Am mai atins subiectul ăsta: ce punem în locul PIB, considerat un indicator care nu mai reflectă complexitatea economiilor şi nici nu mai ajută la compararea performanţelor diverselor naţiuni. PIB este un indicator apărut în siajul Marii Depresii din 1929-1933. Şi se pare că va fi înlocuit cu altceva, tot în siajul unei crize globale de mare amploare, spre exemplu cu un Indice al Bunăstării Naţiunii, care este pe cale să fie introdus în mai multe ţări Europene, în Canada şi chiar şi în SUA, unde vara asta se va publica un raport despre Starea SUA. În Franţa Comisia care s-a ocupat de problemă a fost condusă de Joe Stiglitz.
Găsiţi aici un cuprinzător articol din NYT, dedicat acestei teme. Din punctul meu de vedere este o schimbare bine-venită, pentru că România este un exemplu clar de "creştere economică fără dezvoltare". Cu cât a crescut PIB între 2004 şi 2008, şi cum se vede asta în viaţa FIECĂRUI cetăţean, şi câtă bogăţie naţională a produs cu adevărat această creştere, cât de bine trăim, înţelegând prin asta tot ce vreţi, de la calitatea locuirii, a educaţiei şi sănătăţii până la calitatea mediului, cât de realîă este egalitatea şanselor, etc, etc, etc.
Ca de obicei, voi cita fragmentele care mi se par cele mai interesante. Nu am nici timp, nici nu am prea multe motivaţii pentru a le traduce, activitate care nu este atât de simplă pe cât pare unora. Deci:
"For years, economists critical of the measure have enjoyed spinning narratives to illustrate its logical flaws and limitations. Consider, for example, the lives of two people — let’s call them High-G.D.P. Man and Low-G.D.P. Man. High-G.D.P. Man has a long commute to work and drives an automobile that gets poor gas mileage, forcing him to spend a lot on fuel. The morning traffic and its stresses aren’t too good for his car (which he replaces every few years) or his cardiovascular health (which he treats with expensive pharmaceuticals and medical procedures). High-G.D.P. Man works hard, spends hard. He loves going to bars and restaurants, likes his flat-screen televisions and adores his big house, which he keeps at 71 degrees year round and protects with a state-of-the-art security system. High-G.D.P. Man and his wife pay for a sitter (for their kids) and a nursing home (for their aging parents). They don’t have time for housework, so they employ a full-time housekeeper. They don’t have time to cook much, so they usually order in. They’re too busy to take long vacations.
As it happens, all those things — cooking, cleaning, home care, three-week vacations and so forth — are the kind of activity that keep Low-G.D.P. Man and his wife busy. High-G.D.P. Man likes his washer and dryer; Low-G.D.P. Man doesn’t mind hanging his laundry on the clothesline. High-G.D.P. Man buys bags of prewashed salad at the grocery store; Low-G.D.P. Man grows vegetables in his garden. When High-G.D.P. Man wants a book, he buys it; Low-G.D.P. Man checks it out of the library. When High-G.D.P. Man wants to get in shape, he joins a gym; Low-G.D.P. Man digs out an old pair of Nikes and runs through the neighborhood. On his morning commute, High-G.D.P. Man drives past Low-G.D.P. Man, who is walking to work in wrinkled khakis.
By economic measures, there’s no doubt High-G.D.P. Man is superior to Low-G.D.P. Man. His salary is higher, his expenditures are greater, his economic activity is more robust. You can even say that by modern standards High-G.D.P. Man is a bigger boon to his country. What we can’t really say for sure is whether his life is any better. In fact, there seem to be subtle indications that various “goods” that High-G.D.P. Man consumes should, as some economists put it, be characterized as “bads.” His alarm system at home probably isn’t such a good indicator of his personal security; given all the medical tests, his health care expenditures seem to be excessive. Moreover, the pollution from the traffic jams near his home, which signals that business is good at the local gas stations and auto shops, is very likely contributing to social and environmental ills. And we don’t know if High-G.D.P. Man is living beyond his means, so we can’t predict his future quality of life. For all we know, he could be living on borrowed time, just like a wildly overleveraged bank....
The Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission, as it eventually came to be known — its official title was the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress — grew to about two dozen members and met in Europe and the U.S. several times in 2008 and 2009...In fact, the commission endorsed both main criticisms of the G.D.P.: the economic measure itself should be fixed to better represent individuals’ circumstances today, and every country should also apply other indicators to capture what is happening economically, socially and environmentally. The commission sought a metaphor to explain what it meant. Eventually it settled on an automobile. Suppose you’re driving, Stiglitz told me. You would like to know how the vehicle is functioning, but when you check the dashboard there is only one gauge. (It’s a peculiar car.) That single dial conveys one piece of important information: how fast you’re moving. It’s not a bad comparison to the current G.D.P., but it doesn’t tell you many other things: How much fuel do you have left? How far can you go? How many miles have you gone already? So what you want is a car, or a country, with a big dashboard — but not so big that you can’t take in all of its information.
The question is: How many measures beyond G.D.P. — how many dials on a new dashboard — will you need? Stiglitz and his fellow academics ultimately concluded that assessing a population’s quality of life will require metrics from at least seven categories: health, education, environment, employment, material well-being, interpersonal connectedness and political engagement. They also decided that any nation that was serious about progress should start measuring its “equity” — that is, the distribution of material wealth and other social goods — as well as its economic and environmental sustainability. “Too often, particularly I think in an American context, everybody says, ‘We want policies that reflect our values,’ but nobody says what those values are,” Stiglitz told me. The opportunity to choose a new set of indicators, he added, is tantamount to saying that we should not only have a conversation about recasting G.D.P. We should also, in the aftermath of an extraordinary economic collapse, talk about what the goals of a society really are.
Currently, research suggests that increased wealth leads us to report increased feelings of satisfaction with our lives — a validation, in effect, that higher G.D.P. increases the well-being in a country. But Kahneman told me that his most recent studies, conducted with the Princeton economist Angus Deaton, suggest that money doesn’t necessarily make much of a difference in our moment-to-moment happiness, which is distinct from our feelings of satisfaction. According to their work, income over about $70,000 does nothing to improve how much we enjoy our activities on a typical day. And that raises some intriguing questions. Do we want government to help us increase our sense of satisfaction? Or do we want it to help us get through our days without feeling misery? The two questions lead toward two very different policy options. Is national progress a matter of making an increasing number of people very rich? Or is it about getting as many people as possible into the middle class?"