Smart Picks 06 September 2014

Getting a different normal. 

New York Review of Books -- Failure in Gaza

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long ago become a shouting match over moral superiority.

What I’m listening to.  Mozart Zaide K. 344

Meanwhile in the Ukraine. 

New Republic -- Ukraine's Ceasefire Will Fail. It's a Foregone Conclusion

Ukraine had given up on ceasefires.

Doctors and suicide. 

New York Times -- Why Do Doctors Commit Suicide?

TWO weeks ago, two medical residents, in their second month of residency training in different programs, jumped to their deaths in separate incidents in New York City.

War and fellowship. 

Spectator -- The forgotten flank of the forgotten corps of the Forgotten Army

A review of Another Man’s War, by Barnaby Phillips. A book about courage and friendship that transcends time, distance and race.

Related.

Lost Battalion 

A Pakistani playbook. 

London Review of Books – What’s Going On in Pakistan?

A trip through the dark corridors and political galleries suggests that what we are witnessing in Pakistan today – street demos in Lahore and Islamabad, attempts to seize the prime minister’s house, a token occupation of the state television building – is little more than a crude struggle for power between the incumbents (the two stooges otherwise known as the Sharif brothers) and a segment of the opposition led by Imran Khan and the forces unleashed by the Canadian-based ‘moderate’ Islamist cleric Tahirul Qadri, who controls a large network of madrassahs that were supported by the Sharifs and many others.

Multiculturalism and the UK 

Great Britain – [Straw] Poll: 95% of BBC Viewers Think Multiculturalism Has Failed

A whopping 95 percent of respondents to a BBC straw poll have said that they think multiculturalism in Britain is a failure. Thanks to David of London.

Trade baby trade. 

Brookings -- Why Trade Matters in Four Maps

"Strengthening America's economic security by cementing its economic alliances is not simply an option, but an imperative," writes Miriam Sapiro in a new policy paper on the economic and strategic rationales of "an ambitious domestic and global trade agenda" for the United States.

Rethinking university. 

Fortune -- Why college isn't for everyone, explained in a single chart

The bottom quarter of earners with a college degree don’t make more money than the average high school graduate. And this hasn’t really changed much in 40 years.

 

 

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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.