Magazine article Herizons

Who's Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics

Magazine article Herizons

Who's Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics

Article excerpt

WHO'S COUNTING? MARILYN WARING ON SEX, LIES AND GLOBAL ECONOMICS.

Addressing a crowded lecture hall of economics buffs, Marilyn Waring explains how smoking and oil spills are considered good for national economic growth. She pauses for the irony to sink in, then continues her hilarious speech about the wrong-headd attitudes that govern global economics.

Terre Nash's film, Who's Counting?: Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics pivots on Marilyn's likable nature and her frank delivery of home-spun truths. The film is about money, but there is nothing dry about the banking in this documentary. Nash is best known for It You Love This Planet, which won her an Oscar in 1983 despite its blacklisting by the U.S. State Department. Who's Counting? continues Nash's knack for taking a grave topic and-without downplaying its importance-making a documentary that's an easy sit. Who's Counting is not a flat lecture by Waring, but a varied film that travels the world with its subject and gives a clever visual context for Marilyn's theories. If you find the vocabulary of economics baffling, don't despair. Both Waring and Nash work to be understood. Waring's views are divided into manageable segments of film, with catchy titles supplied by Nash, such as "Before and NAFTA," "Kiwis Need Nuke Ships Like Turkeys Need Christmas," and "Marking a Killing."

Waring's personal biography and history as a political renegade in New Zealand is provided, when relevant, and is only included to further explain how she arrived at her conclusions.

And what conclusions are those? That the United Nations' system of national accounts is buggered: it neglects to count all activity that isn't directly cash-generating. …

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