Smart Links 17 December 2012

Commentary on Canada’s oil price discount, why Canada is a good place to export natural gas to Asia, how Canada stacks up to the US, and Tom Mulcair's focus.

Pipeline suffocation and lack of strategy creates huge price differential for Canadian oil.

Financial Times -- Canada’s oil now the cheapest in the world
Canadian oil has become the world’s cheapest crude due to a combination of surging production, lower demand due to refinery maintenance and a chronic shortage of pipeline capacity that has created a glut in the oil-rich province of Alberta.

Quote worth noting.

“With more crude from the oil sands flowing and pipeline capacity unchanged, Canada is likely to remain the bargain basement of the global energy industry.”

The case for more pipelines. A new National Policy for Canada?

TD Economics -- Pipeline Expansion is a National Priority

But according to this analysis the politics of natural gas export are better for business in Canada than the United States.

Financial Times -- Why Canada is better bet for gas exporters
North America presents companies seeking to export natural gas to Asia with an intriguing conundrum: do they put their faith in the US or in Canada?

And Canada is better here as well. Thanks to Robin of Victoria.

National Post -- Every one of the ailments we imagine ourselves to be suffering is a reality in the U.S.
It was perhaps the most shocking headline ever to appear in the Toronto Star. “Income gap isn’t growing,” it ran, citing a “TD bank report.”

Tom’s first step.

Toronto Star -- Tom Mulcair entrenches the NDP as alternative to Conservatives
Tom Mulcair knows the first rule of the political battleground is never underestimate your adversary.

Tom says.

“I’m going to run the next campaign, visor-up, straight on about sustainable development, about the obligation for any government to look at the environmental, economic and social impact of every decision they make.”

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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.