Paul Summerville • February 28, 2013

Commentary on Syria’s terrible disintegration, helping out, the Turks and Kurds inch toward peace, saving the GOP, Italy’s bad election, the global economy in 2050, Paris in 1900, and the change in work.

Syria collapses.

Economist -- The country formerly known as Syria
As sectarian divisions deepen, the war is changing the country beyond recognition.

Tippy toeing in.

Paul Summerville • February 12, 2013

Commentary on Italy’s tribal fascism, the surprise resignation, 25 reasons we are better off today compared to the 1970s, North Korea’s third nuclear test, fewer fries with that, will economics evolve, and send Alberta oil east.

Mussolini’s moment.  (note – author Richard Evans is the world’s leading scholar on the Third Reich)

Paul Summerville • May 21, 2012

Commentary on Chinese bourgeois rulers, the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, why US 10-year bond yields can go to 1%, why free trade creates inequality for just a while, and our Queen.

Will the control of the economy by the state spark a revolution in China? (ed’s note – those deeply entrenched vested interests)

Paul Summerville • May 10, 2012

Commentary on marriage, inequality and the recession, how the Mafia hurts the economy, Chinese choices, and Dutch nonsense.

What it is anyway?


New York Review of Books -- The Myth About Marriage
Why do some people who would recognize gay civil unions oppose gay marriage?


Paul Summerville • January 18, 2012

Commentary on why the Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is happy his country got the downgrade boot, why Euro austerity can’t work, the twin virtues, Romney’s one of the 15%, web talk, new politics, and the dangers of third party political advertising.

Mario Monti blames Europe and is convinced Italy is up to the job. (ed’s note – turning a negative into a positive like the Leaning Tower of …).

Paul Summerville • November 14, 2011

Commentary on Italy’s difficult road ahead, the contagion spreads to Spain, the political fallout of economic chaos, books on the Soviet Union’s war with Afghanistan, Russia joins the WTO, the importance of financial literacy, our complicated lives, and Margaret Somerville on appled ethics in post-Charter Canada.

A word of warning, Italy’s terrible economy.

Paul Summerville • November 7, 2011

Commentary on what’s missing in economics, rounding out our thinking about tyrants, a new way of financing social justice, America’s shocking underinvestment in infrastructure, getting closer to debt midnight in Rome, and right of centre journalist Neil Reynolds just can’t admit that Wall Street has captured the political class in the United States.

Missing the big economic vision. Thanks to Nancy of Toronto.

Paul Summerville • October 25, 2011

Commentary on the slow unraveling of Great Britain, a bird’s eye view of global markets and the implication of debt limits, Occupy Starbucks, another China slowdown analysis, Italy on the firing line, the story of Keynes, and why is it is possible to think about higher taxes in Canada.

Will Scotland leave?

Paul Summerville • August 4, 2011

Articles on ending world hunger, the new role of the Canadian dollar in global foreign exchange markets, thinking about labour market success and failure, the end of social, the top 100 most delayed flights in America, the Economist ’s interactive global debt guide, answering questions about gold, Italy stinks, and thoughts on Greek yogurt.

On the front line of hunger. Josette Sheeran on the challenge and hope ending world hunger. Thanks to David of Victoria.

Paul Summerville • July 17, 2011

Articles on the debt ceiling, the importance of Italy to the Euro (and us), Canadians taking on less debt, the dreadful impact of shrinking working age populations, innovation in Japan shifts to soft, Australia’s carbon plan, and Rebekah arrested.

Bi-partisan debt.

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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.