Paul Summerville • May 26, 2011

A reminder of how volatile some border areas are as Pakistan and China snuggle up to each other, and Egypt announces it will open its border to Gaza.

Articles also on free market opinions, Apple’s 10 year retailing success story, the uncontainable, Canada’s fiscal situation, justice gone berserk in the United States yet denied in Russia, and an essay on the life of Stephen Cohen.

Oh, and yes Virginia, the Canucks are going to the final.

Paul Summerville • May 11, 2011

Things that aren’t sustainable don’t continue.

The trick is figuring when they stop being unsustainable and how much damage they will cause."

Martin Wolf (and others) argue that Greek debt is unsustainable and dangerous.

A great hip hop video on the debate between uber-economists Keynes and Hayek, and articles on smart immigration policy, on how to manage the Pakistan problem, religious hatreds, saving cafeteria food, and the ultimate Bond.

Paul Summerville • May 10, 2011

I bought my first new car in 1977. It was a standard Honda Civic, cost me $3,600, and was only available in yellow.

I drove it across Canada twice and sold it when I moved to Geneva in 1981 for $2,500.

Those cars were at the thin edge of the revolution in the automotive industry that would reshape the global economy.

And in the 21st century there’s Tata.

Paul Summerville • May 9, 2011

The phrase game changer is probably used too much; however, shale gas and Victoria’s new public urinals fit the bill.

Articles also on when to fire your mutual fund manager, what happens when the lid comes off the political boil, the news out of Europe gets worse, the debate over the gold standard, why global democracy is good, the failing Doha Round, and Canadians, mark your calendar.

Another reason to live in Victoria, BC.

Paul Summerville • May 7, 2011

The University of British Columba awarded an honorary degree recently to Harvard Professor Amartya Sen who was the recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. 

This gives us the welcome excuse to post two videos where among other things Sen discusses the message of Adam Smith’s political economy.

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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.