Economic Indicators

Looking Backward: Economics and the Cult of Yesterday

GDP and productivity don’t measure what’s really going on in the economy—or in people’s lives. Jonathan Rowe on measuring what matters.

The Gross Domestic Product

Testimony of Jonathan Rowe Co-director of the West Marin Commons Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Interstate Commerce, Trade and Tourism March 12, 2008 […]

Is Happiness a Commons?

Gunnar Myrdal, the late Swedish economist, once noted the strange tendency of his profession to barricade itself against human reality. In true sciences, such as biochemistry and physics, hypotheses are […]

Grossly Distorting Perception

Measure for measure, GDP is the world’s hidden accounting scandal, the one that neither governments nor media will touch. Jonathan Rowe asks why we worship such a false idol.

The Global Accounting Scam

Several months ago a professor at the University of North Carolina published findings that turned beliefs about the economy upside down. Health improves, he said, as the economy goes down. […]

The GDP Myth

Why “growth” isn’t always a good thing

Replace the GDP

Adam Smith said that the final measure of an economy is the well-being of the people. Yet this is the one question that the policy establishment never asks. The government […]

If the GDP Is Up, Why Is America Down?

Why we need new measures of progress, why we do not have them, and how they would change the social and political landscape