Smart Picks 26 September 2012

Commentary on Abu Hanza’s new home for justice, bubble life, slowdown in the global economy has David Rosenberg worried, NEETed, US civility threatened, and Stephen Harper’s democratic deficit.

Going elsewhere for justice.

Independent -- The extradition that changes the game
The court ruling that settled Abu Hamza's fate has raised concerns for the rights of others fighting to be tried in Britain.

Living the bubble.

politico -- The Bubble Candidate
“What happened to the governor bubble?” my 78-year-old mom asked me, a hint of sadness in her voice, on a trip through the airport security lines this year after I was term-limited from office.

David’s worried.

zero hedge -- David Rosenberg On The 'One-Trick Pony Market'
Global economic fundamentals are awful, bearish divergences are occurring everywhere, investor sentiment is nearing bullish extremes, political risks remain high and last week's market performance can be summed up in four words - 'lack of follow through'.

The terrible state of not working for Europe’s youth.

Thomson Reuters -- Young and out of work – graphic of the day
Youth unemployment has hit hardest in the south of Europe, but the north is not immune. Significantly, substantial numbers of young people are not in employment, education or training (known as NEET). Today’s graphic breaks down the unemployment & NEET rate for each European country.


Metro News -- Canada's youth largely working or learning
Economic turmoil may have been pushing young people out of the workforce and sidelining them from their educational goals, but a report from the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development suggests Canada’s youth are faring better than most.

Nice neighbours, nasty politics.

Economist -- There goes the neighbourhood
Our new Lexington worries about the consequences of uncivil politics in a civil country.

Allan Gregg, Jeff Simpson and now Lawrence Martin on the Prime Minister’s Orwellian mendacity and democratic deceit.

Globe and Mail – Our New Normal: The Mockery of Democracy
Allan Gregg, the veteran pollster and commentator, caused a bit of a stir recently when, in a speech at Carleton University, he accused the Harper government of making an Orwellian assault on democracy and reason.

Allan Gregg – 1984 in 2012 – The Assault on Reason
In his novel 1984, George Orwell paints a portrait of a nightmarish future where rights that we now take for granted – the freedom of assembly, speech and to trial – have all been suspended.

Globe and Mail – Case of Conservative’s Carbon Amnesia
The Conservative Party’s attack machine, with its television ads, canned speeches and pre-written scripts, has always been constructed on exaggeration tinged with mendacity.


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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.