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Letters to BS: Measuring nations' prosperity with GDP is clearly misleading

As newer economic theories get misapplied, attempts at political correction follow

GDP
GDP

This refers to “Madhya Pradesh to have happiness index” (September 2). Today, measuring prosperity of nations with indicators like GDP is clearly misleading. It probably further skews the distribution of wealth and accentuates income disparity. We have journeyed long from exploring creation of wealth to distribution of income to now Nobel prize winner Prof Angus Deaton’s treatise on poverty. As newer economic theories get misapplied, attempts at political correction follow. Through all this, the common man feebly tries to leverage his only tool — democracy — that can reset the political paradigm temporarily. Strangely, it is seen that deeper the democratic mores, as it is in the US, the sharper has been the turn to the right wing ideology of wealth inequality. It may take ages for the socio-economists, much less the governments, to move away from a trite GDP to even grasp the concept of creation and distribution of happiness.

R Narayanan, Navi Mumbai


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