--

Long live the recession!

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-22/the-worse-the-economy-gets-the-longer-people-live-peter-orszag.html

Prosperity kills. In recession, people live longer. This only confirms my conviction, that as a society we focus on completely wrong benchmarks: we should maximize quality of life, not GDP.
Permalink Quant 
February 22nd, 2012 6:44am
>>we should maximize quality of life, not GDP.

Spoken like a true socialistic.

Who the F* is "We"? If I (or anyone else) want to work there whole like to maximize earning, it's my prerogative.
Permalink Morons 
February 22nd, 2012 8:31am
Do you really think that you can organize your whole life without any links to other people?
Permalink Quant 
February 22nd, 2012 8:33am
Where whole life?
Permalink Dr. Horrorwitz 
February 22nd, 2012 8:36am
and it's your right to spell "their" any way you want too ... :-)
Permalink eek 
February 22nd, 2012 8:37am
I would think, if any metric was a "trailing" metric, life-expectancy would be one.

Meaning, a life-expectancy metric from 2007 or 2010 would clearly result from things that happened 1980 through 2005.  That we're in a deep Recession, and narrowly missed another Great Depression, and had 9% unemployment for awhile there, will probably reflect in "life-expectancy" figures 5 to 10 years from now.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
February 22nd, 2012 8:53am
Did you read the article? They say that death rates have fallen during the recession.
Permalink Quant 
February 22nd, 2012 9:00am
In da big rock candy mountains, all the cops have wooden legs ...

... and they killed the jerk that invented work ...

.. especially 70hr/week crunches.


Do you know the poms came out of WW2 better fed on the whole with a better life expectancy despite rationing and everything else so long as they stayed out of harms way? All-out war in the absence of an invader can be quite tranquil between occasional moments of sheer panic.
Permalink trollop 
February 22nd, 2012 9:45am
Isn't it obvious?

If I do not need to go to work every day, I certainly expect that I will live longer.

It is like to say that one will have more sex if he has multiple wives.
Permalink Rich Tsang 
February 22nd, 2012 9:50am
Ah, so increased rates of Social Spending, on retirements and unemployment benefits and Food Stamps, increases life-expectancy.

Somebody better tell the Republicans.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
February 22nd, 2012 9:51am
*Did you read the article? They say that death rates have fallen during the recession.*

And that death rates fell during the Great Depression -- compared to the period before it.

Where's the graph of unemployment rate to death rates? Seems like the standard sort of bullshit study that data crunchers of questionable ethics put out because they know it is the sort of pop science that will get their names mentioned in the press.
Permalink df 
February 22nd, 2012 11:04am
@df

Did they switch off Google in your area?

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/09/28/0904491106.full.pdf+html
Permalink Quant 
February 22nd, 2012 11:09am
I'm referring to the updated study.

http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&ctype=l&met_y=sp_dyn_le00_in#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=sp_dyn_le00_in&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=region&idim=country:USA&ifdim=region&hl=en&dl=en

(Wow remember when that was big news? The Data Explorer? Seems to have faltered a bit, with limited data).

Clearly unemployment has been rising steadily since 1960.

Even the Great Depression study is a bit of a laugh -- find one single data point that justifies a claim and you have your proof. but wait, the mid 30s has an even GREATER lifespan, with economic expansion....just ignore that.
Permalink df 
February 22nd, 2012 11:15am
>>we should maximize quality of life, not GDP.

Given that both are pretty much made up numbers, there is nothing inherently wrong with focusing on one and not the other. Or to please everyone, a weighted average of them both.

I am always surprised by the sheer number of people who quote GDP without any understanding of just how stupid and made up a figure it is.

At the individual level, GDP is pretty useless. For politicians and tax collectors, it starts being reasonably useful.

YMMV depending on where on that continuum you sit.
Permalink PigPen 
February 22nd, 2012 12:17pm
>> PigPen: At the individual level, GDP is pretty useless.

Well, not necessarily.
For instance, it's preferable to have the average income of a high-GDP country and live in a low-GDP one than the other way around :)
Permalink Io 
February 22nd, 2012 1:21pm
On the other hand, digging deeper, looks like PigPen is right. GDP cannot be reliably be related to either income or quality of living.
By GDP ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29 ), United States is quoted at 14,526,550 while Romania lists 185,315, resulting in a mind-blowing approximately 78 times higher ratio.

Given that average monthly income is about $450 here, a naive computation would conclude the average American gets about $35,000 PER MONTH, when in fact half of them don't get this kind of money in a year ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_income_in_the_United_States ).
Permalink Io 
February 22nd, 2012 1:48pm
##Well, not necessarily.
##For instance, it's preferable to have the average income of a high-GDP country and live in a low-GDP one than the other way around :)

Well, not necessarily. It gets incredibly complicated.

I will give you bonus points though for looking at how GDP is calculated, including things like exclusions, and *ahem* adjustments for the unknown grey and black economies.

It is a woefully inadequate metric.

The truth is most macro economic metrics are bullshit. Actually most of macroeconomics is bullshit.

How seriously one talks about GDP as a number to me, is inversely related to my opinion of them.
Permalink PigPen 
February 22nd, 2012 3:24pm
GDP correlates pretty well to a country's wealth. Having a high GDP is good only insofar as being wealthy is good.

It's entirely possible for a country to be both wealthy and extremely unpleasant. I'd rather live almost anywhere other than Geneva, for instance.
Permalink Colm 
February 22nd, 2012 11:06pm
Also: high levels of income equality correlate with high life expectancy.
Permalink Colm 
February 22nd, 2012 11:07pm
Income equality is retarded. Also for pretty much the same reason that GDP is retarded.

What exactly is a 'rich' country. People use such terms with great conviction, but really they are just bullshit.
Permalink PigPen 
February 23rd, 2012 5:31am
##Also: high levels of income equality correlate with high life expectancy.

Did I mention that this phrase was all bullshit?

There are plenty of equally poor people that don't live very long.

And before you protest, I can easily show that this group includes the majority of the world's population.

So yeah, total bullshit.

I really wish people would stop thinking that anyone can talk about macroeconomics with certainty and not sound like a smug tool.

*sigh*
Permalink PigPen 
February 23rd, 2012 5:34am
It's funny how you always twist this uncertainty to support policies you personally profit from.
Permalink Quant 
February 23rd, 2012 1:00pm
>What exactly is a 'rich' country.

Yeah, I know, right? What the hell does "rich" mean anyway. Totally meaningless word :/
Permalink Colm 
February 23rd, 2012 10:28pm
"rich" == "Job Creating".

But that probably means China is richer than the US right now.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
February 24th, 2012 8:48am

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