Smart Links 10 August 2012

Commentary on changing inflation expectations, understanding the Japanese automotive market, even the BBC succumbs to jingoism, is election 2012 about a women’s place, and Harper's trouble with Nexen.

Until the Fed raises inflation expectations the economy is doomed to slow growth.

Economist -- The Way Forward
I'VE been moaning all summer about the world's central bankers, twiddling their thumbs while disaster looms.


Project Syndicate – How Long for Low Interest Rates?
How long can today’s record-low, major-currency interest rates persist?

A good summary of the past, present and possible future of the Japanese auto market. Thanks to Ken of Tokyo/Hong Kong.

Pdf below – The Trans Pacific Partnership and Japan

We’re flipping wonderful.

Financial Times -- A rather too British Broadcasting Corp
There are many claims to the title of Britain’s national sport: cricket, soccer, grumbling about the weather and now, perhaps even cycling.

Living in Poland pre-1989.

London Review of Books -- How It Felt to Be There
In a few weeks, all going well, I will get to see my Polish file.

The wedge issue: women.

Los Angeles Times -- Women, white people: Is that what campaign 2012 is coming down to?
President Obama appeals to women by pushing the issue of access to contraceptives, while Mitt Romney accuses him of watering down welfare reform — an issue that tends to stir up feelings about race among whites.

Harper’s hard choices.

Toronto Sun -- Feds wrestle with China's oilsands takeover
Prime Minister Stephen Harper huddled with his top cabinet ministers for more than four hours on Parliament Hill Wednesday to talk about a state-owned Chinese company's proposed takeover of an Alberta oilpatch giant.






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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.