@GiraffeEars- I always hear people talking about GDP being used to measure economic development, but this seems flawed. An economic development plan based only on increasing GDP puts no value on the type of development that takes place or whether the economic development that occurs is good for society. GDP growth can occur from things that are detrimental to society, which would contradict the idea of development. I would assume that development of a nation would mean the progress of a nation.
What I mean by all of this is simple. Things like the costs associated with natural disasters, illnesses, and death all add to the GDP, but they are not necessarily good for society.
In the case of the United States, health care costs are a huge portion of GDP. These costs are driving the country into debt and rising costs are diverting income and revenue from more meaningful types of growth. This is only one example of many, but to me it seems like there is a general disconnect between what is good for corporate America and what is good for Americans.