In Just because we’re spending money, doesn’t

In the book “The Story of Stuff”, Leonard talks about the problem with Gross Domestic Product, in other words known as GDP. GDP is a measuring tool for a regions size of economy. It tells whether or not the ECONOMY of a region is healthy. But the main point Leonard has, is that a healthy economy doesn’t necessarily mean a healthy population. She explains that GDP doesn’t show a difference between the things we spend money on that are positive and negative in our lives. It’s all just added into one measurement. Just because we’re spending money, doesn’t mean its for the better of our lives. Like a hospital bill for example.
GDP doesn’t make sense to use for the overall progress of a region, since it isn’t showing the progress. It just shows the amount of products and services that could be positively OR NEGATIVELY affecting people. This doesn’t help tell us about the things that are keeping us thriving on the long run. So Leonard talks about GPI(Genuine progress indicator). Basically the GPI takes in the same information, but it divides it into positive and negative parts. This way, we can actually tell if we are benefiting from it or not, rather than just assuming so with the HDP. Another metric is called the Human Development Index. “Human Development Index combines statistics on life expectancy, education, and income per capita to rank countries into tiers of development. Often framed in terms of whether people are able to “be” and “do” desirable things in life”(Hartstone, 2016). These are 2 different alternatives that are more beneficial to the world than GDP.


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