Smart Links 10 July 2011

Articles today on a special art exhibition on China, Jerusalem’s divide, art discovery, the slow grind of post-tsunami reconstruction, John Mauldin’s riff on America’s persistent employment problem, the Republican’s shameful economics, Africa’s IT boom, bad market news, and two important women.

Ken of Tokyo/London encourages anyone in London, England to visit the art exhibition Lost in Transformation.

BBC – Reflecting China’s One Child Generation
It is a fitting motif for an exhibition in London entitled Lost in Transformation.

A different art show.

New York Review of Books – Two Marches, Two Futures for Jerusalem
One of the oddities of life in Jerusalem is that everyone knows where the future border will run between the Palestinian East and the Israeli West—despite the tiresome insistence of the Israeli government that the city will never again be divided.



London Review of Books – Is Palestine Next?
No one in the Arab world was watching the news more closely than the Palestinians during the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.

New discovery.

The Hindu -- The provenance of the temple treasure
Several kings of the Travancore dynasty, from Anizhom Thirunal Marthanda Varma (regnal years 1729 to 1758 CE) to Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma who passed away in 1991, would have contributed handsomely to the treasures that have been discovered at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram, say scholars knowledgeable about the history of the dynasty and the royal family.

Playgrounds to garbage dumps. Thanks to Jeremy of Tokyo.

New York Times -- In Tsunami-Torn City, Seaside Playgrounds Become Debris Dumps
There is still a traffic jam these days along Hama Kaido, the two-lane road that parallels this city’s former coastal playground for miles.


New York Times – This Time, Japan’s Gloom Runs Deeper
TRADERS here are fond of joking that no one has lost money betting against Japan since the collapse of the bubble economy of the 1980s.

Winston Churchill famously listened to mainstream economists when he put the United Kingdom back on the gold standard in 1925 as chancellor of the exchequer an act of economic foolishness that doomed the British economy to a deflationary implosion (like Greece today). John Mauldin details the line that President Obama – a lawyer – was given by economists about employment, has this doomed his Presidency?

Pdf below: What Happened to the Jobs?


New York Review of Books – How FDR Did It
For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves.

The Economist gives the Republicans a swift kick in the pants.

Economist – Shame on Them
IN THREE weeks, if there is no political deal, the American government will go into default.


Africa’s information economy.

Africa Renewal Magazine -- Africa’s rising
information economy
For 48 long hours employees of Senegal's National Telecommunications Company cut telephone and Internet connections to the rest of the world.

And in the ‘lousy way to start a week of trading’ category.

Financial Times – China Inflation Hits Three Year High
China’s consumer price inflation accelerated to its fastest pace in three years in June, propelled by soaring food prices.


Financial Times – US Budget Talks Stall Over Tax Dispute
Republicans in Congress on Saturday pulled out of talks over an ambitious plan to cut US deficits by $4,000bn over 10 years because of the party’s opposition to new tax rises sought by Democrats.

Michele Bachelet.

Financial Times – Lunch with the FT: Michele Bachelet
Michelle Bachelet fled Chile in the 1970s after being imprisoned by the Pinochet regime.

Betty Ford.

Financial Times – Obituary: Betty Ford
Betty Ford, who has died at the age of 93, did not exactly break the American First Lady mould but she certainly dented it with her forthright opinions in the 2 ½ years she inhabited the White House and in her private life afterwards.

"It will pass."

What Happened to the Jobs?.pdf561.51 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.