GDP vs. Biking

Some comments by a banker to an economist.

“A cyclist is a disaster for the country’s economy”.

  • He or she doesn’t buy cars, nor borrow money for this purchase.
  • Doesn’t pay insurance policies.
  • Doesn’t buy fuel.
  • Doesn’t pay to have the car serviced, or repaired.
  • Doesn’t pay for parking in public areas.
  • Doesn’t cause any major accidents, so no vehicle repair costs incurred.
  • There is no need for the billions of dollars spent on highways, roads and the automobile industry.
  • He or she is not getting obese, so the associated health problems and costs are not a significant factor to the economy.
  • Active, healthy people are not necessary or useful to the economy indirectly with regards to their spending habits.
  • They are not purchasing medicine to the degree that inactive people are.
  • They don’t require hospitals, doctors and other health facilities and expertise to the same degree that inactive people do.
  • They indirectly add little to nothing to the country’s GDP, aside from the costs of their basic needs, and their profession.

In contrast to this:

  • Each new McDonald’s store creates at least 30 jobs—actually.
  • 10 cardiologists, 10 dentists, 10 dieticians and nutritionists—obviously as well as the people who work in the store itself.

Choose wisely: A bike or a McDonald’s?

We did find these comments a bit simplistic, but the intent of the message was obvious, stay active, ride a bike, or walk more often, and quit depending so much on a vehicle to get you places.