Paul Summerville • May 17, 2016

Van Gogh, The Pieta’ after Delacroix 1889 Delacroix Exhibition National Gallery

What I’m listening to. 

Portuguese Brass - "Adagio" from Easter Oratorio (J.S. BACH)

47% of Americans would need to borrow $400 in case of an emergency. That’s an emergency.

The Atlantic - The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans

Paul Summerville • April 16, 2016

What I’m listening to. (ed’s note -- our local neighbourhood choir)

Advent Hymn: Conditor alme siderum

Paul Summerville • November 10, 2012

Commentary on the liberal frame for multicultural living, ping pong democracy, how the Obama team got the numbers game right, 4 strikes against the GOP, and weird science.

The five principles of modern, multicultural living: inclusion, clarity, consistency, firmness, and liberality.

Liberalism and plurality requires a moral core to survive.

'More people, in more countries, in more countries accept more common values' are proof of a moral human universe.

Paul Summerville • March 25, 2012

Commentary on China’s trade deficit, freedom for some, 21st Century Liberals, failing grade, why global Conservatives go with Obama, expensive oil, home politics, and once again a potential pillar of the Canadian economy is gobbled up.

Demographics and consumption are turning China’s trade surplus into a deficit.

Paul Summerville • August 26, 2010

English historian Tony Judt's final interview with Charlie Rose is about many things among them hard truths about living and dying but at the heart it is about a life lived and examined passionately. The physical prison that Judt spent the last 18 months of his life reminds us of the cost and consequences of jailing too many people for profit.

Paul Summerville • May 11, 2010

Moral hazard and a public sector bloated with entitlement has come charging through the door opened by the attempt to use the state to create best in class education, health, community and economic outcomes. It is the duty of Liberals to speak to this sad consequence of a century of liberalism and design simple solutions to fix it.
Robert Samuelson puts his finger on the problem.

What we're seeing in Greece is the death spiral of the welfare state.

Paul Summerville • February 24, 2010

The global economy remains a patchwork of growth, stagnation, and despair. Articles on how difficult it will be for monetary and fiscal authorities to shift from public support of the economy, the coming equity and debt apocalypse, and musing on a bankrupt Britain. Taiwan and China, Israel and Palestine remain mired in a history that complicates reconciliation, history's fangs. Better to stay away from their bite.

Paul Summerville • October 18, 2012

Earlier CEF highlighted an important lead article by the Economist, The New Progressivism.

I took the book proposal for Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes and Equality of Opportunity and editing it down to the 5,000 characters allowed posted it as a comment.

Paul Summerville • January 11, 2010

Samuel Brittain has a useful re-look at liberalism that ultimately argues that there are places where the state has zero right to be. They include a mandatory draft, banning smoking areas, and foreign exchange restrictions to prevent foreign travel.

It is far too early to pick up the pieces and reconstruct either mainstream economics or the free market version of it after the debacle of the past two years. It is not, however, too early to restate some liberal values that need to be preserved whatever technical changes are made in the conduct of economic policy.

Paul Summerville • January 11, 2010

France is moving towards banning the burka (burqa) and there is a few articles of interest this morning. My view, at least as far as Canada is concerned, is that the burka should not be banned.

The National Post lays out the case against a ban.

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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.