Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, Now Debt, US Jobless, Economic Fools, Pocketbook Politics, Media Bullies

What struck us about President Obama's comment on the death of Osama bin Laden was how matter-of-fact the whole process was.

Now its time to turn to the deficit and unemployment.

Articles on Bin Laden's assassination, US debt and unemployment, Greece and Spain, why economists are foolish, and the 41st Canadian Federal Election including Harper's bullying of the media and Jack's rise.

In a ‘where were you when you heard’ moment, the White House announces that Osama bin Laden is dead, and then the President tells the nation, in a manner reminiscent of a CEO talking about this quarter's earnings, how he managed the operation. That's why they call him 'No Drama Obama'.

New York Times – Bin Laden is Dead Says Obama
Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the most devastating attack on American soil in modern times and the most hunted man in the world, was killed in a firefight with United States forces in Pakistan, President Obama announced on Sunday night.



youtube -- Ding Dong the Wicked Witch is Dead

Now time to slay Osama’s real legacy, US debt.

Washington Post -- Running in the red: How the U.S., on the road to surplus, detoured to massive debt.
The nation’s unnerving descent into debt began a decade ago with a choice, not a crisis.

St. Louis Fed on America’s failing job market.

St. Louis Federal Reserve – Many Moving Parts
When the U.S. Congress amended the Federal Reserve Act in 1977, it essentially gave the Fed a dual mandate: to promote maximum sustainable employment and price stability.



Washington Post -- Bernanke Rolls the Dice On Unemployment
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke glided smoothly through his first regular news conference the other day - an event both remarkable and unremarkable.


Project Syndicate – Sleepwalking Through America’s Unemployment Crisis
It was relegated to the Q&A session, rather than featured prominently in the opening statement, at last week’s first-ever press conference of US Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Greek debt default gets closer by the day.

Financial Times – Greece: Hard to Hold the Line
Each evening, as darkness descends on Athens, police in riot gear wait in buses that line the side streets of the city centre. Some fidget with mobile phones, others stare into the night. What they are waiting for, nobody is sure. But everyone in the Greek capital agrees something could happen any time.



Wall Street Journal – Why Spain Won’t Be Next
With Portugal now under the European Union rescue umbrella, some influential commentators speculate that neighboring Spain will soon be the fourth nation to ask for a financial bailout.

The 10 reasons why economists got, get, and will get it wrong.

Big Picture – Uh-h: Is Schiller Defending the Failures of Economists?
Was it the hammers or the carpenters?

Quote worth quoting.

“Schiller tries to (diplomatically) argue we can prevent future crises if only we had better econometric tools. I would counter that future crises could be avoided if only we had less economists who were fools."


New York Times – Needed: A Crystal Ball
THERE were relatively few persuasive warnings during the 1920s that the Great Depression was on its way, and few argued convincingly during the last decade that the most recent economic crisis was near.

What the polls say.

ipolitics -- Last thoughts  and numbers from Election 41
As we conclude Campaign 41 and await the public judgment, a few final comments.


How Jack did it.

Chronicle Herald -- Layton took page from Dexter’s book
When historians try to figure out how the NDP achieved what looks sure to be an unprecedented breakthrough today, they should look at Darrell Dexter’s speech at the NDP national convention in Halifax in August 2009, says federal leader Jack Layton.


John Ivison wonders why the Prime Minister feels the need to intimidate the press with his supporters. Hmmmm?

National Post -- John Ivison: Why are Harper supporters heckling the media?
Stephen Harper is a bit like Alexander Keith’s beer — those who like him, like him a lot.

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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.