When an alien lands on the White House lawn, who should greet him (her? it?): someone from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, or someone from the Fish and Wildlife Commission?O artigo é possivelmente um bocado datado (de 1977) e (como é provavelmente natural num artigo sobre questões jurídicas, em que as leis mudam de país para país, e portanto um autor tenderá a escrever sobre as leis do seu país) centrado na legislação dos EUA.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
One counterintuitive variation in wage-setting regulation is that countries with the highest labor standards and strongest labor movements are among the least likely to set a statutory minimum wage. This, the author argues, is due largely to trade union opposition. Trade unions oppose the minimum wage when they face minimal low-wage competition, which is affected by the political institutions regulating industrial action, collective agreements, and employment, as well as by the skill and wage levels of their members. When political institutions effectively regulate low-wage competition, unions oppose the minimum wage. When political institutions are less favorable toward unions, there may be a cleavage between high- and low-wage unions in their minimum wage preferences. The argument is illustrated with case studies of the UK, Germany, and Sweden. The author demonstrates how the regulation of low-wage competition affects unions’ minimum wage preferences by exploiting the following labor market institutional shocks: the Conservatives’ labor law reforms in the UK, the Hartz labor market reforms in Germany, and the European Court of Justice's Laval ruling in Sweden. The importance of union preferences for minimum wage adoption is also shown by how trade union confederation preferences influenced the position of the Labour Party in the UK and the Social Democratic Party in Germany.
Publicada por Miguel Madeira em 11:25
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
IRAN: On the verge of introducing the world’s first national basic income, por Karl Widerquist (agosto de 2010)
The “Basic Income” Road to Reforming Iran’s Subsidy System[pdf], por por Hamid Tabatai (agosto de 2010)
IRAN: Economic reforms usher in a de facto basic income, por Hamid Tabatai (novembro de 2010)
IRAN: Basic Income Might Become Means Tested, por Hamid Tabatabai (janeiro de 2012)
From Price Subsidies to Basic Income:The Iran Model and its Lessons[pdf], por Hamid Tabatabai (2012)
Iran’s Subsidy Reform: from Promise to Disappointment[pdf], por Djavad Salehi-Isfahani (junho de 2014)
IRAN: Parliament slashes cash subsidies to citizens, por Kate McFarland (junho de 2016)
Claro que é possível que esteja aqui uma instabilidade intrínseca do RBI, que o leve a desaparecer a prazo, onde quer que seja implementado - quando haver falta de dinheiro e seja preciso fazer cortes, a tendência será sempre para, em vez de cortar em toda a gente, cortar só nos que ganham mais (veja-se, aliás, o que aconteceu em Portugal com os abonos de família), e assim o RBI tenderá a se transformar num RSI.
Publicada por Miguel Madeira em 12:11
Where Would You Prefer that Women Be Oppressed?, por Bryan Caplan (a respeito do argumento que se deve limitar a imigração muçulmana por causa da atitude de grande parte dos muçulmanos acerca dos direitos das mulheres):
Immigration restrictions are a great way to make sure that Muslim women are not oppressed in Europe. But that does less than zero to improve the lives of Muslim women. The regulation simply forces them to stay back in their home countries where conditions are worse and far harder to escape.
Publicada por Miguel Madeira em 11:14
Monday, October 17, 2016
What do Lisbeth Salander, Chloe O’Brien and Elliot Alderson have in common? They are all expert computer programmers or hackers, and (like most fictional portrayals of people with their skills), they’re all, well, rather odd and socially awkward. In other words, they all conform to the commonly held stereotype of the IT guy (or girl) – which must be one of the most stereotyped occupations in the world – as good with machines and programming code, but lousy with people and emotions. Is this stereotype fair? A new meta-analysis published in the Journal of Research in Personality, combining data from 19 previous studies involving nearly 1700 people, suggests the answer is (mostly) “No”.
Timo Gnambs trawled the research literature looking for relevant studies that had measured people’s programming ability objectively (e.g. based on the number of errors in their programming code), and had measured their personality traits and intelligence. (...)
[Via Tyler Cowen; o estudo é este - What makes a computer wiz? Linking personality traits and programming aptitude, mas está fechado]
Unsurprisingly, and somewhat in line with the programmer stereotype, the strongest correlate with programming ability was intelligence. Cleverer people make better programmers. Also, introversion was correlated with programming skill – which makes sense seeing as introverts generally prefer a quiet environment away from crowds, and working on a computer and writing code fits with that preference. Conscientiousness was another relevant trait. Again this makes sense, because conscientiousness is about attention to detail.
However, the personality trait most strongly correlated with programming ability was not introversion or conscientiousness, but openness: a trait that’s related to being creative and imaginative. What’s more, over time to the present day, openness has become a more important correlate of programming ability, while conscientiousness has become less important. This is speculation, but perhaps more creative people are today drawn to careers in programming because of all the opportunities for imaginative expression in a world of apps, video games, snazzy websites, and social networks. Finally, the traits of agreeableness (essentially how friendly someone is) and neuroticism (how anxious and emotionally unstable) were not correlated with programming ability, pretty much refuting the tired stereotype of the socially awkward programming geek.
Sinceramente, acho algumas dessas observações sem grande sentido; o autor (o do post, e suspeito que também o do estudo) alega que a não existência de correlação entre "agradabilidade" e "neuroticismo" e a habilidade para programar desmente o estereótipo do programador sem aptidões sociais; mas um dos fatores com uma associação mais forte é "introversão", o que na minha opinião implica quase automaticamente ser considerado como tendo poucas aptidões sociais; sim, pode-se contra-argumentar que há pessoas sociáveis e comunicativas sem aptidões sociais, mas penso que a inversa não é verdadeira: alguém que em situações sociais se limite a fazer ocasionais comentários monossilábicos e tenha uma interação fria e distante com os outros é, quase por definição, "sem aptidões sociais" (além disso, as tais pessoas sociáveis sem aptidões sociais podem ser muito comuns nas comédias da TV e do cinema, mas duvido que o sejam no mundo real) - mas se calhar é outra instância desta questão.
Quando à parte das "opportunities for imaginative expression in a world of apps, video games, snazzy websites, and social networks" não vejo em que é que programar um jogo, uma rede social ou uma app seja mais ou menos criativo do que programar outra coisa qualquer (p.ex., um suplemento para uma folha de cálculo para importar automaticamente dados de um programa de gestão de inventários) - eu suponho que o autor está a confundir duas coisas: um programa requerer criatividade de quem o faz; e um programa ser divertido de usar para os seus utilizadores.
Publicada por Miguel Madeira em 17:07
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Artigo escrito ainda antes da morte do rei - The King is (nearly) dead: long live the King?
While the yellow shirted ultra-royalists prostrated themselves, most Thais went on with their lives with only cursory notice of the anniversary. The reality is the monarchy means less to average Thais than it did in the past for three key reasons:
First, the King has largely been out of their lives for the past five years, if not more.
Second, while journalists often phrase it as the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn “not enjoying the same levels of support for his father,” the reality is he commands almost no respect from society. The moral authority and legitimacy of the monarchy will plummet, and as such, so will its importance in the lives of ordinary Thais.
Third, there is growing fatigue of the political upheavals done in his name, including coups in 2006 and 2014, and the rampant abuse of the lèse majesté law and Computer Crimes Act. In the two years following the coup, 68 people have been charged with lèse majesté (Art. 112 of the Criminal Code). If the monarchy is as revered as Thai ultra-royalists and the military say it is, then why must it be so vigorously defended by draconian laws? A robust monarchy could handle criticism, whether in principle or satire. (...)
First and foremost, the succession is about Thai elite politics. The May 2014 coup was thrown, in large part, in order to control the succession. Neither the military nor the ultra-monarchists could fathom the Pheu Thai under direct, or even indirect, control of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to be in power during the transition. The political instability was simply their justification to seize power, which they show no sign of relinquishing, now in the third year of military rule.
We know there were rifts between the junta, led by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, and the ultra-monarchists, led by Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda. Under the 1924 Palace Law, which predates the establishment of the constitutional monarchy in 1932, the 63-year-old Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn should ascend the throne as the male heir. The ultra-monarchists cannot countenance the Crown Prince be-spoiling the institution of the monarchy. Despite desperate attempts to clean up his image and make him appear more kingly, his reputation will be a hard one to whitewash. (...)
Prem probably still views the Crown Prince as an existential threat to the wealth, power and privilege of the ultra-monarchists, but their ability to orchestrate Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s ascension to the throne is limited. (...)
The junta believes that the Crown Prince can be managed. Or to look at it another way, they truly fear what the Crown Prince is capable of should he be passed over;
Publicada por Miguel Madeira em 16:46
Friday, October 14, 2016
Fala-se em passar a pagar metade do subsidio de Natal dos funcionários públicos em novembro em vez de repartido pelo ano inteiro.
Eu há anos escrevi algo sobre isso:
Pela lógica, os empregadores deveriam adorar a instituição dos subsídios de férias e Natal - afinal, se em vez de pagarem 1.166,67 euros todos os meses, pagarem só 1.000 euros por mês, e mais 1.000 euros em duas ocasiões especiais (em Junho e Novembro, p.ex.), dá para, ao longo do ano, ir pondo de lado o dinheiro para os subsídios, investi-lo em aplicações, e quando chega finalmente a altura de pagar os subsídios, já se embolsou alguns juros. Pela razão oposta, os trabalhadores deveriam detestar esses subsidios - se em vez de receberem 1.000 euros pelas férias, e mais 1.000 pelo Natal, recebessem mais 166,67 euros todos os meses, daria para investirem esse dinheiro, e quando chegasse a altura já teriam mais do que os 1.000 euros de subsidio que recebem.Diga-se que, quer pessoalmente quer nos comentários da internet, já ouvi muita gente zangada com essa medida, porque o seu ordenado mensal vai descer - se for um sentimento generalizado, quer dizer que as pessoas já estão a agir mais racionalmente do que quando escrevi esse post (em que a seguir dizia "no mundo real, as preferências de empresas e trabalhadores sobre isso parecem ser exactamente o oposto da lógica."). Diga-se que nem é preciso o meu cenário do investir o dinheiro para ser melhor recebé-lo em janeiro do que em novembro - para quem tem despesas que tem que pagar já, é melhor receber o dinheiro todos os meses do que receber tudo por atacado em novembro; e para quem não tem despesas urgentes, tanto faz a altura do ano em que o recebem - logo no agregado é sempre preferível começar loga a receber o dinheiro a partir de janeiro.
[Post publicado no Vias de Facto; podem comentar lá]
Publicada por Miguel Madeira em 16:08
When cultural commentators lament the decline of the habit of reading books, it is difficult to imagine that back in the 18th century many prominent voices were concerned about the threat posed by people reading too much. A dangerous disease appeared to afflict the young, which some diagnosed as reading addiction and others as reading rage, reading fever, reading mania or reading lust. (...)Isto fez-me lembrar o meu post A opinião socialmente correta sobre os jogos de computador.
What some described as a craze was actually a rise in the 18th century of an ideal: the ‘love of reading’. The emergence of this new phenomenon was largely due to the growing popularity of a new literary genre: the novel. The emergence of commercial publishing in the 18th century and the growth of an ever-widening constituency of readers was not welcomed by everyone. Many cultural commentators were apprehensive about the impact of this new medium on individual behaviour and on society’s moral order. (...)
The consensus that emerged was that unrestrained exposure to fiction led readers to lose touch with reality and identify with the novel’s romantic characters to the point of adopting their behaviour. The passionate enthusiasm with which European youth responded to the publication of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) appeared to confirm this consensus. (...)
The scale of the reaction to Werther perturbed authorities throughout Europe. (...) The novel was blamed for the unleashing of an epidemic of copycat suicides throughout Europe among young, emotionally disturbed and broken-hearted readers. The numerous initiatives to ban the novel indicated that the authorities took these claims very seriously. In 1775 the theological faculty of the University of Leipzig petitioned officials to ban Werther on the grounds that its circulation would lead to the promotion of suicide. The city council of Leipzig agreed and cited the increased frequency of suicides as justification for banning both the novel and the wearing of Werther’s costume. The ban, which was introduced in 1775, was not lifted until 1825. The novel was also banned in Italy and Denmark. (...)
Warnings about an epidemic of suicide said more about the anxieties of their authors than the behaviour of the readers of the novels. An inspection of the literature circulating these warnings indicates a striking absence of empirical evidence. The constant allusion to Miss. G., to nameless victims and to similarly framed death scenes suggests that these reports had little factual content to draw on. Stories about an epidemic of suicide were as fictional as the demise of Werther in Goethe’s novel. (...)
The association of the novel with the disorganisation of the moral order represented an early example of a media panic. The formidable, sensational and often improbable effects attributed to the consequences of reading in the 18th century provided the cultural resources on which subsequent reactions to the cinema, television or the Internet would draw on. In that sense Werther fever anticipated the media panics of the future.
Publicada por Miguel Madeira em 11:35
Thursday, October 13, 2016
U.S. manufacturing jobs, I argued a few weeks ago, are never coming back. But that doesn’t stop politicians from talking about them. (...)Diga-se que, como algarvio, sempre me causou alguma sensação de estranheza essa tendência, sobretudo no discurso norte-americano, para associar "indústria" a "bons empregos" - afinal, no Algarve pré-turismo eram a terras industriais (como Vila Real de Santo António, Olhão ou Lagos) que tinham fama de serem terras de miséria, enquanto eram as terras mais viradas para o comércio (como Faro ou Loulé) que eram as terras ricas.
Candidates talk about manufacturing because of what it represents in the popular imagination: a source of stable, well-paying jobs, especially for people without a college degree. But that image is rooted more in nostalgia than in reality. Manufacturing no longer plays its former role in the economy, and not only because there are far fewer factory jobs than in the past. The jobs being created today often pay less than those of the past — sometimes far less.
A new report this week from the Labor Center at the University of California, Berkeley, found that a third of production workers — non-managers working on factory floors and in related occupations — earn so little that their families receive some form of public assistance such as food stamps or the Earned Income Tax Credit. (...)
On average, manufacturing jobs still pay better than most jobs available to people without a college degree. The median manufacturing worker without a bachelor’s degree earned $15 an hour in 2015, a dollar more than similarly educated workers in other industries.1 But those averages obscure a great deal of variation beneath the surface. Average manufacturing wages are inflated by high-earning veterans; newly created jobs tend to pay less. And there are substantial regional variations. The average manufacturing production worker in Michigan earns $20.80 an hour, vs.$18.86 in South Carolina, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Why do factory workers make more in Michigan? In a word: unions. (...) In Michigan, 23 percent of manufacturing production workers were union members in 2015; in South Carolina, less than 2 percent were. (...)
But this much is clear: For all of the glow that surrounds manufacturing jobs in political rhetoric, there is nothing inherently special about them. Some pay well; others don’t. They are not immune from the forces that have led to slow wage growth in other sectors of the economy. When politicians pledge to protect manufacturing jobs, they really mean a certain kind of job: well-paid, long-lasting, with opportunities for advancement. Those aren’t qualities associated with working on a factory floor; they’re qualities associated with being a member of a union.
Ver também Why Are Politicians So Obsessed With Manufacturing?, por Binyamin Appelbaum (New York Times, via Economist's View).
Publicada por Miguel Madeira em 11:14