Smart Links 12 May 2012

Commentary on Greece exiting the Euro, economic smoke and mirrors, taxing churches, and shifting choice in Canada`s immigration strategy.

Greixt.

Financial Times -- Greece is falling out of Europe
The people of Greece have rejected austerity.

Related.

Economist -- Europe’s Achilles heel
Amid growing risk of a Greek exit, the euro zone has yet to face up to the task of saving the single currency itself.

The real reasons behind the malaise in the economy.

Foreign Affairs -- The True Lessons of the Recession
According to the conventional interpretation of the global economic recession, growth has ground to a halt in the West because demand has collapsed, a casualty of the massive amount of debt accumulated before the crisis. Households and countries are not spending because they can't borrow the funds to do so, and the best way to revive growth, the argument goes, is to find ways to get the money flowing again.

Related.

London Review of Books -- Forgive us our debts
Most analysts divide postwar capitalism into two periods. The first extends from the late 1940s into the 1970s.

Time to tax?

Independent -- Diary: Chancellor in ungodly row over stealth tax on churches
Amid the furore about the granny tax, the tax breaks for the rich, and VAT on pasties the church tax concealed in George Osborne's Budget has been rather overlooked.

Letting companies help choose who comes to Canada.

Globe and Mail -- Let the job market choose our immigrants
Since the early 1980s, Canada’s immigration selection policies have focused on the principal applicant’s highest educational achievements and language skills, explicitly to ensure that immigrants would be suitable for employment and economically successful once they arrived.

 

 

 


 

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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.