Paul Summerville • November 8, 2011

Commentary on a dangerous future, Michael Pettis on what China’s gotta do, American corporate welfare bums, the Big Lie about the cause of the financial market meltdown, the danger of lynching a tyrant, and Canada's Liberal Party leadership gamble.

Gwynne Dyer’s warning about our hot, starving and dangerous future: climate change is happening quicker, threatens food supply, there is a point of no return, and the dubious parachute. Thanks to Tony of Victoria.

Paul Summerville • September 30, 2011

Article on the utility of the land value tax, the Fed’s liquidity trap, Pakistani games, the weakness in emerging economies, the triple tax idea, the commodity recovery, and how to improve Canadian justice.

We have long advocated that steadily increasing the tax on empty urban land is smarter tax policy than doing the same to developed land.

Paul Summerville • June 11, 2011

Gloomy tidings today.

Martin Wolf details the recovery risks in the global economy, Italy slides into irrelevance, Roger Cohen’s fearful world albeit written from Happy Montreal. China’s naming warning, Charlie Fell on stock markets and icebergs, and rethinking the Holocaust.

Also a light sentence for a whistler blower and rich summer reading ideas.

Martin Wolf details the bumpy patch that the developed economies have fallen into and warns against worrying about the wrong things.

Paul Summerville • May 13, 2011

Gee, did those guys at Goldman Sachs fib to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Investigations Subcommittee on Capitol Hill on April 27, 2010 in Washington, DC?

Read all about it.

Articles also about the global economy from ex-Goldman Sachs' chief economist, Jeremy Grantham’s warning about commodity prices, why Canadians play hockey tough, Samuel Brittan argues that policy makers are worrying about the wrong things, and the case for Greece and Portugal to exit the Euro.

Paul Summerville • May 7, 2011

The University of British Columba awarded an honorary degree recently to Harvard Professor Amartya Sen who was the recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. 

This gives us the welcome excuse to post two videos where among other things Sen discusses the message of Adam Smith’s political economy.

Paul Summerville • April 17, 2011

Articles on how underdogs win, how come nobody has gone to jail after the financial collapse of 2008, thoughts about inflation, how to manufacture personal morality, is hell dead, an interview with Christopher Hitchens, sports meltdowns and the 1999 British Open, and the end of dreams in Israel and Palestine.

We have remarked before that new disruptive technologies unexpectedly bring down huge, well established competitors. But this is only unexpected because it is easier to live in the present than imagine a different future, and often in the interest of established elites.

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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.