Katharina Lima de Miranda and Dennis Snower (hereafter KLMDS) make a landmark contribution with their proposal for new indicators that capture dimensions of empowerment and solidarity that are usually missed in the conventional indicators. In these brief comments, I would like to critically reflect on their approach while making the following points:

Agency, as KLMDS present it, is about “empowerment” and about “mastery of the environment, personal growth, and attaining personal goals”; and it “involves people’s need to influence their fate through their own efforts.” After a long domination, in analyses of social performance, of economic development and a consumerist approach to life success, it is indeed being rediscovered that human beings cannot be fully satisfied with the distractions of material comfort. Power and control are at least as important as income and wealth, and economic...

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