Quality of Life Metrics

Isaac Wang
Nov 4 · 2 min read

This is an Andrew Yang idea. His version is called the American Scorecard.

The basics behind this idea are simple.

In America, we focus on GDP as the dominant metric for success. But what if that was the wrong metric to focus on? Probably 1/2 of all church sermons drive at this single idea.

If we are at record high GDP, why are we also at record high rates of suicide, depression, and substance abuse? Why is our life expectancy decreasing?

What’s the disconnect here? What if GDP wasn’t a great indicator for quality of life? What if there’s decreasing marginal rates of return on GDP?

“We aim for what we measure, and we’re measuring the wrong things.” — Andrew Yang

So if we wish to create a human-centered capitalism, one that focuses on people, what should we measure and aim for? He suggests:

  • Quality of life and health-adjusted life expectancy
  • Happiness/Well-Being and Mental Health
  • Environmental quality
  • Affordability
  • Childhood success rates
  • Underemployment
  • Income Inequality
  • Consumer and Student Debt
  • Work and civic engagement levels
  • Volunteerism
  • Infant mortality
  • Quality of infrastructure
  • Access to education
  • Marriage and divorce rates
  • Substance abuse and related deaths
  • National optimism
  • Personal dynamism/economic mobility

Create a scorecard that measures how America is doing on these metrics. Make it easily available to the American people to look at. Then have the government aim for these things. Incredible.

I’m going to do this at the local level in San Diego.

I’ll give you a preview:

Environmental Quality: 6th worst air pollution in the country

Transit Score: #45, behind Houston, TX

Average Annual Wages: $61,269

Income needed to Buy a House: $143,102

Median Home Price: $530,250

The more we look at the metrics, the more we start to understand where people are struggling and what challenges are pressing.

I fundamentally believe that the legitimacy of a government is derived from competency. If we are providing quality of life improvements for the majority of people, they’re going to be happy. If we can’t provide these things, people will be angry.

We need to be measuring and aiming for the right things. We need to be data-informed in our approach to decision making. We need to deliver on the Quality of Life Metrics.

Isaac Wang

Written by

Candidate for San Diego City Council D5: Visit www.isaac.vote // Paid for by Isaac Wang for City Council 2020 FPPC ID# 1416799

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