dissabte, d’octubre 14, 2006

Si ell ho diu

Quants veu llegir la magnífica entrevista d'ahir al professor Sala-i-Martín? Mal fet, doncs. Ara em veig obligat a citar alguns fragments que m'han cridat l'atenció.
Per començar, us anuncio la primera excepció a l'axioma fonamental del Nucli Dur, que us recordo per si de cas: el lliure mercat ho soluciona tot. L'única persona amb potestat per modificar aquest precepte radical, el professor Sala-i-Martín, així ho ha decidit i ho explicava de la següent manera, parlant sobre la producció d'idees.
"In the case of perfect competition, we will not get an optimal outcome because prices converge to marginal cost and, consequently, there is no surplus to pay for the initial research cost. Therefore, in a world of perfect competition, very few things will be invented! Adam Smith’s invisible hand does not work in the case of ideas."
Després del sotrac i una vegada aprovada la lleugera modificació dels estatuts fundacionals del nucli, el professor ens deixa respirar durant una llarga estona:

"Because we all know that, at the end of the day, the only way out of poverty is growth, and sustained growth can be generated only through markets."
None of the rich nations of the world has reached that position because of aid and debt forgiveness. They became rich through being successful market economies."
Sobre els imbècils que culpen la globalització i les multinacionals de la misèria de l'Àfrica:
"Is the problem of Africa that there is too much capital mobility and foreign direct investment? No. Not even Africans invest in Africa where private investment is less than 5 per cent of GDP.
So the idea that Africa suffers from too much trade is completely absurd."
Desigualtats. Algú potser recordarà un article aparegut recentment a l'Estable sota el suggerent títol: Desigualtat. Curioses coincidències, com s'encarreguen d'apuntar els apreciats comentaristes.
"Some people say that if you look across countries, inequality is increasing. That may be true, but it is not relevant for human welfare because looking at countries, rather than citizens, would give 700 times more weight to the farmer in Mozambique than to a Chinese peasant, simply because the former lives in a smaller country! We need to look at population-weighted measures of poverty and inequality, because China has 1.3 billion people and Mozambique has about 19 million people."
I finalment, l'orgasme et sorprèn tot parlant de redistribució de la riquesa, aturats i altres ganduls diversos:
"Imagine you have a situation where you have two brothers. One brother likes to work hard, the other does not like to work. One brother likes to study in order to improve his employment prospects, the other hates to study. They are both reasonable people. It just so happens that one of the brothers prefers to have as much free time as possible and spend his time walking on the beach, while the other works like crazy, and has a lot of material goods. In fact, they could be equally happy. Then along comes the government and guess what? It looks at the distribution of income, not happiness. It observes one rich brother and one very poor brother, as measured by income. So the government transfers some income from the rich brother to the poorer brother, who now ends up with leisure time, and similar income! Notice that, because the government cares about income as opposed to happiness, redistribution ends up creating more (not less) inequality."

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