Smart Links 13 July 2011
Articles on whether some American law makers really understand what they are doing, how the iPod gets made and who benefits, the outlook for gold, the risks to public sector (and other) pensions, getting rid of tyrants, low life expectancy in the US, distracted driving, giving up the state, and media control in the United Kingdom.
In the ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’ category, Martin Wolf’s pre-summer holiday warning: yes, Virginia there are Republican law makers who think a default would be just fine, and Europe wants the Euro but isn’t prepared to do what has to be done to make it sustainable.
Financial Times -- From Italy to the US, utopia vs reality
In the eurozone, the fiscal crisis is lapping on Italy’s shores. In the US, the administration declares it will run out of funding early next month if the debt ceiling is not raised.
Financial Times – Eurozone Policy Makers Must Grasp the Nettle
The limits of eurozone policymakers’ efforts to address the sovereign debt crisis were cruelly exposed by Monday’s rise in Italian government bond yields.
A fascinating account of how a product like the iPod gets built in a global economy. Thanks to Nevin of Saanich.
Pdf below -- Innovation and Job Creation -- The Case of Apple's iPod
Quote worth quoting.
“In terms of headcount, we estimate that, in 2006, the iPod supported nearly twice as many jobs offshore as in the United States. Yet the total wages paid in the United States amounted to more than twice as much as those paid overseas.”
Related. Thanks to Nevin of Saanich.
Globe and Mail -- America’s Apple economy widens the winner-loser gap
Once upon a time, the car was the key to understanding the U.S. economy.
Related. Thanks to David of Toronto.
Foreign Affairs – Globalisation and Unemployment
Globalization is the process by which markets integrate worldwide.
Martin Murenbeeld’s regular piece on gold, ‘don’t be short as the world economy remains in a state of perpetual crisis.’ Thanks to David of Victoria.
Pdf below – Gold Monitor 8 July 2011
Gwyn Morgan on the next phase in managing public sector benefits. Thanks to David of Victoria.
Pdf below -- Crunch time looms for public-sector pensions
Globe and Mail – BC Ferries Directors Defend CEO Pension
The BC Ferries board of directors has come to the defence of president and CEO David Hahn’s $313,000 pension, directly contradicting Premier Christy Clark who has been highly critical of his compensation package.
The difficulty of getting rid of tyrants when they have nothing to lose. Thanks to David of Victoria.
STRATFOR – Libya and the Problem with the Hague
The war in Libya has been under way for months, without any indication of when it might end.
American life expectancy is falling behind. Pass the barbecue. Thanks to David of Victoria.
BBC – Why Do Americans Die Younger Than Britons?
Living in the world's richest country comes at a price, and it's measured in life years.
Quote worth quoting.
“But the US is a big country, and while parts of Mississippi have a male life expectancy of 67, behind nations like the Philippines, women in areas of Florida live as long, on average, as the Japanese, who top the longevity rankings.”
Don’t drive while distracted. Distractions are estimated to be associated with 15 to 25 percent of crashes at all levels from minor property damage to fatal injury. Thanks to David of London.
GHSA -- Comprehensive Review of Distracted Driving Research Released
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released the first comprehensive overview summarizing distracted driving research for state officials.
Giving up the habit of having the state look after us. Look both ways. Thanks to David of London.
Telegraph -- Do they really want us to have more power, and do we want it?
Viewers watching BBC News 24 at around 4pm on Monday were given an occasional glimpse inside the chamber of the House of Commons, as the broadcaster waited to go live for a statement on the Great Media Scandal.
Media rules. Thanks to David of London.
Spectator – What the Paper’s Won’t Say
Let’s try a thought experiment.
|Innovation and Job Creation -- The Case of Apple's iPod.pdf||160.83 Ko|
|Gold Monitor 8 July 2011.pdf||234.01 Ko|
|Crunch time looms for public-sector pensions.pdf||17.03 Ko|
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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.