Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Who writes this shit?

Reading the commentariat slagging off the shouting match Joyce v Robertson on this weekend’s The Nation – the interview show that’s only shown at the time when most decent people are either in bed being hungover, or at least not spending their Sunday morning in front of a bloody  television – I headed over to the website to enjoy the blood sport, and stayed to lament the idiocy.

The blood sport was ill described, purportedly a debate about “the wealth of the nation” – Joyce and Robertson going “head-to-head on their parties' prescriptions for prosperity.” It wasn’t that at all; it was a slanging match about Chinese buying farms.   The idiocy started with the show’s very introduction and write-up, not challenged by either debater, which began:

As a country we are worth around $227 billion – not bad for a small country, but how do we grow that pie?

Do you see the problem?

The country’s wealth is not around $227 billion. It’s perhaps around ten to twenty times that  -- a nation’s wealth being, as Carl Menger once described it, the entire sum of economic goods at the command of the nation’s individual’s.

What I imagine the idiot is trying to say however is that GDP is around $227 billion, which is essentially the amount consumed every year on the basis of that wealth.

Do you see the problem?

Good for you if you do. Because most economists don’t see it either.

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