Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Things to think about

Crooked Timber has a link to Distributive Justice. This is one of those internet political quizzes, but focussed specifically on the question of who gets what in society. It also has a "society builder", where you get to distribute various social goods and see how your preferences compare to everybody else's - predictably, I prefer a welfare state. Plus there's a questionnaire, with questions about both your perceived position in the social pecking order (I bet those answers will be interesting), and countries with "good social policy" (Sweden came out tops on this, followed by the Netherlands).

Part of the questionnaire was about your perception of how socio-economic categories are distributed in your society (i.e. what percentage are upper class, upper middle, lower middle and lower class). And I have to confess that I don't really know - I know we're supposed to have a large middle class here, but I also suspect that this is one of those comforting national myths (like the one the Americans have about anyone being able to be President). I guess I'll have to trawl through Statistics New Zealand sometime and find out.

Other commenters have criticised the lack of nuance, and I'd have to agree, but OTOH it's a bit more thought provoking than the other ones I've seen.