"Bread and circuses" (or bread and games) (from Latin: panem et circenses) is a metaphor for handouts and petty amusements that politicians use to gain popular support, instead of gaining it through sound policy. The phrase is invoked not only to criticize politicians, but also to criticize their supporters for giving up their civic duty.
In modern usage, the phrase has become an adjective to deride an infantilized populace so defined by entertainment, instant self gratification, and personal pleasures that they no longer value civic virtues and the public life (not necessarily accomplished through deliberate pacification by politicians but through the popular culture itself). To many social conservatives, it connotes the wanton decadence and hedonism that defined Rome prior to its decline and that may similarly contribute to the decline of modern society.
Hofstede's 1993 "Cultural Constraints..."
The degree of inequality among people which the population of a country considers as normal: from relatively equal (that is, small power distance) to extremely unequal (large power distance).This represents inequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above. It suggests that a society's level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders.
The degree to which tough values like assertiveness, success and competition, which in nearly all societies are associated with the role of men, prevail over tender values like the quality of life, maintaining warm personal relationships, service, care for the weak, and solidarity, which in nearly all societies are more associated with women's roles. Women's roles differ from men's roles in all countries; but in tough societies, the differences are larger than in tender ones.
The government's attempt to bulldoze a path to the Olympics by cutting funding to create, to educate, and to care for citizens will leave an economically costly swath behind. Caring gestures and gentle intersessions provide enormous financial benefits.
All of my working life I helped teenagers in distress. Project Overcome was a US pilot project that took bright teenagers on probation, living a basically hopeless life and taught them art and music. They saw the power, the joy of learning and of expressing themselves which saved society money in probation officers, court time, counselors.
A decade spent in the North allowed me to work with some living in unconscionable conditions. By experiencing the rewards of discipline, they learned the satisfaction of putting on a play, or playing in the school band. They were lifted above and beyond the boundaries that were defining them. Cutting school programs to the arts will cost society money.
As a video making, acting and creative writing teacher in Rutland Senior Secondary I witnessed the arts allowing the student to conduct a very necessary examination of value systems, to see the importance of an individual assuming responsibility for his or her choices. Through the arts, they began to forge a more knowledgeable and more personal sense of being in the world. The results saved society money.