The Trash Index


Today we’d like to introduce another unique index, the kind that would go well with the Hemline Index and the Big Mac index.

It’s called ‘The Trash Index’ and as the name suggests, it deals mainly with waste.

What does The Trash Index indicate?

This indicator may sound amusing, but it was first proposed by a very serious economist named Michael McDonough.

This index focuses on the relationship between the trash a specific society produces and its GDP.

It makes perfect sense when you think about it.

When people buy more, more jobs and more garbage are created as an inevitable side effect.

So, when there’s less trash, according to the theory, it might be a sign that the economy is not doing so well.

Interestingly, when it was introduced in 2012, the trash index showed an impressive 82.4% statistical correlation with economic growth in the United States since 2001.

McDonough also said that trash was ‘holistic’ as it’s not isolated to conveying a single section of the economy.

Is The Trash Index a myth?

The Trash Index has also encountered critics and it remains a fascinating theory – not a fact.

It is interesting to consider though, how trash and GDP might be affected by one another.

As we’ve recently pointed out, GDP is not without its faults, but since it has no serious alternative, it’ll probably remain in constant use in the years to come.

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