Smart Links 12 September 2012

Commentary on why men fail, the debt blob, why QE doesn’t work, the fatwa and Rushdie, sorting our gene junk, and women in politics in Canada.

Mars can’t change.

New York Times -- Why Men Fail
You’re probably aware of the basic trends. The financial rewards to education have increased over the past few decades, but men failed to get the memo.


Atlantic -- The End of Men
Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history.

Bad sushi and bad debt both need to get flushed.

Survive and Prosper -- A Decade of Volatility
Demographics is really simple and really powerful.  Age 46 is the important number in demographics. 


Pdf below -- The Geopolitics of Aging

How quantitative easing perpetuates inequality and reduces the appetite for risk.

Financial Times -- For true stimulus, Fed should drop QE3
Unsatisfied by the pace of the US recovery, the Federal Reserve seems set to launch a new round of quantitative easing. Well, the Fed can print all the money it wants – but it cannot dictate where it will go.

Financial Times -- Bernanke risks creating a liquidity trap
The Federal Reserve should stop trying to engineer lower long-term interest rates. Further efforts to manipulate the yield curve by driving interest rates lower runs too great a risk of leading us into a “liquidity trap” similar to the one that has plagued Japan.

Salman Rushdie. Was his fate in his name? Rush to Die.

New Yorker -- The Disappeared
How the fatwa changed a writer’s life.

Gene therapy.

Telegraph -- 'Junk DNA’ and the mystery of mankind’s missing genes
Research into the bulk of DNA has found that it is anything but surplus to requirements.

Today’s meme.

Globe and Mail – Rise of Women in Canadian Politics is Unmistakeable and Unstoppable
When Pauline Marois is sworn in as premier of Quebec next week, 49 per cent of Canada’s population will be served by women premiers. How cool is that?


The Geopolitics of Aging.pdf1.22 MB
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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.