Smart Links 05 April 2012

Commentary on China's bubbling politics and its military rise, raising awareness about autism, Euro zone fantasy, and plane crash.

Chinese questions and fears of a political upheaval.

Diplomat -- Signs of a New Tiananmen in China
Pervasive corruption, lawlessness among the ruling elites, and a sense of a loss of direction permeating all levels of Chinese society. The conditions for another Tiananmen may be there.

Quote worth noting.

“With soaring inequality, pervasive corruption, lawlessness among the ruling elites (as the Bo Xilai story has revealed), signs of division within the top hierarchy, and a sense of loss of direction permeating all levels of Chinese society, Chinese liberals, some of whom former political prisoners or blacklisted academics who can’t publish their works in the official media, may think that they have a new opportunity to push for democratic change.”


Financial Times -- So much for China’s year of doing nothing
This was supposed to be the year that nothing happened in China.


Economist -- Reimposing order
The authorities clamp down on rumours of political turbulence.


And it matters much more than in 1989.

Economist -- China’s military rise
There are ways to reduce the threat to stability that an emerging superpower poses.

In the United States one in 88 children have been diagnosed with autism. Autism Day.

Bloomberg -- Need for Autism Answers is Growing in Light of New Study
One in every 88 U.S. children has been diagnosed with autism or an autism-related disorder, according to a government report.


The euro zone cannot survive in its current form partly because it lacks labour mobility. Tick, tick, tick, tick ...

Project Syndicate -- A Centerless Euro Cannot Hold
With youth unemployment touching 50% in eurozone countries such as Spain and Greece, is a generation being sacrificed for the sake of a single currency that encompasses too diverse a group of countries to be sustainable?

Why it matters.

Telegraph -- Wolfson gurus see euro break-up as dangerous but liberating
A disorderly break-up of the euro would set off a cataclysmic chain-reaction and a collapse of Europe’s banking system, pushing the world into full-blown depression.

And the F35 debacle exposed. (ed’s note – looks like Peter Mackay will take the fall).

National Post -- F-35 debacle sees Canadians nearly played for fools
Thomas Mulcair’s question in the House of Commons got to the nub of the F-35 debacle. “Can the Prime Minister tell us who in his Cabinet is responsible for the F-35s?” asked the NDP leader.


National Post -- Peeling back the layers of misconduct in the F-35 fiasco
There are so many layers of misconduct in the F-35 affair that it is difficult to know where to start.


CBC -- The F-35 fiasco and Ottawa's culture of secrecy
The who-knew-what about the real costs of the F-35 fighter jet Canada wants to purchase is worrisome enough. But at the heart of the fiasco is a far more serious concern about what public honesty means to this government.


Impolitical -- Chart of F35 spending estimates


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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.