Best of Twitter - Week of June 22, 2020 - how to account for free tech services in GDP?


Any tweet suggestions? I think the number of good tweets per week fell ~5x since beginning of 2020

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How to account for free tech services in GDP?

I have a strong gut feel that there’s something really misguided about GDP.

I’d be tempted to replace it with domestic energy consumption (which correlates with GDP pretty well anyway, in the short term), and for all the social stuff, just ask everyone some variant of ‘How much better is this year than last year’.

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One could go further and say that any discrepancy between GDP and energy use can probably be treated as a good indicator of whether an economy is building real things vs wasting time on useless crap/subsistence, and the obsession with GDP as a measurement has probably curtailed progress far more than it has helped.

If you look at the graph over time you’ll see that the line is generally high when things are being built and low when they aren’t. Those interested in the ‘Great Stagnation’ might notice that the last peak in the US plot occured in the early 1970s and the line has been decreasing steadily since.