Penis Size, BC’s Carbon Tax, Japan’s Broken Links, UK QE Report Card, Money’s Meaning, ‘Gam Vegam’

What I’m listening to. 

Symphony No. 9 ~ Beethoven

Can substance trump style?

New York Times -- Five Big Questions After Vulgar Republican Debate

 I’m not being cheeky. I’m not being shocking.

Canadians always like it when Americans notice us, this time it’s for something very important.

New York Times -- Does a Carbon Tax Work? Ask British Columbia

In 2008, the British Columbia Liberal Party, which confoundingly leans right, introduced a tax on the carbon emissions of businesses and families, cars and trucks, factories and homes across the province.

The negative interest experiment is having interesting causalities.

Financial Times -- Japanese monetary firepower misses the mark

The Japan Post Bank saga shows that governments are being tipped into an Alice in Wonderland world.

Seven years on and the Bank of England’s monetary experiment has produced some real winners.

Telegraph -- How QE Affected Your Wealth

The effects of emergency measures deployed by the Bank of England to fight the financial crisis are well known  - soaring asset prices and crashing savings rates - but it is fascinating to see the detail on the exact impact.

Difficult read but important critique of the breakdown of what money is.

Real Clear Markets -- The World Will Catch On To Money, Long Before Central Bankers

Somehow I came to find in my possession a $1 coin with William Henry Harrison's image stamped on its front. While there is some fixation on the $20 bill, specifically the presidential image on that one, Harrison seems at least innocuous compared to the others that have achieved and delivered far more for their time in that office.

(ed’s note -- new financial technologies have dis-intermediated physical currency.)

New game?

Washington Post -- The Middle East's Jagged Puzzle Pieces

Asked to describe the current shape of the Middle East, a visiting Israeli official uses a Hebrew expression, gam vegam, which translates roughly to: "It's going in both directions at once." 

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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.