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May 05, 2016, 08:27
This is a concept referred to by Rebecca J Rosen in this morning's Atlantic article 'Circles of American Financial Hell'. Here she's discussing the lack of nuanced analysis of middle-class paycheck-to-paycheck existence:
The failure to put a proper name on this dynamic is a part of a broader failure to understand it—and to see it as a problem at all. (Cognitive scientists have a great term for this—“hypocognition”—which refers to when, as linguist George Lakoff puts it, “the words or language that need to exist to frame an idea in a way which can lead to persuasive communication is either non-existent or ineffective.”)

What do you think? Is there such a thing?
May 05, 2016, 09:55
The problem can be that if the words don't exist a word or phrase will have to be coined. Only a small circle will understand what is meant, mostly specialists in the subject. In other words, jargon. Most people will switch off at this point.

Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
May 05, 2016, 13:56
Doesn't "idiocy," in its earlier meaning, fit the bill?
May 06, 2016, 10:08
Arnie, I thought the same thing. An article like Rosen's helps nudge things along to the point where we'll have words to describe the new phenomenen. Like 'stagflation', eventually coined to describe the economics in '74 (brought on, if I remember correctly, by the oil embargo combined w/Nixon's wage & price freeze).

Geoff, she's not describing profligacy. She's talking about the financial hamster-wheel middle/ upper-middles mount when-- in seeking to help their kids have a leg up during this uncertain economy/ job-market-- they opt for top-notch ed. In the US, that usually means buying housing in an area you can barely afford (for the excellent public schools), or paying for private K-12. Increasingly it also means going into hock indefinitely (parents &/or kids) for college.
May 14, 2016, 21:13
Putting proper words on the concept, or whatever, is no different from explaining it with several words, is it?