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New words 

Britt Blaser is trying out an alternative to conservative: patriarchist. And he prefers explorer to progressive.

On from Kuznets 

Daily Kos has a wonderful summary of the limitations of GDP as a measure of a nation’s health.

  “The United States ranks No. 1 worldwide in GDP and per capita GDP, and this has been the case for more than half a century. So when it rises 7.2% (or whatever the adjusted figures show in a couple of months), we’re talking a big deal.
  “But America doesn’t rank No. 1 when it comes to infant mortality. We’re 34th.
  “We don’t rank No. 1 in health care, either. We’re 37th.
  “Nor do we rank No. 1 in literacy. We’re No. 6.
  “And we’re not No. 1 in life expectancy. We’re 20th.
  “We are No. 1 when it comes to putting in the hours at work. In 1980, the average American was at work 1,887 hours a year; in 1990, it was 1,942 hours; and in 2000 it was 1,978 hours. And we’re No. 1 in overall productivity, though not in efficiency per hour.
  “(We’ve also got the toughest military machine on the planet, with expenditures at 43% of the worldwide total, more than the combined total of the next 14 nations.)
  “Other gauges exist. But they get little media play. GDP can be explained in a sentence. Nuances required to understand other indexes don’t make for good sound bites.”
 

We’re still awaiting a Kuznets to come up with a solid alternative to GDP.

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