The Germans have a funny, catchy little tune about their GDP. Here's part of the chorus:
ja ja ja jetzt wird wieder in die Haende gespukt,
wir steigern das Bruttosozialprodukt...
It means now we're going to spit in our hands because the GDP is rising. Here is a basic definition of GDP; Gross Domestic Product. The total market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year, equal to total consumer, investment and government spending, plus the value of exports, minus the value of imports.
I found a lovely site that shows how US GDP compares to other countries. The U.S. is of course in first place. But I have a plan to make GDP rise to even higher levels. The plan is this: We should include all of the work thateveryone does. For example, as a housewife, the work I do is insignificant when calculating the GDP. But I am producing something, namely well adjusted, hard working adults that, with any luck, wont crowd the prison system. What about college students? I, for one, am trying to produce a happy i.e. well paid CPA with my efforts on things like this blog. Why don't we give homework a value in the GDP?
If you look at what goes into the GDP you can see what our society values, and more importantly what it does not (me). I'm not sure having a high GDP is all that important anyway, but if we're going to have one I would like to be included.