Fiscal Responsibility

Paul Summerville • April 30, 2011

In what seems like an attempt to discredit surging Jack Layton the Globe and Mail published a 'blog' article claiming that the NDP might end the independence of the Bank of Canada by interfering with its decision-making.

This ‘architecture’ attack – aiming at a building block of the country – to try to derail a surging candidate just before the vote did not deserve to be in the paper without a chance for the target to respond before it was published.

Paul Summerville • April 25, 2011

Raul Castro’s joke about Cuban austerity and two wishes not three reminds us as Chinese authorities stare down inflation, commodities spike, and the US government’s finances rapidly deteriorate that we might want that extra wish.

Articles on Cuba, the inevitable slowdown in China, Canadian competitiveness, a conversation with Jim O’Neil, understanding the US dollar, and the risk to commodities, a blow-by-blow analysis of America’s finances, Jim Grant on the Fed’s third mandate, a video essay on why being wrong is right, and the Jack effect.

Paul Summerville • April 20, 2011

The body blow that the global economy took from the financial crisis of 2007-2008 was nursed by unprecedented monetary and fiscal intervention by both high and low income countries.

The question facing monetary and fiscal authorities, as well as investors is, 'what comes next'?

This is particularly the case since despite these actions high income countries face a myriad of challenges consistent with weak economic growth namely anemic job growth and fiscal emergencies.

Paul Summerville • April 11, 2011

The Economist on ageing and how unprepared we are.

Also from other sources Spain's coming bailout, forgiving, the dangers of America’s system of government, income inequality in the US, can Canada find a partner in Russia, China launches its first aircraft carrier, Peter Mandelson on how globalisation can be managed to best in class outcomes, and two big shocks coming, Canada’s housing market and Lady Gaga’s Judas video.

Fuji Arts -- Shogun Taro no Yoshikado

Paul Summerville • April 10, 2011

Paul Ryan may one day be mythologised like another Paul from American history, John Mauldin on the inflation risks in the US economy with some primers on what TIPS are, Mary Meeker’s sobering analysis of America’s unfunded liabilities, China keeps putting people in jail for speaking their minds about liberty.

Also Canada’s political parties are releasing their platforms and should be treated with respect not indifference, and the problem of I.

Keep up with CEF!

User login

Login using social networks

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.