Este Blog é dedicado a Economia, sob os olhos do Distributivismo. Veremos a Economia do ponto de vista do "ser humano permanente", como disse GK Chesterton se referindo aos personagens de Charles Dickens.
Que São Maximiliano Kolbe, do Bloco 11, Cela 18 de Auschwitz, nos ilumine na continuação da doutrina de Hilaire Belloc!
Hoje é dia de debate sobre Donald Trump e Hillary Clinton. Nenhum dos dois defende o legado de Obama na economia. Por quê?
O site Zero Hedge listou o que Obama deixou na economia para o novo presidente dos Estados Unidos.
#1 When Barack Obama entered the White House, the U.S. government was 10.6 trillion dollars in debt. Today, the U.S. government is 19.5 trillion dollars in debt, and Obama still has several months to go until the end of his second term. That means that an average of more than 1.1 trillion dollars will be added to the national debt during his presidency. We are stealing a tremendous amount of consumption from the future to make the economy look much, much better than it otherwise would be, and we are systematically destroying the future in the process.
#2 As Obama prepares to leave office, the rate at which we are adding to the national debt is actually increasing. During the fiscal year that is just ending, the U.S. government has added another 1.36 trillion dollars to the national debt.
#3 It isn’t just the federal government that is on a massive debt binge. Total U.S. corporate debt has nearly doubled since the end of 2007.
#10 In August, the Cass Freight Index dipped to the lowest level that we have seen for that month since 2010. What this means is that the total amount of stuff being shipped around the country by air, by rail and by truck is really dropping, and this is a clear sign that real economic activity is slowing down in a major way.
#11 Capital expenditure growth has turned negative, and history has shown that this is almost always followed by a new recession.
#12 The percentage of Americans with a full-time job has been sitting at about 48 percent since 2010. You have to go back to 1983 to find a time when full-time employment in this country was so low.
#13 The labor force participation rate peaked back in 1997 and has been steadily falling ever since.
#14 The “inactivity rate” for men in their prime working years is actually higher today than it was during the last recession.
#23 In 1971, 61 percent of all Americans were considered to be “middle class”, but now middle class Americans have actually become a minority in this nation.
#24 One recent survey discovered that 62 percent of all Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.
#25 According to the Federal Reserve, 47 percent of all Americans could not even pay an unexpected $400 emergency room bill without borrowing the money from somewhere or selling something.
#26 The number of New Yorkers sleeping in homeless shelters just set a brand new record high, and the number of families permanently living in homeless shelters is up a whopping 60 percent over the past five years.
Despite all of the facts that you just read, the truth is that there is one particular group of people that have been doing quite well during the Obama years. I really like how Charles Hugh Smith made this point in one of his recent articles…
The top 5% of households that dominate government, Corporate America, finance, the Deep State and the media have been doing extraordinarily well during the past eight years of stock market bubble (oops, I mean boom) and “recovery,” and so they report that the economy is doing splendidly because they’ve done splendidly.
By recklessly creating money out of thin air and pumping it into the financial markets, the Federal Reserve has greatly enriched the elite, but they have also dramatically increased the gap between the very wealthy and the rest of us. Since he has been in the White House during this time, Barack Obama has gotten the credit for this temporary stock market bubble, and most of the elite love Obama anyway.
But in the process the stage has been set for the greatest economic and financial implosion in U.S. history, and the pain that is coming is going to affect every man, woman and child in this country.
Estudo consderando apenas as instituições de caridade diz que as religiões contribuem com 1,2 trilhão de dólares todo ano para a economia norte-americana. Em outras palavras, a contribuição da religão seria o 15o país mais rico do mundo.
E se fosse considerado o conforto espiritual?
Ateísmo, além de estupidez humana, tem um enorme imapcto no PIB.
O estudo foi publicado pelo Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, disponível no link aqui, escrito por Brian Grim (Georgetown University) e Melissa Grim (Newseum Institute).
Em um texto fantástico, o filósofo Anthony Esolen fala da "nova ignorância". Antigamente, a ignorância não sabia ler nem escrever, mas sabia fazer diversas artes e técnicas. Hoje, em dia a "nova ignorância" ler mal, escreve mal, não sabe nenhuma arte ou técnica e aprendeu muito pior ainda. A nova ignorância precisa desaprender.
Aprendeu tão mal, que o professor bom hoje em dia deveria "desensinar", destruir tudo de errado que foi aprendido nas escolas.
“Education,” wrote Malcolm Muggeridge fifty years ago, “the great fraud and mumbo-jumbo of the age,” had not brought to the mass of men the best that has been done and thought and said, but rather spread ignorance and folly across the land. Muggeridge understood, though he did not feel he needed to say so explicitly, that the modern ignorance is a new kind of thing, not like the ignorance of old. We Catholics who wish to bring the good news of Christ to the world must now reckon with the malady, because it will require of us something other than what was required of the old missionaries when they went among a heathen people, to show them that the best of what they already believed was but an adumbration of the truth, whole and living.
The old ignorance is easy to describe. All it meant was that people did not know how to read, or had not had a chance to study arts and letters and the sciences, or were never introduced to the gospel. Among peoples already Christian it had more to do with what class you were born to than how intelligent you were. So an Italian mason would know how to dress a block of marble for a rounded pillar, so that it would sit securely in place, tapering it towards the top, too, lest it look as if it were beetling above you and getting ready to fall upon your head. The miller knew how to rig the carpentry so that he could engage and disengage the water wheel with ease. The painter knew how to build scaffolding, and where to get the earths, greens, shellfish, bones, berries, and whatnot to create his pigments. You could not get through an ordinary day without putting into act a wide variety of skills, and practical knowledge of the world around you, and this was true of both sexes, and even of children. But they might not know who Cicero was, or how to read The Divine Comedy,or, unless they were sailors, what route you would take on the sea to get to Ireland, or what a logarithm is, and so forth.
I could now say that the new ignorance is just the old ignorance, without those skills and that practical knowledge. The new ignorant are vague about what a mill is, nordo they know who Cicero was, even though they have attended school, that efficient emptier of brains, for twelve to sixteen years. That would be bad enough, but it would still not be exactly correct.
Lately I followed a lead to an article written by our good friend Joseph Pearce, on the fact that students coming to college and students leaving college do not really know much at all about the history, theology, philosophy, art, and poetry of the Christian heritage. He is quite right about that, and I’ve long known about it. I’m sure he is aware of an even deeper ignorance, though—the ignorance you have to be educated into;the ignorance on gaudy display in the comments below his article.
Constantine decreed that the Church had to believe in the Trinity. Christians adopted a pagan festival to celebrate Easter and Christmas. Christians were pacifists who sapped the strength of the Roman Empire (hat tip to you, Edward Gibbon, sour skeptic and despiser of the Church). Christians massacred people who did not convert to their religion. Christians burned down the library at Alexandria. Catholics persecuted the “heretic” Copernicus. Jesus preached socialism and the redistribution of income. Christians despised pagan philosophy. Christians are responsible for the rejection of centuries of scientific achievement. Christians caused the fall of the Roman Empire. Catholics burned a million people at the stake for being “witches.” If it weren’t for Christians, we might have been driving around in automobiles fifteen centuries ago.
And on it goes. I will soon be meeting my college freshmen for the first time, in our program in the development of western civilization, and I know that I will have to un-teach them a great deal of nonsense that they have been taught. Much of it is sheer blinkered stupidity, such as that you must never use the personal pronoun “I” in an essay, or that you may not begin a sentence with “because,” or that you should never use the passive voice—defined as using any form of the verb “to be.” But much of it is this new kind of ignorance, the shallow bigotry of people who have been malformed in their schooling and in their reading of bad books or sloppy journalism, over the course of many years, so that they “know” all kinds of things that are not true, and “know” them as ingrained prejudices. I have seen it many times before: we will spend a whole semester teaching them about the glorious art and literature of the Middle Ages, introducing them to Dante and Giotto and Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure, and stillsome of them will repeat that canard about darkness covering the world in gloom for ten centuries, until Petrarch or somebody was born.
The situation would be bad enough if we encountered it only in the graduates of high school and of the “lesser” colleges and universities, but not from places like Princeton and Harvard and Yale. Alas, that is not the case at all. The graduates of still-Catholic and still-Christian colleges are more likely than are their counterparts from the Poison Ivies to know some things about the western heritage. You cannot graduate from my school, Providence College, without at least brushing up against Homer, Virgil, Marcus Aurelius, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Kierkegaard, inter alia.But it is highly unlikelythat a graduate of Brown University, that overpriced bohemian stew pot across the city from us in Providence, will have read a single play by Shakespeare for his or her classes, let alone anything of Virgil or the Scriptures.
We will also encounter it among the self-styled prophets of our time: the journalists, and journalistic writers of memoirs and cultural analyses. Mr. Ta-Nehisi Coates, new darling of the left and a recipient of one of the MacArthur “genius” awards, admitted recently without embarrassment or apology that he had never heardof Saint Augustine; which is rather like a prize-winning author from England having never heard of Charlemagne. Since Coates writes about racial issues, his ignorance of the great intellect from North Africa was all the more stunning. And yet he can speak endlessly about racism and the Christian faith. Such a thing is common among journalists and the writers of popular journalistic books, and it comes from all races, all political persuasions, and both sexes.
Thatis what we have to deal with now. In The Abolition of Man,C. S. Lewis said that the task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. That is still true, except that the desert-dwellers we meet suffer one jungle-mirage after another, a veritable fantasyland rain forest of monstrous untruths and massive foolishness. We will have to help them clear their heads of the hallucinogens before we can fill those heads with truth and beauty.
Que texto sensacional do historiador Victor Davis Hanson, explica que o progresso material e técnico não necessariamente é acompanhado pelo progresso moral e político, nbem no passado e muito menos hoje em dia, em que vivemos grande crise moral e política no mundo.
Today, it seems that Orwell’s 1984 would better have been titled 2016.
By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
Technical progress is often associated with moral and political regress, a theme as ancient as Hesiod’s seventh-century b.c. poem Works and Days.
In 200 b.c., not a male could vote freely in Hellenistic Greece, but the so-called Antikythera analogue computer could predict astronomical cycles in a way unimaginable 250 years earlier in Periclean Athens.
The uncanny ability to craft the great dome of Hagia Sophia did not imply that the people of Constantinople in a.d.537 had retained many freedoms from the impoverished Roman Republic of 700 years earlier.
We are in such a period of rapid breakthroughs in technology, consumerism, and scientific advancement — equally matched by cultural, social, and political ruin.
Take the question of free speech. Fifty years ago leftist student activists — without iPads and Facebook pages — fought for “free speech areas” in university plazas where they could voice unpopular and even uncouth expression.
We may be able to communicate in a nanosecond and send photo images in real time on our cell phones, but someone who was a student at UC Berkeley in the 1960s would today be shocked that there is less free speech on campus than a half-century ago — unless he is a tenured dean who helped to implement the censorship he once opposed.
If a junior faculty member were to write a paper on the racialist undertones of Black Lives Matter, the lack of factual evidence for a campus rape epidemic, or the connection between radical Islam and terrorism, he would likely have to struggle for tenure.
It is not just that a John Ford western could not pass current PC muster, but even modernist raunchy satire such as the 1980s TV hits In Living Color and Married with Children, or the comic career of a Teri Garr or Victoria Jackson, or a movie like True Lies simply could not pass today’s Ministry of Truth.
Free-speech activists, homosexual-rights advocates, feminists, and democracy reformers all privately accept that they are as free to attack the fundamentalism of the Christian Right as they are in real danger — both to their persons and to their careers — should they question Koranic support for widespread current Muslim discrimination against women, gays, and religious reformers. Political correctness has become synonymous with either cowardice or careerism — or both. We damn “Islamophobia” to win social brownie points, but we tune out when there is mention of honor killings or female circumcision. Cheap silence is always preferable to principled but risky dissent.
Orwell was wrong only on his dates. Had he entitled his novel 2016, we would immediately have recognized his parallels to the present “overseas contingency operations,” “violent extremism,” “undocumented immigrants,” and “man-caused disasters.” The campus diversity czar is our Big Brother. Imagining that all lives matter is a thought crime. Due process on a campus today is counter-revolutionary, and proper sexual congress among students is to be scripted as a politically correct act, as if we were all Orwell’s Winston Smith and Julia. Is the Junior Anti-Sex League with its red sashes far behind?
Even as the president and his current and previous attorneys general have been African-American, race relations nonetheless are regressing to the polarized days of the 1950s. Black Lives Matter organizers now order journalists to separate by race, with whites to follow at the back of a demonstration. On campus, modern students are emulating the old University of Alabama, with Claremont undergraduates openly advertising that they do not wish to room with someone of a different race. Will solicitations for “European-American” roommates be far behind?
Neither social censure nor media attention focuses on such politically correct segregation. A “safe space” on campus is a euphemism for dividing up campus life by the color of one’s skin; are separate water fountains next? Any college president who addressed an incoming class with, “Welcome, students. I hope we can fully integrate into a unified student body, in which race and gender become incidental, not essential, to our common human characters” would be summarily fired or sent on a sabbatical to a reeducation camp to unlearn crimes of cultural appropriation and assimilationist genocide. Qualification for affirmative-action status rests on guidance from the old Confederacy’s 1/16, “one drop” rule.
Emblematic of the current racial nihilism was the recent fatal shooting in Milwaukee of an African-American suspect at a traffic stop (who was armed with a stolen automatic weapon, and who had 13 prior arrests) by an African-American police officer (in a city whose sheriff is African-Americans) — leading to looting and mini-riots, in which whites were targeted by their race. “Poor” people, who said they were deprived, coordinated their looting and rioting on expensive smart phones and cool social media. Immediately prior to the shooting, several African-Americans were shot by other African-Americans — without commensurate violence or even much news coverage.
Certain topics are not just taboo, but also grounds for career-ending charges of racism, such as discussion of the astronomical rates of violent crime among young African-American males or the epidemic of type-2 diabetes and chronic obesity among recent immigrants from Mexico. Just as in our dark past, when Confederate states and local jurisdictions nullified federal laws on racial grounds, so too modern “sanctuary cities” declare themselves exempt from federal immigration statutes, at least in the case of Hispanic immigrants from Mexico and Latin America. A visiting Australian neurologist who overstays his visa will eventually be in trouble at airport passport control; had he entered the U.S. by crossing its southern border illegally and staying in Los Angeles, he would likely have been exempt.
At the turn of the last century, “trust busters” of the progressive movement made the argument that the free market was imperiled by crony capitalists, who had, with government collusion, vertically integrated enormous conglomerates and monopolies, strangling free commerce and competition in the steel, oil, and railroad industries. Central to the muckrakers’ advocacy was that the Morgans, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Stanfords, and Carnegies were illiberal obstacles to egalitarianism and fairness — in other words, to the aspirations of the “little guy.”
Compare that to the scene today, with the record-setting monopolies of the founders of Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Internet grandees like Mark Zuckerberg are every bit as opulent in today’s dollars, and live as often in gated estates as did the now derided robber barons of the past — and are no less unethical. They certainly share the same disdain for the working middle classes, as they seek to import cheap foreign tech labor. Yet at least Rockefeller gave us oil, and Carnegie steel; it is hard to calibrate exactly how the country benefits from millions of 20-somethings glued to their Facebook pages.
Google massages its daily news fare to reflect liberal biases. Facebook censures far more social media on the right than on the left. Twitter closes down those it arbitrarily deems incorrect. The only difference is that in the Gilded Age, plutocrats preached the doctrines of self-reliance and hard work, professing that others could follow their golden paths. Today’s versions mouth progressive bromides on the assurance that they easily have the money and influence to navigate around the bothersome concrete ramifications of their own ideological boilerplate. None of them want their families to live in the world that is the logical result of their abstract and guilt-ridden theories.
As a result of liberal hyper-wealth, the new trusts are given veritable media and political passes on their embrace of practices once seen as illiberal and self-serving, like excessive electronic monitoring of our daily lives, offshoring and outsourcing wealth, monopolizing, and giving lavishly to candidates for public office to win exemption from regulations and tax law. Just because a master of the universe wears jeans, sneakers, and a T-shirt and tips his hat to Solyndra, sanctuary cities, or Black Lives Matter, that does not mean that his telos is any different from that of a Gilded Age monopolist. Hillary is Wall Street’s hedge-fund heroine; she resonates with Big Money in a way not seen since Warren G. Harding.
Disruptions in the free market and absolute control of business activities of a sort that once galvanized Frank Norris and Upton Sinclair are now deemed fine if they further a liberal agenda. George Soros has proved a lifelong financial octopus, but he has invested in liberal toadies and so earned adulation instead of muckraking. Unfortunately for Ford and Rockefeller, their foundations were hijacked by liberals after their deaths, and so they are remembered as enemies of the people.
Alcohol and tobacco producers, gun manufacturers, and car companies are routinely sued if their products are seen as responsible, even when used wrongly, for spiking injuries and death. Not so smart phones and social media. One of the greatest causes of traffic accidents today is the ubiquitous custom of texting while driving, as dangerous as using drugs or drink — and a logical end use of a smart device.
Yet for some reason, Silicon Valley’s products are deemed exempt from liberal notions of consumer liability, although it might be as easy for a nanny-state regulator to insert a motion-activated shut-off device in a smart phone as it is to install a trigger lock on a gun or to reduce the tar content of a cigarette. It is a toss-up as to which is the more deleterious to teenagers’ health: three daily cigarettes, or six hours on the sofa addicted to a video-game console, or walking in a busy crosswalk hypnotized by a smart-phone screen.
We should not delude ourselves that because a cocooned scientific elite has made startling gains in consumerism and technology, that therefore we the public are any freer, more socially and politically advanced, or somehow more ethical human beings.
More often material progress masks social regression, as we can do more bad things more impressively and more quickly than ever before — and then seek more sophisticated and contextualized exemptions. The novelist Petronius in his Satyricon relates something akin to a new sort of unbreakable glass, along with abject culinary and sexual decadence.
The public today is more wired and less knowledgeable than ever before; it talks more about diversity, fairness, and equality but practices far more tribal and racial discrimination and chauvinism.
“Speaking truth to power” is a buzz phrase in an age of far less freedom of expression and tolerance of dissenting views. We are going backward at warp speed.
Eu acho muito engraçado quando ouço economistas e analistas políticos dizendo coisas do tipo: "o mercado acha", "o mercado pensa", "o mercado não gosta".
Alguém ainda vai me apresentar esse tal de mercado.
Mas desde a crise de 2008, o mundo ficou ainda mais louco e os bancos centrais estão torrando dinheiro nunca antes visto. Os ricos aplicando dinheiro em ações e títulos ficam ainda mais ricos e aqueles do setor produtivo empobrecem.
O site Zero Hedge mostrou que ninguém está entendendo "mais" o "mercado".
Leiam e vejam a estupidez do "mercado" segundo o Wall Street Journal.
Isso é resultado de quê? Ora, dos fatores básicos: abortos generalizados, escravidão salarial, desemprego, mulheres trabalhando para manter nível de vida, idolatria do prazer da vida jovem, desprezo ao casamento.
Isso é resultado de quê? As mesmas causas do artigo acima: abortos generalizados, escravidão salarial, desemprego, mulheres trabalhando para manter nível de vida, idolatria do prazer da vida jovem, desprezo ao casamento. O pior é que o mundo vai achando isso lindo. Já viram o tanto de propagando que tem com jovens barbudos ocisosos. Eu lembro de pelo menos duas que passam regularmente no Brasil. A da Rider que passa um jovem barbudo bocejando em um sofá e o da Claro que passa um cara meio jovem de pijama vermelho em um quarto escuro próximo a um computador.
There is a hierarchy of models in the sense they offer insight into the thing modeled. The order of importance is: causal, deterministic, probabilistic, statistical. Most models use mixtures of these elements.
All models have this form: a set of premises, which include any number of facts, truths, supposeds, data, and such forth, and a proposition of interest, which is the thing being modeled conditional on those premises.
A classic—or perhaps better, as you’ll agree, classical—causal model “Socrates is mortal” given “All men are mortal and Socrates is a man.” The model predicts Socrates will die because of the nature of all men. It is man’s nature to die, and Socrates (and you, dear reader) are among the race of men. We knowall men are mortal from the necessarily limited sample of observations of past men, and from the induction of these dead men to the entire race.
Causal models give insight into or make use of the nature, the universal essence, of the thing of interest. Causal models require universals; they also require induction because we know the validity of all universals, natures, essences, through a type of induction.
Deterministic models are common in mathematics and are usually stated in a form such that the proposition of interest is a function of premises, like this: y = f(x). The “x” is placeholder for any number of premises. An example of a functional form of a deterministic model is y = a + bx3, which shows there are three explicit premises, the “a”, “b”, and x3, and one implicit, which is the form or arrangement of these premises. This equation might give the numerical level of some thing as a function of a, b, and x. It says, “Given a, b, and x, y will certainly be at a + bx3.” The equation determines y, but doesn’t explain the essence of the cause.
Some causal models may be put in equation form, but not all deterministic models are also causal. The equation given applies to a black box with two readouts, a “y” and “x”, and a dial is discovered to change the “x”. The formula is induced based on rotating the dial and noting the values of y and x. Only in the weakest sense can we say we have discovered the essence of the machine: we don’t even know what the values imply. Interestingly (and obviously to mathematical readers), more than one equation can be found to fit the same data (premises), which is also proof we have not learned the nature of the machine.
Probabilistic models abound. Given “This is a two-state object and only one state of s1 or s2 may show at any time”, the probability “The object is in state s1” is 1/2. Note carefully that no such real object need exist; and neither must real objects exist for causal or deterministic models, as should be obvious.
There isn’t any understanding of essence or nature of this object in this probability model: we don’t know the workings. If we did, we’d have a deterministic or causal model. The probability is thus only a measure of our state of knowledge of the truth of the proposition and not of the essence of object. Probability models are silent on cause.
The last and least are statistical models. These are always ad hoc and conflate probability and decision or mistake probability with essence. Statistical models are a prominent cause of the vast amount of over-certainty which plagues science.
Statistical models purport to say that x causes y, or that x is “linked to” y, through the mechanism of hypothesis testing, via frequentist p-values or Bayesian Bayes factors, but though x may really be a cause of y, or x really may be linked to y in some essential way, the statistical judgment that these conditions are so is always a fallacy.
Hypothesis testing conflates decision with probability; nothing in any hypothesis test gives the desired probability “Given x, what is the probability of y”; instead, testing says, based on ad hoc criteria, x and y are mysteriously related (“linked”) or that x causes y. These inferences are never valid. The importance of this logical truth cannot be overstated. This why so many statistical models report false results. (A reminder that a logical argument can be invalid but still have a true conclusion; the conclusion is just true for other reasons than the stated argument.)
Lastly, statistical models purport to report “effect size”, which is a measure of the importance of x on y. This “effect size” always either false or an assertion given far too much confidence (I used this word in its plain-English sense). Effect sizes say something about a premise inside x (a parameter or parameters) and not x itself, hence they are always over-certain. This form of over-certainty is eliminated by moving to a probability model.