Smart Links 15 December 2012

Commentary on printing money, differing points of view on Mervyn King, the battle against unions, chatting about religion, Japan’s 94 year old candidate, and fishing with Mark.

Printing money until the end of time.

Weekly Standard -- Printing Our Way Out of Debt
The fiscal cliff is a diversion, designed by politicians to conceal their inability to come to grips with the fact that they continue to spend too much, and refuse to reform a tax structure that reduces the competitiveness of US companies in world markets.

Worst and ok.

Stand Point – The Crank at the Bank
Although Sir Mervyn King has little more than six months left of his second term as Governor of the Bank of England, his intellectual evolution continues.

Telegraph -- Is this really the most disastrous Governor in the Bank of England's history?
Everyone is entitled to their opinion I suppose, but Tim Congdon's latest diatribe in Standpoint magazine against Sir Mervyn King as "the most disastrous governor in the Bank's history" is, even for Tim, a trifle over the top.


Montagu Norman

The neatly named ‘right to work’ campaign builds up a big head of steam.

Washington Post -- The Michigan watershed on right-to-work
Rick Snyder, who is hardly a human cactus, warned Michigan’s labor leaders.


David Roach (Morgan Stanley) -- Labour versus Capital


Richard Freeman (Harvard) -- Labour Market Imbalances: Shortages, or Surpluses, or Fish Stories? -- The case for labor unions in two graphs
These two charts show why labor unions matter. 


A conversation.

National Review -- Blasphemy and Islam
Our fundamental rights are under attack.

Of course this will become normal in about 30 years …

Japan Times -- Candidate, 94, taps funeral fund, runs for Lower House seat
A 94-year-old man who cashed in his funeral savings to use as an election deposit was out canvassing for votes Friday as the oldest candidate in Sunday's Lower House poll.

We dodged a bullet.

Globe and Mail – How the Liberal Party Lost Mark Carney
Mark Carney was cast as the perfect alternative to Justin Trudeau by a tight network of Liberals who pulled out all the stops last summer to attract the Bank of Canada governor into the Liberal leadership race.

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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.