segunda-feira, junho 29, 2009

’it takes a village’ - as crianças como bem público

The missed-conceptions of the welfare state por Philip Booth no blog do IEA:
In countries with a welfare state, however, children become “public goods”. My children will pay your pension and your children will pay my pension. The usual public good condition of “non-excludability” has been artificially created.

Nobody has any direct incentive to either save (because we get retirement provision from the state) or to have children (because in the state pay-as-you-go system, as opposed to the family one, we can all rely on everybody else to have children - so nobody does!).

domingo, junho 28, 2009

A Roma Antiga e lições contra o socialismo contemporâneo

Via The economic way of thinking — e altamente recomendada —, a história da Road to Serfdom no Império Romano, por efeito da política fiscal e monetária dos imperadores romanos; e uma master-class sobre os princípios de uma sociedade livre:
Here's the Foundation for Economic Education's president, Larry Reed, giving a talk at Northwood University titled "Lessons from History We Dare Not Ignore." The talk draws lessons from the history of ancient Rome, and it's far better television than most other Sunday morning alternatives.

The Great Depression and the Current Financial Crisis

Que não haja dúvidas

Estado y delegación de decisiones por Francisco Capella no Instituto Juan de Mariana:
Algunas personas defienden la existencia del Estado porque desean que tome decisiones en su nombre en ciertos ámbitos: les gusta que el Gobierno decida por ellos y creen que les soluciona muchos problemas ("te lo da todo hecho"), ni siquiera lo ven como un mal menor.
Quienes delegan sus elecciones en el Estado tal vez no han pensado en cómo violan la libertad ajena. O quizás sí: es posible que consigan exactamente lo que quieren, imponer sus decisiones sobre todos .... que no haya diferencias, que no se pueda elegir y se imponga el mismo menú a todos.
Las personas intolerantes no se contentan con vivir sus propias vidas respetando las de los demás. Sienten miedo o repugnancia por la libertad ajena, y son capaces de aceptar restricciones sobre sí mismos con tal de que también se las impongan a los demás: el Estado es su herramienta uniformizadora favorita.

Dúvida liberal-existencial

Usucapio libertatis por Antonio España:
La secuencia lógica es la siguiente:

(1) el Estado -que disfruta del monopolio de la coacción y la violencia legal- está conformado por una minoría de hombres, (2) los hombres, generalizando la definición que Mises aplicabla a los consumidores, somos como jerarcas egoístas, implacables, caprichosos y volubles, difíciles de contentar, (3) ergo el Estado, que no es una institución divina (como creían los Egipcios) ni suprahumana o metafísica (como pensaba la estatolatría prusiana del s. XIX), sino una institución netamente humana, se ve necesariamente aquejado por los mismos males que los hombres que lo conforman.

Como corolario dos preguntas: (a) ¿queremos darle poderes ilimitados a una institución que de antemano sabemos que es imperfecta? (b) ¿No preferiremos limitar el poder para así, limitar el daño que puedan hacer?

¿Por qué preferimos una respuesta afirmativa a (a) que a (b)?

crises comparadas

Via Reason Hit&Run,

O debate não acabou, apesar da censura política (3)

Via O Insurgente, After Global Warming por Larrey Anderson no American Thinker:
Science and ideology don't mix. They never have and they never will. The house of cards that is the science behind "climate change" is collapsing at exactly the same time it is being imposed by the Obama administration and Congress as an ideological "truth." America is facing the perfect storm of an imploding scientific theory that will be enforced by the rule of law.

Make no mistake: the big bad wolf of truth is about to blow the straw house of global warming to bits. This is why there was a sudden shift, in the last nine months, from the use of "man made global warming" to "climate change" by the proponents of the theory.

The predictions of impending doom are nothing new. Business and Media Institute published an article titled "Fire and Ice" that details the media's historical treatment of the debate. The article includes these two charts of historical time lines that say it all:

sábado, junho 27, 2009

O debate não acabou, apesar da censura política (2)

The Climate Change Climate Change The number of skeptics is swelling everywhere por Kimberley Strassel no Wall Street Journal:
Among the many reasons President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority are so intent on quickly jamming a cap-and-trade system through Congress is because the global warming tide is again shifting. It turns out Al Gore and the United Nations (with an assist from the media), did a little too vociferous a job smearing anyone who disagreed with them as "deniers." The backlash has brought the scientific debate roaring back to life in Australia, Europe, Japan and even, if less reported, the U.S.
The collapse of the "consensus" has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth's temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02. Peer-reviewed research has debunked doomsday scenarios about the polar ice caps, hurricanes, malaria, extinctions, rising oceans. A global financial crisis has politicians taking a harder look at the science that would require them to hamstring their economies to rein in carbon.

The extreme Right worthy of its name

SA@Takimag - The Extreme Right
We have to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here

Live free or die

Via Walter Williams, a palestra "Live Free or Die" de Mark Steyn (PDF, leitura recomendada) no Hillsdale College:
In most of the developed world, the state has gradually annexed all the responsibilities of adulthood—health care, child care, care of the elderly—to the point where it’s effectively severed its citizens from humanity’s primal instincts, not least the survival instinct.
A couple of years back Paul Krugman wrote that, while parochial American conservatives drone on about “family values,” the Europeans live it, enacting policies that are more “family friendly.”

Krugman failed to notice that for a continent of “family friendly” policies, Europe is remarkably short of families. America’s fertility rate is more or less at replacement level — 2.1—seventeen European nations are at what demographers call “lowest-low” fertility — 1.3 or less—a rate from which no society in human history has ever recovered .... the upshot of these policies is that nobody has any families.
When the state “gives” you plenty—when it takes care of your health, takes cares of your kids, takes care of your elderly parents, takes care of every primary responsibility of adulthood—it’s not surprising that the citizenry cease to function as adults: Life becomes a kind of extended adolescence — the long-term cost of a welfare society is the infantilization of the population.

O debate não acabou, apesar da censura política

Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC)” (PDF) present(s) an authoritative and detailed rebuttal of the findings of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The scholarship in this book demonstrates overwhelming scientific support for the position that the warming of the twentieth century was moderate and not unprecedented, that its impact on human health and wildlife was positive, and that carbon dioxide probably is not the driving factor behind climate change.

The authors cite thousands of peer-reviewed research papers and books that were ignored by the IPCC.

Climate Change Reconsidered, the 2009 report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), was released on Tuesday, June 2, at a press conference at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC, in conjunction with the Third International Conference on Climate Change.

sexta-feira, junho 26, 2009

Michael Jackson 1958-2009 (2)

Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson - More To Life Than This

Citação do Dia

At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare, and its triumphs have been due to minorities .... If hostile interests have wrought much injury, false ideas have wrought still more; and its advance is recorded in the increase of knowledge, as much as in the improvement of laws.
Lord Acton, The History of Freedom in Antiquity (1877)

Keynesian witchmedicine

A Plague From Both Their Houses: The Economic Advisors to Bush & Dukakis por Lew Rockwell no The Free Market:
In primitive societies, witchdoctors legitimized tyrannical government by naming it the mandate of heaven. In return, they got a cut of the earthly loot.

In the U. S., some economists serve the same function. For promoting government intervention as scientific, and advising on the most efficient forms, they receive power, prestige, and money from Washington.

Although these "political economists" differ over candidates and parties, and quibble over small theoretical questions, they are inevitably followers of John Maynard Keynes, the 20th century's most influential justifier of state economic planning.

Today, most prominent economists .... are Keynesian brothers under the skin. They also share an ambition to use their undoubted intellectual powers to serve big government and thus advance their careers.
Ludwig von Mises discussed such men in Human Action (1966 [1949], p. 869):
The early economists devoted themselves to the study of the problems of economics.... They never conceived of economics as a profession. The development of a profession of economists is an offshoot of interventionism [with] the specialist who is instrumental in designing various measures of government interference.... He is an expert... at hindering the operation of the market economy.
No matter who is elected, Keynesianism will be in control .... like the witchdoctor, their function will be to give a pseudo-scientific cover to the interventionist policies of their candidate and his backers. Thus these econon1ists are worth studying for their predictive value, if not for worth of their ideas.

Michael Jackson 1958-2009

The Jackson Five - I Want You Back

I, Toaster

Excerto de I, Toaster por Radley Balko na Reason Magazine:
This week, a new exhibit called "The Toaster Project" opens at the Royal College of Art in London, England. On his website, artist Thomas Thwaites explains the gist: "I'm trying to build a toaster, from scratch—beginning by mining the raw materials and ending with a product that Argos sells for only £3.99."
The basic theme of Thwaites' Toaster Project, however, was first conceived back in 1958 in the brilliant essay "I, Pencil," written by Leonard Read, founder of the libertarian think tank Foundation for Economic Education.
....the division of labor is what makes pencils—and, for that matter, all of the conveniences of modern life—possible. Millions of people are involved in the manufacture of a single pencil, or in Thwaites' case, a single toaster. No single human being could possibly possess the know-how to make one on his own.

It's a peculiar kind of "helplessness" that enables us to benefit from the shared labor of millions of workers and the collected knowledge of millions of people accumulated over hundreds of years by merely traveling to the nearest Wal-Mart or appliance store, or, better yet, by merely clicking the mouse on a computer a few times and having the toaster (or, for that matter, groceries, or clothing, or medicine) brought directly to our homes.
The explicit lesson is the futility of central planning .... If there isn't a single person on the planet who can make a pencil or toaster without the aid of millions of others motivated by their own self-interest, it seems ludicrous to think, for example, that we can save the entire U.S. economy if only we can find the right all-knowing experts to use the power of government to "more properly" allocate resources.

quinta-feira, junho 25, 2009

ultradireitistas de esquerda, e ultraesquerdistas de direita

Ultraderechistas de izquierda por Albert Esplugas Boter no Instituto Juan de Mariana:
El problema con el eje izquierda-derecha es que no captura fielmente, ni siquiera esencialmente, las similitudes y las diferencias de los distintos partidos y corrientes del espectro político.
Un eje riguroso debería situar en extremos opuestos a los partidos o corrientes ideológicamente más distantes entre sí.

.... no son tantas las diferencias entre algunos partidos de ultraderecha y los partidos izquierdistas, sobre todo en materia económica. Por el contrario, el liberalismo y las corrientes ultraderechistas o ultraizquierdistas no se parecen virtualmente en nada.
El liberalismo y el comunismo/fascismo son las corrientes que deberían ocupar los extremos del eje, como ya identificó Friedrich Hayek en Camino de Servidumbre. Libertad, voluntariedad, cooperación en un lado; coacción y estatismo en el otro.

Invade Great Britain

SA@Takimag - The War on Neo-Nazi Terror
We have to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here

Can Politics Be The Answer?

Can Politics Be The Answer? por Thomas L. Knapp no Center for a Stateless Society:
From the standpoint of morality and propriety, the anti-political argument is that participating in the state’s rituals of self-legitimization undermines the argument for a stateless society and corrupts the advocates of that argument.
One of the standard anarchist arguments in favor of political involvement, advanced by libertarian philosopher and strategist Murray N. Rothbard, is the “self-defense” argument. The state exists, said Rothbard, and it does bad things. If it is possible to use its own tools to slow it down, to minimize the harm it does, to fight back against its depredations, then there’s no moral problem: One is effectively in the same position as a man under assault. He does not act immorally if he seizes his assailant’s weapon and uses it to defend his own life.
If the question is “how do we do away with the state?” then politics is not the answer. If, however, the question is “how do we demonstrate that the state should be done away with?” it may well be an answer.

What Should Be The State’s Role In Marriage?

What Should Be The State’s Role In Marriage? por Mario Rizzo no Think Markets:
I suggest that it should be the same as in contract law. In other words, the State should not define the terms of the relationship. It should allow the parties to do that for themselves and then simply enforce it. The current one-size-fits-all civil marriage should be abolished except as a default option for those who do not want to build their own contract.
Churches and other institutions of civil society should be free to approve or disapprove of any of these contractual relationships. They may ratify (or not) relationships in ceremonies as they have for a long time. In their eyes, some people’s civil unions would not constitute a valid “marriage.”
It is not the role of the State to determine and enforce some universal divine plan in our lives. Its role is to stand aside as individuals work out their purposes and fulfill their potential as they see it. Anything more is playing God.

Knights that say social cohesion

The knights who say "Ni" (legendado)

mais weasel words

Words without meaning de John Humphreys no Thoughts on Liberty:
Monty Python introduced us to the “Knights that say ni”. What is “ni”? Why do they say it? No reason. They’re just being lovable idiots for our amusement.

Perhaps that is the strategy of those social policy commentators who are the “Knights that say social cohesion”?
As long as you don’t allow ’social cohesion’ to mean anything, then it is impossible to falsify this claim. So it can be repeated continually. And we all know that when you repeat something enough it becomes true.

Does the welfare state improve civil society? Hell no. The exact opposite is true. The undermining of civil society is perhaps the most pernicious consequence of the welfare state and one of the least well understood. Instead of low-income people engaging with community groups for their support, they engage with a bureaucrat at the front of a Centrelink queue. Instead of local groups getting together to solve their local problems, people lobby the distant and impersonal government for a handout. Where once we built social capital with extended family, neighbours and civic groups, now we just complain that politicians aren’t doing enough. On the count of civil society, the welfare state is an epic fail.

A covardia da burocracia estatal

Vai pelo Facebook um movimento de 'Apoio ao cronista Daniel Luís' - um docente universitário da Universidade do Minho que se viu em apuros devido à sua actividade blogosférica.

Resumidamente, Daniel Luís está a fazer a sua tese de doutoramento, e a Universidade não vai proporcionar ao investigador as mesmas condições que outros colegas tiveram no passado, pelo que ficará desempregado a partir de Setembro.

A Universidade estatal não sofre consequências económicas por expulsar capital humano por motivos políticos. Não tem incentivos — económicos ou sociais — para ser tolerante.

A Universidade, como qualquer organização estatal, rege-se por procedimentos burocráticos. Desde que os cumpra, está dentro da legalidade, e diz-se protegida de contestação moral ou ética. Este é um tipo de comportamento covarde. Mas é o tipo de comportamento que permeia todo o funcionamento burocrático.

Não é por acaso que o meio académico estatal é impróprio como reserva intelectual de uma sociedade livre.

aposto que a blogosfera em peso aderia

terça-feira, junho 23, 2009

atendimento público e privado

Foi Ludwig von Mises (Bureaucracy, 1944) que observou o excesso de procura por um serviço é visto de forma diferente conforme a natureza do prestador do serviço. Para um prestador privado, é uma dádiva dos céus. Representa que há negócio, que os recursos estão a ser todos utilizados, as receitas e os lucros são máximos. Para um prestador público, é uma tragédia ou (no mínimo) um severo arrelio. Os recursos do departamento estão a ser desbaratados por uma horda de utentes petulantes que não dão descanso aos funcionários.
Um privado consegue aferir se numa situação de bonança vale a pena expandir a capacidade de prestar serviço, uma vez que pode facilmente calcular quantos clientes mais compensam um determinado investimento, ou se vale a pena melhorar os processos existentes. Qualquer serviço público quanto muito só sabe calcular custos. E mal. Os serviços públicos não têm concorrência, podem funcionar com graves ineficiências. Não há incentivo para melhorar o serviço para atender mais gente. Para o ano pede-se mais orçamento.

A mesma dinâmica acontece quando a procura diminui. Um privado tem todos os dados que precisa para responder a um mercado mais lento - no limite, empresas fecham e vão à falência. Os serviços públicos perpetuam-se, continuando a consumir os mesmos recursos que parasitam aos sectores produtivos da sociedade. São estas as diferenças operativas entre um sistema privado, a que Mises chamou "a ditadura do consumidor", e as dos sistemas públicos — "ditaduras da burocracia".

Estas predisposições estruturais afectam a cultura das organizações. Claro que existem serviços privados execráveis. Mas regra geral onde quer que haja competição, os serviços esforçam-se por caírem nas boas graças dos consumidores. Às vezes até demais - quem já não se chateou com telefonemas a perguntar se correu tudo bem, ou assistentes da loja que não largam da mão. Nos serviços públicos, pelo contrário, as pessoas acabam por ser desumanizadas — são números sem individualidade, areia na engrenagem, gado.

o efeito Obama, o parlamento europeu, a verdadeira identidade de Gordon Brown, e mais Obamania

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2009 - Everywhere but Here Edition
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

Folheto para os Estatistas

Folheto para os Estatistas de Stefan Molyneux no
Interessado na eficiência, eu decidi destilar cada argumento que já tive com o Estatista padrão, assim eu posso distribuir àqueles que argumentam que o governo é algo voluntário, que se eu não gostar dele eu posso ir embora, que impostos não são violência, etc. Eu achei que isso aqui também poderia ser útil para você, já que a vida é curta.

domingo, junho 21, 2009

Separados à nascença

Comrade Barack Hussein ObamaComrade Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov
foto: InMirror
Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov .... was a senior figure in the NKVD (the Soviet secret police) during the period of the Great Purge.


Yezhov e a dissidência
Yezhov was known as a determined loyalist of Joseph Stalin, and in 1935 he wrote a paper in which he argued that political opposition must eventually lead to violence and terrorism; this became in part the ideological basis of the purges .... Under Yezhov, the purges reached their height, with roughly half of the Soviet political and military establishment being imprisoned or shot, along with hundreds of thousands of others, suspected of disloyalty or "wrecking" .... He maintained that it was worth having ten innocent people suffer rather than letting one spy get away .... The crux of this line was every Soviet citizen should be an NKVD agent.

como a História recorda Yezhov

entretanto na terra dos czars...

Back in the U.S.S.A. um tour-de-force de Peter Schiff, leitura integral recomendada:

Harry Browne, the former Libertarian Party candidate for president, used to say: “the government is great at breaking your leg, handing you a crutch, and saying ‘You see, without me you couldn’t walk.’” That maxim is clearly illustrated by the financial industry regulatory reforms proposed this week by the Obama Administration.
As is typical of government attempts to control economic outcomes, Obama’s plans focuses on the symptoms of the disease and not the cause. The American financial system imploded for two reasons: cheap money and moral hazard – both of which were supplied by the government. Under the proposed new regulatory structures, these toxic ingredients will be combined in ever-increasing quantities.

sábado, junho 20, 2009

Ronald Reagan against Socialized Medicine

Via No Pasarán!,

Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine

A loira ofendida

A ERC do regime de Paulo Pinto Mascarenhas (ABC do PPM):
José Pacheco Pereira ficou ofendido com a frase de Luís Filipe Menezes que diz que o comentador "é a loira do regime". Está no seu pleno direito .... estou obviamente solidário com a escolha editorial, porque retrata de modo singular uma guerra que vem de longe entre Menezes e Pacheco.
Pacheco Pereira ataca muitas vezes a ERC e o seu carácter "censório", mas lá no fundo, bem lá no fundo, o que ele gostaria era de ser a ERC do regime.

a audacidade da ignorância de Obama

The Fatal Conceit: A Pay "Czar" por Gary Becker:
This week the Obama administration .... appointed a pay czar to review, reject, and possibly set the pay of companies that received large amounts of federal assistance during the financial crisis.
The title of my post, "The Fatal Conceit", is taken from the title of a book published in 1988 by Friedrich Hayek. In this book Hayek attacks socialists for "the fatal conceit" that government officials can effectively determine prices and production through various forms of central planning without having the incentives and information available to firms in competitive markets. A closely related conceit is behind the belief that someone sitting in Washington can determine the pay to hundreds of executives and other employees.
The same fatal conceit behind the setting up of a pay Czar is also responsible for the belief that members of Congress and Washington officials are capable of steering GM and Chrysler toward profitable directions.

Ron Paul about Obama’s Regulatory Reforms

Ron Paul on MSNBC talking about Obama's New Regulatory Reforms (6/18/09)

Efficient Markets sabotados pelo Fed

Some Thoughts on Efficient Markets por Mario Rizzo (Thinkmarkets):
The New York Times had a very interesting article recently on the demise of the efficient markets hypothesis. The proximate cause of this demise is the failure of the hypothesis to explain the recent financial meltdown.
How close markets would get to the efficiency ideal, assuming away problems of meaning and definition, would depend mostly on the nature of the error correction system.
Yet even this modification may not go far enough. Entrepreneurs make mistakes, even systematic ones .... This could go on for some time under the right cooperating conditions.
.... the conditions for the speculative bubble were laid by the low interest-rate policy of the Federal Reserve System. Without this groundwork any bubble would not have gotten very far .... low interest rates encourage greater risk-taking.
The problem has not been the existence of credit default swaps, mortgage-backed securities and other forms of securitized lending per se. It has been in the crisis-enabling context.

Government as Deus ex Machina

The Neoclassical Fallacy of Government as Deus ex Machina (Mises blog):
The government is not a deus ex machina. The question of where the government fits into the neoclassical framework demands an answer. It cannot just be assumed that any market "inefficiencies" (in the neoclassical sense) could be limited or eliminated by government, when government itself is arguably the most inefficient of all institutions.

quinta-feira, junho 18, 2009

The Economic Case for Tax Havens

The Economic Case for Tax Havens

Green costs jobs (2)

Obama's Solar Dreaming: Power at 7x the Cost por Ronald Bailey na Reason Hit&Run:
President Barack Obama dropped by Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada for a photo op with a 140 acre array of 72,000 solar photovoltaic panels. The president praised the installation ....
So how does this compare with conventional sources of power? .... a 1,000 megawatt conventional coal-fired plant would cost about $2.8 billion to build. A rough scaling up the Nellis solar facility to a 1,000 megawatts .... would actually cost nearly $20 billion to build in order to produce the same amount of power.

Há que entender. A central está construída (custo afundado) e produz energia (contribuição). Não deixa de ser um péssimo 'investimento', para cúmulo com dinheiro dos contribuintes. Cada painel que é construído destrói valor económico porque há alternativas viáveis muito mais baratas. A construção da central terá contribuindo quanto muito marginalmente para a redução do custo unitário de fabricação, e nada para o desenvolvimento da tecnologia. O dinheiro da construção da central teria sido melhor utilizado pelos contribuintes. Ou, a ser gasto pelo Estado, para pagar investigação pura e dura durante uns bons anos. Foram fotografias caras.

Abstenção (4)

A stratagem to delegitimize democracy por Arthur B. no The Distributed Republic:
Many anarchists, including me, argue that .... non-voting sends a better signal. A low turn out indicates that people do not really care about the election. It indicates they perceive the different candidates as similar. Better, it attacks the myth that democracy is representative. It creates a visible distance between the state and the citizens.
A democracy with a lot of eager participation is a recipe for collectivist arguments about the “will of the people”. Low turnout allows the state to be viewed as a separate parasite.

o gajo no chão também parece estar ’muito satisfeito’ consigo mesmo

Jovem. Anda tudo em histeria por causa do cartaz abaixo. Pornografia, etc. A mensagem é simples. Corres sério risco. Em vinte anos podes ser um velho careta. Daqueles que não percebem que estão a ser instrumentalizados por uma marca de roupa de moda. E que a juventude de hoje funciona por psicologia inversa. Tu queres ser diferente. Usa o mesmo que toda a gente. Calvin Klein Jeans.

O fiasco da comuna europeia

Excerto de El fiasco de la comuna europea de Manuel Llamas
do Instituto Juan de Mariana:
Sin embargo, en breve, tras la ratificación del Tratado de Lisboa, la UE se consolidará como una entidad jurídica autónoma e independiente de sus estados miembro. De ahí a la configuración de una Comuna Europea tan sólo dista un paso.

El fallido proyecto de Constitución continental es una buena muestra de lo que se avecina: un monumental compendio jurídico y regulatorio que, bajo la ambigüedad de la economía social, avanza hacia la armonización fiscal, la consolidación de la redistribución de ingresos y rentas vía subvenciones y ayudas públicas y el ecocomunismo del cambio climático, entre otras lindezas.

Una cosa es establecer un área de libre comercio en donde ciudadanos y empresas gocen de mayor capacidad de acción gracias a la eliminación de trabas nacionales, y otra muy distinta es que el Gobierno comunitario aspire a crear un Estado de Bienestar central y monopolístico con el fin de sustituir, simplemente, la nefasta intervención política de los estados-nación.

La competencia es sana, no sólo a nivel empresarial sino también administrativa. El camino hacia la libertad es, pues, justo el contrario. De hecho, el fenómeno de la globalización, ahora en peligro, hace obsoleta la formación de un bloque económico unitario.


Via The Economic Way of Thinking, Divided We Stand por Paul Starobin na
Imagine this instead: a devolution. Picture an America that is run not, as now, by a top-heavy Washington autocracy but, in freewheeling style, by an assemblage of largely autonomous regional republics reflecting the eclectic economic and cultural character of the society.


Mapa da América do Norte em 2070, jogo RPG Shadowrun
So why not America as the global leader of a devolution? America’s return to its origins—to its type—could turn out to be an act of creative political destruction, with “we the people” the better for it.

The Letter

Beck Reads 'The Letter' On Air

Paul ’O Invertebrado’ Krugman e a Housing Bubble (2)

Na sequência de Paul ’O Invertebrado’ Krugman e a Housing Bubble (1),

Krugman Did Cause the Housing Bubble por Mark Thornton no Mises Economic Blog:
Here is Paul Krugman from his blog trying to deny that he was a persistent advocate for the housing bubble and below that are quotes from him just prior to the bubble taking off.
"And I was on the grassy knoll, too"

One of the funny aspects of being a somewhat, um, forceful writer is that I'm regularly accused of all sorts of villainy. I was personally responsible for the demise of Enron; my nonexistent son worked for Hillary; etc.. The latest seems to be that I called for the creation of a housing bubble.

Segue-se uma série de excertos de artigos e entrevistas com Paul Krugman, onde advoga que o Fed baixe as taxas de juro de forma a estimular a Economia, em particular o sector imobiliário:
During phases of weak growth there are always those who say that lower interest rates will not help. They overlook the fact that low interest rates act through several channels. For instance, more housing is built, which expands the building sector. You must ask the opposite question: why in the world shouldn't you lower interest rates?
O resto é história. O Fed baixou os juros para 1%, a bolha do imobiliário devastou o panorama financeiro dos Estados Unidos. Agora Krugman protesta que a política monetária não funciona, que o capitalismo falhou, e que é preciso o governo tomar conta da Economia. E é este invertebrado politicamente-desonesto que muito veneram como uma autoridade económica.

Paul ’O Invertebrado’ Krugman e a Housing Bubble (1)

Dubya's Double Dip? de Paul Krugman a 2 de Agosto de 2002, no NYT:
The basic point is that the recession of 2001 wasn't a typical postwar slump, brought on when an inflation-fighting Fed raises interest rates and easily ended by a snapback in housing and consumer spending when the Fed brings rates back down again. This was a prewar-style recession, a morning after brought on by irrational exuberance.

To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.

Spread-the-Wealth Class Warfare

Via The Bastiat Society, Class Warfare Tax Policy:
From the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, five good reasons higher taxes on the rich aren't a good idea:

1. High tax rates reduce incentives for productive behavior.
2. High tax rates won't raise much revenue.
3. High tax rates don't help the poor.
4. High tax rates reduce competitiveness.
5. High tax rates on the rich lead to high tax rates on everyone.

quarta-feira, junho 17, 2009

A entrevista (balanço)

Na sua entrevista à SIC, vimos a tentativa de um novo José Sócrates.

Sereno. Bem preparado. Menos ríspido. Cansado. Em mutação. Sabe ao que vai e já sabe como vai. Soube perorar sobre economia sem uma intervenção crítica de Ana Lourenço que o soubesse desmentir. Tal como se esperava, o ciclo socialista não se fecha assim sem mais nem menos.

A entrevista (12)

A distinção que Sócrates fez entre PS e PSD é demasiado pobre para justificar a rotatividade que serve ambos os partidos. Desconfio que Manuela Ferreira Leite não conseguiria fazer algo de muito diferente.

A entrevista (11)

José Sócrates quer fazer da comparação da sua mundivisão com a mundivisão de Manuela Ferreira Leite um assunto político. O mesmo foi tentado por João Soares face a Santana Lopes e Mário Soares face a Cavaco Silva. Das duas vezes, os portugueses borrifaram bem na suposta superioridade da iluminada mundividência socialista.

A entrevista (10)

A supervisão falhou, diz José Sócrates, como falhou em todo o Mundo. Mas ainda não se ouviu o primeiro-ministro explicar como é que aqueles que falharam são os mesmos a quem se confia grande parte da tarefa de sair da crise, nem a explicar qual o contributo da governação socialista desde 1995, interrompida por três anos, para essa crise.

A entrevista (9)

A humildade de José Sócrates não vai ao ponto de reconhecer erros ao Governador do Banco de Portugal. Só lhe fica bem.

A entrevista (8)

Perorando sobre o BPN, Sócrates ainda não respondeu à verdadeira pergunta de Ana Lourenço: o Governo decidiu, e assim mexeu com o dinheiro de todos nós, com verdadeiro conhecimento de causa ou não?

A entrevista (7)

José Sócrates tem estado bem na fundamentação do adiamento da decisão do TGV e onão deixa de ser curioso que este adiamento esteja a ser tão questionado por Ana Lourenço.

A entrevista (6)

Depois de louvar a redução do défice e de a exibir como ponto de honra do seu governo, José Sócrates propõe o aumento de investimento público.

A entrevista (5)

José Sócrates diz que criou 133.000 postos de trabalho. E Ana Lourenço não ripostou. A isto chegou a socialização do regime: eles acreditam mesmo que o Governo cria postos de trabalho e que sabe exactamente quantos são.

A entrevista (4)

Maria de Lourdes Rodrigues acabou de ver o tapete ser-lhe tirado debaixo dos pés: a senhora está demitida a prazo.

A entrevista (3)

A educação é o melhor terreno para José Sócrates tentar fazer passar a ideia de que foi a forma das reformas, e não a sua substância, que determinou a derrota do PS. Noutras áreas, com outros Ministros, os erros são mais complicados de disfarçar.

A entrevista (2)

José Sócrates pretende agora virar o bico ao prego e dizer que o seu erro não foram as reformas mas, isso sim, ter deixado instalar a ideia de que as reformas foram sendo feitas contra as classes profissionais. O que deixa quase tudo por explicar.

A entrevista (1)

José Sócrates pode dizer o que quiser quanto à sua não transfiguração, mas é evidente que este começo de entrevista, com a clara afirmação de que há coisas que se arrepende, seria impensável há uns meses.

The Spendinator : lições de Public Choice

Hasta La Vista, Arnold!: What California's Budget Mess Means for America

a bolha em que vivem os políticos

The gulf between politicians and the people por Mark Wallace no Devil's Kitchen:
The MPs' expenses scandal has highlighted more than ever before how divorced from reality and common decency so many of our Westminster politicians are. We mustn't forget, though, that if we think MPs are out of touch and living in a taxpayer-funded bubble, then MEPs are even worse.

To that end, the TaxPayers' Alliance commissioned two parallel polls - one of 1,020 members of the British public, and one of 101 MEPs. Each group was asked whether they agreed with six key statements:

1 Referendums should be held in member states before significantly expanding EU powers;
2 Member states should break EU rules if they think it is in their national interest;
3 Generally, the EU is good for ordinary people;
4 MEPs should pay a lower rate of income tax than the people they represent;
5 The EU listens to what the general public want;
6 All EU member states should become members of the Euro.

The divide between the people and the public was huge on most issues - while the public want more referenda, reject out of hand the Euro, overwhelmingly believe the EU does not listen to them and want to see a far more proactive British Government simply refusing to obey harmful EU rules, many MEPs continue to float in cloud cuckoo land.

Anatomia do Estado

Karl Rove on Health Care Reform and the Public Option por Mike no Anything Peaceful:
Socialized health care means that your life is now in the hands of the government. I don’t how it could be any clearer. When the government foots the bill, it controls the care. That means that the same organization that tortures prisoners Gitmo, that imprisons people for private lifestyle decisions, that puts innocent men and women to death for murders they did not commit, that is the least compassionate, least responsive, least transparent, and most corrupt form of human organization known to man, will be making decision about whether you live or die. Think about it.
O mesmo descrito para a Saúde Pública aplica-se à Educação, à Segurança Social, à 'regulação' dos mercados, ao 'equilíbrio' dos direitos civis. Nos Estados Unidos ou em qualquer parte do mundo. Think about it.

Planned Economy and Planned Destruction

Planned Economy or Planned Destruction?, 1934, via Cato@Liberty

uma política honesta para o território

Living in the countryside has its costs - get used to it por Johnathan Pearce no Samizdata:
There are geographical, physical reasons why broadband access, or indeed other forms of communications, are not available everywhere, all the time.

.... people feel that because X or Y wants a road, canal, power cables, whatever, .... the state should be able to use compulsory purchase powers, and taxation, to pay for whatever it is that is wanted. I have referred to this mindset as "brute utilitarianism".

.... it is a cost of living in the countryside that one does not always have the same degree of speedy access to certain things that one has living in a town or city. That's life, so folk should deal with it.

uma vergonha de manifesto (2)

The most insane edition of Newsweek ever? por Paul Marks no Samizdata:
The front cover of the edition has the headline 'Capitalist Manifesto' and this article is odd enough - page after page of standard statist stuff (supporting the bank bailouts and so on) written by one Newsweek's high ups.

There is also an article about a group of 'rebels' who are out to "save capitalism" from President Barack Obama .... The 'rebels' are actually Democrats .... who are "saving capitalism" by "opposing" Barack Obama .... who they fear is "too soft on Wall Street".
So capitalism is to be "saved" by even more statism than there is already. People like Senator Sanders of Vermont are interested in "saving" capitalism (which it has been their life long dream to destroy) and they are "rebels" against the (life long far leftist with Marxist background, whom they all really support) Barack Obama, who is too free market - in much the way Lenin or Mussolini were too free market I guess.

Free* Government Money

Free* Government Money With Matthew Lesko!

PS - a personagem não é uma piada.

Cuba, um exemplo para os direitos humanos

Via Cato@LibertyThis Is Not from The Onion, but the UN,

Cuba recognized in the UN Human Rights Council.
Cuba had withstood many tests, and continued to uphold the principles of objectivity, impartiality and independence in pursuance of the realisation of human rights. Cuba was and remained a good example of the respect for human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights.

blogue UN Watch

Altamente recomendado, o blogue da UN Watch, onde se pode acompanhar os trabalhos do UN Human Rights Council, uma instituição tomada de assalto pelos governos mais crápulas do mundo.


- Sri Lanka Lashes Out at EU for Alleging War Crimes:
Sri Lanka lashed out at Western States who called for an impartial investigation into its conflict. “We noted with a degree of amusement that the EU, UK, Ireland, and France were all cheering on the notion of an independent inquiry into allegations of human rights violations conducted by ‘all sides’ of the Sri Lanka conflict,” it said. “Sri Lanka is prepared to regard this more charitably if we start from human rights situations that precede the Sri Lanka conflict.
- Authoritarian States: “Traditional Values” Justify Repression of Gays, Women:
During today’s session at the UN Human Rights Council, Cameroon and Saudi Arabia justified their repression of gays and women with the argument that human rights should be based on “morals” and “traditional values” rather than universal principles of individual rights.

You Can’t Even Talk About It

Estupidezes do politicamente correcto expostas:

John Stossel’s “You Can’t Even Talk About It”
parte 1 | parte 2 | parte 3 | parte 4 | parte 5 | parte 6

terça-feira, junho 16, 2009

uma vergonha de manifesto

Diz-se que foi Marx que inventou o termo 'capitalismo'. Não perdeu tempo em criar toda uma mitologia nefasta em torno das instituições da propriedade privada e liberdade económica. Os resultados estão à vista. O socialismo manteve e conduziu dúzias de países no mais desumano terceiromundismo. Na maior parte do mundo capitalista, gera-se prosperidade suficiente para suster welfare state parasitas desenhados para perpetuar a luta de classes.

O colapso do muro de Berlim deixou muita gente sem termos de comparação. Alguns — extrema-esquerda — agarram-se à ideologia, dizem que é um sonho o pesadelo por que passaram milhões de pessoas. Sociais-democratas e direita estatista entretêm-se a colectivizar sectores da economia e comportamentos sociais [corrigido] (saúde, educação, segurança social, consumo, morais e costumes) e perguntam-se por que é que nada funciona.
Este estado de coisas não pode deixar de contaminar o debate intelectual. Exemplo é a concepção que isto — um Estado obeso, omnipresente, voluntarista; e uma iniciativa privada esmagada com impostos, leis e regulações surreais — é de alguma forma "capitalismo".

Não surpreende que neste contexto haja gente que tenha o topete de escrever um Manifesto Capitalista repleto de concessões anticapitalistas e teorias económicas de tablóide, e de o publicar envergonhadamente na Newsweek:
The simple truth is that with all its flaws, capitalism remains the most productive economic engine we have yet invented. Like Churchill's line about democracy, it is the worst of all economic systems, except for the others. Its chief vindication today has come halfway across the world, in countries like China and India ....
Capitalism means growth, but also instability. The system is dynamic and inherently prone to crashes that cause great damage along the way. For about 90 years, we have been trying to regulate the system to stabilize it while still preserving its energy.

Democracia e civilização

Ainda há pouco na RTP, um diplomata dizia que as eleições no Irão tinham sido mais democráticas que as eleições para o Parlamento Europeu, uma vez que a abstenção no Irão, em termos percentuais, foi um terço da verificada na 'Europa'.

O diplomata pode ter aí alguma razão. Acontece que a taxa de aderência aos rituais democráticos são péssimos indicadores da qualidade da vida política de um país — como está à vista.

De facto, o inverso é verdade. Uma sociedade é tanto mais civilizada quanto mais aspectos da vida privada e social dos indivíduos estiverem vedados ao processo político e à 'vontade' de terceiros. Por muito que formem uma maioria.

Inside The Hayek Equation

Via Mises blog,
Here is a video of Hayek speaking with some students at Stanford in the 1970s. Says Hayek, "If we want to preserve a free society we must take from government the monopoly of issuing money...the new thing will grow by itself."

Inside The Hayek Equation

Liberalismo e tolerância

Liberalism, however, must be intolerant of every kind of intolerance .... because it demands toleration of all opinions and all churches and sects, it must recall them all to their proper bounds .... Everything that their supporters accord them of their own free will may and must be granted to the churches; nothing, may be permitted to them in respect to persons who want to have nothing to do with them.
Against what is stupid, nonsensical, erroneous, and evil, liberalism fights with the weapons of the mind, and not with brute force and repression.
Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism

Pay no attention to that Fed behind the curtain (3)

Entendiendo a la FED en 1.044 palabras no Economista Serial Cronico:

Antes de la crisis, el 86% del activo de la Fed era deuda del Tesoro de EEUU, considerado como el activo más seguro que existe. Desde que empezaron los problemas, empezó a adquirir todas las cosas feas que los bancos tenía, entregando a cambio los bonos del Tesoro. La lógica es simple: Vos me das basura y yo te doy algo super seguro. Nadie tiene por que dudar de vos.
Antes de la crisis, el balance de la Fed era de los más seguros que había. Ahora, sólo una parte menor al 20% son bonos del tesoro… ¿El resto? La basura que los bancos y el sistema financiero ya no quiere.

Master class sobre os ciclos económicos

Tom Woods - Meltdown

Green costs jobs

In España, Veritas: Pres. Clinton Concedes Spain’s Green Jobs Program “Has Cost Many Jobs” (Institute for Energy Research):
Former president channels Prof. Gabriel Calzada in delivering veiled rebuke of Obama’s Spanish-inspired green jobs plan

Washington, DC – Spain’s decade-long program to subsidize the creation and continued existence of so-called green jobs through a massive infusion of taxpayer resources “has cost many jobs,” former President Bill Clinton admitted to a Spanish audience at the European University of Madrid this week, according to the Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo.

In response to former President Clinton’s comments, Institute for Energy Research (IER) president Thomas J. Pyle issued the following statement:

“... President Clinton’s affirmation of its core findings serves as just the latest reminder that the facts are what they are – and they aren’t pretty.

More than 10 years and nearly $40 billion in public investment later, Spain still only acquires less than one percent of its power from solar, and the vast majority of the so-called green jobs created by the government to support that industry are no longer in existence today.

If this is the model for near-term economic growth and long-term energy security that President Obama envisions for our country, we may be in for a longer, more severe recession than we know.”

aspirando à Liga de Honra dos aeroportos

Gracias a la T1, Barcelona asciende hoy a la primera división de los aeropuertos (La Vanguardia):
La T1 aupará a Barcelona a la primera división de los aeropuertos. Así será, al menos en cuanto a la modernidad y dimensiones de sus instalaciones, algo que con las terminales A, B y C -ahora T2- era inalcanzable. Hoy por hoy, las cifras de tráfico no permiten a El Prat estar en el selecto grupo de las 30 ciudades con más pasajeros del mundo -en el 2008 ocupó el lugar 34.º- aunque sí en el top ten europeo, ya que es el noveno.

Em Março fiz uma visita técnica ao novo Terminal 1 do aeroporto de Barcelona. O intuito era constatar a implementação das soluções de operations management adoptadas pelo grupo de trabalho. Foi especialmente interessante dar-me conta das soluções de arquitectura e engenharia civil que suportavam os sistemas de operações e logística.

O mais fascinante, contudo, foi ouvir da boca dos próprios consultores que estudaram e conceberam o projecto como era a estratégica operacional e competitiva do Aeroporto de Barcelona como um todo. Não foi só conversa institucional — apresentou-se toda a metodologia de estudo, resultados e conclusões. Um trabalho exaustivo e auditável, que denotava grande respeito pelos mecanismos desequilibradores do mercado, assim como pelas possíveis respostas da concorrência.
Uma das conclusões do estudo era que era virtualmente impossível roubar tráfico ao aeroporto de Madrid. O custo marginal de desviar um volume significativo de passageiros de Barajas para El Prat era absurdo. O mesmo se passava relativamente ao Charles de Gaule e Malpenza. Sobretudo quando na proximidade dos grandes hubs, assim como nos interstícios e nas sobreposições das áreas de captação dos mesmos, aeroportos low-cost captavam a long tail dos passageiros menos sensíveis a distâncias geográficas entre infraestruturas aeroportuárias e centros urbanos.

A estratégia do T1 foi oferecer um value proposition diferente da concorrência. Esta estratégia competitiva partiu de um estudo apurado da evolução do perfil do tráfego de passageiros e de mercadorias, lidado não só pelo aeroporto como por todos os meios de transporte e logística na zona de Barcelona, e assente num notável exercício de diversificação e hedging operacional.

Escusado dizer que a Portela só figurava no estudo como fazendo parte da rede aeroportos secundários, ao nível do aeroporto de Málaga. Pude confirmar que Lisboa nem é visto pelas autoridades portuárias espanholas, agora ou no futuro, como ameaça competitiva a qualquer aeroporto secundário espanhol. O que não quer dizer que muito tráfego aéreo internacional que aporta à Portela não seja apetecível para aeroportos principais com excesso de capacidade.

É contra este excesso de capacidade que os aeroportos secundários jogam. Se a maior parte dos aeroportos terciários resignaram-se a ter uma função capilar, meras estações terminais de aviões, o que se observa é que os secundários na sua maioria tiveram de competir na base da excelência operacional. Este jargão não quer dizer que sejam modelos de perfeição — significa que apostam na flexibilidade e custos controlados.

Neste cenário, a evolução de Lisboa é atípica. O aeroporto da Portela nunca se adaptou a servir condignamente low-costs, com certeza por um misto de vergonha já-não-somos-pobres-somos-europeus e severa miopia competitiva. Nem tão pouco foi construída ou adaptada outra infraestrutura aeroportuária que servisse esse fim, o que permitiria capitalizar a excelente proximidade da Portela ao centro de Lisboa para voos de maior valor acrescentado.

Ao invés, insiste-se no wishful thinking que modelos de negócio desajustados da realidade económica possam produzir grande prosperidade para o país, haja suficiente vontade política, e dinheiros públicos a jeito. Abortado o infeliz projecto da Ota, avança o megalómano projecto de Alcochete — ainda com o fito de concorrer com Barajas! — que substituirá um aeroporto que está longe da saturação operativa, quanto mais comercial.

Era interessante que o Estado divulgasse os estudos de Alcochete para escrutínio público, mas é pouco provável que isso aconteça. O que entretanto acontece nos corredores do poder só pode ser equiparado a fraude técnica e política.

PelosiMobile (2)

P.J. O’Rourke on the New “Obamamobile” (Cato@Liberty):
It has been a good run, but it appears government might finally bring America’s love affair with the car to an untimely end, says Cato Mencken Research Fellow P.J. O’Rourke. The author of the new book Driving Like Crazy, spoke at Cato last week about classic cars, government regulation, the takeover of GM and the forthcoming “Obamamobile.”

Ditaduras cirúrgicas

Discutindo a proibição estatal de fumar em propriedade privada de acesso ao público — Tobacco Regulations and Norms por Jonathan Adler no The Volokh Conspiracy:
So let's say .... smoking bans have displaced an unstable norm that smoking in restaurants is acceptable with a more robust norm that smoking in restaurants is not. What would happen were such bans to be repealed? My best guess is that relatively little would change.
What does this all mean? On the one hand, if most restaurants and bars would remain smoke-free, it seems to me the argument for allowing some establishments to adopt different rules is that much stronger. Remove the bans and us libertarian-types can still toast to the free market system in a smoke-free pub.
A porca torce o rabo aqui:
But it is important to acknowledge that this state of affairs exists today because of the initial government intervention. The smoking ban appears to have helped solve a collective action problem that had kept a suboptimal norm in place. So even if a ban limited the ability of business owners to set the rules for their own businesses, it may have also helped them shift toward preferable business practices. Non-governmental efforts may have produced the same result eventually, but it would almost certainly have taken longer. So smoking bans have been beneficial, but it may also be the case that the maintenance of such bans is unnecessary to retain most of their benefits.

Nesta apologia da agressão paternalista do Estado, o autor escolhe ignorar que direitos, liberdades e garantias individuais foram suspensos sem recurso, sob pena de confisco e encarceramento, em nome de uma utopia social. Por outras palavras, que os fins dos engenheiros sociais justificam meios que destruam — alegadamente temporariamente — direitos civis fundamentais. O Inferno está cheio destes libertarian-types que não hesitam em legitimar que o Estado trate as pessoas como gado.

socialistas, marinheiros e bêbados

Em resposta ao post As eleições europeias observadas na América de Nuno Gouveia no Cachimbo de Magritte...
Why Is the Right Doing So Well in Europe? For a start, they don't spend like drunken sailors.

Anne Applebaum, na Slate

... a Samizdata quote of the day de Brian Micklethwait no Samizdata:
Drunken sailors generally spend cash that they’ve already earned themselves, rather than running up debt to be paid by others. If our politicians started spending like drunken sailors, it would in fact represent a dramatic improvement.

Instapundit yesterday. The Bishop likes it also.

segunda-feira, junho 15, 2009

Pay no attention to that Fed behind the curtain (2)

Fed Would Be Shut Down If It Were Audited, Expert Says (
The Federal Reserve's balance sheet is so out of whack that the central bank would be shut down if subjected to a conventional audit, Jim Grant, editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, told CNBC.

Capitalism Day

Celebrate Capitalism on Sunday (Thoughts on Freedom):
This Sunday [June 7th] is Capitalism Day. A positive occasion for celebrating capitalism. A moment to reflect on all that capitalism has brought forth in the way of prosperity and peace. Have a happy Capitalism Day and please help spread the positive story that capitalism offers.
Capitalism Day is not a counter protest. It is a day for positive reflection and action. Prodos neatly sums up the essence of capitalism with the key motto “I own my life!“. A simple phrase that powerfully acknowledges personal responsibility and asserts liberty.

No passado Domingo, milhares de pessoas celebraram o Individualismo à sua maneira:

An open letter to president Obama

By Lou Pritchett

Dear President Obama:

You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.
You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.

You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.

You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.

You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.

You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core.

You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others.

You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America' crowd and deliver this message abroad.

You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.

You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.

You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.

You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.

You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations.

You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.

You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.

You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.

You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.

You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O'Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.

You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.

Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

Lou Pritchett

Note: Lou Pritchett is a former vice president of Procter & Gamble whose career at that company spanned 36 years before his retirement in 1989, and he is the author of the 1995 business book, Stop Paddling & Start Rocking the Boat.

Mr. Pritchett confirmed that he was indeed the author of the much-circulated "open letter." “I did write the 'you scare me' letter. I sent it to the NY Times but they never acknowledged or published it. However, it hit the internet and according to the ‘experts’ has had over 500,000 hits.

Pay no attention to that Fed behind the curtain

Marc Faber "U S will default on debt or enter hyperinflation" 02-05-09

the Bubble Act

Leitura recomendada: Freedom From the Fed Fix por Gene Epstein no Barron's:
"CONGRESS IS CURRENTLY CONSIDERING AN EMERGENCY ...stimulus measure, tentatively called the Bubble Act," ran the mock-news story in the satirical weekly The Onion, "which would order the Federal Reserve to begin encouraging massive private investment in some fantastical financial scheme in order to get the nation's false economy back on track."

While the Fed generally needs no such encouraging, the story had the ring of non-literal truth. Economists of the Austrian school have been telling us for many years that the source of boom-and-bust is the artificial expansion of money and credit brought on by the Federal Reserve.

um guia para abordar as ’falhas de mercado’ com um mínimo de honestidade intelectual

Fallos del mercado. Perdone, ¿fallo de quién? por Ángel Martín Oro
do Instituto Juan de Mariana:
... una vez que se llega a la conclusión de que el mercado ha fallado, la idea más ampliamente aceptada es que el Estado debe intervenir para solucionarlo.

Estos fallos del mercado aparecen por doquier en la mente de los intervencionistas, ya sea cuando se produce cualquier tipo de efecto externo, existen presuntos bienes públicos, el mercado no es "perfectamente competitivo", la información es "asimétrica e imperfecta", existe "elevado riesgo e incertidumbre", el número de especies del oso polar en Alaska no es el óptimo, o cualquier otra excusa que se les ocurra.

Sin embargo, antes de identificar un fallo de mercado y clamar por una mayor intervención, no estaría de más pararse a reflexionar sobre estos puntos:

1.¿Existe realmente un mercado que pueda funcionar libremente y al que, en consecuencia, se le pueda culpar por resultados no deseados? ....

Guerras mercenárias (2)

Mandando robots executar o trabalho sujo dos Estados:

TED Talks - P.W. Singer: Military robots and the future of war

Intervencionismo é corrupção

So-Called Stimulus Could Lead to $50 Billion of Fraud por Daniel J. Mitchell (Cato@Liberty):
MarketWatch reports that experts are predicting about $50 billion of fraud will result from the $787 billion pork-barrel spending bill approved by Congress earlier this year.

Spending Other People's Money Is Inherently Corrupting por Don Boudreaux (Café Hayek):
This George Will column is a must-read. Here's its spot-on conclusion:
The Obama administration's agenda of maximizing dependency involves political favoritism cloaked in the raiment of "economic planning" and "social justice" that somehow produce results superior to what markets produce when freedom allows merit to manifest itself, and incompetence to fail. The administration's central activity -- the political allocation of wealth and opportunity -- is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.

domingo, junho 14, 2009


I really did not think much about the size of the transfer fee when I left Barcelona because it was all down to market forces, not me.
Luís Figo

É preocupante e patético que ninguém da 'elite' política portuguesa tenha sequer tentado explicar que não há nada de escandaloso na transferência milionária de Cristiano Ronaldo do Mancheter United para o Real Madrid.

Se um clube está disposto a pagar 96 milhões de euros por um jogador, isso significa que está suficientemente seguro que o investimento renda mais do que isso. Ou seja, que o investimento proporcione a milhões de pessoas bem-estar pelo qual estejam dispostas a prescindir voluntariamente do seu próprio dinheiro em excesso de 96 milhões de euros. Ao mesmo tempo que o outro clube investe o dinheiro arrecadado para melhorar o espectáculo pelo qual cobra aos seus adeptos.

Políticos e povo insistem envergonhada ou escandalizadamente que é imoral em tempos de crise pagar-se tanto por um jogador da bola. Devia ser uma vergonha e um escândalo que esta gente puritana, ignorante e cruel esteja disposta a destruir os mecanismos económicos que permitem que em tempos de crise milhões de pessoas possam esquecer as agruras do seu dia-a-dia, e que talentos únicos como o de Cristiano Ronaldo possam inspirar gerações inteiras a fazer mais e melhor da sua vida.

change the world

Entrepreneurs can change the world

IP should fail

Via FEE Blog, "Intellectual Property — A Libertarian Critique" de Kevin A. Carson do Center for a Stateless Society:
In any case, for those whose libertarianism follows from the principles of self-ownership and nonaggression, whether “intellectual property” is necessary for those engaged in certain forms of economic activity to profit is beside the point. The same argument is used by protectionists: certain businesses would be unprofitable if the weren't protected from competition by tariffs. So what? No one has a right to profit at someone else's expense, through the use of force. In particular, no one has the right to make a profit by using the state to prevent others from doing as they please with their own pen and paper, hard drives, or CDs. A business model that isn't profitable without government intervention should fail.

Ten Easy Arguments

Ten Easy Arguments against Government Intervention por Albert Esplugas Boter do Instituto Juan de Mariana:
2. The expression "the market will take care of it" is not as dogmatic as "the State will take care of it." With the market, you recognize the limits of your own knowledge and place your trust in the entrepreneurial creativity of millions of individuals risking their own resources and reputations within the framework of a competitive and decentralized system. With the state, you look to a few bureaucrats lacking the incentives (they answer to voters not consumers or shareholders, and they are not managing their own resources but those of taxpayers), the omniscience and the mechanism to discover and test solutions (the price system). The market, as Boudreaux explains, is a simple and reasonable rule for a complex world. The state is a simple act of faith.


Via Incentives Matter,

Greed, Need, Compassion

In the current political vocabulary, 'Need' means wanting to get someone else's money. 'Greed', which used to mean what 'need' now means, has come to mean wanting to keep your own. 'Compassion' means the politicians' willingness to arrange the transfer.
Joseph Sobran, Back to first principles

sábado, junho 13, 2009

a falta de nicotina danifica o cérebro

"Um mundo às avessas", Alberto Gonçalves na Sábado:
Aos poucos, convenço-me de que o tabaco pode ser mais prejudicial para a saúde dos que não o consomem. Se muitos fumadores arriscam, a prazo, graves problemas respiratórios e cardíacos, alguns não fumadores vêem-se de súbito acometidos de gravíssimos, e talvez incuráveis, distúrbios emocionais.
Enquanto português, confesso relativo embaraço face aos senhores da COPPT [Confederação Portuguesa de Prevenção do Tabagismo]. Decerto são pessoas com família, filhos, amigos, uma carreira profissional estruturada, desafogo económico e que, em teoria, têm todas as condições para levar uma vida decente. Em vez disso, ocupam o Dia Mundial sem Tabaco, que ainda por cima calhou a um domingo, a congeminar maneiras de enxovalhar o próximo. Coitados.

Aprender Compensa...

...pena que a boa-educação se aprenda em casa:


Socialismo Cofidis

Em Espanha o Governo endivida-se para fazer face a despesas correntes do 'Estado de Bem-Estar', e entretanto aumenta os impostos — No hay dinero: El Gobierno pide un crédito de 17.000 millones para pagar el paro (Libertad Digital):
El Gobierno ha aprobado un crédito extraordinario para afrontar el pago de las prestaciones por desempleo. La razón: no hay dinero en la caja porque España lidera el paro de la OCDE con un 18,1% y caen los ingresos fiscales. Además, sube impuestos días después de las elecciones.

O socialismo como problema europeu

El socialismo como problema europeo do GEES:
Si el vencedor de las elecciones ha sido el rechazo a las instituciones, tras una catastrófica legislatura que ha oscilado entre la imposición de la Constitución, la del tratado de Lisboa y la renuncia a sus responsabilidades, el perdedor ha sido el socialismo.
Esto es especialmente grato .... , porque el socialismo lleva unos años creyendo que Europa es suya. Al menos la Europa institucional. Ya saben, "los primeros en Europa", "el corazón de Europa"...
Queda mucho socialismo posmoderno –política e intelectual– por desmantelar. La prueba: la auténtica crisis que subyace, la espiritual, sigue bien presente. No se avizora todavía en qué conjunción estelar estará la respuesta, pero no es la constelación socialista. Es la de los principios, valores y tradiciones europeos.

O Investimento Público

Agora que se volta a falar do investimento público com alguma seriedade, recomenda-se a (re)leitura do seguinte livro, que compila textos publicados na blogosfera no já longínquo ano de 2006 pelo Blasfémias e convidados:

O Investimento Público
A Ota, o TGV e outros sintomas de Elefantíase

Intervencionismo e entropia

Property Rights Take a Hit por Peter Schiff:
As a broker who specializes in foreign investments, I am always wary of political risk. I must consider how the threat of arbitrary government action could undermine the value of my investments. However, recent events show that political risk is now greater here than abroad, and U.S. assets, which have historically traded at premium valuations based on faith in our legal system, will soon trade at discounts to reflect this new threat. The fear of having contracts abrogated or property rights violated when doing so serves some contrived greater good will substantially raise our cost of capital and further reduce our competitiveness.

sexta-feira, junho 12, 2009

Resultados eleitorais (8)

Autismos (1) por Gabriel Silva no Blasfémias:
Cavaco Silva resolveu vir criticar os abstencionistas. É mesmo de quem não percebe nada. Então a resposta a uma proposta política (eleição directa de deputados europeus) é a de que a esmagadora maioria dos eleitores não quer saber do assunto e o PR não percebe a mensagem? A continuar assim, a abstenção tenderá ainda a ser maior.

E o que tem «os tempos difíceis» que vivemos a ver com a eleição de 22 deputados ao PE? «Não é aceitável» mandá-los às malvas porquê? Então agora são os dirigentes políticos que dizem o que o soberano (os cidadãos ) devem fazer e já não o contrário?

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