Smart Links 16 May 2012

Commentary on a really big controversy, joy of small cities, really radical, long bonds, realism and US foreign policy, and when you don’t like the scientific results cut the funding off.

That breastfeeding problem (and female anatomy in general).

New Yorker -- Overexposed: Breastfeeding in America
This week, Time magazine published on its cover a photograph of a woman breastfeeding a three-year-old, with the headline, “Are You Mom Enough?”


Iconic Photos -- The Birth of a Baby
By modern standards, the controversy over the above pictorial seems almost incomprehensible. Yet, when Life magazine decided to publish it on April 11st 1938, the magazine’s editors knew that it would be one of the biggest controversies of Life’s early years.

Related. Every society has their issues with this, Pdf below -- 'Edo Shunga'.

Fuji Arts -- Living Descent into a Burning Hell, 1825 by Toyokuni I (1769 - 1825)

Where the jobs are.

New Geography -- Small Cities Are Becoming a New Engine Of Economic Growth
The conventional wisdom is that the world’s largest cities are going to be the primary drivers of economic growth and innovation.

President Obama’s decision to come out of the closet about gay marriage sparked this article about really revolutionary changes in the United States.

Atlantic -- The Most Radical Social Experiment in Modern History
Formulating a list of nominees is an interesting exercise. And it makes one thing clear: same sex marriage is nowhere near the top.

Martin Wolf explains why we are all like Japan now.

Financial Times -- The journey towards becoming Japan
On May 10 2012, the yield on the German 10-year bund was 1.44 per cent, on the US 10-year Treasury was 1.85 per cent and on the UK 10-year gilt was 1.9 per cent.

The advice to stay untangled in the affairs of other nations has largely gone unheeded by the United States. Pity.

Foreign Policy -- What if realists were in charge of U.S. foreign policy?
Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. foreign policy has been largely run by a coalition of neoconservatives and liberal internationalists.

If there was ever a reason for political parties merging in Canada, this is it.

Globe and Mail -- Pushing carbon tax cost research agency its funding, Tories confirm
The federal government has confirmed what the rumour mill suspected: it shut down an arm’s length, independent advisory group because it didn’t like the advice it was getting on addressing climate change.





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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.