Economic Indicators
  • Income
    • Median income
    • Distribution of personal income
    • Hours of work needed to support basic needs

Talking Points
  • Which of these indicators address carrying capacity?
  • What types of capital are being addressed?
  • Which are measuring pressures, states or responses?
  • Which take a long-term view?
  • Which address links within the community?

For example, "Median income" measures the amount of money made by a person but does not measure how that compares to the amount of money that person needs to live. "Distribution of personal income" measures the disparity between the wealthy and the poor. There have been studies that show that overall health of a society is lower in those countries that have wider gaps between the haves and havenots.

"Hours of work needed to support basic needs" is a measure that links income to the costs of living in a particular location and also addresses personal "carrying capacity" in the sense that one person only has 24 hours in each day and can only spend so many of those hours working.

(If there is time, ask the participants for additional ideas for better indicators.)
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Copyright © 1998 Maureen Hart. All rights reserved.