Smart Links 01 February 2012

Commentary on the Chinese energy connection, the many versions of capitalism, Mitt debating himself, the best and the rest, how occupation became legal, and scientology.

The background behind the Prime Minister’s trip to China next week. Thanks to Evan of Victoria.

National Post -- Terry Glavin: Scrutinizing Canada’s pipeline to Beijing
Canada is at the brink of a radical shift in energy and foreign policy. But there has been no debate of any consequence about it — not in the House of Commons, not in the Senate, not in the proceedings of a Royal Commission.


Sun News Network -- Newt to PM: don't cut oil deal with China
Newt Gingrich has once again promised to approve the Keystone XL pipeline immediately if he becomes president in November.

Capitalism is a many splendored thing. (ed’s note – the market and the economy are different, the economy is the product of the impact that communities have on the market with public policy and culture, hence the different varieties).

Financial Times -- Free-market evangelists face a lonely fate
Much has been made of the fact that last week in Davos, business leaders were forced by recent events to consider issues such as inequality and the future of capitalism.


Project Syndicate -- Sustainable Humanity
Sustainable development means achieving economic growth that is widely shared and that protects the earth’s vital resources.

The long arm of the truth. Thanks to Ken of Tokyo/Hong Kong.

Political Wire -- Romney vs. Romney
Mitt Romney debates himself in this hilarious video compilation.

David Brooks on the real divide in the United States.

New York Times -- The Great Divorce
I’ll be shocked if there’s another book this year as important as Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart.” 

No one is chosen.

New York Review of Books -- How the Occupation Became Legal
In 1979, a group of Palestinian farmers filed a petition with Israel’s High Court of Justice, claiming their land was being illegally expropriated by Jewish settlers.

The science behind scientology.

London Review of Books -- Religion, grrrr
Empirical study led L. Ron Hubbard to the principles on which Scientology is based.

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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.