Smart Links 07 February 2013

Commentary on questions for Carney, Arctic politics, fathers, more on Manet, the view from Moscow, the abortion question, and making drinking and driving very expensive.

Five questions for Mark.

Financial Times -- The five questions Carney must answer
The next BoE governor must live up to his rock star billing.

Telegraph -- Carney provides a welcome breath of fresh air
OK, so we've now heard enough from Mark Carney, Governor-elect of the Bank of England, to see roughly where he's coming from on monetary policy, and it's not quite as radical as some had been hoping for.

The Arctic Big Eight

Financial Times -- Environment: Frozen frontiers
The rapid melting of Arctic ice is unleashing a scramble to exploit vast oil and gas deposits.


New York Review of Books -- My Father Murray Urquhart
My father was single-minded to a fault. Painting took absolute priority in his life, and his wife and children—not to mention national events and international disasters—were all secondary.

Manet revisited.

New Statesman -- The subtle sexuality of Édouard Manet
It would be impossible to paint “modern life” without touching on the touchy subject of sex.

Staying strong.

Russian In Global Affairs -- Keeping the Powder Dry
Why Russia Should Build Up Its Military Might Even in a Favorable Foreign Environment.

Difficult divide.

The ‘F’ Word -- Anti-choice reasons for abortion
At the back of my mind, there are always the conversations and debates and arguments I've occasionally had, and the things I "should" have said.

National Post -- Mother’s account of her difficult decision to request a late-term abortion
Twenty-one weeks into her second pregnancy, when the fetus was diagnosed with a rare bone disease, Carol determined she had two options: carry the baby to term and deliver a child with a shattered skeleton that would live for a matter of seconds or request a rare late-term abortion.

Making drinking and driving expensive.

Times Colonist -- Editorial: Don’t go easy on tipsy drivers
The B.C. government has hit some bumps in the road as it endeavours to strengthen its drunk-driving laws.

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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.