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20150628 Ideas with Consequences

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This book is a detailed analysis of activities of Federalist society in development of legal ideas related to the Originalist reading of US Constitution and, most important, of how these ideas were introduced and took root among the generation of lawyers who in process of development of their careers moved throughout the system achieving key positions and judges, litigators, and Supremes, eventually making consequential legal decisions based on these ideas. Author in great details reviews this process in its historical development for recent key decisions of Supreme Court that confirmed First Amendment Rights as related to political campaign financing in Citizen United and the Second Amendment right as individual right, rather than collective. Finally it discusses key constitutional issues of separation of power and role of judiciary that are strongly promoted by Federalist Society as “Duty to say what the Law is, not what it should be”, thus dispatching theory of “Living Constitution” to dustbin of history, if this effort is successful.


Introduction: 1. Understanding Federalist Society Network Influence

This book is about Federalist Society that was created in 1982 by young conservative lawyers and is identified here as Political Epistemic Network. The criteria for this identification provided in the table:

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The introduction discusses influence of the society and its impact on judiciary “counterrevolution” that over last few dozen years moved America’s legal profession somewhat back to original constitution, albeit just a little bit. Here is graph representing such influence:

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PART I: The State Exists, to Preserve Freedom

  1. The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms: Lost and Found

This chapter provides some history and analysis of impact of members and associates of Federalist society on change in reading of Second amendment from collective rights as it was promoted by leftists to individual right as it was reaffirmed by current Supreme Court in Heller. Author provides detailed description and specific input by personalities linked to Federalist society who had impact on the decision including 4 Supremes.

  1. Judicial Activism, Inc.: The First Amendment, Campaign Finance, and Citizens United

This chapter reviews another hot spot of left-right struggle: application of the First Amendment to Campaign Financing reform. As in the previous case, author works through specific individuals and their input in legal discussion that led to Citizen United and identification of Corporations as entities for which the First Amendment applies as it is related to financing of political campaigns. Here author also provides the same graph populated with numbers of individuals associated with Federalist Society who participated in Citizens United.

PART II: The Separation of Governmental Powers Is Central to Our Constitution 4. Federalism and the Commerce Power: Returning to “First Principles”

This is about somewhat successful effort of members of federalist society to roll back unlimited power of Federal government created during New Deal by using Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution as generic tool to push “whatever you want” type of laws. The first success was in 1992 with New York v. US, then in Lopez (1995), and Morrison (2000). Author discusses personalities in Federalist Society who specialize on Commerce clause and their “Textualist-Originalist” interpretation of the Constitution and their intention to move legal environment to pre 1937 judicial revolution that practically destroyed constitutional limits on Federal government. Author present development of this movement via somewhat detailed analysis of these 3 cases.

  1. State Sovereignty and the Tenth Amendment: The Anti-Commandeering Doctrine

This chapter is about X amendment that for a long time was a dead letter of “Written Constitution”, meaningless in the environment of triumph of leftist “Living Constitution”. The cases reviewed here: Printz (1997) and Sebelius (2012) represent successful attempts to revive state sovereignty.

PART III: It Is Emphatically the Province and Duty of the Judiciary Branch to Say.

What the Law IS, Not What It Should Be

  1. Saying What the Law Is: The Federalist Society and the Conservative Counterrevolution

The last chapter is about role and meaning of judiciary, describing struggle of Federalist society members against leftist doctrine of judiciary as a tool of implementing their “progressive” ideals in circumstances when people and elected legislature do not support or even reject these ideas, something that Warren Court was famous for. An interesting point here is made about specificity of American Jurisprudence when judicial decision-making has to include written reasoning for the decision, unlike legislative decision-making. General idea promoted by Federalist society is the supremacy of written Constitution and it’s meaning over precedents that dramatically decreases power of stare decisis, consequently opening New Deal judicial revolution for dismantling. The actions of Federalist Society directed at creating a climate conductive for the constitutional change by:

  1. Getting the right cast of characters on the Supreme Court
  2. Acting as vigilant and vocal judicial audience
  3. Changing the debate and reducing the stigma of once-radical ideas and theories

Epilogue: An Agenda for Future Research: Looking Back, Looking Forward

The epilogue reviews attempt by left wing to create counterpart to Federalist Society that would defend their achievements in destruction of original Constitution and substitute rule of law with their own rule. Such counterpart – American Constitutional Society (ACS) was founded in 2001 and author suggest for future research look at progress of this organization in acquiring similar or even higher level of authority and influence in judicial decision making. So far two justices appointed by Obama did not have strong connections with ACS. Sotomayor was practically unknown to ACS, while Kagan did successful presentation to both ACS and Federalist Society. Moreover Obama failed to get congress approval for ACS activist Liu appointment to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals seems to be specifically as result of his activism and expressed intention to use this position to promote leftist ideas.


For me the struggle between leftist ideas of living constitution and rightist ideas of original unchangeable (dead) constitution is highly enchanting. Generally I am in agreement with chairman Mao that “power is coming from the barrel of gun”, but the funny part is that gun is always in the hands of men and legal system, judicial ideas, and philosophical ideals pretty much define what is going on in the heads of these men and consequently where the barrel of gun will be pointed to. So far based on history and analysis of this book it looks like Originalist ideas of Federalist society represent more logical and more consistent with ideals of American culture approach and therefore command strong influence on outcome of competition in more than a few specific constitutional disputes. On the other hand majority of legal profession including professors and students seasoned in New Deal ideology are on the side of ACS and Living Constitution with unlimited power for government. So the balance of power is between minority associated with Federalist Society and their superior ideas meaning more in sync with American tradition and culture, and numerical majority dedicated to the New Deal with inferior ideas contradicting American tradition and culture. I guess watching with struggle would be highly entertaining for a foreseeable future. Especially interesting and unique to America is the situation when people with guns (military and police) are deeply supportive of traditional American culture, but tolerate leftist direction in government destroying this culture. The reason for this tolerance is traditional culture’s huge respect to democratic rule and law. Leftists, on other hand consistently push outside existing law and democratic traditions overriding them each time when they have power to do so either due to capturing democratically elected positions of power or legal authority to interpret law. I think that this contradiction could not continue forever and will have to be resolved.

20150620 Me Myself and Us

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This wonderful book was written to implement a great idea: to present recently developed knowledge in psychology ranging from big five to accommodation to environment, and use this psychological knowledge as tool to advice on how to achieve high levels of wellbeing.


ONE: First Blushes and Second Thoughts

This chapter is about how people think about themselves and others, what psychologist call “personal constructs”. It starts with a story of obnoxious man in restaurant and goes on to look at spectator’s approach of assigning psychological features to this unknown man. From this example it goes to notion of “frozen relationships” something like familiar face that one regularly meet in elevator, but has no intention to communicate with. The “personal constructs” define to the large degree individual’s attitude to self and to other people. Author presents example of a person who build his personality around one-dimensional construct as a military person and consequently fell apart after being rejected by ROTC.

Another interesting point here is a suggested division of people into things specialist and persons specialist, the first one looking at materialistic presentations of the person including fMRI and other tools and another one looking at psychological presentation extracted via conversations and questionnaires. At the end of chapter author reviews a case of personality evaluation with conclusion about “importance of having sufficient degrees of freedom in our comprehension of creatures – including ourselves”. This is achieved by looking at people through prism of two distinctive characteristics: fixed stable traits that are typical to what we are and free traits that we can use to override our stable traits in order to achieve some objectives.

TWO: Stable Traits and Well-Being: Set Like Plaster?

Here author reviews and critics Myers Briggs Types Indicator (MBTI) and discusses Big Five Personality Inventory (TIPI) in details for each characteristic:

  1. Consciousness: Structure, Chaos, and All That Jazz
  2. Agreeableness: The Promise and Problems of Being Pleasant
  3. Neuroticism: Sensitivity and Sensibility
  4. Openness to Experience: Receptivity vs. Resistance
  5. Extraversion: Arousal and Affect

THREE Free Traits: On Acting Out of Character

This chapter is about human ability to accommodate to situation regardless of how much it fit for fixed personality traits. The actual behavior depends on three motivational sources:

  1. Biogenic sources that arise from genetic make up of the person
  2. Sociogenic Sources that arise from process of socialization and depend on culture. As example author uses extraversion as specifically American cultural trait versus introversion typical for Asian cultures.
  3. Idiogenic Sources: Personal Projects and Free Traits.

The last one is typical when Personal projects require use of traits that are not typical for a person such as when deeply introverted person has to do public speaking. Everybody does it on regular basis by using free traits, but they have psychological costs and negative impact on health. Author reviews dynamics of this process and suggests technics that could decrease negative impact of acting out of character such as Restorative Niches where person can relax by going to natural way of acting.

FOUR: Mutable Selves: Personality and Situations

This is about personal propensity for situational accommodation. It is measured by self-monitoring (SM) scale. People with high SM concerned with how others see them and therefore are driven by situation, while people with Low SM mainly concerned with self-perception and therefore are driven by their own values. Mark Snyder created this self-monitoring scale. The chapter reviews specifics of behavior of HSM vs. LSM people and situation when one or another set of features provides advantage. However author differentiate SM from Big Five as non-fixed feature, it is rather personal trend, with person moving relatively easy between LSM and HSM depending on severity of stakes in a situation.

FIVE: Control, Agency, and the Shape of a Life

This chapter is about person’s internal or external orientation. Internals believe that their life outcome depend mainly on their effort, while externals believe in primacy of circumstances. These are mainly flexible traits so author reviews it in relation to a bunch of parameters and situations such as:

  • Resistance to Social Influence
  • Risk Taking
  • Linking Ends to Means
  • Delay of Gratification
  • Stress Control and Buttons (hooked or not)
  • Anxiety from loosing control
  • Adaptive Illusions and Strategic Spin

SIX: Hale and Hardy: Personality and Health

This is about link between personalities type. It reviews Holmes-Rahe scale of stressful live changes and how they inflict health. Turned out that stressful events have very different impact on different people, with individuals high on 3C: Control, Commitment, and Challenge as core aspects of their personality being stress resistant. Another example are type A super active personalities who are highly vulnerable to coronary disease, actually posing thread not only to themselves, but also to surrounding people. For these type A people even high 3C paradoxically can both enhance and endanger their health when they overcommit themselves, or try control uncontrollable, or take challenge that is not possible to meet.

Finally author provides very brief review of work of Aaron Antonovsky who came up with notion of salutogenic process when object of medical research is not illness, but condition of health. He found that health if connected with person’s Sense of Coherence (SOC), defined as “the extent to which one has a pervasive, enduring, though dynamic feeling of confidence that one’s environment is predictable and that things will work out as well as reasonably can be expected”.

SEVEN: Personality and Creativity: The Myth of the Solo Hero

This chapter looks at link between personality and creativity using materials from the Institute for Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR). This research was conducted based on two groups of architects one identified as highly creative and another one with similar professional characteristics, but not considered highly creative by peers. The results were:

  • Highly creative were not considerably more intelligent than control group
  • They had more freedom in early development and their families moved often bringing to their lives change in environment and experience of accommodation
  • Their interests were matching interests of professionals with high level of non-trivial information processing jobs like lawyers, authors, or musicians, but differentiated from professionals with trivial information processing requirements like bankers or police.
  • They were more likely Introverts per MBTI, be more Perceiving rather than Judging, significantly more Intuitive. Finally Thinking was more typical for people creative in science than in arts, with creative architects divided 50-50.

Very interesting was approach to complexity with preference to complexity at the beginning of creative project and preference for simplicity at the completion phase. Author also reviews relation between creativity and eccentricity, psychopathology, and wellbeing.

EIGHT: Where Are You? Personality in Place

This chapter is about link between personalities and places. It starts with description of debates between deconstructionist architect and architect supporter of small preindustrial towns as ideal communal living. From here it goes to discussion of design of living spaces and cities and how one person’s utopia could be another person’s dystopia and presents Environmental Response Inventory (ERI), which scores on 8 different dispositions toward physical environment:

  • Pastoralism (PA)
  • Urbanism (UR)
  • Environment Adaptation (EA)
  • Stimulus Seeking (SS)
  • Environmental Trust (ET)
  • Antiquarianism (AN)
  • Need for Privacy (NP)
  • Mechanical Orientation (MO)

This follows by quite sketchy analysis of suitability of different locations in USA for different types of Big 5 personalities. Final part of the chapter discusses different attitudes to Cyberia, meaning Social Media of Twitter, Facebook, and such.

NINE: Personal Projects: The Happiness of Pursuit

This chapter is about Personal Projects, the notion that includes practically everything that individual is doing intentionally. The bottom line of this discussion: Personal project are very important because they give meaning to the live and it is highly connected to the wellbeing of the person.

TEN Self-Reflections: The Art of Well-Being

The final chapter kind of links everything together in some semblance of formula for the Art of Wellbeing. It includes:

  • Sustainable Pursuit of Core Projects
  • Continuing Revisiting of Personal Constructs to assure they are not getting on the way of wellbeing
  • Context Monitoring: Scanning, Seeking, and Shaping Our Environments
  • Self-Reflections: Reconciling and Revitalizing

It ends with a beautiful metaphor of live as a dance when partners know each other to the slightest detail because these partners are: Me, Myself, and US.


I think that it is a great collection of psychological knowledge and, more important, demonstration of application of this knowledge to the process of self-discovery. I found it very consistent with what I learned not only from books, but also from real live experiences, which pretty much confirming validity of the knowledge presented in this book.

20150613 Twilight of Elite

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The main idea of this book is pretty simple: American society was built on idea of meritocracy, but it led to creation of elite that now controls just about everything. This meritocratic elite created the huge inequality of income, wealth, and opportunity between its members and everybody else, causing degradation of society institutions and disappearance of equality of opportunity. The remedy that would resolve the problem author sees in government action to increase equality via taxation and control over population, prompted by popular insurrectionist movements such as Tea parties and Occupy Wall Street. He believes that it is a natural process of dynamic democratic society and that result will be the new era of equality.



This chapter starts with the sentence: “America feels broken” and continues through laundry list of what is had been wrong with America lately from TARP and financial crisis to the way Americans feel about their life, stressing that this feeling of things going wrong is common on the left and on the right of political specter. It also demonstrates author disappointment with Obama administration as too cautious and too deferent to authority. Author perceives Obama’s rise as triumph of meritocracy at the time when Americans trust in institutions of society hit the all time low (How somebody can see meritocracy in a product of affirmative action is beyond my understanding). Consequently author identifies two types of attitudes to this calamity: insurrectionists and Institutionalists. The former believe that institutions of American society are broken and should be drastically changed; while the latter believe that these institutions just need some repair and maintenance. Author stresses that this situation occurred at the same time when American ruling elite changed from narrow group of WASPs to narrow group of individuals selected on the merits of their achievement – product of meritocratic rule established as result of anti-establishment revolution of 1960s. Finally author stresses his dual attitude to situation when he supports insurrectionist ideas, but afraid that big changes could go in direction that he would not like. On the top of it he seems to be just plain scared that the only institution that Americans still trust are army and police – not a good thing for a leftist revolutionary.


This chapter is about meritocracy in America as foundation of its culture and American Dream. It is discussed using example of highly selective Hunter school in Manhattan – well-defined road to top colleges and correspondingly top-level career. Author himself is the alumnus of this school so he presumably knows what he is talking about. Then author moves to social theorist Robert Michels who concluded that democracy is not practically possible because it always moves to oligarchy, when meritocratic leaders, elected or not, take over control of the state machinery and do whatever they want. So in order to remain in realm of democracy meritocracy has to comply with 2 principles: Principle of Difference and Principle of Mobility, assuring continuing competitive selection process. The problem is that unequal outcomes make equal opportunities impossible because winners create better start up opportunities for their children. Author believes that it pretty much happened in America by 2012 due to inequality of income, despite Americans’ believe that success depends more on person than on background.

Chapter Three: MORAL HAZARDS

It starts with description of suicidal attack on government building by self-employed consultant who was harassed by IRS because of a law created in 1986 specifically for tax break for IBM at the expense of self-employed software developers. Then author goes through a number of cases from Enron to financial crisis pretty much supporting anti-big business approaches of both Tea parties and Occupy movement and lamenting a fundamental inequality of accountability.

Chapter Four WHO KNOWS?

This chapter is about role of experts and inability of regular person to evaluate quality of expert advice. As rules of thumb for decision making author analyses tools available for regular person:

  1. Consensus about something such as gravity with example of it failing as in housing bubble;
  2. Proximity to the source of information with example of media when journalists’ proximity to sources supposed to assure validity of information, and again with negative example of Iraq WMD and Financial Crises when it failed.
  3. Good Faith into people we get information from. Once again author demonstrates that it is not enough on example of sex scandals of Catholic Church. In addition author laments expansion of secrecy that makes information inaccessible in order to support unwarranted faith in American institution. As one would expect it is supported by quite positive view of WikiLeaks affair. Eventually the conclusion is that progress depends on interaction between Institutionalists and Insurrectionists with former keeping eye on integrity of institutions and latter being “stewards of public life”.

Chapter Five WINNERS

This chapter is about American elite and what it is made off. It starts with complain against right wing politics who loudly claims to be victimized by media and intellectual elite, while in reality being themselves part of elite. Then author goes into theory and literature about elite with reference to Robert Michels, Pareto, Ortega y Gasset, and C Wright Mills. Eventually author comes up with definition of sources for elite status: Money, Platform, and Networks. Finally he reviews 1% pathologies and cult of smartness typical for American “meritocratic” elite.

Chapter Six OUT OF TOUCH

This about the distance that separate elite from regular people and how it is often intentionally hidden in order either to obtain votes by politicians or assure loyalty of sports fans, or convince people to work harder in interest of corporation. It is also about these attempts more and more often falling flat and failing to achieve these goals, eventually leading to massive alienation of people from institution and creation of Tea Parties and Occupy movements. Finally author goes through list of late crises from Iraq war to New Orleans, and Financial Crisis to demonstrate how this distance makes elite fail.


In this final chapter author proposes his solution for what he perceives as failure of meritocracy in America. This solution is “make America more equal”. He identifies two “eras of equality”, one from end of WWII until early 1970s and another one from late 1970s till now. The first era was the era of manufacturing prosperity with jobs for everybody that ended with Europe and Japan recovery after the war and end of American dominance of world markets. The second era is the era of meritocratic prosperity of educated people with wide availability of education for everybody capable to succeed. This era is ending now because according to the author inequality achieved through meritocracy is bound to kill meritocracy by providing unequal opportunity to children of high achievers, making gap wider and depriving children of underachievers of equal opportunities. Author sees the remedy in grass roots mass movement forcing renegotiation of social contract and reform existing institutions to decrease inequality.


MSNBC leftist pundit wrote this book, but, somewhat surprisingly, it is directed against the elite and calls to grassroots movement to dismantle this elite. Being leftist author directs his invectives mainly against private businesses and evil deeds of republican administrations, but it is interesting to note that he seems to understand the growing instability of existing arrangements and seeks to resolve it by changing social contract in order to decrease inequality in society. He is disgusted seeing inequality created in private business when hedge fund manager earns millions by making billions of profits for the fund, but seems to be perfectly fine when politicians and/or bureaucrats spend millions of public money on their upkeep in stile in return for directing billions of public money to their friends and supporters either for increasing their wealth or for supporting their causes, which is pretty much the same. From my point of view inequality is irrelevant, but the way it achieved is not just relevant, but is of paramount concern for prosperity of society.

From here follows that public sector superrich are evil because their wealth achieved by violently robbing productive people, while private sector superrich are relatively benign because even in worst case scenario they achieved their wealth by non-violently cheating their customers, while in more usual scenario they achieved it by producing goods and services that their customers buy voluntarily.

20150606 GDP

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This book is the detailed review of GDP, its history, method of calculations and most important its deficiencies. The main idea is that flaws are real, very significant, and there is no known way to fix them. The review of various alternatives demonstrates that they are even more flawed than GDP so there is no alternative but continue its use in foreseeable future despite all warts.


ONE: From the Eighteenth Century to the 1930s: War and Depression

This chapter is description of early attempts to calculate economic resources of the country. These attempts were caused mainly by the need to estimate resource availability for military actions. It started with William Petty in 1665 that produced population, income, and expenditure calculations for England, providing information necessary for effective taxation. Then it jumps to XX century when contemporary national accounts had been established during 1930 in UK and USA. One interesting quirk here is that father of American economic statistics Simon Kuznets wanted to exclude government military expenses, advertisement, and financial speculation as items that decrease wealth rather than increase it. He lost and now GDP includes all government expenses and other non-valuable staff making it quite inadequate tool for measurement of economic wellbeing of the country. Other countries such as USSR and Germany also developed GDP, but with some very specific caveats. For example USSR would not count value of services since services are not material and therefore according to Marxist orthodoxy has no value. This chapter also provides definitions of GDP and its tabular and graphic representations for all approaches: Value-added, Income, and final demand. Finally it analyses some inherent difficulties in GDP calculations related to technological developments, natural resources potential, and, most important, subjective character of this tool. As example of far reaching consequences of miscalculation author presents history of Britain “non-crisis” of 1976.

TWO: 1945 to 1975: The Golden Age

This is review of GDP golden age period when it was not only calculated for internal use, but also served as an important tool of comparison of economic effectiveness of various countries and even more important economic systems, serving as important tool in ideological struggle of cold war. As part of this discussion exchange rates and purchasing power parity are also analyzed. Interestingly enough it ends with admission that it was all not only highly approximate, but also subject to serial cheating both intentional and not by communist camp, which economic structure was designed to produce numbers for reporting to leadership and propaganda for masses, rather than for actual estimates of real goods and services production.

THREE: The Legacy of the 1970s: A Crisis of Capitalism

This chapter is about crisis of capitalism in 1970s presenting four challenges to existing approach:

  1. End of effective economic growth after Arab attack on western energy market
  2. Intensity of Cold war demanding huge military expenses, while communist propaganda within and without West generated misinformation, in order to undermine overall moral of western societies by creating false impression of Soviet economic superiority
  3. Environmentalist attack on industrial society adding additional burden on efficiency of production.
  4. Continuing drug on Western economy from perceived need to provide subsistence for developing countries that have no viable economy to speak of.

All this resulted in stagflation, loss of faith in Keynesian measures and overall moral and ideological bearings of West.

FOUR: 1995 to 2005: The New Paradigm

The failure of Keynesianism in 1970s led to change of paradigm to monetarism. This time it was based more or less on factual evidence from GDP data from increasing number of countries. These data supported Solow’s idea of technology as driver of economic growth and were based on data set created by Alan Maddison. As example author provides history if computer technology when for decades businesses increasingly invested into computers, while economists could not find any evidence that this investment make any sense whatsoever. Only during 2000s economists succeeded in identifying increase in productivity growth from 1.38 in 1972-1996 to 2.46 in 1996-2004. Author also reviews difficulty in measuring value of services and variety that exploded in all areas of business. Economists even come up with Hedonic index trying to measure improvement in quality and functionality of various products. Computers again used as example because it is quite striking how huge is difference in functionality between computer of 1990 and computer of 2010 sold at the same price.

FIVE: Our Times: The Great Crash

This chapter is about financial crash of 2007 that to significant extent was caused by economists’ inability to calculate real value of financial assets leading to dramatic overestimates during the boom. It also discusses inability to provide valid data that would include totality of economy including informal and household input. There is a charming quote from Robert Stone about arbitrariness of economic calculations: “… commercial products valued at market price, government services at cost, and household activities are simply ignored.” It also discusses “Production boundary” that in theory separates productive activities from non-productive, but in reality is just a bunch of arbitrary decision about what goes into calculations and what stays out. Finally it looks at relationship between GDP and other economic data and welfare of society. So far attempt to measure this welfare with various indexes including MEW and iSEW are far from perfect. Another attempt to measure economic wellbeing of society are various dashboard that include multitude of indicators. So far with all deficiencies of GDP nothing else was accepted as viable alternative to it.

SIX: The Future: Twenty-first-Century GDP

The last chapter is a look at the future development and analysis of specific challenges that GDP or any other measurement would face while creating meaningful indicator of economic welfare of society. These challenges are:

  • Dramatically growing complexity of economy
  • Difficulty of evaluating productivity especially in services
  • Intangibility of products such as new knowledge that could not be measured in any meaningful way
  • Sustainably of productive processes and their impact on environment.

The final conclusion is that GDP is a deeply flawed tool, but it is still a bright light shining through the fog of economic data and there is nothing else comparable to it.


This is a wonderful account of GDP as economic tools and it’s many deficiencies. I am strong believer in old wisdom of software engineering more than applicable in this case: “Garbage in – garbage out”. Our quasi-socialistic intellectuals and politicians keep trying to manage economy based on garbage based information like GDP and unsurprisingly continue produce garbage quality results. I believe it is absolutely not possible to measure economy in any meaningful way by calculating inputs and outputs for the simple reason that both inputs and outputs contain a lot more intangible, than tangible components.

Moreover I do not think it even make sense to try measure economy because the only reason for such measurement is to use it for management, but economy being practically livelihood of people could not and should not be measured. I believe that instead of look at economy as at machine to be managed by elites, much more productive way would be to look at it as an unmanageable conglomeration of people and resources, and all that conceivably could be done is to set some rules of game that would facilitate maximization of resource availability for people to pursue satisfaction of their needs.