Monday, May 26, 2014

Does this represent an Economist's View of Wellness?

Within the context of a discussion on markets, money and morality, Edward Hadas, and theReuters Blog discusses how teaching economics has lost its way and states in the last paragraph; “But those efforts are still numerical and simplistic. In truth, it is not obvious how economic activities – labour, production, consumption and distribution – can help or hinder people in their search for a good life.”

Really?  I think it is exactly those attributes that ARE the good life, and ARE the source of direct inner happiness.

Labour – working hard and feeling good about it.

Production – everyone feels better when they feel they are producing something of value – whatever it might be.

Consumption – the process of re-energizing your body with energy and experience

Distribution – sharing and helping others, probably the most noble of all pursuits.

The statement acknowledges that it may be numerical and simplistic. I believe simplistic is good and actually desirable. I believe complexity can lead to a greater probability of unexpected outcomes. Numerical can be good if it is some well-constructed indicator of some nature. However, I think the most significant challenge is that modern society has adopted a single metric to measure value; monetary. I believe that not everything can be adequately or accurately described in terms of monetary value. Our society has lost the connection to other values and their metrics. The four attributes noted above provide the balance to the monetary advancement that we all need to shelter, feed and protect ourselves. What value that is acquired?  Physical. Intellectual. Social. Environmental. Spiritual. Emotional. Occupational. These are often considered the Seven Dimensions of Wellness. Walking on. Enjoying the journey.

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