Growth vs. Progress?
If GDP leaves so much out, how can we really measure our progress? In fact experts have developed many types of alternative indicators that bring us closer to reality. One is the Genuine Progress Indicator, or GPI, which starts with GDP but adjusts the level growth for as many as 26 factors of household, social, and environmental change. Over the last 50 years, a large and growing gap has emerged between GDP and GPI. Basically, we have expanded our economy without improving our overall well-being as a nation. It’s also striking that the flattening GPI trend since the 1970s probably matches how most people feel about their lives—not much progress, and for many a real struggle to get by.