Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Monday, January 30, 2012

The GDP and you

Commentary By Ron Beasley

The Gross Domestic Product, GDP, is the measure of economic well being - but is it?  If you are part of the one percent the answer is probably yes in the short term.  Short term is the key, GDP does not take into consideration the future negative impact of growth now.  There are also a few other problems with GDP and they are explained here: Beyond GDP: New Measures For A New Economy.

So what are the problems with GDP?

  • GDP does not distinguish between spending on bad things and spending on good things. By this measurement, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico �positively� contributed to the economy just like the many good and services that people actually want or need.

  • GDP doesn�t account for the distribution of growth. Our total national income has doubled over thirty years, and so has the share of national income going to the wealthiest households, but average households have seen little or no income gains.

  • GDP doesn�t care if growth is captured by a few or widely shared.

  • GDP doesn�t account for depletion of natural capital and ecosystem services. If all the fish in the sea are caught and sold next year, global GDP would see a big boost while the fishing industry itself would completely collapse.

  • GDP doesn�t reflect things that have no market price but are good for our society, like volunteer work, parenting in the home, and public investments in education and research.

GDP measures things that are good short term but not so good long term.  It is the essence of our instant gratification society. 

You can check it all here (pdf).

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