Smart Links 30 June 2012

Commentary on the Chief Justice’s decision, good news from Europe, and Jeff Simpson is tired of the state debate.

Did Obama win the battle but lose the war?

Real Clear Politics -- The Chief Justice's Gambit
In 1803, the chief justice of the United States had a problem.


Washington Times -- WOLF: Only the voters can save America now
Washington has broken with concept of self-governance.

And the shame of it.

National Post -- A Canadian perspective on America’s ideological civil war over health care
To Canadian eyes, America’s ideological war over health policy — which came to a climax in today’s 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court victory for Obamacare — can appear bizarre.

Quote worth noting.

“Can Americans still afford to entertain 18th-century political reveries when 50-million of their countrymen lack health insurance in the world of 2012?”

Now it is up to the voters.

Economist -- A clean bill of health
JUNE 28th was a day of reckoning for the most important law of Barack Obama’s presidency, and for the president himself.

Meanwhile back in Europe.

Financial Times -- Europe agrees crisis-fighting measures
Eurozone leaders agreed to radically restructure Spain’s €100bn bank recapitalisation plan during all-night talks at an EU summit that ended in the early hours of Friday.

Is there another way to frame this debate? (ed’s note – yes, twinning the virtues of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity by recognising that the state has a vital bridging role).

Globe and Mail -- The debate over the state is getting stale
The 2008 recession remains with us, economically and politically.

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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.