Smart Links 07 March 2013

Commentary on the public service of free blogs, an inflation adjusted DOW doesn’t look so good, Uncle Joe re-examined, rules bound, indestructible capitalism, and suffocating an island.

Tell me about it.

Slate -- People Writing for Free on the Internet Is an Enormous Boon to Society
Nate Thayer, writing for free at his eponymous blog, has a post up detailing the way he received an offer to write something for free for the Atlantic and declined to do it.


The pernicious impact of inflation.


Austin Powers - 100 billion dollars
Dr Evil's moneterily chalenged plan to extort the world.

Sifting through history.

New York Review of Books -- Could Stalin Have Been Stopped?
What was once Roosevelt Square (in Hungarian: Roosevelt tér) near the left-bank entrance to the glorious old Chain Bridge across the Danube River in Budapest has been recently renamed.

The power of rules. Thanks to David of London.

Daily Mail -- Charity worker drowned after firemen refused to wade in due to health and safety rules
A charity worker drowned in a 3ft deep lake when a policeman and a paramedic were ordered not to try to rescue him.

Hard to keep capitalism down. (ed’s – essential to successful societies, like oxygen no?)

London Review of Books -- Resistance Is Surrender
One of the clearest lessons of the last few decades is that capitalism is indestructible.

Why isn’t the ferry service treated the same way as roads?

Times Colonist -- Ferry fare hike expected to push up food costs for Island
Expect increases in the price of food and everything else trucked to the Island after B.C. Ferries raises fares by an average of 4.1 per cent on April 1.


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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.