Smart Links 06 April 2012

Commentary on US jobs market, a Canadian inspired solution to Jerusalem, the consequences of climate change, it's Mitt, out of control students, and are the Liberals boxed out?

The jobs that get filled are lousy and the ones that don’t lack skilled workers.

Huffington Post -- Job Market Recovery Led By Low-Wage Sectors
The job market these days is sort of like that old Catskills joke: The food is terrible, and the portions are so small.

Setting up the first step to solving the Jerusalem problem. Thanks to Simon of Victoria.

Middle East Institute -- Israeli-Palestinian Peace: A Special Regime Option for the Old City of Jerusalem
Jerusalem will probably be the toughest issue in any future Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The other three core issues – borders/settlements, security, and Palestinian refugees – will also be very difficult, but Jerusalem is at a different level. Jews, Muslims, and Christians worldwide have strong attachment to the city and its many holy sites.

More evidence.

Yale Global -- Global Warming Is Real and Has Consequences – Part I
Although the consequences of global warming are painfully vivid, some scholars still question whether it requires urgent action.


The lukewarm Republican.

New York Times -- It’s Mitt! Oh No.
The dream is dying. There will be no dynamic, charismatic, Reaganesque Republican presidential nominee this cycle. There won’t even be a consistent conservative. There will only be Mitt Romney.

No cane not sane? Thanks to David of London.

Telegraph -- School discipline: Sparing the rod has spoilt the children
What can be done to reverse the collapse in discipline since the banning of the cane?

Boxed out?

Globe and Mail -- Will blue and orange squeeze out Bob Rae's red?
Now that Thomas Mulcair has assumed control of the NDP, the Liberals are about to be squeezed in two directions, perhaps even to near-extinction. They’ve already been squeezed by the Conservatives; they might now get the same treatment from the New Democrats.

Quote worth noting.

“If Mr. Mulcair plays his cards right by keeping the caucus united while broadening the NDP’s appeal, a Liberal recovery is difficult to imagine.”


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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.