US ancestor statistics and more on Visualizing Economics
The crucial question: does war spending purchase a final good and hence belong in GNP, or an intermediate good and hence not belong?
If you find this sentence even remotely interesting, click through and you won't be disappointed. Here's the abstract, complete with Von Mises quote:
Relying on standard measures of macroeconomic performance, historians and economists believe that “war prosperity” prevailed in the United States during World War II. This belief is ill-founded, because it does not recognize that the United States had a command economy during the war. From 1942 to 1946 some macroeconomic performance measures are statistically inaccurate; others are conceptually inappropriate. A better grounded interpretation is that during the war the economy was a huge arsenal in which the well-being of consumers deteriorated. After the war genuine prosperity returned for the first time since 1929. “War prosperity is like the prosperity that an earthquake or a plague brings.” —Ludwig von Mises
And here's another interesting paragraph (more planes than tanks?):
From mid-1940 to mid-1945 munitions makers produced 86,338 tanks; 297,000 airplanes; 17,400,000 rifles, carbines, and sidearms; 315,000 pieces of field artillery and mortars; 4,200,000 tons of artillery shells; 41,400,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition; 64,500 landing vessels; 6,500 other navy ships; 5,400 cargo ships and transports; and vast amounts of other munitions. Despite countless administrative mistakes, frustrations, and turf battles, the command economy worked. But, as always, a command economy can be said to work only in the sense that it turns out what the authorities demand.
Model highly paid workers (CEO-types, bonus-driven investment bankers, highly skilled professionals, etc) as a different factor of production to not-so-highly paid workers (e.g. manual labour, inexperienced workers, etc).
In light of this information, discuss the following statement:
If we raise taxes on the highest paid workers, wages will adjust so that some of the burden falls on lower paid workers (as well as consumers, capital, etc, etc.)
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