What are the key progressive causes in today’s world? Climate change. Inequality. Poverty. Homelessness. Corporate power. Environmental destruction. The refugee crisis. The politics of austerity. And more.
Everybody knows that the issues are connected, ultimately caused by a flawed economic system. That is why recent worldwide campaigns against international trade agreements such as TTIP and the WTO – and the interests they promote – have been so powerful. These agreements damage the environment through resource exploitation. They increase land, sea and air traffic, which contributes to global warming. They force economic migration by creating an insecure, global market for low-wage labour.
For as long as we measure the success of this flawed system using gross domestic product (GDP), all the things we fight against will have the upper hand. Remember: we get what we measure. At present, only monetary transactions count for prosperity, even when they destroy society and the environment. Trees have no value in GDP until they are chopped down. Sickness, pollution and depression create GDP in the healthcare industry, but the things we can do to prevent them do not.
GDP drives economic decision-making. It is enshrined in the UN’s 2015 sustainable development goals and integrated into the EU treaties. It dictates the policies of the IMF and World Bank and the choices of rating agencies. By design, it encourages environmental destruction, favours corporate profits over workers’ wages and ignores human health and wellbeing.
Getting rid of GDP is a vital step towards building the economy that we want. We need to join together in pressurising our governments to replace GDP with new indicators of human and ecosystem wellbeing, which we’ll use to transform governance at the local, national and international level.
Without GDP, the economic arguments supporting polluting industries, exploitative international trade, austerity and corporate expansion will crumble. By abolishing GDP, we remove the power of big business to influence the terms of success that make their activities acceptable in society. Ultimately, we eliminate the power of corporations to dictate policy.
Thousands of civil society organisations in Europe and across the world are campaigning for a better world. By forging a united front against GDP we can help every organisation concerned with social, economic and environmental change to achieve its goals.
Join the Stop-GDP campaign by making it part of your own campaigning message. The plan is to build a network of organisations which together can apply pressure for a change that will advance everyone’s objectives.