Smart Links 03 November 2012

Commentary on the Economist endorsing Obama, Romney’s tall tales, income inequality, Wall Street dims, and justice denied in Alberta.

Welcome endorsement.

Economist -- Which one?
America could do better than Barack Obama; sadly, Mitt Romney does not fit the bill.

Related.

New York Times -- Romney Versus the Automakers
When General Motors tells a presidential campaign that it is engaging in “cynical campaign politics at its worst,” that’s a pretty good signal that the campaign has crossed a red line and ought to pull back.

Liar, liar pants on fire.

New York Times -- Liberty to Lie
This election may go down in history as the moment when truth and lies lost their honor and stigma, respectively.

Income inequality, the good and the bad. (ed’s note – education and investment not higher taxes and transfers).

Time -- What Should Be Done About Growing Inequality?
America is becoming more unequal economically, and most people find that disturbing.

Related.

Project Syndicate -- Hard Truths About Global Growth

The best and brightest may have to look elsewhere.

Financial Times -- Banking may lose its allure for the best and brightest
As UBS announced plans to chop 10,000 staff this week, many traders reacted with shock. Little wonder: during the past three decades, it might have seemed inconceivable that any bank could slash its workforce so far, so fast.

The first pillar of any successful society is equality under the law protected by a well-functioning justice system.

Globe and Mail – Alberta Family Stunned As Sex Assault Case Dismissed Because of Trial Delays
Alberta’s top prosecutor has launched an investigation after a judge dismissed a sexual assault case – one dating back to where the victim was just nine years old – because it took too long to go to trial.

 

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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.