Her Blueprint, the blog of the International Museum of Women, has a really interesting post, and related podcast, about economics and language. Feminist economist Nancy Folbre argues that the language–liquidity, evasion, and safety net, oh my–we’ve been using to describe our economy are, perhaps, part of why it’s been ailing so badly. Most dangerous are the metaphors we employ, which Her Blueprint points out are largely automotive in nature: “jump-starting the economy” or “economic engine.” These aren’t accurate, Folbre argues, and only serve to further dumb down an already financially less-than-savvy populace. Instead, she argues, let’s use metaphors that really propel us to create an economy that serves people:
The [new terminology] that I’ve suggested … is the economy as a beating heart. There are mechanical replacements for hearts, so it’s not that they don’t have certain processes which can be a little bit reminiscent of the machine metaphor. But the heart is also much more organic. And key to the idea of a heart metaphor is circulation. That is you have to keep the resources moving around to keep the economy healthy.
Speaking of economics…If you’re in the big apple, don’t miss WAM!NYC’s Financial Literacy 101 event on September 27th, led by the amazing Manisha Thakor. Info here.