The Invisible Woman

Housewives Only Contribute to GDP When…

Imagine a housewife who diligently cares for her house and children.

She makes no contribution to the economy according to GDP, the traditional measure of economic wealth.

Now imagine she drowns the children and burns the house down.

This would lead to an increase in measured economic wealth!

The cost of firefighters and police, of vehicles and gas, of burials, of clean-up and rebuilding, of lawyers and courts … all would contribute to GDP.

Keeping her locked-up, fed and clothed; providing psychiatric treatment, social-workers, building maintenance, prison guards and security … all would contribute to GDP.

Would anyone but an economist think that her actions brought anything but harm to her family, her community, and the economy?