Many sides are pitted against each other in the world economy, a situation that is actively encouraged by banks that sell loans to all sides. We all stuggle to pay rent and earn a living, and we should ask ourselves why. It is because progress is measured in profit and in existence of companies. That is not a valid measure, becaus companies can exist for a century, such as Shell Oil, and increased global vulnerability of humanity to an unimaginable extent.
If the oil supply stops, because for instance a shortage develops due to a big container ship clogging the Suez canal (speaking hypothetically of course) all activities grind to a halt. We can’t make oil in our back yard or conjure it up in our garden sheds. Entire industrial zones will grind to a halt and nobody in entire countries can make the stuff we have been manouvred into all needing.
How do we know if a company is any use to us in a real sense? Clearly the measure of how much money it makes is not enough, or in fact misleading. The more money it makes the less money people have to spend. So what would be a real indicator, parameter for gauging the performance of a company? Happiness is not a good indicator, because a shot of heroin will make you very happy. Sugar, Fat, Walt Disney etc. can put us or return us in a state where we feel in control and unthreatened yet entertained. A happy place. This kind of happy is what our economy is after by virtualizing almost everything to the point that people now see million dollars of value in digital trinkets (NFTs).
It has to go back to the complete human, or techology will find a way to please part of the human (his brain) to the depriment to the other parts (his fitness). The economy is not looking at the right number and won’t tell us more entire alert human beings are living healthy lives if the GDP is growing. Usually it is LESS.
Lets take as a measure the number of Healthy Satisfied Human Days, where we take as healthy the kind of human you get when he/she can socialize, excersize or work, not grow fat or develop diabetes. Its not easy but this could be a start. So HSHD per year produced by a company. To make it a bit more challenging the HSHD must be estimated over the next 100 years (CHSHD, a centuries worth). This works by calculating the effect of the existence of the company on the remaining resources. Also environmental trends will be taken into account. Maybe it should be a seprate thing where you take HSHD and look at how a company affects them.
If we take the present world we must conclude that total CHSHD is less than the total of CHD or next Century Human Days. Many humans will be unsatisfied and unhealthy on many days in the next century. The measure thus talks about how the company is changing that.
Coca Cola makes children and adults obese, they develop diabetes. Many of the lives it touches will be un healthy. Coca Cola will make some people happy, even unhealthy people already suffering from the effects of high blood sugar. That is why health is a superior measure compared to happiness. In the USA many people don’t pass the health bar at all. That country has a serious CHD deficit already.
If you grow cows in Holland with soj beans from the Amazon, and indians get killed because loggers want their land, the company that ultimately sells the meat is not doing a lot for humanity, not counting the risk of spreading diseases and health problems associated with meat consumption. Of course you have to look at the entire system from seed to meat. Quite often companies split up because they would look bad as one, a method of obfuscation well known to the tax office. What about the relationships between the management of dutch nature and biomass burning powerplants? You see them if you look at the money, and they would not schore high on a CHD scale, let alone a CHSHD scale..
What to do with companies that either ruin lives or add little at all. We all work to be happy, safe, healthy human beings, so we should have no problem being a problem to companies that take that away from us. Its not ‘they’ who suffer, it is you. If water is depleted and poisoned by datacenters it hurts you, and if the emissions warm the planet and destroy agriculture, it hurts you even if it only means people start to migrate away from dry places or wars over water.
Of course many of us always looked at the impact companies had on people, which is why climate change became a thing and Shell became a problem for them. They cared about human life in general, not only their own (mostly). Time to quanitfy it so it is clear this is a sensible and probably generally supported way to look at companies. Talk about jobs is exactly for the people that don’t look beyond their income and their own front lawn.
Let this post try to collect measures as proposed, of human quality of life in the real world.. to be continued..