Smart Picks -- 219 Yes 212 No, Getting Old, Rex's Riposte, Krugman's Folly, America's Doom, Hooked On Debt, Epigentics
The United States passes game changing health care legislation. Yes they could.
The price of getting old, why Chris Hitchens is a bad guy, why Paul Krugman is dangerous, why passing health care reform in the United States will doom America, the problem with debt, and the science of Epigentics.
It took about a century but the United States has changed the face of the country.
Congress gave final approval on Sunday to legislation that would provide medical coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and remake the nation’s health care system along the lines proposed by President Obama. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/22/health/policy/22health.html?ref=global-home
People are living longer and need to be cared for. Who should pay for it? The taxpayer, families, the elderly? Some thoughts from the United Kingdom.
A character created by the American writer Ring Lardner has a single response to difficult questions: '“Shut up!”, he explained.’ I was reminded of Lardner’s creation last week, because “Shut up!” is the answer given by the major political parties to anyone who asks how we will fund care for the elderly over the next 20 years. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/election-2010/7488515/Care-for-the-eldely-One-question-that-all-our-politicians-are-agreed-on.html
Special tax help for children helping their parents?
Why do parents get special perks in the workplace? They skive off for sports' days, get first dibs at Christmas and bag all the August holiday slots for up to five years in advance. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/comment/5842522/Comment-a-parent-in-a-care-home-costs-more-than-a-child-at-Eton.html
Rex Murphy lets Christopher Hitchens have it. I just wonder if Murphy would have been better off thinking through what the consistent inability of the Catholic Church to identify, remove and see prosecuted their employees who commit crimes means to their moral authority.
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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©
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.