Spending money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to create impressions that won’t last, on people we don’t care about


I’ve wondered for some time now, why a mainstream political party doesn’t use an alternative measure to GDP as a major plank of its political platform (e.g. Genuine Progress Indicator, or Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare). The use of GDP growth as a barometer of societal well-being is entirely inappropriate, a view supported by none other than the principal architect of the concept, Simon Kuznets. Bhutan has its Gross National Happiness but for everyone else, the growth of GDP remains the key macroeconomic indicator. The arguments presented in Tim Jackson’s new book Prosperity Without Growth warrant serious consideration. This TED talk draws on the key themes of his book.