Smart Links 02 April 2012

Commentary on China cracking, getting things done, make sure that loto ticket is real, Japan hogwash, Ziggy, one thing at a time, and that Budget ain't what we were expecting.

China’s economic adjustment is fraught with risk. Thanks to David of London.

Spectator -- Cracks in China
The Communist party knows it needs to change, but it is riven with indecision.

David Bowie 40 years on.

London Review of Books -- So Ordinary, So Glamorous
The most recent Christmas issue of French Vogue, dedicated to ‘Noël en Musique’, had on its cover a photograph of Kate Moss done up as Ziggy Stardust.


Bowie -- Rebel, Rebel

Pick your own speed.

Derek Sivers -- There's no speed limit. The lessons that changed my life.
Whether you're a student, teacher, or parent, I think you'll appreciate this story of how one teacher can completely and permanently change someone's life in only a few lessons.

Kiss my ass I won the lottery.

youtube – I Won the Lottery

It is amazing what the impact of a free trip to Japan and jet lag will do to journalistic integrity.

Guardian -- What's the story of the next decade? The rebirth of Japan
The country's urge to reset its business culture is a lesson to Britain in finding the way back to prosperity.

Someone should write the book ‘One Thing at a Time’. (ed’s note – only use a cell phone for emergencies, only use your i-phone to check for messages three times a day, take real vacation, learn to enjoy brushing your teeth, and taste your food ).

HBR Blog -- The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time
Why is it that between 25% and 50% of people report feeling overwhelmed or burned out at work?

The base is getting restless.

National Post -- Harper’s Tories are starting to look a lot like Chrétien’s Liberals, policy-wise
Call it the great Budget headfake of 2012.

Something to ponder -- 'A friend's good fortune is a blessing.'

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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.