Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blow Up The TV: Improve the GDP!

Reminded me of John Prine, even though the song does not match the story very closely, but still, it's a good song, and it's John Prine.

The end of “cash for clunkers”: "

Michael Giberson

News reports indicate that the federal government is winding up “Cash for Clunkers” early next week on the expectation that claims will exhaust the $3 billion committed to the program.   Just noticed this comment by Robert Barro of two weeks back (HT to Paul Walker/Anti-Dismal):

The most ludicrous (though, fortunately, small) intervention thus far has to be the cash-for-clunkers program. It’s not surprising that subsidising people to destroy old cars would raise GDP, because measured GDP includes the replacement cars but not the value lost from destruction. Why not also blow up houses and factories and then enjoy the expansion of GDP from the replacement investment? (Actually, it’s best cosmetically to blow up refrigerators and other consumer durables because GDP does include rental income on houses and factories.)

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