O que é este blog?

Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org.

Mostrando postagens com marcador Keynes. Mostrar todas as postagens
Mostrando postagens com marcador Keynes. Mostrar todas as postagens

segunda-feira, 2 de janeiro de 2017

Jean-Baptiste Say: 250 anos de seu nascimento em 2017

Jean-Baptiste Say é o homem da "lei de Say", que pretende que "a oferta cria sua própria demanda", numa demonstração de confiança na capacidade empreendedora dos capitalistas, ou seja, homens dispostos a arriscar seu capital, suas terras, seus insumos e trabalho, produzindo algo de útil para a sociedade, e com isso fazendo com que os salários pagos a seus empregados fossem convertidos em compras da produção na qual ele primeiro empregou seus ativos. Genial, em sua aparente simplicidade, e uma tradução elementar do que ocorre na vida real.
Keynes, mais de cem anos depois, pretendeu inverter a "lei de Say", afirmando que a "demanda cria a sua própria oferta", ou seja, querendo que o Estado, esse ser improdutivo, oferecesse crédito à sociedade para que ela adquirisse produtos que não estavam sendo produzidos, esperando com isso despertar os "espíritos animais" dos capitalistas.
Keynes só não explicou de onde o Estado tiraria os recursos para fazer isso, ou seja, injetar liquidez na economia. Sem possuir ativos próprios, o Estado só pode fazer isso de forma perversa: taxando mais os cidadãos, inflacionando o meio circulante, criando dívida pública, em qualquer hipótese meios suicidários para uma economia saudável.
Deu no que deu: desde os anos 1930, ou pouco além, vivemos no inferno keynesiano da inversão da "lei de Say", um atentado maior à racionalidade econômica do que as prescrições econômicas socialistas, que só são seguidas por espíritos desquilibrados.
Feliz aniversário de 250 anos, Jean-Baptiste: preciso recuperar o seu livro de falácias econômicas para atualizar algumas das minhas.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

Jean-Baptiste Say, on the 250th Anniversary of His Birth

Mises Daily, January 2nd, 2017
Americans live in a world where regulation and taxation at multiple levels of government erode their ability to make choices for themselves. That is, we face constant government assaults on our property rights, as they increasingly limit owners’ power over their property. As James Fenimore Cooper could already write in 1838, “There is getting to be so much public right, that private right is overshadowed and lost. A danger exists that the ends of liberty will be forgotten.”
Given how much private property rights are being pared away, it is worth returning to first principles about the essential underpinnings of voluntary relationships. And one of the very best people to turn to is Jean Baptiste Say. That is particularly true this January 5, which is the 250th anniversary of Say’s birth.
J.B. Say was the foremost French political economist in the early 1800s. An elaborator on Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, and a vigorous defender of laissez-faire principles, which are the outgrowth of private property rights, he was the first person to offer a public course in political economy in France, and the English translation of his Treatise on Political Economy was used as a textbook in England and the United States.
Say’s Treatise, particularly his chapter, “Of the right of property,” though written over two centuries ago, remains among the wisest, though most commonly ignored, insights into property rights. Among Say's many penetrating observations are these:  
"The right of property…[is] the most powerful of all encouragements to the multiplication of wealth."
"The legal inviolability of property is obviously a mere mockery, where the sovereign power…practices robbery itself…or where possession is rendered perpetually insecure, by the intricacy of legislative enactments, and the subtleties of technical nicety. Nor can property be said to exist, where it is not matter of reality as well as of right. Then, and then only, can the sources of production… attain their utmost degree of fecundity."
"Who will attempt to deny, that the certainty of enjoying the fruits of one’s land, capital and labor, is the most powerful inducement to render them productive? Or who is dull enough to doubt, that no one knows so well as the proprietor how to make the best use of his property? Yet how often in practice is that inviolability of property disregarded…How often is it broken in upon for the most insignificant purposes; and its violation, that should naturally excite indignation, justified upon the most flimsy pretexts?"
"There is no security of property, where a despotic authority can possess itself of the property of the subject against his consent. Neither is there such security, where the consent is merely nominal and delusive."
"The right of property is equally invaded, by obstructing the free employment of the means of production, as by violently depriving the proprietor of the product of his land, capital, or industry: for the right of property…is the right of use or even abuse. Thus, landed property is violated by arbitrarily prescribing tillage or plantation; or by interdicting particular modes of cultivation; the property of the capitalist is violated, by prohibiting particular ways of employing it…forbidding the proprietor to build on his own soil, or prescribing the form and requisites of the building. It is a further violation of the capitalist’s property to prohibit any kind of industry, or to load it with duties amounting to prohibition, after he has once embarked his capital in that way."
"Yet, sacred as the property in the faculties of industry is, it is constantly infringed upon…A government is guilty of an invasion upon it, when…depriving the individual of the fair and reasonable certainty of having his time and facilities at his own disposal…What robber or despoiler could commit a more atrocious act of invasion upon the public security?"
"Public safety sometimes imperiously requires the sacrifice of private property; but that sacrifice is a violation…For the right of property implies the free disposition of one’s own; and its sacrifice, however fully indemnified, is a forced disposition."
"When public authority is not itself a spoliator, it procures to the nation the greatest of all blessings, protection from spoliation by others. Without this protection of each individual by the united force of the whole community, it is impossible to conceive any considerable development of the productive powers of man, of land, and of capital; or even to conceive the existence of capital at all; for it is nothing more than accumulated value, operating under the safeguard of authority."
"The poor man…is equally interested with the rich in upholding the inviolability of property. His personal services would not be available, without the aid of accumulations previously made and protected. Every obstruction to, or dissipation of these accumulations, is a material injury to his means of gaining a livelihood; and the ruin and spoliation of the higher is as certainly followed by the misery and degradation of the lower classes."
J.B. Say, because he saw theory as a guide to practice (versus something ignored when inconvenient for those in power), was concerned with applying his understanding of property rights. That is clear from other sections of his Treatise, such as those dealing with taxation and regulation. In Larry Sechrest’s words, “he correctly identifies both government regulation and taxation…as threats to civil society itself.” Unfortunately, Say’s insights are seldom practiced, because, “agents of public authority…can enforce error and absurdity at the point of the bayonet or mouth of the cannon.” Say continues: 
"Something cannot be produced out of nothing by a mere touch of the wand…there are but two ways of obtaining…creating oneself or taking from others. The best scheme of finance is, to spend as little as possible; and the best tax is always the lightest."
"The value paid to government by the tax-payer is given without equivalent or return."
"Excessive taxation is a kind of suicide…it extinguishes both production and consumption, and the tax-payer in the bargain."
"The nature of the products is always regulated by the wants of society… [therefore] legislative interference is superfluous altogether."
"Violations of property with all their usual accompaniments of inquisitorial search, personal violence, and injustice, have never afforded any considerable resource to the government employing them. In polity as well as morality, the grand secret is, not to constrain the actions, but to awaken the inclinations of mankind. Markets are not to be supplied by the terror of the bayonet or the saber."
"Of all the means by which a government can stimulate production, there is none so powerful as the perfect security of person and property, especially from the aggressions of arbitrary power. This security is itself a source of public prosperity."
As Larry Sechrest summarized, J.B. Say was “precise and yet as simple as possible, so that any literate, reasonably intelligent person can comprehend his meaning.” However, modern Americans are currently governed by those who choose to violate those principles. And the results are far from those that arise from the defense of private property rights, as well.
Gary M. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. He is the author of The Apostle of Peace: The Radical Mind of Leonard Read.

domingo, 17 de abril de 2016

Keynesianos e pos-keynesianos, um congresso para todas as tendencias, Kansas City, MO

Atenção à data: 15 de maio

Dear colleagues,

We are delighted to invite you to join us at the 13th International Post Keynesian Conference in Kansas City, MO. Mark your calendars! The conference is September 15-18, 2016 at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

Please help us spread the word by sharing this message with your colleagues.

Call for Papers

Please send your paper and panel submissions to umkcpkconference@umkc.edu
Final date for submission is May 15, 2016

Conference themes will include:
The Shoulders of Giants: contributions of our forefathers and foremothers
The Future of Post Keynesian Economics
Can Euroland Survive?
Tapering and the end of QE
Is secular stagnation the New Normal?
The dangerous fantasy of Growth through Austerity
The role of BRICS in the developing world
Has China offered a New Economic Model?
Modern Money Theory, Functional Finance, and Job Guarantee/ELR
Keynotes will include presentations by Lord Robert Skidelsky and James Galbraith.
This year’s conference is sponsored by:
the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics,
the Levy Economics Institute Of Bard College,
the Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity
and the University Of Missouri-Kansas City.

Stay tuned for more conference details will be posted here: http://www.pkconference.com/
Fadhel Kaboub
Associate Professor of Economics, Denison University
President, Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity
Granville, OH 43023
740-587-6315 @FadhelKaboub

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quinta-feira, 20 de setembro de 2012

Administracao: keynesianos soltos (I mean unleashed...)

Keynes, crise e política fiscal, livro de José Roberto Afonso, inaugura nova série Administração Pública do IDP - Instituto Brasilliense de Direito Público, publicada pela editora Saraiva. "O livro resgata para o centro dos debates as obras do economista britânico, John Maynard Keynes, que é visto, muitas vezes, como o pai da intervenção estatal na economia, defensor da gastança e do endividamento público, mesmo sendo um equivoco. A obra volta às reflexões originais de Keynes para identificar e tentar compreender como este encarava o papel da política fiscal na política econômica."
Entre outros pontos, a venda nas livrarias virtuais do IDP ( http://migre.me/aMl6P ) e Saraiva ( http://migre.me/aMlai ). Direitos autorais doados para o Refazer, que atende famílias carentes no IFF/FIOCRUZ no Rio ( http://migre.me/aMldv ). Lançamento será em 20/9, as 18.30h, ao final do Congresso IDP, no centro de eventos da CNTC (SGAS, Av.W-5, Quadra 902, Bloco C), Brasília.

A FGV Projetos em parceria com o Instituto Brasiliense de Direito Público (IDP) publicarão livros sobre finanças públicas e federalismo brasileiro. A série é aberta com os livros "FPE - Equalização estadual no Brasil - Alternativas e simulações para a reforma", de Sergio Prado (UNICAMP), e "ICMS - Gênese, mutações, atualidade e caminhos para a recuperação", de Fernando Rezende (FGV). O lançamento será no Congresso do IDP, auditório da Confederação dos Trabalhadores do Comércio, Brasília, em 20/09/2012 (distribuição gratuita). Ver pdf anexado.

domingo, 5 de agosto de 2012

Keynes, Friedman e Krugman, o Pinocchio - Donald J. Boudreaux

Donald Boudreaux: Was Milton Friedman a Secret Admirer of Keynes?

Liberals misread the great free-market scholar in order to hijack his legacy.

The Wall Street Journal, Opinion, August 3, 2012
With the possible exception of Adam Smith, no person in history is more widely recognized as ably championing free markets than Milton Friedman. Justly so: For more than 60 years until his death in 2006, he pressed the case for capitalism and freedom with impeccable scholarship, good cheer, impressive vigor and unmatched clarity.

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George Mason University economist Donald Boudreaux on why those who say Milton Friedman's attitude toward government is similar to Keynes's are wrong. Photo: Getty Images
Despite his clarity, there are a handful of people whose inability or unwillingness to grasp Friedman's arguments leads them to misrepresent his writings and policy recommendations.
Consider British journalist Nicholas Wapshott. He used the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Friedman's birth (July 31) to claim, in the Daily Beast, that Friedman's attitude toward government was much closer to that of pro-interventionist John Maynard Keynes than to that of Keynes's famous free-market opponent, Friedrich A. Hayek.
Mr. Wapshott says that Friedman really was quite sanguine about a large and constitutionally unrestrained state, based on the alleged contents of a supposedly "lost" essay by Friedman. Contrary to the naive Hayek—who worried that power concentrated in big government inevitably corrupts politicians and invites its own misuse—Mr. Wapshott says, the essay (which was originally published in 1989) shows Friedman believed "that big government is not evil so long as it is honestly administered." He adds that the essay "calls into question whether those today who rail against the size of the state are blaming the system when they should be rooting out corrupt politicians and public officials instead."
So Milton Friedman was really a good-government progressive? No.
Friedman's essay, "John Maynard Keynes," was never lost. The original article, first published in German translation in a volume of commentaries on Keynes's "General Theory," was translated and republished in 1997 by the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank in its quarterly magazine, and it is readily available on the bank's website.
The essay shows beyond a shadow of doubt what Friedman really thought about Keynes's views on government: "I conclude that Keynes's political bequest has done far more harm than his economic bequest and this for two reasons. First, whatever the economic analysis, benevolent dictatorship is likely sooner or later to lead to a totalitarian society. Second, Keynes's economic theories appealed to a group far broader than economists primarily because of their link to his political approach."
Friedman here articulates concerns long expressed by Hayek in the latter's 1944 book, "The Road to Serfdom," that big government of the sort that Keynes demanded is poisonous to freedom and prosperity. He saw clearly that Keynes's "political bequest" was so dangerous that no amount of rooting out of corrupt officials would prevent a government armed with unlimited discretionary economic power from becoming tyrannical.
There's an even more egregious misrepresentation of Friedman, this one by Paul Krugman, the economist and New York Times columnist. A few months after Friedman's death in November 2006, Mr. Krugman penned an essay in the New York Review of Books, "Who Was Milton Friedman," accusing him of being "intellectually dishonest." He doubled down on this charge in a letter to the editor of the New York Review responding to critics of the essay.
Getty Images
Economist Milton Friedman
The dishonesty, in Mr. Krugman's telling, consists in an alleged contradiction. On one hand, Friedman the scholar claimed in his famous "Monetary History of the United States" that the Great Depression was worsened by the Fed's failure to keep the money supply from falling. But, on the other hand, Friedman the public figure claimed that the Depression likely would have been far less severe in the absence of the Fed. "I'm sorry," Mr. Krugman wrote in the letter, "but those are contradictory positions."
Mr. Krugman's charge is silly. Friedman understood that, without the Federal Reserve, private bank-clearinghouse associations—market institutions that were displaced by the Fed—would likely have prevented the money supply from collapsing and, hence, might well have kept the depression from becoming "great." But Friedman also understood that the Fed, having substituted its own technocratic discretion for the market adjustments of clearinghouses, then had a responsibility to manage the money supply properly. It failed to do so. Friedman (and his co-author Anna Schwartz) properly criticized the Fed for this terrible failure.
Friedman's argument here is no more contradictory or dishonest than would be the argument of, say, a physician who, having unsuccessfully warned a patient not to rely for medical care upon a witch doctor, points to the witch doctor's failure to administer appropriate mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as the cause of the patient's death.
Milton Friedman combined soaring academic credentials with a remarkable virtuosity at explaining to the public why free markets are economically and ethically superior to even well-intentioned government plans and regulations. He was throughout his long life and career a special target of those who would preserve what he and his wife, Rose, called "the tyranny of the status quo." This status quo consists of interest groups, bureaucrats and politicians who—with help from cheerleaders in the media and the academy—use government to enlarge their own pocketbooks and to stroke their own egos, all at the expense of the general public.
If Friedman was secretly upbeat about powerful government or, worse, misleading the public, then the voice of one of history's greatest advocates of free markets would be silenced. In fact, Milton Friedman's advocacy of free markets was as principled, consistent and honest as it was brilliant.
Mr. Boudreaux is professor of economics at George Mason University and author of "Hypocrites and Half-Wits" (Free To Choose Press, 2012).
A version of this article appeared August 4, 2012, on page A15 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Was Milton Friedman a Secret Admirer of Keynes?.