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Date: 2024-06-13 Page is: DBtxt003.php L0300-Economic-Growth

There are many distortions in the demographics that pose problems

Measure State and you Measure Progress

Economic Growth
Burgess / TVM Commentary
Economic Growth is one of the main policy goals of governments around the world, and is strongly supported by the business community and their advocates like Chambers of Commerce. This has been a key policy objective for a very long time, but has dangerous ramifications in the modern world.
In poor economies there is a strong and positive correlation between a bigger economy and quality of life for the population, but there is a point where a larger economy does not increase quality of life very much if at all. Most 'developed' economies passed this point several decades ago, but the idea of economic growth will improve quality of life persists.
Rather, in the modern world more economic growth now correlates stongly with more pollution, more environmental degradation and more existential risk associated with climate change.
GDP ... the ubiquitous measure of economic scale is a very good proxy foe environmental degradation, andf it would be good if this idea could be promulgated and used in everyday conversation.

GNP since 1750 ... First World -v- Third World
Relatively speaking the economy of the 'thirid world' was bigger in 1750 than that of the First World ... but this situation changed significantly in the subsequent 250+ years. The drivers of this are (1) the relative sizes of the populations and the very rapid economic growth as the industrial revolution progressed.

2000 years of GDP (PPP) growth
Estimated by Angus Maddison
The 'economy', according to these estimates was tiny 2000 years ago compared to where it is today, and still relatively small 200 years ago around 1820.
Year Western Europe United States
Year 1 14 <1
1820 160 13
1950 1396 1456
2008 8700 9485
US GDP grew very fast from 1820 to 1950, outpacing Western Europe quite significantly, but slowed relatively in the period since 1950 to 2008 but still outpacing Western Europe but rather modestly.

The population in Africa is very young
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