Buying nice is not being nice, “Granny-D” died

Mar 28th, 2010 | By | Category: Popular, This morning's reading

Morning Reading, selected articles of interest from various publications.

The Economics of Being Nice
Where the researchers and commentators go wrong is in the beginning. They think that buying an ‘ethical’ mutual fund…or a ‘green’ car…is a form of being nice. It is nothing of the sort. It is a substitute for being nice. Being nice is not always easy. Many people have a hard time with it. Others judge it not worth the effort…or even counterproductive. Niceness was probably as useless to Attila the Hun as virtue is to a prostitute or integrity is to a politician. […]
Nice people don’t have to pretend to be nice by buying supposedly ethical products. They are nice; that’s what counts to them. The person who buys ethical products, on the other hand, is a scalawag and a hypocrite. He is not really nice at all, which is what the researchers really discovered.
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Lina’s & Roger’s comment: Just as we thought…
PS. “Fair trade” is an oxymoron – trade is by definition fair.

Doris Haddock – Obituary, The Economist
The question she wanted people to ask was not how (on earth!), but why. Why, in January 1999, had she set off to walk from Pasadena to Washington, DC? The simple answer was that she had lost patience with the power of big money in American politics. Congressmen and senators did not listen to people like her—people who spent years nursing their husbands when they had Alzheimer’s, or who battled to keep the interstate out of their small towns, in her case Dublin, New Hampshire. They patted little old ladies like her patronisingly on the head, while taking wads of money from special interests for whom they would do favours later. Mrs Haddock was sick of it. She had organised petitions for campaign-finance reform, with tens of thousands of signatures, but got nowhere. So it was sneakers on, and hit the road.
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Lina’s & Roger’s comment: What a life, what an achievement, what a woman!
Very inspiring story.

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