How does the GDP affect the population?

There is constant talk in the news about national numbers like the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Sure these numbers are general markers that measure how a country is doing financially, which is a predictor for how the country is going overall, but what does it mean for the average citizen?

Before determining the importance of the GDP, one needs to understand what it is.  Although calculating the GDP is very complicated and should be left to the experts, the concept can be simplified and understood as the average of what everyone in the country has spent, before taxes, over some measure of time like a year or a fiscal quarter. Continue reading