Smart Links 05 December 2012

Commentary on taking the fiscal plunge, Canada’s provincial nominee programme, Beveridge’s shadow, the danger of settling old scores, the French economy buckles, when will history happen, and the strong Canadian dollar's positive impact on the economy.

Go ahead, make my day.

Los Angeles Times -- 'Fiscal cliff'? Let's take the plunge
The U.S. deficit and debt will fall, Social Security and Medicare will go on unharmed, and we'll go back to tax rates that worked better than the current ones.

US immigration critics look north.

Reason – What Canada Can Teach the U.S. About Immigration
America's neighbors to the north point the way to economically rational immigration reforms.

The foundation of the modern welfare state.

Financial Times -- The allies who moulded the welfare state
The Beveridge Report, widely regarded as the founding document of Britain’s welfare state, was released 70 years ago this week.

Zhenxing zhonghua!

Globe and Mail – The Dark Side of the Great Renewal: Chinese Nationalism
China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, has issued a call for action to realize “the cause of national rejuvenation,” which he describes as “the greatest dream for the Chinese nation in modern history.”


Project Syndicate – The New Shape of China’s Economy
China’s leadership transition attracted global attention in 2012, and deservedly so, given the country’s global significance.

Mon Dieu!

Telegraph -- French economy buckles as car sales collapse
France’s industrial woes deepened last month as car sales crashed 19pc and French brands lost market share at a dramatic pace, raising fears of a serious economic crisis next year once austerity hits.

Doomsayer Prudential Bear waiting for financial Armageddon.

Prudent Bear -- Ready For Year-End Fiscal Cliff Drama?
It’s imperative to constantly test one’s thesis – in my case, an unconventional view of the world of finance, the markets and the global economy. 

Why David Rosenberg is bullish on Canada.

Financial Post -- Why I am bullish on Canada
Canada’s currency is the heart of a renaissance underway in business capital spending.

The Agenda with Steve Paikin – The Currency Market

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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.