“These are not idle academic ruminations. Suppose a restructuring of the economy has the effect of increasing the growth of average gross domestic product per capita, but that the benefits of that growth accrue disproportionately to a minority of citizens, while others are worse off as a result, as appears to have been the case in the United States in the last several decades. Can economists judge this to be a good thing?”
(Via Economix Blog.)
And this is where politics comes in. Free market zealots (so-called, but that’s an argument for another day) argue in terms of GDP growth, side stepping the issue that only the top 10% of wage earners saw any of the gains over the last few decades.