Smart Links 16 August 2011

Articles on the need for Eurobonds, being careful about Canada, Warren Buffett blows the whistle on ‘job creators’, Michael Lewis on where Germany’s head is at, a new role for Canada in the world, the dollar’s reserve status, is obesity a reason to take away a child, and travel notes.

Eurobonds or bust! Thanks to David of Victoria.

Pdf below  -- Outside the Box

Pride goeth before … Thanks to David of Toronto.

Canoe news -- Canada's debt: Fix the roof while the sun is out
How bad is Canada's debt?

Warren Buffett calls out America’s super rich. Thanks to David of Victoria.

Charlie Rose -- Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett discusses his New York Times Op-Ed piece 'Stop Coddling the Super-Rich' which calls on Congress to increase taxes on the Super-Rich like himself.

Michael Lewis gets it right again. Thanks to David of Victoria.

Pdf below -- It's The Economy, Dummkopf

Conrad Black on Canada’s new role. Thanks to David of London. (ed’s note – yes I have many good friends named David).

National Policy -- Conrad Black: A new role for Canada on the world stage
From time to time over the last five years in these pages, I have emphatically proclaimed the desirability of Canada playing a leading role in renovating most of the principal international institutions — in particular, the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, International Monetary Fund and the Organization of American States.

Is reserve still in the US dollar’s future?

Financial Times -- Time to question the dollar’s role as reserve
The international economy is due to “celebrate” the 40-year anniversary of the collapse of the Bretton Woods system of fixed-exchange rates.

Taking kids away.

Globe and Mail -- Is obesity cause for state intervention?
A recent commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested placing children with severe obesity under protective custody as an alternative to bariatric surgery.

Travel Notes – Two Pros

Great golf day.

Had a nine hole playing lesson with Darren Whitcher on the front nine at Windsor Park. We worked on hitting straight balls from 120 to 170 in and working on a fade from 180. Had a great conversation about the future of golf. Darren and his brother are leading edge thinkers in this country about where the future of golf needs to go.

Skipped over to the front nine at Rand Park to get in 18 holes and was paired with Michael Anthony who just returned from playing a bunch of tournaments on the Canadian tour including the tournament at the Uplands where I followed Thomas Petersson around.

Walking off the first tee I asked him if he wanted to play for something, and just as his eyebrows raised in anxious anticipation, I offered double the Victoria Golf Club Monday skins stakes to 5 Rand a hole – a buck – and taking his plus 3 with my 10 to get 13 strokes I got to play from the whites (6,300) while he played from the blacks (7,100).

I have never seen anyone hit the ball as far and as accurate as Michael. Both par fives he hit irons in on his second shot, the first ending up on middle of the green and the second 10 yards off the front.

He only (!) won four dollars that I paid for in Canadian dollars.

During the round I mentioned that I had my third hole-in-one just over three weeks ago and he remarked that he had none, but had seen two of three of his best mate's, and one of an ex-girlfriend.

Proof one again that a hole-in-one is 99.9% luck.

He kindly spent 15 minutes on my recently faltering putting stroke in the middle of his 3 hour practice session.

Super guy and I hope to see him in Victoria next year if not another round together before we head home. 

He could get there.

Outside the Box.pdf106.47 KB
It's The Economy, Dummkopf.pdf134.35 KB
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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.