Smart Picks 15 September 2014

North American Neverland. 

New York Times – The Death of Adulthood in American Culture

Sometime this spring, during the first half of the final season of “Mad Men,” the popular pastime of watching the show — recapping episodes, tripping over spoilers, trading notes on the flawless production design, quibbling about historical details and debating big themes — segued into a parlor game of reading signs of its hero’s almost universally anticipated demise.

What I'm listening to. Amy Winehouse - Fuck Me Pumps  

From the economy – and how its organized – culture springs. 

Salon -- The “death of adulthood” is really just capitalism at work

Here's what A.O. Scott's lamentation about adulthood in pop culture misses: our economic transformation.

Worth noting: “In that sense the death of adulthood is just another name for the fabled “crisis of masculinity” we’ve been hearing about for 30 years or longer, in which men often feel that their power has been undermined by ball-busting feminists when what’s really happening is that their economic role has changed and they don’t know what the hell to do about it.”

Sad, sad, sad, sad. 

Rolling Stone -- Amy Winehouse Statue Unveiled in London on Late Singer's Birthday

Life-size bronze sculpture features signature beehive hair and live red rose.

Amy Winehouse - Glastonbury 2008 

Amy Winehouse -- Help Yourself 

Tom Jones -- Help Yourself 

Good feminism, bad feminism. 
 

The crisis of “bad feminism” is worse than you think. Enough with the dangerous think pieces about whether we can like catcalls or heels or botox and still be feminists.

Editor's note: Isn't feminism simply 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?

Related. 

New Republic -- Feminism Has Conquered the Culture. Now Comes the Hard Part

A debate on this unprecedented opportunity.

Oliver on Scotland. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Scottish Independence

Scotland is about to vote on whether to secede from the UK.

There are solid arguments on both sides.

But none of that makes bagpipes good to listen to…or does it?

Scott’s seeds of Scottish heritage. 

National Post -- What would Sir Walter Scott do? Both sides of debate lay claim to author who helped forge Scottish identity

A poll Friday suggested two thirds of voters in the south of Scotland intend to vote “No” in this week’s independence referendum.

Packing the wagons. 

This is Money -- Banks get fast track out if Scotland goes it alone: Treasury expected to create new rules for firms desperate to flee to the South

The Treasury is poised to bring in rules to allow banks and insurers to fast-track moves south of the border if Scotland votes for independence.

Related. 

Daily Beast -- Up to a Point: A Free Scotland Would Be a Hilarious Disaster

An independent Scotland would be a catastrophe as a country. But it would also be very entertaining for reporters like P.J. O’Rourke.

The Scot most North Americans no best. 

25 great fat bastard quotes

A war by any other name is … 

The New Yorker -- The Name of the Fight

Mr. President, everybody is asking in this country, are we or are we not at war?” a reporter asked Harry Truman at a White House press conference on June 29, 1950. It was a reasonable question: two days earlier, in response to a swift, unexpected advance of North Korean troops, Truman had ordered American forces to South Korea.

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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.