Is the economy falling, or does technology compensate?

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Offline evan_au

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I saw news that the Chinese economy is falling this year, and Western economies are stagnating.

All of these are based on measures of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is in turn based on how many Dollars/Pounds/Euros/Yuan is being spent every year in that country.

However, I read that a particular international flight now costs 2 weeks of the average wage. And they quoted that decades ago, this same trip cost 80 weeks of the average wage.

You can find other examples, like the smartphone in your pocket has so much computer power that it would have cost over $1 million a few decades ago. No wonder teenagers think that this is their most valuable possession - it turns them all into millionaires! But to the economist, a $1,000,000 computer is worth over a  thousand times more than a $700 smartphone.

And you could extend it to less tangible things - decades ago, only the very richest would have 10,000 books in their library, or 1,000 songs in their record collection; but today, we all have access to such riches through the internet.

I think that if we took technology into account, we would find that the GDP is improving rapidly (largely on the back of Moore's Law).

Perhaps if we took technology into account, we could also take wellbeing or happiness into account? Many people see technology as acting against happiness.

Some of the European countries are now trying to take this into account.