Smart Links 13 June 2012

Commentary on the mistaken belief that bonds are safe, problem with economics, as unions decline inequality deepens, Cameron moves away from Europe, more confusion in India, education revolution in Britain, and the LA Kings win the cup.

Sell bonds, buy equities.

Financial Times -- Bond buyers should be mindful of history
Equities entail less risk than ‘haven’ investments.

Rethinking economics.

Stumbling and Mumbling -- What's wrong with economics?
My defence of economics has posed the question: what, then, is wrong with economics?

The problem with declining union power. (ed’s note – one view anyway)

The New Yorker -- America’s Class War
Barney Frank and Ed Rendell are right.

David Cameron and the decision to back away from Europe.

Financial Times -- Cameron bids Europe a Churchillian goodbye
The wheel is turning full circle.

India stuck.

Economist -- India's slowdown
Stopping the spiral.

A little less emphasis on self-esteem.

Independent -- At last! In Michael Gove, we have an Education Secretary who believes in Education
Over decades, our state education has been systematically dismantled.

Some redemption for Vancouver but now there is one less team that has never won (there are twelve) and one less that has not won in over 40 years (Maple Leafs, Blues, Sabres ) …

Globe and Mail -- Kings win Stanley Cup
Nineteen years ago, or the only other time they were close to winning a Stanley Cup, the Los Angeles Kings were undone by a legendary penalty - to Marty McSorley, for using an illegal stick.

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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.