"2. Privatização de todas as empresas públicas e distribuição da receita por cada contribuinte."
Como alternativa proponho a distribuição das acções das várias empresas públicas pelos contribuintes.
From 1800 to 1913, there was a 40% decrease in an index of consumer prices from 51 to 30, and a 23% decrease in a composite of wholesale prices from 133 to 102. [Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1975, p. 211. Also Warren and Pearson, Gold and Prices, Wiley & Sons, 1935, pp. 19-20.]
EM Gold's Future as Money - Q&A
Nota: Os preços descem e a economia cresce. Na verdade, os preços descem tanto mais quanto a economia cresce. Hoje, apenas nos apercebemos disso quando nos lembramos que à medida que o tempo passa, e em média, conseguimos consumir maior quantidade de bens e serviços (independentemente do nível de preços e salários).
Quando a economia cresce, um bem adicional é produzido usando recursos que deixaram de ser necessários noutras linhas de produção. Monetáriamente o que acontece é que determinado produto passou a ser mais barato (porque menos recursos foram necessários para produzir a mesma quantidade - inovação tecnológica/método de gestão/etc), libertando o meio monetário necessário para o consumo de um novo produto adicional (produzido a partir do tal recurso entretanto libertado). Ou seja: "Production creates its own demand".
Claro que Keynes criou a maior das confusões nas cabecinhas dos economistas ao defender a ilusão que a criação monetária (imprimir fotocópias de notas num Banco Central com o monopólio coercivo de definir o que é moeda com curso legal) para "financiar" o crédito comercial artificialmente barato (taxas manipulados administrativamente) e a despesa do Estado tem alguma espécie de impacto positivo. Uma boa parte dos economistas parece ainda acreditar em tal patranha se bem que afundados em tantas fórmulas matemáticas, regressões e estudos abstractos, não se perceba bem quais são as suas bases fundamentais.
(1) "[s]ometimes democracies behave more aggressively than oligarchies or dictatorships. For example, in Ancient Greece, after the Athenian fleet failed to take Syracuse, an oligarchic coup occurred in Athens. When democracy was finally restored, Athenian policy again became more bellicose. In fact, democratic Athens was more aggressive than oligarchic Sparta…. As the Athenians assembled a powerful force to conquer Melos, the Melians attempted to make a moral case for peace. The Athenians slaughtered all the men, sold the women and children into slavery, and colonized the island….
"[Since] war and democracies have both been rare… the importance of any wars among democracies – for example, the War of 1812, the U.S. Civil War, and World War I – should be magnified" (p. 40).
Some of the biggest troubles with the theory relate to questions of what constitutes a democracy. According to Eland, "democratic peace theorists frequently and unconvincingly try to tweak the definition of democracy to exclude those cases from the category of ‘wars within the democratic family.’ For example, [they] attempt to exclude Wilhelmine Germany" from the definition. In spite of pre-World War I Germany’s "broadest voting franchise on the continent," "constitutional checks on the executive, parliamentary government, and civil liberties" and its widely perceived status as a "progressive constitutional state," Americans began to see it as more "militaristic and authoritarian" once the war broke out. And "although Germany often gets too much blame for causing World War I… the reckless German behavior prior to the war was caused by Democratic pressures. The German government, threatened from gains by the Social Democratic Party, attempted to unify the country with overly competitive behavior overseas" (41). The Tyrannical State by Michael Gaddy
(2) WARS OF THE DEMOCRATIC POWERS
There are numerous theoretical and empirical problems with the superficially appealing theory of democratic peace. Power kills and democratic states are quite powerful. The most powerful democratic states have been quite bellicose. Naturally, they have killed many, both internally and externally. Many of the pacific elements of democracies are in fact accidents: not essential elements of democracy but rather hangovers from the more republican past. It is mistake to focus on inter-democratic state violence when what really plagues the world is:
violence between democracies and non-democracies that democracies often provoke
violence within democratic states
the symbiotic relationships between dictatorships and democracies
the instability of democracy.
Democracies are implicated in the three main threats to world peace today: terrorism, nuclear war and ethnic/religious conflict. Democratic pacifism truly is a myth. Not only does it fail to explain how we can achieve world peace, but the theory itself has caused and, as explained in Part IV, continues to cause war! It is literally an intellectual dead end.
Year State War
1899 France Chad-France
1899 U.S. Philippine Insurrection
1914-18 U.S., France, U.K. World War I
1916-21 U.K. Anglo-Irish (civil war)
1919 U.K. Afghanistan-British War
1939-45 U.S., France, U.K. World War II
1945 U.S. Chinese Civil War
1946 U.K. Indo-China War
1948 Israel Arab-Israel War
1952 France Algerian revolution
1950-53 U.S. Korean War
1956 Israel Suez or Sinai War
1956-1964 France Vietnam
1962 India China-India
1965-1973 U.S. Vietnam
1965 India India-Pakistan
1967 Israel Six-Day War
1971 India India-Pakistan
1973 Israel Yom Kippur War
1975-1984 U.K. Britain-Ireland
1982 Israel Israel-Lebanon
1982 U.K. The Falkland War
1983 U.S. Grenada
1991 U.S. Gulf War
1999 U.S. Yugoslavia
2001-02 U.S. Afghanistan
Em Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution, By Murray N. RothbardOriginally published in the Cato Journal 2, No. 1 (Spring 1982): pp. 55-99. Reprinted in The Logic of Action Two, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. (1997) pp. 121-170.
"(...) A Theory of Just Property: Homesteading
There are two fundamental principles upon which the libertarian theory of just property rests:
(a) Everyone has absolute property right over his or her own body; and
(b) everyone has an absolute property right over previously unowned natural resources (land) which he first occupies and brings into use (in the Lockean phrase, “Mixing his labor with the land”).
The “first ownership to first use” principle for natural resources is also popularly called the “homesteading principle.” If each man owns the land that he “mixes his labor with,” then he owns the product of that mixture, and he has the right to exchange property titles with other, similar producers. This establishes the right of free contract in the sense of transfer of property titles. It also establishes the right to give away such titles, either as a gift or bequest.
Most of us think of homesteading unused resources in the oldfashioned sense of clearing a piece of unowned land and farming the soil. There are, however, more sophisticated and modern forms of homesteading, which should establish a property right. Suppose, for example, that an airport is established with a great deal of empty land around it. The airport exudes a noise level of, say, X decibels, with the sound waves traveling over the empty land. A housing development then buys land near the airport. Some time later, the homeowners sue the airport for excessive noise interfering with the use and quiet enjoyment of the houses.
Excessive noise can be considered a form of aggression but in this case the airport has already homestead X decibels worth of noise. By its prior claim, the airport now “owns the right” to emit X decibels of noise in the surrounding area. In legal terms, we can then say that the airport, through homesteading, has earned an easement right to creating X decibels of noise. This homesteaded easement is an example of the ancient legal concept of “prescription,” in which a certain activity earns a prescriptive property right to the person engaging in the action.
On the other hand, if the airport starts to increase noise levels, then the homeowners could sue or enjoin the airport from its noise aggression for the extra decibels, which had not been homesteaded.
Of course if a new airport is built and begins to send out noise of X decibels onto the existing surrounding homes, the airport becomes fully liable for the noise invasion.
It should be clear that the same theory should apply to air pollution. If A is causing pollution of B's air, and this can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then this is aggression and it should be enjoined and damages paid in accordance with strict liability, unless A had been there first and had already been polluting the air before B's property was developed. For example, if a factory owned by A polluted originally unused property, up to a certain amount of pollutant X, then A can be said to have homesteaded a pollution easement of a certain degree and type.(...)"
PS: Também achei muito injusto e irónico que uma iniciativa absolutamente privada (ou assim parece) de depor um ditador acabe por ser julgada como um crime. Pelo o que o Estado faz (mesmo que o faça à custa financiamento coercivo, permissas erradas - no just war -, resultados desastrosos, morte aos milhares e destruição em massa, etc) ninguém responde (porque dizem, somos "nós" que o fazemos, ou pelo menos a maioria de "nós"). Os mesmos actos, financiados e com riscos voluntários, são um crime....
Patrick J. Buchanan "Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together," Edmund Burke admonished the haughty rulers of the British Empire of his time. Our American empire is suffering from a similar want of wisdom and plenitude of the hubris that cost George III his 13 colonies.(...)
(...) it is with near-despair that one reads the front-page story in the Washington Times: "Senators Seek to Sanction Russia: Say Putin Acts Autocratically."
Who are the senators? They are those twin protectors and proctors of global democracy, Joe Lieberman and John McCain, and they want Putin sanctioned by having the world's industrial democracies, the G-8, suspend Russia's membership, which would be an insult and humiliation.
Putin's crimes? Says McCain: "Mr. Putin has moved to eliminate the popular election of 89 of Russia's regional governors, has cracked down on independent media, continued his repression of business executives who oppose his government, and is reasserting the Kremlin's old-style central control." Says McCain, "The coup is no longer creeping – it is galloping."
But a question arises: Why are these internal matters of the Russian republic any business of John McCain's? Putin is the elected president of Russia. Who elected McCain to anything outside of Arizona?
During our Civil War, Lincoln blockaded Southern ports without the approval of Congress, suspended habeas corpus, sent troops to prevent a free election in Maryland, sought to arrest Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, shut down newspapers, shot down rioters on the streets of New York, and made himself dictator of the Union. Was that any business of the members of Britain's House of Lords? Just who do we Americans think we are?
Whether Russia's governors are elected or appointed is none of our business. As for the jailing of oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, or any of the others in that den of thieves, that is no more our concern than TR's smashing of the trusts or Truman's seizure of the coal mines or Bush's incarceration of Martha Stewart was or is any of Russia's business.
As for President Putin acting "autocratically," can Sen. McCain recall when Russian rulers have acted any other way?(...)
Since Reagan achieved the rapprochement with Russia, the United States has pushed NATO up to her borders; bombed her ally Serbia for 78 days; interfered in elections in Georgia, Ukraine, and Belarus; and begun a pipeline to cut Moscow out of the Caspian oil trade.
Now, Russia is going her own way: selling SAMs to Syria, AK-47s to Venezuela, missiles and fighter aircraft to China, and aiding Iran in completing its first nuclear power plant.
Of this generation of leaders, it may be said in epitaph: They were too small to see the larger world. They frittered away in a decade what others had won in a half-century of perseverance in the Cold War."
I don't want to indulge in any self-pitying false comparisons. We have neither Gestapo nor Gulag, and it is an insult to all those who have experienced such things in their own flesh and blood (or bone, as they say in Spanish, perhaps more accurately) to compare our small tribulations with theirs. Irritations are not tragedies.
Nevertheless, I think we are less free than we used to be. The weight of the state is making itself everywhere felt. In my former professional life as a doctor, for example, I was obliged more and more to obey the dictates of ministers, rather than those of my medical beliefs. Whereas when I started out on my career all that was necessary to continue in practice was that I should be qualified and that I should refrain from behaving in an egregious or outrageous manner, by the time I retired this year I had to fulfil all sorts of requirements, all of which (in this age of evidence-based medicine) were quite without evidence of use or efficacy. But that is not the real point of such requirements: they are not there to improve the quality of medical practice; they are there to let us all know who is boss. And even if they were effective, which is intrinsically very difficult to prove, they would still represent a loss of liberty.
Very rarely nowadays do I feel myself free of the state. Its power has increased, is increasing and ought to be decreased. But I am not the man to do it. By retiring, I have withdrawn myself from it as far as possible. Il faut cultiver notre jardin.
Ramesh Ponnuru of NRO thinks it important to correct a “much-discussed” study purporting to show that “higher incomes are not associated with higher frequencies of sexual activity.” According to the link provided by Ponnuru, they are.
It is somewhat surprising to see National Review’s house “social conservative” feel the need to reassure his readers that being rich does mean having more sex. But these days, both the left and the “mainstream right” seem to view sexual pleasure as the summum bonum of human existence. Such a view logically leads, of course, to acceptance of abortion and promiscuity, which may explain why much of the “mainstream right’s” opposition to both is largely limited to rhetoric.
...é acabar com a transferência de rendimento dos trabalhadores activos para os reformados e acabar com a noção de poupança compulsória (coerciva).
Um solução de compromisso seria fixar o subsídio de desemprego e a pensão de reforma num valor equivalente ao salário mínimo (que por acaso devia ser abolido, mas isso é outra conversa) permitindo adoptar um tecto de constribuição máxima, ou seja, uma subida dramática do rendimento disponível (e livre) das famílias.
Sendo o imposto da Segurança Social de cerca de 33% do rendimento, o que significa que a sua abolição aumentaria de imediato em 50% os salários brutos, querem então perguntar quem abdica voluntáriamente do serviço compulsório de seguro de rendimento e poupança de longo prazo? Tanta conversa sobre liberdade, liberdade, e os sociais democratas de esquerda e direita não percebem o quanto se assemelham a qualquer ditadorzinho?
George Reisman: "(...)Here is an alternative, pro-free-market reform of Social Security that I suggest. It is one that many readers will find extremely radical and perhaps frightening as well. I put it forward in the hope that it will serve as a starting point for further discussion leading to the achievement of the ultimate goal of economic freedom.
First, following a period of two to three years to allow time for necessary adjustments to be made, immediately raise the Social Security retirement age from 66 (which it is scheduled to be as of 2009) to 70.
This, of course, would be a major disappointment to everyone who had counted on starting to receive a Social Security pension sooner. Fortunately, there is a way to give these people a substantial form of relief, which would go a long way toward alleviating their hardship. That is, at the same time that sixty-six year olds are denied entry into the Social Security system, enact for their benefit a “senior citizens' employment-income tax exemption” in the amount of, say, $90,000 per year, which is equal to the current maximum income subject to the Social Security tax. The far greater part of the taxes thereby waived for these seniors on their income derived from employment would be taxes the government would never have collected in the first place, since most of the seniors would not have been working otherwise. The elimination of the government's payment of pensions to this group would far outweigh any loss of revenue from those sixty-six year olds who would have worked and paid taxes on their incomes even in the absence of the rise in the Social Security retirement age.
This income-tax exemption should be extended and enlarged year by year until it embraces everyone in the 66 to 69 year-old age group. And, of course, it should be progressively increased from year to year to keep pace with rising prices and rising wage rates. Indeed, it should eventually be extended to apply to everyone 66 years old or older. States with income taxes of their own should be required to adopt the same tax exemption. In this way, the years remaining in life past today's customary retirement age might become truly “golden years” for millions of people, who at last would be freed of the burden of income taxes on their earnings derived from employment.
The retirement age of 70 should be retained perhaps for as long as fifteen years, to make it possible for all workers aged 55 and over at the time of its enactment to take advantage of it. Thereafter, however, the Social Security retirement age should be gradually increased further, to 75, over, say, a twenty-year period, rising at the rate of one calendar quarter for each passing year. Thus, workers aged 54 at the time of the reform's enactment would be eligible for social security at the age of 70 ¼, while those aged 35 at the time of its enactment would not be eligible until the age of 75.
The Social Security system should accept no new pension recipients after the end of this twenty year period. In other words, it would be closed to workers 34 years of age and younger at the time of the reform's enactment. These workers, who would be ineligible for Social Security, would all have ample time to make their own provision for the future. The Social Security system itself would progressively decline and ultimately disappear as its pensioners passed away.
The government's very considerable savings from reduced pension obligations over an initial phase-out period totaling almost forty years from start to finish, should be earmarked for reductions in the Social Security taxes of the workers who will never be able to enter the system, i.e., in the above scenario, workers aged 34 and less at the time of the reform's enactment. As these workers advance in age, new workers will be entering the labor market. There will thus be an increasing number of workers to bear the burden of the Social Security system's final phase. This will permit Social Security tax rates to be steadily reduced on this group, until they disappear altogether.(...)
The end of Social Security and its diversion of funds into government consumption—the return to private, individual saving and provision for the future—will mean a great increase in saving and the accumulation of capital, because the savings of individuals will be invested, not squandered. This, in turn, will mean a more prosperous and more rapidly progressing economic system, in which the standard of living of everyone, young and old will greatly improve.
The only really proper reform of Social Security is the gradual abolition of the whole system."
It is fine to celebrate the great achievements of democracies, once they are firmly established. But such celebrations confuse cause and effect. The reason democratic nations have personal liberties, property rights, and rule of law is not that they are democracies. Rather, nations that have those things embody the entire package of the Western tradition of good government. Requiring that government actions hinge on the consent of the governed is the ribbon that holds that bundle together, but it is not the bundle itself.
This essay may make me sound like an enemy of democracy, some kind of elitist nut. Well, that's not entirely wrong. But describing democracy's flaws is not the same as arguing the virtues of elitism or dictatorship. I just want to foster an humble skepticism about what democracy really is and what it can actually accomplish. Many policy conflicts hinge on whether the public can tell individuals what to do. There is a subtlety that is often missed in policy debate: there is a difference between public decisions and collective decisions. Public decisions affect everyone by the nature of the choice itself: we can only have one defense budget; polluting rivers befouls not just my water, but yours.
Collective decisions, on the other hand, affect us all only because the majority is empowered to force its will on everyone. There need be no true public aspects to the decision as a policy outcome; we have just chosen to take the decision out of individuals' hands and put the power in the hands of the mob.
Now, it may very well be the case that lots of collective decisions are also public. But we need to see the line dividing private and collective choices, and to defend it fiercely. As P. J. O'Rourke notes, the fact that a majority likes something doesn't mean that the majority should get to choose that something for everyone.
The real key to freedom is to secure people from tyranny by the majority, or freedom from democracy.
I was not surprised to see that Michael Novak, the well-known neoconservative author, had written a book called The Universal Hunger for Liberty. I was surprised to see the subtitle —Why the Clash of Civilizations Is Not Inevitable. Although strongly opposed to the foreign-policy positions Novak has advocated, I can appreciate much of what he is attempting to do here. Intentionally or not, Novak has written a book that tempers the extremism of the likes of Daniel Pipes on the most belligerent end of the neoconservative spectrum, whose vision of the future involves ceaseless war and the very clash of civilizations that Novak’s new book insists is avoidable.
Novak devotes the most potentially controversial part of his book to exploring whether the institutions of the free society might be expected to take root in Islamic soil. He wonders whether there exists within Islamic theology the potential for doctrinal development, whereby what is implicit in Islamic belief is drawn out and rendered explicit with the passage of time, such that fresh insights may be gleaned from older truths. John Henry Cardinal Newman, the celebrated 19th-century Anglican whose Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine led him into the Catholic Church, famously posited just such a phenomenon within the Christian tradition. Novak is confident that ideas of individual responsibility and human dignity, which he describes as fundamental to Islam, may under the proper theological guidance be developed in such a way as to provide support for political moderation, even liberalism. He points to Muslim scholars who are anxious to carry out this very project, though he concedes the uphill struggle this woefully outnumbered minority have before them.
Critics may still say that Novak is too optimistic about this project. Perhaps he is. But Islam is a fact of life, and it is the faith of a billion people around the globe. The Christian world has had next to no success in its attempts to convert Muslims in any serious numbers, and while missionary failure is no reason to give up trying, it certainly does add a cautionary note to our deliberations. It is not sentimental hooey to hope—no matter how forlorn such a hope may be—that these people, with whom we live in this world, can carve out for themselves some kind of livable political order that befits human beings.
"In the case of Hiroshima, no substantive evidence exists that the bombing was “necessary” to make Japan surrender. In fact, the Japanese had already attempted to sue for peace in July and were only hesitant because they distrusted the terms of unconditional surrender that the Allies demanded.
They specifically wanted to keep their emperor, which, after the atomic bombings, they were allowed to, anyway. The military estimated before Hiroshima that invasion would cost as many as 20,000 or 30,000 American lives, but not nearly the half million lives that Truman later claimed had been the estimate. Even without invasion, Japan was utterly defeated by the war and U.S. blockades prevented the island nation from getting the necessary food to survive, much less maintain any type of threat against America.
Truman’s decision to use nuclear weapons against civilians has not gone without criticism from the political and military elite of his time.
Truman’s chief of staff, Admiral William D. Leahy, wrote in his book I Was There that using the “barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.” He lamented that the U.S. government “had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages” and that he “was not taught to make war in that fashion.” In 1963 Dwight Eisenhower told Newsweek that “the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.” Targeting Civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki by Anthony Gregory
PS: a insistência numa derrota total do regime japonês conduziu a que o comunismo (tal como em metade da Europa devido à aliança com Estaline) tomasse facilmente conta da Ásia.
"(...) A man may allocate his money to consumption, investment, or addition to his cash balance. His time preferences govern the proportion which an individual devotes to present and to future goods, i.e., to consumption and to investment. Now suppose a man’s demand-for-money schedule increases, and he therefore decides to allocate a proportion of his money income to increasing his cash balance. There is no reason to suppose that this increase affects the consumption/investment proportion at all. It could, but if so, it would mean a change in his time preference schedule as well as in his demand for money.
If the demand for money increases, there is no reason why a change in the demand for money should affect the interest rate one iota. There is no necessity at all for an increase in the demand for money to raise the interest rate, or a decline to lower it—no more than the opposite. In fact, there is no causal connection between the two; one is determined by the valuations for money, and the other by valuations for time preference." Murray N. Rothbard
Kyoto protest beaten back by inflamed petrol traders
WHEN 35 Greenpeace protesters stormed the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) yesterday they had planned the operation in great detail.
What they were not prepared for was the post-prandial aggression of oil traders who kicked and punched them back on to the pavement.
"We bit off more than we could chew. They were just Cockney barrow boy spivs. Total thugs," one protester said, rubbing his bruised skull. "I’ve never seen anyone less amenable to listening to our point of view."
Another said: "I took on a Texan Swat team at Esso last year and they were angels compared with this lot." Behind him, on the balcony of the pub opposite the IPE, a bleary-eyed trader, pint in hand, yelled: "Sod off, Swampy."
Il y a assez de lumière pour ceux qui ne désirent que de voir, et assez d'obscurité pour ceux qui ont une disposition contraire.
Il y a assez de clarté pour éclairer les élus, et assez d'obscurité pour les humilier.
Il y a assez d'obscurité pour aveugler les réprouvés, et assez de clarté pour les condamner et les rendre inexcusables.
- Blaise Pascal
A verdade é que esta reacção à Igreja, aos católicos, aos milagres e tudo aquilo que os cristãos designam, apreciam e valorizam a seu bel-prazer, sugere complexos não superados, cujos portadores deviam enfrentar sozinhos e no mais introspectivo silêncio.
My Privatized Valentine
A martyr for state-free marriage
Around 270 A.D.—according to one tradition, at least—St. Valentine, a Roman cleric, was imprisoned for his opposition to Emperor Claudius' decree that young men (his potential crop of soldiers) could no longer marry. Valentine performed their ceremonies anyway and was thrown in jail for his obstinacy. His belief was that marriage is too sacred a rite to relegate to the incompetence of state bureaucracy. And, on February 14, he was executed for that belief.
"(...) the democratization of law and law enforcement — the substitution of the people for the king — made matters only worse, however.
The price of justice and peace has risen astronomically, and all the while the quality of law has steadily deteriorated to the point where the idea of law as a body of universal and immutable principles of justice has almost disappeared from public opinion and has been replaced by the idea of law as legislation (government-made law).
At the same time, democracy has succeeded where monarchy only made a modest beginning: in the ultimate destruction of the natural elites. The fortunes of great families have dissipated, and their tradition of a culture of economic independence, intellectual farsightedness, and moral and spiritual leadership has been lost and forgotten.
Rich men still exist today, but more frequently than not they owe their fortune now directly or indirectly to the state. Hence, they are often more dependent on the state’s continued favors than people of far lesser wealth. They are typically no longer the heads of long established leading families but ‘nouveaux riches’.
Their conduct is not marked by special virtue, dignity, or taste but is a reflection of the same proletarian mass-culture of presentorientedness, opportunism, and hedonism that the rich now share with everyone else; and consequently, their opinions carry no more weight in public opinion than anyone else’s.(...)" THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF MONARCHY AND DEMOCRACY, AND THE IDEA OF A NATURAL ORDER Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Agora a Maria vai casar com o José. Foi o pai dela que arranjou o casamento. O José faz-lhe lembrar o António, de quem era muito amigo. O José propõe-se gerir as finanças familiares de outra maneira. Quando a Maria lhe pergunta como é que ele vai fazer ele explica: "É fácil, o objectivo é sermos felizes."
O José já prometeu que as semanadas das crianças vão ser aumentadas, porque é uma vergonha que os nossos filhos tenham menos dinheiro que os filhos dos outros. Vai comprar um computador lá para casa e ligá-lo à Internet, em banda larga. Vai haver telemóveis para todos. "É um choque tecnológico", explica ele. E promete à Maria, que continua a ser a única a trabalhar lá em casa, que não vai precisar de lhe dar nem mais um tostão. O José vai gerir a casa com o que tem. E daqui para a frente, quem paga o café e os cigarros é ele. Essa mania do consumidor-pagador já era.
Soa a banha da cobra mas a Maria quer marido e os bons pretendentes não aparecem.
"Lebanese Broadcasting Co.'s satellite television news is reporting that the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), comprising Shiite religious parties, has won an absolute majority (141 seats) after adjustments were made in accordance with electoral procedure. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the list leader, expressed his pleasure at this 51 percent outcome for his coalition. The UIA still needs a 2/3s majority, and therefore a coalition partner or partners, to form a government (which involves electing a president and two vice-presidents, who will appoint a prime minister).
But it can now win votes on procedure and legislation without needing any other partner.
Robin Wright of the Washington Post points out that an electoral victory of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Dawa Party, both of them close to Tehran, is not what Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the Neoconservatives had been going for with this Iraq adventure. The United Iraqi Alliance is led by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, a Shiite cleric who lived over 2 decades in exile in Iran. I point out that the likely coalition partner of the United Iraqi Alliance is the Kurdistan Alliance, led by Jalal Talabani, who is himself very close to Tehran. So there are likely to be warm Baghdad-Tehran relations."
"(...) let me move on to the substance of Professor Hoppe's claim that homosexuals tend to "plan," i.e., save, less than heterosexuals.
This seems to me to be: (1) not merely highly likely as a theoretical matter but implied by rather straightforward economic theory; (2) supported by empirical evidence; (3) not in the least invidious; and (4) a very useful teaching illustration.
The point I believe that Professor Hoppe was trying to make is that our tendency to save rather than consume is a function of the particular circumstances of our lives. Specifically, to the extent that we have affective relationships with others and are concerned with their financial well being, especially if they are financially dependent on us, we will be inclined to save more than were these conditions not to prevail.
Thus because homosexuals tend not to bear and rear children they will tend to feel less of a need to save and insure their lives. The distinction between homosexuals and heterosexuals is but one of many that I (and I suspect Professor Hoppe) would pile on to capture the point of the relationship between our economic lives and our social, cultural, religious, sexual, and other differences.
There are a fascinating variety of ways in which this relationship presents itself. For example, I am inclined to tell my students that in those cultures where chastity and marital fidelity are more present, more saving will occur because paternity is more certain.
The various points being made by the examples are powerful and important: (1) it shows the relationship between the ordinary psychological, social, religious, and cultural aspects of life and their economic consequences; (2) it shows that the savings rate, something that is normally thought of as a function of narrow government "economic" policy, e.g., monetary policy is driven by more fundamental human drives, and that differences across communities in the savings rate is effected more by differences in their "non-economic" ways of life than other things."
Since when is revolutionary a conservative compliment? Modern conservatism is usually dated from Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France (1791), a profoundly anti-revolutionary book that warned against an imprudent disdain for tradition.
Burke presciently argued that France’s hot pursuit of “the abstract rights of man” could lead only to violence and, finally, tyranny, probably under some strongman. He wrote this years before the world had heard of Napoleon Bonaparte.
France had just undergone a self-inflicted regime change, and after a year of observation from across the English Channel Burke found himself “alarmed into reflection” on the bloody events in Paris. He set down his thoughts in some of the most beautiful English prose ever written, a model for all future conservatives.
Burke stressed such principles as prudence, tradition, and a sense of limits, as opposed to utopian hopes for perfect political arrangements on earth. Political wisdom begins with the realization that man is a fallen creature whose passions need to be checked, not inflamed. Until recently, nearly all professed conservatives would have agreed.
But today the new conservative consensus seems to be that Burke’s principles are applicable when Democrats are in power but may be set aside when Republicans rule. Conservatives, in just a few years, have been transformed into utopians. (...)
Bush was straining for the same effect. America’s freedom depends on freedom everywhere. We will eliminate tyranny, everywhere, forever and ever! And just how do we do that? By expanding the War on Terror into a War on Tyranny?(...)
Did this mean that allies of the United States will henceforth have to be democratic? Or else?(...)
The inaugural address itself is just one of the rituals: The president is supposed to make idealistic JFK-type declarations about freedom and resolve that nobody takes very literally.
But in Bush’s case, you never know. He may mean every word of it, to judge by his policies. A global crusade for democracy is not out of the question. Or maybe he was just looking for a quick bump in the polls, as when, a couple of years ago, he came up with the idea of sending a man to Mars. That didn’t seize the public imagination as hoped, so we’ve heard no more of it.
What is clear, though, is that Bush is pretty nearly the diametric opposite of a Burkean conservative. Modern conservatives like Robert Taft, Russell Kirk, and Michael Oakeshott wouldn’t recognize him as one of their own.
His zeal for utopian language and utopian projects marks him as an alien to the breed. He shares the Napoleonic ambition to impose a new international order.
Não sou católico, ateu e nem sequer agnóstico. Fico-me pela minha heresia panteísta. Mas sei que qualquer coisa de extraordinário ocorreu na Cova de Iria no ano de 1917. Não sei, nem nunca saberei o que efectivamente foi. Aliás, nem para os católicos, as aparições são uma questão de dogma. Mas há uma coisa que reconheço, com toda a humildade de um mortal que continua à procura da raiz do mais além. Havia três pastorinhos: Francisco, Jacinta e Lúcia e hoje faleceu esta última grande senhora da nossa história. Para os crentes de Fátima, para os católicos, para todos os portugueses que sejam homens de boa vontade. Só espíritos fechados em ódios e dogmatismos poderão negar a nobreza de carácter de alguém que representa, para milhões e milhões de homens, um testemunho do que vai além da morte. Que mais exemplos de vida como esta, possamos ter!
O Estado Social faliu. Já não é possível que tão poucos paguem regalias a tantos. Esta é a questão que urge enfrentar. É preciso que se repense a organização social tal como ela existe actualmente. As dificuldades que vivemos, mais que económicas, são políticas e só com o regresso da política e do debate sobre o que realmente queremos, é que estaremos aptos a preparar o nosso futuro.
by Tom Barry
The neoconservative Project for the New American Century (PNAC) has signaled its intention to continue shaping the government’s national security strategy with a new public letter stating that the “U.S. military is too small for the responsibilities we are asking it to assume.” Rather than reining in the imperial scope of U.S. national security strategy as set forth by the first Bush administration, PNAC and the letter’s signatories call for increasing the size of America’s global fighting machine.
The January 28th PNAC letter advocates that House and Senate leaders take the necessary steps “to increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps.”
Joining the neocons in the letter to congressional leaders were a group of prominent liberals – giving some credence to PNAC’s claim that the “call to act” to increase the total number of U.S. ground forces counts on bipartisan support.
Irving Kristol, known as the “godfather of neoconservatism,” famously defined neoconservatives as “liberals who have been mugged by reality.” That political mugging occurred in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the rise of the counterculture, the anti-war movement, and progressive New Politics of the Democratic Party.
Former Trotskyite militants and Cold War liberals like Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, and Midge Decter switched their loyalties to the Republican Party. The “reality” that mugged the neocons was the progressive turn in the Democratic Party led by such figures as Jesse Jackson, Bella Abzug, George McGovern, and Jimmy Carter. In contrast, the neoconservatives found the militant anticommunism and social conservatism of the Ronald Reagan faction in the Republican Party invigorating. In the neocon lexicon, liberalism became synonymous with secularism, women’s liberation, anti-Americanism, and appeasement.
Over the past quarter century, the neocons have sought, with increasing success, to rid the Republican Party of its isolationists, its anti-imperialists, and its realists. The younger neocons, such as William Kristol (son of Irving) and Elliott Abrams (son-in-law of Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter), have promoted a new right-wing internationalism that holds that America should be both a global cop and a global missionary for freedom.
Traditional conservatives and Republican Party realists say that the neocons’ foreign policy agenda is, respectively, neo-imperialist and unrealistic about the capacity of U.S. military power to remake the world.
Apart from their militarist friends in the Pentagon and defense industries, the neocons are finding that their closest ideological allies are the internationalists in the liberal camp. Having recuperated from their mugging, the neocons are now reaching out to liberals who share their idealism about America’s global mission.
To the delight of the neocons at PNAC and AEI, an influential group of liberal hawks share their vision of a U.S. grand strategy that will create a world order based on U.S. military supremacy and America’s presumed moral superiority."
"Fair trade bears a suspicious likeness to our old friend protection. Protection was dead and buried 30 years ago, but he has come out of the grave and is walking around in the broad light of day. But after long experience underground, he endeavours to look more attractive than he used to appear... and in consequence he found it convenient to assume a new name."
- William Gladstone (1809 - 1898), former UK Prime Minister
Lecture causes dispute: UNLV accused of limiting free speech
A UNLV professor under fire for comments he made about homosexuals during a class lecture last year demanded Friday that the university stop threatening to punish him.
"I have done absolutely nothing wrong," said the professor, Hans Hoppe, a conservative libertarian economist with almost 20 years teaching experience at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, on Hoppe's behalf, sent a letter to UNLV officials alleging that the university violated Hoppe's free speech rights and his right to academic freedom.
The subject of the lecture was economic planning for the future. Hoppe said he gave several examples to the class of about 30 upper-level undergraduate students on groups who tend to plan for the future and groups who do not.
Very young and very old people, for example, tend not to plan for the future, he said. Couples with children tend to plan more than couples without.
As in all social sciences, he said, he was speaking in generalities.
Another example he gave the class was that homosexuals tend to plan less for the future than heterosexuals.
Reasons for the phenomenon include the fact that homosexuals tend not to have children, he said. They also tend to live riskier lifestyles than heterosexuals, Hoppe said.
Rothbard durante os anos de Bush pai (e ainda antes do Golfo I):
"(...)Max Lerner has outlined for us with great clarity the neocon version of the New World Order: an order where not only any America First trend is stamped out, but also any "Russia first" or anyone else first movement everywhere in the world, in order to eradicate all nationalisms and "anti-Semitism."
Does this mean that the United States is supposed to run the world in order to crush all nationalism and anti-Semitism throughout the globe? Can this foreign policy doctrine be sold, in all its candor and clarity, to the American public? Is Max willing to take a democratic vote on this issue?
All nationalisms must be stamped out, it seems, but one. For Israel must be supported to the hilt and beyond. Of course, bipartisan all-out support for Israel would mean, in Max's words, "a rejection of Patrick Buchanan and America's most dangerous isolationist movement since the dark days on the eve of World War II." But Max admits he's got a tough row to hoe.
For President Bush is persisting in terrible anti-Israel policies, "his petty personal grudge against Yitzhak Shamir" (who, knowing Shamir, could possibly have a personal grudge against this lovable character?); his "false realism" in courting "terrorist" Arab countries (Hey, Max, your pal Shamir has no mean terrorist record himself); and Bush's "indifference" to the "plight" of new immigrants to Israel (English translation: Shamir's urge to settle these immigrants in Arab areas). And behind Bush, says Max, is the even more terrible "James Baker and his media claque" (Go ahead, say it, Max: his "amen corner").
Well, how about the Democrats? No, because none of the Democratic candidates are denouncing Bush and Baker for their "betrayal of the American-Israeli alliance" (alliance against whom exactly, Max?)."
Comentários: Bush pai antes do Golfo I terá sido porventura ainda a última administração americana com realismo estratégico, independência, e pudor contra o idealismo (à direita) quase histérico dos dias actuais (de pessoas com idade a fazerem lembrar o espirito juvenil-adolescente-revolucionário de outros tempos).
French MPs vote out 35-hour week
French lawmakers have voted in favour of a controversial bill to increase the country's 35-hour working week. The proposal backed by a large majority allows private-sector employees to work up to 48 hours a week.
Observers say the 370-180 vote underscores the government's determination to revamp a system that it blames for a stubbornly high unemployment rate and rising labour costs.
French unemployment figures stand at about 10% of the work force amid complaints from private sector companies that the existing system makes them uncompetitive.
Pius XII at War
The dishonest story of Pope Pius XII being "Hitler’s pope" for not doing enough to protect Jews in the last war has surfaced again. It does not reflect well on the people who spread it.
Cardinal Pacelli served as Pius XII from 1939 to 1958. He recognized Hitler as a threat to German culture and as early as 1921 was criticizing the Nazis. Professor Ronald Rychlak documents that between 1917 and 1929, 40 public speeches made on German soil by Pacelli before he was Pope contained attacks on National Socialism. As Pope he pressed hard for peace, declaring that "Nothing is lost by peace but everything may be lost by war." He devoted his first six years in office to bringing relief to the suffering plus bringing as many Jews as possible to freedom. Thousands of Jews were housed in Church buildings in Rome – even after the Nazis occupied the city in 1943.
These were only a few of the hundreds of thousands that the Church saved from Nazi killers. In 1967 Israeli diplomat Pinchas Lapide estimated that Pope Pius XII was "instrumental in saving at least 700,00 possibly as many as 860,000 Jews from death at Nazi hands." To put these numbers in perspective consider that the Nazis had 8,300,000 Jews under their control; 6,000,000 were killed leaving 2,300,000 survivors. If we take Lapide’s lowest figure, the Pope was instrumental in saving 30% of the Jews who survived the Holocaust.
After the war Soviet Communists began the disinformation campaign against the Church. Pope Pius was the leading anti-communist leader in the world. Hating him and the Church was as much a part of Soviet Communism as hating Jews was part of Nazism. But as Rabbi David G. Dalin notes in his authoritative article in the Weekly Standard, "Pope Pius XII and the Jews," this communist big lie was appropriated by "lapsed or angry" Catholic writers as "simply the biggest club available for modernists to use against traditionalist Catholics."
Further testament to Pius’ moral stature is the fact that the Chief Rabbi of Rome chose to convert to Catholicism after the war. Obviously conversion involves more than the example of one man. Nevertheless the example of a good man can have an impact, and the example was there.
Communiqué de l'Institut Hayek
L'Union européenne veut interdire les symboles nazis - mais pas les symboles communistes...
Nos inestimables élites politiques européennes veulent bannir les symboles nazis en pénalisant leur exhibition.
On mesure l'urgence et l'intelligence de la mesure.
Perdant une fois encore l'occasion de se taire, de nouveaux Européens s'étonnent : pourquoi limiter la mesure aux symboles nazis ? Quid des symboles communistes ? Les crimes communistes seraient en quelque façon moins accablants que les crimes nazis ?
Oui mais non, explique le commissaire européen Frattini : le "contexte" de la discussion actuelle ne se prête pas à l'élargissement de la mesure aux symboles communistes.
Il serait intéressant de connaître l'avis sur la question du commissaire européen Laszlo Kovacs.
(En illustration, une affiche électorale qui tapisse actuellement les murs du Portugal)
I do not believe that the main advantage of a private account system is that individuals can get a higher return on their old age savings by investing in stocks. There are no free lunches from such investments since the higher return on stocks is related to their greater risk and other trade offs between stocks and different assets. However, neither is there any special “transition” problem in moving to a fully funded privatized system since future generations in some way or another have to pay for the implicit debt due to commitments toward present and future retirees. But it is better to transit smoothly to fund this debt rather than require a sharp increases in taxes on later generations.
As in Chile and other countries with private retirement accounts, the government would guarantee every retiree a minimum income-similar to but larger than the minimum social security guaranteed income under the present United States system. Unfortunately, such guarantees create a “moral hazard”; that is, savers may want to make risky investments that give high payoffs if they succeed since the government partly bails them out if they fail. Or they may not save at all. The minimum required savings rate overcomes the latter incentive to “game” the system, and regulation of which types of investment accounts are approved takes care of the incentive to be overly risk-taking.
There is no guarantee that government interference would not increase further in such a privatized system since the retired would continue to press for additional benefits. But experience shows that governments interfere less when an industry is privatized than when it is a public enterprise, especially in access to capital and financing of industry budget deficits.
So the really strong arguments for privatization are that they reduce the role of government in determining retirement ages and incomes, and improve government accounting of revenues and spending obligations. All the other issues are really diversions because neither advocates or opponents of privatization are asking the most meaningful question about privatizing social security: Is there as strong a political economy case for eliminating government management of the retirement industry as there is for eliminating their management of most other industries? My answer is "yes".