Smart Links 27 October 2012

Commentary on the winners and losers of twenty years of a globalised economy, India’s woes, why Obama will win, remembering Stalingrad, Donald the mouth Trump and his critics, and Canada’s diminished democracy.

The richest one percent and the bottom 30% benefitted the most, and the poorest 5% and the upper middle class the least.

Globalist -- The Real Winners and Losers of Globalization  
The question of who has won and who has lost because of globalization has preoccupied economists for two decades.

Some reasons why India is falling behind.

Financial Times -- West should pay attention to India’s woes
Mention China at almost any meeting and you will trigger lively reactions, both optimistic and pessimistic.

Why the numbers favour a second term.

Daily Beast -- Robert Shrum: Why Obama Will Win
Was it all a bluff? As Mitt Romney’s ‘surge’ erodes, the Republican nominee’s campaign faces reality. Across the swing states, the polls show the president holds the advantage.

70 years ago this month the war in Europe began to turn at Stalingrad. We’re lucky it did.

Project Syndicate – Our Debt to Stalingrad
We are not newly created, innocent, rational, and reasonable beings. We are not created fresh in an unmarked Eden under a new sun.



The insane politics of the US of A.

Dumb Donald and the counter offer.

Huffington Post -- Donald Trump Offers $5 Million For Obama's College Transcripts, Passport
Donald Trump's big "announcement" dropped Wednesday, when the real estate mogul offered $5 million for President Barack Obama to reveal his college transcripts and passport application. Trump, however, refuses to show his own records.

Colbert Offers Trump $1 Million Thanks to David of London.

President Obama on Donald Trump - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
President Obama jokes about his childhood with Donald Trump.

The damage done.
National Post -- Semblance of normalcy disguises democratic rot in Ottawa
Is Canadian democracy sick?


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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.