The book author and the reviewer consider the value and importance of the statistics that make our economy “the” Economy.
The consensus seems that focusing on a small handful of statistical indicators of economic well being is short sighted. Especially our emphasis on unemployment, GDP , and the CPI.
“no one number will suffice.” Modern economies are complicated, with a vast range of products and services. G.D.P. was adequate for the age of mass production, but adding up the components of today’s American economy is not the same as adding up the number of cars rolling off the assembly line.
Even more important is a distinction not made clearly in the book, namely the difference between economic activity and society’s well-being. We need a measure of total activity, but G.D.P. cannot indicate how good economic prospects are for the next generation, or even for a majority of us today. The so-called leading indicators no longer answer the most important questions people are raising about how they live.