Paul Summerville • février 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 • décembre 8, 2012

Commentary on Asia’s two personalities, demographics in the United States, China’s difficult shift, Starbucks and corporate taxes, Beveridge was a Liberal, and Harper’s foreign takeover twist.

Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde?

East Asia Forum -- A tale of two Asias
In recent months, two Asias, wholly incompatible, have emerged in stark relief.

Demographics in the US and public policy.

Paul Summerville • novembre 3, 2012

Commentary on why Romney and Obama will lose, idiotic Wall Street Journal, European states come back into the economy, Sandy and science, signs of good news from Asia, and finally a rail link from Pearson to Union Station.

Four reasons why Romney will lose.

New York Times -- Is Romney Unraveling?
Time is running out for Mitt Romney.

Two data points why Obama will lose.

Paul Summerville • avril 27, 2011

Articles about Asian flash points, the role of low income country central banks and global inflation, the Finnish shock to the Euro, the escalating price of food, 10 big bubbles, no tipping required when the tablet replaces the server, Charlie Fell on America’s debt problem, and the Canadian financial press makes up stuff about the negative impact of the NDP.

And finally the Canucks bury the Black Hawks. (ed’s note – ice hockey talk).

Paul Summerville • avril 13, 2011

The nervousness in markets continues with short-term – the end of quantitative easing – and long term – debts, deficits, and Western decline – reasons.

Niall Ferguson’s latest ‘death of the West’ blast, France bans the burqa, Martin Wolf on Paul Ryan’s unworkable budget plan, resilient if fading Japan, and silent truths about the meaning of the American Civil War.

Paul Summerville • février 2, 2011

The Japanese are known for strange fetishes and toilet worship ranks right up there.

Beware the buttons.

Speaking about technology, in what may soon become front page news, China, highly dependent on foreign energy imports, announced its intention to develop a nuclear reactor that uses isotope thorium – highly abundant – and combined with a molten salt cooling cycle far less toxic.

Paul Summerville • janvier 17, 2011

Au revoir Paris.

What a month, heading back today.

Victoria city planners could not do much better than spend a month in the centre of Paris watching how the ‘bottom floor retail-five story residential’ planning strategy has created sustainable living.

Ok, I volunteer.

Looks like we are leaving just in time as the rise in global grain prices will push up the price of ‘les baguettes’.

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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.