0283 – Ban Ki-moon: New economic paradigm needed

“Gross National Product (GDP) has long been the yardstick by which economies and politicians have been measured. Yet it fails to take into account the social and environmental costs of so-called progress,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his remarks at a high-level meeting at UN Headquarters in New York.

I am very very excited about what the United Nations is doing with happiness. On April 2, 2012, government representatives and happiness experts and leaders all over the world met at the UN Headquarters in New York for a meeting entitled Happiness and Well-being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm. Read more about it here.

The meeting resulted in the release of the inaugural World Happiness Report, a 150-page document that talks about the causes of happiness, policy implications, and some case studies. For those of you who’s too lazy to read a 150-page document, I’ve posted a summary after the jump. (I haven’t read it either. I just found a summary online. heh.)

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0282 – We are so so poor these days

<EDIT 04/07/2012: Added link to the source of the graph on the right, which I forgot to put in earlier. My apologies.>

When we talk about a nation’s progress, we often talk about the GDP. A steady increase in GDP, consistent with the infinite growth paradigm, the notion that a country’s wealth and GDP can increase forever. A high GDP per capita means that a country is rich, and a lower GDP means the country is relatively poor.

This is a false paradigm.

Many of us are so so poor these days. Continue reading