Sunday, February 15, 2015

Supposed Measures of Well Being as per the Economist

Measuring well-being (The Economist)

The Economist Poses the Question:

What measures would improve the state of the world most? Teams of economists commissioned by Bjorn Lomborg estimate completing the treaty currently under negotiation at the World Trade Organisation would bring developing countries $3,426 for every dollar spent. A free-trade deal encompassing China, Japan, South Korea and the ASEAN countries would be worth $3,438 per dollar spent

For myself, in my personal observations in my travels through life—

Time spent on activities that I do daily, to keep myself healthy in mind body and spirit; maintaining healthy relationships; eating healthy fresh meals; being able to share my time and little resources with those who need help....These are the values that keep me well (even though I may only have 5 cents in my bank account to last me 2 weeks).  Practicing daily meditations such as laughing lots helps me gain perspective on my challenges and invariably helps me manifest solutions to my seemingly insurmountable battle with poverty.

Yet I look at this infographic, with its list of goals and the supposed dollar benefits and costs, and I don't see any measure of how the individuals and societies in these poor nations are being asked how they feel and what it is they need to feel well and optimistic.  After all, if I am not well, then I can't help myself let alone anyone else.

Are there any such measures that show holistic culturally diverse measures, before massive amounts of money are spent on yet more surveys to gather yet more data?

Also, I have found in my personal experience, that every survey question is an intervention of some sort and results can depend on the context in which the survey is delivered--taking into account political atmospheres, societal behavior and familial organization, etc etc.  So I would like to know more about how the psychology of gathering the data relates to how measures are made and how data is collected.  I am a lowly, mostly ignorant person when it comes to what I don't know.  But I do know what works for me in keeping me well on a daily basis.
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