Friday, April 14, 2006

Confirming the Obvious

The Daily Mail announced yesterday that researchers have discovered a key to happiness: being your own boss. Anybody surprised? Not likely, especially amongst all of the more-independent-than-average bloggers.


Anonymous photostream said...

Hmm. Don't know what the North American equivalent would be, but the Daily Mail is not the last word in journalistic exactitude. It also wears its political agenda on its sleeve.

Doesn't make the article wrong, but....

Fri Apr 14, 01:33:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I think what the other guy says too- the British government is absolutely trying to pull the pillars of their society down, by privatizing everything from health care to elder care and any other social agency. Education is getting privatized more and more, and this just seems like a pper latching on to a platform it likes. That said, if I could possibly figure out a way to be my own boss I would love to do it. I have been in the past, but with the responsibilities in my life I need benefits at this point in my life.

Check out NHS Blog Doctor for a good look at the effect of mucking around with medicine. I am not saying that socialized medicine is the best option, but dismanatling it a brick at a time can be agonizing as well, when it is already established.

Fri Apr 14, 11:07:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Potentilla said...

There is a fair amount of evidence that the more in control you feel at work, the more happy (and healthy) you are. This would be an obvious confound in this particular study, but the Mail being the Mail, it doesn't give enough information to track back to the details of the study and I haven't yet found it by Googling.

Anon, assuming "the other guy" is photostream above, I think you miss his point. He was deploring the journalistic accuracy of the Mail, not the free market.

Sat Apr 15, 11:35:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Impatient Patient said...

Farr Ago

Check this out

Especially the part about the most right wing.

Right about the more control you feel in your job making you happier and healthier. The problem is, the more government medling you have in your job, the more demoralized you are going to feel, especially if you know that the outcome is going to be the chopping of your job. This is a rah rah attempt at sanctioning what the government is doing by presenting ridiculously outrageous job "options" to people who are feeling the heat.

By the way, this is ImpatientPatient, not anonymous. I just couldn't log onto my account earlier as it kept bouncing me out.

I am not sure where I stand with the free market. Call me Canadian I guess, but I have a pretty good idea that the free market is not all it is cracked up to be. I don't know about you, but where I live we have deregulated a lot of our industries. This was supposed to make us have more choice and pay less. Umm.... not so much. We are now paying three times as much for our power than we did when we started, because each company involved takes their share of the pie. My good friend got her power bill. She is not home very often. For the FOUR DOLLARS she used in power, she paid FORTY to get it to her house. Contrast this with a province that has not deregulated their industry- for water and gas they pay combined $160.00. I pay almost four hundred. For a smaller house. Because our market is only three million people only a couple companies have come here, and they have set up one in the north and one in the south. They have a monopoly, essentially. There are people in rural areas that pay 750.00, because what used to be comparable a few years ago is now put through middlemen, and they are robbed blind with no way around it. Farmers are having to work and farm in order to make ends meet.

Now our esteemed government is trying to do the same thing with Health Care. Yes, it is a sacred cow here in Canada. But it is also a lot harder to go bankrupt if you are ill here as well. It is possible, but highly improbable. The government here is looking to Britain as a good example of what a public and private mix would look like, but from what I have read it is a disaster. The British Government seems to be in a bit of finanacial trouble, and are looking for any excuse to cut out of its budget anything that is not essential in their esteemed estimation. (Might this not have to do with a war time budget? I don't know, but I think it could be a problem).

So the Canadian in me comes out. So does the screwed by an insurance company chick. And a couple of other nice and not so nice personalities I channel. I won't introduce them to you here as I am pretty sure it would be dumb and boring. I think that there needs to be the "invisible hand" that Adam Smith talked about, rather than the outstretched palm. And I think that telling people that working for themselves is better is prettey fricking terrible, when you are telling it to people that you are about to make redundant. It is a tale told by idiots who live in castles and on estates and have no idea what it is like to be without and wanting.

AAARRRGHH!!!!! I think I talk to much. Glad to see you posting again, I have missed you this week.

Sun Apr 16, 01:35:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Tim Kanwar said...

Just to clarify: I wasn't taking a stand on the privatization debate one way or the other. Whether or not career autonomy is being used as an attempt to justify what's happening in Britain, or any place else, was somewhat beside my point.

To me, personally, exercising a maximal degree of control over the development of my career and the terms of my employment is highly desirable. Usually I make some effort to keep my own personal goals and ambitions out of the blog but, in this case, I was merely engaging in a little bit of daydreaming.

I'm not suggesting being your own boss is for everyone; I'm just reasonably certain it's something I'd like to achieve before too long.

As far as the slant and/or objectivity of the Daily Mail is concerned, I recently read a very interesting op-ed piece in the Washington Post on this topic. Maybe you all have seen it? The piece, by Michael Kinsley and entitled "The Twilight of Objectivity" suggests that it might be time to dispense with the myth of objective journalism and shift the focus to providing well-reasoned, defensible "opinion journalism."

Sun Apr 16, 12:19:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Potentilla said...

I hadn't really relaised until reading the Kinsley piece that anyone thought that any journalism was "objective" in the sense he seems to mean, that of being written from a perfectly neutral viewpoint with no underlying set of philosophical or political premises.

I certainly agree that no journalism CAN be "objective" in that sense. I prefer my journalism to come with a known underlying philosophical/political slant, so I know how much to discount for this!

The Mail has an underlying politically right-wing slant; but it also fails Kinsley's tests of factual accuracy and intellectual honesty. All it wants is a superficially engaging and saleable story approximately fitting in with house politics and not being legally actionable; it doesn't care what facts or nuances it leaves out or distorts along the way.

Believe me; I read the Mail more often than I want to, since it is the paper of choice of a sick person I visit. It is a disgrace to the name of journalism; probably worse than tabloids like the Sun and the News of the World because it is more superficially respectable and thus more credible.

If you want good British journalism, you need the Guardian, the Financial Times and especially the Economist (none of which btw are philosophically "objective")

Mon Apr 17, 02:29:00 PM EDT  

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