A Different Economic Measure: Quality of Life and an Economic Bill of Rights

By Mary Nelson 12-01-2008

I'm tired of all the frantic talk about how much or little consumers are spending over this Holiday time. Something's wrong with an economy based on consumer spending, with kids thinking the measure of parents' love is the gifts they get. We need to figure out a new kind of gauge of well-being, of quality of life, not only for individuals in families, but for communities as well. Studies share that people who are rich in relationships, who are involved in sharing beyond themselves, live longer and have a higher quality of life. A recent radio show shared ways to make this Holiday time special for kids ... doing things with them, together volunteering in homeless shelters or food programs, baking cookies and sharing them with a homeless shelter. A different measure.

I discovered President Franklin Roosevelt's Economic Bill of Rights (1944) recently, while preparing a presentation on Economic Justice. I think we need to reclaim it for our times as well and judge success based on how well we live up to these rights.

We have to come to a clear realization of that fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. We have accepted a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all -- regardless of station, race or creed. Among these are:

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