Press Release: Coalition Launches New Measure Beyond GDP

CEC

November 12, 2014

Contact:
Natalie Cox | 206-747-8060 | natalie@caringeconomy.org

Coalition Launches New Measure Beyond GDP
Caring Economy Campaign’s “Social Wealth Economic Indicators”

The Caring Economy Campaign, a coalition of over 100 organizations led by Dr. Riane Eisler, today launched a groundbreaking new set of economic measures that go beyond GDP as well as most “GDP alternatives” — Social Wealth Economic Indicators (SWEIs).

SWEIs were launched online through a panel discussion moderated by Carol Evans, President of Working Mother Media, on Google Hangouts. Video of the event can be viewed at: bit.ly/ launchSWEI.

“SWEIs provide information missing in the GDP, as well as in other new proposed metrics,” said Evans, in starting off the launch discussion.

“SWEIs are unique in showing where the US stands against other developed nations in investing in the human capital needed for economic competitiveness in our new technological age,” Eisler, Director of the Caring Economy Campaign that developed SWEIs, said. “SWEIs show the enormous economic value of the work of caring for people, starting in early childhood. She added that investing in support for this work is also essential to cut through cycles of poverty, especially the disproportionate poverty of women and communities of color; for instance, they demonstrate the connection between the status of women and both quality of life and economic success.”

Eric Norman, Senior Vice President for Human Resources at Cardinal Health (a Fortune 500 company), said “traditional economic measures just aren’t enough, and that’s why we see real value in SWEIs. SWEIs will help businesses understand that for our future human capital– our people–we depend on the national investment in human capacity development, which we know we’re lagging in.”

Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and winner of 2014 MacArthur Genius Award, said “we need SWEIs to be able to talk about the material implications of not accounting for the family care needs of 21st Century families. When we think about the millions of direct care workers who are going to work, working full time and yet unable to care for their own families, it is SWEIs that will help us make the arguments and help us raise awareness about this invisible architecture that is holding up our economy.”

“SWEIs show that the return on investment in early care and education is huge,” said W. Steven Barnett, Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research, in today’s launch. Yet, ironically, as he pointed out, child care workers median wage is lower than that of dog- walkers.

Gail Christopher, Vice President for Policy and Senior Advisor at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a major supporter of the Center for Partnership Studies’ development of SWEIs, pointed to the importance of these innovative measures for changing the current dysfunctional economic paradigm. She said “We know that the Social Wealth Economic Indicators will give people a new way to frame how they’re thinking about investment and return on investment.”

Indradeep Ghosh, economics professor at Haverford College and Director of the SWEI project, pointed out that SWEIs are particularly important to help change how economics is defined and taught, which is based on an old economic map focused on the market economy, and that the more accurate and inclusive new economic map introduced in Riane Eisler’s The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics must replace it. “Caring Economics brings into play the unpaid community economy, the household economy, and the natural economy, and all of these sectors are really foundational, because without them, your classical or mainstream sectors would not even exist.”

Eisler summed up by again pointing to how SWEIs are “unique in showing the enormous return on investment in care (including the work of care in families) and early childhood education,” and calling us to “stop looking at how to fix the economy through a rear view mirror, and use Social Wealth Indicators to formulate policies that lead to both a good quality of life and economic success.”

The Caring Economy Campaign will release an in-depth report by Professor Ghosh with Eisler and the Caring Economy Campaign SWEI team next week detailing the new measures that constitute SWEIs. An executive summary of the report is available at socialwealth.us.

One thought on “Press Release: Coalition Launches New Measure Beyond GDP

  1. The entire movement is based on the recognition that there are inequalities where individuals are underserved and/or those serving the population do not have their value adequately compensated.

    Basically, this means that somewhere there needs to be an adjustment of goods/services to both the underserved and those who provide the services. Usually money is the fiat “currency” and not material goods or other fungible items.

    The compensation needs to come out of the total pool accessible to all. Therefore other than a qualitative recognition of the imbalance there is or should be a quantitative measure, where this comes out of the total economy and how all parties benefit and by what amount.

    Unlike the flawed GDP, the alternatives such as SPI or other indices developed for the quantitative argument, it is not clear that SWEI points effectively to such a set of measures with such concreteness to displace the problematic indices

Comments are closed.