The Genuine Progress Indicator

January 20th, 2012 by Melissa

Friday, January 20, 2012


Greetings Everyone!

Snow is in the air, and I hope you get to enjoy winter this weekend.

At the Center for Rural Partnerships, we are always thinking about ways to think about community and economic development that reflect New Hampshire values and honor what we know about scholarly research and “best practices” in the field.  Fran Belcher recently initiated a conversation within the Center about Vermont’s unique approach, reflected in a bill currently before the legislature.   Of course, we do not endorse this bill, since the Center never weighs in on legislation or lobbies in any way.  However, this discussion does raise interesting topics worthy of further discussion.

Here is an excerpt from VT LEG 274149.1 –

“The genuine progress indicator shall be based upon and be at least as comprehensive as the framework designed by the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics of the University of Vermont; shall incorporate basic human rights principles; and shall include at least the following measures:

(A) access to livable wages;
(B) access to affordable housing;
(C) access to health care;
(D) personal consumption expenditures;
(E) income distribution;
(F) personal consumption adjusted for income inequality;
(G) value of household labor;
(H) value of volunteer work;
(I) services of household capital;
(J) services of highways and streets;
(K) cost of crime;
(L) cost of family breakdown;
(M) loss of leisure time;
(N) cost of underemployment;
(O) cost of consumer durables;
(P) cost of commuting;
(Q) cost of household pollution abatement;
(R) cost of automobile accidents;
(S) cost of water pollution;
(T) cost of air pollution;
(U) cost of noise pollution;
(V) loss of wetlands;
(W) loss of farmland;
(X) depletion of nonrenewable 1 resources;
(Y) long-term environmental damage;
(Z) cost of ozone depletion;
(AA) loss of forest cover;
(BB) net capital investment; and
(CC) net foreign lending and borrowing.”

I’d be curious to hear what others think about this.


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