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Give thanks for economic efficiency

A grasp of how basic economics contributes to human flourishing in astonishing ways gives the so-called dismal science a whole new luster.

I have never been to an event or cocktail party where raising the issue of economic efficiency engendered a particularly emotional discussion or any level of enthusiasm. I have never been to a Thanksgiving dinner table where someone gave thanks for GDP growth. I suspect this may happen in the economic departments of a few universities and perhaps in the halls of some vested bureaucracies in Washington. In general, people care little about the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). The academic debates in the literature over how useful it is as an indicator of well-being, or even how we should be measure it, are even less interesting.

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