Afghanistan

Paul Summerville • November 14, 2011

Commentary on Italy’s difficult road ahead, the contagion spreads to Spain, the political fallout of economic chaos, books on the Soviet Union’s war with Afghanistan, Russia joins the WTO, the importance of financial literacy, our complicated lives, and Margaret Somerville on appled ethics in post-Charter Canada.

A word of warning, Italy’s terrible economy.

Paul Summerville • July 22, 2011

Articles on the US dollar’s birthday, Europe’s latest bailout plan and the impact on the UK, China's fake Apple Stores, what ails the American economy, and the National Post’s excellent archive of articles about Canada in Afghanistan.

Happy birthday.

Financial Times – Greenback’s Birthday
The US dollar, which turned 150 this week, is finally starting to act its age.

Paul Summerville • July 16, 2011

Articles about going to war, the Rundown, sovereign debt bubble, how the high cost of university is scaring away students, the 200th anniversary celebrations are starting, why Pakistan hates India, Peter Singer on animal welfare, and Tiger’s money woes takes him back to Japan.

LBJ and the Vietnam decision. Thanks to Ken of Tokyo/Hong Kong.

Paul Summerville • July 8, 2011

Articles on Canada’s exit from Afghanistan, the flotilla activists, the benefits of affordable health care, two books about the navy, why China will not rule the 21st century, the Wabisabi Times, how wars end, doubts about Chinese banks, the limits of American meritocracy, and Tom Flanagan clarifies the Clarity Act.

Au revoir. Thanks to David of London.

Paul Summerville • June 30, 2011

Articles on why diet Coke makes you fat, why Europeans and North Americans treat cars differently, why Canada’s health care system is ‘better’ than the United States, the importance of state owned enterprises in the Chinese economy, death by a thousand troop withdrawals, Japan’s identity crisis, old alpha story, Michael Ignatieff’s silly thoughts, and the Chinese Communist Party’s 90th birthday celebration.

Paul Summerville • June 29, 2011

Articles on China’s naval ambitions, how a Capone thug got a strangle hold on Hollywood, the 14 key ideas shaping the high income world, Malcolm Gladwell on other minds, European crossroad, Afghan women and the Taliban, more Ignatieff, how old will Britain be in 2041, Greece’s inevitable restructuring, how a single moment can change a life, and start up Asia.

China’s naval plans.

Paul Summerville • June 27, 2011

Articles on Europe’s unraveling, the coming of taxation on world-wide income for Canadians, why legacy airline companies can’t be profitable, why the home team wins, Taliban tricks, new entrepreneurs in Japan, James Grant slams the Fed, paralysed economic policy, energy efficiency and cars, the end of liberal intervention, immigration and the economy, and when an American visited China in 1973.

Going backwards.

Paul Summerville • June 22, 2011

Articles on Aboriginal education in Canada, water, the role innovation can play in rescuing the US economy, China’s murky investment world, Obama’s Afghan moment number two, the tyranny of green, China’s economic fault lines, pondering America’s seriousness about its fiscal problems, the cost of Kurdish isolation, Royal Dornach’s reminder of the bitter taste of slow play, and the importance of wearing sun screen on a cloudy day.

The desperately obvious need to educate aboriginal children to best in class outcomes.

Paul Summerville • May 19, 2011

We have commented in the past on the difference between countries that pass laws to rule (China) rather than creating a system of governance based on the rule of law.

The starting lines are different but the outcomes depressingly familiar.

The rule of law with impartial security and judicial arms is a vital building block for excellent futures. Why Texas works and Mexico doesn’t.

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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©

Twin Virtues

Ultimately, the most successful societies find the balance between the twin virtues of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity.

The new politics must marry the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.

When too few get too much everybody loses.

Feminism is about women living their lives on their own terms, marshalling the resources of the society to make that possible, and men embracing this as vital to a successful society and their own liberation.

Can it be that striving for equality of opportunity however imperfect the process not only benefits the individual but also creates benefits for the society that are unintended but wonderful?

Economics must be a 'moral enterprise' as much as politics claims to be. Economic outcomes need to be framed in terms of right and wrong not just efficiency if only because these often align in surprising ways that are good for society and the economy.

My vision of Canada is that any Canadian child from a family of limited circumstance can expect to have a chance at lifetime of unlimited opportunities.

Free trade is a wonderful thing. Time and time again economists have proven that free trade creates enormous wealth for each country 'on the whole'. Historians have shown that free trade is usually associated with rising political, social and cultural liberty. The perennial problem is that free trade always creates tremendous disruption for thousands even millions of individuals often concentrated in one geography, and where the state is idle, not investing in best in class instruments of social justice, free trade can be a permanent ticket out of the middle class, down, not up.

Tax policy should be founded on the principle of generating steady tax revenues sufficient to maximise environmentally sustainable economic growth in order to fund fair government.

Public policy should be designed to decrease inequality before the law and increase equality of opportunity.

Capitalism is not the problem; the problem is what we do with capitalism.

Content is always more difficult to argue than conspiracy.

Let the state regulate and the market operate (most things).

Welfare strategies are best designed as a hand up, not as a hand out.

Political debate should not be fact free fighting.

Explanation lasts longer than eloquence.

Always favour empowerment over dependency.

The most enduring public figures are embraced for the causes they fought for and not the concept of themselves they hoped others would remember them by.

Find your voice and don't be the echo of somebody else.

It is possible to operate on two different levels: the practical, cautious and conservative; and the realm of ideas, open, free, and radical.