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I wanted to refer to this article, too. Some more points:

  • That 1.8% for the Eurozone rises to 2.1% if we exclude Germany, which had its problems in large part due to the problematic reunification

  • (most important point in my view) European and American GDP statistics are actually incomparable: the USA makes heavy use of statistical tricks like 'hedonic price indexing', which adds the income of new technology industries into the GDP with a multiplier that is meant to express decrease of prices due to development (for example, PCs, 1995-2000: real rise from $23 to 87 billion, but with HPI, the latter became $240 billion); some stuff like companies' spending on computers is added to the GDP as investment in the USA, but substracted as spending in Europe, etc.

There is a further point about joblessness, too. After looking at the details, I became convinced that joblessnumbers are a sham: there are endless opportunities to exploit (and they are exploited) for statistical tricksery. Basically, the jobless number is the number of people without jobs who are tracked by some government agency and are recognised as such, be as people receiving benefits or applying for job-searching help. It would make more sense to look at the number of working people vs. all working-age people; and, IMO, even more sense to just look at working people vs. total population.

In effect, both in Britain and the USA, a lot of jobless people drop out of the statistics because jobless benefits are more scarce and apply for less time. The Bush-era development in the USA is particularly instructive: the jobless number is sinking for IIRC two years now, but the total workforce barely reached its early 2001 record level in total numbers, while the working-age population increased by millions.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jul 1st, 2005 at 04:42:22 AM EST
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