Smart Links 16 August 2012

Commentary on getting more international students to Canada, the helping hand, and Greek’s little revenge on Germany.

While on the surface a really good idea, absent strategies to reduce undergraduate class sizes this looks like a cash cow given the difference in tuitions for international students. Also the strategy needs to be part of an aggressive immigration strategy that gives permanent resident to graduates.

Globe and Mail -- Report urges Canada to double down on foreign students to fuel innovation
Canada should double the number of international students studying here by 2022, a new report commissioned by the federal government says.

International Education: A Key Driver of Canada’s Future Prosperity

Paul Ryan forgets the visible hand of society.

New Yorker -- Paul Ryan’s Father, and Al Smith’s
One day in November, 1886, a man named Alfred Smith died in lower Manhattan, near the South Street Seaport.


“It was a tough time for our family, and Social Security was there to help us when we needed the help.” -- Paul Ryan

More on why Romney chose Ryan.

New York Magazine -- The Ryan Pick: Why Romney Changed to Obama’s Game

I like work.

Financial Times -- Why I work on my summer holiday
Writing in the Financial Times last month, Robert and Edward Skidelsky lamented that we should all work less and enjoy life more.

The perils of the shipping industry and Greek’s revenge.

Telegraph -- World shipping crisis threatens German dominance as Greeks win long game
Germany’s shipping industry faces a wave of bankruptcies over coming months as funding dries up and deepening economic woes across the world cause a sharp contraction in container trade.

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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.