Friday, March 07, 2008

Leituras recomendadas

(...) Imprensa demagógica que apoia federações patronais (ou «Compromissos Portugais»), dicotomias forçadas entre extremismos, e um pouco de violência para acicatar: a receita é sempre a mesma quando se quer preparar um golpe de Estado das direitas.

The John Lewis question no Stumbling and Mumbling:

(...) Might it be that John Lewis's partnership model makes it a better retailer? Maybe the financial incentives and atmospheric benefits it confers upon shopfloor staff help make John Lewis more attractive to customers than other retailers.

Or turn the question around. What benefit is there for a retailer in having lots of small dispersed outside shareholders? Why is this ownership model better than concentrated private ownership which can discipline management better, or worker-ownership where workers are better motivated? The question is not, of course, confined to retailing.

If you think only loony lefties like me ask this, you're wrong (...)

[a John Lewis é uma cadeia de supermercados propriedade dos empregados, que terá tido excelentes resultados no ano passado]

Socialism & democracy, também no Stumbling and Mumbling:

(...) I reckon, then, that there are two separate lefts.

One is the centralizing left, that believes in the power and wisdom of centralized authority. In this respect, the Webbs' admiration for Stalin, and Harman's (and others') for Castro is easily understood; they all share the same ideology.

Against this is the decentralizing left. This includes a mix of anarchists, those Marxists who look forward to the withering away of the state, guild socialists, market socialists and thinkers such as Feyerabend and Foucault who showed that "knowledge", "expertise" and power are so deeply and problematically intertwined.

Stiglitz on the (financial) cost of Iraq no Crooked Timber:

Joe Stiglitz, interviewed in the Guardian about his book (co-authored with Linda Bilmes), “The Three Trillion Dollar War”. A couple of thoughts:


Three trillion dollars really could have solved a lot of world problems. For example, it would have funded a once-and-for-all offer to the entire population of Gaza, the West Bank and the UNRWA refugee camps of half a million dollars each to slope off and stop bothering the Israelis. That’s the sort of money we’re talking about here.

a que nos comentários alguém acrescentou:

Or – more sensibly – it would have funded a considerable payoff to the Jewish colonists in Palestine to slope off to the US or Europe and stop ‘bothering’ the native arab population.

Externalities, rules and prices no Our Word is Our Weapon:

(...) More fundamentally, it is simply not true that taxes or subsidies are the sole or even default solution to externalities, since as any good textbook of environmental or urban economics will tell you there are sound theoretical reasons for favouring regulation in some cases (...)

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