[OPE] "The cult of figures"

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Wed Sep 16 2009 - 07:54:12 EDT

France to count happiness in GDP
By Ben Hall in Paris
Published: FT September 14 2009

(...) Mr Sarkozy, who set up the Stiglitz-led commission last year, said the
world had become trapped in a "cult of figures". Insee, the French
statistics agency, would set about incorporating the new indicators in its
accounting, Mr Sarkozy said. One consequence of the commission's proposed
enhancements to gross domestic product data would be to improve instantly
France's economic performance by taking into account its high-quality health
service, expensive welfare system and long holidays. At the same time, the
commission's changes would downgrade US economic output. The commission
suggested a series of improvements to the way GDP was measured. It proposed
accounting for people's well-being and the sustainability of a country's
economy and natural resources. "The world over, citizens think we are lying
to them, that the figures are wrong, that they are manipulated," said the
president. "And they have reasons to think like that. "Behind the cult of
figures, behind all these statistical and accounting structures, there is
also the cult of the market that is always right," he said. (...)


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