Thursday, February 14, 2008

THE STORY OF STUFF (...and why the economy isn't just GDP)

It just struck me that the modern idea of the economy of a country is SO DIFFERENT from the original concept of economy, as a characteristic. In fact, it is the EXACT OPPOSITE of the dictionary meaning of the word.

The textbooks teach us that the backbone to the ECONOMY, which in the modern world view, is measured by the GDP - the super-broadest measure of the economic condition of a country - is actually CONSUMER SPENDING.

GDP = consumption + gross investment + government spending + (exportsimports), or,

In the case of exports, well, its still spending ; only someone else in another country spends it.

But here is what Merriam Webster says:


a. thrifty and efficient use of material resources : frugality in expenditures;
also : an instance or a means of economizing: saving
efficient and concise use of nonmaterial resources (as effort, language, or motion)

Now, the only reason I even thought of this misnomer is because I saw this video.

An incredibly well-done video about conservation, sustainability, people and environment. It's wonderful. It's funny.

It's important.