Blow Up The TV: Improve the GDP!

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

The endof “cash for clunkers”: "


News reports indicate that the federal governmentis winding up “Cash for Clunkers” early next week on the expectation thatclaims 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 mostludicrous (though, fortunately, small) intervention thus far has to be thecash-for-clunkers program. It’s not surprising that subsidising people to destroy oldcars would raise GDP, because measured GDP includes the replacement cars but not thevalue lost from destruction. Why not also blow up houses and factories and then enjoythe expansion of GDP from the replacement investment? (Actually, it’s best cosmeticallyto blow up refrigerators and other consumer durables because GDP does include rentalincome on houses andfactories.)

Imported from an old blog. Some links might be dead. Let me know if you find dead links.