GDP is unscientific and unfair for poor people.

Stephen E Philion philion at
Sun Aug 29 00:29:15 PDT 1999

Ju-chang, Yes, I would agree with you on that. That is very different from arguing that it is unfair in general.


On Sat, 28 Aug 1999, chang wrote:

> Stephen E Philion,
> Do you agree that GDP is unscientific and unfair for poor people?
> Sincerely,
> Ju-chang He
> Welcome to My Homepage
> <>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stephen E Philion <philion at>
> To: lbo-talk at <lbo-talk at>
> Date: Sunday, August 29, 1999 12:18 PM
> Subject: Re: GDP is unscientific and unfair for poor people.
> >On Sat, 28 Aug 1999, chang wrote:
> >
> >> Economic theory should not be regarded as a theory of how to increase
> >> demand, investment, employment and GDP.
> >
> >Why shouldn't it be? From whose class perspective shouldn't it be
> >considered such, or do you mean in general, as we might wish the world to
> >be?
> >
> > It should be considered as a theory
> >> of how to raise the living standards of people, especially poor people, and
> >> also a theory of how to increase the world wealth and resource. Although war
> >> is generally thought to be able to decrease unemployment and increase GDP and
> >> economic growth rate, we should not say that wars are good for the economy.
> >> It is because wars destroy wealth and resource and lower the living standards
> >> of people.
> >>
> >
> >Well, yes, in the world as it doesn't presently present itself to us,
> >perhaps. But, actually, a good argument can be made that wars do benefit
> >the economy, at least from a certain class perspective, or are we to
> >assume commonality of interests vis 'the people'?
> >
> >
> >> Nowadays, most countries all over the world use Gross Domestic Product to
> >> judge the economic growth of a certain country and, according to this GDP,
> >> calculate this country's economic growth rate. This method of calculation is
> >> really unfair for poor people, for it fails to judge whether the poor
> >> people's living standards have been raised. For example, the yearly economic
> >> growth rate of some countries has reached 9-10 percent, but their poor
> >> people's living standards haven't been raised. There are still a lot of
> >> people suffering from cold and hunger. They can't afford to send their
> >> children to school, and, as a result, too many children are deprived of
> >> education. Therefore, a new economic theory is badly needed to judge a
> >> country's economic growth. My article "On The Development of Social Economy
> >> <>" has established a set of complete
> >> economic theories and also a new model of economic growth, by means of which
> >> we will be able to judge a country's economic growth accurately and fairly.
> >> And I also argue that we should use the living standards of the poor people
> >> and the sufficiency of the first and second grade consumption goods as the
> >> criterion to judge the economic situations of one country and the
> >> achievements of its government. Only when poverty is eliminated, may we say
> >> that the social economy is developed. Only when the living standards of the
> >> low-income people is improved, will we be able to take just and accurate
> >> measurement of the economic growth of a country. So, the economic growth of a
> >> certain country can't be measured by GDP. GDP is unscientific. The
> >> measurement of social economic development by means of GDP can only lead to
> >> the Military Keynesianism, lead to war.
> >
> >Yet it *is* the indicator of choice, be it in the US or in China, as you
> >are surely aware. The issue at hand is why is that so? Who has determined
> >that it be that way and who, aside from wishing or declaring it should be
> >that way is doing something about it?
> >
> >Steve
> >
> >
> >
> >

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