Discussion 2012-11: Why Equality is Better for Everyone

Time: 7:30 onwards, Tuesday 13th November 2012
Venue: The Gatehouse, Tollhouse Hill, Nottingham, NG1 5FS

A discussion on inequalities in health and income, with particular reference to The Spirit Level (Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett, 2010). See main Facebook page of Cafe Economique for background links.

Discussion: Why Equality is better for everyoneThe Spirit Level is a book you have to buy but here is a summary from 2010: www.newstatesman.com/society/2010/11/inequality-social-health-essay
Some information, including a response to critics, is on the Equality Trust website: www.equalitytrust.org.uk/resources/response-to-questions
The first four pages of Hugh Noble’s response give a good summary of what The Spirit Level is about (the rest is a discussion on statistical techniques):
The Economist special report (For Richer, For Poorer, 13 Oct 2012) has a different perspective: www.economist.com/specialreports. The final section (A True Progressivism) wants to “tackle inequality and boost growth”.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/226713940793408/


Discussion 2012-10: The Bank, the Credit Union and the Mattress

The second in a monthly series of discussion sessions of Café Economique members to complement the monthly talks. Discussion will be equal between all attendees – no speeches or presentations, just exchange of thoughts and ideas. Bring your own along to share.

Subject: The Bank, the Credit Union and the Mattress
WhereThe Gatehouse, Tollhouse Hill, Nottingham NG1 5FS
When: 7:30 onwards, Tuesday 9th October 2012
Facebook event linkhttps://www.facebook.com/events/145258808953383/

Where is the safest place to put our money in these troubled times? Can we really trust banks – any banks or particular banks? Which are worst, which are best? How do we effectively encourage banks to change their treatment of customers and their money?

How about Credit Unions as an alternative? Are they better, what are the advantages and disadvantages? What is the best way of running a credit union? What experience have people had with Nottingham Credit Union?

…Or should we just stuff all our money under the mattress and hope we’re not burgled? Or buy a really tough safe? Maybe it’s pointless trying to ‘save’ our money as it will become worthless some time in the future due to inflation, collapse of currencies, collapse of authorities issuing currencies, collapse of civilisation?

Maybe the only ‘wealth’ we can truly preserve is the wealth of our skills, our friendships and comradeships with people prepared to help and work with us, our knowledge, our energy, our communities, the basics of survival?

Lots of questions. Come and give your answers and discuss with others. This is not just theoretical.

Talk 2011-11: Why Should Economists Focus on Happiness Rather than Growth?

Café Economique Session, Thursday November 24th 2011
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: International Community Centre, Mansfield Road, NG1 3FN

Amanda Smith will address the question:
Why should economists focus on happiness rather than growth?

It is highly sobering to look at studies that demonstrate that the huge increase in average income since the 1950s (particularly in rich societies like ours) has NOT been accompanied by an increase in levels of happiness, nor by a narrowing of the gap in inequalities. The aim of this talk is to unpack some of the problems associated with focusing on economic growth as a panacea for all ills and to explore alternative ways of thinking about (and perhaps measuring) how we might provide a happier world, or at the very least a world with far less inequality and misery.


Amanda Smith is a Senior Lecturer in International Studies at Nottingham Trent University and currently researches issues associated with urban resilience, sustainable communities and climate change adaptations. She is a director of a local charity – the Partnership Council – and the third sector advocate on the Green Nottingham Partnership.

Facebook event page