National Economic Indicators vs Reality

From Stefan Karlson's Blog I read: Spain vs Portugal and it got me to thinking:
If I am self sufficient in food, water, shelter and electricity in Portugal and I trade my surplus in these areas for other things of value that I need (that I lack) neither my consumption nor my productivity will be reflected in national economic indicators such as GDP, I suppose. So GDP may not be indicative of the level of abundance/quality of life of the people at all. Could a declining GDP be indicative of people leaving, or not buying into, the system, not using money at all? For an explanation of what money is and what money is not see What's Money Honey?

If I have no money, am I poor? If my basic needs of food, water, electricity, sanitation, shelter, communication with others are met and I have no money, am I poor or am I free? Or maybe something else. I wonder what the trends are in Portugal...Those with little money, little need for money, are they living with increasing or decreasing quality of life?

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