A conservative political organization has developed a new formula that demonstrates the link between economic and social policy in determining family prosperity.
Economist J. Scott Moody is director of the Family Prosperity Initiative and a senior research fellow for the American Conservative Union Foundation. He tells OneNewsNow this group has launched the "Family Prosperity Index" – using primarily government data – to measure the relationship between economic and social policies on a state-by-state basis.
Moody explains that for a long time, the U.S. has used the gross domestic product (GDP) as an economic barometer to gauge the status of America's prosperity.
"What is GDP actually really measuring?" he asks. "It's measuring all the economic activity in America into one amorphous number – but it doesn't really tell you whether ... people are prospering or families are prospering. So we really focus on the core engine of America's economy, which is the family."
Moody explains that FPI's index is a broader, more holistic view of how families and the economy impact each other. "A citizen can see how [their] state is doing for family prosperity and then hold their policymakers accountable [if their state isn't] doing as well as [a] neighboring state or with the U.S. average," he adds.
The inaugural Index ranks Utah first in family prosperity and New Mexico last.