Thursday 14 July 2011

Reasons for doing nothing about social problems with simple answers


1. There is no problem: the problem is the people who say there is is problem.

2. There is no problem.

3. There is no problem: here are some fake statistics to prove it - the rest is just spiteful anecdote.

4. There is a small problem - but nothing needs to be done.

5. There is a small problem but the real problem is preventing backlash: so we will make some irritating and ineffective - indeed counterproductive - change 'in response'.

6. Okay there is a problem, but we are all on the same side, ultimately - so is it really such a problem? Let's talk about what we all have in common.

7. Okay, there is a big problem but it is very very complex; and what would need to be done about it is unimaginably complex; blah, blah, blah - zzzzz.

8. Okay, there is a big problem, and it could be solved - but the scale of the solution is too great to contemplate at the moment.

9. Okay, there is a big problem, and it could be solved, and we could do it tomorrow - but we cannot afford the necessary scale of the solution - it would kill us.

10. Okay, there is a big problem, and there is a simple solution, and we could afford it and have to do it, and we could do it tomorrow; but we would never be 'allowed' to do it.

11.Okay, there is a big problem, and there is a simple solution, and we have to do it immediately; but the solution seems like it is morally abhorrent - so we can't.

12. Okay, there is a big problem, and there is a simple solution, and we have to do it, and the solution is reasonable; and we could have done it - but it is too late now...



Anonymous said...

Prof Charlton
Your title says 'social' problems, but somehow I seem to have heard each and every one of your points at one time or other in the discussions about the economical crisis in EU, in relation to Greece, Portugal ...
Surely this is just a coincidence.

dearieme said...

Social problems often fall into one of two categories: those that need sniper fire, and those that need machine-gunning. Is there a category that needs social workers? I dare say, but I shiver at the thought of how much harm the Council Buggery Service may do.

Matias said...

I have followed the debate on mass immigration and would say that in Sweden, perhaps the most retarded country in awareness of this particular social problem, public discussion moves on levels 1-5, while most Western European countries are on levels 3-7. David Cameron's "muscular liberalism" to solve the problems caused by self-segregation of minorities would be on level 5.

Anonymous said...

The problem of people who discover pseudo-problems is the biggest problem we've got.

An article published in the Guardian last week is a case in point. Susan Quilliam, described as a psychologist, blamed Mills & Boon's romantic fiction for the abundance of sexual health problems which afflict our promiscuous society.

According to her report in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal, romance novels should come with a health warning.

Joseph said...

It finally happened.

You've gone environmentalist.

nk said...

I really like your systematic approach. It helps to clear up the thoughts. Thank you for this.

I also the think that the epigrammatic of yours works out pretty good.

Thank you for all the work !