god, Piketty’s Europe, NHS Madness, There is Society, Vancouver Bubble, Japan’s Tiny Homes

What I’m listening to.

Telemann Suite in B flat," La Bourse", Tafelmusik

Please, stop invoking god to celebrate your good luck ... particularly when others die.

New York Times -- Sick and Tired of ‘God Bless America’

THE population of nonreligious Americans — including atheists, agnostics and those who call themselves “nothing in particular” — stands at an all-time high this election year. Americans who say religion is not important in their lives and who do not belong to a religious group, according to the Pew Research Center, have risen in numbers from an estimated 21 million in 2008 to more than 36 million now.

 

 

"O Canada! Our home and native land!

True patriot love in all of us sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,

The True North strong and free!

From far and wide, O Canada,

We stand on guard for thee.

God Let’s keep our land, glorious and free!

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee;

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee."

Piketty’s European prescription.

New York Review of Books -- A New Deal for Europe

The far right has surged in just a few years from 15 percent to 30 percent of the vote in France, and now has the support of up to 40 percent in a number of districts.

On the front lines.

London Review of Books -- Diary, Lana Spawls

Antidiuretic hormone, also known as vasopressin, is released when levels of water in the blood become too low – when you’re dehydrated. It tells the kidneys to reabsorb water back into the bloodstream. For a while this keeps you going: it was working overtime in my system when I found myself ten hours into a Saturday shift at the hospital, without a drink or a break since my breakfast cup of tea at home.

Thatcher was wrong.

Globe and Mail -- We need to discuss why Canadian culture is a public good.

The professional life of a cultural policy nerd is a lonely thing.

We beg to differ ...

Financial Times -- Thatcher was right – there is no ‘society’

Aid for the poor, or distressed regions, must come from the citizens of the country concerned.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.

Globe and Mail -- The real estate technique fuelling Vancouver's housing market

They had a deal.

(ed’s note -- this will end badly.)

Related.

Japan Times -- Lessons from when the bubble burst

The period between roughly 1985 and 1990 was a time of unparalleled prosperity in Japan. But it was also a gilded age defined by opulence, corruption, extravagance and waste. When the bubble economy years ended, Japan entered a prolonged slump from which it has yet to fully recover.

Also.

The Bubble Bubble.

Still.

Financial Times -- How Japan’s ‘jutaku’ houses squeeze creativity into small spaces

Tighter land plots are inspiring architects to come up with inventive home designs that could have wider influence.

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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.