#economics   #science  

I was a bit perplexed by this post from +David Brin so I left a comment there:

Generating part of GDP does not mean contributing to it in economic terms. Alternative cost has to be taken into account.

Create a law that makes people buy services only from particular providers and these providers' share in GDP would definitely rise. Now imagine somebody wants to strike the law down. The providers start a campaign, claiming they generate so much GDP and therefore are so important the law is definitely needed.

But this argument is wrong. Were the law struck down, general welfare of the population would rise as people could buy services on a more competitive market. Would overall GDP fall? Maybe, maybe not, in fact it could rise thanks to added efficiency. Would the protected providers' share in GDP fall? Obviously. Would it be bad for the society as a whole? Obviously not.

The fact that you earn a lot and employ lots of people does not mean you should be praised or protected. It may also mean that you are utterly inefficient or lack competition. That you enjoy unfair protection from technological and market disruption. That you make everyone else worse off because the alternative cost of these protections outweighs your contribution to GDP.

And what on Earth does copyright industry have to do with science - an endeavor that thrives in conditions of freely shared data and ideas?
U.S. copyright industries contributed more than $1 trillion to the gross domestic product in 2012, accounting for 6.5% of the nation's economy.
Supporting my contention that those pushing the War on Science are unambiguously all-out traitors.

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