The State

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 • May 3, 2016

What I’m listening to. 

Die Zauberflöte, K. 620, Act II: O Isis und Osiris, welche Wonne!

Ian Buruma tiptoes through the anti-semitism controversy tearing the Labour Party apart.

Project Syndicate - Anti-Semitism from the Left

Paul Summerville • March 7, 2016

What I’m listening to. 

Oboe Concerto in C, K. 314  (reconstruction from Concerto K. 314/285d): III. Rondo (Allegretto)

The plea to let the state work.

The Atlantic -- The Real Cause of the Flint Crisis

America’s infrastructure was once the envy of the world, but in an era of government-bashing, it has been allowed to crumble.



Paul Summerville • February 21, 2016

What I’m listening to.

Carl Orff - Carmina Burana: O Fortuna

A good job is not enough to have a middle class life. What is required is a collective investment in justice, education, health and transportation. It’s time to recast the role of the state accordingly.

London Review of Books -- Robin Hood in a Time of Austerity

Paul Summerville • September 15, 2011

Articles on right sizing the state and related thoughts, France’s banks, the five stages of grief as it applies to global markets, the real economy at street level, Marx is back, European shell games, can China save us, and how to preserve French in Quebec.

The first step to an excellent future is to quantify the size of the state as a percentage of GDP.  Thanks to Richard of Victoria.

Paul Summerville • June 18, 2011

Articles on another wacky Japanese nuclear reactor, marching to the Euro zone end game, America’s foolish thinking on the state, the Vancouver riot, a cool commencement address, and sticky summer markets.

Meanwhile in Tsuruga.

Paul Summerville • May 31, 2011

For people of a certain generation Clockwork Orange burst onto the scene 40 years ago like a comet across the sky.

Malcolm McDowell talks about the impact of his role as Alex on his career.

Articles on inflation, Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear energy, Mexico’s drug war, Ian Buruma on genocide, Neil Reynolds on the ethics of the state, the war on metaphors, and evidence that justice isn’t blind.

Clockwork Orange 40 years on.

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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.