Deferential Decline, End of Big Government, Caring and Smart Nation, A Little Inflation Hurts A Lot, QE3 & Asia, Greeked

In preparing for the course I will be teaching at the Peter Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria next year (Jan-April 2012) entitled The World We Share (COM 450) I have had two long conversations with one of Canada’s top ranked university educators, my sister, Tracy Summerville who teaches Political Science at the University of Northern British Columbia.

The Decline of Deference (1996) by Neil Nevitte

In a discussion about Canadian political culture she mentioned a book The Decline of Deference (1996) by Neil Nevitte that charted the sharp rise against authority in Canada.

With the federal bureaucracy in the Prime Minister’s sights perhaps there won’t be as many Canadians rallying in the streets as some people have thought.

Articles today about the decline of big government in Canada, deference revisited, the quest for a caring and smart nation, a little inflation isn’t good, the Asian inflation risk from the next QE experiment, and what a corrupt mess Greece is.

Kevin Libin argues that Canadians have given up on the state. Thanks to David of London for sending this in.

National Post – Trudeau and the Liberals Killed Liberalism
There was once a Canada where a vast part of the country believed deeply in the virtues of Big Government.

Neil Nevitte revisits the conclusions of his book.

Pdf below -- Neil Nevitte, Decline Revisited: Evidence after 25 Years

But the German example points to a different conclusion, the smart state.

New York Times – The German Example
Germany has been a frequent cudgel in recent fights over the American economy.

David Johnson asks the question how to make Canada a ‘smart and caring nation’. It has something to do with public education and innovation. Thanks to David of Victoria for sending this in.

youtube -- Waterloo Research and Tech Park renamed after David Johnson

A Wells Fargo report that shows how a little inflation compounds into misery.

Pdf below -- A little inflation can really add up

If Bernanke signals QE3 Asia will bear the inflation consequences unless they act fast.

Bloomberg – It’s Bubble Times as Asia Braces for Fed’s Q3
Pretend you’re Darmin Nasution, Indonesia’s central bank governor, and inflation is running at about 6 percent. Do you raise interest rates or cut them?

Related.

Marc Faber: Fed to Resume QE When U.S. Stocks Prices Fall
Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom report, talks about the outlook for the global economy, financial markets and Federal Reserve policy. Faber spoke with Bloomberg's Carol Massar in New York on May 25.

And how political culture makes changing Greece into a northern European country one stop away from a massive crisis.

Financial Times – A Greek Crisis of Cronyism and Corruption
Germany’s plan, reported on Wednesday, to ask Greece to offer its debtholders a seven-year term extension only underlines my country’s economic difficulties.

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A little inflation can really add up.pdf66.73 KB
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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.