Smart Links 05 September 2012

Commentary on the lack of progressives in the US election, the Fed’s unconventional dance to continue, the death Moon Sun-myung, East Asia blues, and why they choose Canada.

The special interests dominate.

The Globalist -- Where Have All the Progressives Gone?  
The upcoming U.S. presidential election is expected to be as decisive for the future of the United States as the one in 1932, which launched Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, or the one in 1912, at the height of the Progressive Era. Lawrence Lessig, author of "Republic, Lost," laments that when it comes to ending the corrupting influence of special interests, there are no true progressives among today's candidates.

More tinkering.

Financial Times -- Fed ready for further experimental easing
How should investors react to Ben Bernanke’s much-anticipated speech last Friday at the annual Jackson Hole Symposium of central bankers?


Ben Bernanke – Monetary Policy Since the Onset of the Crisis

Moonie man.

Economist -- A Moon in full
WHETHER the average Korean liked it or not, Moon Sun-myung was one of the country’s most famous sons to venture overseas.

Big countries bump heads in the seas in East Asia. What’s next?

Project Syndicate -- Asian Nationalism at Sea
Will war break out in the seas of East Asia?

Why Canada. (ed’s note – statement not question)

Globe and Mail – Why Highly Educated Immigrant Parents Chose Canada
Making friends won’t be easy for Aayushmaan Rana on his first day of school.

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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.