Sunday, December 14, 2014

Em defesa da disciplina voluntariamente aceite

A respeito disto e disto, a discussão parece ser sobretudo sobre se a disciplina de voto é boa ou má. Mas o que me parece o ponto principal é que os deputados do PSD/Madeira aceitaram ser deputados em representação de um partido que, nas suas regras internas, têm a disciplina de voto no que diz respeito ao Orçamento de Estado.

E, mais importante ainda, mesmo que o PSD decida suspendê-los ou demiti-los de deputados, ninguém os obriga a pedirem a suspensão ou a demissão do mandato; ou seja, se eles, na sequência de algum processo disciplinar, pedirem a demissão, é porque aceitaram, voluntariamente, cumprir a decisão do partido de os demitir (recorde-se que isto começou com um comunicado do LIVRE pedindo para a presidente da AR não aceitar pedidos de demissão de deputados apresentados na sequência de processos disciplinares). Assim, se os deputados do PSD Madeira decidirem, repito, voluntariamente, obedecer às decisões do partido, a que propósito é que a presidente da AR deveria impedir isso? Isso parece-me aquela velha ideia de querer obrigar as pessoas a serem livres...

Outro ponto - David Crisóstomo refere que no Parlamento Europeu não há disciplina de voto; bem, eu suponho que nem no Parlamento Europeu, nem na Assembleia da República, nem da Assembleia de Freguesia de Portimão há disciplina de voto; entre os eleitos de cada partido é que poderá haver ou não disciplina de voto, conforme as regras que cada partido decidir.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Liderança bicéfala?

Aliança israelita entre Trabalhistas e HaTnua propõe primeiro-ministro rotativo.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Friday, December 05, 2014

9 anos de Vento Sueste

Hoje este blogue faz nove anos.

Como de costume, uma seleção de artigos publicados no último ano:

O "precedente do Kosovo", sobre a proclamação unilateral de independências

Keynes contra Hayek?

A opinião socialmente correta sobre os jogos de computador

Keynesianismo e Estatismo

Inteligência, personalidade e rendimentos

A saída do "Fórum Manifesto" do BE

Bens supérfluos, essenciais e indivisibilidadeRacionalidade, definições, etc., largamente sobre se certos comportamentos são "racionais" ou não (os comentários são talvez mais interessantes do que os posts propriamente ditos)

O IRS das pessoas sem filhos

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Vantagens de um doutoramento em Economia?

If you get a PhD, get an economics PhD, por Noah Smith:

People often ask me: "Noah, what career path can I take where I'm virtually guaranteed to get a well-paying job in my field of interest, which doesn't force me to work 80 hours a week, and which gives me both autonomy and intellectual excitement?" Well, actually, I lied, no one asks me that. But they should ask me that, because I do know of such a career path, and it's called the economics PhD. (...)

There are PhDs, and there are PhDs, and then there are econ PhDs.

Basically, I think of PhDs as mostly falling into one of three categories:

1. Lifestyle PhDs. These include math, literature and the humanities, theoretical physics, history, many social sciences, and the arts. These are PhDs you do because you really, really, really love just sitting and thinking about stuff. You work on you own interests, at your own pace. If you want to be a poor bohemian scholar who lives a pure "life of the mind," these PhDs are for you. I totally respect people who intentionally choose this lifestyle; I'd be pretty happy doing it myself, I think. Don't expect to get a job in your field when you graduate, though.

2. Lab science PhDs. These include biology, chemistry, neuroscience, electrical engineering, etc. These are PhDs you do because you're either a suicidal fool or an incomprehensible sociopath. They mainly involve utterly brutal hours slaving away in a laboratory on someone else's project for your entire late 20s, followed by years of postdoc hell for your early 30s, with a low percentage chance of a tenure-track faculty position. To find out what these PhD programs are like, read this blog post. If you are considering getting a lab science PhD, please immediately hit yourself in the face with a brick. Now you know what it's like.


3. PhDs that work. I'm not exactly sure which PhDs fall into this category, but my guess is that it includes marketing, applied math and statistics, finance, computer science, accounting, and management. It definitely, however, includes economics. Economics is the best PhD you can possibly get.

Why get a PhD in economics? Here's why:

Será que o que Smith escreve também se aplicará a Portugal? Dos doutoramentos não sei, mas parece que as licenciaturas em Economia são das com menos desemprego (eu por acaso levei 5 anos até arranjar algo comparável a um emprego, mas reconheço que não sou um caso representativo)

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

O "Rendimento Básico Incondicional" não é um exercício teórico

One State Already Has a Basic Income Plan, por Jesse Walker (no blog da Reason):

I made a brief reference yesterday to the idea of a negative income tax or universal basic income: a single, unconditional cash payment aimed at keeping people out of poverty. (...) One way to sort those ideas is to separate the proposals in which the payments would supplant the existing welfare state from the ones that would just add one more program to the mix. (That's why Milton Friedman ended up opposing Richard Nixon's Family Assistance Plan, even though it had been inspired by Friedman's negative-income-tax proposal: Nixon's version would have been an add-on to the existing welfare state rather than a replacement for it.) Another notable distinction is between the people who would means-test the program and the ones who would just send a check to everyone. (That second division isn't a right/left split, by the way -- Friedman was a means-tester, while Charles Murray is in the checks-for-all camp.)


But I don't want to get into the weeds of weighing the competing proposals right now. I just want to note a fact that's oddly missing from a lot of these discussions: One state of the union has something similar to a basic income program already. (...)

That seems relevant to the policy discussion about income grants, doesn't it? Yet while the full-time campaigners for a guaranteed income are well aware of Alaska's system, the people who write about the idea elsewhere tend to ignore it. The liberal site Remapping Debate, to give an especially egregious example, did a big story on the push for a basic income in the '60s and '70s that concluded that those old proposals faded because "market devotees drowned out those who continued to believe that government has a vital role to play....By Ronald Reagan's election in 1980, the country in which [a basic income] had seemed mainstream a decade earlier looked considerably different." All of which is hard to square with the fact that such a program was adopted during the Reagan years, in a state with a Republican governor, as part of a political moment that saw the same state eliminate its personal income tax, and with an important assist from the Libertarian Party, which was a substantial political force in Alaska at the time. (There were Libertarian legislators in Juneau in those days, and the party was capable of drawing 15 percent of the vote in a gubernatorial election. The party supported the dividends on the grounds that sending the money to individual citizens was preferable to letting elected officials spend it.)

Three decades later, several states have established sovereign wealth funds like Alaska's, and with the fracking boom their number may soon grow. As of yet, no state has followed Alaska in distributing dividends to its citizens. But you shouldn't be surprised if you see a strong push in some of those jurisdictions for a system like the one adopted in Juneau. And if that happens, you shouldn't be surprised if the conversation about income grants in Washington continues to treat the idea as an esoteric intellectual exercise