Under mounting pressure to demonstrate an economic turnaround, the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics has decided to change the metrics being used to measure economic growth. The principal economic metric will now be the Gross Domestic Weight (GDW), or the summed weight of all Americans.
"The metric makes sense," claims Richard Goddard of the BLS. "In fact it may be the only honest metric for economic prosperity of the general public. If you look at countries where people are really poor or sick, the population is wasting away. If you are packing on pounds and growing a beer gut then you are not truly impoverished, no matter what you may say".
According to the new metric the USA is doing spectacularly well, especially since the 2008 recession. As unemployment has risen unemployed laborers have packed on pounds at an unprecedented rate. The GDW per capita in the USA has risen from 234 lbs in 2008 to 296 lbs in 2011. Texas and Mississippi are among the richest places on the planet, with a GDW of 359 lbs per capita compared to 165 lbs in Japan or 57 lbs in Somalia.
Asked whether they would participate in the switch of metrics, members of the G7 were noncommittal. When asked, UK finance minister George Osborne stated, "One has to consider the ramifications. While the UK has certainly experienced a similar increase in GDW, we remain more vulnerable than the USA because our GDW does not have as broad a base - it is concentrated more in specific individuals. For example, if anything were to happen to Richard Griffiths our GDW could plummet overnight".
Markets in the USA have responded positively to the new metric, which is believed to be the first of several. "We will also be looking at the inflation rate", claims Goddard. "The American numbers for the Consumer Price Index were looking ugly until we decided to exclude food, fuel and housing. Along the same line, we are adding several items into the standard price basket including VHS tapes, signed photos of Tiger Woods, and old IBM desktops. According to the new metric the CPI has declined 47% since 2008, as compared to only 11% for wages. Americans have never been richer".
The Obama administration sees the new metrics as a vindication of their economic policies, and vows to stay the course. "We have no need for Cut, Cap and Balance", claims a member of the State Department. "All we have to do is to present a metric that gives the American people a more accurate representation of our growth".