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How should our government measure our nation's progress, well- being, and happiness?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/18/2012 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 683 times Debate No: 28361
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There are three commonly known indicators that governments use to measure a country"s progress: Gross Domestic Product (GPD), Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) and Gross National Happiness (GNH).

How much do you value free time in a monetary value?
This is an example question for GPI posed by a government to measure the well being of a country. How is it possible for one to calculate the monetary value of free time? The value of free time is subjective, not objective. GPI uses many subjective indicators that are difficult to translate into a monetary value. For example, "Cost of Family Changes". In order to measure GPI, governments borrow previously collected data and adjust it to make it applicable to their country. The result is inaccurate and unusable data. However, GPI is a more accurate version of GDP, which is used in the United States today. GPI takes into account things that GDP does not, but should, such as environmental costs.

How happy does free time make you?
GNH is the most appropriate indicator for answering questions like this. Currently, Bhutan is the only country in the world that uses GNH as their progress indicator. It is regarded as the happiest country in the world. GNH takes into account similar indicators as GPI and GDP, while adding their own such as "cultural diversity and resilience". By adding these indicators, citizen"s happiness is prioritized over economic production. The downside is that in order to collect this data one must participate in a three hour interview which is inefficient and time consuming.

How much do you spend on free time?
This question demonstrates how GDP data is collected to measure progress. As one can see it doesn"t make sense. GDP does not differentiate between things that are costs or benefits to a society. Also, it is commonly misused to measure the well being which gives a false reality of a country"s progress. Nevertheless, GDP is good for forecasting what monetary policies the government should make and it is useful tool for businesses to predict how much to produce.

After analyzing the three indicators a clear conclusion can be made. GNH, although time consuming, reflects the most accurate representation of a nation"s progress, creating policies that are both beneficial and relevant to a country"s citizens.


I've had teachers like you, they looked at a student's grades and if it was 100% thought he/she was a genius and if it was 20% thought he/she was retarded. Didn't matter if the student had been raped the day before their exam, the struggle they had to go through, fighting cancer perhaps, to get it, or the ease and ridiculous level of one to one tutoring a supposed rich child got to get the 100% despite having only a slightly high ability to retain and spew out information.

To say that we can measure a country's progress based purely on GPI is like saying we can measure an individual's progress based on their purchases at a local supermarket. You really want to say that you can OBJECTIVELY MEASURE "subjective indicators that are difficult to translate into a monetary value" BY BASING IT ON "Cost of Family Changes" "things that GDP does not, but should, such as environmental costs." as well as "inaccurate and unusable data." Well firstly to base it on costs is very objective and to base anything subjective on inaccurate and unusable data disprove your validity of this. Your GPI argument is falsified by its very nature.

It ignores the struggles a country might be facing, malaria etc et era, ignores how much money has to be spent, without any FINANCIAL, return on curing this. Ignores population growth, disease control, issues of converting a government's religious values to more (or perhaps less) secular nature whilst having to ignore the economic progress for a short while. It disrespect any prioritising of a government that would be non-economic but definitely help with their progress and thus is very stupid.

THE ENTIRE GNH IS A JOKE! How can you seriously measure someone's happiness based on their free time?! OR EVEN WORSE on "cultural diversity and resilience" cultural diversity is the OPPOSITE of cultural resilience ASK ANY CONSERVATIVE! My lord! This isn't even anything to do with individual happiness! Depression is often a far deeper issue to due domestic abuse or school-based bullying it is really impossible to measure if we rely on governmental issues!

GDP is also absolute nonsense and I really think you need to realise progress is not economic only.

Here is my alternative:

We see the list of struggles a nation has faced and if they seem to accelerate in how many problems they address we congratulate them and rate them highly. It's all relative, poor should compete with poor at first.
Debate Round No. 1


HartleyandGrace forfeited this round.


Nice rebuttal bro. Tell it again?
Debate Round No. 2
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Vote Placed by KingDebater 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.