National account statisticians have long been aware, of course, of some of these problems and have warned against the use of national product or income estimates as an index of welfare. But since mankind is desperately anxious to have an index of welfare, such warnings have always fallen on deaf ears.

– Tibor Scitovsky, “The Place of Economics Welfare in Human Welfare,” May 17, 1973 David Kinley lecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (Available as chapter 2 in Human Desires and Economic Satisfaction.)