Smart Links 16 February 2013

Commentary on lots of money and slow growth, the new truth, Elizabeth Warren schools the bank regulators, the baby panic, the problem with self-regulation, and catching a terrorist.

The great 21st century quandary.

Washington Post -- Awash in liquidity, the global economy remains sluggish
There’s plenty of money in the world. That’s the good news.


“But the ultimate aim — strong and self-sustaining growth in the world’s core industrial economies — remains out of reach, and analysts are wondering whether central banks are at the limits of what they can do to help.”

Make it up, say it first, say it often.

New York Times -- Hearsay Economics
Jonathan Chait is boggled by Joe Scarborough’s latest rant. (Dear Jon: I am not “prickly”: I’m aggressive and annoying.


Pay attention.

Political Wire -- Warren Schools the Bank Regulators
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) had her first hearing as a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and put on quite a performance. It's worth watching.

How to get women to have more children, make opportunity to have children part of the 21st expectations (and economic needs) of most women.

Globe and Mail – Why Governments Can’t Buy Babies Anymore
So, what would it take to persuade you to have another baby?

Related. -- An inconvenient truth
Continued stalemate in peace process helps Palestinians reach their goal of demographic superiority.

Milton Friedman was wrong.

Financial Times -- Horsemeat scandal is subprime cut
Supermarkets should exercise more vigilance over suppliers.

Spy games.

National Post – Death of a master terrorist: How the ‘Iranian Jackal’ was killed
On the fifth anniversary of the assassination of Imad Mughniyah, a.k.a. “The Iranian Jackal,” much new information about the hunt for the terrorist most wanted by Mossad and the FBI has emerged.


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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.