I’ve always been bemused that GDP growth is the standard metric for economic strength and standard of living. I think GDP growth is a very weak metric. My reasoning is that GDP measures the strength of the economy in dollar value. What GDP ignores is that, as a result of momentous technological progress, what we get for a dollar is growing much more rapidly than GDP. For example, if you purchased a computer ten years ago, and then a computer today for the same dollar value, what you get for your money today is orders of magnitude more than what you would have got back then. My smartphone is infinitely more powerful than my first PC. So in my mind, metrics for valuing technological development are far more critical than metrics measuring production by dollar value. Governments seem to completely ignore this. They become very concerned when GDP growth isn’t up to par, whether it’s 0.1% higher or lower than anticipated, while ignoring the fact that nonetheless technology is exponentially powering ahead as strongly as ever before. As a result, many consumer goods are developing very rapidly, as is our (technological) standard of living. I’d like to see more widespread use of technological development metrics when evaluating the strength of the economy. No single metric can fully characterise an economy or its people’s standard of living. We need to employ a greater diversity of metrics to fairly reflect this and technology should be at the forefront.

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