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By changing the focus from the material to the emotional there is a possibility that the goals that society sets for itself could be transformed as well. We also need to realize that those who don't have an adequate standard of living to enable health, food and shelter must be dealt with using a different set of rules at present.

In other words, once society has obtained a minimum (i.e. "adequate") level of material affluence, we should look at changing the emphasis of our society from the material to the emotional, and -- implicitly -- regard the successfulness of our society more in relation to emotional health rather than material wealth.  Is that right?

As to the single number, whether this gets overused or not is not under our control. The news is filled with the new Dow Jones Index level. I've heard three interview with stock traders who said that they don't pay any attention to it as it is not representative on any important economic indicators. After just having said that the reporter then goes on to ask about its "meaning".

Should we stop pursuing new economic measures just because the press is ignorant?

Not sure if I am following here.

By "new economic measures", do you mean "economic measures" that put more emphasis on "emotional" (rather than "material") well-being?

In any case, I would say that we should find some indicator that does gives primary importance to emotional/psychological/social well-being and/or human capabilities, and then let the "ignorant press" have at it.

The challenge of course will be how to get the mainstream media to drop GDP/DJI/etc. in favor of HDI/HCI ("Human Capabilities Index"?)/etc.

In the mean time, we may not have a perfect "happiness/negative suffering  index yet", but when fast rising economic and political world giants make rumblings about measuring other things besides just GDP, shouldn't we take note and try work with that as a basis for moving further in that direction?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Fri Oct 20th, 2006 at 11:42:05 AM EST
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