91. Can GDP continue to be our measure for economic success?
The economic system we’ve built relies on growing consumption to function. Endlessly Rising GDP is a requirement, one that can only be met by a relentless increase in the purchase of goods and services by the population. This is aided by population growth, and even more by slow but steady increases in the standard of living of consumers in developing countries. Africa’s development, combined with its predicted large increase in population, up to 2 billion people by 2050, will be the next growth engine. But It cannot last forever. Global population will plateau at 11 Bn, and there is only so much appetite normal consumers can have for buying things they don’t need and rarely use or engaging with useless services. Resources are scarce and there is a limit to what we can make. We therefore need a new way to measure success, or we will eventually fail consistently. A worrying observation is that no currently credible political option challenges the dominance of GDP as a society’s yardstick
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