Ultimately the most successful societies find the balance between the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.
The key measure of this balance is inter-generational mobility.
America by this measure is in serious trouble.
Financial Times -- America’s dream unravels
As other nations rise, the US is in relative economic decline – and the country’s political system is making things worse.
Quote worth quoting.
“The great American middle class is in long-term crisis. Most people cannot get secure, well-paid jobs any longer. The top 1 per cent captured 93 per cent of the income gains in 2010. The remaining 99 per cent were either treading water or seeing falling incomes.”
New York Review of Books -- What Future for Occupy Wall Street?
Less than a week after the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center towers, Occupy Wall Street protesters set up camp in Zuccotti Park across the street from the site that had become known by the military phrase “Ground Zero.”
Quote worth quoting.
“Less surprising is the fact that the OECD ranks the United States roughly on a level with Mexico, Chile, and Turkey in overall poverty, child poverty, and health care. The system’s inability to deliver had, it was clear, extended to large portions of the middle class.”
New York Times -- Why Some Countries Go Bust
By his own admission, Daron Acemoglu is a slightly pudgy and fairly nerdy guy with an unpronounceable last name.
Quote worth noting.
“Now, in their new book, Why Nations Fail, Acemoglu and his collaborator, James Robinson, argue that the wealth of a country is most closely correlated with the degree to which the average person shares in the overall growth of its economy.”
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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©
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.