GDP and Your Standard of Living

I just spotted a great steaming pile of economics horseshit. At the most fundamental level, it's horseshit because GDP does not measure standard of living.

But it might be more accurate to say that GDP measures how hard people are striving to increase their standard of living. That is to say, GDP measures the effort but not the outcome.

Thus, back in the 1950's there was a plethora of new technologies that had obvious utility. There was also scope for rebuilding from the devastation of war. Obviously, people saw the possibility for improving their standard of living, so they made great efforts (high GDP) and those efforts were rewarded --- standard of living increased with GDP --- reinforcing their motivation and effort.

Thus to say that the US economy presently has sluggish growth in GDP is to say that people see little hope for an improved standard of living and so they have, quite wisely, stopped trying so hard.

Indeed, for many people there is no way to even try. Anything that they might do has been taken over by a machine or by the endless pool of cheap labour relative to limited planetary resources.

Limited planetary resources means a low standard of living for most people regardless of how much work machines do. That is the fruit of excessive population growth. That is the fruit of population-pushing propagandists: political leaders, religious leaders, and the Chamber of Commerce and the Big Banks and their hired-gun economists.