Let’s Ditch the Economy of the 1% and Replace it with a Human Economy
Executive Director, Oxfam International
If we want an economy of the 1%, then GDP is very useful. It tells us all we need to know. But if we want an economy that works for us all, we have to pay attention to what it is not telling us.
In the face of a growing inequality crisis, GDP tells us nothing about the distribution of growth. When just 62 people have the same wealth as half the world’s population, where a country like Zambia can grow rapidly in GDP terms and yet can see increased levels of poverty, and where the 1% own more than everyone else combined, growing GDP simply hides the poverty within.
GDP tells us nothing about the real price we are paying for such growth. Cutting down a forest for timber adds to GDP, but what we don’t record is the loss to our wealth in terms of natural resources. We treat a planet at crisis point as an externality that can be shunted into a future generation. We continue to act as if we had the natural resources of several planets, not one.
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