Monday, 16 August 2010

There's more than one way of measuring national growth!

Clearly the news that good times appear to be returning to the Eurozone economy which increased by 1% in the three months to the end of June is welcome.

In particular, the fact that the German economy (boosted by strong exports) grew by 2.2% in the three months to the end of June ( its fastest quarterly growth in more than 20 years) is possibly even an excuse to uncork a bottle of Black Tower or warm Liebfraumilch.

BBC: German economy sees 'record' growth of 2.2%

But before we all go into raptures about good times just around the corner, it's worth considering what is taken into consideration when measuring national growth, and GDP in particular.

The following quotation from Robert F. Kenedy offers some very challenging food for thought:

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.
Any thoughts, dear readers?

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