Archive for April 13th, 2010
In this three-minute video, author Woody Tasch compellingly illustrates that “Economic growth is not synonymous with well being.” In fact, much of what we call “economic growth” is destructive.
Woody concludes: “We can’t just continue to grow our way out of our problem. In fact, ‘economic growth’ is often destructive.’”
My strategy is to disparage the ubiquitous media reports that applaud when the GDP is “up,” or when the “economy” is humming along. Those numbers assume that strip mining is better for the economy than conservation measures. They assume that rampant crime is better for the economy than fixing many of the root causes of crime– e.g., the “war on drugs,” injects violence into drug use and “allows” us to hire a lot more police officers, whereas decriminalizing drugs might cause the loss of law enforcement jobs. The many commentators who fetishize the GDP embrace a principle that prefers a violence-ridden police state. We need to dramatically shift our focus from measuring numbers of dollars flowing through the system to (admittedly more difficult task of) measuring the real quality of life.