The concept of GDP and economic progress didn’t even exist until the Great Depression. It was invented so that the government could figure out how bad the economy was getting and how to make it better. Economist Simon Kuznets, upon introducing GDP to Congress in 1934 remarked that “Economic welfare cannot be adequately measured unless the personal distribution of income is known. And no income measurement undertakes to estimate the reverse side of income, that is, the intensity and unpleasantness of effort going into the earning of income. The welfare of a nation can, therefore, scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income as defined above.” It’s almost like he saw income inequality and bad jobs coming.