The Blurb On The Back:
What we count matters – and, in a world where policies and decisions are underpinned by numbers, statistics, and data, if you’re not counted, you don’t count.
Alex Cobham argues that systematic gaps in economic and demographic data lead us not only to understate a wide range of damaging inequalities, but also to actively exacerbate them. He shows how, in statistics ranging from electoral registers to household surveys and census data, people from disadvantaged groups, such as indigenous populations, women and people living with disabilities, are consistently underrepresented. This further marginalises them, reducing everything from their political power to their weight in public spending decisions. Meanwhile, corporations and the ultra rich seek ever greater complexity and opacity in their financial affairs – and when their wealth goes unallied, it means they can avoid regulation and taxation.
This brilliantly researched book shows how what we do and don’t count is not a neutral or ‘technical’ question: the numbers that rule our world are skewed by raw politics. Cobham forensically lays bare how these issues strike at the heart of our democracy, entrenching inequality and injustice – and outlines what we can do about it.
Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.
The Review (Cut For Spoilers):