"Whatever your opinion on the causes or the future of the current economic recession, it is hard to argue with that proposition."
Perhaps if your view of economics is that it is about "money." In the Austrian school economics is the study of the area of voluntary exchanges of things of value between economic actors. For the exchange to occur both parties have to "win": the employer values what your efforts and time do for him more than the dollars he gives you - you value the dollars more than the time and effort you give to the employer.
Now in any job we also have other intangibles in the equation, health benefits, access to working on a new spiffy technology, close to home, whatever, so we are used to the notion that its not "all about the money."
I have long had a problem fitting open source into this model. Its hard to identify the actors in the exchange, what is being exchanged, and what the "value" is.
But somewhere someone is paying for all those free cycles, free storage and free communication: TANSTAAFL. Humans act and the interplay of all those actors is the study of economics. Open source activity is part of that.
Sorry just felt all philosophical before my coffee :-)