"South African cities are the most unequal in the world, followed by Brazil. Latin American and Caribbean cities are among the most unequal in the world, with Brazilian and Colombian cities topping the list, closely followed by some cities in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico. Urban inequalities in this highly unequal region are not only increasing, but are becoming more entrenched, which suggests that failures in wealth distribution are largely the result of structural or systemic flaws.
And all too often it is not the actual degrees of inequality that matter, but the perceptions of it. And nothing defines that perception better perhaps than the example of a sign with a skull and cross bones carrying the warning “armed reaction” on a high electrified fence cocooning a suburban Johannesburg home.
When gross inequalities are associated with unjust systems that perpetuate poverty, curb upward mobility and exclude the majority, you have a formula for trouble. Put another way: when inequalities are perceived as the result of unfair processes or the unequal distribution of opportunities, people are less likely to accept them. Indeed such perceptions can nurture high crime rates, social unrest or even conflict.
There is no doubt that social unrest and insecurity reduce incentives for investment and force governments to increase the amount of public resources devoted to internal security - resources that might have otherwise been spent on more productive sectors of the economy or on social services and infrastructure.”
I have a reluctance to write. It’s like a sulky child with folded arms and pouty mouth - difficult. I’ve been in advertising way too many years. Whoring my consonants and pimping my vowels. Makes me all giddy - the power I yield. I can get you to part with cash. I can make you pick up a phone. I can make you decide one way or the other. This brand versus that brand. I hate it all. I have no conviction that Chrysler Sebring is a better car than a Beemer 3 - but I’ll get several hundred people to walk into the dealership to at least consider the proposition. I feel all dirty inside. Would I buy one? Nope. But you might.
Once I raved on about margarine. I never touched margarine after that. Trans-Fatty Acids suddenly lost its appeal. But millions bought marge. I spread the word. And they paid me. I’m not a great writer - there are others more talented than I, but I do love it. Pimping that power is tiresome. Besides, I believe distribution channels are changing, comms channels are morphing and strip malls are dying. It is a luxury to have smiling tellers in a shiny shop - rent, salary and tons of fuel to feed this form of commerce. Whatever the new world looks like, I am sure that purchasing decisions will be based on other forms of communications rather than tv commercials and mag ads. Personal endorsement from my friends are way more powerful anyway. I’m not a media consumer and I don’t believe most advertising copy. Cynical? Perhaps. But then I have firsthand experience. I no longer write copy. I want to write. Like this.