[Ok-sus] Vermont Genuine Progress Indicator

Julie Gahn juliegahn at yahoo.com
Thu May 3 16:23:16 CDT 2012


"What you measure is what you get,” said Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph 
Stiglitz. Soon Vermont may measure its economic well-being somewhat differently.
This week, the Vermont legislature sent a bill to Gov. Peter Shumlin that 
charges the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute for Ecological Economics with 
developing a new way of measuring the health of the state economy: it’s called 
the Vermont Genuine Progress Indicator.
The law would be the first of its kind in the U.S. and builds on a growing 
network of state GPI initiatives, most notablyMaryland's.
Beyond GDP
Since World War II, policy-makers and their economic advisers worldwide have 
measured economic progress by the Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, which tracks 
the volume of commercial transactions: the purchase and sale of stuff.
“And that’s what we’ve gotten — more stuff,” says Jon Erickson, professor and 
managing director of UVM’s Gund Institute. “But is having more stuff the only 
purpose of the economy? Is it even the main purpose?”
Erickson doesn’t think it is — or should be — 
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