Jeremy Rifkin

“The gross domestic product (GDP) was created in the 1930s to measure the value of the sum total of economic goods and services generated over a single year. The problem with the index is that it counts negative as well as positive economic activity. If a country invests large sums of money in armaments, builds prisons, expands police security, and has to clean up polluted environments and the like, it’s included in the GDP. Simon Kuznets, an American who invented the GDP measurement tool, pointed out early on that “[t]he welfare of a nation can . . . scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income.”28 Later in life, Kuznets became even more emphatic about the drawbacks of relying on the GDP as a gauge of economic prosperity. He warned that “[d]istinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth . . . . Goals for ‘more’ growth should specify more growth of what and for what.”29”


Jeremy Rifkin, The The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World
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