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Hard Measures for Human Values

by Peter Block
From News for a Change

We have now made the stock market our primary measure of well-being.

It is the lead story on the news, it stares me in the face at the top of my home page. It peers at me from the lower right hand corner of my TV screen. It is not only in the news, but it has entered my consciousness.

I know how the Dow Jones average did yesterday. It was up 45.21 for the day. At 11:00 a.m. the DJIA was down 11.25 points but due to midday positive earnings reports from Merck and Johnson & Johnson the market rallied to be up 65.42, and then backed off late in the session due to some profit taking to close at 10,246.21 for the day. Like I said, it was up 45.21 for the day, not bad for a pre-holiday weekday, given the fact that Federal Reserve Board Chairman Allan Greenspan, who defines monetary policy, suffered bronchitis over the weekend.

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