Global Economy

Paul Summerville • November 25, 2012

Commentary on dividing the chores, demography and the market, forgiving debt, the benefits of the minimum wage, the Newsweek saga, Martin Wolf interviewed, and the science of running long distances faster.

Smart division.

Slate -- You’re Dividing the Chores Wrong
No, you shouldn’t always unload the dishwasher because you’re better at it.

Paul Summerville • October 23, 2012

Commentary on biology game changer, rethinking banking, blood in the streets, global outlook still fragile, and the high cost of homelessness.

Biology and the electricity game changer.

Telegraph – The Electrical Storm Brewing in Biology
Electricity is even more important to biology than previously thought.

A revolution afoot?

Paul Summerville • October 15, 2012

Commentary on how the rich kill the hen that laid their golden egg, the perilous economy, Chinese train wreck, how the internet will make post-secondary education free, and the Justin bounce.

Venetian suicide.

New York Times -- The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent
IN the early 14th century, Venice was one of the richest cities in Europe.


Paul Summerville • October 3, 2012

Commentary on thinking about growth differently, focus on the middle class, and invisible wealth.

Martin Wolf asks what’s next for growth.

Financial Times -- Is unlimited growth a thing of the past?
Might growth be ending?

Dreaming of the middle class.

Paul Summerville • September 9, 2012

Commentary on balancing outcomes and opportunity, what is the middle class, why Bill Clinton connects, and the downturn’s toll.

Very well written book review that frames the tension between having and sharing it. (ed’s note – at a minimum when the rich, and particularly the very, very rich, pay a considerable less percentage of their income in taxes something’s amiss).

Paul Summerville • August 26, 2012

Commentary on Syria’s bloody war, the roots of English, i-robot, on cheating, slumping, and how the GOP spins Canada.

Long-time Middle East observer Robert Fisk on the terrible civil war in Syria.

Independence -- Robert Fisk: The bloody truth about Syria's uncivil war
Those trying to topple Assad have surprised the army with their firepower and brutal tactics.

Paul Summerville • June 27, 2012

Commentary on the linkages in the global economy, forced abortions in China, the rise and fall of American cities, the case for ending the ‘war’ on drugs, and teaching Omar.

Mr. Prime Minister?

Paul Summerville • June 22, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi addresses both Houses of Parliament (UK), commentary on the Nordic model of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity, the race against time, the bank that broke Spain, the great 1800 divide, and Canada's one-person democracy.

Our good friend Ken of Tokyo/Hong Kong notes that the reality in Burma is extremely complex. 

Aung San Suu Kyi's address to both Houses of Parliament


Paul Summerville • June 3, 2012

Commentary on navigating church and state, squeezing out the doctor, the global economy breaks down, and defining poverty.

The bishops and the President.

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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.