The haves and have-yachts
What I’m listening to.
Don’t shoot the successful, emulate and then tax them fairly.
‘It would be far better to work out what makes these businesses so successful, and how we might create more like them.’
(eds. note: A great friend of mine, late thirties, hard worker, earning a little north of $100K complained that the $85 million paycheck that the head of Blackberry took home in 2014 was ‘disgusting’. ‘Not at all’, I replied, ‘it is wonderful, what is disgusting is the effective tax rate that he likely paid on his total income.’)
One inequality prescription.
London School of Economics: Inequality: What can be done?
‘Anthony Atkinson occupies a unique place among economists.’
Economist -- Mind the gap
At the end of last month I interviewed the godfather of inequality research, Sir Anthony Atkinson, for The Independent to coincide with the publication of his new book “Inequality: What can be done?”.
China’s imperial ambition.
‘In the 18th and 19th centuries, the sun famously never set on the British empire.’
‘You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!’ Leo Amery/Oliver Cromwell
‘Trying to save Greece has become an exercise in the absurd. Greece is near-enough bankrupt. Most Greeks know that. It can never repay its debts, no matter how many deals with creditors are pulled out of a hat.’
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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.