Making a Better ‘Remain’ Case, Japan’s Debt Crisis, Stairway from Heaven, Fuerdai BC Bound, Merkel’s Jive Moves

What I’m listening to. 

Gluck - Orfeo ed Euridice - Dance of the Blessed Spirits

Why ‘remainers’ need to make a better economic case.

Financial Times -- Britain’s pro-Europe campaigners are losing the argument

The main economic factors in favour of EU are not trade, but research, science and innovation policy


Economist -- The economic consequences

Most estimates of lost income are small, but the risk of bigger losses is large.


Project Syndicate -- Brexit and the Balance of Power

Britain joined what became the European Union in 1973. This year, on June 23, it will hold a referendum on whether to leave. Should it?

The question: 

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

Two answer option: Remain a member of the European Union or Leave the European Union.

Japan’s slippery slope to oblivion.

Telegraph -- Olivier Blanchard eyes ugly 'end game' for Japan on debt spiral

Japan is heading for a full-blown solvency crisis as the country runs out of local investors and may ultimately be forced to inflate away its debt in a desperate end-game, one of the world’s most influential economists has warned.

Quote -- ‘“If and when US hedge funds become the marginal Japanese debt, they are going to ask for a substantial spread,” [Olivier Blanchard, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund] told the Telegraph, speaking at the Ambrosetti forum of world policy-makers on Lake Como. Analysts say this would transform the country’s debt dynamics and kill the illusion of solvency, possibly in a sudden, non-linear fashion.’

Oh no.

Times -- Led Zeppelin face court over Stairway to Heaven

It is one of the most famous riffs in rock history but could the opening chords toStairway to Heaven have been plagiarised?

Vancouver bound.

New York Times -- Chinese Scions’ Song: My Daddy’s Rich and My Lamborghini’s Good-Looking

Andy Guo, an 18-year-old Chinese immigrant, loves driving his red Lamborghini Huracán. He does not love having to share the car with his twin brother, Anky.

Monitoring 70,000 people in the UK has paid enormous benefits.

Economist -- Birth-cohort studies: Lifelong learning

UNKNOWN to the vast majority of the population, a small group of British 70-year-olds has shaped the health and well-being of everyone in Britain for their whole lives. 

Quote -- “But the sad message that has emerged from the studies, from the birth of the 1946 cohort to the present day, is that being born poor remains a huge source of risk to health and well-being. While it is possible to triumph over adversity (reading for pleasure as a child, for example, predicts better outcomes later in life, whatever the socioeconomic status of your parents) the odds are stacked against some people from before they are even born. For all the subjects’ influence on public policy, this has hardly changed in the half-century since the first published study from the 1946 group.


London Review of Books -- Scenario for a Wonderful Tomorrow

Europe is falling apart, destroyed by its most devoted fans, the Germans. 


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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.