Because of the need to repair this mistake, I decided to touch up a few other aspects of this post—specifically drawing attention to the fact that the private sector is just as guilty of the myopia that I describe as the public policy sector. GL.
So: Revised gross domestic product numbers came out—the U.S. economy grew 1.7% (annualized) during the second quarter.
Whoop-dee-fucking-doo—if this keeps up, does it mean that each person living in the United States will be 1.7% richer by the end of 2010?
Richer how? Because most people won’t be feeling richer by the end of the year—they’ll likely be feeling poorer. With good reason.
Over the last 40 years or so, “the growth in the GDP” has been the totem every politician, every economist, even most citizens hang their hat on—as if this percentage figure all by itself embodied all the goodness (if it was ≥4%) or evil (≤2%) there was in the world.
High GDP?—America happy!!!
Low GDP?—America sad!
(God forbid) Negative GDP?
AAAaaaaahhhhhhhhh. . . . . .
But all by itself, growth in the GDP number means absolutely nothing. The fact that so much of American industry has been demolished by the bulldozer of Globalization over the last thirty years—all while GDP steadily accreted—proves that growth in GDP means nothing.