Smart Links 08 February 2013

Commentary on the state of dating, public health in the UK, central bank rethink, making Pulp Fiction, canceling early, Bolen Book’s make over, and back in the news (kinda).

Are on-dating technologies making long term relationships even more difficult? You don’t have to bump into someone at Bloomingdale’s anymore.

The Atlantic – A Million First Dates
How online romance is threatening monogamy.

Lesson for Canada? Thanks to David of London.

Spectator -- Death on the NHS
It wasn't just Stafford. The report into NHS Mid Staffs says it was the most visible example of a sickness that threatens lives across the health service.

Time for the unthinkable – ‘monetary financing of the fiscal deficit’.

Financial Times -- A case to reset basis of monetary policy
The current regime is meant to stabilise inflation and help stabilise the economy. It has failed.

Some of the spin behind Pulp.

Vanity Fair -- The Pulp Fiction Oral History
“I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in the movie,” -- Uma Thurman.


Pulp Fiction – Dance Scene

Better to get the bad news out of the way first. Duh!

Washington Post -- After getting snowed in for years, US airlines find its best to cancel before the storm
As the Northeast braces for its largest winter storm in more than a year, airlines are already employing a strategy that has served them well in recent years: Cancel flights early and keep planes and crews — and passengers — away from snowed-in airports.

After the bad news that our local bookstore Cadboro Bay Books closed the good news that Bolen Book’s is renovating.

Times Colonist -- Bolen’s $600,000 renovation a new chapter for book store
Samantha Bolen is surprising the book trade by investing in a major makeover of her store, which has been established for nearly four decades at Hillside Shopping Centre.


Times Colonist -- Liberal leadership candidate Joyce Murray supports sewage treatment
Liberal leadership hopeful Joyce Murray supports the region’s provincially ordered secondary sewage treatment — unlike at least two of her challengers.

(ed’s note – Yesterday at a meeting at UVIC we discussed this interview. Joyce like me is fully behind treatment when there is scientific evidence of net environmental benefit from doing something different than screening.)

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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.