Smart Picks 25 September 2014

Sick doctors. 

Wall Street Journal -- Why Doctors Are Sick of Their Profession

American physicians are increasingly unhappy with their once-vaunted profession, and that malaise is bad for their patients.

What I’m listening to. Paul Taffanel- Andante pastoral et Scherzettino (Andante pastoral) 



Pottery Barn. 

Mother Jones -- A Former Diplomat Explains Why Our Third War In Iraq Is Doomed

I wanted to offer a wry chuckle before we headed into the heavy stuff about Iraq, so I tried to start this article with a suitably ironic formulation.

It was 100 years ago around now. 

Telegraph -- Edward Bonham Carter: The forgotten financial crisis of 1914 has parallels 100 years on

Recent years can be compared with a forgotten crisis. Edward Bonham Carter looks back to when his own great grandfather was prime minister.

Manage that cash flow. 

Tech Crunch – The Long Fall

Bearish talk in the tech industry of an overinflated bubble is the new cause célèbre.

Part of the reason for unequal outcomes, a very, very good thing. 

Real Clear Markets -- Why the CEO Earns Much More Than You Do

I first met Joel Trammell in the spring of 2003. Trammell and his wife Cathy Fulton had started NetQoS, an Austin, Texas-based technology firm in the late ‘90s, and the nascent start-up had already successfully weathered the sick-inducing economic downturn of 2001-2002 that had followed the horrors of 9/11.


Telegraph -- Woman secretly films life under Isil in Raqqa, Syria

Watch scenes of daily life in Raqqa, the Syrian city controlled by Islamic State militants since March 2013, captured covertly by a student.

Editor’s note: Yes, the Facebook moment is ironic.

A smart tax fights back. 

Financial Times -- Property: Land of opportunity

To its advocates, land value tax has almost magical powers. Has its moment finally come?

China, a new world order, and memories of 1895-1914. 

Economist -- Pax Sinica

China is trying to build a new world order, starting in Asia.

Two years ago, another new world order. 

Project Syndicate -- The Congress of Vienna Revisited

Two hundred years ago, on September 25, 1814, Russia’s Czar Alexander I and Friedrich Wilhelm III, the King of Prussia, were greeted at the gates of Vienna by Austria’s Emperor Franz I.

World History Online Lecture #3: The Congress of Vienna 

Why ‘we’? 

New York Times -- The Ebola Fiasco

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is a tragedy.

Personalization hits and misses. 

New York Times -- Making Adjustments in the Search for the Perfect News Feed

PEOPLE who frequent social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have come to rely on the news feed as a crucial filter that sifts through news, personal stories, trends and facts on their behalf.


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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.