Como os não-liberais reagem ao discurso liberal na América Latina?

Today, Mr. Chitester is most excited about a two-hour program he is producing featuring Hernando de Soto. A Peruvian economist, Mr. de Soto has been the target of murder attempts by drug barons and Marxist terrorists who fear his message that the poor in developing nations need true capitalism–property rights, markets and the rule of law. Time magazine recently named him one of the five leading Latin American innovators of the century.

Mr. de Soto warns that capitalism isn’t working for the majority of the world’s people. This is largely because economic elites use their power to restrict competition, limit access to capital and promote their vested interests over those less fortunate. That, in turn, undermines the potential of free markets to spread wealth and opportunity in the same way that has made developed nations so successful. “The poor are not the problem; they are the solution,” Mr. de Soto says. “Give them access to land titles that can be used for collateral, the rule of law, a responsive bureaucracy and streamlined tools of business, and you will see creativity and entrepreneurial self-reliance flourish.”

Além de vestir uma camisa com a estampa de um bandoleiro qualquer, eles, muitas vezes, reagem com certa violência. Como diz um primo meu (aliás, não-liberal, mas sério): “o homem pensa, o animal reage”.


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Novidades: Gambit

Já comentei aqui. Então, não me repito (uma rápida busca no Google e você resolve):

Hi all:

Version 0.2007.01.30 of Gambit, Software Tools for Game Theory, is now
available for download.

A primary objective of this release is to update the Gambit codebase for most currently-used versions of gcc. gcc versions 3.4.2 and greater are now believed to successfully compile Gambit, although some versions 4.0.x of gcc appear to be buggy. In addition, this version adds support for wxWidgets 2.8.

Internally, this version includes a new implementation of the quantal
response equilibrium tracing methods. The version for the extensive form (agent QRE) is now reliable for large lambda, and therefore represents the first generally-available method to compute a good approximation to a sequential equilibrium in extensive games.

There exist also the usual round of bug fixes, as well as improved
handling of larger games, both in the graphical interface and the
underlying library.

Finally, this release marks the (re)introduction of a Python interface
to the underlying library which represents and manipulates games. Since the interface is generated using the SWIG tool (http://www.swig.org), extension of this to other languages may be easy.

This version is known to build successfully on all supported platforms. Functionality on some systems running Mac OSX is still in question. Updates for OSX users will hopefully follow soon.

Best to all,

The Gambit Team


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A democracia ainda pulsa

É estarrecedor como de tempos em tempos somos brindados com experiências que parecem sacudir com a nossa racionalidade. Ok, possuímos racionalidade limitada, não processamos tanta informação quanto um computador, mas democracia não é sistema que devesse ser tão difícil de entender. Não entendo como a sociedade venezuelana tolera a perda de liberdade política.

Daqui a alguns poucos anos democracia na América Latina deverá ser um capricho de poucos países.


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Um a menos

Internet spam legend is jailed
Programmer’s creation sent ‘trillions’ of e-mail ads
January 31, 2007
A computer programmer who developed a program to automatically send unsolicited advertising e-mail was detained yesterday, the Seoul Police Agency’s cyber terror response center announced. The programmer, who created what has become a legendary program for spewing spam, is a 21-year-old male college student, police said.
The police said several trillion advertisements ― trillion as in 12 zeros ― for Internet sex sites and private lenders had been sent to e-mail users from the name “Kim Ha-na” in 2003 and 2004. The use of that fairly common Korean woman’s name embarrassed many namesake women, prompting the Korea Information Security Agency to release a report outlining its efforts to halt the flow.

Menos um spam na minha caixa. Leia tudo.


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Se beber, não governe…digo, dirija

Drinking? Daikou service now only a cell call away

Date Posted: 2007-01-24
A new service aimed at eliminating drinking and driving on Okinawa is using cell phones and internet technology.

Asuko Uezuki, who said she “didn’t want my friends or myself to have an accident,” created the new ‘Mongolian’ Okinawa Daikou Information Site. More than 60 daikou companies have signed up to participate in the program, which allows drinkers to either call a central number on their cell phones, or turn to the htto://daikou.mongolian.jp/index.html internet address to call for a daikou unit to drive them home after drinking.

Daikou companies offer the service, where a two-driver team goes to the identified location and drives the drinking person—and his car—home. The service began December 28th, and had 230 patrons access the service in the first week. An objective of the new service is to provide vehicles in a matter of 10-15 minutes.

Uezuki, who knew a teacher who became drunk, then ran over and killed a colleague, designed to program and its software at no charge. She says “people can use it easily, even those who are too lazy to call a daiko in traditional fashion.”

Eis aí uma boa idéia.


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Racismo no Brasil? É, existe.

Acostumados a desprezar tudo de relevante neste mundo, vamos deixando as pequenas coisas passarem até que a situação chega num ponto onde não é mais possível perceber qualquer vestígio de liberdade no mundo que nos rodeia.

Acostumada a representar a raça negra, a cantora Margareth Menezes encara uma polêmica envolvendo a música Rasta Man. Duas entidades rastafaris da Bahia, Nova Flor e Aspiral do Reggae, protocolaram uma ação no Ministério Público pedindo para que a canção seja proibida de tocar nas rádios. Segundo o documento, que está na 2ª Promotoria de Justiça da Cidadania e Combate ao Racismo, a obra é “racista, discriminatória e incentivadora do preconceito”.

O centro da polêmica seria o refrão, com versos como “esse cara dança reggae / reggae / meio maluco, mas um homem bom”. A faixa foi composta por Augusto Conceição e Fábio Alcântara. A ação pede ainda que Margareth Menezes se retrate.

Reparem como o tal “centro da polêmica” não tem nenhuma menção à raça do tal sujeito que dança reggae. Mas nada disso interessa: se algo desagrada a um grupo qualquer, é logo tachado de racismo, como se apreciadores e dançarinos de reggae constituíssem uma etnia.

Pensando bem, por que meu espanto se até membros de patidos políticos já se consideram membros de uma raça?

Uma palhaçada.

Só não reproduzi os links (um ou dois) originais do meu xará, mas é realmente notável como a confusão existe.

Parabéns, movimentos “sociais”!


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Um pouco sobre Kornai

Conheci Kornai, digo, sua obra, no mestrado. E eis que agora sei mais sobre ele.

Outside Hungary and the precincts of professional economists, János Kornai is not a household name. “By Force of Thought,” Mr. Kornai’s memoir, may not make him one overnight, but it is a thoughtful account of an extraordinary life and a portrait of a certain kind of intellectual dissent too little written about from personal experience.

Mr. Kornai was born in 1928 and raised in Budapest in a prosperous, assimilated Jewish family. His life changed abruptly with the outbreak of World War II. His father, a lawyer, had once represented German business interests in Hungary; he would be arrested and eventually deported to Auschwitz, where he perished. One older brother was drafted into a Hungarian labor battalion and died on the Eastern Front. Mr. Kornai himself managed to obtain a kind of passport, which the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg was distributing to Jews; armed with this document, he was spared deportation and survived the war.

The traumas he experienced and the need to resist fascism led him to sympathize with the Communist Party and to join it a few months after the war’s end. For a time, he was a sincere believer not only in the Hungarian dictator, Mátyás Rákosi, but in Stalin as well; the young Mr. Kornai carried a “blind, unconditional faith” in the Soviet Union in spite of the brutalities he had witnessed by liberating Red Army troops.

Leia mais sobre a história do criador do conceito de “restrição orçamentária rígida” aqui.

Uma nota pessoal: depois disto, é de rir quando alguém da ala não-liberal do Brasil (95% do país) diz que “restrição orçamentária rígida” é coisa do neoliberalismo neocolonialista do Consenso de Washington. É uma estupidez. Não tem outro nome para tal sandice.


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Para aqueles, como eu e Shikida, que gostam de pensar sobre a produção dos economistas

Academic Journals as Two-Sided Platforms: Empirical Evidence from Data on French Libraries

Pierre Dubois, Adriana Hernandez-Perez, Marc Ivaldi

This paper analyzes the demand and cost structure of the French market of academic journals, taking into account its intermediary role between researchers, who are both producers and consumers of knowledge. This two sidedness feature will echoes similar problems already observed in electronic markets – payment card systems, video game console etc – such as the chicken and egg problem, where readers won’t buy a journal if they do not expect its articles to be academically relevant and researchers, that live under the mantra “Publish or Perish”, will not submit to a journal with either limited public reach or weak reputation. After the merging of several databases, we estimate the aggregated nested logit demand system combined simultaneously with a cost function. We identify the structural parameters of this market and find that price elasticities of demand are quite large and margins relatively low, indicating that this industry experiences competitive constraints.


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Bem público

Ao pensar nos meus leitores estudantes de economia de faculdades que nem sempre possuem bons recursos em termos de dados, resolvi criar uma área, na barra lateral, para bases de dados online e gratuitas.

Posso ser bem-intencionado, mas não sou perfeito. Assim, quem tiver conhecimento de outras bases gratuitas que não estejam lá, por favor, envie-me uma mensagem ou use o espaço de comentários.

Ah, sim, note que o Ministério do Desenvolvimento tem, agora, uma tal balança comercial em nível municipal. Vejamos no que dá.


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Este tem coragem (e é sincero)

Eis aí um cara de coragem. Algo como “matei e mataria de novo”. O mundo perde um herói. Podia ser pior. Vai que ele tem um irmão igualmente comprometido com as “causas sociais”…iam falar de “Chemical Brothers”!!!

“Chemical Ali” Acknowledges Giving Order to Destroy Thousands of Kurdish Villages

During his trial, Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as “Chemical Ali”, acknowledged that it was he who had instructed the Iraqi army to destroy thousands of Kurdish villages and deport their inhabitants. Al-Majid, who is also Saddam Hussein’s cousin, said: “I will not defend myself and I will not apologize.”

Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, January 29, 2007

Grifos meus. Originalmente aqui.


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A carga tributária carnavalesca

Até mesmo na hora de se divertir o brasileiro tem de suportar uma alta carga tributária. Serpentina, spray de espuma, colar havaiano e outros artigos característicos da festa de Momo embutem em média mais de 40% de tributos em seus preços finais.

“A carga tributária que recai sobre a produção de bens e serviços no País é pesada e os artigos carnavalescos não fogem da regra”, afirma o tributarista Gilberto Luiz do Amaral, presidente do Instituto Brasileiro de Planejamento Tributário (IBPT), que fez os cálculos da carga de impostos nos produtos de carnaval.

De acordo com levantamento do IBPT, confete e serpentina carregam 45,03% de impostos dentro do preço; máscaras de plástico, 45,13%; buzina a gás, 46,79%; spray de espuma, 47,14%; colar havaiano, 47,16%; e fantasias, 37,6%.

Os bolsos dos compradores de instrumentos musicais também são atingidos. No preço do reco-reco entram 38,84% de tributos; no agogô, 39,94%; e no pandeiro, 39,03%.


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As diferentes elasticidades…

Singapore Airlines Ltd. said Monday that it will reduce fuel surcharges, following a decline in oil prices in recent weeks. The carrier said in a statement that beginning Tuesday fuel surcharges will be cut between $2 and $4 for all its flights. Between Singapore and gateways in South East Asia surcharges will be reduced from $18 to $16 per ticket. Between Singapore and gateways in the United States and Canada surcharges will be cut from $82 to $78 per ticket. For all other flights surcharges will go down from $54 to $52 per ticket. The carrier said that while the price of crude has come down, jet fuel prices have not fallen to the same extent, and the difference between the two remains high.

Ah, as elasticidades…


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Tampa da privada

Finalmente, o artigo.

For “mankind”, the analysis in this paper has the following appeal: Once again, it has been found that the social norm of leaving the toilet seat down is inefficient; hence, “mankind” may feel vindicated. For “womankind”, the analysis in this paper is appealing for the following reason: It has been shown that the social norm of leaving the seat down is a trembling-hand perfect equilibrium. Hence, this norm is not likely to go away, at least in the near future.


1. um brasileiro resumiu o artigo.
2. e o artigo está aqui.

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Ipod, você não

Teve uma polêmica engraçada na blogosfera outro dia, sobre o IPod. O fato é que, pelo visto, metade do preço do IPod, no Brasil, é imposto.

E imposto é política pública na qual se pode mexer. Ponto.

p.s. tem gente (normalmente anti-globalização, mas nem sempre) que acha que o IPod é um luxo e que devemos nos preocupar com outras prioridades. Bem, eis que esta opinião é bem popular. Novamente, parece que capital humano é o conceito-chave.

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