Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Kozy GDP Index

I pointed out earlier this week that France President Nicholas Sarkozy wants to measure happiness and add it to GDP.

This has caused John Crudele to suggest that Hugh Hefner should be in charge of the economy:

Here's where Hefner and his entourage of happy-go-lucky nymphs come in.

As best I can tell, the Playboy clan has never fretted over a Fed beige book. And they probably haven't looked at a single consumer-confidence survey, charted retail sales on a year-over-year basis or worried about the deflationary aspects of the current recession.

If you chart the economy under the Hef/Sarkozy Model (or, perhaps we'll just call it the "Kozy" measure), the GDP -- or, gross domestic pleasure -- is doing fine.
He then designs and index:

But if you are going to come up with a new economic indicator for people to follow, you'll need calculations.

So, what should we put into Kozy?

How about factory output plus personal income, divided by number of jobs per household, added to vacation time, the number of sports cars on the road and the number of sunny days a year. We can also toss in the number of sporting events on TV, the amount of movies viewed since last month and the number of afternoon naps.

Subtract from that total such unpleasant things as the number of teenagers in households, and there you have it -- the Kozy Gross Domestic Pleasure Index.

Now don't forget to seasonally adjust the figure for August.

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