Smart Links 12 March 2013

Commentary on the carbon tax, disconnected, why hip surgery may become deadly, cross cultural management, where angels fear to tread, and how the Conservative Party keeps conservatives confused.

What I’m listening to today.

Concerto in C major for two trumpets RV 537: Allegro (third mvt.) by Vivaldi

Smart and efficient.

Real Clear Markets -- The Tax Favored By Most Economists
Looking for a public policy that would improve the operation of the economy, lower our dependence on foreign oil, reduce pollution, slow global warming, allow cuts in government spending, and decrease the long-term deficit?

More on markets up, economy down.

Telegraph -- Sputtering global economy belies stock market boom
Asia's economic recovery is losing momentum and Europe's slump is proving deeper than expected, raising concerns that soaring stock markets globally have jumped ahead of economic reality.

The antibiotics crisis.

London Review of Books -- The Antibiotics Problem
When Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, said that antibiotic resistance is a ‘ticking time-bomb’, that it could mean a return to 19th-century treatments for infection, and that as a threat it ranks alongside terrorism, she made sure her message was heeded and that Volume Two of her Annual Report would be noticed.

The art of cross cultural management.

Financial Times -- Skills for global business
When Doug Baillie first walked into his Mumbai office as the chief executive of Hindustan Lever in 2006, he knew he would be closely watched.


New York Times -- The Professor, the Bikini Model and the Suitcase Full of Trouble
A world-renowned physicist meets a gorgeous model online. They plan their perfect life together.
But first, she asks, would he be so kind as to deliver a special package to her?

Both sides of the mouth.

National Post -- Manning Conference -- how long conservative movement can keep from tearing itself apart
Cognitive dissonance is a term from psychology describing the state of mind of a person who holds two contradictory beliefs at the same time.

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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.