Gross Domestic Product

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

When thinking of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) we should think of the word gross, as in gross, as in yuck.

The entire issue about the economy, economic growth and the GDP is something that is totally and utterly unsustainable but then, so again, is the way that the governments borrow money.

Most countries are so indebted to bank and other lenders that, were they a business they would have been wound up a long time ago. Still the governments, in the main, carry in business as usual wasting money in ways that are just not funny and this is equally so for central governments as for local ones.

Does the offices in town halls and such really run their heating at 25C while the general public is being told to turn their thermostats down to around 18C in order save CO2 and thus the Planet.

When it comes to the governments it is always a case of “do as we tell you and don't do as we do”. Not that any normal human being would be able to afford wastage of that kind, even if it would be on the smaller scale of a business or a household.

Military spending is something that takes, in many countries, even in those of NATO, the largest slice. They say that that is needed for the defense of the realm but this one must seriously doubt, especially when it comes to nuclear weapons which, as we all know, cannot really be used without causing ourselves serious problems.

While the Cold War and MAD (mutually assured destruction) may, to a degree, be over – and that is even more a reason to get rid of those nuclear weapons – the use of one of them would set enough nasty stuff free to have serious consequences for all of us.

The entire military posturing of the likes of America, Britain, and others, and the serious expenditures associated with it, has all to do with playing empire still and trying to be big. And the bigger the club the more they think the other side will stand back.

On the other hand, we are also seeing why all the military hardware; the war for oil that is being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, I know that Afghanistan does not have oil but...

...I digressed a little, once again.

I am no economist but I know that the entire talk of economic growth and the need for it and all that jazz is a load of bull dust, as our Australian cousins would say.

They talk about economic output and all such stuff as to what a country produces but a country produces nothing; it is its people, its business that do. Hence the entire talk is not very true.

How did we function some centuries ago when nothing got measured in this way? Quite nicely, methinks, though there were, in those days lots of poor and some very rich – in Europe at least. One of the reason so many people looked for a better life in countries far away, such as the Americas and some found it too.

In those days the smith was happy to make whatever the people needed and wanted, knives, plowshares, scythes, sickles, etc., and put his pride in the fact that the tools that he made would last for generations. He did not look for growth but a way of making a decent living for himself and his family without exploiting the customers.

Nowadays, however, the majority of manufacturers are aiming only at more and more gross profits and bankers at more and more gross bonuses too.

Such growth is gross and we must get away from such operations and get back to economics as if people and the Planet, especially, mattered.

© 2010