“It is startling to find that Chinese people’s feelings of well-being have declined in a period of such momentous improvement in their economic lives.” (Source: NY Times)
Richard Easterlin in NY Times: China demonstrates that "growth alone, even at sustained, spectacular rates, has not produced the kind of life satisfaction crucial to a stable society — an experience that shows how critically important good jobs and a strong social safety net are to people’s happiness."
Another piece of evidence that it is time for a new economic and social development model. Read on the same subject “Does economic growth make you happy?”, a Times Literary Supplement review by Robert Skidelsky of the latest book “Economics after the crisis” written by Adair Turner.
For those in Brussels interested in this topic, there is a great conference organised by the ETUI on 15-16 October: “From ‘uneconomic’ growth to future well-being”
"Some large economies show significantly lower growth when natural assets such as forests and water are factored into growth indicators, an index showed on Sunday, a few days before an international sustainability summit starts in Rio de Janeiro." (Source: Reuters)
Interesting new report from two of the UN’s environmental institutions shows that the Beyond GDP debate needs more and faster progress.
"Once it becomes clear that further GDP growth will be ever more difficult to achieve, national leaders will desperately need ways to make life tolerable for their increasingly restive constituents. It’s plain that environmental, psychological, and social well-being must be the new goal, and we can thank the government of Bhutan for realizing this and blazing a trail that others may follow." (Source: Energy Bulletin)
Good resumee by Richard Heinberg of the UN’s special conference on wellbeing and the need to define a new economic paradigm.
The final outcome document of the UN conference and interventions and presentations during the conference are available from the special Bhutan website “Wellbeing & Happiness. Defining a new economic paradigm”.
“On April 2, the UN hosted a High-Level Meeting on Happiness and Well-Being. Conceived by the government of the Kingdom of Bhutan, and supported by 68 UN member states, the meeting was conducted against the tumultuous backdrop of global financial crisis, catastrophic climate change, widespread poverty, and the rise of neuroeconomics – factors that have jolted the status quo and brought economics to a crossroads.”
Good article in Project Syndicate on the changing paradigm from (un)economic growth to a multidimensional model of sustainable welfare economics, founded in human well-being. If political elites would only understand that this is the real alternative to the destructive and anti-social austerity policies now in place.
Read on the same topic also: