Smart Links 26 July 2012

Commentary on the opportunities from global migration, Spain’s downward spiral, avoiding taxes, Indian partition, and another big baseball contract.

21st century global migration offers great benefits to those countries smart enough to take advantage. (ed’s note: Miami is the city with the world’s highest foreign born population (51%), Toronto is fourth (45%), Vancouver is seventh (39%).

Project Syndicate -- Europe’s Immigration Challenge
Europe faces an immigration predicament.

Blood rushes in where angels fear to tread.

Telegraph -- A heaving bust can make fools out of the brightest of men
The respected scientist Paul Frampton held in an Argentine jail on suspicion of smuggling cocaine is not the first clever chap to act like the class dunce over a glamour puss.

Spain down the drain.

Telegraph -- Eurozone danger mounts as Spain spins out of control
Spain is battling to avert a fully-fledged sovereign rescue after borrowing costs spiralled out of control, with dangerous knock-on effects in Italy and Eastern Europe.

Ok if it’s in cash or offshore?

Guardian -- Forget plumbers. Forget shaming individuals. Tax avoidance is systemic
An economy has been allowed to develop under which a global elite can stockpile wealth away from the scrutiny of regulators.

The strange and sad impact of Ghandi and Nehru on the partition of India.

London Review of Books -- Why Partition?
By 1945, the era of Gandhi was over, and that of Nehru had begun.

Son, learn to pitch.

Globe and Mail -- Phillies give Cole Hamels, $144-million, 6-year deal
Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a $144-million, six-year contract that prevents the 2008 World Series MVP from becoming a free agent after the season, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.






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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.