Well, no, it won\’t

The company, which was founded earlier this year and has just 20 employees, said it would combine space exploration with mining to develop a method to extract gold, platinum and other precious metals and minerals from asteroids in orbit around the Earth. It suggested that this could \”add trillions of dollars to the global GDP\”.

These would be imports from outside the globe and thus in conventional GDP accounting would be subtracted from it.

Further, it would, by however small an amount, reduce metals prices on Earth thus reducing recorded GDP again.

Still a good idea of course for GDP isn\’t everything…..

10 comments on “Well, no, it won\’t

  1. It’s the persistent idea that wealth is money, rather than wealth being goods and services. A gold rush is no use to GDP. It’s just inflationary.

    Anyway, considering the best we can do at the moment is drive tiny little primitive robots around Mars taking snaps, I think they’re being a bit optimistic about technology. Mining asteroids? We haven’t even got a provisional exploratory probe to Ceres yet!

  2. And part of that persistent idea appears in the PR for Planetary Resouces (some coincidence, those initials): that if you can corral an asteroid with as much iridium in it as has ever been mined on earth, the next asteroid and the next will be as valuable.

  3. guy herbert – “And part of that persistent idea appears in the PR for Planetary Resouces (some coincidence, those initials): that if you can corral an asteroid with as much iridium in it as has ever been mined on earth, the next asteroid and the next will be as valuable.”

    Yes. Well. I am all in favour of mining pretty much anything but I can’t help feel there may be some technical issues involved here. After all, if things turn out the same way the last time an asteroid delivered large amounts of iridium to the Earth, it won’t be worth much of anything as Terran economic activity may undergo a slight restructuring:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-T_boundary

  4. SMFS,

    On the contrary, it will produce an enormous stimulus for the construction industry and finally vanquish unemployment.

  5. Yeah–and Ferdy and Isabella were stupid to waste time and money on that Columbus guy. Sure they got some gold out of it but it just ended up in the pockets of timber merchants and suppliers of rotting pickled herring for all those Armadas. A pair of mugs really.

  6. The economic ruin caused by the Spaniards’ fascination with gold instead of economic development of new territories is pretty well established.

  7. Hang on, all the value added is done by us Earthlings, why is it considered as “imports”?

    Surely if increases productivity in mining, then it will add to the world GDP. Am i not correct?

  8. Re: semantics. Call it SDP – S for Solar. Job done.

    On the Dutch plague issue, although the producer nation suffers from its new found resource wealth, the users of said resources benefit, see China above. Hence increasing Global DP. Ahem, SDP.

    Doesn’t apply to gold of course until you start making modern electronics, which is where Ferdy and Is slipped up.

  9. Imports do not reduce GDP. We simply record purchases, and GDP is a measure of production within a geographical entity, so you need to remove the purchases that weren’t produced at home (and add in things that were produced at home but weren’t purchased there, ie exports).

    I think this would count as US Gdp as not payments are going to people in outer space.

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