Monday, 11 June 2007

Taking a Risk with Children

This interesting article by Helene Guldberg over on Spiked convincingly argues that children are as much in danger from parents and government officials who want to keep them too safe, than they are from the actual risks out there. I tend to agree.

It also seems to me that there is a significant cultural difference here between the more risk-taking continent on the one hand and the more risk-averse UK and (more extreme still) US on the other hand. If so, this would be an interesting reverse-image of attitudes towards financial risk in these countries.

Also, if we put the same point differently: throughout the West people in the last decades have become increasingly willing to take financial risk. At the same time, they seem to become less willing to stomach other kinds of risks - as demonstrated not only in child-related safety issues and health scares, but also the increasingly large damages awarded in law suits about accidents. Is an extreme form of financial individualism and risk-aversion about personal safety logically connected?

Please send your thoughts!

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