The reason the United States is considered the world’s most prosperous nation is because it has the largest GDP. Economists, politicians, and other leaders take for granted that the higher a nation’s GDP, the better off are its people.
Unfortunately, using the GDP to measure prosperity and assess economic well-being is leading us terribly astray. It is a statistical index that is guaranteed to mislead us, and relying on it as we have done has added greatly to the economic misery in people’s lives.
One of the reasons the crisis took so many economic experts by surprise is that the systems we use to measure our economic well-being failed us.