Sunday, May 31, 2015

A fuga de capitais da Grécia - um trunfo para o governo Syriza?

Varoufakis’s Great Game, por Hans-Werner Sinn:

Greece’s finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, knows this very well. As the Greek government’s anointed “heavy,” he is working Plan B (a potential exit from the eurozone), while Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras makes himself available for Plan A (an extension on Greece’s loan agreement, and a renegotiation of the terms of its bailout). In a sense, they are playing the classic game of “good cop/bad cop” – and, so far, to great effect. (...)
Second, the Greek government is driving up the costs of Plan B for the other side, by allowing capital flight by its citizens. If it so chose, the government could contain this trend with a more conciliatory approach, or stop it outright with the introduction of capital controls. But doing so would weaken its negotiating position, and that is not an option. 

Capital flight does not mean that capital is moving abroad in net terms, but rather that private capital is being turned into public capital. Basically, Greek citizens take out loans from local banks, funded largely by the Greek central bank, which acquires funds through the European Central Bank’s emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) scheme. They then transfer the money to other countries to purchase foreign assets (or redeem their debts), draining liquidity from their country’s banks. 

Other eurozone central banks are thus forced to create new money to fulfill the payment orders for the Greek citizens, effectively giving the Greek central bank an overdraft credit, as measured by the so-called TARGET liabilities. In January and February, Greece’s TARGET debts increased by almost €1 billion ($1.1 billion) per day, owing to capital flight by Greek citizens and foreign investors. At the end of April, those debts amounted to €99 billion. 

A Greek exit would not damage the accounts that its citizens have set up in other eurozone countries – let alone cause Greeks to lose the assets they have purchased with those accounts. But it would leave those countries’ central banks stuck with Greek citizens’ euro-denominated TARGET claims vis-à-vis Greece’s central bank, which would have assets denominated only in a restored drachma. Given the new currency’s inevitable devaluation, together with the fact that the Greek government does not have to backstop its central bank’s debt, a default depriving the other central banks of their claims would be all but certain. 

A similar situation arises when Greek citizens withdraw cash from their accounts and hoard it in suitcases or take it abroad. If Greece abandoned the euro, a substantial share of these funds – which totaled €43 billion at the end of April – would flow into the rest of the eurozone, both to purchase goods and assets and to pay off debts, resulting in a net loss for the monetary union’s remaining members. 

All of this strengthens the Greek government’s negotiating position considerably. Small wonder, then, that Varoufakis and Tsipras are playing for time, refusing to submit a list of meaningful reform proposals.

The ECB bears considerable responsibility for this situation. By failing to produce the two-thirds majority in the ECB Council needed to limit the Greek central bank’s self-serving strategy, it has allowed the creation of more than €80 billion in emergency liquidity, which exceeds the Greek central bank’s €41 billion in recoverable assets. With Greece’s banks guaranteed the needed funds, the government has been spared from having to introduce capital controls.
Algo que eu tinha pensando, quando começaram a surgir aquelas notícias a falar do levantamento de dinheiro dos bancos gregos (normalmente apresentadas em tons de "a coisa está a ficar preta para o governo grego"), era que, enquanto o BCE continuar a financiar os bancos gregos, esses levantamentos são positivos - isto é, quanto menos dinheiro estiver depositado nos bancos gregos no dia em que o BCE cortar o financiamento, menor serão os problemas de liquidez que o fim do apoio do BCE vai causar (um exemplo extremo - se TODOS os depósitos em bancos gregos fossem levantados, o BCE poderia cortar a linha de crédito à vontade que já não vinha nenhum problema daí: afinal, já não havia necessidade de garantir depósitos).

Saturday, May 30, 2015

O género da corrupção

No Expresso, Sandra Maximiano pergunta se "A corrupção veste mais saias ou calças?":

[U]m estudo realizado por Swamy e co-autores, com dados para vários países, refere que a existência de mais mulheres no parlamento coincide com menores níveis de corrupção. (...) será que uma sociedade como maior igualdade de género leva a níveis menores de corrupção ou são maiores níveis de corrupção que impedem as mulheres de atingirem os mesmos cargos e direitos que os homens?
Há outra hipótese, que é haver um terceiro fator que estimula a corrupção e ao mesmo tempo dificulta a progressão das mulheres; e eu até imagino o que poderá ser esse fator - uma cultura que valorize fortemente a família alargada, a vizinhança, a aldeia natal, (ou a tribo ou o clã, no caso de sociedades com tribos e clãs) etc.; esse género de cultura é muito favorável à corrupção (sobretudo à "pequena corrupção", aquela que vive mais da troca de favores do que da troca de favores por dinheiro; mas quando a "pequena corrupção" domina, é um saltinho para se chegar à grande); e também não é particularmente favorável à emancipação feminina (ou, de uma forma geral, a roturas com as convenções sociais tradicionais).

Pelo contrário, culturas que vivem mais à volta dos pólos "individuo" (ou, quando muito, "família nuclear") e "humanidade" (ou "bem público", ou o que lhe chamarmos) tendem a ter menos "pequena corrupção" e também maior autonomia feminina (e também juvenil, p.ex. - seria interessante um estudo comparando a corrupção com o hábito de dar mesadas aos filhos: quase que apostava que as sociedades onde predomina a mesada serão menos corruptas do que aquelas onde predomina o "pai, preciso de dinheiro para [descrição da despesa que o filho vai fazer]").

Friday, May 29, 2015

Análise micro-económica de uma economia autogestionária

The Firm in Illyria: Market Syndicalism, por Benjamin Ward, publicado por The American Economic Review , Vol. 48, No. 4 (Sep., 1958).

Versão aberta[PDF]:

The discussion of the feasibility of socialism has long been closed with apparently quite general agreement that an economy will not inevitably collapse as a result of nationalization of the means of production. On the theoretical side the clinching argument was probably made by Barone shortly after the controversy began [2]. Probably the best known of the arguments on the other side of the question, that of Mises[15], was published twelve years after Barone's paper and gave rise to a new set of arguments, among them those of Taylor, Lange and Lerner [11] [12]. Lange in fact explicitly (though perhaps with a touch of irony) developed market socialism as a counterexample for Mises' assertions. (...)

These (...) questions are of special interest today as one watches some Eastern European countries groping toward a less centralized form of economic organization, and as one watches Western European socialists struggle with the implications for democracy (and efficiency) of further nationalization. In the present paper a few of the implications of one possible alternative form of industrial organization are explored. In this model the means of production are nationalized and the factories turned over to the general management of elected committees of workers who are free to set price and output policy in their own material self-interest. The nature of the resulting price and outputdecisions are investigated and compared with those obtained in the competitive capitalist (or market socialist) model. The assumptions of the model bear a close resemblance to the legal status of the industrial firm in Yugoslavia in recent years. Consequently some of the organizational arrangements of a "market syndicalist" economy can be described most conveniently by citing laws on the statute books in Yugoslavia, as is done in Section I. Toward the end of the paper some comments are made as to the extent of deviations of firm behavior in Yugoslavia from that of the theorems of our model. It seems that Illyria is in fact an alternative to the existing system in Yugoslavia as well as to those in Western and the rest of Eastern Europe.

[Algumas coisas parecem um pouco estranhas se nos esquecermos que se trata de um artigo de 1958]

A Coreia do Norte terá 6000 computadores? Ou 60?

Exame Informática: Coreia do Norte tem 6000 hackers prontos a lançar ataques mortíferos

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Micro-empreendedorismo vs. criar empregos

Please Do Not Teach This Woman to Fish, por Daniel Altman (Foreign Policy):

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t think small business is the lifeblood of any economy? From Washington to Warsaw, politicians and pundits just can’t speak highly enough of plucky entrepreneurs. Even in poor countries, entrepreneurship is one of the most important forces underpinning economic growth, but the best way to raise living standards and reduce poverty is not necessarily to make everyone an entrepreneur. So why do so many costly development programs apparently ignore this fact? (...)

Along with them came the microfinance programs — as well as many other aid schemes designed to promote entrepreneurship — which were often based in rural villages where repayment would be enforced primarily by peer pressure among the members. These programs tended to target women, who were viewed as more reliable stewards of the groups’ money. Some women did manage to start their own businesses with the loans they received, but the verdict of research into microfinance’s ability to reduce poverty was decidedly mixed.(...)

Microfinance may have given a lot of people a little, but it was never designed to give anyone a lot. Unlike the microenterprises founded in rural villages, businesses that serve lots of customers take advantage of economies of scale in production and distribution. These economies of scale are essential for economic growth. After all, which economy is more productive — one in which every single person is an entrepreneur, or one in which a minority of entrepreneurs employ the majority of people?

In fact, poor countries already have many more entrepreneurs per capita than rich countries. More entrepreneurship is not what they need; economies of scale are. Indeed, the most productive economies are the ones that balance economies of scale with the benefits of competition. Too many businesses, and workers will fall short of their maximum productivity. Too few businesses, and monopolists will gouge consumers, quash innovation, and fail to serve the entire market.

On “Economies of Scale” and Other Magical Incantations, por Kevin Carson (Center for a Stateless Society):

There’s a certain kind of economic technocrat who tosses around the term “economies of scale” like a Young Earth creationist tosses around the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This is true of legacy liberalism, obviously, which is still defined by the mid-20th century mass-production paradigm of Joseph Schumpeter, John Kenneth Galbraith and Alfred Chandler. It’s also true of most Austrian economists in the tradition of Mises, who see capital-intensiveness or “round-aboutness,” as such, as the key to productivity. A recent example of this mindset — as it relates to development economics — appears in a Foreign Policy article by Daniel Altman, an NYU economics professor (“Please Do Not Teach This Woman to Fish,” June 29). The subtitle, appropriately enough, is “Why poor countries have too many entrepreneurs and not enough factory workers.” (...)

Altman goes on to criticize small scale economic activity — which he equates to the Kemp-Gingrich nonsense — on the basis of “economies of scale.” (...)

Altman’s unstated assumptions — and his stated ones backed by nothing save his own bare assertion — are far from the facts of nature he treats them as. Willow Brugh, whose critique of this article (“Teaching People to Fish,” willowbl00, Oct. 31) brought it to my attention, points to some of them. The first is that income is the main determinant of one’s subjective living conditions, rather than something that might — or might not — improve some aspects of those conditions. Things like agency and alienation — for example the lack of agency, and increased sense of alienation, involved in wage employment — are also real factors in whether life is good or bad.

Income is also very misleading as an indicator of well-being because a great deal of nominal income or GDP increase in the Third World reflects the forcible monetization of activities that were previously carried out — quite satisfactorily — in the informal, household or social economies. They were monetized only because 1) monetizing the social economy would make it more legible (in anarchist James Scott’s terms) to ruling elites, and thus easier to skim off the top, and 2) forcing producers into the money economy would compel them to accept wage employment and work as hard and cheap as the employing classes wanted (exactly as the Enclosures were designed to do in 18th century England).

Take a peasant family, successfully feeding itself from its share of arable land in an open field village, or subsisting off the common waste and common pasturage rights. If you expropriate those rights from them and instead compel them to become wage laborers to earn the money to pay for food on the cash nexus, their nominal income and the nominal GDP have both increased considerably. But are they better off?

Second is the assumption that hierarchy is inherently necessary, and that the economy is of necessity divided up into those who “provide jobs” and tell people what to do, and those who work at those jobs and do as they’re told.

I would add that Altman’s assumptions about “economies of scale,” in particular, are based on an understanding of industrial and technological history that’s been obsolete for decades (if it was ever valid).

Even at the height of the mass-production era, Ralph Borsodi observed that most of the alleged efficiencies of large-scale production were questionable if not spurious.

Um aspeto desta polémica é que me parece ultrapassar largamente o clássico binómio esquerda-direita (tanto Altman como Carson serão de "esquerda", aliás) - tanto podemos ver num dia alguém de direita a defender o "empreendedorismo" como solução para o desemprego e alguém de esquerda a contra-argumentar que muito "empreendedorismo" é típico de países atrasados e o que é preciso é políticas para criar empregos, como noutro dia podemos ver alguém de esquerda a defender o micro-crédito como via para desenvolver os países pobre e alguém de direita a defender que o que é preciso é mais investimento direto estrangeiro (para falar a verdade, dá-me a ideia que onde a clivagem é mais intensa é sobretudo à esquerda - lá no fundo, acho que há aqui um reflexo da velha divisão da esquerda entre uma tradição mais estatista e outra mais libertária).

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Programação informática, a sintese da tecnologia com a imaginação?

How Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s Daughter, Became the World’s First Computer Programmer, por Maria Popova:

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, born Augusta Ada Byron on December 10, 1815, later came to be known simply as Ada Lovelace. Today, she is celebrated as the world’s first computer programmer — the first person to marry the mathematical capabilities of computational machines with the poetic possibilities of symbolic logic applied with imagination. This peculiar combination was the product of Ada’s equally peculiar — and in many ways trying — parenting.

Eleven months before her birth, her father, the great Romantic poet and scandalous playboy Lord Byron, had reluctantly married her mother, Annabella Milbanke, a reserved and mathematically gifted young woman from a wealthy family — reluctantly, because Byron saw in Annabella less a romantic prospect than a hedge against his own dangerous passions, which had carried him along a conveyer belt of indiscriminate affairs with both men and women. (...)

[T]he very friction that had caused her parents to separate created the fusion that made Ada a pioneer of “poetical science.”

That fruitful friction is what Walter Isaacson explores as he profiles Ada in the opening chapter of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (public library | IndieBound), alongside such trailblazers as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, and Stewart Brand. Isaacson writes:
Ada had inherited her father’s romantic spirit, a trait that her mother tried to temper by having her tutored in mathematics. The combination produced in Ada a love for what she took to calling “poetical science,” which linked her rebellious imagination to her enchantment with numbers. For many, including her father, the rarefied sensibilities of the Romantic era clashed with the techno-excitement of the Industrial Revolution. But Ada was comfortable at the intersection of both eras.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ditaduras, crescimento económico e estatísticas

Dictators lie about economic growth, por Henry Farrel (Monkey Cage - The Washington Post):

There’s a lot of recent scholarship suggesting that non-democratic regimes grow faster than democratic regimes. This has led some people not only to admire the Chinese model of growth focused authoritarianism, but to suggest that it may be a better economic model for developing countries than democracy. However, this research tends to assume that both democracies and non-democracies are telling the truth about their growth rates, when they report them to multilateral organizations such as the World Bank. Is this assumption safe? The answer is no, according to a forthcoming article (temporarily ungated) by Christopher S. P. Magee and John A. Doces in International Studies Quarterly. (...)

This means that researchers need to find some kind of independent indicator of economic growth, which governments will either be less inclined or unable to manipulate. Magee and Doces argue that one such indicator is satellite images of nighttime lights. As the economy grows, you may expect to see more lights at night (e.g. as cities expand etc). And indeed, research suggests that there’s a very strong correlation between economic growth and nighttime lights, meaning that the latter is a good indicator of the former. Furthermore, it’s an indicator that is unlikely to be manipulated by governments.

Magee and Doces look at the relationship between reported growth and nights at light and find a very clear pattern. The graph below shows this relationship for different countries – autocracies are the big red dots. Most of the dots are above the regression line, which means that most autocracies report higher growth levels to the World Bank than you’d expect given the intensity of lights at night. This suggests that they’re exaggerating their growth numbers.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Re: Consequências do Grexit

Pedro Romano fala aqui da ideia de Krugman de que a saída do euro pode ser benéfica para a Grécia:

But the bigger question is what happens a year or two after the Grexi, where the real risk for the euro will not be that Greece will fail, but that it will succeed. Suppose that a greatly devalued new drachma brings a flood of british beer-drinkers to the Ionian Sea, and Greece starts to recover. This would greatly encourage challengers to austerity and internal devaluation.
Mas creio que uma coisa que distingue a Grécia de outras economias (e, na minha opinião, pode reduzir bastante as hipotéticas vantagens de uma eventual desvalorização) é exatamente o facto da sua principal "exportação" ser o turismo: quando compro, p.ex., carne de vaca normalmente não tomo em consideração as condições sociais do pais de onde ela vêm (pode estar à beira de uma crise humanitária e de uma hiperinflação – na moeda local – que isso não afeta a minha decisão de comprar a carne); já no caso do turismo (em que implica lá estar fisicamente), uma crise social (como a que um Grexit provavelmente originaria) tende a afugentar os turistas, mesmo que os preços sejam atrativos.

Há defensores por princípio do "Estado grande"?

Há tempos, Simon Wren-Lewis escrevia:

“In the end, you are either a big-state person, or a small-state person, and what big-state people hate about austerity is that its primary purpose is to shrink the size of government spending.”

So said Jeremy Warner (assistant editor of the UK’s Daily Telegraph) last year. Jeremy is a small state person, and I think many other small state people think like this. But the statement is wrong. There are a large number of people - I suspect the vast majority - who do not have any prior view about the size of the state.

In many ways the bipolar view harks back to a bygone age, where - at least in Europe - there actually was a large constituency on the left that wanted a large state as a matter of principle. In the UK that constituency lost all its influence with Margaret Thatcher and New Labour, and it has also lost its influence in the rest of Europe. However this decline in the influence of big state people on the left was matched by a rise to power on the right of those who want a small state as a matter of principle. George Osborne’s plan for the UK over the next few years is the apotheosis of this neoliberal view.

Na verdade eu suspeito que mesmo nos anos 70 nunca houve ninguém que defendesse o "Estado grande" por príncipio - veja-se que as mesmas pessoas que, no Reino Unido dos anos 70, queriam nacionalizar quase tudo também se opunham às tentativas governamentais (que vieram a ser consumadas por Thatcher) de restringir o direito à greve (ou seja, nessa aspeto eram contra a intervenção do Estado).

No geral, quem defende a intervenção do Estado para atingir um dado objetivo prefere a não-intervenção à intervenção para atingir um objetivo de sinal contrário - quem defende restrições à imigração por norma é contra leis anti-discriminação, quem é a favor de leis anti-discriminação tenderá a ser contra restrições à imigração, quem defende uma política de proteção ambiental será contra o uso do poder de expropriar para contruir oleodutos, etc.

Por vezes alguns liberais escrevem que os estatistas acabam sempre por entrar em conflito uns com os outros, mas eu iria mais longe - os "estatistas" começam por entrar em conflito uns com os outros (porque nem sequer é uma questão de, depois de derrotarem os liberais, as várias facções estatistas se enfrentarem - os estatistas preferem aliar-se com liberais do que com estatistas de sinal contrário).

Já agora, creio que isso demonstra que as tentativas de redefinir o espectro político pelo eixo de "mais governo vs. menos governo" (seja nas versões "cima - menos governo / baixo - mais governo", "esquerda - menos governo / direita - mais governo" ou "direita - menos governo / esquerda - mais governo") não fazem grande sentido na prática: não tem lógica inventar alinhamentos em que pessoas que nunca concordam entre si estão juntas num lado e no lado oposto estão pessoas que umas vezes se aliam a uns ou a outros (seria como dizer que o principal alinhamento da II Guerra Mundial era de um lado países participantes - como o Reino Unido, a Hungria, a URSS e a Alemanha - e do outro os países neutros - Suiça, Suécia, Portugal. etc.). Por alguma razão coligações conservadores+liberais e socialistas+liberais são mais comuns do que coligações conservadores+socialistas (mesmo apesar dos atuais governos alemão e grego).

John Nash e a economia

The Economics of John Nash, por Kevin Bryan:

I’m in the midst of a four week string of conferences and travel, and terribly backed up with posts on some great new papers, but I can’t let the tragic passing today of John Nash go by without comment. (...)

Now Nash’s contributions to economics are very small, though enormously influential. He was a pure mathematician who took only one course in economics in his studies; more on this fortuitous course shortly. The contributions are simple to state: Nash founded the theory of non-cooperative games, and he instigated an important, though ultimately unsuccessful, literature on bargaining.(...)

Consider a soccer penalty kick, where the only options are to kick left and right for the shooter, and to simultaneously dive left or right for the goalie. Now at first glance, it seems like there can be no equilibrium: if the shooter will kick left, then the goalie will jump to that side, in which case the shooter would prefer to shoot right, in which case the goalie would prefer to switch as well, and so on. In real life, then, what do we expect to happen? Well, surely we expect that the shooter will sometimes shoot left and sometimes right, and likewise the goalie will mix which way she dives. That is, instead of two strategies for each player, we have a continuum of mixed strategies, where a mixed strategy is simply a probability distribution over the strategies “Left, Right”. This idea of mixed strategies “convexifies” the strategy space so that we can use fixed point strategies to guarantee that an equilibrium exists in every finite-strategy noncooperative game under expected utility (Kakutani’s Fixed Point in the initial one-page paper in PNAS which Nash wrote his very first year of graduate school, and Brouwer’s Fixed Point in the Annals of Math article which more rigorously lays out Nash’s noncooperative theory).


The bargaining solution is a trickier legacy. Recall Nash’s sole economics course, which he took as an undergraduate. In that course, he wrote a term paper, eventually to appear in Econometrica, where he attempted to axiomatize what will happen when two parties bargain over some outcome. (...)

Imagine the prevailing wage for CEOs in your industry is $250,000. Two identical CEOs will generate $500,000 in value for the firm if hired. CEO Candidate One has no other job offer. CEO Candidate Two has an offer from a job with similar prestige and benefits, paying $175,000. Surely we can’t believe that the second CEO will wind up with higher pay, right? It is a completely noncredible threat to take the $175,000 offer, hence it shouldn’t affect the bargaining outcome. A pet peeve of mine is that many applied economists are still using Nash bargaining – often in the context of the labor market! – despite this well-known problem.

Nash was quite aware of this, as can be seen by his 1953 Econometrica(...)

You can read all four Nash papers in the original literally during your lunch hour; this seems to me a worthy way to tip your cap toward a man who literally helped make modern economics possible.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Grécia anuncia default

Greece does not have the money to make June IMF repayment: interior minister (Reuters):

"The four installments for the IMF in June are 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion). This money will not be given and is not there to be given," Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis told Greek Mega TV's weekend show.

Voutsis was asked about his concern over a 'credit event', a term covering scenarios like bankruptcy or default, if Athens misses a payment.

"We are not seeking this, we don't want it, it is not our strategy," he said.
"We are discussing, based on our contained optimism, that there will be a strong agreement (with lenders) so that the country will be able to breathe. This is the bet," Voutsis said.

Friday, May 22, 2015

A ascenção e queda de "La Causa Radical" venezuelana

Great Promise, but Poor Performance:Understanding the Collapse of Venezuela’s Causa Radical[PDF], por Daniel Nogueira-Budny (Jornal of Politics in Latin America, 1/2014):

Rising meteorically to national prominence amidst the collapse of Venezuela’s ossified two-party system, the leftist Radical Cause (LCR) seemed poised to ease the country’s crisis of representation and win the presidency in 1993. Instead, it imploded, paving the way for radical populist Hugo Chávez. How can the poor performance of a party with such great promise be explained? This article explains LCR’s initial success and eventual failure through the party’s adoption of internally democratic mechanisms. Its highly participatory approach attracted progressive groups, helping LCR’s early “meteoric” success. But it also sowed the seeds of LCR’s collapse: the absence of formalized decision-making rules and hierarchical leadership hindered the resolution of a political impasse. Internal democracy proved harmful to institutional growth and prevented the party from confronting factional conflict and instituting muchneeded reforms in the long run. It is not only a heavy hierarchy and bureaucracy that prevent political change, but also the opposite in a base democracy.

Contexto: La Causa Radical é um partido venezuelano, inicialmente de extrema-esquerda (atualmente talvez entre o centro e o centro-esquerda), criado em 1971 por dissidentes do Partido Comunista Venezuelano; no final dos anos 80 e príncipio dos 90 (nomedamente na sequência dos protestos de 1989 contra a austeridade) pareceu estar à beira do poder, mas depois perdeu quase toda a influência. Em 1997 a sua ala mais radical cindiu, criando o Partido Patria para Todos. Enquanto LCR desde sempre se opôs a Chavez e integra a coligação opositora, o PPT tem oscilado entre apoiar e opôr-se aos governos de Chavez e Maduro - nas últimas eleições legislativas concorreu, em aliança com os trotskistas, como uma força alternativa tanto ao chavismo como à aliança da oposição, mas mais tarde os tribunais venezuelanos entregaram o PPT à facção pró-Chavez, tendo a facção anti-Chavez criado os partidos Avanzada Progressista e Movimiento Progresista de Venezuela (que, tal como a LCR original, fazem parta da aliança da oposição).

O autor do artigo considera que os problemas que a Causa Radical começou a ter quando começou a ganhar influência resultam de uma organziação interna em que "LCR did not 1) write any formal documents, 2) have any way to expel unruly or disloyal members, 3) create a professionalized staff wth specialized roles, 4) have a hierarchical leadership structure, or 5) put decisions up to a vote (decision-making was done by consensus)":

LCR did not author any founding documents, such as a constitutive act, binding rules, or statutes to tie the party down. Norms, procedures, and patterns of behavior are important for the institutional survival of parties, as they foster stable, valued, and recurring patterns of behavior and provide for agreed-upon ways to handle conflicts and issues as they arise (Huntington 1968: 12). LCR members were required to write up a formal statute for the CSE in order to register as an official party, which they got around to doing in 1978. However, this document was widely considered a meaningless formality that most members did not even know existed. As such, there was little correspondence between established norms and the actual party. LCR’s operations were based on the immediate concerns of its members. In the beginning, when the party was an intimate group of like-minded individuals in Ciudad Guayana, informal and flexible party rules were changed as needed. Contrast this with the case of the PPT, which ended up learning from the mistakes of its predecessor: PPT immediately formalized itself with a constitutive act, rules and regulations, and formal statutes.

The fact that LCR had no founding documents or organic rules led to organizational inertia because it meant that there was no established way to effect institutional change. In its early years, LCR dealt with whatever issues that arose on an ad hoc basis. This worked well enough when the party was a small, homogenous group of individuals living in the same city. However, such an informal arrangement outlived its usefulness and remained in place long after the party had begun to expand geographically, diversify socio-economically, and broaden ideologically.

Interrogo-me se os problemas derivariam de todas as características apontadas pelo autor, ou se o mal estaria sobretudo nos pontos 1 (ausência de normas formais) e 5 (decisão por consenso e não por votação) - talvez os pontos 2, 3 e 4 por si só não fossem problemáticos, desde que houvesse uma maneira de decidir "o que fazer?" quando o partido se começou a dividir em tendências com projetos distintos.

Ou talvez seja um indício que um movimento político não consegue, ao mesmo tempo, organizar-se internamente como uma democracia radical enquanto participa no jogo político da democracia representativa.

Possíveis defaults gregos

Investors eye consequences of a Greek default, por Ferdinando Giugliano (Financial Times):

While a default need not necessarily lead to a Grexit economists warn that it would substantially increase the risks of a departure.

“Default but no Grexit cannot be a stable equilibrium,” Mr Cluse said.

The short-term consequences of a default may depend on who exactly the Greek government fails to pay, as well as on the reaction by creditors — in particular depositors and the ECB. A default by Athens on domestic payment obligations, in the form of IOUs to pensioners and civil servants, would probably be the least risky. (...)

A default on IMF loans would look politically ugly, as Greece would indirectly be refusing to repay some of the poorest countries in the world who contribute to the institution’s coffers. However, it is generally seen as less risky than a default to the ECB. (...)

A default to the ECB is generally seen as the most treacherous option. The Greek banking system relies on emergency funding from the central bank and any decision to close the liquidity taps would result in lenders being unable to meet their obligations. (...)

Since Greek banks hold sizeable amounts of government bonds — which are routinely pledged to the ECB as collateral — defaulting on them would make it hard for policy makers in Frankfurt to conclude that Greek lenders could stand on their own feet.

There could, in theory, be other options. These include a bail-in of bondholders and depositors to strengthen the capital buffer of Greek banks; or a eurozone-wide guarantee on the Greek banking system. However, these would be either difficult to enact domestically or rely on the goodwill of international partners, who stand to shoulder the brunt of a default.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

O que leva alguém a ser terrorista?

Terrorism: A Career Choice, por Mark Harrison:

What benefits do young people seek from work? To some, salary and prospects matter most. For others, most important is the kind of work. Suppose you want excitement and risk; you don't want work that is routine or desk-bound. Suppose you want teamwork and comradeship, not isolation. Suppose you want the opportunity for acknowledgement of your personal role; you don't want to disappear into an anonymous mass.

If you are that sort of person, you might consider competitive team sports, or becoming an outdoor adventure leader, or joining the emergency services, for example the fire brigades. Or ...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Influência de "Harry Potter" sobre a cultura política?

Did Harry Potter Help Shape the Political Views of Millennials?, por Anthony Gierzynski (The Conversation):

The idea that entertainment has an effect on our politics might seem ludicrous to some. Many would scoff at the notion that the Star Wars saga might have influenced the political socialisation of Generation X. Or that the music that the baby boomers listened to played a supporting role in the development of that generation’s politics.

And perhaps, most ridiculous of all, is the idea that JK Rowling’s immensely popular tale of the boy-who-lived could have played a role in the political development of that generation, the Millenials. Let alone an election result. But this is exactly what some recent research of mine indicates.

I found empirical support for the idea that the Harry Potter series influenced the political values and perspectives of the generation that came of age with these books. Reading the books correlated with greater levels of acceptance for out-groups, higher political tolerance, less predisposition to authoritarianism, greater support for equality, and greater opposition to the use of violence and torture. As Harry Potter fans will have noted, these are major themes repeated throughout the series. These correlations remained significant even when applying more sophisticated statistical analyses – when controlling for, among other things, parental influence.

Mesmo assim, não sei se não haverá aqui alguma confusão entre correlação e causa - logo à partida, suspeito que "gosto por livros de fantasia" (ou mesmo "gosto por livros", ponto final) estará associado a características pessoais como flexibilidade mental, curiosidade, etc., que provavelmente estarão associadas a "greater levels of acceptance for out-groups", "higher political tolerance" e "less predisposition to authoritarianism".

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A "polícia" do "politicamente correto" ou a verdadeira polícia?

Em tempos vi este cartoon algures, dizendo que J.R.R. Tolkien teve sorte de viver numa época em que não estava sujeito à "polícia do politicamente correto".

Talvez não, mas em compensação na época de Tolkien houve muitos outros escritores que foram sujeitos, não à "polícia do politicamente correto" (isto é, a pessoas a criticarem os seus livros por não gostarem de algum conteúdo implícito), mas à verdadeira polícia - aos agentes do Estado a proibirem os livros de serem distribuídos e vendidos; exemplos de livros proibidos no Reino Unido:

- O Amante de Lady Chatterley, por D.H. Lawrence (proibido de 1928 até 1960)
- Ulysses, por James Joyce (proibido de 1922 até aos anos 30)
- Lolita, de Vladimir Nabokov (proibido até 1959)
- O Poço da Solidão, por Radclyffe Hall (proibido de 1928 até, na prática, 1949)
- Trópico de Cancer, por Henry Miller(na prática proibido até aos anos 60)

Note-se que nem sequer se pode dizer algo como "não havia a polícia do politicamente correto, mas havia a verdadeira polícia", já que também havia a "polícia do politicamente correto", sob a forma de "ligas de decência", "sociedades anti-vício", etc., que faziam campanhas contra livros e filmes considerados imorais ou obscenos (o conteúdo do que era considerado politicamente correto é que pode ter sofrido uma mudança de quase 180º)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Diferentes formas do Estado intervir (ou não) na economia

Beyond left and right, por Scott Sumner:

Is British public policy more left wing or right wing, compared to Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Denmark? The Heritage rankings suggest they are about the same, with Denmark coming in at number 10 in the world (at 76.1), Britain number 14 (at 74.9), and Sweden number 20 (at 73.1).

And yet the two models differ in many respects. Most informed observers would probably argue that the Nordics have more "socialist" economies, perhaps much more socialist. On the other hand in many respects the Nordics are much more free market than even the US. Sweden has a 100% voucherized school system. Their Social Security is party privatized. Denmark has for-profit fire fighters. Several Nordic countries have privatized industries that are publicly owned in the US (airports, air traffic control, passenger rail, water companies, mail delivery, etc.) (...)

In some respects Sweden is more left wing than Britain; for instance it has higher top marginal income tax rates, and more income redistribution. In other respects Sweden is more right wing, it has a freer market in education, and a fee for use of health services. Is there any common theme here?

I believe the common theme is utilitarianism. Policy in the Nordic countries is motivated by utilitarian considerations to a greater extent than anywhere else on Earth. The right wing in Britain feels it isn't "fair" for people to have to pay more than 50% of their earnings to the government. The left wing in Britain believes it isn't "fair" that people have to pay for health care; it's a basic "right" that should be free. Utilitarians tend to avoid concepts like "fair" and "rights", and instead focus on maximizing aggregate happiness.

Does it work? Well there are a number of studies that suggest Denmark is the happiest country in the world.

Now for a curve ball. Although I am a utilitarian, I prefer a small government model like Hong Kong or Singapore to a big government model like Sweden or Denmark. Before explaining why, it's important to note that these 4 countries are not as different as they seem. The conservative Heritage Foundation ranks Hong Kong and Singapore number one and two in the world in "economic freedom." However if you restrict your analysis to the 8 categories out of 10 that exclude size of government (i.e. exclude the tax and spending categories) then Denmark is number one in the world in economic freedom.

Uma coisa que pode ser relevante aqui é que "size of government" (isto é, impostos e despesa pública) parece muitas vezes ir em contracorrente face às outras formas de intervenção estatal na economia; há tempos saiu um "paper" nesse sentido, Economic Freedom and the Size of Government:

This paper explores the relationship between government size and economic freedom, relating these patterns to theories of fiscal politics. In order to address current political controversies, it uses data on pre-1990 OECD members (minus Norway) for central government tax revenues and spending, as well as indicators of economic freedom derived from the Fraser Institute, ICRG, Heritage Foundation, and the World Bank. It finds that it matters a great deal whether we define size as expenditures or taxation. Spending has no relationship with freedom, or a negative one, across this data set. Initial tax revenue levels, however, positively predict subsequent changes in economic freedom. We find similar patterns using different measures of economic freedom and whether we use annual data (1995-2010) or overlapping six-year averages going back to 1970-75. These results challenge the common preconception that taxes and economic freedom are negatively related. In addition, the divergence between tax revenue and spending in this regard is more consistent with a “fiscal contract” model of the state, in which taxation and economic freedom go together, as governments attend to their legitimacy and the health of the private sector in order to increase revenue, but flag in these efforts when they enjoy sources of income other than taxes.

Dois comentários no blog Marginal Revolution sobre isso que podem ter a sua lógica:

Turkey Vulture: High taxes may indicate the government has used the tax system to achieve certain policy ends, rather than keeping taxes low but achieving those ends through extensive regulation. For instance, a pollution tax versus detailed emissions and building regulations for your factory

Adrian Ratnapala: Lets say that some law of electoral dynamics means that the government every rich democracy must do roughly the same amount of stuff. Then raising taxes as buying your desired outcome requires only one form compulsion. Whereas regulating it into existence involves myriads.

Uma coisa que me ocorre é que mesmo "Revoluções Liberais" dos séculos XVIII e XIX talvez tenham seguido esse caminho - penso que é mais ou menos assente que acabaram por produzir um estado maior (em percentagem do PIB), mas sem a carrada de micro-regulações que havia no Antigo Regime.

Friday, May 15, 2015

"Hamlet" na África Ocidental

Shakespeare in the Bush, por Laura Bohannan (Natural History Magazine, 1966):

Just before I left Oxford for the Tiv in West Africa, conversation turned to the season at Stratford. “You Americans,” said a friend, “often have difficulty with Shakespeare. He was, after all, a very English poet, and one can easily misinterpret the universal by misunderstanding the particular.”

I protested that human nature is pretty much the same the whole world over; at least the general plot and motivation of the greater tragedies would always be clear—everywhere—although some details of custom might have to be explained and difficulties of translation might produce other slight changes. (...)

It was my second field trip to that African tribe, and I thought myself ready to live in one of its remote sections—an area difficult to cross even on foot. I eventually settled on the hillock of a very knowledgeable old man, the head of a homestead of some hundred and forty people, all of whom were either his close relatives or their wives and children. Like the other elders of the vicinity, the old man spent most of his time performing ceremonies seldom seen these days in the more accessible parts of the tribe.(...)

This morning they wanted to hear a story while they drank. They threatened to tell me no more stories until I told them one of mine. Finally, the old man promised that no one would criticize my style, “for we know you are struggling with our language.” “But,” put in one of the elders, “you must explain what we do not understand, as we do when we tell you our stories.” Realizing that here was my chance to prove Hamlet universally intelligible, I agreed.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Herbert Marcuse continua atual?

Herbert Marcuse and One-Dimensional Man, por "Phil":

Here's a name you don't hear often in radical circles any more: Herbert Marcuse. Even in the hallowed halls of sociology, this important Frankfurt School thinker merits nary a mention these days. And this is a shame because his work represents a strand of Western Marxism that never gave up hope in something better. Whereas miserable old Adorno, suitably fashionable in these dystopian times, offers a philosophical counsel of despair the body of work Marcuse left relentlessly grappled with contemporary social trends to find the political exit pointing beyond capitalism. When hope is taking a lengthy breather, it's understandable why Marcuse has not so much fallen from favour but dived out of sight. It's time to rescue him and to be read afresh by new generations equally sick of the managerial politics Marcuse was. And as October just past saw the 50th anniversary of One-Dimensional Man's publication come and go, is there a better time to revisit his best-known work? (...)

Social forecasting is always a fraught enterprise in the social sciences, and in short order after ODM's publication the contradictions of US society burst asunder. Turns out Marcuse was writing in the darkest part of the night, just before the first rays of radical future beamed across the sky. The outsiders in US society, and the supposedly quiescent and contented masses of Western Europe rose up as a radical wave that transformed those societies. None were as pleased with this turnabout than Marcuse himself, whose work saw him become a chief theoretician and guru for many a young radical. And yet, here we are in 2014. Global capitalism is still the only game in town. It seems that the system was able to weather the storms of the 1960s and 70s by easing off a bit on the repression. Sexual freedom is in. Some who were 'outside' are now embraced by official society, and that's about it. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Does that mean 50 years on that ODM is still a relevant book? In some ways, it's never been more up to date. In others, it's never been as obsolete and superseded. As far as official society is concerned, it's never been as denuded of critical resources. Politics is little more than the art of the technocratic management of capitalist societies. Education is purely about vocationalism and meeting the needs of employers. Aspiration is measured by how much one wants to conform to the middle class standard of a "hardworking family" with a nice house and an even nicer debt. And, explicitly, social life is heavily conditioned by how much you contribute as an employee and taxpayer, not as a citizen. If that wasn't bad enough, as unappealing as it was, the totalitarian capitalism of ODM was menaced by a powerful ideological rival that helped ensure there was an expansive safety net for at least some who fell through the cracks. The capitalism of now has no such opposition to contend with.

There is something very jarring about Marcuse's analysis that doesn't sit true any more. Conformity there certainly is. A crude set up of insider and outsider is lamely, stupidly repeated everyday by the rulers who rule us and the media that lies to us. Likewise there is a huge overblown of institutions that are completely unnecessary and totally socially useless except for the roles they occupy in maintaining our peculiar, particular capitalism. What is missing is the sense of stifling conformity Marcuse describes.

A impossibilidade da meritocracia

Meritocracy won’t happen: the problem’s with the ‘ocracy’, por Andrew Gelman (Monkey Cage - The Washington Post):

Basically, “meritocracy” means that individuals with more merit get the goodies. From the American Heritage dictionary: “A system in which advancement is based on individual ability or achievement.” As Flynn points out, this leads to a contradiction: to the extent that people with merit get higher status, one would expect they would use that status to help their friends, children, etc, giving them a leg up beyond what would be expected based on their merit alone.

Flynn also points out that the promotion and celebration of the concept of “meritocracy” is also, by the way, a promotion and celebration of wealth and status—these are the goodies that the people with more merit get. That is, the problem with meritocracy is that it’s an “ocracy”.

Exercício matemático

Quanto perde no vencimento desse mês um trabalhador (vamos supor casado com dois filhos, que deverá ser a família portuguesa típica) que ganha 825 euros/mês que faça greve?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


No Sapo, há neste momento uma notícia a dizer "Bullying: Vídeo com jovem a ser agredido na Figueira da Foz torna-se viral na Internet".

Pela n-ésima vez, "bullying" não é uma forma "sofisticada" de dizer "violência"; "bullying" é haver alguém que é perseguido sistematicamente pelos (ou por) outros (ser alvo de partidas todos os dias é bullying; levar, na sequência de uma discussão ocasional, um enxuro de pancadaria que leve a ficar um mês no hospital não é bullying).

Não vi o vídeo, mas pelo que li sobre ele não há nada que lá indique que a vítima seja uma vítima por sistema (em vez de se tratar, por exemplo, de uma agressão ocorrida naquele dia e nunca mais repetida).

Atualização: entretanto uma psicóloga está a falar sobre necessidade de apoio psicológico (para ambas as partes), riscos acrescidos de suícidio, etc, acerca de pessoas que ela não conhece de lado nenhum, por causa de algo que aconteceu há um ano e que quase ninguém faz a menor ideia sobre em que contexto aconteceu.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rendimento Básico Incondicional e "dinheiro de helicóptero"

No Esquerda Republicana, João Vasco escreve alguns posts sobre o tema do Rendimento Básico Incondicional.

A respeito de como financiar o RBI, essa questão poderia ser conjugada com outro problema que parece afligir a economia europeia mundial - o que fazer quando as taxas de juro chegam ao zero (ou mesmo abaixo diss), mas mesmo assim a economia não arranca e os preços continuam em modo "deflação"? As receitas monetárias tradicionais (baixar a taxa de juro) não funcionam (já não há mais taxas de juro para baixar), e a receita monetária não-tradicional (o chamado "Quantitative Easing") de o banco central comprar massivamente títulos e outros ativos financeiros aos bancos também não parece resultar (os bancos limitam-se a guardar o dinheiro que recebem do banco central em vez de o porem a circular na economia).

A solução que muitos têm sugerido é o chamado "dinheiro de helicóptero" - o banco central simplesmente distribuir dinheiro pela população; numa economia deprimida, em que muita gente está a limitar o seu consumo por não ter dinheiro, de certeza que grande parte desse dinheiro iria se gasto, aumentando a procura interna (o que alguns chamam de "«Quantitative Easing» para o povo").

Assim, poderia-se ter um "RBI ocasional" - ainda não um sistema em que cada pessoa recebesse uma prestação regular por mês ou por ano, mas um sistema em que de vez em quando, a titulo excecional (quando se achasse que a economia precisava de estímulo), cada pessoa recebesse uma dada quantia de dinheiro do banco central.

Ou seja, fazer com que isto deixasse de ser considerado ignorância:

Já agora, poderia ser interessante a conjugação de uma política de "RBI-helicóptero" com uma reforma bancária de estilo islandês [PDF de 100 páginas], aumentando os rácios de reserva que os bancos têm que ter (embora eu ache excessiva a ideia proposta na Islândia de os bancos praticarem 100% de reservas nos depósitos à ordem); aumentar as reservas bancárias tem o ponto positivo de reduzir o risco de falências (e os custos - direto à BPN ou indireto à BES - que elas representam para os Estados) mas o ponto negativo de reduzir a quantidade de dinheiro em circulação (já que os bancos podem emprestar menos dinheiro); mas se o aumento dos rácios de reserva fosse compensado com uma expansão monetária feita diretamente pelo banco central, eventualmente implementada pelo método de distribuir um RBI ocasional, talvez se conseguisse ter as vantagens sem os desvantagens.

[Post publicado no Vias de Facto; podem comentar lá]

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Thursday, May 07, 2015

A personalidade dos eleitores dos partidos britânicos

Personality will affect the British election results, but not the way you think it will…, por

Are there fundamental differences in people that influence their preferences for certain parties? Or are party preferences simply determined by income and education and by life-cycle events, such as having children, losing a job or going into retirement?
It appears that, in England at least, part of the answer is “personality.” The so-called Big Five personality traits help predict, on the one hand, the partisan preferences of core voters, and, on the other hand, whether an individual gets attached to a party in the first place. Personality of the voters really matters.
Psychologists emphasize five core personality traits – the Big Five Traits – as powerful tools for encapsulating an individual’s personality. The traits are:
  • Extraversion: Having an energetic approach toward the social and material world.
  • Agreeableness: Having a pro-social and communal attitude toward others rather than being antagonistic.
  • Conscientiousness: Having socially proscribed impulse control that facilitates task- and goal-directed behavior.
  • Neuroticism: Having negative emotionality rather than being even-tempered.
  • Openness to experience: The breath, depth, originality and complexity of an individual’s mental and experiential life. (...)
In our new working paper, (...) we relate measures of the Big Five (along with average income, income volatility, measures of cognitive skills in math and verbal communication and other characteristics that do not vary over time) to these intrinsic party preferences. (...)

The results are striking: Stark and systematic differences between the personality traits of the core supporters of the three parties emerge.

The Conservative core supporters are antagonistic toward others (low agreeableness); they are energetic and enthusiastic (high extraversion); and they are goal-orientated (high conscientiousness) and even-tempered (low neuroticism). In contrast, the core supporters of the Labour Party have a pro-social and communal attitude (high agreeableness); they are open to new experiences and ideas (high openness); but they are more anxious (high neuroticism) and less prone to goal-directed behavior (low conscientiousness).

The core supporter of the Liberal Democrats has similar traits to the typical core Labour supporter, with two exceptions. First, they do not show any particular tendency toward pro-social and communal attitudes (insignificant agreeableness). Second, they are more reserved and introverted than the more extraverted supporters of either the Conservatives or Labour (low extraversion).
Outra maneira de ver a questão seria concluir que o traço principal dos votantes conservadores será a responsabilidade e sentido de dever, dos trabalhistas a preocupação e o bom relacionamento com os outros, e dos liberais democratas os interesses artísticos e/ou intelectuais (já nos eleitores sem partido, o traço dominante parece mesmo ser a ausência de interesses artísticos e intelectuais).

Já agora, podemos comparar este estudo com este feito há uns anos nos EUA:
  • segundo o estudo norte-americano, extroversão estaria associada a ser de direita na economia; já no estudo britânico tanto os eleitores do Partido Conservador (de direita na economia) como do Trabalhista (de esquerda na economia) tendem a ser extrovertidos (ou seja, neste ponto os dois estudos apontam em sentidos diferentes)
  • no estudo norte-americano, "agreeableness" estaria ligada a ser de esquerda na economia; os eleitores trabalhistas têm alta "agreebleness" e os conservadores baixa - aí vão no mesmo sentido
  • "consciousness" estaria ligada a ser de direita na economia e nos costumes; quem têm mais "consciousness" são os eleitores conservadores (liberal na economia e o menos socialmente progressista dos 3 grandes partidos) - de novo, no mesmo sentido
  • estabilidade emocional estaria ligada a ser de direita na economia; os eleitores conservadores são os menos "neuróticos" - confere
  • "abertura" estaria ligada a ser de esquerda na economia e nos costumes; os eleitores com maior "abertura" são os do Partido Liberal Democrata (centrista na economia, de esquerda nos costumes) e depois os do Trabalhista (de esquerda na economia e nos costumes) - bate mais ou menos certo
Uma confissão - embora desses três partidos o que eu me sinto mais próximo seja dos Trabalhistas, o meu perfil psicológico é muito mais típico do dos eleitores liberais democratas (se há coisa que eu não sou é "agreable").

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Re: Um debate importante à esquerda

Em defesa do "complemento salarial", Hugo Mendes escreve:

O debate não gira em torno do desenho especifico da medida, mas do principio. E por principio, diz-se, o Estado não deve complementar o salário pago pelas empresas. (...)

É que o Estado JÁ complementa o salário pago pelas empresas através de várias formas e feitios. Fá-lo todos os dias, através da existência de um serviço nacional de saúde, que evita que o salário do trabalhador tenha de cobrir todas as despesas com estes cuidados; fá-lo através da existência de uma escola pública, que evita que o salário do trabalhador tenha que suportar a educação dos filhos; fá-lo através de um conjunto de prestações que ajudam a equilibrar os orçamentos familiares de quem trabalha. (...)

o mesmo se passa, já agora, a nível fiscal, com o principio que, em sede de IRS, isenta do pagamento de imposto aqueles que auferem rendimentos do trabalho inferior ao valor anual do salário mínimo, acrescido de 20% (artigo 70.º - “mínimo de existencia”).

Mas há uma diferença importante entre todos esses programas sociais e a proposta de complemento salarial: eu tenho direito ao SNS, à escola pública e às isenções de IRS quer esteja empregado quer não, enquanto o tal complemento salarial é só para quem esteja empregado (se assim não fosse, seria exatamente a mesma coisa que o RSI). E essa diferença tem implicações.

Fundamentalmente, os tais programas de que toda a gente beneficia, incluindo os desempregados, tornam a vida dos desempregados menos má do que seria se tivessem que pagar para ir aos hospitais, para terem os filhos na escola, etc.; isso faz com que a pressão para aceitarem o primeiro emprego que lhes apareça não seja tão grande como seria se tivessem que pagar essas despesas por inteiro (e, pela mesma razão, também tornam mais fácil a um trabalhador descontente despedir-se e ir à procura de outro emprego, sabendo que durante a fase da "busca" vai ter o suporte do "Estado Social"); assim, esses apoios, ao reduzirem a pressão para os desempregados arranjarem emprego e para os empregados para não se despedirem, reduzem o poder negocial dos empregadores e aumentam o dos empregados, contribuindo assim para que os salários e condições de trabalho sejam melhores do que seriam de outra maneira - pegando no mesmo raciocinio que usei aqui, são programas que têm o efeito de reduzir a oferta de trabalho (poderá argumentar-se que ninguém opta por ficar desempregado só por existir saúde e educação pública, mas nas decisões "na margem" tem sempre algum peso - imagine-se um portimonense que está na dúvida entre continuar à procura de emprego em Portimão ou aceitar um emprego em Olhão: se tivesse que pagar as despesas de saúde e educação todas do bolso dele seria maior a pressão para aceitar já o emprego).

Já no caso de um subsídio que só vai para quem tem emprego, a dinâmica é potencialmente oposta: com esse subsidio um desempregado tem mais a ganhar em aceitar uma dada oferta de emprego (porque, além do salário, vai também passar a receber o subsídio), e um empregado (subsidiado) tem mais a perder em se despedir (porque além de perder o ordenado, perde também o subsídio); assim, o complemento salarial, ao aumentar o incentivo para os desempregados arranjarem emprego e para os empregados para não se despedirem, pode aumentar o poder negocial dos empregadores e reduzir o dos empregados, tornando piores os salários (refiro-me, claro, ao salário ilíquido) e condições de trabalho - o tal cenário em que aumenta a oferta de trabalho.

Agora um ponto - os leitores já devem ter notado que, enquanto a respeito dos apoios sociais universais e do RSI, eu escrevo que reduzem a oferta de trabalho e aumentam os salários, a respeito do complemento salarial eu escrevo que "pode" aumentar a oferta de trabalho e reduzir os salários; este "pode" é porque admito que no caso do complemento salarial pode haver dois efeitos contraditórios - por um lado, aumenta o incentivo para quem não tem emprego arranjar um; mas por outro, para quem tem emprego e além do salário recebe o subsídio, pode (dependendo muito dos pormenores exatos da medida) reduzir a pressão (porque agora tem menos necessidade de ganhar mais dinheiro) para fazer horas extraordinárias, arranjar um segundo emprego em part-time, etc.; ou seja há um efeito a aumentar a oferta de trabalho e outro efeito a diminuí-la, não sendo claro à partida qual será predominante.

[Post publicado no Vias de Facto; podem comentar lá]