Democracy

Paul Summerville • February 11, 2013

Commentary on why China’s political system works (and liberal-democracy is failing), US trading short term politically motived cuts for smarter long term entitlement cuts, Nordic entrepreneurial energy, parts of the world are getting better for animals and bad diet.

This really is the other side of the debate.

 

Paul Summerville • February 2, 2013

Commentary on unions in the US and Canada, talking politics, abortion debate in the US and Canada divides, interest rates low markets go high, very old art, and Ignatieff on the perils of the concentration of power.

It’s different up here.

Bloomberg -- The Real Reason for the Decline of American Unions
Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual summary of unionization in the U.S.

Paul Summerville • January 27, 2013

Commentary on the mind-body problem, the world’s biggest housing bubble, currency wars, the future of democracy in the West, human plague, reigning in central banks, and I’m Canadian not hyphenated.

I think therefore ...

Paul Summerville • October 26, 2012

Commentary on the winners and losers of twenty years of a globalised economy, India’s woes, why Obama will win, remembering Stalingrad, Donald the mouth Trump and his critics, and Canada’s diminished democracy.

The richest one percent and the bottom 30% benefitted the most, and the poorest 5% and the upper middle class the least.

Paul Summerville • April 10, 2012

Commentary on our interesting times, different economies in one, thoughts on simplifying the US tax code, background to a lousy market, Macbeth banned in Thailand, are politics polarising again, and what the government has to do in Canada to restore some faith in itself.

Much to fret about.

Paul Summerville • April 2, 2012

Commentary on the damage the US Supreme Court may inflict on Congress, Canada’s fiscal history, time to lift the sanctions, is there a golfer that can challenge Tiger, cherry blossom time in Japan, Scary Depp, and why are taxpayers dishing out money to ex-Bay Street economists to make public policy.

The end of Congress.

Paul Summerville • March 19, 2012

Commentary on different ways to think about the global economic crisis, unleashing the market, what could Obama have done differently, the benefits of bilingualism, funding partisan politics, and trashing Bob.

Crisis what crisis? (ed’s note – societies that supress economic outcomes or fail to create intergenerational mobility will find themselves in crisis).

Paul Summerville • February 21, 2012

Commentary on a German-centric Euro, beware a bond market bust, closing down the internet, the case for austerity, navigating democracy in the Middle East and North Africa, and big government conservatism.

Financial Times -- What Ptolemy tells us about Germany and Greece
Ptolemy’s theory of the universe held that the earth was at its centre. All other celestial objects – including the sun – rotated around it.

Related.

Paul Summerville • November 19, 2011

Commentary on a better way to manage unemployment insurance, rep-by-pop raises its democratic head, getting democracy to fit in Canada, debtor countries and their creditors, is the US job market turning up, Europe’s constant crisis, is the US overplaying its diminished hand in Asia, water in South East Asia, and has the Pacific Lake become an ocean again.

Canada is big. A national solution in a regional country.

Paul Summerville • November 9, 2011

Commentary on the possible outcomes of the Euro crisis, the shadow of Japan’s bubble-bust economy on China, compulsory voting, looks can deceive, ethical oil (?) and Flaherty tacks to the centre on the economy.

Final innings.

Financial Times -- Thinking through the unthinkable
Will the eurozone survive?

Related.

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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©

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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 ends up with less.
 
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 as a whole 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.
 
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.
 
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.