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    The Reader

6 simple ways to add value to your country’s economy*

*according to the standard formula for GDP as specified by the US BEA’s NIPA handbook

  1. Instead of buying $100 boots that you can wear for years, buy $50 boots that fall apart after months. Over the years, the total value of your purchases will be higher, adding more value to the economy.

  2. Instead of using reusable canvas bags, make sure to purchase a new plastic bag each time you go shopping. While a reusable shopping bag adds more to the GDP initially, as with cheap boots, the value of plastic bags adds up over time.

  3. Avoid repairing, donating or selling things secondhand, as this doesn’t count towards to the GDP. Instead, light them on fire to ensure that anybody who could have used them will need to acquire newly produced products – adding to your country’s economic growth.

  4. If you’re a landlord, you can add more value to your economy by raising the rent. This has a bonus too, in that it will cause owner-occupiers of nearby homes to be judged as adding more value to the GDP – even if they’re not paying a cent!

  5. If you own your own home, then congratulations! Collectively, you already contribute about 8% of your country’s GDP, just by existing, even if your mortgage is fully paid off or your home was inherited! But you can level up your contribution by refinancing to a mortgage with the highest interest possible; each cent of interest you pay to the bank adds value to your nation’s GDP.

  6. If your job involves caring for people, then consider a career change into finance. While educational services, health care and social assistance represented 15% of the 2020 US workforce and added 9% of its economic value, finance and real estate added a full 22% of the value using just 5% of the workforce – making bankers at least 7 times more valuable than doctors and teachers! In fact, even people who make and grow things can’t match the value of finance, with construction, manufacturing, mining and agriculture adding just 17% of the value combined, while still taking up 15% of the workforce.

It may well be that quitting your teaching or manufacturing job, and becoming a banker or real estate agent, is the single most valuable thing you can do for your country’s economy!