Body counts

michael perelman michael at
Sat Jul 11 15:20:51 PDT 1998

Brad De Long wrote:

> You do have a quadrupling of Indonesian real GDP per capita in the
> generation after 1965 to set against the 750,000-1,000,000 direct death
> toll of Suharto...

The increase in GDP goes along with an intensification of poverty.

> >Again, I am not recommended that we choose our preferred form of government on
> >the basis of such accounting.
> Why not?

Because this form of accounting usually revolves around wild guesses by people who make up numbers to serve an ideological purpose; and, more important, because it only addresses a small part of the situation.

> How else are we to evaluate forms of government than by looking at
> what happens to the people ruled by them?

Yes, but not simply by body counts.-- Michael Perelman Economics Department California State University Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321 E-Mail michael at

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