The riots have exposed a marginalised portion of UK society. We need to transform how policy success is defined and measured to prevent problems from being ignored for so long in the future.
I wrote a piece for Sense and Sustainability on the need to transform how we define and measure the success of economic policy. You can find it by following this link.
Sense and Sustainability produces a weekly podcast on issues concerned with sustainable development and also provides a blog and forum to promote further discussion. It is well worth a look!
Also, here is a paragraph that got chopped from the article. I’d already gone on long enough!
To be fair, moving beyond narrow economic indicators has been proposed by the UK Prime Minister. However, his ‘Happiness Index’ is not sufficiently challenging, nor policy leading. In the latest EU survey, 91% of Britons were fairly to highly happy with their lives. It is not clear what this figure ‘means’ or how policy priorities should be rearranged to improve this metric. It is also unclear how such metrics can adequately capture distributional concerns given their highly subjective nature. Given the controversy surrounding the validity of inter-personal comparisons of happiness, subjective measures are not suitable for measuring how close policy comes to meeting goals centered around equality or fairness.