Social Justice

Paul Summerville • October 8, 2012

Commentary on budgets and morality, nuns on a bus, cheap Chinese stocks, and Toronto the Great (really?).

What we spend public money on says much about who we are.

Washington Post -- The campaign’s moral hole
Does our presidential campaign lack a moral core?


Nuns on the Bus

Paul Summerville • July 8, 2011

Articles on Canada’s exit from Afghanistan, the flotilla activists, the benefits of affordable health care, two books about the navy, why China will not rule the 21st century, the Wabisabi Times, how wars end, doubts about Chinese banks, the limits of American meritocracy, and Tom Flanagan clarifies the Clarity Act.

Au revoir. Thanks to David of London.

Paul Summerville • November 28, 2010
Paul Summerville • November 28, 2010

Chart link

Perhaps the absence of the mind numbing media coverage that typified Copenhagen and the rush of politicians that crave the stage means that there might actually be some progress, however quiet.

Since finding any compromise between the advanced polluters and the advancing polluters failed so spectacularly at Copenhagen a year ago there have been two important developments in the climate change file.

Paul Summerville • November 26, 2010
Paul Summerville • November 26, 2010

Politicians say weird things because in private they travel in circles of people who believe the same strange stuff; saying so is comfortable, almost an intellectual reflex.

So Howard Flight, British conservative soon-to-be peer, briefly lifted the lid off the 'what rich people say in private' box about poor people having kids, leaving poor David Cameron scrambling to cover up.

Paul Summerville • November 15, 2010

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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.