Middle East

Paul Summerville • May 17, 2016

Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo, from Mary Magdalene 1535-40, The National Gallery

What I’m listening to. 

Jacquet de la Guerre: Harpsichord Suite No.5 in D minor

Change is best from within.

Economist - The breakdown of Arab states: The war within

Paul Summerville • April 3, 2016

What I’m listening to. 

Mozart -- Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, K. 39: I. Allegro Spiritoso

New voices.

Project Syndicate -- When Things Fall Apart

All over the world today, there is a sense of the end of an era, a deep foreboding about the disintegration of previously stable societies.


Paul Summerville • March 4, 2016

What I’m listening to. 

Symphony No. 9 ~ Beethoven

Can substance trump style?

New York Times -- Five Big Questions After Vulgar Republican Debate

 I’m not being cheeky. I’m not being shocking.

Paul Summerville • September 22, 2014

Human beings are social animals that make choices; and that is why solitary confinement is so devastating to the brain. 

Paul Summerville • February 15, 2013

Commentary on China’s port expansion in the Indian Ocean, America’s Middle East retreat, the weak sterling, the case for drones, the bullet that missed FDR, silly Jack and Canada's vulnerable housing market.

Pearl-like ports.

Paul Summerville • February 14, 2013

Commentary on the price of free speech, Japan’s big bet, the peace plan, how memory works, Photoshop moments, and the US climate change villain.

Danish hero. Thanks to David of London.

Spectator -- 'I may be killed if I write this’
Lars Hedegaard, founder of Denmark’s Free Press Society, speaks from a secret location after an attempt on his life.


Paul Summerville • November 30, 2012

Commentary on Middle East oil consumption, the brave new world of capital preservation, Americans pay less tax today than in 1980, Egypt back to an Iranian future, the pigeons are coming home to roost in Japan, geographical distance and technological diffusion, and the Liberal leadership race should be about what exactly.

Generous fuel subsidies are resulting in a surprising trend in the Middle East, on the road to being oil importers.

Paul Summerville • May 21, 2012

Commentary on Chinese bourgeois rulers, the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, why US 10-year bond yields can go to 1%, why free trade creates inequality for just a while, and our Queen.

Will the control of the economy by the state spark a revolution in China? (ed’s note – those deeply entrenched vested interests)

Paul Summerville • November 25, 2011

Commentary on how Greek works, Da Vinci’s geology, the troubled Middle East, and Harper’s dangerous road.

Bad habits matter.

London Review of Books – The Greeks Get What They Deserve
Voula is a smart district of Athens for rich citizens who want to live by the sea.

Leonardo da Vinci knew a thing or two about geology.

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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.