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 2, 2011

Sorry to be such a bear on China but we can’t shake the feeling that a state directed 30-year boom gobbling up resources and labour has dangerous risks.

The same may also be said of the Arab ‘awakening’ where payback may be in store for relatives of the Crusaders.

Articles also on hunger, abandoning the core CPI measure, global internet use, the importance of innovation, and more sad commentary on the long, slow death of the Euro.

Paul Summerville • May 30, 2011

The countdown to facing up to the insolvency of Greece has begun.

The options have become limited but the consequences increasingly unknown.

Just as credit default swaps on mortgage backed securities crushed banks, so will credit default swaps on anything to do with European debt.

Articles also on Japan’s not so important suppliers, philosopher Thomas Pogge’s take on global poverty (eds’ note – citizens of high income countries are responsible), China exports inflation, and is construction on tall buildings a sign of market tops.

Paul Summerville • May 19, 2011

We have commented in the past on the difference between countries that pass laws to rule (China) rather than creating a system of governance based on the rule of law.

The starting lines are different but the outcomes depressingly familiar.

The rule of law with impartial security and judicial arms is a vital building block for excellent futures. Why Texas works and Mexico doesn’t.

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.

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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.