Fiscal Responsibility

Paul Summerville • July 28, 2011

Articles on voodoo economics, when an idea becomes true, mathematical beauty, reflections after 11 years of reporting on the US economy, remaining hopeful on US debt default, in Europe the kids aren’t all right, an expensive Alabama haircut, George Soros’ exit, hard evidence of the bubble in gold, Chinese inflation explained, and about beards.

George Bush the first President had it right.

Paul Summerville • July 25, 2011

Articles on Joi Ito, the fallacy of the market driven society, stressed mothers hurt unborn children, Middle East democracy, disposing the remains of an old Nazi, Vietnam’s geography problem, if the US defaults, and why elephants are doomed.

Innovation by necessity is disruptive. Meet Joi Ito and Media Lab

Paul Summerville • June 15, 2011

Articles on Apple’s retailing philosophy, Chinese demographics and inflation, Brazil’s economy, Europe’s migration problem and a great Canadian immigrant, the wonderful unintended consequences of the biotech revolution, a thoughtful examination of America’s fiscal challenges, 11 reasons why the stock market is a very serious buy, and why prostitution should be decriminalized.

China’s Japan problem

Paul Summerville • June 7, 2011

Big Picture blogger Jim Ritholtz self-described ‘ardent capitalist’ on the dangers of rising income inequality.

Like Alberta’s Social Credit leader William Aberhart’s (image left) analysis in the 1930s, if people don’t got money then they can’t buy what the economy produces, and what follows isn't pretty.

Paul Summerville • May 12, 2011

George Orwell’s famous essay on British Imperialism was about how he shot an elephant in Burma so he didn’t look foolish.

With 2,000 or so Burmese looking on he felt he had to pull the trigger.

In the United States the elephant is public debt, and the Republicans are having trouble finding a top gun.

Articles also on Greece, Japan rethinking its economy (again), the high cost of wage taxation, whether an expensive university education makes sense, contemporary Chinese stuff, playing with time, and Canada’s social conservatives start to stir.

Paul Summerville • May 2, 2011

What struck us about President Obama's comment on the death of Osama bin Laden was how matter-of-fact the whole process was.

Now its time to turn to the deficit and unemployment.

Articles on Bin Laden's assassination, US debt and unemployment, Greece and Spain, why economists are foolish, and the 41st Canadian Federal Election including Harper's bullying of the media and Jack's rise.

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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.