Smart Links 05 March 2013

Commentary on record breaking corporate profits, sticks and stones, countdown to suicide, population density, why same sex marriage is founded on conservative values, Ireland’s perilous recovery, and another advocate for a guaranteed annual income.

Good analysis, silly premise. (ed’s note – how exactly do corporate profits ‘eat up’ an economy?)

Atlantic -- Corporate Profits Are Eating the Economy
Here are two things that are true about the economy today.

How nasty comments change points of view.

New York Times -- This Story Stinks
In the beginning, the technology gods created the Internet and saw that it was good.

The other side of Aaron Swartz.

New Yorker -- Requiem for a Dream
Aaron Swartz was brilliant and beloved. But the people who knew him best saw a darker side.

A new way to look at population density.

Economist -- Demography is density
Why some places are even more crowded than ordinarily thought.

Japan rolls the dice making inflation.

Financial Times -- Japan’s monetary upheaval arrives
Haruhiko Kuroda is now expected to deliver inflation.

Keeping the state at bay.

New York Daily News -- The conservative case for gay marriage
The right's opposition actually works against traditional values.

The last shoe has yet to fall.

Telegraph -- Brave Ireland is the poster-child of EMU cruelty and folly
Ireland has done everything demanded by the EU’s creditor powers, and seemingly survived.


Time Colonist -- Grasp the nettle of guaranteed income
It has been brought to my attention recently that, like any querulous columnist, I’m good at pointing out problems, but lack the courage to suggest solutions.


“Conservative Senator Hugh Segal is a persistent champion of a guaranteed annual income. University of Victoria economist Paul Summerville supports it as a “Canadian citizenship wage,” which recognizes that citizenship carries both rights and obligations.” 

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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.