Paul Summerville • February 12, 2016

What I’m listening to.

French Baroque Music


Japan Times -- Abenomics on ropes as reform arrow, BOJ ‘bazooka’ misfire

As Tokyo stocks tumbled further Friday, dragging the Nikkei average to its first close below 15,000 since October 2014, economists asked: Is Abenomics out of options?

Paul Summerville • September 7, 2014

Why your local broker doesn’t stand a chance.

London Review of Books -- Be grateful for drizzle

Paul Summerville • February 5, 2013

Commentary on the shadow of 1914, comic genius, rising stock market, the joy of capitalism, recovery in the US housing market, New York’s fight over teacher evaluation, Australia in Asia, and how the smoking ban killed bingo.

More history.


Financial Times -- The shadow of 1914 falls over the Pacific
China, like Germany 100 years ago, fears the established power is intent on blocking its ascent.

Harold Ramis.

Paul Summerville • October 31, 2012

Commentary on President Obama, the race to the finish, oratory lost, the problem with Romney, the state and the market, time for gold, and the under 45 shaft.

Hail to the Chief.

New York Magazine -- The Case for Obama: Why He Is a Great President. Yes, Great.
I decided to support Barack Obama pretty early in the Democratic primary, around spring of 2007.

By a nose.

Paul Summerville • October 1, 2012

Commentary on the joys of thinking big, changing democracy, why being smart makes you dumb in America and divided business leaders.

Unequal outcomes. Thanks to David of Victoria.

Paul Summerville • July 29, 2012

Commentary on Japan and guns, America and guns, the UK and Adam Smith, financial fraud, and radical environmentalists.

Staying on the guns theme, why Japan routinely has less than 10 people killed a year with guns.

Paul Summerville • July 22, 2012

Commentary on the market’s victory over everything, the IMF’s forecasting record, how the big banks are destroying the American economy, the looming global food crisis, the credit bubble keeps getting bigger, and the lovely AR-15 has been available for civilian sale since 1963.

How much?

The Times Literary Supplement -- When everything’s for sale
Michael J. Sandel begins briskly. Today, he says, almost everything is up for sale.

Paul Summerville • June 1, 2012

Commentary on America’s silly debate about the economy, art mimicking life in China, the global economy weakens, consumer electronics and disruptive technologies, and linking welfare to job training.

Business blabber.

Economist -- The war over class war
Economic misunderstanding, not overblown rhetoric, is the real problem with the president.

My quote.

Paul Summerville • May 18, 2012

Commentary on the profits in copying, comparative capitalism, the rise and fall of unions, free trade negotiations, public transit in 20 different  cities, Greece to leave soon, and the case for 100 million Canadians.

Important article that reminds us that there is much profit in copying and adapting.

Economist -- Pretty profitable parrots
For businesses, being good at copying is at least as important as being innovative.

Not all economies are created equal.

Paul Summerville • April 25, 2012

Commentary on free speech, France, picking great basketball players, monopoly capitalism, and absurb public sector rules.

Picking for you.

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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.