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Particularly over the last 15-20 years, GDP growth has been driven by activities that consume little or no physical resources - information, banking, service sector etc.
That has to be a good thing, since it shows that "growth" is possible without increased resource use precisely because the monetary value of intangible services is included in our measure of activity.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 18th, 2009 at 07:19:11 AM EST
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Does that include the monetary value of bubbles, Ponzi schemes, and other market manipulations?

As usual, there has to be - and there isn't - a distinction between intangible value creation, and intangible thievery and mendacious accounting.

And even the service sector has significant infrastructure costs. It would be interesting to compare the energy and raw material costs needed to produce and run a server and a car.

I suspect the total resource bill would be closer than many people realise.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Aug 18th, 2009 at 07:28:20 AM EST
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