Friday, 19 November 2010

The supermarket model of society

From Rosamund Stock:

In the Guardian's front page article on a UK happiness index (UK happiness index to gauge national mood, 15th November 2010) a Downing Street source is quoted as saying; "If you want to know, should I live in Exeter rather than London?...and if you have a big enough sample, and more than one [survey] a year, then people can make a proper analysis on what to do." But if everyone chooses to move to e.g. Exeter, what will that do to the quality of life of people in Exeter? It is not just the increased demand for schools, and public services, what will that do for house prices, and local jobs, and what will the people of Exeter feel about all these newcomers, since no one asked them?

This quote reveals the model of society of those now in government: society is like a big supermarket. You make your selection based upon the national equivalent of a comparison web site and buy what you want.

No thought of anything beyond the wants of the individual consumer, where the actions of any one economic agent have no discernible effect, and nothing is considered except the individual (economic) transaction. Nectar points anybody?

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