Paul Summerville • March 6, 2012

Commentary on the terrible nuclear dilemma in the Middle East, Israel’s troubled democracy, Greece’s certain default, wage inequality in the United States, robot surgeons, the problem with economics, and John Ivison moves in for the kill.

The thinning red line.

Paul Summerville • March 5, 2012

Commentary on the need for reform in China, a status report on the competition for labour, Israel’s conundrum, a different way to explain the Euro scam, and why Iceland should adopt the loonie.

The big shift. The market and the economy are not the same. The market is a theoretical place where people trade their labour and ideas.  The economy is what becomes of the market by virtue of the impact of the community via culture and institutions. Change is very different absent a crisis.

Paul Summerville • March 4, 2012

Commentary on Rick Santorum putting sex back where it belongs, President Obama’s red line, PIGS’ money fleeing to safety, train terror, vive l'Écosse libre, and Ontario’s balancing act.

Louvre -- Subject from The Turkish Bath (1862).

Rick’s sex [sic] obsession.

Paul Summerville • February 8, 2012

Commentary on the bold move by ECB President Mario Draghi to stem the crisis, booting out Greece, Meryl’s Maggie, the coming war with Iran, and Prime Minister Harper’s lousy stewardship of the economy.

By offering banks ultra cheap three year loans and flooding the banking system with liquidity the ECB prevented a Lehman scale credit crisis, for now.

Paul Summerville • February 1, 2012

Commentary on the Chinese energy connection, the many versions of capitalism, Mitt debating himself, the best and the rest, how occupation became legal, and scientology.

The background behind the Prime Minister’s trip to China next week. Thanks to Evan of Victoria.

Paul Summerville • January 29, 2012

Commentary on American foreign policy, will Israel attack Iran, thinking about RIM, the hurt in John Hurt’s face, and the fairness question in Canada.

Realism’s oracle, John J. Mearsheimer. (ed’s note – gee, I wonder what that would mean for Canada to have a strategic energy relationship with China).

Paul Summerville • October 10, 2011

Commentary on the absurdity of our world, the global economy, another plea for Europe to act, refuting the argument that housing policy had much to do with the subprime crisis, the importance of documentation to successful capitalism, why Darwin matters more to economics than Adam Smith, baby boomers in the work force, France splinters, Ian Buruma wonders why a Democratic President is Jello-O when it comes to confronting Israel, and how nutritious food is saving a Toronto school.

Watch this. Mad as a hatter.  Hat tip Big Picture.

Paul Summerville • October 7, 2011

Articles on the three women that shared the Nobel Peace Prize, what is behind income inequality in the United States, can Europe get ‘TARPed’, let Greece default, the coming stampede into corporate bonds, the messy world according to Mervyn King, Israel makes its case, and the uses and abuses of Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’.

llen Johnson-Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakul Karman share the prize.

Paul Summerville • September 27, 2011

Articles on why democracy is the best political system for economic growth, left of centre parties aren’t winning public trust, the danger of a bank’s 15% plus target returns, and Canada speaks.

Why democracy is the key to economic success, China and India provide clues to the answer. Thanks to Robert of Victoria.

Paul Summerville • September 24, 2011

Articles on the real cause of the Eurozone crisis, Latin lessons, the shame of Euro loudmouths, global signposts, how partition has kept the peace in Cyprus, Irish pensioner died of spontaneous human combustion, China slows, oil drops below $80, lessons not learned, Canada in the crosshairs, and the people who would be king.

It’s systemic stupid. (ed’s note – this is a very important article for those wishing to understand the Eurozone crisis).

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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.