Smart Links 05 May 2012

Commentary on need for France to change direction, the myth of America’s accidental empire, Europe’s confidence deficit, the gap between productivity and compensation, and the two-state solution is dead.

What cannot continue cannot.

Financial Times -- Stop fretting about a French revolution
France’s presidential election has offered a glimpse of Europe in revolutionary mood.

Related. Plus la meme chose, plus c'est la même chose.

Economist -- The rather dangerous Monsieur Hollande
The Socialist who is likely to be the next French president would be bad for his country and Europe.

Not accidental.

Globalist -- Is The United States An Accidental Empire?
The United States was born out of a struggle against an imperial power.


This Time We’re on Your Side: Be Patient
President Polk’s impatience with dealing with Mexico led his administration to cut a deal with the British to extend the Canadian-America border along the 49th parallel and under Vancouver Island. Had he waited Canada may not even have extended to the Pacific Ocean).

Deutsche Bank argues that what Europe needs is confidence.

Pdf below – Growth Versus Austerity In Euroland

Study that argues income inequality is being driven by the inability of labour to bargain increased productivity into a similar rise in compensation.

Pdf below -- The Wedges Between Productivity and Median Compensation Growth

Explaining America’s penchant for bloodbath killings. Thanks to David of London.

Spectator -- Slaughter in Pennsylvania
It was what the psychiatric services, with commendable understatement, often call a ‘special’ murder: obscure in its motive, repugnant in its selection of vulnerable and powerless victims, excessively brutal in its denouement.

The two state solution has been suffocated. Thanks to Tony of Victoria. -- Gwynne Dyer: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict after the “peace process”
The Oslo Accords, signed in 1993, were supposed to lead, through a “peace process”, to the final solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: two sovereign states living side by side in peace.


Project Syndicate -- Put Palestine First
Not long ago, a Dutch journalist interviewed me about the Iranian nuclear question.

Growth_versus_austerity_in_euroland.pdf290.13 KB
The Wedges Between Productivity and Meidian Compensation Growth.pdf363.63 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.