A Collection of Articles, Opinions, and Research on the Economy.
I think that this video poses some very controversial and valuable questions in regards to how we choose to measure GDP. I agree with the side of this video that says that we need to factor in things like how many kids are getting an education, the people that are struggling to find work, etc. to how we measure GDP. I do not believe that GDP should merely be a measurement of how the goods and services produced in a year, but it should measure how those goods and services are actively affecting people over the course of the year.
I this fight, I was pulling for JTG and Koozman! They were advocating for the side that thinks GDP should measure more than just money. Governments should surely calculate the overall welfare of the country to truly understand how well an economy is doing. The biggest problem we face is how to exactly measure those things outside of money.
I agree with the video that the welfare of a country should be measured as a part of GDP. GDP is a tool used in economics, and economics is the study of how people make choices under scarcity and the results of their decisions. The results of these decisions include the effects on the welfare of the country which are implicit rather than explicit. Therefore, it is just as important to account for implicit costs and benefits as well as explicit costs and benefits valued in dollar amounts. However, as John said, the biggest difficulty is finding a way to measure things produced outside of the economy.
I agree with the aspect of the video that says that there should be some calculation of how the economy is doing in other aspects rather than just the GDP. I feel that is an important measure of how a country is doing. Just having a thriving monetary economy with a high GDP doesn't mean that people in the country feel that they are thriving. Aspects of this goes into the standard of living calculation, but i think there should be another measure of general well being and/or something that measures the happiness or acceptance by the overall population
I have to say that trying to measure such subjective things like happiness is beyond difficult and ought not be included in GDP. People derive utility from different things or actions, and that is not quantifiable almost by definition. Due to the fluidity of perception, trying to quantify happiness into our GDP would lead to a number that rapidly fluctuates and may be either artificially high or low. This measure of general happiness may be able to be accounted for in other ways, but has no place in GDP.
If we accounted for happiness and the environment and the general welfare of the population, the numbers would be far to fluctuating to give us a reasonable estimate of how well a country is doing. In my opinion, if the people in a country are happy and satisfied with their country, it will show through their economic growth and decisions. Studies have shown that employees have a better work ethic when they are happier, and the production and economy will improve. When a country is in a depression or recession, the people are not going to be too happy. This will be shown through increased savings and decreased spending. When an economy is doing well, people will spend more, and incomes will increase. More people will be employed and production will increase. We can't put a monetary value on how happy a person is (also consider mental disorders and how that would alter the results), but we can measure how much well an economy is doing and base a countries happiness off of that.
I understand that things like happiness and well-being is difficult to measure. However, I think the United States employs some of the greatest minds in the world. With this, we should be able to find a way to bring these components into how we view a country. I think GDP is important because it measures some extremely valuable things (literally). But it should not be the sole factor that we use to decide how well a country is doing.
I definitely side with the view that GDP needs to include more than the money spent in the market. Looking solely at economics in that way, we lose the bigger picture of the country and ignore important factors of being an American such as education, emotions, leisure time, and liberty (as mentioned in the video). Also, as someone who is majoring in environmental studies I believe that by assigning a monetary value to the environment or somehow factoring it into the GDP, while difficult, could lead to dramatic environmental health improvements.
I believe that GDP should include just more than the statistical data about production and selling within the United States. If we continue to leave out other important factors, as the video mentioned, it is a possibility that we may lose much of the well-being within society. As more people face greater economic issues and challenges, which would not be taken into consideration, we may begin to lose the labor force. As people look for better paying jobs or jobs that supply greater satisfaction, we can diminish and even lose the labor force in certain areas, resulting in the outsourcing of American jobs. This outsourcing would only hurt GDP as many goods and services that are necessary would be provided by other countries.