This was the original title of this recent paper of mine. Some people thought it too truculant but even Patrick Honohan – when he wanted, as Governor, to talk about competitiveness – would get his RA’s to calculate the old indicators rather than use the new ones. To keep it eye-catching I dropped the ‘Useless’ and added ‘Pernicious or Merely Otiose?’ but then some (though not the journal, I should point out) complained that they had to reach for the dictionary! But I think the issue is a serious one. I am hoping that Peter Clinch at the National Competitiveness Council will take up the challenge.