Ron’s Blackberry, Bronte, Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn, Squeezing the Hermit, Trump’s Bad Week, Canada’s Debt Bomb

What I’m listening to.

Selections from Livre d'airs et de simphonies meslés de quelques fragmens d'opéra

Blackberry.

Times -- Ronnie Corbett, RIP

Diminutive comedian who delighted millions of television viewers with his armchair monologues as one half of The Two Ronnies.

My Blackberry Is Not Working! 

Getting ready to go.

Times -- EXHIBITION: Charlotte Brontë and her taste of London life

Fiona Wilson is enchanted by a show charting the Yorkshire author’s five visits to the capital during her career.

Europe, divided Conservatives, and the Corbyn moment.

Telegraph -- If David Cameron can't stop the Tory fighting he'll clear Jeremy Corbyn's path to Downing Street

It seems a long time ago, and I have long forgotten the issue tearing apart the 1922 Committee, but the rancorous debate had gone on far too long when Rear Admiral Morgan Giles stood up to speak for the first and only time in that assembly.  

Getting welfare right.

Financial Times -- The welfare state is a piggy bank for life

Distribution of income over lifetimes matters at least as much as among individuals.

Has China finally had enough of North Korea?


New York Times -- Is China’s Policy Toward North Korea Changing?

President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China are scheduled to meet privately today as world leaders gather in Washington to discuss nuclear security. 

Donnie on abortion: yes, no , yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no ...

Washington Post -- Donald Trump picked a terrible time to have his worst week of the presidential race

Donald Trump's timing in the 2016 presidential campaign has been impeccable.

Hmmm ...

Globe and Mail -- The inevitable debt crisis Canada’s not talking about

A recent review has singled out Canada, along with six others, as the most indebted countries in the world. Our inclusion in this list isn’t based on government (public) debt, the type that gets all the attention at federal budget time, but private-sector debt that accumulates year after year and hides in plain sight. 

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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.