Debt Pile, US Taxes and Money, Better In, Trudeau’s Pragmatic Path, New Flashpoint, Renting in London, Lean Out


Clive Branson, from Bombed Women and Searchlights (1940), Tate Britain.

What I’m listening to. (ed’s note -- our next neighbourhood choir)

Dario Castello: Sonata Seconda

James Grant’s Broken Record ...

Time -- The United States of Insolvency

$13,903,107,629,266. Can the nation afford this much debt?

Why the US doesn’t need taxes.

Forbes -- The U.S. Tax System Is An Admission Of Failure

Tax day is right now, April 18 it turns out, not the 15th as usual. 

Def.: “Money is that commodity that is readily exchangeable for any other commodity.” 

Better inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.

Project Syndicate -- A British Bridge for a Divided Europe

The European Union has never been very popular in Britain. It joined late, and its voters will be asked on June 23 whether they want to leave early. The referendum’s outcome will not be legally binding on the government; but it is inconceivable that Britain will stay if the public’s verdict is to quit.

"We govern for all Canadians."

National Post -- Michael Den Tandt: Liberals’ pragmatism makes opposition’s job tougher

The two main opposition parties are in a tricky spot — and not just because each faces a protracted leadership void. The Trudeau government appears to be finding its footing, much as Stephen Harper’s first government did a decade ago, by paying attention to sentiment beyond the Ottawa bubble.

The new ecoonomy.

Boston Globe -- Uber for MBAs is a worrying sign

In a brick-and-beam former warehouse in Boston’s Fort Point Channel neighborhood, Rob Biederman and Patrick Petitti are building an online network that could change how white-collar work gets done.


Nikkei News Digest -- Turmoil in the Sulu Sea points to trouble ahead

The grainy screen shot of a group of defiant gunmen holding guns and knives to the throats of Western hostages looks like something out of northern Syria or Iraq, but the backdrop of dense tropical foliage places this grim scene in Southeast Asia. As the U.S. and China limber up for a sparring match in the seas around the Philippines, it is worth highlighting a more immediate flashpoint of conflict nestled among a string of islands within striking distance of Indonesia and Malaysia.

Sulu Sea

This, of course, is what we did.

Financial Times -- London’s super-rich turn to renting

The UK’s “generation rent” may be priced out of home ownership, but renting is also on the rise among a very different group: London’s super-rich.

Downtown day care is part of the solution.

The Times -- The industry where women are still being short-changed

Financial services is a dinosaur when it comes to equality of pay and opportunity, 

Quote -- “[To be successful in finance women need] the skin of a rhinoceros but look like an angel.” 

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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.