Smart Links 11 February 2013
Commentary on why China’s political system works (and liberal-democracy is failing), US trading short term politically motived cuts for smarter long term entitlement cuts, Nordic entrepreneurial energy, parts of the world are getting better for animals and bad diet.
This really is the other side of the debate.
Foreign Affairs -- The Life of the Party: The Post-Democratic Future Begins in China
In the next decade, China will continue to rise, not fade. Its leaders will consolidate the one-party model and, in the process, challenge the West’s smug certainty about political development and the inevitable march toward electoral democracy.
New York Times -- In China, a Vast Chasm Between the Rich and the Rest
The passing coal miners in remote Shaanxi Province took one look at our marooned Audi and walked on, leaving us stuck on the sleet-covered mountain road.
New Yorker -- U.S. Fiscal Policy is Upside Down
Reading through the new budget outlook from the Congressional Budget Office, which was released on Tuesday, three figures made the biggest impression on me: 1.4 per cent, 2.4 per cent, and 76 per cent.
Angry birds and more.
Economist -- If in doubt, innovate
The Nordic region is becoming a hothouse of entrepreneurship.
Do no harm.
Project Syndicate – A New Year of Hope For Animals
The moral progress of a society, it has often been said, can be judged by how it treats its weakest members.
National Post -- Poor diet on native reserves blamed for higher rate of severely overweight babies
First Nations mothers face a dramatically higher risk of giving birth to severely overweight babies than non-native Canadians, suggests a new study that sheds an unusual light on the health problems that plague many aboriginal communities.
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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©
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.