Something magical happens in French cities around 5 pm, the sidewalks start teeming with families on their way to shop for the ingredients of the evening meal or tomorrow’s needs. Hand in hand with children, walking, no cars, the city comes alive in a different way.
The chirpiness in peoples’ voices creates a kind of music in the shops and on the city sidewalks. This compares to the bleak, colourless, people void world that Jacksonville’s downtown is made up of, a wretched shame of empty buildings and destroyed people hiding under concrete bridges.
This made me think of Victoria and the hard work that Mayor Dean Fortin is doing to save the city from the ravages of sprawl and the car culture.
Luckily Victoria is far closer to Paris, in this respect.
Two truths we hold to be self-evident, that income inequality has nothing to do with whether or not a society is unequal, it is just easy for people to understand, and a permanent rise in the real price of commodities is impossible.
Measuring the inter-generational education, health, community and economic outcomes of the bottom 20% of families is the best measure of inequality. Railing about rich people isn’t.
And the peak oil, $200 a barrel crowd create much heat and light of their own but not very good economics.
Articles about false permanently rising commodity price prophets, how Britain’s current government is trying to rethink 100 years of the relationship between the state and society, a few nasty articles on the US economy as gold gets to $1,400 and income inequality rises.
And more evidence of America’s insane prison system, and Japan's equally insane public finances.
Peak oil noise.
theage.com.au -- Oil price spike to end, you can bet on it 
AT RECENT conferences on the future of biofuels, I have offered a $10 bet to anyone in the room that the West Texas intermediate oil price will be less than US$40 a barrel within three years. So far only three people have taken up the bet.
The New York Times -- Economic Optimism? Yes, I’ll Take That Bet 
Five years ago, Matthew R. Simmons and I bet $5,000.
What Saskatchewan taught London (UK) about the state.
Financial Times -- Britain’s big gamble puts the citizens at the wheel 
Lady Perry, a former chief inspector of schools in England, uses an anecdote from her time as a young teacher in Canada to explain the concept of the Big Society.
Quote worth quoting.
"One community worker blogged about attempts to bring together locals in a small festival in a park. “It required a 30-page park use form. We were told it may take six months to get permission. Oh, and we’d need public liability insurance. If we wanted to do any kids’ activities we’d need criminal record checks on any volunteers. The police would need to clear the road. We couldn’t serve any food or drink.” They ended up hosting an unofficial event."
Beware the economy in 2011.
The New York Times -- In the Rearview, a Year That Fizzled 
It was the year that the economy started to recover and then slid back into a slump — only to offer reason for renewed hope in the final weeks.
Related. (ed's note: now is that good news on the economy or bond panic?)
One view anyway.
market oracle.co.uk -- America's Second Great Depression 2010 Year-End Update (Part 1) 
Bernanke’s pledge has been broken.
Quote worth quoting.
"In fact, I predict in coming years we will see an ironic trend in the U.S. Instead of U.S. consumers speaking with Indians in Bombay for customer support from U.S. corporations, Indians will be speaking with U.S. citizens who will provide them with phone support."
Looking at the wrong thing.
Obama's War on Inequality 
How he's losing it.
Was't income inequality supposed to be the big theme of the Obama administration?
Gold tops $1,400-an-ounce - Silver above $30 
Gold prices rallied 1.6 percent to above $1,400 an ounce on Tuesday, lifted by a falling U.S. dollar.
Quote worth quoting.
"You can be spot on with an economic analysis and still lose a tremendous amount of money in the stock market. The key is to understand when to shift gears. Understanding the risks to the economy only helps you protect your downside. But if you focus on the risks without reading how investors are reacting to their perceptions of reality, you will miss tremendous opportunities."
'I Am Moving To Net Short Position' 
With all the bullish calls on the U.S. economy in the new year, including Goldman's call for a 20% market rally, what could possibly go wrong?
More on income inequality.
Income Inequality Is At An All-Time High 
Income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, surpassing even levels seen during the Great Depression, according to a recently updated paper by University of California, Berkeley Professor Emmanuel Saez.
And in the unbelievable category.
A parody of therapy 
The picture says it all.
Prison of a different kind.
Japan and the Limits of Keynesianism 
Japan's budget is in a truly terrifying state.
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