Economic Crisis?

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Wed, Jan 30, 2008, 5:06 pm  //  Craig Mayberry

GPI, Genuine Progress Indicator, versus the GDP, Gross Domestic Product.
The economy has become the new crisis. Congress is working urgently to pass an economic stimulus package to renew confidence in the system. This allows a dialogue to open up around how economic growth continues to be strong (despite concerns over the future), yet people are increasingly unhappy. Last year there was a survey suggesting that three-quarters of Americans are unhappy with their current situation. The question is how in a period of unprecedented economic growth, people could be so seemingly unhappy. There has been only 5 quarters of recession in over 25 years. One potential explanation comes in the measurement of growth- Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GDP is the result of the great depression and the need to measure the output of the economy. This indicator is now the fundamental measure of wealth and economic well-being, even though that was never the intention. Some economists have developed an alternative measurement, the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), which is purported to be a truer measurement of well-being.

The GPI starts with personal consumption and then adds and subtracts to account for items not included in GDP. GDP does not include things like; value of parenting or housework, value of higher education, value of volunteer work, loss of leisure time, underemployment, resource depletion, impact of carbon dioxide emission, and income distribution. These items all influence the long-term health and well-being of citizens, yet is not accounted for in GDP. If you divide the total GDP and GPI by population, you get the per capita amounts, or amount per person. If you factor in these items, a vastly different picture emerges (see graph). GDP per person has continued to increase at a steady rate since 1950, while GPI per person has been stagnant for the last 20 years.

One explanation is that GDP does a good job of measuring how we feel about our pocketbook, while GPI measures how someone feels in his or her heart (or gut). The implication for the perceived discontent is that in the end, people are listening to their heart, and not their pocketbook. The other implication is that wealth does not necessarily equal financial wealth. Politicians are rushing to protect our pocketbook and prop up GDP, yet continue to ignore the restlessness in our hearts. Certainly many politicians talk about protection of natural resources, reducing carbon emissions and improving income distribution, yet the numbers suggest that it has only gotten worse; there appears to be a disconnect between policy and results. The thought of a recession sends fear into the eyes of most politicians and instant action to correct it, but the 20 years of stagnant growth of the GPI barely raises an eyebrow.

(Graph image will be uploaded later today)

Economic Crisis?

Wed, Jan 30, 2008, 5:06 pm  //  Craig Mayberry

The economy has become the new crisis. Congress is working urgently to pass an economic stimulus package to renew confidence in the system. This allows a dialogue to…

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On UGA Expansion

Tue, Jan 29, 2008, 7:31 pm  //  g.h.kirsch

County Councilmembers,

You were earlier given good reasons to reconsider the Planning Committee's recommendation to expand the Bellingham UGA by Mr. Horowitz. Allow me to give you some more…

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Johns Repair

Specializing in German vehicles...

An open letter to County Council re: B’ham UGA

Tue, Jan 29, 2008, 2:44 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

Dear County Councilmembers,

Now that Bellingham has adopted a resolution signaling its desire to work with the County on the size of its UGA, the County has a tremendous…

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Library planning versus needs

Mon, Jan 28, 2008, 2:11 pm  //  John Servais

Tomorrow the Bellingham Library Board of Trustees meets and will probably produce a plan for a new grand downtown library building and a bond issue of between 20…

1 comments; last on Jan 29, 2008

The Elephant in the Room

Sun, Jan 27, 2008, 1:08 am  //  Craig Mayberry

After many years of discussion over growth management issues, it seems little progress has been made towards implementing the plan. Few seem to disagree that most of the…

2 comments; last on Jan 28, 2008

The Clintons: I suddenly have a problem

Sat, Jan 26, 2008, 3:18 pm  //  John Servais

Below is a link to an opinion piece in today's Los Angeles Times. It is written by a liberal - obviously a Democrat - and one who has…

1 comments; last on Jan 27, 2008

Bjornson Inspired by Tacoma’s Growth Principles

Thu, Jan 24, 2008, 12:44 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

Can Bellingham learn a trick or two about managing growth from the City of Tacoma? Councilmember Louise Bjornson thinks so; and I’m inclined to agree.

“I believe,” Louise…

2 comments; last on Jan 29, 2008

Lake Whatcom - Treatment Center or Water District

Thu, Jan 24, 2008, 11:26 am  //  g.h.kirsch

Once you put water and sewer lines in, growth is inevitable. To all those who are late coming to the party, opposition to the unlawful expansion of these…

2 comments; last on Jan 24, 2008

LWV Immigration Forum

Tue, Jan 22, 2008, 2:07 pm  //  Craig Mayberry

Although technically immigration is a national issue, there are implications for Whatcom County due to the heavy agricultural base and proximity to the border. The League of Women…

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County & Water District Lose in Superior Court

Mon, Jan 21, 2008, 11:36 am  //  g.h.kirsch

Friday afternoon, Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Ira Uhrig refused to dismiss the challenge to a conditional use permit that would have allowed the extension of water services…

3 comments; last on Jan 22, 2008

A Walmart in Lynden?

Fri, Jan 18, 2008, 2:35 pm  //  Craig Mayberry

Lynden’s sales tax revenue has been declining for a few years, but now it appears that the city is prepared to do something about it (by the way,…

2 comments; last on Jan 20, 2008

Improving elections and ballot counts

Fri, Jan 18, 2008, 11:36 am  //  John Servais

Our esteemed state legislature is in session - and all citizens have reason for hope and fear. Lets touch on hope this morning.

There are several proposed laws…

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Unreported Mob - The Foes of Fairhaven Highlands

Thu, Jan 17, 2008, 11:48 am  //  Tip Johnson

Hundreds of citizens last night descended on Municipal Court in solidarity with the Hundred Acre Woods to express their opposition to Horizon Bank's potentially disastrous development now calle

3 comments; last on Jan 24, 2008

Craig Mayberry - Contributing Writer

Thu, Jan 17, 2008, 11:45 am  //  Craig Mayberry

Craig is currently a graduate student at the University of British Columbia where he is researching social entrepreneurship. He also teaches at Whatcom Community College, Western Washington Universit

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Waterfront EIS and all that

Thu, Jan 17, 2008, 11:39 am  //  Ham Hayes

Oftimes it is far easier to criticize than to compliment. Is it too easy to forget how to acknowledge positive steps? At this week's WAG meeting, Port official…

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Save the Woods?

Wed, Jan 16, 2008, 2:33 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Or how to mitigate the illegitimacies of Fairhaven Highlands, AKA Chuckanut Ridge and the Hundred Acre Woods.

Sorry, I didn't have time to write something short!

Tonight (1/16/2008) a

2 comments; last on Jan 16, 2008

the New Northwest Citizen Experience

Tue, Jan 15, 2008, 11:54 pm  //  John Servais

Welcome. At 8:45 pm this evening, this website went live with its transformed design. You are looking at it. Yes, this is the Northwest Citizen that has been…

4 comments; last on Jan 16, 2008

Ham Hayes - Contributing Writer

Tue, Jan 15, 2008, 7:52 pm  //  Ham Hayes

Ham is a local Bellingham business owner (Collective Intelligence Solutions), consultant and tr

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Copyright Notice

Tue, Jan 15, 2008, 2:35 pm  //  John Servais

Copyright

All material at this internet web site, NorthWest Citizen, is Copyright ©1995-2013 John Servais except writers retain copyright of their own articles.

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New website and Green Bay Packers

Mon, Jan 14, 2008, 1:18 pm  //  John Servais

Just a couple days more and we should be able to turn on the new NwCitizen website. Programming continues and what free time I have is going into…

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Tip Johnson - contributing writer

Sat, Jan 12, 2008, 1:54 am  //  Tip Johnson

Tip Johnson is a public interest advocate with nearly four decades of work on social and environmental issues. His public policy interests center around land use and transportation.…

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Hitting the Ground Running

Tue, Jan 08, 2008, 7:18 pm  //  John Servais

OK, we are running on the new server. And the design and programming are going well. I have cautious hope the transformed site will be running by early…

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New Server is Online

Tue, Jan 08, 2008, 6:52 am  //  John Servais

OK, we are running on the new server. And the design and programming are going well. I have cautious hope the transformed site will be running by early…

0 comments

We Shall Return

Mon, Jan 07, 2008, 7:15 pm  //  John Servais

This website will be static for a couple days as we prepare for transforming it. We will be back with a new look and action. Hopefully very soon.

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Obama’s victory speech

Fri, Jan 04, 2008, 11:00 pm  //  John Servais

Barack Obama gave an inspired victory speech last night in Iowa. You can watch and listen to the podcast on Talking Points Memo. It is less than 14…

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Iowa Caucus Victory

Fri, Jan 04, 2008, 7:12 pm  //  John Servais

Barack Obama gave an inspired victory speech last night in Iowa. You can watch and listen to the podcast on Talking Points Memo. It is less than 14…

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Liberal talk-radio in Whatcom County?

Thu, Jan 03, 2008, 7:08 pm  //  John Servais

I've now heard the rumor twice. Could it finally be happening? You know, when conservative radio station owners try to construct a liberal program, it rarely works. Usually…

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Liberal talk radio for Bham??

Thu, Jan 03, 2008, 3:00 pm  //  John Servais

A liberal talk radio station in Whatcom County? I've now heard the rumor twice. Could it finally be happening? You know, when conservative radio owners try to construct…

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How to fill an empty suit?

Wed, Jan 02, 2008, 6:46 pm  //  John Servais

Barack Obama is beginning to sound like the president we need and is beginning to show that he is a progressive that can be elected. I have favored…

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Barack Obama

Wed, Jan 02, 2008, 3:00 pm  //  John Servais

Barack Obama is beginning to sound like the president we need and is beginning to show that he is a progressive that can be elected. I have favored…

0 comments

Physicians Coerced by Military

Tue, Jan 01, 2008, 6:37 pm  //  John Servais

Juan Cole continues to provide a knowledgeable look at Bhutto's killing and the Pakistan situation. His column today explains how the government is being discredited regarding their claims…

0 comments

 

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