You can’t fix something if you’re not measuring the right things.

Right now, we use the stock market and GDP to measure our economy and the well-being of our people.

But even the creator of GDP thought it was a terrible measure for national well-being. This can easily be seen today. As the stock market and GDP have grown, life expectancy and mental health have declined.

Which is no wonder, as the bottom 80% of Americans by income own only 8% of stocks.

In short, we’re looking at the wrong things to measure how we’re doing as a country, and it’s quite literally killing many of us.

It’s time that we expand how we measure our economy to reflect how we’re doing. We need to look at life expectancy and freedom from substance abuse, childhood success rates and meaningful retirement rates as key indicators of our economy. And we need to implement policies that improve these metrics - not how rich a few stockholders get.

Problems to be Solved:

  • The GDP doesn’t reflect differences in the cost of living, inflation rates of the country, economic inequality, or the health and happiness of its people.

  • The United States has plummeted to twenty-seventh or lower along a variety of dimensions, including such basic measures as life expectancy, clean water, and infant mortality.

  • Reelection rates have nothing to do with legislative quality.

  • Currently, Congress doesn’t have any way to measure if they are implementing laws that will improve their constituents’ lives.

“Even the inventor of GDP, Simon Kuznets, said its invention in 1934 was a terrible measure of the national well-being and cautioned against using it as such, but here we are riding it into the ground eighty-seven years later.

Bobby Kennedy famously echoes this idea, saying that the GDP “does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play….it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”

Solutions:

  • Congress should adopt a series of measurements and goals that can be modified and reexamined over time.

  • Representatives should select from these measures based on what they believe their constituents would care about then suggest how the laws they are passing will improve them.

  • Use measurements such as, but not limited to:

    • Poverty rates

    • Life expectancy

    • Rates of Business formation

    • Clean Water

    • Crime Rates

    • Overdose deaths

    • Government Efficiency

    • Mental Health

    • Income Growth & Average Incomes

    • Affordability

    • Environmental Sustainability

    • Recidivism

    • Labor-force participation Rate

    • Military Readiness

    • Marriage Rates

    • Quality of Infrastructure

    • Rehabilitation Rates

    • Civic Engagement

    • Education Rates

If this sounds like the future you want to build for America, consider donating today!

 

Do you agree?