Wednesday, September 01, 2004

China May Improve Honesty in Economic Data

If China goes ahead with this, it would make their economic reporting more honest than that used in the United States of America, in at least one respect:

Environmental damage to be counted in GDP
www.chinaview.cn 2004-09-02 07:50:01

BEIJING, Sept.2 (Xinhuanet) -- An experimental framework for calculating green GDP in China has been set up, vice-minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration Pan Yue said Wednesday.

The pilot system will be implemented in some regions as soon as possible, he said.

Green GDP (gross domestic products) is an amendment to GDP that deducts the cost of environmental damage caused by economic development.

As China's economy is growing rapidly but its environment has been worsened in turn, environment officials and experts have been calling for the adoption of green GDP in the country. [...]

Pollution, like an economic deficit, is just another way to shift taxes to future generations. Unlike an economic deficit, the effective interest rates tend to be quite high. As expensive as it is to prevent pollution, it always is cheaper that cleaning it up after the fact. Reporting economic growth, including an offset for pollution, would reflect this simple fact. It also would show that the economic growth in the USA is not as robust as has been claimed.