Smart Links 09 January 2013

Commentary on India’s 100% club, cutting upper middle class child support, peeling back the layers of welfare, Japan ups defence spending, and not idle about revenue sharing.

The 100% club and you only need to be female to be a member.

Independent -- Every woman in India is likely to have experienced some sexual harassment
You learn to not make eye contact with men, to avoid crowds, and to shield yourself with scarves and bags.

Economist – Rape and murder in Delhi
A horrible attack could prove a turning point for India’s women.

The Cameron government cuts a sacred entitlement.

Telegraph -- What a relief! The madness of child benefit for all ends today
It makes no sense for the affluent middle classes to be showered with taxpayers’ cash.

From the frontlines.

Guardian -- Child benefit cuts will hit the wrong people in the wrong way
As a single mother earning more than £50,000 I'm not against reform of universal benefits, but cuts must be applied fairly.


The complicated problem of welfare reform.

Financial Times -- Britain’s two gambles in welfare reform
Prospects for the planned reshaping of benefits do not look rosy.

Getting ready. (ed’s note – Japan spends about 1% of GDP on defence, China about 2%). 

Japan Times -- ¥180 billion in extra defense outlays eyed
Senkaku, North Korea concerns fuel 'emergency' budget addition.

Bowie’s back.

Economist -- The return of David Bowie
Golden years?

David Bowie -- Where Are We Now?

Davie Bowie -- Rebel, Rebel

Resources and revenues.

National Post -- Theresa Spence’s hunger strike obscures the key First Nations issue: resource revenue sharing
There is hope for the future of relations between natives and non-natives in Canada.

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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.