Paul Summerville • January 31, 2016


What I'm listening to.

Mozart -- Concerto for Flute and Harp K.299

The future may not be what it used to be.

Paul Summerville • September 6, 2014

Getting a different normal. 

New York Review of Books -- Failure in Gaza

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long ago become a shouting match over moral superiority.

Paul Summerville • April 9, 2012

Commentary on our universe without purpose, the captain matters, the Titanic’s hold on our imagination, cheater, dismantling the Euro, can India and Pakistan get along, son of Japanese war criminal and the POW his father tortured, and the 95th anniversary of Vimy Ridge.

A magical universe. (ed’s note  -- the purpose of course is what we put into it).

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 • March 23, 2012

Commentary on the Spanish problem, failing Pakistan, nasty Syria, Germany’s smart economy, Cuban capitalism, Obama vs. Romney’s tax plans compared, and the innovation budget.


Financial Times -- Spanish economy: Gathering gloom
Concerns are building about the country’s banks – and about its chances of avoiding a bailout.

Isolated and confused.

Paul Summerville • December 26, 2011

Commentary on the traditions behind the turkey, American banking, on being successful, angry young people in the Middle East and North Africa, Pakistan is bursting for change, and the case for an NDP landslide in the next provincial election in British Columbia.

Christmas traditions go back a long way. (ed’s note – some people in Oak Bay will wish we still shot a deer or two…). Thanks to David of London.

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 • September 23, 2011

Articles on important relationships, the keys to social success, and Palestine asks for statehood.

Pakistan and the United States.

Paul Summerville • August 2, 2011

Articles on US debt, China’s Pakistan problem, Russia being Russian, forgetting Keynes’ lesson, the night they got Bin Laden, election 2012, threatened by debt, closing schools for the deaf, and the NDP’s Quebec problem.

A mind boggling real time US national debt clock. Thanks to David of London for sending this in.

US Debt Clock


Take this neighbour and shove it.

Paul Summerville • July 16, 2011

Articles about going to war, the Rundown, sovereign debt bubble, how the high cost of university is scaring away students, the 200th anniversary celebrations are starting, why Pakistan hates India, Peter Singer on animal welfare, and Tiger’s money woes takes him back to Japan.

LBJ and the Vietnam decision. Thanks to Ken of Tokyo/Hong Kong.

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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.