Posts by M Steinberg

  • Hard News: Five further thoughts,

    *already committing to take their own action over child poverty are acting admirably.*

    Good on them, but there needs to be greater focus on family planning and access to contraception. That's fundamental along with education.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2014 • 3 posts Report

  • Hard News: Diverse Auckland: are we…,

    *Yeah the statistics don't really mean a lot to me either *

    @ alobar,

    1. You mean the Putman research I noted above?

    2. In terms of Sweden, they certainly have had significant immigration in the past 30 or so years. And this has had quite mixed results, depending on where the migrants come from in terms of cultural compatibility. For example, newcomers to Sweden have a 520% higher incarceration rate than native Swedes.

    For a particular case study in Sweden, look at the statistics in Malmo.

    There has also been a rise in violent anti-semitism in Sweden (which is also feature in France and the Netherlands). See Daniel Radomski's recent article in Haaretz.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2014 • 3 posts Report

  • Hard News: Diverse Auckland: are we…, in reply to alobar,

    @ alobar,

    The benefits of a mono-cultural are seen in Scandanavia where you have high levels of interpersonal trust and cohesion.

    The research by Harvard's Robert Putman shows that the downside of diversity is that it reduces social capital. You get less community engagement, less trust.

    "Putnam's findings reject both theories. In more diverse communities, he says, there were neither great bonds formed across group lines nor heightened ethnic tensions, but a general civic malaise. And in perhaps the most surprising result of all, levels of trust were not only lower between groups in more diverse settings, but even among members of the same group…

    "It's an important addition to a growing body of evidence on the challenges created by diversity," says Harvard economist Edward Glaeser.

    In a recent study, Glaeser and colleague Alberto Alesina demonstrated that roughly half the difference in social welfare spending between the US and Europe -- Europe spends far more -- can be attributed to the greater ethnic diversity of the US population. Glaeser says lower national social welfare spending in the US is a "macro" version of the decreased civic engagement Putnam found in more diverse communities within the country.

    Economists Matthew Kahn of UCLA and Dora Costa of MIT reviewed 15 recent studies in a 2003 paper, all of which linked diversity with lower levels of social capital. Greater ethnic diversity was linked, for example, to lower school funding, census response rates, and trust in others. Kahn and Costa's own research documented higher desertion rates in the Civil War among Union Army soldiers serving in companies whose soldiers varied more by age, occupation, and birthplace.

    Birds of different feathers may sometimes flock together, but they are also less likely to look out for one another. "Everyone is a little self-conscious that this is not politically correct stuff," says Kahn."

    Wellington • Since Mar 2014 • 3 posts Report