Smart Picks 07 September 2014

Why your local broker doesn’t stand a chance.

London Review of Books -- Be grateful for drizzle

The beams are infrared, which means you can’t see them, but lasers are now flashing stock-market data through the skies over New Jersey.

What I'm listening to. Mozart Horn Concerto Nr.3 KV.447 I.Allegro 

 

Nestles: Food and capitalism. 

Washington Post -- How climate change is affecting the world’s biggest food company

Cutting out half a child’s brain to keep him alive. 

Indianapolis Monthly -- The Boy with Half a Brain

Zionsville’s Jeff and Tiernae Buttars surrendered their son William to the most radical procedure in neurosurgery. The grim choice to remove a portion of his brain left everyone changed.

Hillary’s Diary. 

New York Review of Books – Hillary (Hard Choices)

The memoirs of Hillary Clinton have to be viewed, like their author, as a work in progress.

Quebec-style panic rising in the United Kingdom. 

Telegraph -- Ten days to save the Union with Scotland

Cameron and Brown join forces to persuade Scots to stay British as ‘Yes’ camp forges lead.

The rising risks of falling interest rates. 

Reuters -- Plosser, Fed's lone dissenter, warns again on risks of waiting to hike U.S. rates

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser, the loan dissenter at the Fed's July policy meeting, on Saturday continued his push for the U.S. central bank to change its language on monetary policy to reflect an improving economy and pave the way for a sooner-than-expected interest rate hike.

Beware. 

Prudent Bear -- Pondering the Summers of 2012 and 2014

The gulf between inflating global securities prices and deteriorating fundamental prospects widens by the week.

Cars, Karaoke, Sushi now Robotic restaurants. 

Harpers -- Lunch at the Robot Grill

What Japan’s automats portend for American restaurant chains.

Voiceful but powerless. 

The Walrus -- Mr. Weaver Goes to Victoria

A renowned climate scientist gets political.

LimeSpot 

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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.