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the single concept of EQUITY

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  • eric britton
    Madhav and others, I could not agree more. Bearing in mind that economics is in fact a branch of moral philosophy (True for Adam Smith and true too for us
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 26, 2012
      Madhav and others,

      I could not agree more. Bearing in mind that economics is in fact a branch
      of moral philosophy (True for Adam Smith and true too for us today if you
      think about it), in situations like this where some folks and schools have
      run amuck with unthoughtout mechanistic notions that confuse economics with
      a sort of indifferent plumbing, it is always a good idea to look around and
      try to figure out what really is going on.

      So when you talk about Chambers ("putting the last first") and Gandhi, let
      me add to your pantheon the great democrat Victor Hugo who put it more of
      less like this (my translation and memory): We must learn to replace the
      notion of charity with a far better one, solidarity.

      The point in all this being that if we get our ethics right, we are going to
      be far less likely to run into these silly and oh so harmful "traps of
      technicity gone berserk").

      Now back to EQUITY!

      Eric Britton




      -----Original Message-----
      From: Madhav Badami, Prof. [mailto:madhav.g.badami@...]
      Sent: Thursday, 26 July, 2012 19:14
      To: FEKBRITTON
      Subject: RE: the single concept of EQUITY

      Eric,

      I agree. If our fundamental objectives in public policy are just and
      equitable, and we put the last first, to paraphrase Robert Chambers, and
      give voice to the voiceless, including the environment, all else follows, as
      the night the day. As Mahatma Gandhi -- sadly forgotten in the land of his
      birth -- said, it is futile to dream up systems (and may I say, analytical
      approaches) so perfect that no one will need to be good. This is precisely
      why I said the fault is not in our analytical approaches, but in ourselves;
      and that transport policy, like all public policy (whether related to urban
      transport or public sanitation in India or health care in the USA), is
      fundamentally about ethics and politics, and only then about science,
      technology, and economics.

      Madhav

      ************************************************************************

      "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." -- George
      Orwell

      Madhav G. Badami, PhD
      School of Urban Planning and McGill School of Environment McGill University

      Macdonald-Harrington Building
      815 Sherbrooke Street West
      Montreal, QC, H3A 2K6, Canada

      Phone: 514-398-3183 (Work)
      Fax: 514-398-8376; 514-398-1643
      URLs: www.mcgill.ca/urbanplanning
      www.mcgill.ca/mse
      e-mail: madhav.badami@...
      ________________________________________
      From: FEKBRITTON [fekbritton@...]
      Sent: 26 July 2012 12:53
      To: Madhav Badami, Prof.; 'Anjali Mahendra'; 'Alok Jain'
      Cc: worldtransport@yahoogroups.com; NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com;
      'Sustainable Transport in the south'
      Subject: the single concept of EQUITY

      Not meaning to talk all the time about the same subject, but our position
      (my position) is that if we wisely base all aspects of our
      transport/mobility system investments and policies on the single concept of
      EQUITY, just about all the injustices and stupidities (and heresies -- I
      liked that a lot Alok) wash right out of the system. ( A bit on that in
      process at http://equitytransport.wordpress.com/.)
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