Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Joseph Stiglitz writes about the dangers of measuring economic and social progress solely in terms of GDP:
It is clear that something is fundamentally wrong with the way we assess economic performance and social progress. Even worse, our metrics frequently give the misleading impression that there is a trade-off between the two; that, for instance, changes that enhance people’s economic security, whether through improved pensions or a better welfare state, come at the expense of national economic performance.

Getting the measure right – or at least a lot better – is crucially important, especially in our metrics- and performance-oriented society. If we measure the wrong thing, we will do the wrong thing. If our measures tell us everything is fine when it really isn’t, we will be complacent.

And it should be clear that, in spite of the increases in GDP, in spite of the 2008 crisis being well behind us, everything is not fine. We see this in the political discontent rippling through so many advanced countries; we see it in the widespread support of demagogues, whose successes depend on exploiting economic discontent; and we see it in the environment around us, where fires rage and floods and droughts occur at ever-increasing intervals.
- Michael Roberts examines the need for economic transformation in the UK, while making the case that even Labour's election platform doesn't go far enough in addressing control over key sectors. And Joao Medeiros writes about Mariana Mazzucato's prescription for public involvement in - and benefits from - our future economic path.

- Joanne Seiff discusses the environmental damage done by a throw-away consumer culture. And Andrew Nikiforuk writes about the need for more sustainable economic practices - not only a conversion to new energy sources - in order to combat the climate crisis.

- Finally, Gregory Beatty highlights how the Wexit scam is being used to distract from the real and glaring failures of Scott Moe, Jason Kenney and other right-wing politicians.

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