The Economy: Growth Is Not Enough

In 2014, economist Kate Raworth spoke to the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). This excerpt was animated by Marija Jacimovic, designed by Milan Perisic, and produced by Benoit Detalle. See the full presentation here.


In 1934 Simon Kuznets developed the GDP concept for the U.S. Congress, warning “The welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income.” In 1962 he elaborated that “Distinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth, between its costs and return, and between the short and the long term. Goals for more growth should specify more growth of what and for what.” He was awarded the 1971 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Extra Credit: Compare and contrast the Club for Growth and the Social Progress Imperative.


Wouldn’t you know it, after we scheduled this post, Donald Trump hit the airwaves boasting about GDP growth of 4.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2018, but Mr. Trump didn’t mention this was the result of U.S. companies feverishly exporting commodities to beat the imposition of retaliatory tariffs resulting from his own ill-conceived trade war. As those trade barriers slam into effect, expect a dizzying dip in Q3. Even so, remember what the inventor of the GDP concept warned.

“The US economy is growing fast. Be afraid.” Eshe Nelson and Gwynn Guilford, Quartz

“Trump cheers ‘amazing’ economic growth as economists caution it could be a blip,” Heather Long, Washington Post

“Fact Check: Trump falsely claims historic turnaround,” Josh Boak and Christopher Rugaber, Associated Press


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