27 September 2011

The economy's ok; shame about well-being

From the Economist:
The alarm [in the developed countries] over the threat to jobs from India and China echoes the anxiety about Japan’s rise in the 1970s and 1980s. America’s economy has survived the shake-up of its steel, electronics and car industries, as have other rich countries. Exporting Jobs, survey of the world economy, 'the Economist', 24 September
If we accept that the "economy" has indeed been able to "survive" then, whatever the "economy" is, it can't have much to do with employment, confidence, social cohesion or indeed anything that correlates with the well-being of the human population. Sadly our leaders are hypnotised by "the economy" and its well-being. They implicitly target things like average GDP per capita, regardless of how it's distributed and the consequences for the physical and social environment. I think we'd all benefit if, instead of fixating on "the economy", we targeted instead outcomes that are meaningful to ordinary people.

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