Calling for Help, MinCom, Inheritance Taxes, Trumpolini, Looking North, Closed Minds, London Cooling

What I’m listening to. 

Johann Strauss II - On the Beautiful Blue Danube, Op. 314

“Excuse me how can I fix this?”

Globe and Mail -- Troubleshooting the malfunctioning Republican Party

As has been noted in many quarters now, American politics seems to be broken. What’s less documented are the increasingly urgent attempts to repair it.



Testing a guaranteed minimum income again.

Winnipeg CTV -- Winnipeg MP Wants Minimum Income Tested

The case for inheritance taxes.

Broadbent Institute -- Large Inheritances, Wealth Inequality, and Real Equality of Opportunity

Thomas Piketty argues in his recent bestseller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, that capitalism has a natural tendency towards ever increasing concentration of wealth, and that inheritances play a major role in perpetuating and increasing inequality. While wealth inequality is much lower than in the late Victorian “Gilded Age”, we are headed in the wrong direction.

What a Trump Presidency might mean.

Ezra Klein -- Donald Trump's rise is a scary moment in American politics

The Northern Option

New York Times -- Fleeing Trump (or Clinton): Look Out, Canada, Here They Come

The online outbursts have become customary during presidential election cycles: “I’m moving to Canada!”

(ed’s note: the NYTimes is overbalancing adding Clinton to the story, anyone who wanted to leave to escape Democratic Socialism would have left during the Obama Presidency and they wouldn’t have moved to Canada!)

Not a place for learning.

Project Syndicate -- The Closing of the Academic Mind

I would wager that I have been Chancellor of more universities than anyone alive today. 

Surely a good thing.

Financial Times -- Buying agents dwindle as London’s prime property market cools

Numbers decline as demand for homes costing more than £1m slows sharply.


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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.