Measuring Real Progress by Ron Colman

Posted on August 20, 2011

Measuring Real Progress by Ron Colman

All of us— politicians, economists, journalists,  and the general public—have been completely hooked on the illusion that equates economic growth with well-being and prosperity.

This was not the intention of those who created the GDP. Simon Kuznets, its principal architect, warned 40 years ago: The welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income…. Goals for “more” growth should specify of what and for what.

Ronald Colman, Ph.D., director of GPI Atlantic an independent, non-profit research and education organization has developed a Genuine Progress Index (GPI) – a new measure of sustainability, wellbeing and quality of life. An article published in the oxford leadership journal.

Quoted from the article:

“Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered  community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things…. The Gross National Product includes air pollution and advertising for cigarettes, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.

It counts special locks for our doors, and jails for the  people who break them. The GNP includes the destruction of the redwoods and the death of Lake Superior. It grows with the production of napalm and missiles and nuclear warheads.

And if the GNP includes all this, there is much that it does not comprehend. It does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of our streets alike. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, or the intelligence of our public debate, or the integrity of our public officials.

The GNP measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”

Robert F Kennedy