Society has the wrong goals

By NATHAN KINCH

Earlier today I read a short post from the Financial Rights Legal Centre. It was a good trigger to write about system goals and incentives. 

This is the very short version. For a deeper dive, start a forum discussion (if you’re a member).

So, here it is: As a society we are optimising for the wrong outcomes. We have defined the wrong goals. Our incentives are misaligned to what matters most.

Unless we overcome these system failures we are unlikely to make better.

Let me provide a distinct example. 

Our politicians frequently harp (read: talk about) on about GDP. It’s like this measure is the holy grail. In their eyes, increasing it makes everything better. 

Maybe this made sense in a post war economy where ‘rebuilding’ really mattered. But now…? Not so much.

We have different problems. We’re operating at a different scale. We have a very realistic opportunity to turn things around.

Instead, some collection of wellbeing determinants should be prioritised. This becomes about people, families, communities and the resources and ecologies we rely on. GDP – and other economic measures – are supplementary. 

New Zealand is a prominent example here. They’re woking on some of this stuff right now.

I’d love to dive deeper into the weeds of how we make this so. Reach out if you wanna do the same.

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