“The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”
I remember, as a youngster, looking at a ranked list of countries by their GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The US was at the top of the list, which affirmed what I’ve heard about America being simply the tits. As I grew older, learned that money doesn’t make people happy, and then learned that many people have not yet realized that money doesn’t make somebody happy, I began to question some of the common judgements of a nation’s quality.
Google defines GDP as “…the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period.” So basically, GDP measures how much financial wealth is produced in a country.
Image Source: http://www.romeconomics.com/gross-domestic-product-explained/
Here are some things that increase GDP-
Here are some things that don’t increase GDP:
All that being said, GDP is a pretty silly way to measure the well being of a country. An important fact? Absolutely. An accurate measurement of human happiness or general well-being? Not at all.
This map shows the GDP of every country:
Image Source: https://www.themittani.com/features/eveonomics-part-2
I thought it would be a good idea to have some other metrics to measure the well being of a country. And, like most really good ideas I have, some badass has already done it. Here’s a quick read to look at some alternative measurements of a country’s well-being:
This next graph shows the growth of the GDP in the United States, as compared to the Index of social health, an alternative measurement that includes infant morality, child abuse, teenage suicide, wealth inequality, and twelve other social factors.
Image Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjOm5CMvrzMAhVN7mMKHfEYBBoQjxwIAw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fvq.vassar.edu%2Fissues%2F2002%2F01%2Ffeatures%2Fsocial-health.html&bvm=bv.121099550,d.cGc&psig=AFQjCNGmtAMQu_-PFNC8XrYr8LJOQrwZ8w&ust=1462316071023606
What this this graph tell you about the our perceptions of America?
Just another reminder that the solutions we need are out there. Check it out, learn from it, and spread the good word.