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By John Horvat II, Author, Return to Order – The Moral Solution to the Economic Crisis
Economics can be a brutal science. Its focus is limited to a particular part of human activity that deals with the process of wealth creation, acquisition, production, and consumption. It measures what has, and not what should have, been done. Economics is also a science of measurements. By calculating profits and losses, businessmen can plan for the future. On a larger scale, international standards of measurement help economists develop monetary policy, make economic forecasts, and monitor growth. But greed, fraud, and theft can easily find their way into financial transactions. That is why economics must be subject to those higher normative sciences like ethics that regulate all human behavior.
However, there is increasing pressure to change the moral dimension of economic measurements. Traditionally, economic figures only dealt with the value of legal activities. Now officials are arguing that illegal transactions should also be included.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s Jo Craven McGinty, the main force behind the push for including illegal activities in standards is the United Nations. The UN promotes its System of National Accounts, or SNA, as the universal standard of economic analysis. The SNA includes the familiar Gross Domestic Product, which is a calculation of all goods and services in a country for a given year, as part of its metrics. ….