delivered efficiently, economically. Government has no business growing faster than the growth of the population or economy, and a well-run government will actually improve its services at less cost over time. Every time we say, "We must spend more on Education" or "We must spend more on Defense," we are admitting that government is doing a bad job, that it is not creative and economical in its solutions.

Full article here.

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