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PCSD's Eight National Goals to Put the U.S. on a Path Toward Sustainable Development

The following discussion is based on the PCSD interim report dated June 28, 1995.

The PCSD proposes eight "priority national goals" designed to "put the U.S. on a path toward sustainable development":

  1. prosperity,

  2. a healthy environment,

  3. conservation of nature,

  4. responsible stewardship,

  5. sustainable communities,

  6. cooperative democracy,

  7. stable populations, and

  8. international leadership.

For each goal, the PCSD provides

  1. a one-sentence clarification of the goal; and

  2. a number of possible indicators of progress, which are quantitative in nature and designed to measure the movement toward achievement of the goals.

In addition, the PCSD intends to propose policy recommendations for achieving each goal. (As of this writing, recommendations have not yet been released.)

In general, PCSD's priority national goals are broadly defined and long-term in nature. Moreover, the goals are oriented toward the basic objectives of promoting efficiency, protecting the environment, and ensuring equity. This subsection explores three of these goals and their corresponding "indicators of progress" in an attempt to highlight some basic themes and characteristics of the PCSD's vision:

PCSD Goal: Economic Prosperity

Achieve long-term economic growth and prosperity that provides opportunity, meaningful jobs, and better living conditions for all Americans.

Four of the six indicators of progress toward this goal (economic performance, savings rate, productivity, and environmental wealth) are designed to reflect the country's production and maintenance of wealth, and two indicators (income equity and poverty) are designed to reflect the country's distribution of income.

  • The first indicator is the growth in GDP per capita and is designed to reflect economic performance.

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