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GDP growth for the sake of growth’s sake is a contagion called capitalism

GDP is a tool to measure the health of capitalist economies. But when you look at how it works and how it is calculated you would realise it works like chasing your tail and looking for the never-ending pursuit of seeking growth just for the sake of growth. In simple terms it is like cancer, killing and demolishing everything along the way and keep multiplying and growing. GDP is an invitation to participate in a race to grow rich and make a profit. The wealth in society is limited. You can grow rich at the cost of somebody else getting poor, thereby amplifying the divide between a few getting rich and the rest getting poor. This has been made clear in the recent pandemic when people lost jobs and houses en masse while a few billionaires enmassed their wealth. This division ultimately leads to social unrest and civil riots as evidenced and documented in the history at length.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is measured by adding up consumer expenditure (C) + Business Investments (I) + Government spending (G) + Net exports X (Exports – Imports). It is used to measure the economy’s health and is considered an indicator of prosperity in an economy. Indirectly it is a measure of money made by the interaction of production and consumption in the economy. To keep the economy in good health you need to produce more, consume more and spend more. In other words, growth for the sake of growth instead of finding a sustainable balance knowing fully well that our resources are not unlimited. It is generally believed that growth for the sake of growth is a driving force behind 

 

Growth is a core tenet of success. But we often destroy our greatest innovations by the constant pursuit of growth. An idea emerges, takes hold, crosses the chasm, hits a tipping point, and then starts a meteoric rise with seemingly limitless potential. But more often than not, it implodes, destroying itself. Ideas are consumed just like lichen. Rather than endless growth, the goal should be to grow as quickly as possible — what technologists call hypergrowth — until the breakpoint is reached. Then stop and reap the benefits of scale alongside stability. What is missing — what everyone is missing — is that the unit of measure for progress isn’t size, it’s time. — Jeff Stibel

Growth for the sake of growth has probably reached its zenith and the start of the downfall of capitalism. The concern of climate and the problems and concerns around climate change are the outcome of the unabated damage being caused to the planet.

The GDP is seen as the only barometer to measure the success of the business in the capitalist economies. By focusing only on the money alone we are ignoring the human-centric factors.  

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” Edward Abbey, a writer and environmental activist

In Bhutan, a tiny country tucked in the lap of the Himalayas, nationals’ success is gauged differently. In 1972 King Jigme Singye Wangchuck declared that the Gross National Happiness is more important than GDP and coined the term Gross Happiness Index and followed sustainable development rather than going for abated consumerism and endangering the environment. The Gross Happiness Index or the Gross National Happiness is measured by conducting a survey every year and recording the following nine factors: Psychological well-being, Health, Education, Time use, Cultural diversity and resilience, Good governance, Community vitality and Ecological diversity resilience.

 

 

 

 

 

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