Smart Links 16 June 2012

Commentary on the end of the Arctic, the BP energy bible, US fiscal cliff, avoiding a bad European marriage, Europe’s liquidity problem, what prices are rising in the US, and Justin.

The melting away of the Arctic. Thanks to Charley of Toronto.

Economist -- The vanishing north
There are benefits in the melting of the Arctic, but the risks are much greater.

Quote worth noting.

“[S]ince the 1970s the sea ice has retreated by around 12% each decade. Last year the summer minimum was 4.33m square km (1.67m square miles)—almost half the average for the 1960s.”


The 61st BP's annual Statistical Energy Review. The energy bible.

Pdf below -- BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2012


A potential 5% hit to the US economy from baked in fiscal restraint plus uncertainty.

Economist – Greg Ip on the Fiscal Cliff

Beware prophets of monetary union. (ed’s note – Canada dodged the Sherry Cooper bullet…)

New York Times – This Separate Isle
THE United Kingdom turned out to be a good European by not joining the euro zone.

A very technical presentation of the liquidity problem facing Europe and the risks it poses. Thanks to Andrew of Singapore.

Pdf below – Is the Euro Crisis Over?

US inflation.

The Trudeau question.

Winnipeg Free Press -- Waiting for Trudeau: Liberal leadership drama revolves around his indecision
The federal Liberal leadership drama has gone from What About Bob? to Waiting for Trudeau.

Cartoon Justin

BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2012.pdf8.41 MB
Is The Euro Crisis Over.pdf359.92 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.