Smart Links 04 May 2012

Commentary on the ugly meter, US energy independence and Canada, the Euro dilemma explained, debating deflation, food fear, and Shaw's food bank drive.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Los Angeles Times -- Daum: Beauty in the eye of the app
The urge to judge -- someone's face or their way of life -- has become less a transitory impulse than a way of life.


Cabaret -- If you could see her through my eyes

The great Chinese moral vacuum.

Financial Times -- A blind prophet speaks of trouble in China
The idea of a blind seer is not new. In ancient Greece, Tiresias, the blind prophet of Thebes, warned Oedipus he would end up killing his father and sleeping with his mother.

TD Economics makes a big guess at what rising US energy independence will mean for Canada. (ed’s note: how do you spell pipeline to Asia).

Pdf below -- Rising US Energy Independence and Canada

European partners. Thanks to David of London.

A few thoughts on deflation. (ed’s note – rapid credit growth is a very bad thing and has been allowed to persist because of the wealth it created was defended as the market always being ‘right’).

Economist -- Jim Grant and the Gold Standard
EVEN if you don't agree with any of it, it is worth reading Jim Grant's entertaining speech to the New York Federal Reserve about the gold standard. 


Financial Times -- Our central bankers are intellectually bankrupt
The financial crisis has fully exposed the intellectual bankruptcy of the world’s central bankers.

The history of our fear of food. Thanks to Katherine of Toronto. -- Book review: Fear of Food
When Bill Clinton was rushed to hospital complaining of chest pains on Feb. 11, 2010, the press reflexively recalled his hedonistic dietary past: the burgers, the barbecue, the cinnamon rolls.

Related. Thanks to David of Victoria.

youtube -- Shaw Fill the Food Banks 2012
Help Fill the Food Banks just by watching this video and sharing it on Facebook and Twitter.


Rising US Energy Independence and Canada.pdf688.38 KB
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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.