Better Bonds, Gloomy Thoughts, Legalise Them, Prince’s Gaffes, Weird Japan, Paying for School, First Place, Jackal’s Start

The global economy is coming to grips with some nasty realities.

The Euro is on the verge of being restructured, inflation in the low income countries is a serious threat to their economic and political stability, and the United States is in the first stages of a long structural economic redesign.

Lot’s to think about.

Articles also on legalising drugs and decriminalizing prostitution, Prince Phillip’s strange thoughts, Japan’s curious ideas on love and sex, a thoughtful way for students to pay for college debt, maybe China already is the world's biggest economy, and the story behind Day of the Jackal.

Charlie Fell on the attraction of low income country bonds relative to high income countries.

Charlie Fell – Think Emerging Market Debt
The global financial crisis and the great recession that followed have exposed the developed world’s fragile public finances. 

Partly because it’s free but mostly because it’s good John Mauldin’s frequent commentary on the global economy is becoming a constant source on this site. This recent tome is full of worry.

Pdf  below – Economic Whiplash

Followed by some levity. Prince Phillips’ top gaffes. Thanks to David of London for sending this in.

Independent – Ninety-Nine Gaffes in Ninety Years
From Papua New Guinea to Stoke-on-Trent, Prince Philip has left his mark around the world. As his 90th birthday looms, Hannah Ewan recalls the sound bites that could only have come from one man.

Quote worth quoting.

"You bloody silly fool!" Price Phillip to an elderly car park attendant who made the mistake of not recognising him at Cambridge University in 1997.

‘We continue to believe that inflation will remain contained in China’ from various investment banks who depend on the Chinese economy to make a living. Really?

New York Times  -- As China’s Workers Get a Raise, Companies Fret
Wages are surging this year in China and among its main low-wage Asian rivals, benefiting workers across the region.

Some of the conclusions from a book about love and sex in Japan should not be too surprising given that you can buy women’s used underwear from vending machines. Still the conclusions are well, wierd.

Economist – Japan and Sex
ON FEBRUARY 19th 2006 Kimiko and her married lover Tetsuo checked into an Osaka love-hotel, swallowed sedatives and slit their wrists.

The case for legalising drugs.

Financial Times – We Should End our Disastrous War On Drugs
The global war on drugs has failed. 

Related.

youtube – Legalise It

And while we’re at it decriminalize prostitution.

Globe and Mail – Why the Courts Must Decriminalise Prostitution
Want some action?

A thoughtful way to help students pay for college without burdening them with debt.

New York Times – A Way to Pay for College, With Dividends
If you were a student looking for financing to pursue a degree in social science, would you accept an offer of $16,000, in exchange for paying 4.5 percent of your income for 10 years after you graduate?

Moving into first place.

Project Syndicate – When Will China’s Economy Overtake America’s?
Is China poised to surpass the United States to become the world’s largest economy?

Another 40 year popular culture anniversary, this time, Fredrick Forsyth’s Day of the Jackal.

Guardian – The Day of the Jackal – The Hit We Nearly Missed
In 1969, a young British journalist returned to London after spending 18 months reporting on the Biafran war.

Related.

The melon scene.

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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.