Paul Summerville • mars 14, 2016

What I’m listening to.

Toccata per Spinettina e Violino

A long time brewing.

Project Syndicate -- The Politics of Anger

Perhaps the only surprising thing about the populist backlash that has overwhelmed the politics of many advanced democracies is that it has taken so long. 

Trump’s import.

Paul Summerville • septembre 21, 2014

A ‘Mosquito Theorem’ and how it helped fight malaria. 

Aeon -- The calculus of contagion

In the battle against disease, the difference between a raging epidemic and a passing fever comes down to a single number.

Paul Summerville • septembre 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 • janvier 15, 2013

Commentary on the slow death of the two state solution, the perils of the sunk cost, how do you say smog in Mandarian, weak France, the importance of the sacred, and speaking of sacred hockey's new players in Canada.

Where is this going to lead? Thanks to Ken of Tokyo/Hong Kong.

Paul Summerville • décembre 22, 2012

Commentary on John Boehner’s GOP fracture, the Economist’s 9 charts, a burst of cartooning creativity, final book in Manchester’s Churchill trilogy, why city dwellers overestimate the amount of time it takes to walk somewhere, the end of the two state solution, Mayor Bloomberg on managing guns, and a fiscal cliff bump for Canada.

“B” didn’t stand for brilliant but ‘busted’.

Paul Summerville • septembre 29, 2012

Commentary on silly lines, a silly leader, a silly candidate, a silly stereotype, silly promises, smart Ike, and a silly rant. -- Netanyahu's red line isn't getting him anywhere
Without firing a shot, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has achieved remarkable results in his efforts to counter Iran's nuclear program.


Paul Summerville • juin 11, 2012

Commentary on inequality’s dangers, a different path, what if China accepted immigrants, Japan`s `Western` citizens, economic sabotage, more China slowdown proof, Israel at risk, and the Liberals need to say what needs to be said.

‘Of the 1%, for the 1%, by the 1%’.

Paul Summerville • mai 4, 2012

Commentary on need for France to change direction, the myth of America’s accidental empire, Europe’s confidence deficit, the gap between productivity and compensation, and the two-state solution is dead.

What cannot continue cannot.

Financial Times -- Stop fretting about a French revolution
France’s presidential election has offered a glimpse of Europe in revolutionary mood.

Paul Summerville • avril 8, 2012

Commentary on the terrible tension in the Middle East.

Time has (almost) run out.

Paul Summerville • avril 4, 2012

Commentary on Israel, the economic principle that underlies the individual mandate, Nutraloaf and life in an American prison, Canada and Russia, James Grant on the Fed, a guide to spring cleaning, and Bob Rae takes the gloves off.

So it goes.

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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.