A Strong Economy is a Means, not an End

When you earn and save money, it's not just to have more money. You may have something specific you want to do with the money (buy a car, post bail, celebrate your bird's birthday) or you may be saving to be able to satisfy needs you don't know about quite yet, but it's not just to have and to hold. The same is true with the economy: GDP growth may correlate with, or even cause, positive effects in the world, but a high GDP is useless if you don't use it on what really matters. And what does really matter?

I'm sure you have your own, unique ideas about what really matters. The things you would do if you were President of Earth or a trillionaire. I bet that what really matters to people has a lot of overlap, too.

I also bet that we don't often think about the things that really matter and work towards them. It's easy to get invested in "targets" that don't matter, and like Goodhart's Law suggests:

When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.

GDP growth or the size of your bank account doesn't matter by itself. It only matters in that it allows you (or your country) to do good things in the world. The economy is an important issue, but leaders that prioritize it over what really matters to people are missing the point of life. Defining success in policy by considering only GDP is simply wrong.

Why are you on this wet rock flying through space? What do you want to use our collective time and effort for?

If you live somewhere where you can vote, please vote for what matters to you.