In the October 1995 edition of The Atlantic Monthly, Cobb, Halstead, and Rowe, offer a look at the deceptive nature of citing growth based upon the GDP as an indicator of our well-being. How is the GDP an inadequate measure of the nations health and happiness?
My response here is based upon the work of Cobb, Halstead, and Rowe, in their still poignant article, "If the GDP is Up, Why is America Down?". I will highlight a few key concepts that reveal both the deceptive nature of quoting GDP values in political rhetoric as well as the decline of some aspects of American culture.
According to the aforementioned article, the first historical attempt to create a national account was in England in 1665. Initially accounts were based upon tangible goods and services related to agriculture and manufacturing. In this way an nation could account for its growth primarily by calculating what was produced. It wasn't until 1932 in the United States, that Simon Kuznets began the process of ...
The GDP counts rising medical expenditures and environmental clean-up as growth, making it an inadequate measure for the health or well-being of the nation. A closer look at the article, "If the GDP is Up, Why is America Down", highlights some areas of cultural decline in the United States.