Speaker by Various Artists

Read Post

Speaker: Saying what we actually mean on inequality, the economy, and everything else

39 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 Newer→ Last

  • steven crawford,

    During the course of the focus groups, many people who said they supported greater equality found it difficult to argue in support of their egalitarian commitments when faced with opposing views. More specifically, they found it hard to defend their original opinions once someone else argued that greater equality wasn’t possible, given “the realities of the marketplace.” Appeals to the norms of market competitiveness and of individual responsibility tended to be pretty effective in ending further debate.

    Cooperation, is the market norm.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    The latest Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic.

    http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=3831

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to steven crawford,

    Cooperation is indeed a market norm. We have to agree on an exchange method, what fair value is for both parties, have an adequately safe production and trading environment, etc etc etc. For all those variables that aren't adequately met, cost goes up. Exponentially.

    But again, the "red in tooth and claw" crap is promoted by those who profit by those extra costs.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Also, I'm enjoying this series. I'm so sick of right-wing received truths and language being parroted back to me by family members and acquaintances. Time to get the message going the other way... as long as it's backed up by substance.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Australopithecus,

    The economy is a powerful tool for improving our well-being. However, it may damage lives when applied without care. When we have children going hungry, rivers unusable for swimming or fishing, workers dying in their workplaces, and livelihoods destroyed by extreme financial or weather events, we need better controls to make our economy safer.

    Te Pahu • Since Apr 2014 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Williams,

    And don't forget the two seminal works by Susan Sontag - "Illness as Metaphor" and "AIDS and its metaphors". Both are brilliant essays into the huge influence using 'war' metaphors when speaking of illness has had on how we address disease (eg fighting disease, suffering AIDS, battle cancer), in particular the notion of winning and losing; success and defeat. These are powerful metaphors. Many years ago when working for the NZ AIDS Foundation, my colleagues and i tried to stop using military metaphors for a day..... we lasted twenty minutes.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    come along to Step it Up

    The $175 is a bit of a barrier...

    Best to let the better heeled get on with addressing inequality...

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    The $175 is a bit of a barrier…

    Best to let the better heeled get on with addressing inequality…

    This comment makes me so angry. I guess it’s best to do nothing because someone has organised a conference and have the audacity to charge money? It does actually cost money to put on a conference, you know. Or maybe they should offer scholarships to attend. Oh wait, they are.

    No point doing anything about anything ever, really.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    scholarships to attend. Oh wait, they are.

    Ok so that would have been nice to tell all without your vitriol. That doesn't help the cause . I think Rosemary was suggesting that $175 is an unreachable amount for many, with a flippant comment for who could actually afford it. Good on you for not having a problem with the price but hey , don't think she meant do nothing ever as your comment could be perceived also. Then again I'm no moderator and I really don't want to judge ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Kevin McCready,

    There is no such thing as "the economy". It's a mistake to even use the word. Here's why:
    https://kmccready.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/open-letter-to-colin-james-cc-rod-oram/

    And for an accessible pdf of Lakoff:
    http://www.cognitivepolicyworks.com/resource-center/thinking-points/

    Auckland • Since Jun 2013 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    This comment makes me so angry. I guess it’s best to do nothing because someone has organised a conference and have the audacity to charge money? It does actually cost money to put on a conference, you know. Or maybe they should offer scholarships to attend. Oh wait, they are.

    I'm sorry you are angry.

    I was being ironic. Appropriately, since there is real irony in a conference discussing addressing inequality charging such a huge sum to attendees.

    Excludes those on low incomes or benefits...those experiencing inequality and inequity.

    The "Scholarship"...well, gee, we're used to filling out forms and listing our inadequacies. We are proficient at begging...we do it at WINZ, we do it to procure a few extra items of medical supplies, justifying the need for a new wheelchair. We are also sensitive to wording in funding applications that says..."don't bother applying if you can't tick box X."

    No point doing anything about anything ever, really.

    There are ways of doing something that does not involve forking out nearly a week's benefit to listen to experts speaking about our, the "powerless"', situation.

    Some of us try to do our little insignificant bit....really..

    Mr. Meyers, your reaction to my earlier post, your vitriol, has indicated to me the true nature of the "Step Up" campaign.

    Pity really...it was beginning to sound like a worthwhile initiative.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I really appreciate what Kirk is doing with this event, and anybody who has organised one knows how much work it takes and how much it costs just to break even. Let's show a bit of respect please. We all have our own ways of contiibuting to change.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Kirk Serpes, in reply to David Hood,

    That is amazing! Did a fair it of complex math at Engineering school so really appreciate the geek humour in this. :-)

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    The political right have a fairly consistent ecosystem of language to articulate their worldview

    Its a corruption not just of language but of the people who espouse such views.Such people never like to admit to being wrong. They would rather see people suffer than admit to being Wrong. Its narcissism gone mad.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Yeah. When we fail to even acknowledge people being hurt by the choices we are making in economic policy yet endlessly worry about the economy being "hurt" there is definitely something askew.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2108 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    Great post, Kirk. I'm really enjoying your analysis.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    When people talk about the economy, a good question - clarification to ask is: which economy in particular?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to steven crawford,

    Words worth?

    ...which economy in particular?

    It seems the 'economy of scale' best suits reptiles...
    ...perhaps there is a good reason that 'economy'
    is an anagram of 'money co'

    or it could just be John Key mangling 'ego ignominy'

    I'm sure the 'E' in Ecan has been surreptitiously changed from Environment Canterbury to Economy Canterbury.
    Always letting the 'wealth generation' aspects of the meaning of economy run roughshod over the 'careful management' aspects.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Howard Edwards,

    This article by Kirsty Johnston in the Herald last week highlights inequality in our education system. The articles heading implies it is only about Auckland but many of the issues are in fact New Zealand-wide.

    Albany • Since Apr 2013 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to andin,

    Its a corruption not just of language but of the people who espouse such views.Such people never like to admit to being wrong. They would rather see people suffer than admit to being Wrong. Its narcissism gone mad.

    Narcissism underpinned by survivorship bias. And I just want to shout, "FUCK, YES!", to how the late, great disability activist and comedienne Stella Young summed it up:

    And that quote, The only disability in life is a bad attitude, the reason that's bullshit is because it's just not true, because of the social model of disability. You know, no amount of smiling at a flight of stairs has ever made it turn into a ramp. Never. Smiling at a television screen isn't going to make closed captions appear for people who are deaf. No amount of standing in the middle of a bookshop and radiating a positive attitude is going to turn all those books into Braille. It's just not going to happen.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Mr. Meyers, your reaction to my earlier post, your vitriol, has indicated to me the true nature of the “Step Up” campaign.

    I have nothing to do with the Step Up, so please don't let my comment reflect badly on the organisers of the Step It Up conference.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    "The political right have a fairly consistent ecosystem of language to articulate their worldview on these concepts. They know what they want and can communicate it, and this is not by accident. It comes from the robust American research, where think tanks have been using focus groups, surveys and endless testing to perfect it since the 60’s. And since the 80’s that language has found its way into New Zealand’s political discourse."

    Talking about metaphors and language being used, this government likes to talk a lot about "evidence based" findings and approaches, about "wrap around services" and about "support". That sounds rather convincing and sensible to many listeners, but when examining policies and references they use and promote, it is often hardly as convincing as it may seem.

    Doing some research, and some digging, and using the Official Information Act to obtain information can expose that much of what the government does and claims is simply baseless BS or nonsense.

    The following post found via this link does reveal how shallow and hollow many claims by MSD, their 'Principal Health Advisor' Dr Bratt and government ministers are, when it comes to "evidence based" research justifying "welfare reform" measures:
    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/msd-and-dr-david-bratt-present-misleading-evidence-claiming-worklessness-causes-poor-health/

    "THE MINISTRY OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT (MSD) AND DR DAVID BRATT PRESENT MISLEADING “EVIDENCE”, CLAIMING “WORKLESSNESS” CAUSES POOR HEALTH"

    "Medical scientific evidence is at best inconclusive, on the supposed “health benefits” of open employment"

    And this post shows how they only release OIA requested information rather selectively and withhold much that would possibly reveal how little "success" the reforms really bring:
    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/mental-health-and-sole-parent-employment-services-msd-withholds-o-i-a-information-that-may-prove-their-trials-a-failure/

    And this one shows, how forms of work can actually be rather harmful to persons' health, being especially precarious and underpaid work:
    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/work-has-fewer-health-benefits-than-mansel-aylward-and-other-experts-claim-it-can-cause-serious-harm/

    But by using certain phrases and language, our dear government demagogues manage to mislead the wider public, most of whom will never bother examining the many bold claims that are presented to them.

    Propaganda works, as we can see.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    The political right have a fairly consistent ecosystem of language to articulate their worldview on these concepts.

    I’ve often wondered if the entire “politics is a spectrum” (or similar) metaphor, with left versus right, is even appropriate in New Zealand’s modern MMP environment. It made some vague sense in FPP where the only way to dislodge a government was to vote for the only other option. That’s not always true any more, yet it continues to be a metaphor with which political media, bloggers, the general public and parties themselves constantly refer to things.

    It fosters the thinking that political views must be spaced along a one-dimensional line. eg. Green is popularly labelled “left” of Labour whereas National is “right” of Labour, so someone can’t possibly support Green policy and National policy yet dislike Labour policy… or if they did then there must be something wrong with either that person or at least one of the parties. For similar reasons, the Greens were mocked from all sides when suggesting they might be able to cooperate with National without Labour.

    I’m not sure what the appropriate alternative is, though, either because it’s a metaphor that’s so deeply embedded in politics-speak throughout, or simply because there is no reasonable alternative metaphor. The only alternatives I’ve really seen are variants of the Nolan chart or Political compass, but not much beyond that.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Cragg,

    I'm really enjoying these posts - much needed analysis and discussion. I'm reminded of whenever the Democrats in the US would attempt to discuss the "wealth gap", and the Republicans would immediately start screaming "class warfare". It seems to me that an important step in moving past this is the press actually asking politicians to clarify what their rhetoric means. This discussion has made it suddenly clear to me that everyone thinks they know what all these clichés mean, but we actually have no idea, not because we're uninformed, but because they often have no clear meaning.

    Auckland • Since May 2011 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to izogi,

    The only alternatives I’ve really seen are variants of the Nolan chart or Political compass, but not much beyond that.

    Yes, I haven’t seen a lot either. Ultimately, I think the answer to your question about why it’s so embedded is because it’s easy. The 2 dimensional options you mention just open the multidimensional floodgates. Once you admit even one more dimension than Left-Right, it becomes clear that the choice of dimensions is actually rather arbitrary. I have to say that I don’t think the Political compass is especially illuminating in the NZ context, because most of the data ends up on the diagonal, which means that it’s actually a one dimensional spectrum after all. You want your choice of axes to spread the data around more, for there to be no signal left. The strong signal of correlation between the level of economic and social liberalism just means that actually breaking out those two dimensions isn’t useful (because one largely predicts the other anyway).

    It is interesting that they are correlated, sure. But it’s not a graph that helps to show political choice distinction.

    We could do a PCA to find better dimensions, if we had a good enough data set. Any political scientists or statisticians (or anyone else for that matter) out there know if that’s been done already? It could be mighty interesting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.