Smart Links 15 April 2012

Commentary on living longer, what banking and the public sector have in common, Atwood on financial capitalism and losing then winning.

Life expectancy is always underestimated.

Conversable Economist -- What if Life Expectancy Grows Faster?
Rising life expectancy is a good thing; indeed, Kevin Murphy and Robert Topel estimated in a 2006 paper in the Journal of Political Economy ("The Value of Health and Longevity," 114:5, pp. 871-904) that the 30 years of additional life expectancy gained by an average American during the 20th century was $1.3 million per person.

Getting in the way of growth.

Economist -- The question of extractive elites
Bankers and the public sector may both be enemies of growth.


Economist -- Historians versus economists
THIS week's column focuses on an idea from "Why Nations Fail", a book by two economists, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, about the importance of political institutions to economic growth.

And Margaret on financial capitalism.

Financial Times -- Our faith is fraying in the god of money
Trading is as old as humanity, and possibly older. It’s based on the notions of fairness and balance – something children recognise very early in life.

After losing last night to the Los Angles Kings, the Vancouver Canucks may (need to) take solace from the lessons learned by the 1982 Edmonton Oilers following the Miracle on Manchester.

The Atlantic -- What Wayne Gretzky Learned From an Embarrassing 1982 Defeat
If you've ever fallen into the habit of watching old sporting events in the middle of the night, maybe you've noticed that the sprites can start playing with your imagination.


youtube -- 1982 Edmonton Oilers vs LA Kings - The Miracle on Manchester

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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity┬ę


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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, marshaling 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.

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.