The concept does not have a direct translation in English. Approximately the “soft domestic product” appellation is suggested.
Where does the PID come from ?
The PID has been imagined in 1999 by the “Carrefour des Savoirs sur les finances publiques” , in Quebec. In 1997, during a “Street Parliament”, organized in order to discuss a reform on social aid, the “collective for building a poverty-free Quebec” suggests to the chancellor of Exchequer (Bernard Landry), to start a dialog with people living in situations of poverty. He accepts the proposition. In the following weeks, the “Carrefour des Savoirs” has been constituted. Meetings take place in 1998 and 1999, with the chancellor and the civil servant that are working on the budget in Québec. The meeting between the expertise of people having low living standards and the expertise of people knowing much about the economic and budgetary mechanisms of the public finances, new concepts appear which explain what’s obvious in poorer lives and what is lacking from the national accounting tools.
What the PID is
Trying to better understand the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the members of the « carrefour » have realised that only a part of the wealth production gives rise to monetary exchanges, and that only this part is accounted. For that reason, the group has completed GDP by taking into account different factors, money and non-money, that contribute to collective and human wealth. The underlying idea is to classify daily-life activities in the GDP and in the PID to compare the impact on their inclusion in a measure.
More than the hospital care, which generates money exchanges and is thus accounted in the GDP, the PID would also take into account the free home care (done by women, unemployed, children, retirees, etc.
Numerous cultural, social and ecological wealthes are not recognized as such in the GDP, but do influence the PID.
What the objectives of the PID are
The PID aims at raising awareness on the contrast between what is officially accounted in the GDP today and what really matters to people, which does not necessarily appears in the GDP. The PID also aims at animating public debates, on the basis of the following question: what is really worth to us? What are the elements that must influence the approach on the wealth of a region, of a territory, of a nation? What should be the engines of public policies?
The PID is a tool for allowing people to appropriate themselves the right to account in a new way, leaving much space for culture, which is a crucial determinant of our ways of life and participates of a collective construction of our world representations.
Today, the PID is used by the “Collectif Richesses” and its different member-associations, to invite people to reconsider the idea of wealth and integrate this question in the public debate.