Value in President's points as second chance beckons
PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has presented us with some considerable food for thought as we continue to reassess why and how we went from boom to bust and back again so quickly in recent years. His speech at Dublin City University last night showed an impressive breadth of reading and reflection. It also made hard-hitting points, arguing that we must reflect more deeply on the kind of questions we are prepared to ask ourselves about how we got into such a predicament.
The President also raised many pertinent questions about the discipline of economics, its dominance and its narrow focus. He insisted that any assessment of a society must move beyond measures such as GDP and encompass things like quality of education, healthcare and protection of the natural environment.
He noted that we cannot necessarily measure happiness, love or grace – but we can certainly find many valid ways to assess human worth and social progress beyond immediate materialism. President Higgins, himself a sociologist, also challenged the economists head-on.