19 January 2013

Thinking Paper # 220: Is snow good for the economy?

By Tim Massingberd-James

Abstract

The UK is once again in the grip of snow-mageddon, giving the country's journalists a lovely opportunity to talk to nice old ladies about whether they're having any trouble getting about, interview young families about their sledging expeditions to 'dead-man's-hill' and tell us about how red warnings are 'the worst' type of weather warnings. But will it help us win the money war against the Chinamen?
Who cares about the economy when everything is all pretty?

Artists are generally the people who report beauty in the world, whilst journalists look at death, hatred and violence. Journalists are traditionally out to achieve success of the sort which will allow them to interview the Prime Minister on Sunday mornings and touch girls bums, whilst artists - with the exception of ones like Damien Hirst - want to die in a garret but be rememberd for their brilliance.

Snow is like an artist, suddenly creating beauty from nothing then quickly melting away to leave only the memories of its spectacular brilliance. Journalists may not get paid much any more, but they are good for the traditional economy, creating fear and hatred of the sort that makes us panic-buy bread, think we need to buy a new coat and imagine our presence at our pitiful job is of enough worth to warrant the struggle in. Artists occasionally make us sit back and enjoy life and realise there is more to life than that struggle.  

Is snow good for the Economy?

Snow is not really good for the economy, but the IIPBA sometimes hopes we may be moving into a part of the story of humanity based just a tiny more on how much love and beauty there is in our lives, rather  than how much we can spend on our new sofa at Ikea on a Saturday. 

Today, across the country, families are spending time together running up and down hills and enjoying an experience that will be etched on the consciousnesses of children for the rest of their lives, rather than sitting staring at screens eating biscuits. Snow is not good for the economy, but some of the most important things aren't.