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Measuring Well-Being, beyond GDP

For decades the Gross Domestic Product has been the gold-standard for measuring economic health, wealth and progress. GDP has become entrenched in our discourse, but it is a remarkably narrow measure of a nation’s overall well-being. It defines progress through the narrow lens that more is better – more consumption, more production, more exports. GDP entirely neglects indicators such as income inequality, the cost of underemployment and pollution, environmental impact and resource depletion or a broad range of social indicators including the cost of crime, the value of volunteerism and leisure time, education and community. As a measure of “progress” and national “health”, it is sorely lacking. Which is why many are looking toward alternative measures of well-being, that take into consideration economic, environmental and social indicators. Here are two short video clips which explain why and how GDP fails to paint a complete picture of growth, progress and well-being in the new economy, and how alternative measures such as Gross National Happiness or the Human Development Index can help us. Check out these videos and we would love to hear your thoughts: Well-Being in the New Economy What is Gross National...

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On the intersection between faith and economics – by Waldo Malan

A good friend of mine recently wanted to know if I had any peculiar thoughts on the intersection between faith and economics. At first I thought… what rubbish… and then I thought-ed some more. Not rubbish at all but a Godly principle. Yes, I discovered (while pondering) that I actually do believe there is an intersection between the two, and in fact, an intersection that was put in place by God himself. Allow me to explain through a connect-the-dots picture, since these I really love. Firstly I think that it is important for us to distinguish between two different economies at work in our world today. There are economics that is the result of a relationship with God, and then there are economics as a financial system invented by man. The interesting thing about this, and the reason we often flounder in ambiguities, is that both these systems are at work all the time, no matter which one we subscribe to! God’s economy is simple: 1) everything belongs to God 2) everything that belongs to God he has given to man 3) God requires man to believe (intrinsically and inherently) that He is good, and all He created is good 4) God smiles broadly and is pleased when we believe Him and operate according to the guidelines that He...

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Douglas Rushkoff gave us some valuable insight back before all the bailouts of the banks.  The last two minutes are especially powerful, and suggest that we be missing an opportunity to change the way we relate to economics. Life Inc. The Movie from Douglas Rushkoff on...

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