In Iceland, importance is given to family-friendly initiatives to keep the nation ahead.
The country has put economic growth behind and pushed for more family-oriented schemes, with a well-being agenda. With a population of 35,000, the nation continues to reach out to its people and their needs.
Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir is pushing for social indicators to be part of planning the public budget along with GDP. “We need to face modern challenges too in our economic thinking,” she says. Even small issues such as public transport, childcare, and green energy should be addressed.
While speaking at Chatham House in London, she has pointed out to the effects of climate change on the environment, citing Okjokull glacier disappearance as an example. Global warming and carbon dioxide pollution have to be given equal priority, she insists. Renewable energy has to be embraced to bring a green environment.
GDP gives importance to the economic growth of the country. But the social damage caused and the quality of life are some issues that are ignored, she says. The GDP does not measure environmental damage and the growing inequalities in society. These are issues that cannot be measured by how the economy works, says Jakobsdottir.
Jakobsdottir has got the support of Nicola Sturgeon the First Minister of Scotland and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand towards attaining this futuristic agenda.
Noble Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz has also argued for the same reasons. The GDP does not capture climate change, digital services, and inequality that shape modern societies, he says. GDP measures the production of a country in terms of goods and services while all other factors are ignored, he points out.
He has cited the 2008 financial crisis as an example of the deficiencies found in the commonly used metrics in the world. The housing market was bloated in the U.S. but was ignored ahead of the crisis.
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