On the many ways to be poor
As I write about a just and sustainable economy, one of the enduring problems is our limited definition of wealth. We tend of think of it almost invariably in monetary terms, drawing up ‘Rich Lists*’ and calculating GDP, measuring the success of individuals and the progress of nations through the blunt instrument of financial increase. In reality, money is just one part of what makes life worth living, and that true wealth lies in relationships and belonging, satisfying work and leisure, and a host of other things.
We all know this of course, but somehow it doesn’t seem to filter through. Politicians can stand up and declare that growing the economy is their number one priority, and nobody questions the idea. If they were to say instead that the primary goal of government was going to increasing our collective wellbeing, I imagine they’d be dismissed as ‘wooly thinkers’.
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