Warlords, Worst Investment Calls, Naughty Donald, Nothing Rational About Economics

What I’m listening to.

Baroque Adagios

Gangsters really.

Independent -- Isis and the Taliban are brutally carving up modern Afghanistan

I have long nursed the suspicion that Taliban units, Isis and government militias are not fighting about religion or government at all, more about mafia power.

Opps.

Market Watch -- 5 worst investment calls of this century

The 21st century is well into its second decade, but it’s already had two stock market crashes, a global financial crisis and the Great Recession, from which we haven’t fully recovered. Not surprisingly, financial pundits and gurus have gotten many things wrong.

Trumpism.

New York Post -- Trump Was Out of Control in South Carolina Debate

Donald Trump was so awful, so horrible, so disgusting in the latest Republican debate — his lies, his distortions, his deceits, and his libels thicker and fouler than they’ve yet been—that he’s done us all a favour.

Buy more, save more.

Globe and Mail -- Canadian business jumping on the behavioural economics bandwagon

Visit the lunchroom at Google headquarters and you’ll witness behavioural economics in action.

Quote -- “What’s more, marketers know that people tend to follow the herd, so they label products as “most popular” or “top seller” to nudge people to jump on the bandwagon and make a purchase.” 

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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.