BEYOND THE NATIONAL ACCOUNTS

Advocates of the existing economic and social system often argue that market economies have produced ‘a growth in real output never before seen in human history. “Look how GDP has grown because of the genius of free markets,” say the admirers of capitalism.

In recent years, economists have begun developing new measures to correct the major defects of the standard GDP numbers and better reflect the true satisfaction producing outputs of our economy. The new approaches attempt to extend the boundaries of the traditional accounts by including important non market activities as well as correcting for harmful activities that are included as of national output. Let’s consider some of the omitted pluses and minuses.

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