Of GDP and Happiness

At the Library of Law and Liberty Dalrymple makes an argument against GDP as the preeminent measure of economic well being:

An increased GDP, however distributed, is perfectly compatible with a deteriorated, even much deteriorated, way of life: and, presumably, a lowering of GDP is compatible with an improved, even a much improved, way of life. Yet we are all made miserable, without further inquiry, when we read that the GDP has contracted, and conversely we are pleased when it has expanded. There is much breast-beating about whether today’s children will be monetarily worse off than the previous generation as if an affirmative answer meant that they must as a consequence be miserable.

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