Tuesday, July 6, 2010


"I've researched and written in depth about the large percentage of our economy that's conveniently ignored- waste, pollution, fraud, negligence, planned obsolescence, and other profitable spin-offs. While the Gross Domestic Product continues to climb, the Genuine Progress Indicator ( a more accurate tracking system that subtracts the "bads" from the total) continues to fall. Our official national yardstick doesn't allow us to subtract the oil spills, car accidents, energy waste, and lawsuits from the GDP, to come up with a more sensible assessment on how we are really doing. In terms of GDP, the economic hero is a terminal cancer patient going through a messy divorce, whose sports car is totaled in an accident that was his fault. The data from his misfortunes make the GDP go up. But the reasonably happy guy with a solid marriage who cooks at home, walks to work and doesn't smoke or gamble is an economic nobody, in the eyes of economists." -David Wann in Simple Prosperity

The movie "The Corporation" repeats this point, saying "economists need to learn to subtract."

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