...because all those other charts are so depressing (the unemployment rate, the manufacturing index, housing starts, retail merchant sales, international durable goods orders), the government is now going to create a chart that tells us - really! - that we've never had it so good!
But the opening of the story in USA Today gives away the game:
Which makes you happier — a pay raise or job security? Another TV or a friend next door? A bigger house or more free time?
Note the obvious suggestion here - that a stagnant life at a dead-end (government?) job with a small apartment and a 12" TV is preferable to life filled with the risk and rewards that come with creating capital, and reaping the benefits of success that may come your (but only your) way.
Whose philosophy does that sound like?
If you still can't figure it out:
The practical impact of the panel's work would be to figure out whether a broader GDP could better guide public policy. For example, if commuters prefer riding the train to fighting traffic in a car, perhaps public transit should be bolstered. Or if patients value pain management more than costlier medical treatments, care considerations could get a second look.
Ah, subsiding mass transit, forgoing cars, and skipping "expensive" (albeit life-prolonging) medical treatment in exchange for "holistic" remedies...whose agenda does that sound like?
Seems as if the Obama Administration (remember, they are funding this study) is now going to try to convince us that all of our dirty money is just making us unhappy. Best off simply handing it over to Barack - he'll know best how to spend it, after all - and start enjoying your new and reduced standard of living.
Although it may sound a bit harsh - no job mobility, tiny living spaces, minimal luxuries...you'll be happier this way.
Trust us. We're from the government, and we know what's best for you...