The Fetish of GDP: Raj Patel (#103 Encore)
“Gross Domestic Product has now become a fetish,” according to economist Raj Patel. Many undesirable things end up adding to GDP: wars, disease, and environmental destruction, for example. Meanwhile GDP fails to measure many desirable indicators of community health. It has led us to live in an ecologically and socially unsustainable fashion.
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Patel feels the myth of growth has let us down, and we need “new ways of sensing, of valuing, and of sharing the world around us.” In this interview recorded in the Spring of 2010, Patel shares that, “The tools with which we’ve been raised to help us understand the way the world works and how our future might be delivered to us,…are broken. But it’s OK, because there are loads of solutions around us in which we might manage the world differently and more sustainably.”
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More about Raj Patel:
Raj Patel is a Research Professor at the University of Texas, and a Senior Research Associate at Rhodes University in South Africa. He has degrees from University of Oxford, the London School of Economics and Cornell University. He’s worked for the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, and protested against them around the world. Patel authored Stuffed and Starved and The Value of Nothing. He writes frequently for The Guardian, and his work has appeared in the Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Times of India, to name a few.