What GDP Doesn’t Count
In this TED Talk Chip Conley shares some priceless business advice from his years of experience running a hotel chain.
Although I recommend you watching the video, I will try to summarize some of his main points here.
1. What gets counted gets fixed
2. The things that are most important to humans can’t be easily counted
3. GDP isn’t the holy grail of prosperity measurements
Expanding on the last point, I have provided a list from the video via Bobby Kennedy (and with a few modifications from me)
“GDP measures everything in short, except for what makes life worthwhile.”
- Air pollution
- Cigarette advertising
- Ambulance rides
- Locks for our doors
- Jails for the people who break them
- Destruction of our forests
- Loss of natural wonder in urban sprawl
- Napalm and other weapons of destruction
- Armored police cars to stop riots
- Sales of guns and knives
- TV and other forms of toxic media
- Divorce and criminal attorneys
What GDP doesn’t count
- The health of our children
- Quality of their education
- Joy of their play
- Beauty of our poetry
- Strength of our marriages
- Intelligence of our public debate
- Integrity of our public affairs
- Our courage, wisdom, and compassion
- The closeness of our relationships
What do you guys think?
Is our economy doing poorly in light of the GDP numbers, or because “the numbers” are the only things businesses have been focusing on?