Sunday, March 13, 2011

Measure of progress

Another day, another article that supports a broad idea that we, as a collective, cannot go on and measure our progress by relying solely on those measures of economic growth such as GDP. It is important to view progress from a holistic life point of view. One of a promising measure is "happiness index". Here is a link to the Op-Ed article in the Times by Roger Cohen.

Some of the direct quotes and evidence from the article are:
  • "We can't go on like this, running only to stand still, making things faster and faster, consuming more and more food (with consequent pressures on prices); that somehow a wold of more than seven billion people is going to have to downshift to make it, revise its criteria of what constitutes well-being."
  • Britain will begin measuring how Britons' happiness by asking the citizens to respond on a scale of 0 to 10 on 4 questions:
  1. How happy did you feel yesterday?
  2. How anxious did you feel yesterday?
  3. How satisfied are you with your life nowadays?
  4. To what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?
  • Although it is a step forward to shift from focusing on financial prosperity to the idea of overall well-being, we still need to make sure that what we learn from well-being links to policy making.

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