Now in the MN Legislature” New Ecology Democracy GPI

Dear Minnesotans,

I’m seeking your help to develop an alternative way to measure our economy in Minnesota.

Over the last six years I have been educating a variety of people in Minnesota about the deficiencies using the Gross State Product (GSP)/Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to calculate the state forecast and that a better measurement for our overall well-being would be to use the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI).

By Ken Pentel  Minnesota Ecology Network, March 2019

Editor’s Note: Ken Pentel has been working on this new gross national product (GNP) indicator and has met with groups around the state. Overall it makes a lot of sense. One attractive element of many is the fact that military spending would be considered a cost and would appear on the deficit side of the equation instead of the credit side. One reason the USA has such a high GNP is because the ever-expanding military spending is not considered a deficit. Minnesota is a place to start! (See more information about the Ecology Democracy Network below.)

Dear Friends, Supporters and Trackers of the Ecology Democracy Network,

We now have a bill number for the MN GPI; it is attached and follows the link below.

Contact me if you have any questions.

If you want to take action to help pass the bill:

  • Contact your State Representative and Senator
  • Notify any group that you know would support this effort
  • Contact me to do a presentation
  • …and much more.

Thanks, Ken

MN GPI

HF File 1662https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/bills/billnum.asp?billnumber=1662

Ways and Means

Committee: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/committees/members/91014

House Order of Business: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/cco/orders/orders.asp

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SF File 1742: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?f=SF1742&y=2019&ssn=0&b=senate

Higher Ed and Finance and Policy Committee:https://www.senate.mn/committees/committee_bio.php?cmte_id=3097&ls=91

Senate Order of Business: https://www.senate.mn/orders/index.php

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Dear Minnesotans,

I’m seeking your help to develop an alternative way to measure our economy in Minnesota.

Over the last six years I have been educating a variety of people in Minnesota about the deficiencies using the Gross State Product (GSP)/Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to calculate the state forecast and that a better measurement for our overall well-being would be to use the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI).

Below are some main points and sources explaining the GPI:

  • The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) started to emerge in the 1990’s, and at that timeMinnesota convened a round-table on sustainability and recommended we adopt the GPI for Minnesota, which was defined in the MN Department of Planning’s Smart Signals report:

http://www.ecologydemocracynetwork.org/downloads/EQB_Smart_Signals_1990_measure.pdf

(We never had a chance to exercise the recommendations in the report when the MN Department of Planning was ended in 2003.)

  • Since then other states, such as Vermont, Maryland, Hawaii and Washington State have moved forward to implement the GPI.  (http://www.gpiinthestates.org/)
  • Unlike the GDP, which is a growth-driver without limits, the GPI recognizes costs and limits, and can remedy overproduction and add external costs into our economy.
  • The GDP does not acknowledge non-monetized activity, where the GPI values activity such as ecological services, household work, and volunteerism.
  • The GDP does not care about allocation in the economy, where as the GPI signals an imbalance between rural and urban investments, as well as income.
  • Also, the GDP is based on short-term, (i.e. quarterly balance sheets and yearly returns), where the GPI looks long-term which makes it a better economic prognosticator.

The Genuine Progress Indicator is not a perfect measure, nor will it satisfy all partisan needs, but for policy-maker’s it would be a more accurate economic measurement for Minnesota.

The Minnesota Genuine Progress Indicator legislation will be reintroduced in the 2019 legislative session by Representative Schultz (7B) and Senator Marty (66).

Contact me anytime to discuss this further.

Sincerely,
Ken Pentel, Director of the Ecology Democracy Network
P.O. Box 3872, Minneapolis, MN 55403, (612) 387-0601

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Hello,Welcome to the Ecology Democracy Network website. My name is Ken Pentel.

For the last 33 years I have mostly volunteered and worked in Minnesota for Greenpeace and the Green Party as an all-purpose organizer. I was also a three-time Green Party of Minnesota endorsed candidate for Governor in 1998, 2002 and 2006. In 2010 I was the endorsed candidate for Governor for the Ecology Democracy Party (kenpentel.org). I love Minnesota, the surrounding bio-region and biosphere, and it sickens me how our culture has rationalized the destruction of our beautiful home.

One of my frustrations with organizing over the last 30 years has been the lack of discipline among the movements and organizations I have worked with. Even though we have had some crumbs of success, the goals for ecological healing, which includes all creatures of the Earth (humans included), have fallen tragically short. We need to develop a strategy that will demand greater commitments and higher expectations in our organizing formula if we want to achieve the necessary structural change.

As long as we tolerate the growth economic model on a finite resource base, accept the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an economic indicator, and allow short-term thinking by way of quarterly balance sheets and yearly returns to measure success, we will fail. As long as we accept single member, winner-take-all election systems, we will fail. As long as we accept big money running/ruining our planet, we will fail. And even though many people know this they are content to tinker with the existing rotting economic and political systems.

It is time to try a new path – a path that is more defined and disciplined.

This new organizing experiment will develop the Ecology Democracy Network. The Network is a shift from a human-centered to an ecological-centered view of the world. I believe that our health, strength, and endurance is dependent on the health, strength, and endurance of the non-human world.Through an ecology-based economy and a more honest form of governance the Network is attempting to find the people in Minnesota who are seeking to liberate themselves, the culture, and our species from the dysfunctional patterns that have allowed all genetic history to be put at risk.

There are two developing pathways for transformation through the Network: (1) Education, and (2) A party-starter kit.

If you like what you read and the goals are relevant to you, then please help me in educating the people and redirecting the politics of Minnesota, so our healing energy literally leaves a healthier place for all.

As we develop the organizing formula for the Network it will require patience and persistence to see how this experiment works. Please call or email me with any questions you may have. I hope you can be part of this exciting new endeavor!

Sole proprietor of the Ecology Democracy Network,
Ken Pentel

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