Richard Tilden-Smith misunderstands GDP (Gross Domestic Product) (10/10/14). However, two economists asked the same question will give three conflicting answers!
GDP (GNP, GNI) are artificial comparative economic indices beloved of robotic politicians and economists in engineering economic growth with its bedfellow, “man-made” global warming. The 1920s rural North/South Circular, 1980s rural M25, Chunnel/HS1 and HS2 were promoted as boosting GDP yet today we are full circle to a 1930s recession again demanding infrastructure investment - Boris Island - ‘to boost GDP’.
GDP is by default misleading! It is basically the sum monetary value of Britain’s annual own-produced goods and services output. It bears little relation to efficiency or productivity for its ‘value’ reflects only what the business/consumer paid. GDP rises with orders, but while Minis and Smiths’ watches added to Britain’s GDP, they were produced at a loss! While improved productivity through forward planning, working more conscientiously (and for mothers and the self-employed, working unpaid unsocial hours) yields higher profits, travelling by High Speed train (or a dualled A21 to more quickly reach the M25 4-lane mobile car-park), does not increase GDP.
High speed trains are possible on existing networks by inconveniencing fellow travellers, who will still arrive ‘on time’ because timetables are engineered to prevent collisions and late-running fines. But new High Speed tracks will destroy homes, productive fields and woodland permitting infrastructure ribbon development ‘to boost GDP’ with millions of new homes and factories for workers - who will inevitably face redundancy as foreign factories undercut them to meet consumer demand for lower prices. Workers are an expensive overhead, employed or not!
England arguably has Europe’s highest density of population; we have the densest politicians seeking uncontrolled population growth ‘to boost GDP’! But in my ‘hyper-narrow world’, as a guardian of our countryside, I want Richard’s great-grandchildren to enjoy England’s green and pleasant land - one which people love (before destroying with more homes!) - and not face an overpopulated concrete jungle with a remote patch of AONB for a contrived ‘rural experience’.
Barry M Jones,
Bixley Lane, Beckley, Rye