Stop what you’re doing and read this

February 28th, 2018 at 8:06 am

It’s my interview with David Pilling about his new book, The Growth Delusion. One can’t over-stress how important it is that instead of always blithely holding forth on the movement of this or that indicator, we look behind the curtain at what we’re actually measuring…and what we’re leaving out.

I’m not kidding, btw, when I assert that Pilling’s book is also pretty entertaining. So, check it out (the book, not the interview) and let me know if you agree with my positive take.

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3 comments in reply to "Stop what you’re doing and read this"

  1. Jill SH says:

    [grrrr] WaPo pay wall. (Anyway you can link to your pieces and get around the wall?)

    But I read the Amazon blurb about his book. Two things stuck out in it:
    “…economists decide how much unemployment is acceptable and whether it is right to print money or bail out profligate banks.”
    “…many citizens feel more pessimistic than ever, and are voting for candidates who voice undisguised contempt for the technocratic elite.”

    My impression (maybe yours too?) is that politicians aren’t really listening much to what you economists say — or at least, not to the ones I agree with, like you and Krugman and Dean Baker and that ilk. And people vote for the politicians who lie and follow “economists” who provide excuses for the policies the politicians want.

    Oh well. Will they ever learn? Guess I’ll have to read his book and find out!

  2. Smith says:

    How is this so different from the national best seller in 1958 by the celebrity economist John Kenneth Galbraith and his book “The Affluent Society” ? He later also critiqued big business and managers for valuing growth over alternative measurements. It’s also part of the famous saying Americans live to work, and Europeans work to live. This may be a new book, but definitely not a new idea. See also more recently “How Much Is Enough?” by Robert and Edward Skidelsky 2012. How should one measure success? Philosophers have debated this for millennia.

  3. William Miller says:

    The biggest gap in economic measurement is the failure to have laws for financial accounting requiring proper measure intangible capital in addition to tangible capital and then the failure to have laws that properly connect worker and executive compensation to contributions of intangible capital from individuals that create current and future revenue and profits.