One of the arguments surrounding wealth inequality and the possibility to develop policies aimed at solve this problem is that an equal society is a dangerous idea. The following article, published in July 2017 by The Internationalist, explores some of the benefits that greater economic equality may have for societies.
Some of these, just to get warmed up, imply people being happier and healthier and societies enjoying less crime, more creativity and more productivity, among many others. More importantly, it highlights that such benefits are based on real evidence on what happens to those societies that fight for higher economic equality, and that such equality is NOT the preserve of any political parties. If you want to know a bit more about the topic, just click on the link below. Don´t forget to share your comments!
The Internationalist – The equality effect
When discussing with friends and colleagues about different stuff, one of the ideas that somehow frequently come to our conversations is that US seems to have been creating a path we are, one way or another, trying to follow. Competitive universities is just one of the examples, but so it is Black Friday, the “American” dream or the idea that some social services are not economically sustainable. I am sure you can think of many more.
In December 2017, El País (Spanish national newspaper) posted an article on the map of inequality in the US, which I link here for you to read if you can read Spanish. If not, I am sorry about this, but simply felt I need to share this with you!
And here my question: do you think the US is a good example to follow, particularly relating economic policies? In what way do you think these may affect economic inequality, either positively or negatively?
Good read and thanks for sharing!
We are happy to announce DINEQ will be in the next Sociolinguistics Symposium, to be held at the University of Auckland, in New Zealand. We will be discussing maternity leave and economic inequality in the British press. We´d love to see you there!
The New Yorker has recently published an article in which it is argued that “much of the damage done by being poor comes from feeling poor”, according to researchers. The link between psychology and inequality is explained here. Enjoy the reading!
Peter Fleming, Professor of Business and Society at City University of London, publishes today an opinion article in which he states that only wealthy people will be able to retire in future. The article discusses some of the consequences such scenario would have in society, especially concerning health and personal welfare of all of us in future. This is very much in line with the austerity policies that have been adopted in the last years, and consequences would be devastating in terms of health and personal welfare, even negative from a business point of view. But the important point for me in this article is that Fleming departs from this scary vision to pose the idea that “the important thing to remember […] is that none of this is as ‘inevitable’ as the politicians would have us think”. The author suggests that this is an ideological issue, that there is money for the NHS and pensions, but that this is being placed anywhere else.
Have you ever thought which the impact on society would be if the pensions scheme would collapse? Isn’t it a reality that, at present, there are already many people who can’t retire or do it with very negative consequences?
Peter Fleming (The Guardian) – Welcome to the new dark ages, where only the wealthy can retire
The following DINEQ-related article by Michael Toolan has just been published in Discourse & Society:
Toolan, Michael. 2016. “Peter Black, Christopher Stevens, class and inequality in the Daily Mail”. Discourse & Society. 27 (6): 642-660.
Abstract: This article is part of a larger study of changes in British newspaper representations of wealth inequality in the United Kingdom from 1971 to the present day. Selected findings are reported from a corpus-linguistically based comparative critical discourse analysis of large samples (approximately 55,000 words each) of TV programme reviews that appeared in the Daily Mail, written by the TV critics Peter Black (in 1971) and Christopher Stevens (in 2013). Occurrences of class and its collocates and co-texts are a particular focus of attention. In Black’s reviews, it is a recurrent contemporary concern and recognised as indicative of inequality of opportunity. In Stevens’ much longer stories, class has largely disappeared from the discursive agenda of contemporary Britain and is only mentioned in relation to the past or other countries. By 2013, it seems to have become ‘natural’ not to discuss class and present-day wealth inequality in Mail TV reviews. The part-quantitative, part-qualitative methodology adopted here suggests that the tracing of something as masked as the discursive acceptance of wealth inequality must inevitably be more piecemeal and multi-factorial than other more sharply and overtly categorised forms of discrimination (based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religion, for example).
Read the paper
Here we leave you with the letters in Saturday’s Guardian, dealing with exploitation and lies in the new world of work. See especially John Holroyd’s excellent letter about vocabulary change desensitizing us to what new conditions mean. Especially for those who still think language does not matter!
The Guardian – Exploitation and lies in the new world of work