liberdades e racionalidade

A propoosito desta conversa sobre liberdade e mercado e estado e tudo e tudo tudo, fui procurar um artigo do FT em que o Samuel Brittan revia um livro novo do Amartya Sen… (2004… as coisas que um tipo guarda na cabeca… a minha memooria hein?!?!)

Aas tantas, sai-lhe o seguinte (isto ee para provocar a malta a ler o livro, mas nao mando o artigo para nao dar a desculpa a ningueem de nao ler o que o Senhor Sen escreveu… como ee Natal, eu vou oferecer este livro a mim prooprio):

“… The last three chapters of this book are a revised version of the Arrow Lectures he gave in 1995 and which have never been previously published. It is here that he divides the goals of public policy into two aspects. The first is what he calls ‘opportunities’. This refers to the range of choices that people have and corresponds roughly to the traditional idea of economic welfare, but goes much beyond what is usually measured in estimates of Gross Domestic Product. The second aspect consists of what he calls ‘process’ – matters such as the constitutional and legal system, which determine how decisions are taken and the scope of personal freedom. Much of Sen’s argument is a critique of other thinkers who put too much emphasis on process at the expense of opportunities. Such thinkers are what the vulgar have in mind when they talk about ‘market fundamentalists’…”

“… As Sen points out, it is absurd to judge a social system entirely by concepts such as freedom and the rule of law without any attention to welfare or the distribution of opportunities among citizens. The opposite error is utter indifference to process and concern only with results…”

“… Part of Sen’s achievement has been to clear away some of this logic-chopping and introduce some common sense. He long ago showed, with a homely example involving Lady Chatterley’s Lover, that a ‘prude’ and a ‘lewd’ could both be made better off in Pareto terms by prohibitions which curtailed basic human freedoms…”

“… Sen’s reflections on rationality had the effect of making me reconsider not my objections to a legal minimum wage, but my grounds for them. It is tempting to regard such legislative interference as an irrationally costly way of achieving a reduction in poverty. But reflection soon leads one on to endless complications. For instance, how do you evaluate the poverty of those forced out of jobs by a sizeable minimum wage against the higher wages of those who retain jobs? If you want to help the latter by ensuring that unemployment pay is at least as high as the minimum wage, what are the incentive effects on economic performance of paying and financing such a dole? On the other hand, if one prefers the apparently more rational course of in-work benefits to top up the pay of those incapable of earning a conventional minimum, one has to ask what effect this will have on pre-benefit market pay and also on the work incentives of those who have to finance the top-ups? In the end one is led to look for an impossible-to-achieve model of the whole economic and social system… ”
“… It is surely more straightforward to take the ‘process’ route and to say that a legally enforced minimum wage is a breach of my freedom to make a contract with another person. This is not acceptable when adverse third-party effects can be offset through social-security top-ups which are a reasonable procedure whether or not their pure economic ‘optimality’ can be proven. It is the great value of Sen’s book that he tempts one to investigate fresh examples and to realize that the world is a more complex place than it might appear to the supporter of an ideology, even one’s own…”
Esta entrada foi publicada em Genéricos. ligação permanente.

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