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Italy Meets EU Standards by Including Drugs and Prostitution to GDP
Frontpage Mag ^ | 05/31/2014 | Daniel Greenfield

Posted on 05/31/2014 10:33:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Just when you thought that Italy’s crazy government couldn’t get any more insane, it hit on a gimmick for improving the international perception of its economy. Just include the black market in its GDP. Never mind that the black market isn’t taxable, difficult to estimate and not exactly a good thing.

Italy is changing how it calculates its gross domestic product, a measurement of the overall economy, to include black market activity — everything from prostitution to illegal drug sales to smuggling and arms trafficking. Economists predict illegal sales will add 1.3 percentage points to GDP this year.

Hey, it’s one way to boost growth.

By including the black market, for which there are no concrete ways to measure and accurately determine value, the Italian government will be able to manipulate its GDP numbers in a way that’s bound to open it to criticism and agitate its Northern neighbors. Simultaneously, investors will learn to dismiss, or at least, discount, Italy’s statistics, since they won’t be regarded as “real.”

So Italy is creating a fake GDP based on imaginary numbers linked to organized crime. And this will not convince any investors of anything (except maybe in Russia, which is already buying into Italy).

A larger overall economy will enable Italy to lower its debt-to-GDP ratio, which is an essential part of meeting the EU’s financial standards. EU countries are not supposed to let their yearly bills reach more than 3% of the overall economy (or their debt exceed 60% of GDP.) If they do, they’re hit with hefty fines.

The other benefit of lowering the debt-to-GDP ratio, is that Italy should theoretically be able to borrow more money.

No, no and no.

Is Germany going to look at Italy’s new drugs and prostitution numbers and sign off on them? Is the City? I don’t think so.

This is a pointless gimmick that makes Italy look worse than before by an utterly insane government that could be replaced by zoo animals on cocaine with no one being the wiser.

While Italy’s move may be considered unorthodox, even shady, it’s not illegal. The EU seems to encourage the creative accounting; To give countries such as Italy a lifeline, new EU rules require member states to include the value of all income-producing activity in GDP calculations — and illegal activity is often income-producing. Italy is the first and only country to take advantage. Others, such as Spain (for which 20% of the overall economy is believed to be black market), and Greece, may soon follow.

You can see why the EU is on its last legs. It’s a giant fraud machine.

Last month, Nigeria declared itself the biggest economy on the continent of Africa by recalculating GDP. Ghana added 60% to its economy in 2010 by establishing new GDP accounting rules. Even the U.S. managed to tack on an additional $504 billion to our economy last year by giving credit to Hollywood and creative industries.

Meet the new world economy. It’s as fake as a three-dollar bill.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: eu; gdp; italy; prostitution

1 posted on 05/31/2014 10:33:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Just include the black market in its GDP.

Well, it would be racist not to ...

2 posted on 05/31/2014 10:36:42 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Fegelein! Fegelein! Fegelein!)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Wouldn’t it be racist to call it a BLACK market?

Why not a WHITE market?

Paging Harry Reid and the Redskin owners...

3 posted on 05/31/2014 10:40:24 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Im sure the Presidents new mouthpiece will cover this during the next press briefing

4 posted on 05/31/2014 10:43:47 AM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
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To: SeekAndFind

Get rid of the EU government, and this problem goes away.

5 posted on 05/31/2014 11:01:51 AM PDT by I want the USA back (Media: completely irresponsible. Complicit in the destruction of this country.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Well we have a fake GDP, and we add in the numbers for the whores in D.C.(Congress and Administration) so big deal.
6 posted on 05/31/2014 11:33:54 AM PDT by lostboy61 (Lock and Load and stand your ground!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Mexico actually IS rich!

7 posted on 05/31/2014 12:11:36 PM PDT by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: I want the USA back

Why shouldn’t Italy and the UK include drug dealing and prostitution in GDP? The USA does, and you don’t complain about that.

Prostitution, for example, is legal in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Belgium, so should be legitimately included in GDP. It’s a measure of economic activity, no different from it being included in Nevada.

Drugs - are you honestly thinking that the maryjane states don’t count buying and selling drugs as part of their income? Or that the IRS cares what meth dealers do as long as they get their cut of the profits? There is an entire form for drug dealers to use to pay their taxes without incriminating themselves.

8 posted on 05/31/2014 2:17:07 PM PDT by EC1
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To: SeekAndFind

We shrank our economy, but I wonder how our ‘under the table’ economy would be if it was reported.

9 posted on 05/31/2014 4:41:16 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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