quarta-feira, 30 de abril de 2014

A Confusão Econômica (e teológica) do Twitter do Papa.

O Papa Francisco definitivamente não é conhecido por sua clareza. Suas entrevistas e suas palavras espontâneas geram confusões, caos de interpretação. Ele é realmente bastante confuso. E isto ficou claro agora mais uma vez no twitter do Papa.

Este negócio de twitter de autoridades geralmente levanta dúvidas sobre se elas realmente escreveram o que está no twitter. Mas, se não escrevem, são responsáveis e por isso deveriam acompanhar o que levam seus nomes.

O pior é que dessa vez as versões em inglês e espanhol são diferentes da versão em latim e denotam dão duas visões completamente diferentes, uma errada e outra certa.

O Papa Francisco, não fala inglês e até onde se sabe não escreve também (escrever bem em uma língua é a última etapa de aprendizado). Então, alguém escreveu por ele.

O twitter do Papa diz em inglês diz:  “Inequality is the root of social evil.”.

Eu traduziria por "Desigualdade é a raiz do mal social".

O que seria um bobagem tanto em termos de teologia como em termos de economia, porque as pessoas nunca são iguais. E muitas escolhem ações que levam a destruição pessoal e econômica.

Acontece que a versão em latim diz:  Iniquitas radix malorum.

Como explica o site da Catholic Culture, iniquitas em latim quer dizer tanto desigualdade, como injustiça, seria o que em português chamamos de iniquidade. Bom, se é injustiça, então temos sim um argumento forte teologicamente e economicamente.

Além disso, na versão em latim não há nada de "social", fala-se apenas em mal (malorum).

Mas de novo, a versão em espanhol, que é próximo de português, usa o termo: "desigualdade" e também fala em social. Então, a minha tradução do que disse o twitter seria correta e a frase do Papa não tem base teológica, nem econômica.

Como acontece com suas entrevistas, o Papa Francisco deveria ter mais cuidado com o que diz e escreve (ou com o que escrevem por ele).

(Eu não uso twitter, agradeço a informação ao site PewSitter)

terça-feira, 29 de abril de 2014

Banco Central da Índia: "QE é doença e não cura". O Brasil diz o quê?

Eu costumo dizer isso há uns dois anos para meus colegas economistas, mas minhas palavras valem quase nada. Mas quem diz agora é o presidente do Banco Central da Índia. Talvez o mundo comece a ouvir

Por que o Brasil não adota o discurso do presidente do Banco Central da Índia? Talvez porque temos nosso próprio QE fiscal e de juros. Mas é o discurso correto sobre a economia global, que não é feito nem pleo FMI.

Fonte: Site Zero Hedge

Speaking at The Brooking Institution on April 12, Reserve Bank Of India Governor Raghuram Rajan  - no stranger to controversial truthiness (as we have noted here and here) - made clear his views on the rest of the world's central bankers as he concluded, "the first step to prescribing the right medicine is to recognize the cause of the illness. And,when it comes to what is ailing the global economy, extreme monetary easing has been more cause than cure. The sooner we recognize that, the stronger and more sustainable the global economic recovery will be."

Leiam todo  o texto do Raghuram Rajan, aqui vai um pedaço

As the world struggles to recover from the global economic crisis, the unconventional monetary policies that many advanced countries adopted in its wake seem to have gained widespread acceptance. In those economies, however, where debt overhangs, policy is uncertain, or the need for structural reform constrains domestic demand, there is a legitimate question as to whether these policies’ domestic benefits have offset their damaging spillovers to other economies.

More problematic, the disregard for spillovers could put the global economy on a dangerous path of unconventional monetary tit for tat. To ensure stable and sustainable economic growth, world leaders must re-examine the international rules of the monetary game, with advanced and emerging economies alike adopting more mutually beneficial monetary policies.

To be sure, there is a role for unconventional policies like quantitative easing (QE); when markets are broken or grossly dysfunctional, central bankers need to think innovatively. Indeed, much of what was done immediately after the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008 was exactly right, though central bankers had no guidebook.

But problems arise when these policies are extended beyond repairing markets; the domestic benefits are at best unclear when economies are deeply damaged or need serious reform, while the spillovers from such policies fuel currency and asset-price volatility in both the home economy and emerging countries.

Central banks, in an effort to keep capital away and hold down the exchange rate, risk becoming locked into a cycle of competitive easing aimed at maximising their countries’ share of scarce existing world demand.

With a few rare but laudable exceptions, officials at multilateral institutions have not questioned these unconventional monetary policies, and have largely been enthusiastic about them. This approach carries two fundamental risks.

The first hazard is a breakdown of the rules of the game. Endorsing unconventional monetary policies unquestioningly is tantamount to saying that it is acceptable to distort asset prices if there are other domestic constraints on growth.

By the same token, it would become legitimate for countries to practice what they might call “quantitative external easing” (QEE), with central banks intervening to hold down their exchange rates, while building huge reserves.

If net spillovers do not determine internationally acceptable policy, multilateral institutions cannot claim that QEE contravenes the rules of the game, regardless of how much instability it engenders.

The second danger is that source countries’ unwillingness to take spillovers into account causes unintended collateral damage in recipient countries, prompting self-interested action on their part.

Even as source-country central banks have painstakingly communicated how domestic conditions will guide their exit path from unconventional policies, they have remained silent about how they would respond to foreign turmoil.
The obvious conclusion – reinforced by the recent financial-market turbulence that followed America’s move to exit from more than five years of QE – is that recipient countries are on their own.

As a result, emerging economies are increasingly wary of running large deficits, and are placing a higher priority on maintaining a competitive exchange rate and accumulating large reserves to serve as insurance against shocks.
At a time when aggregate demand is sorely lacking, is this the response that source countries want to provoke?
Despite the evident benefits of expanding central banks’ mandates to incorporate spillovers, such a change would be difficult to implement at a time when domestic economic worries are politically paramount.


In a world with weak aggregate demand, countries are engaging in a futile competition for a greater share of it.
In the process, they are creating financial-sector and cross-border risks that will become increasingly apparent as countries exit their unconventional policies.

The first step to prescribing the right medicine is to recognise the cause of the illness. And, when it comes to what is ailing the global economy, extreme monetary easing has been more cause than cure.
The sooner we recognise that, the stronger and more sustainable the global economic recovery will be. - Project Syndicate

segunda-feira, 28 de abril de 2014

Quem poderá fornecer gás para Europa, se a Rússia fechar torneira? Será barato?

A economia da Europa ainda patina, há sinais de melhora em países como Portugal e Espanha, mas os mesmos defeitos persistem, os problemas centrais não foram resolvidos (reformas estruturais e controle fiscal). E se a Rússia resolver "atacar" o continente fechando a tubulação de gás, o risco é de uma catástrofe econômica. Os Estados Unidos já dizem que não podem substituir a Rússia como fornecedora de gás para a Europa. "É besteira" imaginar isso.

Texto do Financial Times de hoje discute o assunto, vejamos um trecho

Europe seeks alternative gas supplies

By Guy Chazan

For those in Brussels who want the US to ride to Europe’s rescue and provide an alternative to Russian gas, Charif Souki’s words will have come as something of a disappointment.

Mr Souki, chief executive of Houston-based Cheniere Energy, which is due to become an exporter of natural gas next year, was asked if his company could reduce Europe’s dependence on Gazprom, the Russian gas group.
“It’s flattering to be talked about like this, but it’s nonsense,” he said. “It’s so much nonsense that I can’t believe anybody really believes it.”
His words came at a sensitive time. After Russia annexed Crimea in March and the west began imposing sanctions on Moscow, Europe was suddenly forced to face up to the extent of its dependence on Russian energy exports.
Concerns about its exposure increased in April, when Vladimir Putin, Russian president, warned that Russia might halt gas supplies to Ukraine unless action was taken over Kiev’s unpaid bills. The warning came after Gazprom almost doubled its price for gas to Ukraine.
Ukraine, the key transit route for Russian gas flowing into Europe, looms large in the continent’s energy equation. Russia sent some 155bn cubic metres (bcm) of gas into Europe last year, some 30 per cent of overall demand, and more than half of that – 82bcm – passed through Ukraine.
Brussels has made it a priority to diversify its gas supplies, but Europe’s options are limited. In the short term, it is prepared for a gas cut-off. As of mid-April, the 28 EU member states’ stores were 48 per cent full, with 38 bcm of gas – more than usual for the time of year following a mild winter.
Such ventures reflect the hope that Europe might be able to replace some Russian gas with liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports. But this would mean a big change in current trends. Europe was badly hurt by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, which led Japan to swap to gas-fired power generation and signalled a move of LNG cargoes from Europe to Asia. Last year, Europe’s net imports of LNG were about 48 bcm, the lowest since 2004, and well below the 90 bcm peak in 2011, according to BG Group.
If Europe wants more LNG, it will have to pay for it. The continent spends about $11 per million British thermal units for gas, while in Asia, LNG fetches about $15 per mBTU.
“LNG is not a particularly cheap insurance policy,” says Howard Rogers, director of gas research at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.
Upward pressure on price could be mitigated by an improving supply picture, however. Wood Mackenzie, the consultancy, says 150 bcm of LNG production capacity is being built globally, and not all will go to Asia.
In particular, substantial LNG exports from the US would make European consumers drool. Cheniere, which is building an LNG export terminal in Louisiana, has committed some cargoes to Asia but also struck deals with European companies such as BG and Centrica of the UK.
The US could emerge as a big exporter of LNG. About 28 export projects have been proposed there, with more than 350 bcm of capacity, but most estimates suggest a fraction of those will be built. BG says roughly 90 bcm of export capacity will be in place in the US by 2025. The expectation is most of that will go to Asia.
Europe could try to replicate the success of the US shale boom and develop its unconventional gas reserves. But progress has been slow: some countries, such as France and Bulgaria, have banned hydraulic fracturing processes, and while countries such as the UK are eager to exploit shale reserves, public opposition is strong. In Poland, thought to have enormous reserves, drilling results been discouraging, and some companies have given up.
For analysts at Bernstein Research, all this leads to one clear conclusion. ”We continue to believe Gazprom’s most profitable market is safe,” they wrote in a recent report. “Like it or not, Europe is stuck with Russian gas.”

sábado, 26 de abril de 2014

2.500 anos de Crise Financeira

Desde Imperador Augusto de Roma temos (keynesianas) crises. Interessante livro.

Vejam entrevista com autor.

(Agradeço a indicação do livro ao site Zero Hedge)

quarta-feira, 23 de abril de 2014

Capitalismo: Força Centrípeta, Gera Desigualdade naturalmente.

Geralmente, os defensores do capitalismo argumentam que a força destruidora do capitalismo é benéfica, leva à inovação. Baseiam esta visão na ideía de que o egoísmo é bom, que as pessoas na busca por ganhar mais dinheiro que os outros levam à inovação tecnológica e supostamente todos na sociedade ficariam melhores. Geralmente se aponta que as pessoas vivem mais e comem mais hoje em dia e que isto é fruto do capitalismo.

Bom, quando ouço este argumento eu começo perguntando de que capitalismo ele está falando, daquele praticado nos Estados Unidos (crony capitalism) ou daquele praticado na China (crony capitalism combinado com muita corrupção e completa ausência de direitos individuais). Ou será daquele feito no Brasil?

Daí, passo a mostrar todos que ficam na margem destas práticas de capitalismo supostamente inovador.

Bom, o escritor Daniel Schwindt explica muito bem como o capitalismo é visto diante da Doutrina Social da Igreja. Ele está escrevendo uma série de 6 artigos sobre o assunto. Por enquanto temos apenas 3.

Leiam a primeira parte clicando aqui. A segunda clicando aqui. E a terceira clicando aqui.

Depois, eu vou ver se disponibilizo as outras três partes.

Schwindt é bem didático. Leiam um trecho da segunda parte:

If we visualize the sociopolitical framework of the Middle Ages, we see that it resembled a giant centrifuge: property, which is to say economic power, as well as political authority, was widely dispersed throughout Christendom. This meant that localities usually operated with a surprising degree of autonomy. The Capetian Kings, for example, who ruled France from 987 to 1328, could not impose direct taxation; the Bourbons, who came later, could not conscript soldiers. Both of these exactions, which we now take for granted as facts of our political order, are known to have caused revolts in the past.

However, at the end of the medieval period the centrifuge began to collapse. The forces of dispersion gradually dissolved, creating a sociopolitical vacuum, and centralization naturally ensued. While the causes of this “reversal of polarity” are no doubt multifaceted, the predominant revolution of the era, at least for the common man, was economic: it was the birth of that ideology which we now call “capitalism.”

Capitalism has always and everywhere acted as a centripetal force on those societies in which its principles are allowed to operate, drawing ownership inward toward a tightly-packed center. This “center of ownership” may take the form of a few wealthy individuals, but it may also take the form of the State itself. Socialism, after all, is nothing more than “State capitalism.” (Centesimus Annus, 35)

terça-feira, 22 de abril de 2014

Obama: como não fazer amigos e não influenciar ninguém.

O Financial Times escreveu sobre a falha épica na liderança dos Estados Unidos sob Obama, tanto domesticamente como internacionalmente. O artigo trata especialmente do relacionamento com os BRICS (Brasil, Rússia, Índia, China e África do Sul), mas conclui que ninguém também quer ouvir o presidente dentro dos Estados Unidos.

Bom, eu posso me orgulhar em dizer que eu falei que a administração Obama iria ser um desastre completo em 2008, ano da primeira eleição dele. Para concluir isto o que eu fiz foi apenas acompanhar os debates eleitorais e estudar quem é Obama (como ele chegou a ser senador, o que ele defendia e quem o defendia).

Vejam parte do texto do Financial Times:

How Obama lost friends and influence in the Brics

By Edward Luce

When Barack Obama took office, he pledged a new overture to the world’s emerging powers. Today each of the Brics – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – is at loggerheads with America, or worse. Last month four of the five abstained in a UN vote condemning the fifth’s annexation of Crimea. Next month India is likely to elect as its new leader Narendra Modi, who says he has “no interest in visiting America other than to attend the UN in New York”. As the world’s largest democracy, and America’s most natural ally among the emerging powers, India’s is a troubling weathervane. How on earth did Mr Obama lose the Brics?

Some of it was unavoidable. Early in his first term Mr Obama called for a “reset” of US relations with Russia. His overture was warmly received by Dmitry Medvedev, then Russia’s president, who was considerably less anti-western than his predecessor, Vladimir Putin. Unfortunately for Mr Obama, Ukraine, Pussy Riot and many others, Mr Putin repossessed the presidency. The US president can hardly be blamed for that. Things have gone downhill since then.

The trajectory of US relations with China has also been in the wrong direction. Within his first year in office, Mr Obama made his much-feted “G2” visit to China, in which he offered Beijing a global partnership to solve the world’s big problems, from climate change to financial imbalances. Alas, the Chinese did not feel ready to tackle problems on a global level that they were still struggling with at home. Mr Obama was rudely spurned by his hosts.

Mr Obama’s latest defence budget would preclude another Iraq-style invasion. That, of course, is a good thing. But other observers, including those who are beginning to resist American power around the world, are adjusting their behaviour. They see a US that is increasingly unwilling to project global force – except using remote control. Meanwhile, the Brics’ economic growth rates are slowing. But they are still growing faster than the US, and are likely to continue to do so. The economic centre of gravity will continue to shift their way.

Second, the US public is tiring of its country’s global responsibilities. Mr Obama’s real pivot is not to Asia but to America. In this he is only taking his cue from domestic sentiment. Yet his pivot to home is not going too well either. As Lawrence Summers, the former US Treasury secretary, recently observed, the US has two parties, one of which, the Democrats, refuses to endorse any kind of trade deal; the other of which, the Republicans, appears to detest all international institutions. Neither of the two parties listens to what Mr Obama wants. If you believe the television ratings, the US public long ago tuned out from what he says.
Little surprise, then, that the Brics are getting into the habit of talking among themselves.

(Agradeço a indicação do texto do FT ao site Weasel Zippers)

segunda-feira, 21 de abril de 2014

A Maior fonte de Pobreza: Destruição da Família.

Outro dia, eu resolvi comer um sanduíche no Burger King. Aí vi que eles têm a opção família, o Combo Família.  Você compraria um pacote de sanduíches para a família. Acontece que o pacote família do Burger King é para apenas duas pessoas, um adulto e uma criança. Isto é família?

Se eu fosse gerente do Burger King eu não teria feito isso.

Se um adulto e uma criança for uma família, esta é maior fonte de pobreza.

Roberto Maranto e Michael Crouch escreveram um excelente artigo ontem no Wall Street Journal criticando aqueles que discutem a desigualdade de renda sem falar nos problemas gerados pelo grande aumento de mães solteiras.

Vou colocar aqui partes do texto.

Ignoring an Inequality Culprit: Single-Parent Families

April 20, 2014 5:38 p.m. ET

Suppose a scientific conference on cancer prevention never addressed smoking, on the grounds that in a free society you can't change private behavior, and anyway, maybe the statistical relationships between smoking and cancer are really caused by some other third variable. Wouldn't some suspect that the scientists who raised these claims were driven by something—ideology, tobacco money—other than science?
Yet in the current discussions about increased inequality, few researchers, fewer reporters, and no one in the executive branch of government directly addresses what seems to be the strongest statistical correlate of inequality in the United States: the rise of single-parent families during the past half century.
The two-parent family has declined rapidly in recent decades. In 1960, more than 76% of African-Americans and nearly 97% of whites were born to married couples. Today the percentage is 30% for blacks and 70% for whites. The out-of-wedlock birthrate for Hispanics surpassed 50% in 2006. This trend, coupled with high divorce rates, means that roughly 25% of American children now live in single-parent homes, twice the percentage in Europe (12%). Roughly a third of American children live apart from their fathers.
Does it matter? Yes, it does. From economist Susan Mayer's 1997 book "What Money Can't Buy" to Charles Murray's "Coming Apart" in 2012, clear-eyed studies of the modern family affirm the conventional wisdom that two parents work better than one.
In an essay for the Institute for Family Studies last December, called "Even for Rich Kids, Marriage Matters," University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox reported that children in high-income households who experienced family breakups don't fare as well emotionally, psychologically, educationally or, in the end, economically as their two-parent-family peers.
Abuse, behavioral problems and psychological issues of all kinds, such as developmental behavior problems or concentration issues, are less common for children of married couples than for cohabiting or single parents, according to a 2003 Centers for Disease Control study of children's health. The causal pathways are about as clear as those from smoking to cancer.
More than 20% of children in single-parent families live in poverty long-term, compared with 2% of those raised in two-parent families, according to education-policy analyst Mitch Pearlstein's 2011 book "From Family Collapse to America's Decline." The poverty rate would be 25% lower if today's family structure resembled that of 1970, according to the 2009 report "Creating an Opportunity Society" from Brookings Institution analysts Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill. A 2006 article in the journal Demography by Penn State sociologist Molly Martin estimates that 41% of the economic inequality created between 1976-2000 was the result of changed family structure.
Earlier this year, a team of researchers led by Harvard economist Raj Chetty reported that communities with a high percentage of single-parent families are less likely to experience upward mobility. The researchers' report—"Where Is the Land of Opportunity?"—received considerable media attention. Yet mainstream news outlets tended to ignore the study's message about family structure, focusing instead on variables with far less statistical impact, such as residential segregation.
In the past four years, our two academic professional organizations—the American Political Science Association and the American Educational Research Association—have each dedicated annual meetings to inequality, with numerous papers and speeches denouncing free markets, the decline of unions, and "neoliberalism" generally as exacerbating economic inequality. Yet our searches of the groups' conference websites fail to turn up a single paper or panel addressing the effects of family change on inequality.
Why isn't this matter at the center of policy discussions? There are at least three reasons. First, much of politics is less about what you are for than who you are against, as Jonathan Haidt, a New York University psychology professor, noted in his popular 2012 book "The Righteous Mind." And intellectual and cultural elites lean to the left. So, quite simply, very few professors or journalists, and fewer still who want foundation grants, want to be seen as siding with social conservatives, even if the evidence leads that way.
Second, family breakup has hit minority communities the hardest. So even bringing up the issue risks being charged with racism, a potential career-killer. The experience of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan is a cautionary tale: Moynihan, who had a doctorate in sociology, served in the Lyndon B. Johnson administration as an assistant secretary of labor and in 1965 published a paper titled "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action," warning about the long-term risk that single-parent households pose for black communities. He was attacked bitterly, and his academic reputation was tarnished for decades.
Finally, there is no quick fix. Welfare reform beginning in the mid-1990s offered only modest marriage incentives and has been insufficient to change entrenched cultural practices. The change must come from long-term societal transformation on this subject, led by political, educational and entertainment elites, similar to the decades-long movements against racism, sexism—and smoking.
But the first step is to acknowledge the problem.

quinta-feira, 17 de abril de 2014

As torres sem luz na China. Ou "yin zhen zhi ke"

O Financial Times escreveu um ótimo texto sobre a crise econômica na China, que atinge especialmente os investimentos imobiliários.

Vejam parte do texto abaixo:

Towers where no lights burn at heart of China’s puzzle

By Jamil Anderlini in Yuncheng

In a steel and coal-mining region of 5m people in the Chinese heartland, signs of economic slowdown are everywhere.
Forests of newly built but nearly abandoned apartment complexes with names such as Fortune Plaza and Golden Riverside ring central Yuncheng while, on the outskirts of town, the district’s largest steel mill has gone bust, leaving mountains of unpaid debt and nearly 10,000 idle workers.
“I used to bring lots of investors and steel people out here to visit the plant,” says Zhang Pu, a taxi driver waiting outside an empty hotel next to the headquarters of Highsee Group, the troubled steelmaker. “These days the only people who want to come here are local peasant farmers or debt collectors.”
China’s economy expanded 7.4 per cent in the first quarter of the year from the same period a year earlier, a sharp slowdown from 7.7 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of 2013.
That is still an enviable rate by the standard of most countries but in Yuncheng and other cities across China, the headline figure masks a multitude of growing problems.
The main reason for the slowdown is a slump in fixed asset investment, the biggest driver of the Chinese economy.
In the first three months of the year, investment grew 17.6 per cent from the same period a year earlier, the slowest pace since late 2002.
The slide was largely owing to declining real estate investment, which also experienced its weakest growth in more than a decade. The situation is certain to get worse in the coming months as new housing floor space under construction contracted 27.2 per cent in the first quarter.
That was largely a reaction to declining sales, which fell 5.7 per cent in terms of floor space in the first quarter from a year earlier, with the fall especially pronounced in smaller inland cities such as Yuncheng.
“Our surveys show clear divergence in price trends with first-tier major cities experiencing mildly rising housing prices,” Sheng Laiyun, spokesman for China’s National Bureau of Statistics, said on Wednesday at a press conference to announce first-quarter GDP. “In some second-tier cities prices are shaky and in third and fourth-tier cities, especially those with ample supply, prices have come down.”
The fate of China’s overheated real estate market is absolutely critical to the health of the overall economy.
Real estate construction directly accounted for 16 per cent of GDP in 2013, according to estimates from Nomura.
At that level China is approaching a dependence on property last seen in Ireland and Spain before the bursting of their bubbles.
In the past, and particularly after the 2008 global financial crisis, Beijing has turned to credit-fuelled property construction as the quickest and easiest way to boost flagging growth.
But with so many freshly built apartment towers already standing empty across the country, another round of manic, state-sanctioned real estate construction would amount to “yin zhen zhi ke” – “drinking poison to quench one’s thirst”.
“It is the lack of final demand, existence of excess capacities and barriers to private investment that have curbed China’s corporate investment and overall growth,” said Wang Tao, an economist at UBS. “Against this background, stronger credit growth will not lead to sustained stronger corporate investment growth, but would likely lead to a continued build-up of unsustainable leverage levels in China’s problematic local government debt and property sectors.”

quarta-feira, 16 de abril de 2014

Desonestidade em Harvard Triplica

O lema das Universidade de Harvard é "Veritas" (verdade). Mas acho que os alunos (Às vezes com apoio dos professores) não estão seguindo o lema. 

Eu conheço casos célebres de plágio em uma universidade federal, os não célebres devem ser centenas. Nas universidades particulares brasileiras, acho que a desonestidade (plágio ou cola) é a norma.

Academic Dishonesty on the Rise at Harvard

Posted by     Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 8:00am

2012-2013 Ad Board Stats Reflect Three-Fold Spike in Academic Dishonesty Cases

Administrative Board statistics detailing the outcomes of cases heard by the disciplinary body in the last academic year show that, as expected, the number of students required to temporarily withdraw from the College for academic dishonesty was more than three times higher than the number in 2011-2012.
According to the statistics, released Friday on the Ad Board’s website afterrepeated requests from The Crimson, 97 students involved in academic integrity cases were required to withdraw in 2012-2013, the year that saw Harvard’s largest cheating investigation in recent memory.
Roughly 70 of those 97 students, according to previous statements from administrators, were implicated in the Government 1310 cheating scandal, in which about 125 students were accused of plagiarizing or inappropriately collaborating on the course’s final take-home exam.
This would mean that about 27 students outside of the Gov 1310 case were required to withdraw for academic dishonesty last year, a number consistent with the previous academic year, in which 26 students were required to withdraw in academic dishonesty cases.
The number of students who were placed on disciplinary probation due to academic dishonesty also rose to 31 in 2012-2013, compared to only 16 students in 2011-2012. Administrators have previously said that about half of the students implicated in the Gov 1310 case who were not required to withdraw were placed on probation. In 2012-2013, the Ad Board took no action in 14 academic dishonesty cases, compared to just one in 2011-2012.

(Agradeço o texto ao site Weasel Zippers)

De todas as tiranias, a pior é a que procura ajudar.

Michael Bloomberg, milionário e ex-prefeito de Nova Iorque, faz campanha contra a obesidade e contra o uso de armas. Ele acha que por isso, "se houver Deus, ele nem será julgado, irá direto para o Paraíso",

Bom, quem fala isso não sabe o que é Deus, nem muito menos o Deus cristão, acho que nem acredita em qualquer Deus.

Lutar contra a obesidade é querer interferir no que as pessoas comem e isto é bastante perigoso. Lutar contra o uso de armas pela população costuma liberar o uso de armas apenas pelos ladrões (ver Brasil ou Chicago, cidade mais violenta dos Estados Unidos e a que tem leis anti armas mais restritas)

Além disso, como muito bem explicou C.S.Lewis:

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppresive".

Vejam o texto no qual Bloomberg diz que Deus seria todo aplauso para ele (é o último parágrafo).

(Agradeço a informação sobre Bloomberg e o julgamento final ao blog Creative Minority Report)

terça-feira, 15 de abril de 2014

Fala-se do ar poluído chinês, mas a água na China é bem pior.

Eu tenho um amigo da Noruega, um dia fomos jantar no Brasil, e ele pediu que seu refrigerante viesse sem gelo. Mas o garçom trouxe com gelo, daí ele não bebeu, com receio da água no Brasil.

Lembrei disso ao ler um texto da  Bloomberg sobre a água na China. A Bloomberg escreveu sobre as condições da água na China, um país em que o próprio governo admite a existência de produtos cancerígenos na água e que mais de 40% dos rios estão condenados.

Vejam parte do texto:

If You Thought China's Air Was Bad, Try the Water

segunda-feira, 14 de abril de 2014

O que se ganha com a Caridade?

Assista a um belíssimo comercial tailandês, que fala sobre a caridade.

(Agradeço a indicação ao site Culture War Notes)

sexta-feira, 11 de abril de 2014

Apartheid = Mudança Climática?

Não sou muito fã do bispo da Igreja Anglicana, Desmond Tutu, ele é muito, vamos dizer assim, Nações Unidas, para mim. Com todos os defeitos do politicamente correto e do esquerdismo da ONU.

A última dele foi igualar a necessidade do passado em combater o apartheid (variável sempre usada contra inimigos) com a (suposta) necessidade de hoje em combater o aquecimento global.

Para Tutu, é fato pacífico que há aquecimento global e que o culpado são os gases de efeito estufa, portanto tudo que emite estes gases, empresas e carros, deve ser eliminado. Não há nenhuma consideração ao fato de que há 17 anos não há aquecimento global e que a própria ONU, no último relatório, reduziu muito as suas previsões de aquecimento (depois de errar muito).

A mudança climática serve como palco ao bispo, que sempre me pareceu gostar muito de holofotes.

Vejamos o que diz Desmond Tutu no jornal inglês The Guardian

Throughout my life I have believed that the only just response to injustice is what Mahatma Gandhi termed "passive resistance". During the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, using boycotts, divestment and sanctions, and supported by our friends overseas, we were not only able to apply economic pressure on the unjust state, but also serious moral pressure.
It is clear that those countries and companies primarily responsible for emitting carbon and accelerating climate change are not simply going to give up; they stand to make too much money. They need a whole lot of gentle persuasion from the likes of us. And it need not necessarily involve trading in our cars and buying bicycles!
There are many ways that all of us can fight against climate change: by not wasting energy, for instance. But these individual measures will not make a big enough difference in the available time.
People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change. We can, for instance, boycott events, sports teams and media programming sponsored by fossil-fuel energy companies. We can demand that the advertisements of energy companies carry health warnings. We can encourage more of our universities and municipalities and cultural institutions to cut their ties to the fossil-fuel industry. We can organise car-free days and build broader societal awareness. We can ask our religious communities to speak out.
We can actively encourage energy companies to spend more of their resources on the development of sustainable energy products, and we can reward those companies that do so by using their products. We can press our governments to invest in renewable energy and stop subsidising fossil fuels. Where possible, we can install our own solar panels and water heaters.
We cannot necessarily bankrupt the fossil fuel industry. But we can take steps to reduce its political clout, and hold those who rake in the profits accountable for cleaning up the mess.
And the good news is that we don't have to start from scratch. Young people across the world have already begun to do something about it. The fossil fuel divestment campaign is the fastest growing corporate campaign of its kind in history.
Last month, the General Synod of the Church of England voted overwhelmingly to review its investment policy in respect of fossil fuel companies, with one bishop referring to climate change as "the great demon of our day". Already some colleges and pension funds have declared they want their investments to be congruent with their beliefs.
It makes no sense to invest in companies that undermine our future. To serve as custodians of creation is not an empty title; it requires that we act, and with all the urgency this dire situation demands.

(Agradeço a indicação do texto de Tutu ao site Weasel Zippers)