My personal ethic -- substantially biologically determined, I suppose, but also moderately well researched --- suggests that the primary good worth pursuing is Individual Autonomy. It is undisputably a first-order good. People pursue autonomy, because autonomy is a high value to everyone, regardless any 2nd/3rd/10th order effects. Autonomy is, like happiness, a good that will be pursued for its own sake, and not as an instrumental goal. It is by no means the only goal, nor is it for most folks the highest goal...but it seems to be a superior good. As you get richer, you spend MORE of your income on autonomy.
Of course, as an economist, I have concluded that Wealth, and particularly economic growth rate is the god-metric...As folks get richer, they buy more of EVERYTHING they want.
As an economist I can't pretend that all actions which increase wealth increase autonomy, or that all actions which increase autonomy increase wealth. Pursuit of any one goal NECESSARILY conflicts from time to time with any other goal that isn't identical. Purchases are about opportunity cost. Tradeoffs are inevitable.
I furthermore have no patience for people who claim superior ethics and opinions about what people SHOULD find valuable. What people DO find valuable...what they pursue...that's the relevant metric. For instance, I find an awful lot of conservative ethical positions to be mostly crazy as presented. Basically: "You should want the same things I do, and if you don't, you are broken".
I consider the core position of conservatives, libertarians, and progressives all tremendously important:
1. Conservatives: Don't break the good things we already have.
2. Libertarians: More freedom is better.
3. Progressive: Protect of the poor/weak from the rich/powerful
On the other hand, I consider the core position of the elites to be evil:
4. More power to us, less autonomy to you.
I don't think you can necessarily pursue conservative, libertarian, and progressive goals all at the same time, even though they're all very important.