Smart Picks 27 September 2014

Get out the hanger. 

New York Times -- A Mother in Jail for Helping Her Daughter Have an Abortion

On Sept. 12th, Jennifer Whalen, a 39-year-old mother of three in the rural town of Washingtonville, Pa., went to jail to begin serving a 9-to-18-month sentence.


What I’m listening to. Clarinet Quintet in A K581 1. Allegro (Mozart)

Delete me. 

New Yorker -- The Solace of Oblivion

In Europe, the right to be forgotten trumps the Internet.


New York Times -- Protecting Student Privacy in Online Learning

Schools are increasingly using online learning technology.

Marco came first. 

Telegraph -- Did Marco Polo discover America in 13th century?

Parchment maps suggest he set foot on Alaska two centuries before Columbus reached the Americas.

The genie, the bottle, the grievances.  

New York Times -- United Kingdom, Divided People

Last week, Scotland voted to reject independence and to remain part of the United Kingdom. Yet — oh, the irony! — the greatest impact of the vote may be the fomenting of an English nationalism and the greater fragmentation of the Union.

Leaving under much more than a cloud: bad performance, managerial unrest, and a US Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. 

Financial Times -- Bill Gross: Pelé of fixed income jumps to a new team

Bill Gross will be managing money at Janus Capital in a few days, and from the standpoint of Wall Street history, that is the equivalent of Pelé playing in the light blue uniform of Argentina or Margaret Thatcher waving the French flag.

Stand up straight, chest out. 

Economist -- The look of a leader

Getting to the top is as much to do with how you look as what you achieve.

Changeable world. 

Project Syndicate -- Grave New World

Global transformations are nothing new.

Beyond 75. 

Washington Post -- Why set a deadline on life?

Why set a deadline on life?


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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.